Chimi Lhakhang (the fertility temple), also known as Chime Lhakhang or Monastery or temple, is a Buddhist monastery in Punakha District, Bhutan. Located near Lobesa, it stands on a round hillock and was built in 1499 by the 14th Drukpa hierarch, Ngawang Choegyel, after the site was blessed by the "Divine Madman" the maverick saint Drukpa Kunley (1455–1529) who built a chorten on the site.
Chimi Lhakhang Wall Painting
In founding the site, it is said that Lama Kunley subdued a demon of Dochu La with his “magic thunderbolt of wisdom” and trapped it in a rock at the location close to where the chorten now stands. He was known as the "Mad Saint" or “Divine Madman” for his unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism by singing, humor and outrageous behavior, which amounted to being bizarre, shocking and with sexual overtones. He is also the saint who advocated the use of phallus symbols as paintings on walls and as flying carved wooden phalluses on house tops at four corners of the eaves. The monastery is the repository of the original wooden symbol of phallus that Kunley brought from Tibet. This wooden phallus is decorated with a silver handle and is used to bless people who visit the monastery on pilgrimage, particularly women seeking blessings to beget children. The tradition at the monastery is to strike pilgrims on the head with a 10-inch (25 cm) wooden phallus (erect penis). Traditionally symbols of an erect penis in Bhutan have been intended to drive away the evil eye and malicious gossip.
Hike to Chimi Lhakhang (the fertility temple) and ‘Chasing the Phallus’ video from Tourism Council of Bhutan. We are happy to invite you to join a popular Bhutanese movie actor, Karma Samdrup Tshering, to take the virtual journey along the path once taken by the great Drukpa Kuenley.
The worshipping of phallus is strongly associated to the great enlightened saint Drukpa Kuenley (Divine Madman) and still today childless couples from across the globe come to the Chimi Lhakhang to receive blessings to have children. The stories are fascinating and truly intriguing. Many people have been blessed with a child after having visited the fertility temple. Painting of phallus or having a wooden replica is believed to protect from evil spirit, keep away negativity, and bring good luck.
Chimi Lhakhang Souvenirs