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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best Time: March - May, September - November Read More

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"Jakar, the one-street town"

Jakar Tourism

Nestled at the foothills of Choekhor Valley, Jakar is the largest and the most beautiful valley in Bumthang. It is popularly known as "Little Switzerland". Jakar is the principal administrative town of the district of Bumthang.

Bumthang consists of four valleys - Tang, Ura, Choekhor and Chumey, out of which Choekhor is the largest and considered the most beautiful. Jakar is a small one-street town that lies at the foothill of this very valley. Being surrounded by tree-lined mountain ranges, dotted with monasteries and Dzongs, it proves to be a treat for both history buffs and nature-lovers. This town was formed by the group of villages below the Jakar Dzong.

The name 'Jakar' means 'white bird' and is named after the foundation legend of the district Dzong. It offers several historical and sacred sites to visit and is considered to be the point of origin of Buddhism in Bhutan. Along with fulfilling the historian's appetite, Jakar also provides a visual treat in terms of the picturesque backdrop that it is set in.

It is also an ideal place to stay as there are various options available for excursions from Jakar to places like the Ura Village and the other valleys in Bumthang. This further opens up doors for other activities like trekking and mountain biking. About the weather in Jakar, the strong winds make the place too cold during winters; hence, the best time to visit Jakar is from March to May.

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Brewery and Cheese factory

An interesting activity near Jakar is the production of Swiss cheese and unfiltered Weiss beer. Swiss brandy,honey and marmalade can also be found here. These two places are quite interesting to visit and are in fact owned by the same Swiss national who owns the Swiss Guest House.

At the brewery, one can witness the process which results in unfiltered Weiss beer. Apple cider and wine are also available. Since it is not brewed every day, prior calling and confirmation have to be done. The cheese factory offers not just an insight into the cheese-making process but also offers a variety of cheeses to buy and also produces apple brandy and clover honey.

Origin Point of Buddhism

Bhutan is dominated by followers of Buddhism.What is a lesser known fact is that Jakar is the town which first saw the light of Buddhism. Upon the invitation of the Indian King Sindhu Raja, Guru Rinpoche visited Jakar. Subsequently, the King turned Buddhist.Hence Jakar is cited as the birth place of Buddhism in Bhutan and is particularly important for Vajrayana Buddhism as well. Pema Lingpa, an accomplished and respected teacher of this school of Buddhism was also born in this region.

Religion of Jakar

Mostly, Buddhism is practised in the region. Jakar is said to be where Buddhism first found its footing in Bhutan.

Language of Jakar

Language of administration and instruction is Dzongkha, the national language. Bumthangka and Brokkat are also spoken. English may be understood in urban centres.

History of Jakar

Jakar was the first place in Bhutan that Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) visited. It is also the region where Pema Lingpa, an accomplished and respected teacher of Vajrayana form of Buddhism was born.

Nightlife in Jakar

There aren't that many options as far as nightlife goes. However, one could try their hand at singing at Hangout Karaoke in Chamkhar. ( Open from 9:00 to 23:00 on Mondays,Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 to 12:00 on Fridays and Saturdays, Sunday 9:00 to 11:00 and closed on Tuesdays).

Shopping in Jakar

Jakar is very famous for it's distinct and bright coloured wool known as yethra, out of which one could hope to find bags, rugs and garments. These are well-known throughout the Kingdom. There are also other souvenirs such as wood carvings and yak cheese. Jakar town has a number of small shops from which one could collect some memorable items.

Best Time to Visit Jakar

Commuting within Jakar

Jakar Photos

Jakar, Bhutan

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FAQs on Jakar

What is famous about Jakar?

Presence of many monasteries and sacred sites

What is not so good about Jakar?

Not as accessible as other cities in Bhutan

What is the best time to visit Jakar?

March-May during Spring is the best time to visit Jakar Valley, when the flora and fauna are at their best along with the pretty Rhododendrons at higher altitudes. It is also a good season for trekking. Rain approaches only in May. September-November denotes the season of Autumn which is a beautiful time of the year with temperatures being comfortable and just right. It is the season of a number of festivals all over the country but of particular significance to Jakar is the festival of Jakar Tsechu held in Jakar Dzong. Summer in Bhutan (June - August) isn't that warm and uncomfortable. It is characterised by spells of rain but adequate planning can eliminate problems. Winter (December - February) temperatures can vary from 0-7 degrees Celcius and may go even lower. Nights could get pretty cold and the evenings slightly windy. This makes Jakar a very cold place in winter. Trekking doesn't remain an option as routes might become impassable due to snow. One could spot some stray Black Necked Cranes who migrate to Central Bhutan in winter.
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What is the local food in Jakar?

Buckwheat is eaten mainly in Bumthang and Buckwheat House, near Jakar Lhakhang, offers 'Bumthang Indigenous Organic food' such as puta (noodles),Khuli (pancake),jangbali (pasta) among other dishes.

Alcohol beverages include ara, bangchang, singchang and changkoe.

For authentic taste of Bhutanese cuisine, one could visit the following restaurants:
Sonar Yangkhel and Sunny Restaurant (both in Jakar)
Noryang Restaurant and Bar (opposite Wangdicholing Palace).

For those bored of Bhutanese food, the following might provide some respite:
Himalayan Pizza (Jakar)
Cafe Perk (Jakar)
Bumthang Pizza (near Jakhar Lhakhang).

Chugo is a special type of hard, chewy cheese that is found and relished by the locals in this region.

Read more about Traditional Bhutanese Dishes

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What is the best way to reach Jakar?

One will find a few conveyance options (such as bus) to the district of Bumthang in general and may have to transfer to Jakar by cab/car.
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What are the things to do in Jakar?

The top things to do in Jakar are Jakar Dzong, Khurjey Lhakhang, Jambey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, Wangdicholing Palace, Chakhar Lhakhang. You can see all the places to visit in Jakar here

What are the places near Jakar?

The top places near to Jakar are Punakha which is 84 km from Jakar, Thimpu which is located 108 km from Jakar, Paro which is located 131 km from Jakar, Trongsa which is located 23 km from Jakar, Bumthang which is located 10 km from Jakar

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