Thimpu Chorten, also called the Memorial Chorten is a Stupa located in the heart of Thimpu city. It is popular as the most visible religious landmark of the city.
Built in the year 1974, the Stupa honors the third Druk Gyalpo (King) – Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Unlike most Stupas, Thimpu Chorten does not house the human remains, instead, you will only find a picture of the Druk Gyalpo in his ceremonial dress in the ground floor of the Chorten.
I visited this Chorten twice. In the morning when it was bright & sunny, & the entire place looked absolutely heavenly – A beautiful white structure against the gorgeous blue skies. I went back in the evening as well, with the butter lights shining & the entire scene looking ethereal. I suggest you do the same & you will know why by the end of this post.
There are four gates to the Chorten but only one of them is open to the Public. As soon as you enter through the gate, on your left, you will come across the Traditional Prayer wheels & a lot of people moving them. The Buddhist Tradition says that when you push the Prayer wheel & it revolves around itself, the prayers written on them are sent with the wind to the Gods.
Right in the front of the Gate lies a small garden with beautiful flowers & a pathway in between that leads you to the Chorten.
As you walk, you come across a brown structure wherein you will find the statue of Goddess Ihamu. She stands facing the Chorten & is absolutely beautiful.
Once inside, you will see how deeply religious & spiritual the Bhutanese people really are. You will see a lot of women & men deeply engaged in prayer & circumbating the Stupa in a clock wise direction as is the tradition in Buddhism & Hinduism. Mostly the elderly women & men visit during the morning hours . The entire atmosphere is Spiritual & Godly.
All the four sides of the Chorten have different mandalas & statues dedicated to the third king. Apparently the inside of the Chorten opens only once a year for the locals & tourists during the Monlam Prayer festival, which is usually held during the 4th to 11th day of the first Tibetan month. The religious head of Bhutan addresses & gives blessings the people present for the occasion. So mostly, you will find people praying outside with their prayer beads or going around the Chorten chanting with a mini hand held prayer wheel.
As you walk to the left of the Chorten, there is a small structure where lights are light as an offering to the Gods. Usually butter/oil lights, which is a tradition among Buddhist & Hindus.
Remember to around the Chorten ONLY in the Clockwise direction. That’s the only way according to Buddhist & Hindu Traditions. Here is a view of the back side of the Chorten.
I really really liked the Chorten & wanted to come back in the evening. Luckily my hotel was just 5 mins away from this place & I am glad I did come back.
I realized, not only are the elderly in the Bhutan religious & spiritual but also the youth. Boys & Girls my age & even younger were praying & circumbating the Chorten. Plus, the Chorten looks beautiful in the evening with all the gorgeous lighting.
Remember the structure for lighting lamps & butter lights, this is what it looks like in the evening.
Surely, this was one of the most beautiful evenings spent in Bhutan for me. Serene, peaceful & blessed.
Bhutan is supposed to be the Happiest Country in the World. The reason possibly can be that the Gods they pray to so sincerely everyday, smile down on them from Heavens & bless them with abundant Happiness & Peace. The kind that I felt almost at every little corner of Bhutan.
See you soon in the next post.
Looking forward to hearing from you! Do you leave your thoughts in the Comments section down below!