Andean Explorations – 11: Temple of Fertility

Priyank Thatte

Traveler, Geek, Blogger, Musician, and a Bureaucrat. In that order. I like to narrate stories, click pictures, and partake in some social commentary. I also like to make each day happy and fruitful because there is no point in living otherwise, is there. Personal blog | Travel blog

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28 Responses

  1. meghnak says:

    Lovely pics….nice writing :)

  2. Celine says:

    Uyo, I mean, Ayyo..What a farm!!
    Are the phallic souvenirs on display now that you are back in Toronto? That’s a nice shot inside the Combi.:)

  3. Cuckoo says:

    Hee Heee…..
    Worshiping of penis is something like worshiping shivalingam in some areas of India and the purpose is same.

    I wonder how much more traffic you’ll get now. ;)
    Ha Ha Ha…..

  4. Shantanu says:

    Well, well! What d’ya know? I thought we had the monopoly on phallic symbolism.

  5. lakshmi says:

    all civilisations are obsessed with fertility rites…

  6. Annie says:

    Looks like you are avid traveler. I liked this full series…..nice & enjoyable! Peru looks to be must to visit. Adding it to my list :)

  7. Bob says:

    Learn something new and interesting every single time I come here, Penis Temple, who knew,lol.

  8. Cool! Maybe they collaborated with the people who built the Konark Temple :P

  9. Shantanu says:

    Also, you don’t talk too much about food. What kinda stuff did you eat in all these places? How’s the street food?

  10. Nomadic Matt says:

    that is a lot of peni (is that plural lol) I don’t even wan to know what that white stain is.

    Interesting site….i saw a few fertility places in Asia..they’re all very symbolic huh

  11. Anna says:

    …and I thought they were mushrooms, lol. Thanks for sharing, great photography and story…Anna :)

  12. Maverick says:

    Such temples exist in India though, although they dont carry phallic symbols , people believe that visiting some temples will make them fertile.

    Interesting story btw lol…. u bought phallic souveneirs, who r u giving them to :) ? and no offense…but didnt u get turned on :)

  13. Priyank says:

    Meghna:
    Thanks dear!

  14. Priyank says:

    Cellu:
    Yes, as a matter of fact I have a stone penis souvenir in my living room! It’s a topic of discussion usually.

  15. Priyank says:

    Cuckoo
    Yes, that was the whole point of this post. Even when I was visiting this place, I was thinking… hmm this would make a nice blog entry. hhehehe :)

    Shivlinga is one of the dearest symbols of Hinduism. There are many more :)

  16. Priyank says:

    Shantanu
    I will write a post dedicated to food. I am not a big foodie liek you, plus being overly vegetarian restricts my diet in foreign countries.

  17. Priyank says:

    Lakshmi
    You couldn’t be right. Even in Tibet, I hear there is a (maybe there isn’t any after the Chinese destruction) a large temple dedicated to fertility.

  18. Priyank says:

    Bob
    Glad to hear that. You should visit India sometime :)

  19. Priyank says:

    Sudipta
    Konark? But thats a Sun temple. Did you mean Khajuraho?

  20. Priyank says:

    Matt
    LOL @ the white stain! Being the most basic human tendencies, its not surprising that most cultures love the reproductive organs ;)

  21. Priyank says:

    Anna
    Yeah, I have posted a picture of a penis on the sidewalk of the city square in this village. It does look like a mushroom, an innocent mind would be fooled :) Peru, rather the entire south amerika, is worth visiting. Thanks for writing!

  22. Priyank says:

    Maverick
    Turned on? LOL by stone icons? hehehe, no that happens only with the real stuff ;-) I gave some as gifts to friends but the largest sculpture is sitting in my living room.

  23. Priyank says:

    Annie
    Yes do visit Peru, and the entire south america for that matter :)

  24. PHALLIC STONES ? or MUSHROOM STONES ?

    At the Inca ruins of Chucuito in Peru, South America, not far from Lake Titicaca, we see stone objects that appear to resemble mushroom stones but are referred to by tour guides as phallic stones.

    According to archaeologist Gordon F. Ekholm, in a letter to my father, Maya archaeologist Stephan F. de Borhegyi, that archaeologists Marion and Harry Tschopik found what they described as mushroom stones in the general fill at this Late Inca site on the shore of Lake Titicaca. One very interesting note about these ruins is that there is an Inca legend of White Men with beards who inhabited the shores of Lake Titicaca,… who built a great city, 2000 years before the time of the Incas. (Ekholm to Borhegyi, March 12, 1953, Borhegyi Archives, MPM)

    My study was inspired by a theory first proposed over fifty years ago by my father, the late Maya archaeologist Dr. Stephan F. de Borhegyi, that hallucinogenic mushroom rituals were a central aspect of Maya religion. He based this theory on his identification of a mushroom stone cult that came into existence in the Guatemala Highlands and Pacific coastal area around 1000 B.C. along with a trophy head cult associated with human sacrifice and the Mesoamerican ballgame. He supported this theory with a solid body of archaeological and historical evidence.

    Without doubt early man noticed the likeness of certain mushrooms to a human penis. This association could have led them to draw metaphors with fertility and birth. According to Mexican mythology, Quetzalcoatl created mankind and he did so from the blood he drew from his penis in the underworld. The photo of the tallest and most noticeable monument shown above appears to have a U-shaped cleft resembling the meatus of a penis. It could equally be Identified, however, as a well known Mesoamerican symbol of a portal or entrance into the underworld. I would argue that these stone statues actually represent mushrooms, some of which appear to have been ritually decapitated.

    Ethno-mycologist Robert Gordon Wasson writes…

    “If I were to postulate the nature of a mushroomic cult, it would be of an erotic or procreative character. Sahagun says that the narcotic mushroom incita a la lujuria,– excites lust. He described it in a dancing scene where it is eaten.” (Wasson to Borhegyi 3-27-1953)

    There is also plenty of evidence of a trophy head cult in the archaeological record of South America. According to Andean researcher Christina Conlee (Texas State University) large numbers of decapitated heads or so-called trophy heads have been found in archaeological excavations in the area of Peru. At the archaeological site of Tihaunaco not far from Lake Titicaca, several dozen decapitated bodies were found in a burial arranged in a geometric layout, buried along side drinking vessels(Soma?)suggesting the act of ritual sacrifice.

    • Priyank says:

      Hey Carl,
      Thankyou for further explanation on this topic. I am always fascinated by archeology and how there are multiple interpretations of a discovery. All the best.