We visited Buddha Point on day 4 of our trip to Bhutan. It has become a must-visit tourist destination in Thimphu Valley, as one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, measuring 51.5 meters in height, is here.
The Buddha Dordenma statue is built on the remains of Kuensel Phodrang, the thirteenth Druk Desi’s palace. It is visible from the city and the road we travel leading to it, perched at an altitude of 8711 feet. It is also referred to as the Buddha Point due to its high visibility location.
Besides as a popular attraction to tourists, Buddha Point is also a popular dating spot for the people living in Thimphu, and the road leading to it is a preferred jogging and biking trek for the locals.
The platform surrounded the Buddha statue
We arrived in the morning, It was a cloudless winter morning with intense sunlight. We can feel the tranquility when we see his calm attitude, knowledgeable eyes, and soft smile.
A mythological protector is shown in carving along the Buddha’s pedestal.
A large platform with a panoramic view of the surrounding valley surrounds the statue. The platform has 32 statues of the god of offering. There are holding different colorful materials as the offering, all facing toward the Buddha.
Inside the statue
The giant Buddha statue is hollow inside, which we can enter the chamber. Since photography is prohibited, I describe what I saw inside the bronze statue below:
- The statue’s chamber is decorated with paintings of different deities, dragons, and others. There are bronze Buddha statues in different postures. In addition, the chamber has 125,000 small Buddha statues placed on the four walls, also made of bronze.
- The ceiling is decorated with intricate multi-color paintings.
- The monks were offering while we visited the inside of the bronze statue.
- The central statue is a Buddha with four faces surrounded by eight Bodhisattva.
- There is also a statue of Guru Rinpoche and a few smaller Buddha sculptures at the center of the chamber.
When was it constructed?
The Buddha Dordenma statue was constructed by the Buddha Dordenma Project, starting in 2006 and completed in 2015. It was initiated by His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who wanted to build a giant statue of Buddha to promote peace and happiness.
The statue was designed and constructed by skilled craftsmen and artisans from Bhutan, India, and China. It is made of bronze and gilded in gold and sits on a large throne made of reinforced concrete and steel, with smaller statues and other religious symbols surrounding the entire structure. The use of bronze and gold is significant in Bhutanese culture and Buddhism, and these materials symbolize the purity and spiritual wealth of the Buddha.
Aerosun Corporation of Nanjing, China, built the Dordenma monument for approximately $100 million under the patronage of Singaporean billionaire Rinchen Peter Teo. The chief design for the statue was made by Jenzop Lopen Sangay of Paro Shaba.
The reason for building the Buddha Dordenma
According to Bhutanese mythology, the statue was created to fulfill a prophecy given by Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century. The prophecy claims that in a future time of spiritual decline, a giant statue of the Buddha will be built in this area, bringing peace and prosperity to the region.
Likewise, a grand statue of Guru Rinpoche, Buddha, or a Phurba would be erected in the area, according to a prediction by renowned yogi Sonam Zangpo in the 20th century.
The construction was finished on September 25, 2015, to celebrate the 60th birth anniversary of Bhutan’s fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
Articles about Bhutan on this blog
- Dochula Pass– The highest mountain pass in Bhutan with a spectacular view
- The complete guide to hiking to the Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan
- Buddha Dordenma is not the name of the Buddhas but a statue built in honor of the Buddha Shakyamuni.
- The Ushiku Daibutsu in Ushiku, Ibaraki, Japan, is the tallest seated Buddha statue in the world. With its base, it stands 120 meters (393 feet) tall.
Thursday 2nd of February 2023
I have seen so many places & learnt so much from your travels. Amazing. Keep doing what you do. Best diplomat.
Thursday 2nd of February 2023
Thanks for sharing all of your incredible journeys!