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Fertility Blessing in Chimi Lhakhang Monastery

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

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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?

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