Jakar Dzong

Castle of the White Bird

Author: TG Contributor
Date: 2020-08-04

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Jakar Dzong also called Jakar Yugyal Dzong, is the dzong or fortress of the Bumthang District in central Bhutan. It is located on a ridge above Jakar town in the Chamkhar valley of Bumthang. The name Jakar is derived from the word bjakhab, meaning "white bird", in reference to Jakar's foundation myth, according to which a roosting white bird signaled the proper and auspicious location to found a monastery around 1549. The “Castle of the White Bird” dominates the Chamkhar valley and overlooks Jakar town.

It is built on the site of an earlier temple established by the Ralung hierarch Yongzin Ngagi Wangchuk (1517–1554) when he came to Bhutan. Jakar Dzong may be the largest dzong in Bhutan, with a circumference of more than 1,500 metres. Constructed in 1549, by the Tibetan Lam Nagi Wangchuk, the Dzong played an important role as the fortress of defense of the whole eastern Dzongkhags. It also became the seat of the first king of Bhutan.

Jakar Dzong

Jakar Dzong

A special feature of the Dzong is the approximately fifty meters high Utse or the Central tower, which is distinct from most other Dzongs in Bhutan. The other unique feature of the Dzong is a sheltered passage, with two parallel walls, interconnected by fortified towers, which gave the population of the fortress access to water in the case of a siege. The protected water supply is still intact to this day.

It serves as a district headquarters for the district. It also serves as the center for monastic body of the disc torch and houses ancient sacred relics. There is no entry fee to visit here. Please be mindful of worshipers and dress respectfully while visiting here.




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