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Jakar Dzong

This is a bustling little one-street town in Bumthang with an abundance of restaurants and handicrafts stores. Jakar sells a good amount of chugo, a hard, chewy dried cheese snack popular among Bhutanese. Internet cafés and espresso bars have also started to make an appearance here.

The Jakar Dzong or the “Castle of the White Bird” dominates the Chamkhar valley and overlooks the town. Constructed in 1549, by the Tibetan Lam Nagi Wangchuk, the Dzong played an important role as the fortress of defence of the whole eastern Dzongkhags. It also became the seat of the first king of Bhutan.

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.