Saturday, January 04, 2014

Bhutan trip day 15 - Thur, 19 Sep 13 - Mid Autumn Festival: visiting Buddha Donderma statue in Kuensel Phodrang and Memorial Chorten

On this very day, 19th September 2013, it was one of the important days for Chinese people. It was a Mid-Autumn Festival, a festival where Chinese celebrated the harvest, fell on the fifteenth day of eight month in the Chinese lunar calendar. At night, the beautiful and bright full moon decorated the dark sky.

In Singapore, people celebrate it and call the day as Mooncake festival, where family will get together for dinner then they will eat various kind of mooncakes (traditional ones, snow-skin types, or even ice cakes type), and watch the moon high up in the sky. Children will usually walk to the park, together with their parents, and bring the lantern with them (either paper lantern lighten with a candle, or the electronic lantern energized with batteries where the light will be turned on and the music will be played). So I had to forgo this big festival and spent my day in Bhutan instead.

Details of the Buddha Donderma Project

After spending almost three weeks in Thimphu, I hadn't visited the famous Kuensel Phodrang or Buddha Point yet. This place was where the gigantic Buddha Dondenma statue that was made of bronze and gilded in gold, which will be one of the biggest Buddha rupas in the world, with a height of 169 feet or 51.5 meters, located. I went up to that hill the year before that, but the place was still closed as the renovation was still undergoing. So we just took its photo from afar. This time though, before my time in Bhutan ended, I decided to go there that afternoon, together with Lachee (Riku's youngest sister). Two of us took a taxi there from Motithang and the taxi driver charged us Ngu 200 for one way journey. It saved our time though as he drove us up right to the entrance of the place.

Buddha Donderma Statue in Kuensel Phodrang with Lachee - Sep 13 in Bhutan

The Buddha Donderma statue was there. We could enter to the premises. However, not to the building where the statue was located as the renovation was still undergoing and not finished yet. The sky was cloudy when we reached and not long after that, it rained. Luckily there was a rooftop for us to stand while it was raining, just in front of the Buddha Donderma statue. In a while, a group of Bhutanese men was asking us to take photo with them. Suddenly I felt like a movie star hahahaha... :P I told Lachee, they might be group of students, but she said, no la, they looked more like office staffs. Well, she might be right hehehe... 

Took photo with group of Bhutanese men :D

It rained for some time. We stood there and I prayed towards the statue while raining. The air was cool, I felt so good :) The rain stopped after sometime. So Lachee and I had a walk surrounding the area. Suddenly, we saw a rainbow overlook the hill. Wow, I was so exciting!!! Another dream of mine came true, which was to see the rainbow in Bhutan, and it happened at the right place (in front of the Buddha Donderma statue) and at the right time (days before I left Bhutan). Hohoho... I was very very happy!!! Seemed like whatever thing I wished and dreamed of coming true!! At first, it was a half rainbow. Not long after that, a full rainbow came to. Ooohhh.... it really made my day!!! Thank you so much SB for the happiness brought into my life! Thank you, thank you, and thank you! :)

With a rainbow after the rain in front of Buddha Donderma statue in Bhutan

This reminded me of the song that I listened to for the very first time at "That CD Shop" about three and a half years ago. There were many singers singing this song, but personally, I think this one was the best, sung by Aselin Debison. Click the video or otherwise the link below. Hope you enjoy it too! :)

or click here


Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
And the dreams that you dream of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dream of,
dreams really do come true

Someday I'll wish upon a star,
and wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops that's where
you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dare to, oh why, oh why can't I?
Well I see trees of green and red roses too,
I'll watch them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Well I see skies of blue and clouds of white and the brightness of day
I like the dark and I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
are also on the faces of people passing by
I see friends shaking hands saying,
How do you do?
They're really saying, I love you

I hear babies cry and I watch them grow,
They'll learn much more than we'll know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Someday I'll wish upon a star
wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops that's where
you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
And the dreams that you dare to, oh why, oh why can't I?


Both Lachee and I walked down the hill together trying to find the empty cab. The view of Thimphu was so mesmerizing too. We both were so happy with the rainbow, as if it would bring more luck into our lives hehehe... :) Hopefully ba!

On my way down from Buddha Point, Bhutan

Lachee went back home as she had to attend the evening class while I stopped at Memorial Chorten. I wanted to visit the place again for the last time before going back to Singapore. I wanted to have a look at its beautiful place again, with its people, its deities, and thanked them for the wonderful time I had for the past three weeks there. 

My last visit to Memorial Chorten in Thimphu, Bhutan

I took my own sweet time, enjoying the view there. I would miss this place very much. Just felt that there was a connection between me and this place. I felt very lucky though, able to visit this place three times in my life and I would never get bored to be there again and again. I love viewing people circumambulating the Chorten while turning their prayer wheels on their hand round and round. Some people were prostrating towards the Chorten and some were sitting down near the big prayer wheels located at the side. I went inside the Chorten again for praying then walking surrounding the area, to catch the view of beautiful flowers that still survived in the late autumn. 

It reminded me of the group of young Bhutanese under the Go Youth Go Bhutan, once went there in mid March 2013, beautifying the Memorial Chorten by gardening, cleaning, weeding and did plantation all around the Chorten. Click here for more pictures. At that time Riku was still leading this group and doing many youth activities that benefited Bhutanese societies, especially those who needed help. You can check their facebook page and join the group if interested. 

Police Dancing Junction in Thimphu, Bhutan

After that, I left the place and headed to Thimphu town. I waited for Riku at the 'Police Dancing' junction. This was also one of the places that I would miss the most. My friend asked me to record the place down using the video, so I did :) Check this out!

We were going to meet a young Bhutanese blogger who was studying Physiotherapy in Raichur, India and happened going back to Bhutan for holiday. It's none other than Monu Tamang. You can check out his blog here. He wanted to see Riku that evening. Since I was there, so three of us met up together and sat down inside one eating place nearby the area. 

Met up with Monu Tamang in Thimphu, Bhutan

We came early. So while waiting, I was ordering the Druk 11000 for myself while Riku was having a tea. Again, since my days there were numbered, I had to live it up to the fullest. The beer price there was ridiculously cheap. It costs only Ngu 90 (around S$1.80 per bottle), while in Singapore the cost of 1 bottle of beer at normal coffee shop is at least S$7 per bottle. I didn't drink much though, just 660ml bottle by myself. Once Monu came, both of them had a chit chat in Dzongkha while I busy ate some vegetable fritters and momo, also enjoyed my beer slowly, letting them enjoying their time hehehe...

We then walked up to Motithang. Riku invited him to his house. They again chit chatted on their way up there while I was enjoying the view of the full moon up in the sky :) The moon was so bright and beautiful. I couldn't stop mesmerizing the view above me. Too bad my camera couldn't capture its beautiful view, only as per photos below ^^ I looked at the moon once again, whispered to myself, "Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!!!", and continued walking back home. It was a wonderful and memorable day for me :) Thank you SB!!!

Full moon during Mid Autumn Festival 19th Sep 2013 in Thimphu, Bhutan

4 comments:

Dawa Tshering said...

like watching a film. Wonderful post!

Overcome said...

Hehehe... Thank you Dawa for your kind words! :) Have a wonderful weekend!

Sangay Cholden said...

Great! Photo taken with group of men is my college friends! They were on study tour that time.

Overcome said...

Ah? Ina Sangay? What a coincidence! So I was right when I thought they might be group of students. Hahaha... Not sure if they still recalled the incident. Please say hi to them then :D

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