This iconic landmark in the capital city of Thimphu was built in 1974 by the late queen mother, Ashi Phunthso Choden in the memory of her late son, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the third dragon king of Bhutan. With its close proximity to the city, the site is accessible to people from all walks of life including the international tourists. From seven in the morning, the site remains opened until 9pm.
Besides, several spiritual ceremonies by eminent Buddhist masters are conducted in this very place. Thousand of devotees from Thimphu and Paro converge to receive blessing and Buddhism teachings. Special entrance is granted to visit the inner sanctum housed inside this four-storied conical structure to all the commoners during auspicious events only. On normal days people simply visit the site to circambulate. Especially in the evening one will see many Bhutanese soaking up in spiritual prostration, prayer recitation and making several clockwise rotation.
Similarly, during the daytime older generation folks gather at the site to offer prayers and practice their Buddhism faith. Their common daily rituals are basic Buddhism mantra chanting along with counting of 108 rosary beads and turning of hand prayer wheel. Most of the time these elderly people spend their time inside one storied house built in the left hand side, when you enter the main gate.
For international tourists the National Memorial Chhorten is a must visit site. The place offers wonderful experience to come in one to one contact with local people from all walks of life. You will be thrilled seeing the older generation locals engaged in spiritual practice. If your visit coincides with any of the Buddhism events happening in this place, you will be thoroughly mesmerized by the kind of energy the gathering carry.