The building of this chorten was originally the idea of Bhutan's third king, H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (“the father of modern Bhutan”), who had wished to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity, but was unable to give shape to his idea in his lifetime due to pressures of state. After His Majesty’s untimely death in 1972, the Royal Family and Cabinet resolved to fulfill his wishes and erect a memorial that would perpetuate his memory and also serve as a monument to peace. The National Memorial Chorten was consecrated on July 28, 1974. The finely executed wall paintings and delicately fashioned statues within the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.
The Memorial Chorten is an impressive monument with its golden spires shining in the sun, its bells tinkling in the wind and an endless procession of elderly people circling around it. The Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 in memory of the third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. There are no mortal remains of the King inside the Chorten. There is only a photograph draped in ceremonial scarves on the ground floor. The ceilings of the small porches that grace all four sides of the Chorten are painted on the south with the mandala of the Buddha Ratnasambhava, on the west with that of Hayagriya, on the north with the mandala of Phurba and on the east with that of Vajrasattava. The Memorial Chorten is an excellent introduction to Trantic Buddhism.
In the center, the most visible religious structure is the National Memorial Chorten containing numerous sacred religious paintings and tantric statues. For many, this is the focus of their daily worship and people circumambulate the chorten throughout the day.