Chimi Lhakhang, Punakha, Bhutan

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Location: Punakha, Bhutan
Accommodation: Mendrelgang Homestay

Chimi Lhakhang is an old Buddhist temple in Punakha built in the honor of a Buddhist saint Drukpa Kuenley who lived 500 years ago. Popularly known as the Divine Madman, the saint indulged in alcohol, women and music.

Nonetheless he was revered greatly by the local people of this village and his legacy is celebrated even today. A walk around the village on the way to the temple, tourists will notice that almost all houses have paintings of flamboyant phalluses on the wall. Locals believe that the painting blesses the household members and raises harmony.

Chimi Lhakhang is also known as the temple of fertility. People from across the country and now even popular among tourists visit this temple to offer prayers in hopes of conceiving. The monk at the temple blesses the pilgrim with a wooden phallus.

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Written by Richard Ascough

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