For our final stop before reaching Punakha, we visited the village of Sopsokha and the nearby temple, Chimi Lhakhang.
|A typical agricultural valley in western Bhutan. Terraces make it possible to grow rice on steep hillsides.|
|The valley between Sopsokha and Chimi Lhakhang.|
|Stacks of rice straw with Sopsokha in the background.|
|Separating rice from the stems. All the field work is done by hand, although oxen are used for plowing.|
|A calf tethered in a rice paddy.|
Chimi Lhakhang is a temple dedicated to fertility. Childless women go to the temple for a blessing, and return later to name their child(ren). Supposedly the blessing results in many sets of twins. The temple was built in 1499 to honor the "Divine Madman", Lama Drupka Kunley. The Lama is known for subduing the demoness of Dochu La and his sexual prowess in pursuit of revealing the true nature of Buddha's teachings.
|The Bodhi Tree in the Chimi Lhakhang.|
|Prayer wheel and dog inside the Chimi Lhakhang courtyard.|
|Cat in the Chimi Lhakhang courtyard.|
SopsokhaThe nearby village of Sopsokha is (in)famous for its phallic symbology. (That's a nice way of saying that penises are everywhere in this village -- painted on houses and walls, and lots of carved wooden ones are for sale.)
|A back street in Sopsokha. Note the cowshed at the side of the house.|
|An old farmhouse in Sopsokha.|
|A brightly painted house in Sopsokha.|
|One of many craft and souvenir shops in Sopsokha.|