Jakar Dzong

Landmark in Bhutan

Jakar Yugyal Dzong, commonly known as Jakar Dzong, is situated on a ridge above the Jakar village of Chamkhar Valley in Bumthang.

There are different accounts of the origin of the Dzong. Some believe that the Dzong was built by Lam Ngagi Wangchuk (1517 - 1554) who came to Bhutan to spread the teachings of the Drukpa Kagyupa Buddhist order. It is said that a white bird perched on where Jakar Dzong was situated. This is considered an auspicious sign. According to the oral legend, a group of Lamas and elders were considering moving a fort, which was situated, at the eastern site of the Bumthang Valley. As they are sitting down to discuss, a bird, presumed to be the king of geese rose into the air and rested on a spur. The location was subsequently chosen for the present location of Dzong.

Thrice the Tibetan army attacked the Dzong. In the 17th century, the ruler of Tsang in Tibet, Phuntsho Namgyel, sent an army twice to destroy Zhabdrung. In 1679, the previously defeated chieftain of Bumthang Chokhor raised a Tibetan army and attacked the Dzong. The defenders sought the help of the protecting deities, Choe Chhong Chamdal Sum. The prayer was answered when the gun mounted on the sills, the legend says, aimed itself towards the enemy camp and fired all by itself, killing two important Tibetan commanders. Since this victory, the Dzong came to be known as Jakar Thobgyal (gyal-vicoty).

The third invasion happened under the reign of the 3rd Desi, Minjur Tempa. The difficult battle was only won with the additional arrival forces under Lam Ngawang Rabten. After this victory, the Dzong was renamed as ’jakar yugyal Dzong’ meaning Victorious Fortress of the White Bird. The name jakar and Yugyal were later merged to form the name Jakar Yugyal Dzong.