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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, June 30, 2014: Chhimi Lhakhang-Temple of fertility - Bhutan

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Chhimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) is situated in the Punakha region of Bhutan. According to legend, when Drukpa Kunley visited Bhutan, a demoness called Loro Duem resided at the Dochula pass. The demoness was the biggest in the area and most feared by the residents of the valley.

 

Drukpa Kunley, known as the divine madman of Bhutan, planned to get rid of these demons. When he approached the plains of Lobesa, the demoness immediately changed her form into a dog. Drukpa Kunley saw through her disguise, killed the demoness and buried her under a hill which he said “looked like a woman's breast.” Drukpa Kunley ensured that the demoness was bound to the service of Buddha and renamed her Chhoekim.  It is believed that she now guards the temple.

 

The temple however was built by his cousin Ngawang Chhogyal on the same hill in Drukpa Kunley's memory. It is a thirty minute meandering walk up to the temple through paddy and mustard fields.

 

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Since it is dedicated to fertility, it is often frequented by childless couples (local and international) and those who have suffered miscarriages or early deaths of their children. A wooden effigy of a Drukpa Kuenley’s male organ is used to bless pilgrims which is believed to help in conception and keeping children safe. 

 

Unfortunately no photos are allowed inside.

 

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There are young monks that live on the temple grounds. Here they are captured studying for their evening exam.

 

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  • Chhimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility)
  • Chhimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility)

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