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Jakar

3.2 / 5 15 votes

Country rank: 4 out of 14 Places To Visit In Bhutan

Sub-Region: Bumthang District


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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 the Choekhor Valley, the largest and most beautiful valley in Bumthang, Jakar is richly sprinkled with not just history and religion but also abundant natural beauty. Being surrounded by tree-lined mountain ranges, it proves to be a treat for both history buffs and nature-lovers.

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 two-street town that lies at the foothill of this very valley and would prove to be of much interest to those with a liking for history and those having a keen interest in religion as well. This town is 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 a number of 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 from Jakar there are many options available for excursions to places like the Ura Village and the other valleys in Bumthang which further open up doors for other activities.

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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 also available. Since it is not brewed everyday, prior calling and confirmation has 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.

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.

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

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

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.

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).

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.

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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Holidify's Opinion

  What's Great?

Presence of many monasteries and sacred sites

  What's not so Great?

Not as accessible as other cities in Bhutan

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How 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. (Read More)

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