The world’s largest mountaintop statue of Buddha Dordenma is located in the western parts of Bhutan, Thimphu. A must-visit place if you are in Thimphu. The huge structure of Buddha (Shakyamuni) is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. The view from here is breathtaking as it overlooks the southern entrance to Thimphu valley. Also, this mega-structure of Buddha Dordenma is located atop a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park, Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.
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About the statue of Buddha Dordenma
The statue of Buddha Dordenma is 169 feet (51.5 meters) high. Within this megastructure are 125,000 smaller Buddha statues. Of this, 100,000 are 8 inches tall and 25,000 are inches tall. The statue of Buddha Dordenma is on top of a large meditation hall.
Two prophesies are fulfilled by the monument as well. The first, as predicted by yogi Sonam Sangpo, is the construction of a Buddhist statue in the area to “bestow blessings, peace, and happiness on the whole globe.” Furthermore, Guru Padmasambhava, sometimes known as the “second Buddha,” is supposed to have described the statue in the seventh century. By fulfilling both prophesies in a gleaming manner, this statue kills two birds with one stone.
Who built Buddha Dordenma in Bhutan?
This is a brand new structure that was built recently. The statue was built at a cost of US$47 million by Aerosun Corporation of Nanjing, China, and was financed by Singaporean billionaire Rinchen Peter Teo. The overall cost of the project exceeds US$100 million. These hundreds of smaller Buddhas, like the giant Buddha, are plated and made of bronze, which is one of the reasons the statue cost about $100 million to create when it was built in 2015 to commemorate the 60th birthday of Jigme Singye Wangchuck, Bhutan’s fourth monarch.
Where is the Buddha statue located?
The drive to this location is scenic. To reach this place from Thimphu, you can drive to the backside of the structure or park in front, but there is a staircase all the way up from the main entrance. Once you climb the stairs, the open space is big enough to accommodate a few thousand. The statue of Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the 13th Desi Druk. I would recommend going in the evening to enjoy the view from the top.
The ideal time to visit would be during summer in Bhutan for those who do not like snowfall. Firstly, this new structure is a must-visit place in Thimphu. Secondly, the lighting at night and the view is from far off, is breathtaking.
Other places to visit in Thimphu
When you are in Thimphu consider visiting the beautiful Dzong, Thangka painting and art gallery, and National Memorial Chorten. Also, there is a Scottish cafe with some best snacks. We spent some time here in this cafe on a cold night and was a wonderful experience.
From here, you may visit the Dochula (pass) and the Chimi Lhakhang, the fertility temple which is on the way to Punakha Dzong where you can camp overnight. Also, visit the famous suspension bridge which is next to the Dzong, and consider river rafting if time permits. Support my work by joining my FriendZone and following on social media for more travel and photography updates.
For more information, you may visit the Bhutan Tourism website or buy a copy of the Lonely Planet Bhutan book which has all the required information on hotels to stay, cafes, places to visit in detail. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Buy me a coffee to support my work or you can go to my store to buy some of my images. Also, do not forget to join my FriendZone by signing up for my newsletter.