Chimi Lhakhang in Bhutan
Chimi Lhakhang: A Guide to Bhutan's Fertility Temple
Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the "Temple of Fertility," is a Buddhist monastery located in the Punakha district of Bhutan. This sacred site is dedicated to the divine madman, Drukpa Kunley, who is known for his unorthodox teachings and his use of humor and sexual imagery in his teachings.
The temple is located on a small hilltop and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Its approximate coordinates are 27.5958° N, 89.8761° E.
History of Chimi Lhakhang
Chimi Lhakhang was built in 1499 by Ngawang Choegyel, the 14th Drukpa hierarch, in honor of Drukpa Kunley. The temple is believed to be built on the site where the divine madman subdued a demoness who was causing trouble in the area.
Since its construction, Chimi Lhakhang has become a popular destination for couples seeking fertility blessings. The temple's phallus-shaped symbols and erotic paintings are believed to have the power to increase fertility and bring good luck to those who visit.
What to Expect When Visiting
Visitors to Chimi Lhakhang are required to dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering the temple. It is also customary to offer a small donation to the monks who maintain the temple.
Inside the temple, visitors will find a statue of Drukpa Kunley and numerous phallic symbols and erotic paintings. The temple's resident monk may also perform a fertility blessing for couples upon request.
After visiting the temple, visitors can take a short hike to the nearby village of Sopsokha. The village is known for its traditional Bhutanese architecture and offers a glimpse into the daily life of the local people.
When to Visit
Chimi Lhakhang is open to visitors year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring and fall months when the weather is mild and the countryside is lush and green. The temple is also a popular destination during the annual Chimi Lhakhang Drup festival, which takes place in the spring and celebrates the life and teachings of Drukpa Kunley.
Chimi Lhakhang is a unique and fascinating destination in Bhutan that offers visitors a glimpse into the country's rich cultural and religious heritage. Whether you are seeking fertility blessings or simply want to explore one of Bhutan's most iconic landmarks, a visit to Chimi Lhakhang is sure to be a memorable experience.