BUMTHANG/JAKAR – The Land of Temples
Bumthang is a complex of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor where JAKAR DZONG is located, Tang and Ura. Bumthang is also a name which echoes a magic charm in the whole of Bhutan. The dark forests grow and mysterious waters flow, hiding parts of the history of Bhutan and strange legends. it is a land graced by many temples and monasteries built along the centuries by famous religious saints such as Pema Lingpa, Guru Rimpoche and Longchen Rabjampa.
JAKAR DZONG was first built in the 16th century AD. This Dzong was destroyed in 1897, by an earthquake and by fire. It was totally rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century. Perched on a ridge in the centre Choekhor valley, it houses the headquarters of the Bumthang district.
JAMBEY LHAKHANG is believed to have been built in 659 on the same day as Kyichu Lhakhang near Paro by a Tibetan king. The central figure of the lhakhang is Jampa, the Buddha of the future. Later there was added more temples. The temple was visited by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang.
KURJEY LHAKHANG is named after the body print of Guru Rimpoche which is preserved in a cave inside the oldest of the three buildings. The first temple was built in 1652 by the Trongsa penlop. The third building is a new lhakhang built by the Queen Mother Ashi Kesang Wangchuk in 1990.
The last valley in central Bhutan, Ura Valley, is also the highest in Bumthang. Ura village and its new monastery are a charming stop before the climb to the east.