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April 20th 2017
Published: November 7th 2017
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In the morning, we started for Thimpu, capital of Bhutan. The distance is nearly 55 km. We started at 9 in morning and reached hotel at 11 am. Before that we went to permit office in the city as we wanted to visit Punakha Dzong next day. We need to take permit for visit to Punakha. In Bhutan check in time for hotels is after 3.00pm. Check out is 12 noon. We went to hotel and had tea. As rooms were not ready, we went out for sight seeing. Choephal Norkyi was our hotel. It is near the Clock Tower Squre. On Norzim Lam, various important offices and buildings, The clock tower square, the lhakhang near clock tower on Norzim Lam, Bhutan public library, Thimphu immigration office, National textile museum, entrance of Tashicho dzong etc. can be seen.

First we visited National Library. A big book "Bhutan" is kept there which is recorded in Guinea Book of World Records. Folk Heritage Museum is also there. We visited same. We were taken to view Parliament, SARC Office, Palace etc. from top. We came in the evening also to see the lighting in the area. The yellow and red lights were on. They treat Red and Yellow very auspicious colour.

Then we saw statue of Buddha from the Valley Point. We did a little photo session there. We went to Bhutan Takin Reserve Motithang. Takin is national animal of Bhutan. It is a goat antelope.

Then we went to see the Changangkha Lhakhang. It is on hill. This is like fortress on a ridge. It is established in 12 th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo DSrukgom Shogpo. who came from Ralung in Tibet. Parents come here to get auspicious names for their newborn or blessings for their younger children from the protector deity, Tamdrin (left of grilled inner sanctum) Children are blessed by phurba (ritual dagger) and given a sacred thread. There is shrine to tshomen (mermaid) in the central courtyard.

By the time we reached hotel, it was 2.30 pm. Nirmala, attendent of hotel was not happy with our late coming. We had lunch and decided to take rest. But, Nayan called and told that we should reach the Budhha Point early because it closes at 5. We started for that.

Great Buddha Dordenma

Great Buddha Dordenma is a gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue in the mountains of Bhutan. Constructed for celebrating the 60 th anniversary of fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
The Great Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the thirteenth Desi Druk, overlooking the southern approach to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.

Construction started in 2006 and was planned to finish in October 2010, however construction did not conclude until 25 September 2015. Still the work is going on.

The completed work is one of the largest Buddha rupas in the world, at 169 feet (52 m) and it will contain 8 inch tall 100,000 buddhas and 12 inch tall 25,000 buddhas. The statues are made in bronze and gilded with gold. Still the quantity is not reached and many places are empty. Requests for donations are made. Names of sponsors are displayed in the meditation hall which forms the throne of the Great Buddha Dordenma.

In the twentieth century, the renowned yogi Sonam Zangpo prophesied that a large statue of either Padmasambhava, Buddha or of a phurba would be built in the region to bestow blessings, peace and happiness on the whole world. The statue is mentioned in the ancient terma of Guru Padmasambhava himself, said to date from approximately the eighth century, and recovered some 800 years ago by terton Pema Lingpa.

Under the eyes of the Buddha statue, is the Kuensel Phodrang nature park formally opened in 2011. The park conserves 943.4 acres of forest area that surrounds the Buddha Dordenma statue and houses two public outdoor gymnasiums.: From Wikipedia

The work is completed with Help of China. This is 2nd largest statue in Asia. First one is in Tibet. The big golden statue inside is beautiful. The big pillars are engraved and show artistic work. The chorten closes at 5 in the evening. This timing depends on summer/winter.

We saw Parliament in yellow red lighting and came to Memorial Chorten, Thimphu

Founded by Thinley Norbu Dedicated to Jigme Dorji Wangchuck The Memorial Stupa, Thimphu, also known as the Thimphu Chorten, is a stupa (Dzongkhachöten, cheten) in Thimphu, Bhutan, 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 Gyalpo, Jigme 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 (1904–1987), 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.

The Memorial Chorten, in the heart of the city, is designed is a Tibetan style chorten, also called the Jangchup Chorten, patterned on the design of a classical stupa, with a pyramidal pillar crowned by a crescent moon and sun.

The chorten is a large white structure with a golden spire crowning it and a smaller golden spire above the front porch. It is approached through a small garden and a gate decorated with three slate carvings.

On the exterior of the gate are representations of the three protective bodhisattvas – Avalokiteśvara (the symbol of compassion), Maņjuśrī (the symbol of knowledge) and Vajrapāṇi, the symbol of power. On the interior are slates engraved with the image of Ngawang Namgyal, Gautama Buddha and Padmasambhava. Large prayer wheels are located to the left.The chorten attracts many elderly Bhutanese on a daily basis who circumambulate the chorten, whirl the large red prayer wheels and pray at the shrine. It has four entrances but only one entrance is open for devotees to visit the shrine.

The chorten is decorated with richly carved annexes facing the four directions, and contain mandalas, statues and a shrine dedicated to the third king.The ground floor of the chorten is consecrated to the teachings of Vajrakīlaya.

The Chorten, is circumnavigated only in a clockwise direction (reciting prayers and whirling the large red prayer wheels), as is the rule for any religious structures in Bhutan. The Monlam Prayer Festival is held here when the Je Khenpo (the religious head of Bhutan) addresses and blesses those who congregate for the occasion.

All above from Wikipedia

We were going to visit Punakha Zong tomorrow.

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