Overlooking the southern entrance to Thimphu city, atop of the Kuenselphodrag Nature Park is the giant and the smiling statue of Buddha Dhordhenma. Like a protective and an ever-smiling mother guarding her babies, Budhha Dhordhenma majestically stands to guard the whole of Thimphu valley.
Gilded by the gold all over the body, the 51.5 meters long bronze Buddha makes one of the largest Buddha statues in the world. The construction of this massive Buddha is funded by the Singaporean and cost nearly over USD 100 million.
The construction started in 2006 to honour the 60th birth anniversary of the fourth King of Bhutan.
Today, this impressive and the well-furnished Buddha is the centre of worship for the devotees, the adventurous landscape for the visitors, and the ceremonial ground for all. It is a complete package of wonder spot.
A very perfect aerial bird eye view of the Thimphu valley extending from the core Thimphu city to the enormous Trashi Chhodzong and the Decehecholing Palace can be captured from the statue site
Subsequently, Bhutan in general is very much conscious of the achievement of all the eight Sustainable development goals. Constructing such massive and the sacred monument is one of the ways towards achieving the sustainable development goals basically as one of the favourite tourist hotspots.
1. Economical sustainability and the Buddha Dhordhenma
Buddha Dhordhenma is one of the precious wealth of the country. It also is one captivating landmark for the tourists. Visiting Buddha Dhordhenma is one of the main agendas of all the tourists visiting Bhutan. A lot of cultural and the adventurous tourist all around the world come to Bhutan to visit this historical monument. Therefore, these tourists contribute to the economic development of the country.
Similarly, whenever the tourists and other visitors visit Buddha Dhordhenma, they make the offerings and donation in terms of cash and goods, benefiting all the sentient beings in the world.
Interior to this massive Buddha structure is the five-storied temples, each containing the religious relics and antiques of various spiritual significances and importance. All of these relics and the ancient antiques are the nation’s asset.
2. Social Sustainability and the Buddha Dhordhenma
As a centre of devotion, recreation, celebration and ceremonies, Buddha Dhordhenma is where everyone gathers and connects with the gods. Various ritual ceremonies like the sacred Moenlam Chenmo and other ceremonies are conducted at the massive courtyard of the Buddha Dhordhenma. Thousands of people and devotees come together to offer their prayers, and in a way, people can interact and socialise among each other to promote social harmony.
Similarly, Buddha Dhordhenma is the picnic spot, a weekend getaway spot and everything the people lookout to have a chill-out place. Every day hundreds of people are seen circumambulating this enormous Buddha while some meditates and does all the fun stuff with their beloved ones.
The 284 staircase connecting the courtyard from the entrance gate is where especially the children and the health-conscious people enjoy the most. Walking along this staircase is often tiring but feels adventurous and accomplished as if one has just walked the Great Wall of China.
Socializing is thus sustained.
3. Environmental sustainability and Buddha Dhordhenma
Bhutan is very peculiar while coming to environmental conservation. The nation has the law mandating to conserve 60% of the country’s land under forest coverage, and it is the only carbon negative country in the region thus far.
Aligning to the goal of keeping the country carbon negative for the time immemorial, the 15 acres vicinity of the Buddha Dhordhenma has trees planted all around.
The wastes are decently managed, and one can hardly find any rubbish or the trash along.
Huge flowers pots are placed at every corner to further beautify this already beautiful structure.
Concrete public toilets separately designed for ladies and gents are built towards the right side of the entrance gate.
Similarly, a few meters towards the left side of the Buddha Dhordhema is the dense and the exotic Kuensel Phodrang nature park. One can enter to the park, take rest in the beautifully designed wooden canopies and enjoy the scenic view of the whole Thimphu valley.
It is not just the statue, you can see a lot of activities carried out every day towards enhancing environment and preserving the nature despite of many constructions in and around.
Bhutan is a country that is deeply rooted in the spiritual and the religious believes. It is so amazing that the construction of statue is forecasted and prophesied in 8th century by Guru Padmasambhava.
After several decades, the message and prophecy of Guru Padmasambhava to construct Buddha Dhordhenma was received by the present head of religion of Bhutan, His holiness the Jekhenpo Truelku Jigme Choeda,
In 2006, a religious person Tshering Wangdi initiated the construction. It is also believed that the present spot of Buddha Dhrodhenma is exactly where Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel mediated some 400 years ago.
As amazing as this history of how the Buddha Dhordhenma came into existence is its architectural structure. This huge structure is built in China, broken into parts and pieces and shipped and trucked in from Phuntsholing – the central border gate of Bhutan.
A total of 125,000 miniatures Buddha statues are used to construct this one giant Buddha that we can see now.
Today, this enormous and the ever-smiling statue of Buddha Dhordhenma is the nation’s pride and the wealth where a huge numbers of tourists and the visitors are attracted. Therefore, we recommend you to reckon on visiting this astonishing monument.