National Memorial Chorten,Thimphu

The National Memorial chorten is white with spares of gold. It was built in 1974 by Queen mother  Ashi Phuentsho Choden Wangchuk in honor of the third king of Bhutan who was also known as father of Modern Bhutan. It is located at south centre of Thimphu city just nearby Bhutan’s biggest hospital (Jigme Dorji National Referral Hospital) with its prominent landmark in the city of golden spires and bells.. Visitors will see elderly as well as young Bhutanese people circumambulating the temple through the day with chanting mantras. Inside you will find mandalas, paintings, statues and shrines dedicated to the king.

An idea on the Memorial Chorten of Thimphu was framed by Thinley Norbu (1904-1987), according to the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. It was erected in 1974 in memory of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, 3rd Druk Gyalpo, who had died in 1972.

This stupa is unlike others as it does not enshrine human remains. Only the Druk Gyalpo’s photo in a ceremonial dress adorns a hall in the ground floor.When he was alive, Jigme Dorji wanted to build “a chorten to represent the mind of the Buddha” and later after his death late majesty wish was fulfilled by her Queen mother Ashi Phuentsho Choden Wangchuk.Inside you will find mandalas, paintings, statues and shrines dedicated to the king.

Owing to her rich history, the Chorten holds in great religious fervour. Devotees circumambulated only in a clockwise direction (reciting prayers and whirling the large red prayer wheels), as is the rule for any religious structures in Bhutan. The Moenlam Prayer Festival is held here when the Je Khenpo (the religious head of Bhutan) addresses and blesses those who congregate for the occasion.

 

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