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Fertility Blessing in Chimi Lhakhang Monastery in Bhutan

If while visiting a monastery you are stroked with a wooden phallus on the head, it means you have been blessed

Best time: all year round

Fertility Blessing in Chimi Lhakhang Monastery
Fertility Blessing in Chimi Lhakhang Monastery
Fertility Blessing in Chimi Lhakhang Monastery

Bhutan is probably one of the last countries on Earth you'd imagine with houses and monasteries decorated with phallic symbols. Today this ancient symbol isn't used very often here, but there is one place where phalluses are everywhere!

Chimi Lhakhang Monastery is situated on top of a hill, surrounded by lush green rice fields in the Punakha District. Its origins date back to the 15th century when the site was blessed by a famous Bhutanese saint the Divine Madman. Thanks to this, the temple also received its fame as a fertility blessing locale.

It is believed that when a local monk touches your head with a wooden-and-bone phallus, chooses a favourable name, and says a prayer, you will be able to conceive a child. Of course, if you are not looking for such a blessing, visiting Chimi Lhakhang is still worth it as where else on Earth you will see so many painted and carved penises?

Practical info

What is the significance of Chimi Lhakhang Monastery, and when was it constructed?

Chimi Lhakhang Monastery is located on a hill in the Punakha District of Bhutan, surrounded by vast green rice fields. It was built during the 15th century and was blessed by the Divine Madman, a famous Bhutanese saint. The monastery gained prominence as a fertility blessing locus, where visitors' heads were touched with a wooden-and-bone phallus, and prayers chanted to aid conception. Show more

What does the wooden phallus at the Chimi Lhakhang Monastery symbolize, and what is the legend behind it?

People who visit the Chimi Lhakhang Monastery in Bhutan receive blessings from a wooden phallus. It represents the notion that all things are achievable once individuals overcome their fears and inhibitions. According to Bhutanese legend, the Divine Madman used his phallus to discipline demons and disobedient women. The wooden phallus is worshipped and bestows blessings of healing infertility and prosperity on families. Show more

What is the location of the Chimi Lhakhang Monastery, and what is the surrounding landscape like?

Nestled atop a hill in the Punakha District of Bhutan is the Chimi Lhakhang Monastery encompassed by sprawling rice fields. Traversing the trail through the fields, visitors are greeted with stupendous vistas of the mountainous horizons and tranquil countryside. The area's green rice paddies contribute to the site's exceptional character, making it a popular tourist attraction in Bhutan. Show more

Other than fertility, what other blessings can you acquire at the Chimi Lhakhang Monastery?

The Chimi Lhakhang Monastery provides its visitors with various blessings, including wealth, protection from evil spirits, good health and fortune. Besides its fertility-associated blessings, the phallus is regarded as a powerful emblem, able to deter perils by safeguarding individuals from negative energy. A sanctuary of calm and peace, the Chimi Lhakhang Monastery offers a perfect location for individuals to seek spiritual and physical solace. Show more

What are some of the ways the Divine Madman has influenced Bhutanese culture and traditions?

The impact of the Divine Madman, renowned as Drukpa Kunley, on Bhutanese culture, and traditions is unparalleled. With his unconventional techniques of teaching spirituality, humorous approach, and sexual imagery, he became one of the most significant figures in Bhutan's history. Bhutanese folk songs and dances bear his signature, and his teachings continue to inspire the country's people. The Divine Madman's influence is still evident in the nation's culture today. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin