1. Buddha Dordenma Statue

Great Buddha Dordenma is a gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue in the mountains of Bhutan celebrating the 60th anniversary of fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The statue houses over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues, each of which, like the Great Buddha Dordenma itself, are made of bronze and gilded in gold. The Great Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuk, the thirteenth Druk Desi, overlooking the southern approach to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Construction began in 2006 and was planned to finish in October 2010, however construction did not conclude until 25 September 2015.

The statue was constructed at a cost of US$47 million by Aerosun Corporation of Nanjing, China, which was sponsored by Rinchen Peter Teo a Singaporean businessman. The total cost of the entire project is well over US$100 million. The interior will accommodate respectively. Names of sponsors are displayed in the meditation hall which forms the throne of the Great Buddha Dordenma. Apart from commemorating the centennial of the Bhutanese monarchy, it fulfills two prophecies.

2. Memorial Chorten

The Memorial Stupa, Thimphu, also known as the Thimphu Chorten, is a stupa (Dzongkha chötencheten) in ThimphuBhutan, 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 GyalpoJigme 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 in 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 had died in 1972. The main patron was the Druk Gyalpo’s mother, Phuntsho Choden.

3. Dechenphug Lhakhang

Dechenphug Lhakhang is a fortified monastery located on the western slope of the Thimphu valley. The site straddles a natural drainage channel that runs perpendicular to two mountain ridges and is set in a vast forested area with no other nearby development. It was founded in the 12th century by Dampa, a son (or possibly, grandson) of Phajo Drugom Shigpo (1184-1251), who popularized the Drukpa school of Buddhism throughout Bhutan.

The Dechenphug Lhakhang was most recently restored from 1996-1998. The restoration included the construction of a two-story residence in traditional style for the resident monks, along with additional landscaping to accommodate the greater numbers of pilgrims who visit the site daily. One controversial aspect of the restoration is that it involved the demolition of the original courtyard surrounding the goenkhang. Although the demolished buildings dated from the early to mid 20th century, their placement was emblematic of the original design. The current layout allows for a much larger courtyard space in keeping with the increasing number of pilgrims visiting the monastery. It should be noted that despite the larger number of visitors, all visitors are Bhutanese citizens as foreign tourists are not permitted to set foot within this sacred site. 

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