The memorial chorten in Thimphu was built in the honor of the Third King of Bhutan. The Tibetan style white washed stupa is crowned with a golden crescent moon and the sun. The monument attracts many religion faithful early in the morning to circumambulate while the commuters to work and students hastily complete their worship ritual and leave the complex. As the day warms up, an influx of senior citizens gather around the monument to recite prayers and also find good company that will keep them engaged for the rest of the days.
The stupa has beautiful mandalas painted on the walls and ceilings. A circular stairs takes tourists to the second and the third floor where they can come out to the open balcony and take in an amazing view of the Thimphu city.
(The National Memorial Chorten is a Tibetan style stupa centrally located and undeniably the most prominent landmark in the city. It was built in memory of the Third King of Bhutan, fondly remembered as ‘The Father of Modern Bhutan’ as it was he who ushered in the era of modernity and development. Young and old alike come from near and far by the hundreds to circumambulate and accumulate whatever merit they can. The iconic monument, with its sun-catching golden finial, is decorated with richly painted annexes facing the four cardinal directions, and features elaborate Mandalas, Yab – Yum figures (depicting the union of male and female form, symbolizing the blending of wisdom and skillful means) and a shrine dedicated to the Third King of Bhutan. This stupa is different from the others of its type as it does not enshrine human remains. Instead, the Third King’s photo in a ceremonial dress adorns the hall on the ground floor. His Majesty wished to build ‘a Chorten to represent the mind of the Buddha,’ but his untimely demise resulted in the wish remaining unfulfilled. However, the wish was duly fulfilled by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Phuentsho Choden Wangchuck who built the Chorten in memory of her beloved son. Patterned on the design of a classical stupa, with a pyramidal pillar crowned by a crescent moon and sun, each step of the stupa represents the path towards enlightenment and is well worth the visit. )