𑚞𑚫𑚌𑚦𑚭𑚪𑚯, पंगवाड़ी
The word "Pangwali" written in Devanagari script
Native speakers
19,000 (2011)[1]
  • Killar
  • Purthi
  • Sach
  • Dharwasi
Takri, Devanagari
Language codes
ISO 639-3pgg

Pangwali (Takri: 𑚞𑚫𑚌𑚦𑚭𑚪𑚯) is a Western Pahari language of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is spoken in the Pangi Tehsil of Chamba district, and is threatened to go extinct. Pangwali is natively written in the Takri script, but Devanagari is used as well. It is very similar to the Padderi language of Padder, J&K.[citation needed]


The linguist George Abraham Grierson recorded Pangwali as a dialect of Chambeali in his Linguistic Survey of India.[2] It is now regarded as a language in its own right as a part of the Chamealic group of Western Pahari, affiliated with Chambeali, Bilaspuri, Bhadarwahi, among others.

Pangwali has about 90% inherent intelligibility with Padderi, 64% with Mandeali, 52% with Kangri, 44% with Chambeali, and 50% with Bhadarwahi. Its lexical similarity is 55% with Hindi, 77% with Kullu Pahari, and 45% with Bhadarwahi.[3]


  Bilabial Dental Alveolar Postalveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Stop voiceless p t͡ʃ ʈ k
aspirated t̪ʰ t͡ʃʰ ʈʰ
voiced b d͡ʒ ɖ ɡ
breathy d̪ʱ d͡ʒʱ ɖʱ ɡʱ
Fricative s ʃ ɦ
Approximant w l j
Flap or Tap ɾ ɽ
Front Central Back
Close i ĩ ĩː u ũ ũː
Near-close ɪ̥
Close-mid ɘ ɘː ɘ̥ ɘ̃ o
Open-mid ɛ ɛː
Near-open ɐ ɐː ɐ̃ː
Open a

Pangwali exhibits a fossilized system of vowel harmony as other languages of the area (such as Kashmiri) do. The original conditioning vowels that caused harmony have often been lost, so the system is no longer productive.[4]: 16 


Since Grierson's sketch of Pangwali, there has been only recently published a grammar of Pangwali written in Hindi by Binaya Sundar Nayak.[5] Both are referenced in this article.


Pangwali nouns have grammatical gender, with the two genders being masculine and feminine.

Case markers

Relation Marker
Instrumental बइ bai, जुए juē, बलि bali
Dative जे
Ablative केआं kēāṃ, पुटा/बुटा puṭā/buṭā, -ए
Genitive -ए


Numeral Pangwali[5] IPA[6]
1 यक yak /yak/
2 दुई duī /d̪ui/
3 टाई ṭāī /ʈai/
4 चेउर ceur /tʃɘuɾ/
5 पांच pāṃc /pandʒ/
6 छेअ chea /tʃʰea/
7 सत sat /sat/
8 आठ āṭh /aʈʰ/
9 नोउ nou /nɘu/
10 दश daś /dɘs/

Geographical distribution


The language is commonly called Pahari or Himachali. Some speakers may even call it a dialect of Punjabi or Dogri. The language has no official status. According to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the language is of critically endangered category, i.e. the youngest speakers of Pangwali are generally grandparents or older and they too speak it infrequently or partially.[7]

The demand for the inclusion of 'Pahari (Himachali)' under the Eight Schedule of the Constitution, which is supposed to represent multiple Pahari languages of Himachal Pradesh, had been made in the year 2010 by the state's Vidhan Sabha.[8] There has been no positive progress on this matter since then even when small organisations strive to save the language and demand it.[9] Due to political interest, the language is currently recorded as a dialect of Hindi,[10] even when having a poor mutual intelligibility with it and having a higher mutual intelligibility with other recognised languages like Dogri and other Western Pahari languages.

At the time of the Linguistic Survey of India, 3,701 speakers were estimated of Pangwali.[2]


Following are the dialects of the language:

  1. Killar
  2. Purthi
  3. Sach
  4. Dharwasi

Killar, being the headquarter of the Tehsil, is the dialect which is widely understood. Sach dialect is said to be the most conservative in regards to Sanskrit.[11]


Tubari Magazine[12] is a recent effort to maintain the language. The magazine uses Devanagari Script. There are other publications which generally describe the language.


Idioms in Pangwali (Takri and Devanagari Script)
𑚞𑚫𑚌𑚦𑚭𑚪𑚯 पंगवाड़ी Transliteration (Roman ITRANS) Meaning
𑚢𑚌𑚮𑚤𑚮 𑚩𑚙𑚴𑚄 𑚥𑚃 𑚠𑚮𑚧𑚰𑚘 कपा हथ लाल भ़रे magiri hatou laI bishuNa To be worrying a lot
𑚥𑚰𑚫𑚌𑚙𑚲 𑚑𑚅  𑚊𑚱𑚘 𑚥𑚌𑚴𑚨𑚲 लुंगते जऊ  कूण लगोसे luMgate jaU  kUNa lagose Getting old when young
𑛂𑛀 𑚤𑚲𑚙𑚯 𑚏𑚴𑚤𑚲, 𑛂𑛁 𑚆𑚊𑚯𑚣𑚰 𑚢𑚭𑚥𑚸𑚲 २० रेती चोरे, २१ एकीयु मालखे 20 retI chore, 21 ekIyu mAlakhe Theft/lies are always caught
𑚛𑚰𑚁𑚤𑚲 𑚛𑚰𑚁𑚤𑚲 𑚢𑚲𑚝𑚯 𑚏𑚰𑚘𑚯𑚘 दुआरे दुआरे मेनी चुणीण duAre duAre menI chuNINa To struggle a lot


  1. ^ "Scheduled Languages in descending order of speaker's strength - 2011" (PDF). Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 29 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b Grierson, George A. (1916). "Paṅgwāḷī". Linguistic Survey of India. Vol. IX Indo-Aryan family. Central group, Part 4, Specimens of the Pahāṛī languages and Gujurī. Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India.
  3. ^ Pangwali at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
  4. ^ a b c *Nayak, Binaya; Dhanujay; Rosy (2010). A write-up on Pangwali Phonology.
  5. ^ a b Binaya Sundar Nayak, Parmas (2011). G.S. Chouhan; Raj Kumar; Mahatam; Shakuntla Rana (eds.). प्रारंभिक पंगवाड़ी व्याकरण [Basic Pangwali Grammar] (in Hindi). Pangiteam.
  6. ^ Nayak, Binaya (September 5, 2018). "Pangwali, Himachal Pradesh, India". Numeral Systems of the World's Languages.
  7. ^ "Endangered languages".
  8. ^ "Pahari Inclusion". Zee News.
  9. ^ "Pahari Inclusion". The Statesman.
  10. ^ "Indian Language Census" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Introduction to Pangwali".
  12. ^ "Tubari all 2019 Editions".