Brittany Das

Written by Brittany Das

Modified & Updated: 03 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Thimphu Chorten, also known as the Memorial Chorten, is a magnificent religious landmark located in the heart of the capital city of Bhutan. This iconic structure holds great significance in the spiritual and cultural fabric of the country. Built in 1974 to honor the third king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, Thimphu Chorten has become a major pilgrimage site for locals and tourists alike.

But did you know that there are several intriguing and surprising facts about Thimphu Chorten that make it even more fascinating? From hidden tales to architectural marvels, this article will uncover 18 surprising facts about Thimphu Chorten that will leave you in awe. So, let’s delve deep into the mystical world of Thimphu Chorten and discover the secrets that make it one of the most captivating landmarks in Bhutan.

Key Takeaways:

  • Thimphu Chorten is a revered Buddhist stupa in Bhutan, built in memory of the third king. It’s a spiritual destination for all faiths, offering blessings, stunning views, and a peaceful atmosphere.
  • The chorten is a blend of Bhutanese and Tibetan architecture, adorned with intricate mandalas and colorful prayer flags. It represents peace, well-being, and the rich cultural heritage of Bhutan.
Table of Contents

Thimphu Chorten was built in memory of the third Druk Gyalpo.

Thimphu Chorten was constructed in 1974 to honor the memory of the third king of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It serves as a place of worship and a tribute to his contributions to the country.

It is one of the most popular religious sites in Bhutan.

Thimphu Chorten is a significant spiritual destination for both locals and tourists seeking blessings and inner peace. Its serene ambiance and unique architectural style make it an exceptional place for meditation and contemplation.

The chorten is a mix of Bhutanese and Tibetan architectural styles.

Thimphu Chorten showcases a blend of traditional Bhutanese and Tibetan architectural elements. Its whitewashed walls, golden spires, and intricately carved designs are reminiscent of the rich cultural heritage of the region.

The chorten contains numerous religious relics.

Within the premises of Thimphu Chorten, you will find several chapels housing sacred relics, statues, and religious artifacts. These artifacts are of great significance to the Bhutanese people and offer a glimpse into their spiritual practices.

The chorten is an essential site for circumambulation.

Circumambulation, the act of walking around a religious structure in a clockwise direction, is a common practice at Thimphu Chorten. Devotees and visitors can be seen walking around the chorten, spinning prayer wheels and chanting prayers as they make their way.

It is believed to bring good luck and dispel negative energy.

According to Buddhist beliefs, visiting Thimphu Chorten and offering prayers can bring good fortune and ward off negative influences. Many people come here to seek blessings for themselves and their loved ones.

The chorten houses the relics of the late king.

The central tower of Thimphu Chorten is said to contain the sacred remains of the late king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. This makes the chorten even more revered for its historical and spiritual significance.

It is open for visitors of all faiths.

Thimphu Chorten welcomes people from all religious backgrounds. Whether you are a Buddhist, a follower of a different faith, or simply curious about the culture and traditions, you can visit this sacred site and experience its serenity.

The annual Thimphu Tsechu takes place nearby.

The Thimphu Tsechu, a vibrant religious festival featuring masked dances, is held close to Thimphu Chorten. It is a grand celebration of Bhutanese culture and a time when locals and tourists come together to witness this spectacular event.

The chorten offers panoramic views of the city.

From the elevated position of Thimphu Chorten, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the cityscape. It is a perfect spot to capture beautiful photographs and take in the serene surroundings.

The chorten is adorned with colorful prayer flags.

Colorful prayer flags adorn Thimphu Chorten, fluttering in the wind and spreading blessings to all who pass by. These flags are inscribed with sacred mantras and prayers, symbolizing the interconnectedness of all beings.

It is a place of pilgrimage for Bhutanese people.

Bhutanese people hold Thimphu Chorten in high regard and often embark on pilgrimages to pay their respects and seek blessings. The chorten holds immense cultural and religious significance in the hearts of the Bhutanese.

The exterior is adorned with intricate mandalas.

Thimphu Chorten’s exterior is embellished with beautifully intricate mandalas. These geometric patterns represent the universe and are believed to aid in meditation and spiritual contemplation.

Offering butter lamps is a common practice.

Visitors to Thimphu Chorten often light butter lamps as a form of offering. The warm glow of these lamps symbolizes the dispelling of ignorance and the illumination of wisdom.

The chorten is a significant landmark in the city.

Thimphu Chorten serves as a distinctive landmark in the city, with its imposing presence and striking architecture. It stands as a testament to the rich cultural and religious heritage of Bhutan.

The chorten is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

The grounds surrounding Thimphu Chorten are beautifully landscaped, with well-manicured gardens and vibrant flowers. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll in this serene setting, further enhancing their experience.

It is a popular spot for photography enthusiasts.

The captivating beauty of Thimphu Chorten attracts photography enthusiasts who wish to capture its architectural splendor, spiritual essence, and the vibrant atmosphere surrounding it.

The chorten represents peace and well-being.

Thimphu Chorten stands as a symbol of peace, harmony, and well-being for the people of Bhutan. It embodies the aspirations for a prosperous and enlightened nation.

As you can see, Thimphu Chorten is not just a mere structure but a place of spiritual and cultural significance. Its rich history, architectural beauty, and serene ambiance make it a must-visit destination in Bhutan.


In conclusion, Thimphu Chorten is a fascinating landmark that offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Bhutan. From its unique design and architecture to its historical significance and religious symbolism, there is much to discover and explore. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a spiritual seeker, or simply someone who appreciates beautiful landmarks, Thimphu Chorten is sure to leave you amazed. So, next time you find yourself in Bhutan, make sure to pay a visit to this stunning landmark and immerse yourself in the tranquility and beauty it offers.


Q: What is Thimphu Chorten?

A: Thimphu Chorten is a revered Buddhist stupa located in the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu.

Q: Who built Thimphu Chorten?

A: Thimphu Chorten was built in 1974 by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck to honor the third king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

Q: What is the significance of Thimphu Chorten?

A: Thimphu Chorten holds immense religious and cultural significance for the people of Bhutan. It is believed to radiate peace, happiness, and spiritual blessings to all sentient beings.

Q: Can visitors enter Thimphu Chorten?

A: Yes, visitors are allowed to enter Thimphu Chorten. However, it is essential to maintain proper decorum and respect the religious practices associated with the monument.

Q: Are there any festivals celebrated at Thimphu Chorten?

A: Yes, Thimphu Chorten is a hub of festivities during the Thimphu Tshechu festival. This annual religious festival showcases vibrant masked dances, traditional music, and cultural performances.

Q: What is the best time to visit Thimphu Chorten?

A: The best time to visit Thimphu Chorten is during the spring and autumn seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the surrounding landscapes are adorned with lush greenery or colorful foliage.

Q: Are there any restrictions for photography at Thimphu Chorten?

A: While photography is generally allowed at Thimphu Chorten, it is important to be considerate and respectful of other visitors and the sanctity of the place. It is advisable to seek permission before taking pictures of individuals or specific rituals.

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