Jakar Dzong History (Jakar Yugyel Dzong)

Jakar Yugyel dzong, commonly known as the Jakar dzong is located in the capital Chamkhar valley of Bumthang, situated on a ledge above Bjakar village.

It was during this time that the younger brother of the 16th abbot of Ralung, Lam Ngagi Wangchuk (1517 – 1554) came to Bhutan to spread the teachings of the Drukpa Kayugpa order. His intentions were to construct a monastery on a rocky shelf, bordering the valley of Chamkhar.

Jakar Dzong History

It is said that, while the construction was in progress, a white bird emerged from the building site and perched where the Jakar dzong is now situated. This  was considered a good omen, and in 1549 Lam Ngagi Wangchuk built a small temple in the shape of a dzong and established a monastic center there.

This small dzong was named `Byakar Dzong’ which means the dzong of the White Bird but according to oral legend in Jakar Village, originally a small fort was built at the eastern end of the Bumthang valley, but as its position was not satisfactory from a strategic point of view, a group of Lamas, Knights and astrologers assembled for the purpose of finding more appropriate location. As they were sitting, a white bird, presumed to be the King of Geese, rose into the air and rested on a spur, which is now the present location of jakar Dzong.

Jakar dzong was the foremost seat of Yongzin Ngagi Wangchuk. There was only a small temple in the shape of a dzong during his time but was renovated and expanded later by different personalities. In the past Jakar dzong was the center of the Bumthang region. It played an important role ass the fortress of defense of the whole eastern Dzongkhags. It also became the seat of the first King of Bhutan.

A special feature of the Bjakar dzong is the approximately fifty meter high Utse, which is distinct from most other dzongs in Bhutan. This dzong has no provision for persona viewing the base perimeter of the Utse, other than walking around the outer walls of the entire dzong. This may be in part due to the earthquake of 1897. The rebuilt structure is said to be smaller than the original. Another unique feature of the Jakar 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.

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