#3 Thimphu Chorten "Eyes"


Next on our tour was the Memorial Stupa also known as the Thimphu Chorten, a prominent landmark in Thimohu, Buthan's capital city.


Inside, richly carved annexes face the four directions and contain many mandalas and statues. A staircase on the ground floor leads to three more levels, each containing shrines with wooden carvings, many depicting both local wrathful and protective deities, some with their female consorts, and many in explicit Yab-Yum sexual poses.


Though the ornate artistry and bright colors were beautiful, I thought the mask carvings were grotesque. But who am I to judge? Not my culture. Not my deity.

As I stared at one particular mask, it seemed to be 'looking' at me.

Creeped out, I moved around to another panel with more monstrous and garishly painted carvings, scrutinizing the workmanship of whoever the artist/artists were.

As I wondered about the reason why these deities had to look so scary, the eyes on another mask seemed to be intensely staring at me.

Although Thimphu Chorten does not enshrine human remains, I can attest with full certainty that spiritual entities do reside there. To be continued. . .