National Memorial Chorten

The National Memorial Chorten, also known simply as the Memorial Chorten, is a prominent landmark in Thimphu, Bhutan. Here are the key details about this significant site:


  • Location: Situated in the heart of Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
  • Construction: Built in 1974 to honor the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972).


  • Purpose: The chorten was constructed to serve as a memorial to King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is often referred to as the “Father of Modern Bhutan” for his efforts in modernizing the country while preserving its cultural heritage.
  • Religious Importance: It is a site of daily worship for many Bhutanese people and serves as a place for meditation and religious ceremonies.


  • Design: The chorten is designed in the Tibetan style and features a whitewashed structure with a golden spire and a series of smaller bells.
  • Symbolism: The chorten is adorned with intricate mandalas, statues, and a depiction of the protective deities. It is meant to represent the mind of Buddha.


  • Main Structure: The chorten consists of a large white dome with a golden spire, symbolizing the crown of the Buddha.
  • Surroundings: The chorten is surrounded by prayer wheels, which devotees spin as they walk around the structure in a clockwise direction.
  • Interior: Inside, the chorten houses a series of small shrines and sacred images.


  • Accessibility: Easily accessible within Thimphu, it is a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
  • Activities: Visitors often participate in circumambulation (walking around the chorten), spinning the prayer wheels, and engaging in meditation and prayer.
  • Atmosphere: The Memorial Chorten is known for its peaceful and spiritual ambiance, attracting people seeking a place for reflection and prayer.

Cultural Impact

  • Community Hub: The chorten serves as a community hub where people of all ages come to pray, meditate, and socialize.
  • Daily Life: It plays a significant role in the daily spiritual life of Thimphu’s residents, making it an integral part of the city’s cultural and religious landscape.

The National Memorial Chorten stands as a testament to Bhutan’s rich spiritual heritage and the enduring legacy of King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It offers visitors a serene and sacred space for contemplation and a glimpse into the spiritual life of the Bhutanese people.