Best Things to Do in Jakar,Things to Do in Jakar,Nomad Festival,Best Time to Visit Jakar,How to Get to Visit Jakar,Where to Eat in Jakar,Where to Stay in Jakar

17th July 2024

13 Best Things to Do in Jakar on Your Next Bhutan Trip (2023)

Are you curious to uncover the best things to do in Jakar? If so, we’ve got an exciting adventure in store for you! In this blog post, we’ll be taking you on a journey to discover the splendor of Jakar Dzong, a magnificent fortress monastery nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Bhutan.

From our past experience of leading group trips here, we can assure you that Jakar Dzong is a place that will leave you in awe. The moment you set foot in this architectural masterpiece, you’ll be transported back in time, immersing yourself in the rich heritage of the region.

Get ready to witness traditional mask dances during religious festivals and soak in the panoramic views of the picturesque Bumthang Valley. Trust us, you won’t want to miss this captivating experience!

5 Facts about Jakar

  • Jakar is a small town located in the Bumthang District of Bhutan.
  • It is often referred to as the “Switzerland of Bhutan” due to its scenic beauty and resemblance to the European country.
  • Jakar is famous for its historic Jakar Dzong, a fortress that dates back to the 17th century.
  • The town is a popular destination for trekking enthusiasts, offering stunning trails and breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys.
  • Jakar is known for its vibrant festivals, with the Jambay Lhakhang Drup being one of the most important annual events in the region.

Best Things to Do in Jakar

1. Jambey Lhakhang

Best Things to Do in Jakar,Things to Do in Jakar,Nomad Festival,Best Time to Visit Jakar,How to Get to Visit Jakar,Where to Eat in Jakar,Where to Stay in Jakar

Tucked away in the heart of Bumthang, Jambey Lhakhang is an ancient temple that dates back to the 7th century. Stepping into its sacred grounds, you’ll be transported to a realm of spiritual serenity.

Adorned with colorful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze, this revered site exudes an aura of tranquility. Explore the temple’s unique architecture, characterized by intricate woodwork and traditional Bhutanese design.

Immerse yourself in the rhythm of daily religious rituals, where the soothing chants of resident monks create an atmosphere of deep introspection.

  • Location: Central Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Ancient temple, spiritual serenity, intricate woodwork

2. Jakar Dzong

Jakar Dzong

Perched majestically atop a hill, Jakar Dzong, also known as the “Castle of the White Bird,” offers a captivating glimpse into the region’s history.

As you ascend the stone steps leading to the fortress, you’ll be greeted by the magnificent sight of its whitewashed walls and ornate golden roofs against a backdrop of sweeping valley views.

Step inside the dzong to discover a world of artistry and devotion. Marvel at the intricate wall paintings, or thangkas, that adorn the halls, depicting mythological tales and Buddhist teachings.

Explore the inner courtyards, where the echoes of the past resonate, and let the serene ambiance transport you to a bygone era.

  • Location: Jakar, Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Majestic fortress, sweeping valley views, intricate wall paintings

3. Khurjey Lhakhang

Khurjey Lhakhang

Nestled amidst the verdant valleys and rolling hills of Bumthang, Khurjey Lhakhang is a hidden gem that holds a special place in Bhutan’s cultural heritage.

This sacred temple, dedicated to the great Guru Rinpoche, is believed to possess mystical powers that can grant wishes to those who visit with pure intentions. As you enter the temple, you’ll be captivated by the serene ambiance and the delicate aroma of incense that hangs in the air.

Take a moment to marvel at the stunning frescoes that adorn the walls, depicting intricate scenes from Buddhist mythology. Sit in quiet contemplation, feeling the spiritual energy that emanates from every corner, and witness the devout locals engaging in their daily rituals.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Hidden gem, cultural heritage, mystical powers

4. Tamshing Lhakhang

Tamshing Lhakhang

Nestled amidst a forest of towering cypress trees, Tamshing Lhakhang is a sanctuary of spiritual wisdom and artistic excellence. Founded in the 15th century, this temple is home to a community of monks who devote their lives to studying, meditation, and preserving Bhutanese traditions.

