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Jakar

Country
Bhutan
State
Bhutan (General)
City
Jakar
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Jakar is a small town in the central-eastern region of Bhutan. It is the district capital of Bumthang District and the location of the regional dzong - Jakar Dzong (constructed in 1667) which is located on a ridge above the town.

The town is the site of Chakhar Lhakhang a small and unassuming temple which marks the site of the "iron palace" of Sindhu Raja, the Indian monarch who is believed to have first invited Guru Rinpoche to Bhutan. The current building is said to have been constructed by Terton Dorje Lingpa in the 14th century.   



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How to Reach

By plane

Nearly all visitors arrive via plane from Paro, the country's sole airport, a 45 minute to 1 hours drive from the capital.


Meto Transport coaster buses depart Thimphu bus station at 6:30AM daily. It is an 11 hour journey from the capital, and a one way ticket costs less than 300Nu. The bus does not make a stop until lunch time, so take snacks.
 

Key places to visit
Jakar Dzong, Wangdicholing Palace, Kurje Lhakhang, Zangtopelri Lhakhang, Tamshing Gompa, Jambey Lhakhang, Lhodrak Kharchhu Lhakhang


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Places to Visit

Jakar Dzong

The fortress was originally constructed in 1667, but rebuilt after being severely damaged in an earthquake in 1897. It is one of the largest and most impressive dzongs in Bhutan and houses the administrative and monastic offices for the Bumthang district.

Wangdicholing Palace

Built in 1857, the palace served as the principal summer residence of the first and second kings of Bhutan. It is an unassuming structure, lacking the ramparts and protective walls which became standard features of later palaces. Currently, it is unoccupied and can be visited.

Kurje Lhakhang

One of Bhutan's most sacred monasteries. A body print of Guru Rinpoche is preserved in a cave around which the oldest of the three buildings is built. The original building was constructed in 1652 by Trongsa Penlop, while the latest addition was added by the late Queen Mother Ashi Kesang Wangchuk in 1990. A huge cypress tree (or perhaps a decedent tree) that over hangs the building is said to have grown from Guru Rinpoche's walking stick.

Zangtopelri Lhakhang

Consecrated in 2008, this latest addition to the sacred sites in the area houses a two story high mandala representing Guru Rinpoche's Copper Colored Mountain. Zangtopelri is a short walk from Kuje Lhakhang.


Tamshing Gompa

A monastery established in 1501 by the local Buddhist saint Pema Lingpa. The two story building contains some lovely frescoes, and has a very low ceiling (apparently Pema Lingpa was very short!) In addition, there is 500-year-old suit of metal chain made by Pema Lingpa located on the first floor. It is considered auspicious to circumambulate the temple three times with the chain draped over the back and shoulders

Jambey Lhakhang

One of the 108 monasteries that were miraculously constructed by King Songten Gampo in one night. The monastery is located between Kurjey Lhakang and Jakar Dzong.

Lhodrak Kharchhu Lhakhang

This monastery is a more recent addition to the pantheon of monasteries in Jakar and is located above the town. The abbot, Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche, is a very highly respected teacher in Bhutan and speaks some English.

 

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