The Memorial Stupa, Thimphu, also known as the Thimphu Chorten, is a stupa in Thimphu, Bhutan, located on Doeboom Lam in the southern-central part of the city near the main roundabout and Indian military hospital.
The Memorial Stupa, Thimphu, also known as the Thimphu Chorten, is a stupa (Dzongkha chöten, cheten) in Thimphu, Bhutan, located on Doeboom Lam in the southern-central part of the city near the main roundabout and Indian military hospital. The stupa, built in 1974 to honor the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972), is a prominent landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells. In 2008, it underwent extensive renovation. It is popularly known as “the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan”. It was consecrated by Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje.
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 on the ground floor. When he was alive, Jigme Dorji wanted to build “a chorten to represent the mind of the Buddha”
The Memorial Chorten of Thimphu was conceived by Thinley Norbu Rinpoche (1931–2011), according to the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. It was erected in 1974 in memory of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, 3rd Druk Gyalpo, who died in 1972. The main patron was Druk Gyalpo’s mother, Phuntsho Choden.
The architecture of the chorten has been designed to present it as “one of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu”.The Memorial Chorten, in the heart of the city, is designed as a Tibetan style chorten, also called the Jangchup Chorten, patterned on the design of a classical stupa, with a pyramidal pillar crowned by a crescent moon and sun. The feature that is distinct here is the outward flaring of the rounded part to give the shape of a vase (a pyramidal shape), unlike a dome shape. The chorten depicts larger than life size images of wrathful deities with their female consorts in large numbers, and many in explicit Yab-Yum sexual poses (one count puts the number of such images at 36)