As you step into the hallowed halls, the flickering light of butter lamps illuminates the ancient murals that adorn the walls, depicting the life and teachings of Guru Rinpoche.

Participate in a meditation session guided by the resident monks and allow the serene atmosphere to envelop your senses, transporting you to a state of inner peace.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Spiritual sanctuary, artistic murals, meditation sessions

5. Wangdicholing Palace

Wangdicholing Palace

A testament to Bhutan’s royal history, Wangdicholing Palace stands as a magnificent architectural masterpiece in the heart of Bumthang Valley. Built-in the 19th century, this grand palace served as the summer residence of Bhutan’s first and second kings.

As you wander through the palace’s opulent rooms, adorned with intricate Bhutanese artwork and royal artifacts, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the country’s rich heritage.

Explore the palace museum, which showcases a fascinating collection of royal relics, including clothing, weaponry, and personal belongings of the royal family.

As you stand on the palace grounds, take a moment to appreciate the tranquility of the surroundings and imagine the whispers of history echoing through the corridors.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Royal palace, Bhutanese artwork, historical relics

6. Ogyen Choling Palace Museum

Ogyen Choling Palace Museum

Nestled amidst pristine nature, Ogyen Choling Palace Museum offers a captivating journey into the aristocratic past of Bhutan. This well-preserved palace, dating back to the 18th century, provides a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of Bhutanese nobility.

Wander through the beautifully adorned rooms, filled with antique furniture, exquisite textiles, and intricate murals that depict scenes from Bhutanese mythology and daily life.

Immerse yourself in the stories and legends that unfold within these walls, gaining insight into the cultural tapestry that has shaped Bhutan’s identity.

As you explore the palace’s grounds, surrounded by fragrant gardens and towering trees, let the tranquility of the setting transport you to a bygone era of elegance and grace.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Historical palace, aristocratic lifestyle, exquisite artwork

7. Mebar Tso

Mebar Tso

Nestled amidst the pristine beauty of Bumthang Valley, Mebar Tso is a tranquil lake that enchants visitors with its serene ambiance and breathtaking surroundings.

Surrounded by lush greenery and snow-capped mountains, this picturesque lake offers a perfect retreat for nature lovers and solitude seekers. Take a leisurely stroll along its shores, feel the cool breeze caressing your face, and listen to the soothing sounds of nature.

Whether you choose to sit quietly and meditate or embark on a refreshing boat ride, Mebar Tso will leave an indelible impression on your soul.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and autumn for pleasant weather
  • Famous For: Tranquil lake, scenic beauty, solitude

8. Bumthang Owl

Bumthang Owl

Nature enthusiasts and bird lovers will delight in the opportunity to spot the rare and majestic Bumthang Owl. This elusive creature, also known as the Black-necked Crane, finds refuge in the pristine wetlands and valleys of Bumthang.

As you venture into the wilderness, keep your eyes peeled for this graceful bird with its distinctive black and white plumage. Witness its elegant flight patterns and listen to its haunting calls echoing through the valleys.

The Bumthang Owl is not only a visual spectacle but also holds immense cultural significance, as it is considered a sacred bird in Bhutanese folklore.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Spot: Winter months (November to February)
  • Famous For: Rare bird species, wildlife observation, cultural significance

9. Nomad Festival: Experience The Vibrant Culture

Nomad Festival

Immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Bhutanese culture by attending the Nomad Festival in Bumthang Valley. This annual celebration brings together nomadic communities from across the country, showcasing their unique traditions, handicrafts, and folk performances.

