Bhutan Cross Country Cultural and Festivals Itinerary

Day 9 — {date9}

Drive to Jakar

Chili peppers Bhutan
Chili peppers dry on a farmhouse roof near Jakar Dzong, Bhutan.
Walking the paths through villages finds new friends around every corner.
Hot to Trot! Pilgrims and other Buddhists run between infernos seeking absolution. (Photo by Sue Encherman - 2015 Tour Participant)
The sleepy town of Jakar, referred to by the locals as Bumtang, is split by an ancient trade route that is now the National Highway.
Intricately painted festival drum rattles.

Domkhar to Jakar: In the early morning, just an hour’s drive from Domkhar, we will stop at the local Yathra (cloth) handicraft co-op outlet, the best place to buy authentic Bhutanese souvenirs. Then on to Jakar where we check into our hotel and then go to the first day of the Thangbi Mani festival (AKA Fire Festival) at the Thangbi Monastery, built in 1470. On this day monks will set fire to two huge haystacks and pilgrims will run between the conflagrations seeking purification of sins and blessings of local deities. Thousands of Bhutanese turn out for this festival (and very few tourists) and with your personal guide at your side you can spend several hours roaming the grounds interacting with families dressed in their finest ghos and kiras, roam the "Flea Market" of blue-tarp tents shopping for souvenirs, and try your hand at the carnival-like gambling tents where even red-robed monks throw darts and play card games.

  1. Jakar Dzong
  2. Jambay Lhakhang
  3. Wangdu Choling Palace
  4. Beer/Cheese Factory (also full liquor store.)
  5. Kurjey Lhakhang
  6. Tamshing Lhakhang
  7. Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery
  8. Roam the main street of Jakar and its many shops
  9. Take the 30-minute walk than connects two temples by way of a footpath over a foot suspension bridge.  Begin a mile past the beer/cheese factory.

Masks Bhutan
It has taken 14 years and 27 tours to find and then gain access to photo ops like this.
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Background image: detail of Bhutanese temple window.

Bhutan window