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10miles
TIBET
(CHINA)
Tibet
GARHWAL
(INDIA)
Garhwal
Dhauliganga River
Dhauliganga
Dhauliganga River
Alakananda River
Alakananda
Alakananda River
Jahnavi River
Jahnavi
Jadh Ganga
Jahnavi River
Niti village
Niti
Niti Pass (Kiunglang La)
Niti
Pass
Mana village
Mana
Mana Pass (Chongnyi La or Dungri La)
Mana
Pass
Mana Pass (Chongnyi La or Dungri La)
Jadung/Jadhang village
Jadung
Neelang/Neylang village
Neelang
Thaga La
Thaga La
Thaga La
  
Bhot Pradesh of Garhwal
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Tibet
NEPAL
Nepal
KUMAON
(INDIA)
Kumaon
Kuthi Yankti
Kali
River
Kuthi Yankti
Gori Ganga
Gori
Ganga
Gori Ganga
Darma River
Darma /
Dhauli
Darma River
Lasser Yankti
Lasser
Yankti
Lasser Yankti
Darma River
Darma
Darma River
Kuthi Yankti
Kuthi
Yankti
Kuthi Yankti
Tinkar Khola
Tinkar
Khola
Kalapani River
Kalapani
Kalapani River
Kungribingri La
Kungribingri La
Kungribingri La
Unta Dhura
Unta Dhura
Unta Dhura
Milam
Milam
Milam
Munsyari
Munsyari
Munsyari
Askot
Askot
Askot
Dharchula
Dharchula
Dharchula
Jauljibi
Jauljibi
Jauljibi
Tawaghat
Tawaghat
Tawaghat
Gunji
Gunji
Gunji
Kuthi
Kuthi
Limpiyadhura Pass
Limpiyadhura
Kalapani village
Kalapani
Lipulekh Pass
Lipulekh
Pass
Lipulekh Pass
  
Bhot Pradesh of Kumaon

Bhotiyas are people of presumed Tibetan heritage that live along the Indo-Tibetan border in the upper reaches of the Great Himalayas, at elevations ranging from 6,500 feet (2,000 m) to 13,000 feet (4,000 m). In Uttarakhand, they inhabit seven river valleys, three in the Garhwal division (Jadh, Mana and Niti) and four in the Kumaon division (Johar, Darma, Byans and Chaudans). They follow Hinduism with Buddhism and traditionally speak West Himalayish languages related to the old Zhangzhung language. Their main traditional occupation used to be Indo-Tibetan trade, with limited amounts of agriculture and pastoralism.[1] The Indo-Tibetan trade came to a halt following the 1962 Sino-Indian war, and was resumed only in the early 1990s under state-regulated mechanisms. Their major livelihood at present is the collection of medicinal and aromatic plants in the Himalayas. Many have also migrated out of their traditional habitats to towns at lower elevations. The traditional transhumance and pastoralism have also drastically reduced.[2]

Etymology

The name, Bhotiya (also spelt "Bhotia"), derives from the word Bod (བོད་), which is the Classical Tibetan name for Tibet.[3] It was the term used by the British to refer to the borderland people, due to a presumed resemblance to the Tibetans. The Government of India continues to use the term.[4]

Bhotiyas themselves self-describe themselves as Rung. Possible etymologies of the term include the Byangko word for mountain and the Tibetan term for valley (Rang-skad = valley language).[5]

The Kumaonis refer to them as Shauka which means 'money' or 'rich'.[5]

Ethnic groups

The Bhotiyas of Uttarakhand are scattered over the seven main river valleys in the three border districts of Pithoragarh, Chamoli and Uttarkashi. The seven major Bhotiya groups in Uttarakhand are the Johari, Darmiya, Chaudansi, Byansi, Marchha (Mana Valley), Tolchha (Niti Valley) and Jadh.

Rangkas

The isolated Rangkas (Rang, Rung) tribe has a population of 600 and is found in the outskirts of the Mahakali valley. According to Ethnologue, the Rangkas are ethnically related or are of the Johar tribe.[6]

Byansis

The religion practised by the Byansis leans towards Bön-Animism, with influences from Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism.[7]

Jadh

The Jad people are Bhotiyas who lived in Nelang and Jadung valley, some were relocated to the Bhagirathi valley area after the 1960s Indo-China political conflict. The religion practiced by Jad people is Tibetan Buddhism

Rongpa

The rongpas were the major bhotiya subgroup they lives at the indo tibetan border of chamoli and rudraprayag the religion practiced by rongpas are Hinduism their Ishta Devta is Badrinath, Pandavas and Kedarnath.

Social status

As of 2001, the Uttarakhandi Bhotiyas were classified as a Scheduled Tribe under the Indian government's reservation program of positive discrimination.[8]

Population

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As per the 2011 Census, there were a total of 39,106 Bhotia in Uttarakhand with ST status. Of them, 31,916 were Hindus and 7,190 were Buddhists. The most popular languages among the Bhotia are Kumauni (13,150 speakers), Garhwali (5,765), Hindi (5,809), Bhotia (7,592), Halam (5,300) and Rongpa (481).

There were a total of 510 births in 2010, corresponding to a birth rate of 13.04 per 1,000.

See also

References

  1. ^ Chatterjee, The Bhotias of Uttarakhand (1976), p. 3.
  2. ^ Pandey, Abhimanyu; Pradhan, Nawraj; Chaudhari, Swapnil; Ghate, Rucha (2 January 2017). "Withering of traditional institutions? An institutional analysis of the decline of migratory pastoralism in the rangelands of the Kailash Sacred Landscape, western Himalayas". Environmental Sociology. 3 (1): 87–100. doi:10.1080/23251042.2016.1272179.
  3. ^ J. Murray (1851). The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London. Royal Geographical Society. p. 84.
  4. ^ Oko, A Grammar of Darma (2019), pp. 7–8.
  5. ^ a b Oko, A Grammar of Darma (2019), p. 7.
  6. ^ Ethnologue profile - Rangkas
  7. ^ Heiko Schrader (1988). Trading Patterns in the Nepal Himalayas. Breitenbach. p. 108. ISBN 3-88156-405-5.
  8. ^ "List of Scheduled Tribes". Census of India: Government of India. 7 March 2007. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2012.

Further reading