Experience the vibrant colors of traditional costumes, savor the flavors of local cuisine, and witness thrilling horse riding and archery competitions. Engage with the friendly locals, learn about their nomadic way of life, and take part in cultural activities such as butter sculpting and yak hair weaving.

The Nomad Festival is a kaleidoscope of cultural diversity, offering an unforgettable experience that will leave you with cherished memories of Bhutan’s rich heritage.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Usually held in October
  • Famous For: Nomadic culture, traditional performances, cultural activities

10. Lhodrak Kharchu Goemba

Lhodrak Kharchu

Nestled amidst the serene landscapes of Bumthang Valley, Lhodrak Kharchu Goemba is a hidden gem for those seeking spiritual solace. This secluded monastery, perched on a hilltop, offers a tranquil retreat for meditation and introspection.

The rhythmic chants of monks fill the air as you enter the sacred halls adorned with vibrant thangka paintings and ancient scriptures. Take a moment to absorb the peaceful atmosphere, engage in contemplative walks around the monastery, and immerse yourself in the teachings of Buddhism.

Lhodrak Kharchu Goemba is a sanctuary where one can find inner peace and connect with the essence of Bhutan’s spiritual heritage.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Spiritual retreat, meditation, ancient scriptures

11. Kunzangdrak Goemba

Best Things to Do in Jakar,Things to Do in Jakar,Nomad Festival,Best Time to Visit Jakar,How to Get to Visit Jakar,Where to Eat in Jakar,Where to Stay in Jakar

Perched precariously on the edge of a cliff, Kunzangdrak Goemba offers a truly awe-inspiring spiritual experience in Bumthang Valley. This sacred monastery, known for its dramatic location and architectural marvels, provides a unique opportunity to connect with the divine amidst breathtaking natural beauty.

As you navigate the narrow paths that lead to the monastery, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the valley below. Explore the ornate prayer halls, adorned with intricate murals depicting Buddhist deities, and witness the fervent devotion of the resident monks.

The serene ambiance and the magnificent backdrop of rugged cliffs make Kunzangdrak Goemba a truly unforgettable destination for spiritual seekers.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Cliffside monastery, panoramic views, ornate prayer halls

12. Chakhar Lhakhang

Chakhar Lhakhang

Deep within the enchanting landscapes of Bumthang Valley lies Chakhar Lhakhang, a sacred temple that holds immense historical and spiritual significance.

As you approach the temple, you’ll be greeted by intricate carvings and vibrant colors adorning its facade. Step inside to discover a treasure trove of religious artifacts, ancient scriptures, and ornate statues that depict revered Buddhist figures.

The serene atmosphere invites you to take a moment for quiet reflection and connect with the profound spirituality that permeates the surroundings. Chakhar Lhakhang is a testament to Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage, offering a glimpse into the country’s deep-rooted traditions and devotion.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Sacred temple, historical significance, religious artifacts

13. Kenchosum Lhakhang

Kenchosum Lhakhang

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscape of Bumthang Valley, Kenchosum Lhakhang is a hidden gem that captivates visitors with its unique blend of art, architecture, and spirituality.

The temple showcases intricate woodwork, showcasing the exemplary craftsmanship of Bhutanese artisans. As you explore the temple’s interior, you’ll be greeted by stunning murals depicting stories from Buddhist scriptures, while the soothing chants of monks create a serene ambiance.

Engage with the friendly locals, who will eagerly share the fascinating legends and myths associated with Kenchosum Lhakhang. This hidden sanctuary offers a peaceful haven where you can immerse yourself in Bhutan’s cultural richness and experience the profound sense of spirituality that defines the country.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Unique architecture, intricate woodwork, spiritual ambiance

Best Time to Visit Jakar

The best time to plan your trip is year-round. Each season offers its own unique charm and beauty, allowing you to witness the fortress-monastery in different hues and moods.

During the spring months of March to May, you’ll be greeted by vibrant blossoms and lush greenery, creating a picturesque backdrop for your exploration.

