Overlooking the southern entrance to Thimphu city atop from the Kuenselphodrag nature park is the giant and the smiling statue of Buddha Shakyamuni named as Buddha Dhordhenma. Like a protective and an ever-smiling mother guarding her babies, Budhha Dhordhenma majestically stands atop guarding the whole of Thimphu valley.

Today, this enormous and the ever-smiling statue of Buddha Dhordhenma is the nation’s pride and the wealth where a huge number of tourists and the visitors are attracted. Therefore, we recommend you reckon on visiting this astonishing monument.

Gilded by the gold all over the body, the 51.5meter long bronze Buddha makes one of the largest sitting Buddha statues in the world. The construction of this massive Buddha is funded by the Singaporean and cost nearly over $100 USD 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, the green-space and the recreational arena, the ceremonial ground and the wonder spot.

A perfect aerial bird-eye view of the Thimphu valley extending from the core city to the Trashi Choedzong extending up to Dechencholing can be captured right from the where the massive Buddha stands.

Subsequently, Bhutan in general is very much conscious of the achievement of all the eight Sustainable development goals. Constructing such a 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 landmarks for the tourists. Visiting Buddha Dhordhenma is one of the main agendas of all the tourists visiting Bhutan. Apparently, a lot of cultural and the adventurous tourist come to Bhutan just to visit this historical monument. Therefore, these tourists contribute into the economic development of the landlocked Bhutan.

Similarly, whenever the tourists and other visitors visit Buddha Dhordhenma, they make the offerings and donation in terms of cash and goods. These cash and goods indirectly or directly helps the region in economic terms.

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, Bhuddha Dhordhenma is where everyone gathers and connects with each other and with Buddhism. Various ritual ceremonies like the sacred Moenlam Chenmo and other ceremonies are conducted at the huge courtyard of the Buddha Dhordhenma. Thousands of people and devotees come together to offer their prayers, and in a way, people can interact and socialize among each other to promote social harmony.

Similarly, Buddha Dhordhenma is the picnic spot, a weekend getaway spot and everything the people look out to have a chill out place. Everyday hundreds of people are seen circumambulating this enormous Buddha while some meditates and does all the fun stuff with their beloved ones.

The 284 low-height cemented 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 very adventurous and accomplished as if one have just ran a Marathon.

Buddha Dhordhenma as the impressive monument and the landmark, it is the much-sought shooting place by the audio-visual production entities. A lot of Bhutanese movies and the videos have the shooting scenes done in the vicinity of Buddha Dhrodhenma.

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 a 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 washrooms 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.


Bhutan is a country that is deeply rooted with the spiritual and the religious believes. It is amazing how the construction of the present Buddha Dhordenma is forecasted since the 8th century. It is believed that the prophecy of Guru Padhmasabhava in 8th century to construct the Buddha Dhordhenma in century was discovered in the form of treasure by the religious treasurer after 762 years.

After several decades, the message of Guru Padhmasambhava to construct Buddha Dhordhenma was received by the present Jekhenpo Truelku Jigme Choeda, and finally in 2006, a religious person called Tshering Wangdi initiated the construction. It is also believed that the present spot of Buddha Dhrodhenma is exactly where Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel has mediated some 400 years ago.

This huge structure is built in China, broken into parts and pieces, and shipped and trucked in from Phuntsholing – the central boarder gate of Bhutan. A total of 125,000 miniatures Buddha statues are used to construct this one giant Buddha.

Today, this enormous and the ever-smiling statue of Buddha Dhordhenma is the nation’s pride and the wealth where a huge number of tourists and the visitors are attracted. Therefore, we recommend you reckon on visiting this astonishing monument.

About the author

Karma Wangmo

Passionate traveller and blogger, she shares her experience and findings of the unique cultures and attractions in Bhutan. Studied sustainable development management from the College of Natural Resources, Bhutan, sustainability is her top-notch.

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