The National Memorial was built by Bhutan's third king, H.M. JigmeDorjiWangchuck who is also known as the "father of modern Bhutan." He wanted to erect a monument carrying the message of world peace and prosperity. However, he was unable to give shape to his idea in his lifetime due to pressures of state and other regal responsibilities.After his untimely demise 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 eternal peace, harmony and tranquility. The National Memorial Chorten was gifted to the nation on 28 July, 1974. The exquisite wall paintings and the delicately carved statues reflect deep insights into Buddhist spirituality and a rich tradition of prayer and learning.
The National Memorial Chorten is known as the ‘most visible religious landmark in Bhutan’. The Chorten was consecrated by His Holiness, the Late Dudjorn Rinpoche. Unlike other Stupas the Chorten is not a shrine for the mortal of the late King. The Chorten on contains a photograph of the King in full ceremonial attire. The King had intend for the Choten to be “ aChorten that represents the mind of Bhuddha”
The national Memorial Chorten is located in the center of the capital city, Thimphu and is designed like a Tibetan style Chorten. The chorten is patterned of the classical Stupa design with a pyramidal pillar crowned by a crescent moon and sun. One of the most distinct features of the Chorten is its outwards flaring rounded part that makes the Choretnlook more like a vase rather than the classical dome. The interior of the Chorten has a large number of paintings of Tantric deities, in explicit sexual poses that sometimes can be a little disconcerting to visitors.