A Bhutanese politician had written a blog post on Chimilhakhang and how couple’s from near and far visited the temple to be blessed with a child. He ended by asking if there were any people wanting to share their stories.
One comment shared a story of a foreign couple visiting the temple and returning with a child, only that the child had a striking resemblance to their previous trip’s tourist guide.
This is just a tale to make light a situation of any kind. It does make you laugh and jokes if said well does not convey a sense of disrespect.
However, coming back to the fertility temple, often we do hear real stories of how couples from within the country or outside, comes back to the temple with the bundle of joy that they had been desperately seeking.
One Bhutanese couple had several daughters and visited the temple to pray for a son. They had a son and he was named Kuenley, after Lam DrupkaKuenley in whose honor Chimilhakhang was built.
Sitting atop a hill in Lobesa, Punakha is the sacred Chimilhakhang, built in the 15th century by Lam NawangChoejey, cousin to DrukpaKuenley.
Now, DrukpaKuenley was known to be man with eccentric ways and crazy wisdom, and is referred to as the divine madman. He subdued a number of demons using his phallus as a thunderbolt.
He also challenged conventional ways by drinking liquor, hunting and being amorous, and through his crazy ways liberated many people from the cycle of life and death.
At Chimilhakhang’s altar, one can see and receive blessings from DrukpaKuenley’s bow and arrow. One can also receive blessings from the phalluses carved off of different materials. One can pray for a child, if that’s your purpose of the visit. The monk at the altar, who is well versed in English, hands out a name for the unborn.
One can expect a Chimi or a Kuenley.
Chime roughly translates into ‘no dog’. The lhakhang is built on grounds where the demon of Do Chula, who was being pursued by DrukpaKuenley,vanished. She had taken the form of a dog when she vanished. DrukpaKuenley built a small stupid atop the hill and subdued the demon.
The lhakhang is about 15 minutes walk from the nearest village, a cluster of traditional homes with giant phalluses painted on its walls to seek protection from all things evil. A number of shops have also sprung over the past few years catering to the growing number of tourists and pilgrims visiting the temple.
One can also drive up to the base of the hill, from which it is a pleasant few minutes walk up the gentle slope. At the entrance is a giant Bodhi tree, where pilgrims take respite.