The summer season from June to August brings pleasant temperatures and occasional showers, adding a refreshing touch to your visit.

Autumn, from September to November, is a favorite among many travelers, as the valley is painted in hues of gold and orange, creating a breathtaking sight.

Finally, the winter months of December to February offer a tranquil ambiance with the possibility of snowfall, giving the dzong a serene and ethereal charm.

How to Get to Visit Jakar

1. By Air

The most convenient way to reach Jakar is by taking a domestic flight to Bathpalathang Airport in Bumthang. Bhutan’s national airline, Drukair, operates regular flights to this airport from Paro, the main international airport in Bhutan. From Bathpalathang Airport, it is a short drive to Jakar Dzong.

2. By Road

If you prefer to enjoy the scenic landscapes and take in the beauty of Bhutan along the way, you can opt for a road trip to Jakar. The journey by road from Paro or Thimphu to Jakar is approximately 8-10 hours, depending on road conditions and stops along the way.

Private taxis and hired vehicles are available for hire, and the route takes you through breathtaking mountain passes and picturesque valleys.

3. By Bus

Another option is to travel by bus from Thimphu or other major towns in Bhutan to Jakar. The Bhutanese government operates a reliable and efficient bus service that connects various destinations within the country.

While the journey may take longer compared to a private vehicle, it offers an affordable and immersive experience as you mingle with locals and fellow travelers.

Where to Stay in Jakar

  1. Jakar Village Lodge – Located in the heart of Jakar town, Jakar Village Lodge offers comfortable and cozy rooms with modern amenities. The lodge provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere, along with friendly staff who are ready to assist you during your stay. Prices start at INR 2,500 per night, making it an affordable choice for travelers.
  2. Swiss Guest House – Nestled amidst beautiful surroundings, the Swiss Guest House offers a serene retreat for travelers seeking tranquility. The guest house features well-appointed rooms with traditional Bhutanese decor, providing a blend of comfort and cultural immersion. Guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the valley from the on-site restaurant. Prices start at INR 3,000 per night.
  3. Hotel Peling – Hotel Peling is a charming boutique hotel that offers a blend of traditional Bhutanese aesthetics and modern comforts. The tastefully decorated rooms provide a cozy ambiance, while the hotel’s on-site restaurant serves delicious Bhutanese and international cuisine. Conveniently located in Jakar town, it offers easy access to nearby attractions. Prices start at INR 3,500 per night.

Where to Eat in Jakar

  • Bumthang Swiss Guest House Restaurant – Located in the heart of Jakar, the Bumthang Swiss Guest House Restaurant is renowned for its delectable Swiss and Bhutanese fusion cuisine. Indulge in dishes that harmoniously blend local flavors with Swiss culinary techniques, creating a unique gastronomic adventure.
  • 2. Taste of Bhutan Restaurant – Immerse yourself in Bhutanese flavors at the Taste of Bhutan Restaurant. Situated in Jakar, this restaurant offers a range of traditional Bhutanese dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
  • 3. Swiss Bakery and Restaurant – For a delightful breakfast or a quick snack, head to the Swiss Bakery and Restaurant in Jakar. Known for its freshly baked bread, pastries, and aromatic coffee, this cozy establishment offers a range of delectable treats.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  • Dress modestly and respectfully at religious sites.
  • Carry a jacket for cool weather.
  • Hire a local guide for insights.
  • Try local cuisine like red rice and ema datshi.
  • Respect customs and seek photo permissions.
  • Attend the Jakar Tshechu festival.
  • Explore Tang and Ura Valleys.
  • Practice responsible tourism.
  • Expect power cuts and limited internet.
  • Obtain necessary permits and permissions.

Conclusion – Best Things to Do in Jakar

In the enchanting realm of Bumthang Valley, a journey awaits that will awaken your senses and touch your soul.

