The Temple of Fertility
The Chime Lakhang or Chimi Lakhang is the temple of fertility, dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley – the divine madman of Bhutan. The temple is located in the Punakha district, which is about 10 kilometers from the Punakha town. To reach there, you have to cross the Sopsokha village which is just off the Thimpu – Punakha highway. From Thimpu, the village is 2.5 to 3 hours away. After that, it’s a 10-15 minute walk to the temple – through paddy and mustard fields. Colorful prayer flags line the path from the village to the temple which is located on top of a small hill.
When you see this symbol adorning the walls of a village, you know you have reached.
The entire village is a vast expanse of paddy and mustard fields. According to the villagers, the valley was blessed by Lama Drukpa Kunley which is why it is so fertile.
History of Chimi Lakhang
Legend goes that when Lama Drukpa Kunley visited Bhutan, a demoness called Loro Duem resided at the Dochula pass. The demoness was a terror and residents of the valley lived in perpetual fear. There were other demons in the area as well.
Lama Drukpa Kunley set out to subdue these demons. Seeing him approach the plains of Lobesa, the demoness changed her form to that of a dog. The Lama could see through the disguise and killed the demoness and buried her under a hill which he said “looked like a woman’s breast”. Chime Lakhang temple is built on the same hill.
Lama also ensured that the demoness was bound to the service of Buddha. She was renamed Chhoekim, who now guards the Chimi Lakhang.
The temple wasn’t built by Lama Drukpa Kunley; he only built a small black stupa at the hill where the demoness was buried. The temple was built by his cousin Lama Ngawang Chhogyal in the Lama’s memory.
Significance of the Temple of Fertility
Couples from far and wide visit this temple to seek Lama Drukpa Kunley’s blessings. It is said that infertile couples, on being blessed, bear a child soon. A lot of parents also come to the temple to seek blessings for the safety of their children.
Pictures & the GoMissing Experience from Chimi Lakhang
On entering the temple, we visited the main sanctum where we paid our respect to the images of Buddha and the chair of the head priest. The way blessings are delivered at the Chimi Lakhang temple is different, to say the least. The priest bonks the person’s head with Lama Drukpa Kunley’s weapons and a wooden phallus which is the Lama’s symbol.
We crossed the inner sanctum to enter the study room, where a group of young monks were studying. As soon as we entered, a feeling of peace descended upon us. We sat there for a while trying to interact with the young monks who paid no attention to us. However, we managed to get their permission to take a few pictures.
Life isn’t just about studying and working hard. We came across a lot of young monks playing flute and similar instruments.
This young one seems to have attained nirvana. The sunlit face gives him a perfect halo.
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