The Brief Introduction & History of Memorial Chorten
A unique structure – the National Memorial Chorten, which shines with the white color as well as the spires of gold, was constructed in 1974 to honor third Bhutan’s King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck – the Father of Modern Bhutan and it is one of the main attractions in Thimphu, situated on Doeboom Lam in the southern-central part of the capital city. Unlike other stupas, the Memorial Chorten does not enshrine human being’s remains with the fact that only the Druk Gyalpo picture is adorned in the ground floor of the chorten. Due to the demand of Jigme Dorji, the Memorial Chorten was only built for representing the mind of the Buddha and after his death, the wish was fulfilled by her Queen mother Ashi Phuentsho Choden Wangchuck.
Once there, you can see mandalas, paintings, shrines, and statues dedicated to the King. The exterior, as well as the interior of the chorten, will give you an insight into the kingdom’s Buddhist philosophy. Talk about the exterior of the stupa, it is a large white structure with a golden spire along with other smaller golden one above the front porch. On reaching the Memorial Chorten, you have to walk through the gate with the representations of the three protective bodhisattvas – Manjushri (the symbol of knowledge), Avalokiteshvara (the symbol of compassion), and Vajrapani (the symbol of power) and a beautiful small garden. About its interior, you can easily see engraved slates with images of Ngawang Namgyal, Gautama Buddha, and Padmasambhava and on the left, there are large prayer wheels.
Throughout the day, the chorten attracts lots of people, especially the elders, come to the place to circumambulate, whirl the large red prayer wheels and pray at the small shrine inside the gate. One more thing that you should know about this Thimphu attractions – the Memorial Chorten is that the name of it means ‘Seat of Faith’ and is commonly called by the Buddhists like the ‘Mind of Buddha’.
The National Memorial Chorten Entry Fee & Timings
The Memorial Chorten Entry Fee
For foreign travelers who want to visit the National Memorial Chorten (except those who pay the minimum daily tariff rate of $200 – $250), the entry fee will be charged as the following detail:
• Adult: Nu. 300/ person
• Student: Nu. 150/ person (student ID card must be included for that price)
• Under 5-year-old children: Free
One more thing that you have to know that you have to show a copy of your visa clearance at the entrance. After that, just enjoy your Bhutan tour packages here.
The Memorial Chorten Timings
Opening hours for all visitors will be from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (from Monday to Sunday). The tickets can be purchased from the ticker box at the Chorten.