National Memorial Chorten, BT : Interesting Facts, History Information & Travel Guide

History & Information About National Memorial Chorten, Bhutan

The National Memorial Chorten is a magnificent structure located in the heart of Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Built in 1974 in memory of the third king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, this iconic landmark is not only a religious site but also a symbol of peace and prosperity for the Bhutanese people.

The Chorten, which means "stupa" in the Bhutanese language, stands tall in a spacious ground surrounded by prayer wheels and beautiful gardens. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bhutan, attracting both locals and foreigners alike.

The construction of the National Memorial Chorten was initiated by the fourth king of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, as a tribute to his late father. The aim was to provide a place of worship and solace for people to pay their respects and seek blessings. The architectural style of the Chorten reflects traditional Bhutanese design, featuring intricate paintings and ornate carvings.

Visitors to the Chorten can experience a truly spiritual atmosphere as they walk around the premises, observing devout Bhutanese locals engaged in prayers and rituals. The serene ambiance, coupled with the scent of incense and sound of chanting, creates a peaceful environment for reflection and meditation.

Inside the Chorten, there are several shrines dedicated to different deities and Buddhist figures. These shrines are adorned with religious artifacts and murals portraying various aspects of Buddhist teachings. It is a common sight to see devotees offering butter lamps, flowers, and other symbolic offerings as a form of devotion.

The Chorten is not only a sacred place but also an important destination for cultural activities. Many festivities and religious ceremonies take place at the Chorten throughout the year, attracting both locals and tourists. One of the most significant events is the annual circumambulation of the Chorten, where devotees walk around it in a clockwise direction while reciting prayers.

Besides its religious and cultural significance, the National Memorial Chorten offers stunning panoramic views of Thimphu city. Visitors can climb the stairs to the top of the Chorten and enjoy breathtaking vistas of the surrounding valley and majestic Himalayan mountains.

If you plan to visit the National Memorial Chorten, it is important to adhere to the customs and traditions of Bhutan. Dress modestly, remove your shoes before entering the prayer hall, and be respectful of the devotees and their peaceful worship.

In conclusion, the National Memorial Chorten in Bhutan is a place of great historical and religious importance. Its majestic architecture, serene ambiance, and cultural significance make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Bhutan. Whether you are seeking spiritual solace or simply want to immerse yourself in Bhutanese culture, the Chorten offers an unforgettable experience.

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Interesting Lesser Known Facts About National Memorial Chorten, Bhutan City

The National Memorial Chorten, located in Bhutan City, holds immense significance in Bhutanese culture. Here are some lesser-known yet fascinating facts about this iconic landmark:

  • The National Memorial Chorten, also known as Thimphu Chorten, is a Buddhist stupa built in 1974 in memory of the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It was constructed by the Queen Mother, Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck.
  • Chortens are religious structures in Tibetan Buddhism that serve as powerful symbols of enlightenment and peace. They are often used for meditation and worship.
  • The National Memorial Chorten is not a traditional chorten; it lacks the cremated remains or sacred relics that are usually enshrined in such structures.
  • Unlike most chortens, the National Memorial Chorten does not house the remains of the king it is dedicated to. Nonetheless, it is visited by locals and tourists alike as a place of devotion and spiritual significance.
  • The chorten's design and architecture are influenced by Tibetan Buddhist traditions. It features intricate carvings, colorful paintings, and numerous religious symbols like the Dorje (thunderbolt), Dharani wheels, and lotus flowers.
  • Inside the chorten, you can find three-dimensional mandalas, statues, and religious paintings that depict various deities and Buddhist teachings. These artistic representations add to the chorten's cultural and spiritual importance.
  • The chorten is surrounded by beautiful gardens and walkways, providing a serene environment for visitors to relax and reflect. It is not uncommon to see locals performing kora (circumambulation) around the chorten as a form of prayer or ritual.
  • The National Memorial Chorten serves as an important religious and social hub for the people of Bhutan. It hosts various religious ceremonies, festivals, and events throughout the year, attracting both locals and pilgrims from different parts of the country.
  • It is believed that visiting the National Memorial Chorten can bring good luck and merit. Many Bhutanese individuals visit the chorten daily to offer prayers, light butter lamps, and gain spiritual blessings.
  • The chorten also serves as a monument to honor the king who played a pivotal role in modernizing Bhutan and introducing democratic reforms. It stands as a symbol of Bhutan's rich cultural heritage and reflects the country's deep-rooted spiritual ethos.

