Built in 1974 to honor the memory of the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorje Wangchuck popularly known as the father of modern Bhutan, is the Memorial Stupa of Thimphu which is also known as the Thimphu Chorten. Memorial Stupa or Thimphu Chorten, located on Doeboom Lam in the southern-central part of the Thimphu is also popularly known as the most visible religious landmark of Bhutan. Thimphu Chorten has a unique aspect, unlike other Chorten, the Memorial Stupa doesn’t retain carcass of the Third Druk Gyalpo. The Memorial Chorten has only a picture of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck draped in the ceremonial scarves adorns a hall in the ground floor.
Nestled in the heart of the Thimphu city the magnificent Memorial Stupa is designed in a Tibetan Style Chorten, also called as the Jagchup Chorten with a pyramidal pillar crowed by the crescent moon and sun, it is still distinct due to the outward flaring of the rounded part to give stupa the shape of the vase unlike a dome shape. The Memorial Stupa is a place for daily worship for many Bhutanese elderly people who circumvolve around the red prayer wheel in the small shrine beside the Thimphu Chorten. The four storeys white washed Thimphu Chorten is decorated with richly carved annexes facing the cardinal directions, and features elaborate mandalas, statues and a shrine dedicated to the popular third king. There are numerous religious paintings and tantric statues housed inside, reflecting both peaceful and wrathful aspects of Buddhist deities from complex tantric teachings. The second floor of Thimphu Chorten is dedicated to teachings of the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu School to subdue eight varieties of evil spirits and the top floor is dedicated to the teachings of Lama Gongdü. Combined, these three floors form the esoteric teachings of the Nyingmapa sect. Most visitors don’t visit the inside of the chorten. It is possible to visit the inside of this chorten, and climb right up to the top, and go out on the railed terrace on the third floor. Those visitors willing to venture inside the Memorial Chorten will be surprised to not find any peaceful and serene looking statues of the Buddha inside this chorten instead they will witness the statues of tantric tradition which are wrathful in form, and gory in detail. Apart from the eerie tantric tradition statues, the Memorial Chorten is an idyllic place to spend a serene evening while observing the astounding Bhutanese religious architectural feat.
Immerge yourself in the serenity of the scenically blessed city Thimphu while visiting the one of a kind of iconic monument of Bhutan, the Memorial Stupa or Thimphu Chorten. Thimphu Chorten or the Memorial Stupa has become a symbol of religion and an ideal place to find some peace of mind while travelling to Thimphu.
Memorial Chorten can be visited throughout the year but the morning time is considered to be the best hour of the day to bask in the tranquil ambiance of the Thimphu Chorten.