This beautiful valley encapsulates a rich culture, Sceni beauty and hundreds of mythis and legends. People often call “Mine Switzerland”. The drive from Trongsa to Jakar may only take about two hours but the change in scenery is dramatic.
It is the straightest section of the entire length of the road from Paro in the West to Trashigang in the East - a distance of about 610 Kilometres.
The hills around Jakar are filled with monasteries dedicated to Padmasambhava who Is said to have cured an ailing ruler and introduced Buddhism to the valley. Bumthang is also home to one of the great Buddhist teachers, Pemalingpa, to whose descendants the present dynasty traces Its origins. Jambay Lhakang and Jakar Tshechu are host to one of the most spectacular festivals in October each year when on one evening of the festival, the monastery is lit by a fire dance to bless infertile women with children.
Places of Interest
Jakar Dzong, 'The Fortress of the White Bird' - It was initially built as a monastery in 1549. The Dzong is now used as administrative center for Bumthang Valley and houses the regional monk body.
Jambay Lhakhang - It is sacred monastery built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo.
Kurjey Lhakhang - This is another sacred monastery which comprises three temples. These three temples are surrounded by a wall owith 108 choetens.
Tamshing Lhakhang - This Lhakhang is located opposite Kurjey Lhakhang on the other side of the river, it was founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa. The temple was restored at the end of the 19th century.
Mebar Tsho - or the burning lake is one of Bhutan's sacred pilgrimage sites where sacred scriptures hidden by Guru Padmasambhava in 8th century was recovered by Terton Pema Lingpa in 15th century.
Tangbi Goenpa - This Goenpa is half hour walk north of Kurjey Lhakhang. It eas founded in 1470 by Shamar Rinpoche of the Kagyu religious school.
Ura Valley - This valley is believed to be the earlist inhabited place in Bhutan. The road to Ura climbs to an amazingly open countryside.
Ngang Lhakhang - This Lhakhang is located 100m above the valley floor. It was built in 15th century by Lama Namkha Samdup. A three-day festival with masked dances is held here each winter to honour the founder of the Lhakhang.