Chimi Lhakhang (The Fertility Temple)
Chimi Lhakhang, known to the English speaking world as The Fertility Temple, is a Buddhist monastery, in the Punakha valley of Bhutan, and it is built on a round top hill. The temple was built over half a millennium year ago by Ngawang Choegyel, the 14th Drukpa hierarch. The stupa, meditation hall, was constructed by the “Divine Madman,” the eccentric Yogi and saint Drukpa Kunley, who blessed the entire valley. The monastery is renowned throughout Bhutan as a fertility Temple, pledging that all who wish to conceive a baby will find guidance at the temple. Thousands pilgrimage visit The Fertility Temple in the hopes of having a child, as well as receiving a wang (blessing), from the saint with the ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom.’ Couples with new-borns often visit the temple so that a local lama (Monk), Buddhist teacher, can give a name of the child. Travelers can also approach lamas for their unique Bhutanese name and special meaning. Drukpa Kunley preached Buddhism in a unusual manner, by way of song, comedy, and shocking sensual connotations. Legend has buried a dog-like demoness under the rotund earth, shaped in the female form that now stands under the Stupa floor. He actively encouraged phallus symbols to be used throughout the design of the temple in paintings and carvings. To this day, the monastery safeguards the original wooden phallus symbol, embedded with a silver handle, from Tibet, that is used to bless visitors and pilgrims. Chimi Lhakhang is one of the sacred place of Punakha Valley.