From the majestic Jakar Dzong, a testament to Bhutan’s architectural brilliance and vibrant religious festivals, to the tranquil retreats of Lhodrak Kharchu Goemba and Kunzangdrak Goemba, where spirituality merges with breathtaking vistas, each experience in Bumthang is a tapestry of wonder.

Explore the royal splendors of Wangdicholing Palace and Ogyen Choling Palace Museum, delving into the opulence of Bhutanese nobility. And don’t miss the vibrant Nomad Festival, where the cultural heritage of Bhutan comes alive through music, dance, and traditional activities.

In Bumthang, nature, spirituality, history, and culture harmonize to create an unforgettable tapestry of experiences, weaving together the essence of Bhutan’s profound beauty.

Embark on this extraordinary journey and discover the hidden treasures that lie within this captivating valley.

FAQs – Best Things to Do in Jakar

What are the best things to do in Bumthang Valley?

When exploring Bumthang Valley, you must visit the majestic Jakar Dzong, immerse yourself in the spiritual retreats of Lhodrak Kharchu Goemba and Kunzangdrak Goemba, and discover the royal splendors of Wangdicholing Palace and Ogyen Choling Palace Museum. Don’t miss the vibrant Nomad Festival, where you can experience the cultural heritage of Bhutan through music, dance, and traditional activities. And of course, take time to soak in the breathtaking vistas and serene beauty of this enchanting valley.

What makes Jakar Dzong special?

Jakar Dzong, also known as the “Castle of the White Bird,” is not only a magnificent fortress-monastery but also a cultural hub. It showcases Bhutanese architectural brilliance with its intricate woodwork and ornate gateways. The dzong hosts vibrant religious festivals, where you can witness traditional mask dances and rituals. Plus, the panoramic views from the dzong offer a captivating backdrop of the rolling hills and meandering rivers of Bumthang Valley.

Are there any serene retreats in Bumthang Valley?

Absolutely! Lhodrak Kharchu Goemba and Kunzangdrak Goemba are two serene retreats that offer a peaceful sanctuary for meditation and introspection. Amidst the tranquil landscapes, you can connect with your spirituality and experience the profound sense of peace that permeates the surroundings. These retreats also provide stunning vistas of the valley, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Bumthang.

What can I expect at the Nomad Festival?

The Nomad Festival is a vibrant celebration of Bhutanese culture. You can expect traditional music and dance performances, colorful costumes, and the exciting atmosphere of horse riding competitions and archery contests. Explore the stalls filled with handicrafts and indulge in delectable local cuisine. It’s an opportunity to engage with the warm-hearted locals, who will gladly share their customs and traditions, leaving you with cherished memories of Bhutan’s vibrant cultural heritage.

How can I explore the royal splendors of Bumthang Valley?

To delve into the royal splendors of Bumthang, make sure to visit Wangdicholing Palace and Ogyen Choling Palace Museum. Wangdicholing Palace, once a summer residence for Bhutan’s kings, offers a glimpse into the country’s rich heritage through its opulent rooms and royal artifacts. Ogyen Choling Palace Museum provides an immersive experience into Bhutanese aristocracy with its antique furniture, exquisite textiles, and intricate murals.

What is the best time to visit Bumthang Valley?

Bumthang Valley is a year-round destination, each season offering its unique charm. However, if you wish to experience the vibrant Nomad Festival, plan your visit in October when the festival usually takes place. The valley is blessed with pleasant weather during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), making it an ideal time for outdoor activities and exploring the cultural and natural wonders.

Can I witness the cultural traditions of Bumthang Valley?

Absolutely! Bumthang Valley is steeped in cultural traditions. From the religious festivals held at Jakar Dzong to the traditional mask dances and rituals, you’ll have ample opportunities to witness the vibrant cultural traditions of Bhutan. Additionally, interacting with the locals, visiting monasteries, and exploring the arts and crafts scene will provide deeper insights into the rich cultural tapestry of Bumthang.
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