Punakha Dzong and the Divine Madman

aimg_2429

It was the day after we got back from our five day trek. As much as I loved the trek, the views, being in nature, camping… I was also very happy to have had a good nights sleep in a warm room, a hot shower and be driven around in a minibus.

So today we drove from Thimphu to a different valley. We had to cross a high pass for this.

aimg_2425

And if the weather had been good enough, we would have been able to see all these snow capped mountains of the Himalayas. Unfortunately the weather was foggy and grey, so all we had to look at was this painting.

However, good news, once we drove down into the valley, the weather improved and this amazing view opened up to us.

aimg_2427

This is Punakha Dzong. Another one of Bhutan’s famous ex-fortress, now monastery buildings.

aimg_2428

It is located in this beautiful valley.aimg_2436aimg_2440aimg_2442

Inside the Dzong Norbu talked to us about the history and explained what all the paintings meant. He’s back to wearing his smart traditional costume after five days in outdoorsy clothes.

Note that he’s also wearing this cream coloured scarf on top of his dress. It’s a requirement to wear this when in government buildings. Outside of those, the scarf is not worn.

aimg_2445aimg_2448aimg_2451aimg_2452aimg_2462

After visiting this beautiful Dzong, we went to see the next attraction: Chimi Lhakhang – the Temple of the Divine Madman.

aimg_2483

Yes, you read correctly: an insane saint! (I think that’s really what they should call him. Has a much better ring to it.)

He has this name because of his rather unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism which included outrageous and shocking behaviour, often with sexual overtones. For example, he advocates painting phallic symbols on houses or carving phalluses from wood.

On our walk up to the monastery we came across plenty of houses with massive phallus paintings. Countless souvenir shops were selling wooden specimen in all different sizes. Even though we were all grown up women, somehow we couldn’t stop giggling like school girls.

Ok, I’ll show you one example.

abimg_2492

Sorry if you’re reading this at work or if your parents are looking over your shoulder. Hahahaha! Now I’m having to laugh again.

Inside the temple all visitors were blessed with a sizeable phallus for enhanced fertility. Argh! I wanted to run away but I also didn’t want to be rude.

aimg_2487

When this special experience was over, we all piled back into the minibus and were driven back to Thimphu.

aimg_2489

This is Ganga. I know! Hard to recognise without the first aid bag!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s