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Phallus painting at Sobsokha village,near Punakha,Bhutan

Phallus paintings in Bhutan are esoteric symbols, which have their origins in the Chimi Lhakhang monastery near Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. The village monastery was built in honour of Lama Drukpa Kunley who lived in the 15-16th century and who was popularly known as the "Mad Saint" or “Divine Madman” for his unorthodox ways of teaching, which amounted to being bizarre and shocking. These explicit paintings, though embarrassing to many urbanites now (this folk culture is now informally discouraged in urban centres[1]), can be seen painted on the walls of houses and buildings through out Bhutan, particularly in villages, and are credited as Kunley's creations.[2][3] Traditionally symbols of an erect penis in Bhutan have been intended to drive away the evil eye and malicious gossip.


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Taken on March 16, 2011