This whitewashed monument is the Memorial Chorten located in Thimphu, Bhutan. The chorten was built in 1974 by Her Majesty the late Queen Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck in memory of her son, the third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928 – 1972).
For many people in Thimpu, the chorten is the focus of their daily worship. When we got there, it was still fairly early in the morning and there were already people circumambulating the chorten, whirling the large red prayer wheels and prostrating in prayer. There was also a small shrine nearby that elderly people were shuffling in and out of. The Bhutanese are so gentle and reserved in nature that despite the number of people in the place, it was so quiet it was tranquil.
When in Bhutan, do as the Buddhist devotees do so we all joined the walk around the chorten though I stopped every few feet to admire the chorten's decorations, to people watch and to just soak in the atmosphere around me. In one window, we could see a photo of the king; we were told his remains were not inside.
We couldn’t go inside the Chorten so our visit was a brief one. Even so, we managed to find a way to linger by the Chorten, if for no other reason other than to sit on the grass, enjoy the spectacular weather and take in the atmosphere of this special place.