Located an hour outside Punakha village, Chimi Lhakhang (also known as Chime Lhakhang) is a Buddhist monastery best known for its worship of the phallus. It stands on a round hillock said to resemble breasts and is decorated with phallic symbols all along its walls. It was built in honour of Drukpa Kunley, the “Divine Madman” who preaches Buddhism through humour and sexual tones.
Chimi Lhakhang is known as a fertility temple for blessing couples with a 10-inch wooden phallus that is tapped on their shoulders. Visitors come from all around the world to visit the monastery, obtain blessings, and get a glimpse of a unique side of Buddhism. Visiting sites like Chimi Lhakhang in Punakha does require a permit to enter the district. These are usually pre-arranged through tour operators once one submits an online application to the Tourism Council of Bhutan in Thimphu. This is charged at approximately INR 2,800. Keep this permit handy when travelling in case it needs to be shown at checkpoints.
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