Elevation 1,600 meters
The seat of the Mongar District, the town of Mongar is considered the primary hub for trade and travel in eastern Bhutan.
The road approaching Mongar is one of the most awe-inspiring in the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon, passing over high cliffs and going through verdant forests. On clear days, travelers can even catch a glimpse of Gangkhar Puensum (7541 meters), the highest mountain in Bhutan and considered as the world’s highest unclimbed mountain.
Main attractions in Mongar include:
Mongar Dzong - Located on a small gently sloping area just above the town, Mongar Dzong demonstrates how traditional Bhutanese architecture has continued to thrive through the centuries.
Zhongar Dzong - The ruins of Zhongar Dzong remain to this day--a testimony to the masterful skill of its builders, most notably the renowned master craftsman, Zowo Balip. Constructed in the 17th century, the Dzong is believed to have been built at a site where the master architect Zow Balip saw a white bowl.
Dramitse Lhakhang - Dramitse Lhakhang is one of Bhutan's most significant sacred sites. The Dramitse Ngacham or the “Dance of the Drums of Dramitse,” was created in this lhakhang in the 16th century and has become a popular dance performed at all major festivals in Bhutan. The dance has been recognized by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible cultural heritage of the world.
For souvenirs, Mongar is well-known for its weavers and textiles and fabrics produced here are considered some of the best in the country. Locally produced lemon grass essential oil can also be purchased from shops.
The best accommodation in Mongar is the Wangchuk Hotel, with amenities such as a restaurant and bar, business centre, conference hall, and health club and the hair salon.
Other options are the Druk Zhongar Hotel, Druk Zom Hotel, Zhongar Lodge, Dolma Hotel, Samling Hotel, Sonam Hotel and Tashiling Hotel.
For restaurants, the best are those at the Wangchuk and Druk Zhongar hotels, which offer multi-cuisine menus. The restaurant at Newlee Hotel is a focal point for Mongar's social life.
Other restaurants include Dena Restaurant, Doegen Jamtso Pizza Hut. Phunsum Bakery and Sonam Restaurant & Bar.