Chimi Lhakhang, Bhutan: Discovering the Mystical Charm. 2 Reasons every Woman should Visit.
Chimi Lhakhang

Nestled in the heart of Bhutan’s verdant Punakha Valley, Chimi Lhakhang stands as a beacon of spiritual serenity and vibrant folklore. Often referred to as the “Fertility Temple,” Chimi Lhakhang is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and spiritual enrichment.


A Brief History of Chimi Lhakhang

Chimi Lhakhang was built in 1499 by the 14th Drukpa hierarch, Ngawang Choegyel, to honour the divine madman, Drukpa Kunley. Known for his unconventional teaching methods, Drukpa Kunley used humour, songs, and outrageous behaviour to impart his wisdom. His legacy of promoting fertility and blessings is why Chimi Lhakhang has become a pilgrimage site for couples wishing to conceive. The temple houses various relics and a statue of Kunley, capturing the essence of his teachings and the Bhutanese cultural ethos.

How to Reach Chimi Lhakhang

Reaching Chimi Lhakhang is an adventure in itself, perfectly blending the journey with the destination. The temple is approximately a 30-minute drive from Punakha town, and travellers can also embark from Thimphu, which is about a 2-hour drive away. The final approach to the temple is a short, scenic hike through rice fields and traditional villages, offering stunning views and a glimpse into the rural lifestyle of Bhutanese farmers. This serene walk is both a physical and spiritual prelude to the temple visit, immersing you in the tranquil beauty of the region.

Best Time to Visit Chimi Lhakhang

Bhutan’s climate varies significantly across its regions, but the best time to visit Chimi Lhakhang is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. In spring, the Punakha Valley is adorned with blooming flowers, making the hike to the temple a picturesque experience. Autumn, on the other hand, offers clear skies and crisp weather, perfect for exploring the temple and its surroundings without the discomfort of summer heat or monsoon rains.

Exploring the Temple and Beyond

Once you arrive at Chimi Lhakhang, you’ll be captivated by its serene ambience and the sense of history that permeates the air. The temple courtyard is adorned with prayer wheels and colourful flags, and the main hall features beautiful murals depicting the life and teachings of Drukpa Kunley. Don’t forget to participate in the traditional rituals and receive a blessing from the temple’s monks.

Nearby Attractions

While Chimi Lhakhang is undoubtedly a highlight, the surrounding area of Punakha Valley offers several other fascinating sites worth exploring:

Punakha Dzong: Known as the “Palace of Great Happiness,” Punakha Dzong is one of the most beautiful and historically significant dzongs in Bhutan. Located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers, this majestic fortress is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture and serves as the winter residence of the Central Monastic Body.

Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery: Perched on a ridge overlooking the valleys of Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang, this nunnery is a serene retreat with beautiful views. The complex houses a temple with a statue of Avalokiteshvara and offers insight into the life of Buddhist nuns.

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten: A short hike from Punakha takes you to this ornate chorten, built to bring peace and harmony to the world. The structure is adorned with intricate paintings and statues, and the view from the top is breathtaking.

Punakha Suspension Bridge: One of the longest suspension bridges in Bhutan, this bridge spans the Po Chhu River and offers stunning views of the valley and the dzong. It’s a thrilling experience and a great spot for photography.

Wangdue Phodrang: A short drive from Punakha, this town is known for its dzong (currently under reconstruction after a fire) and beautiful landscape. The annual Wangdue Phodrang Tshechu festival is a vibrant event featuring traditional dances and rituals.


Chimi Lhakhang is more than just a temple; it is a journey into the heart of Bhutanese spirituality and culture. Its rich history, serene location, and legend of Drukpa Kunley make it a fascinating destination for travellers. Whether you are seeking spiritual solace, cultural insights, or simply a peaceful retreat, Chimi Lhakhang promises an unforgettable experience. Plan your visit to this enchanting temple and let the blessings of the divine madman enrich your journey, while also exploring the many wonders that the Punakha Valley has to offer.