The National Memorial Chorten stands as a testament to Bhutan's devotion to Buddhism and the preservation of its unique cultural identity. Exploring this remarkable landmark offers a glimpse into the country's history, artistic traditions, and unwavering spiritual beliefs.

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Travel Guide: National Memorial Chorten, Bhutan

Welcome to our travel guide for visiting the National Memorial Chorten in Bhutan. Here, we will provide you with all the necessary information to make your trip memorable and hassle-free.

About the National Memorial Chorten

The National Memorial Chorten is a famous religious landmark located in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. Built in 1974 in memory of the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the chorten is a key place of worship and pilgrimage for both locals and tourists.

Getting There

To reach the National Memorial Chorten, you can fly into the Paro International Airport, which is the main international gateway to Bhutan. From Paro, you can take a scenic drive to Thimphu, which usually takes about an hour. Once you arrive in Thimphu, the chorten is easily accessible by taxi or on foot.

Exploring the Chorten

The National Memorial Chorten is an architectural marvel, showcasing traditional Bhutanese art and craftsmanship. As you enter the chorten, you will be greeted by the mesmerizing sight of colorful murals, intricate statues, and religious relics. Visitors can walk clockwise around the chorten, spinning the prayer wheels and offering their respects.

Dress Code and Etiquette

It is important to dress respectfully when visiting the National Memorial Chorten. Both men and women should avoid wearing shorts, sleeveless tops, and revealing clothing. It is customary to walk around the chorten in a clockwise direction, and photography is allowed but ask for permission before capturing images of people or religious artifacts.

Best Time to Visit

The National Memorial Chorten can be visited throughout the year, but the best time to explore is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. The weather is pleasant, and you can witness vibrant religious festivals and events that often take place at the chorten during these times.

Nearby Attractions

While in Thimphu, make sure to explore other nearby attractions such as Tashichho Dzong, Buddha Dordenma Statue, and the Folk Heritage Museum. These sites offer unique insights into Bhutanese culture, history, and spirituality.


Visiting the National Memorial Chorten is a must for anyone traveling to Bhutan. It offers a serene and spiritual experience, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the rich Bhutanese Buddhist culture. Remember to respect the local customs and enjoy the beauty and tranquility that this remarkable landmark has to offer.

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FAQs about National Memorial Chorten, Bhutan

What is the National Memorial Chorten?

The National Memorial Chorten is a sacred Buddhist monument located in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. It was built in 1974 in honor of the third king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

What is the significance of the National Memorial Chorten?

The National Memorial Chorten holds great significance for the people of Bhutan. It serves as a place of worship, a symbol of peace, and a memorial to the late king. It is believed that circumambulating the chorten brings blessings and spiritual merit.

How does the National Memorial Chorten look?

The chorten is a large white structure with golden spires and bells. It is adorned with intricate carvings and paintings depicting Buddhist deities and religious motifs. The chorten's architecture is a blend of traditional Bhutanese and Tibetan styles.

What can visitors do at the National Memorial Chorten?

Visitors can visit the chorten to pay their respects, offer prayers, and experience the serene atmosphere. It is also a popular spot for meditation and contemplation. You can observe locals engaging in religious activities and witness the devotion of the Bhutanese people.

Is there an entrance fee to visit the National Memorial Chorten?

No, there is no entrance fee to visit the National Memorial Chorten. It is open to both locals and tourists free of charge.

Can anyone visit the National Memorial Chorten?

Yes, anyone is welcome to visit the National Memorial Chorten. It is open to people of all faiths, and visitors are expected to dress modestly and respectfully.

What are the best times to visit the National Memorial Chorten?

The chorten can be visited throughout the year. However, the best times are during traditional festivals like Losar (Tibetan New Year) and Tshechu (Bhutanese religious festivals). These occasions offer a unique cultural experience with colorful mask dances and traditional performances.

Is photography allowed inside the National Memorial Chorten?

Photography is allowed inside the chorten, but it's important to be respectful and not disturb those engaged in religious activities. It is advisable to ask for permission before taking close-up pictures of individuals.

About me

Hello,My name is Aparna Patel,I’m a Travel Blogger and Photographer who travel the world full-time with my hubby.I like to share my travel experience.

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