Bhutan is known as Happiest Country in the World and it has a few unique traditions which you must know about it. One such thing you can see is Bhutan Penis Paintings. Lobesa Village near Punakha is known as the Land of Penis in Bhutan. Bhutan Penis Worship is known all over the world.
Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and, even today; it is the winter home of the central monk body. The Punakha Dzong houses many sacred artifacts and temples. The city is also home to the famous Chimi Lhakhang, (Lhakhang means monastery or temple in the Bhutanese language). Chimi Lhakhang is a small Buddhist monastery with a very interesting story of how it was formed.
We reached this tiny village called Lobesa just before Wangdue. I noticed that the homes in Bhutan are obsessed with the pennies on the houses. I wanted to know about the stories behind so we started walking towards Lobesa village.
As in a country like India where you cannot discuss your sex organs openly in front of anyone; in Bhutan, it was a completely different picture. In India, we are afraid to give education about sex organs to their children, but in the little town of Lobasa in Bhutan, people see it just as a normal organ like other parts of the body.
Located near Lobesa, Chimi Lhakhang stands on a round hillock and was built in 1499 by the 14th Drukpa hierarch, Ngawang Choegyel after the site was blessed by the “Divine Madman” the maverick saint Drukpa Kunley , a Buddhist Master who built a chorten on the site. It is 20 minute walk across the village of sopsokha by passing through the rice paddy fields and small beautiful local houses.
Thousands of people visit Chimi Lhakhang either to pray for children by those who are childless or to seek protection for children that they already have. There are also anecdotes of tourists from the US and Europe who made the pilgrimage to Chimi Lhakhang and promptly got pregnant within a year after the visit. While Chimi Lhakhang is renowned for its fertility blessings, it also fulfills the other religious and spiritual needs of the Bhutanese.
What’s with all the Phallus/Penis Paintings in Bhutan?
Legend says that ‘a monk name Lama Drukpa Kunley was an enlightened Buddhist master who personified the true essence of Vajrayana tradition which is also known as ‘Crazy Wisdom”.
This is the profound wisdom that transcends the mundane cultures of religion. People fondly call Lama Drukpa Kunley “the Divine Madman” because of his unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism by singing, humor and outrageous behavior, which amounted to being bizarre, shocking and with sexual overtones.
He felt that the stiffness of the clergy and social convention were keeping people from learning the true teachings of Buddha. His outrageous, often obscene, actions and sexual antics were a deliberate method of provoking people to discard their preconceptions.
In this way, he wanted to convey that he is beyond the norms and conventions established by human society. Buddhist from all over the world comes to Chimi Lhakhang to pray for the survival and health of their children.
Read: Paro Sightseeing Places
He is also the saint who advocated the use of phallus symbols as paintings on walls and as flying carved wooden phalluses on house tops at four corners of the eves. The monastery is the repository of the original wooden symbol of phallus that Kunley brought from Tibet.
Traditionally symbols of an erect penis in Bhutan have been intended to drive away the evil eye and malicious gossip. Women from all over the world come here seeking blessings to conceive a child and they get blessings by stroking with a wooden phallus.
As Drukpa Kuenley is one of the most revered and followed saints in Bhutan, his symbol – the phallus can be found in various forms within Bhutanese houses and restaurants. Phallus of different sizes can also be found in souvenir shops around Bhutan. The phallus in Bhutan comes in different designs and one common feature noticed is that the phallus is always seen ejaculating and they are decorated Penis.
Several anecdotes are told of the zany ways of Drukpa Kunley. It is said that on a particular occasion, he was gifted a sacred thread to put around his neck. However, he shocked the people by saying that he would tie the thread around his penis with the fond hope that it would bring him “luck with the ladies”.
This is perhaps the reason why you see string-like things wrapped around the phallus/penis painting. The belief that such a symbol brings good luck and drives away evil spirits is so much ingrained in the psyche of the common populace in Bhutan that the symbols are routinely painted outside the walls of the new houses.
Regardless of whether you believe in the power of the Divine Madman’s blessing or not, Chimi Lhakhang is definitely a serene and beautiful place to visit to see the Bhutan Penis.
After knowing all stories about Phallus in Bhutan, I headed back to my hotel and retired for the day.
- Punakha is 77 Km from Thimphu. Chimi Lhakhang is 14-15 Km from Wangdue town. I recommend staying at wangdue as it is the most picturesque place. I stayed at Hotel Kingaling for INR 2000/night.
- Explore Punakha Dzong, Suspension bridge and enjoy river rafting in Punakha.
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