Neten Dorji | Yadrang

Measuring 150 feet tall and 270 feet wide, Druk Men- jong Goma Sala Choeten Chhenmo currently under the preliminary stage of construction above Yadrang village of Phongmey gewog in Trashigang will become one of the largest choetens in the country once complete.

The choeten, which will be bigger than the popular Boudhanath Stupa or Jharung Khashor Choeten in  Nepal, will span over six acres with its 36 smaller choetens placed in all four corners. The choeten will be surrounded by a tshokhang and a few other structures.

The choeten construction project started two years ago as an initiative of Khenpo Tenzin Thinley.

According to Khenpo Tenzin Thinley of Ngajur Phuntshog Choling Goenpa, the primary Nangten (relic) would be 17 different statues which would be placed inside the main choeten with 100,000 tsa tsa at base. The choeten will also house statues of different prominent Buddhist figures like the Buddha, Guru Rinpoche, Juetsuen Dolma, Chhana Dorji and Zhabdrung.

Druk Menjong Goma Sala Choeten under construction

Khenpo Tenzin Thinley said he planned to construct the Boudhanath-like choeten in 2016. “The main reason for constructing the stupa is to bring peace and harmony in Bhutan and the universe,” he said. “It is also for the longlife of His Majesty and the Wangchuk Dynasty as well as for the well being of all sentient beings.”

To accumulate merit, he said, the choeten will be constructed by the Bhutanese. “It is not that we do not have skilled labour in the country. We have tremendously skilled people. It will be built by only Bhutanese people.”

The Kagay lhatsho would be positioned in the eastern direction, Phurpa Lhatsho in the west, Zhi thro lhatsho in the north and Gongdue lhatsho in the south to bring peace to the country.

The project is being initiated and funded by the people of 20 dzongkhags, who have so far contributed over Nu 7.5 million. The project committee members are also hoping for financial support from people across the country and effort from the people while constructing the choeten.

Khenpo Tenzin Thinley said about 20 percent of the project has been completed. “Currently, we are procuring different relics and Salang Tendrel will be held in 2024, an auspicious  year,” said the khenpo.

Construction site is located some 17km from Rangjung town situated on an elevated ridge overlooking 13 neighbouring villages of Bidung, Shongphu, Samkhar and Radhi.

The project is expected to be completed by 2033.