Samdrup Jongkhar

Samdrup Jongkhar

Samdrup Jongkhar town has the honor of being the oldest town in Bhutan. This border town was a bustling small settlement, teeming with merchants and peddlers from across the border. The eastern gateway to Bhutan, Samdrup Jongkhar is located in the southeastern region of the country and shares a border with the Indian state of Assam. It is by far the largest urban center in eastern Bhutan. It is found at altitudes between 200 m and 3,500 m. In the past, British political officers stationed in Sikkim used the Samdrup Jongkhar route to enter Bhutan. Historically, the area was administered by Gyadrung stationed in Dewangiri. Today, the road from Trashigang to Samdrup Jongkhar, completed in the 1960s, connects the eastern and southern regions of the country. This allows them to profit from trade, especially through cross-border trade in India. Samdrup Jongkhar was once the main trading center for the Bhutanese and it remains a convenient hangout town for tourists who have arranged to visit the neighboring Indian state of Assam.

There are several tourist attractions including Mithun Cattle Farm and Samdrup Jongkhar Dzong. Mithuns are considered by many to be the best breed of cattle in Bhutan and the farm supplies farmers in the six eastern districts of this beautiful animal. Samdrup Jongkhar Dzong is one of the newest Dzong built in the country. Unlike other Dzongs built in strategic locations on mountain tops or between rivers, Samdrup Jongkhar Dzong is built on a flat and fairly large site.

Samdrup Jongkhar Dratshang, Zangdo Pelri, Local Town and Dewathang are some other important places that tourists can visit. Samdrup Jongkhar town is one of the oldest towns in eastern Bhutan and has grown gradually over the years. It was a small town bustling with merchants and hawkers coming from the neighboring Assam border to sell their wares. It is also home to the oldest cinema in the country, loved by Assamese across the border to show the Bollywood movies it screens.

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