Perched on the hilltop with the land structure alike to that of a breast in Sopsokha village is the famous Chimi Lhakhang. It is exactly about a mile on the way to Punakha Dzong from the tri-junction leading to Thimphu, Wangdue and Punakha at Mesina.
The Lhakhang is better known among the westerners as the Fertility Temple as it is widely believed that an infertile woman will be blessed with the child from this temple.
The temple is first found by the Buddhist saint Lama Drukpa Kinley in 1499 who is also known as the divine madman. It is said that the lama kinley subdued the Dochula demon at the present location of the temple using his magic thunderbolt of wisdom.
Interesting facts about the Chimilhakhang
1. Chimi Lhakhang is mainly worshiped as the Fertility Temple
The infertile women or generally the women with the problem of bearing child visits Chimi Lhakhang. These women are made to carry the phalluses on their back and circumambulate the Lhakhang 3 times. Miraculously, these women are said to conceive sooner.
There are lots of overwhelming stories including the childless women from foreign states visiting Chimi Lhakhang and getting pregnant within a year or two.
Chimi Lhakhang is also commonly visited to receive the names of the newborn who are named either with Chimi or Kinley.
2. Chimi Lhakhang is first found by the unorthodox Buddhist saint, the Devine Madman called the Drukpa Kinley
The Chimi Lhakhang is first founded by the Buddhist saint Lama Drukpa Kinkey in 14th century. He built a small stupa on the site. Later in 1499, Lam Ngawang Chogyel restored it with the present structure.
Due to the unorthodox nature of Buddhist teaching usually involving sex and women, lama Drukpa Kinley was often regarded as the Devine Madman.
The lama has subdued the Dochula demon at the black-panited stupa now found below the Lhakhang.
3. Chimi Lhakhang has wooden Phalluses as the main relic
Lama Drukpa Kinley used phalluses as the main instruments in his preachings and practices. Particularly, Lama Kinley used phalluses to subdue the evils and demons
Today, when the childless women go to seek blessings for the child, they are gently hit on the head by the 10-inch ivory, wooden and bone phalluses used by the Lama Kinley. This phalluses is believed to be brought from Tibet by Lama himself.
4. All the houses at Sopsokha village leading to Chimi Lhakhang has the phalluses
As a reverence to the Lama Kinley, all the houses in Sopsokha village leading to the Lhakhang has the phalluses. These phalluses are either hung or drawn on the walls of their home.
Phalluses are widely used in Bhutan as the talisman to ward off the evil spirits. The newborns baby are often found wearing a nicely crafted phalluses on their neck believed to keep them safe from any forms of evils.
5. Fascinating royal rumors
The rumors had it that the prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge visited the Chimi Lhakhang before they had the prince George born.
Whether you are a newly wed couple or in love to explore unique cultures and traditions, Chimi Lhakhang, the fertility temple of Bhutan is must visit attractions if you happen to include Punakha in your itinerary. Takes approximately 15-30 minutes hike from the road.