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Showing posts from October, 2012

The Divine Madman And The Fertile Chime Valley, Bhutan

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Chime Valley (Pronounced Chi-Mee) literally translates to: "No Dogs Valley."

The story of how the Chime valley got its name, dates back over five hundred years, when a Tibetan yogi called the Divine Madman, came to live in this area.

His real name was Drukpa Kunley. (1455-1529)
He was a popular teacher and the uneducated people loved him, since he delivered his teachings in a simple conversational form, that was easier for the people to understand than just listening to long sermons by other Lamas.

The Divine Madman came to the Chime valley when it was filled with disease and the soil was infertile.

Apparently, a destructive demoness lived in the valley, causing all the misfortune.
The Divine madman confronted the demoness on the top of a mountain at the Dechula pass.
The demoness turned into a pack of black dogs, and ran away from the area.

A temple was built on top of a hill above the valley, and it was called the Chime Lhakhang.

It is believed that one of the demoness…

The Ura Valley, The Flaming Lake And The Tale Of The Nine Headed Snake, Bumthang, Bhutan

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Just outside of Jakar town, on the way to the Ura Valley, lies a beautiful gorge with rock pools that is believed to be a holy place in which the treasure discoverer Pema Lingpa, discovered some treasure.

The locals will point out the exact location where he found the treasure, in the clear turquoise waters.

All the rivers that I saw in Bhutan, were not muddy nor silty but had clear and clean waters.

This place is called the "Flaming Lake" or "Burning Lake" after it is said that Pema Lingpa dove into the water holding a burning butter lamp, which is believed to still burn at the bottom of the rock pool.

This sacred area is frequented by people who have come to pray.
The whole gorge is ablaze with colorful prayer flags.
Small clay stupas are tucked under every rock, by people who have come here asking for healing and protection.

To reach the Ura Valley beyond this beautiful gorge, we drove through forests of spruce, pine, larch, fir, juniper, bamboo and rhododendr…

Tang Valley and observations of family life in Bumthang, Bhutan

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Tang Valley is located only a short distance from Jakar Valley, but the unpaved rocky road made the drive there much longer.

The narrow road is not well maintained, since the Tang Valley has only a few remote monasteries and tiny villages.

The landscape is heavily forested, with clear patches of land that are planted with corn, potatoes and cabbages.

There were herds of cattle in the fields, looking healthy and lazily grazing in the sun.

The villages were built half a century ago, and I could see many houses with a thunder-bolt-penis hanging from each corner of the house.

The thunder-bolt-penis is made of wood.
It is sharpened like a pencil on one end, and on the other end it is shaped like a penis.
They always have a wooden wing attached at the top.

It is believed to protect the house from all directions.

We passed by a wide clean river with beautiful boulders in it.
On one side of the river was a sacred temple built into the rocks.
It is called Kunzang Drak and it was the retreat c…