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People in f Nepal

Nepal, the Ethnic Mosaic Of People and Places
Nepal is not only amazing for its natural contrasts - the landscape changes from sweltering jungles to icy heights within a distance of 100 km but visitors will also notice that the kingdom's inhabitants are equally diverse, representing a fascinating assembly of ethnic, racial and physiognomic ling strains. The topography of the country, with its people who deify the imposing mountains that divide them, and sanctify the fertile rivers that untie them. The encounter of the aboriginal peoples of the Nepal Himalaya with these imposing mountains and sacred rivers, as well as with one another, was the beginning of it all.

This dramatically beautiful and soon became a meeting ground for different races and cultures. It attracted and sheltered waves on waves of migration from all directions. Nepal's ethnography and history tell us of the vicissitudes of this encounter. The culture and heritage of Nepal is a resume of all the positive achievements of this encounter.

It appears that the original inhabitants of these regions were probably the Austic peoples who had racial and linguistic affinities with the ancient peoples such as the Kols, the Bhils, the Snathals, The Nagas, and others of Assam and Bihar of India. The Nepal Himalaya can be found in the Chepangs, The Hayus, the Vrahmus, the Statrs, and possibly the Tharus. It is quite likely that they had migrated to Nepal from the northeast -the seat of India's eastern aboriginals who were inhabiting these parts earlier than the arrival of the Rig- Vedic Aryans in India.

But the southward migration of nomadic mongoloid peoples does not seem to have taken place in one single wave. This is obvious from the existence of at least three distinct strata of ethnic and linguistic data on the Mongoloid peoples of Nepal. The first wave of mongoloid migration can be traced in the peoples who speak pronominal zed languages, the wave which must have confronted the Austric inhabitants of the Himalayan Valleys and Basins and absorbed their influences.

A later wave of northern migration seems to comprise the Mongoloids whose languages are not pronominalized and who do not show any Austric traces either in their languages or in their physiognomy. They probably include the Gurugngs and Magars of western Nepal, and certain sections of the Newars and the Tamangs of central Nepal.

A much more recent wave of migration across the Himalaya is represented by the distinctly Tibeto- Himalayans, people like the Sherpas and the Dolpos- in all likelihood crossing the Himalaya only after Tibet's Conversion to Buddhism in the mid- seventh century. Although it is not possible to present these migrations in terms of absolute chronology, it is almost certain that both Austic And Mongoloid peoples were inhabiting the Nepal Himalaya before the arrival of either the Indo- Aryans In the valley of kathmandu, or the Khasas from the west or the Mediterranean type Aryans who, on their arrival in the 12th century AD, brought with them Hindu religion and social values to the western hills of Nepal.

Definite evidence of this is the inscribed memorial Pillar at Lumbini Which was erected by the emperor Ashoka (269-332BC)in commemoration of his pilgrimage. Stupa- worship was a form of Buddhism which flourished when gospel of the Buddha was passing from the phase of historical Buddha to the to the phase of the mythic Buddha. What is almost certain is that the Lichhavis came to the Kathmandu valley around the first century Ad. That there were several flourishing Buddhist Monasteries in the valley in the mid- seventh century is obvious from (king Amshuvarma's) Harigaon inscription (608 AD), which mentions some monasteries by name as well as from contemporary accounts of Chinese travelers Hsuan- tsang.

The Lichhavis brought with them Hindu cults to the valley such as an ardent from of Vishnu-worship and the cult of Shiva. It was the Lichhavis who brought the Sanskrit languages and Gupta script to Nepal and perhaps a class of priests and scribes who specialized in both. Later, when the dynasty was established in Nepal, the Lichhavis appear to have brought other forms of Hindu worship as well.

The ethnic, linguistic and cultural infiltration of Indic elements had started in the Kathmandu Valley long before it did elsewhere in Nepal. It certainly started before the Khasas or the Mediterranean type Hindu immigrants began to arrive in the western Hills. With the arrival of Lichhavis also arrived Nepal's first historical kings. The aryanization of the valley becames only more and more intense thereafter. With each new ruling dynasty came its own from of worship. The pantheon of the valley begain to bulge with Mahayana Buddhist gods as well as tantric cults of vajrayana. The Hindus Shakta cults penetrated the Buddhist cosmos. Wave up on wave of immigrants brought with them diverse social, cultural and religious influences to bear upon the local society.

As far as the respective of Kathmandu valley society was concerned, three seemed, there seemed to be no limit for absorbing anything. It is this capacity to absorbed and then transform which seemed to characterize the culture and society of the valley. As long as this respective was retained, the confluences of peoples, worships, practices, and beliefs seemed to flower - transforming the valley into a museum like fantasy erected with in the Buddhist- Brahmini cal religious and social set-up.

The process at work in the valley of Kathmandu for nearly two thousands years is perhaps what cultural - historians mean when they talk about "Neplease genius for cultural synthesis" or the "cultural symbiosis" that Nepal has achieved. The cultural framework that involved either in Kathmandu valley or in the Khasa kingdom of the western hills may be local, but they did certainly transcend the fram work of the tribe as for religion, except for the places where there has been contract with Lamaist Buddhism and with Bonpo, most of Nepal's tribal peoples follow one or the other version of Shamanism, with Jhankris and sorcerers as their priests. When traveling across the country, therefore, it is not only a scenic trip. Be prepared to meet all kinds of people. You will be marveled by their ever smiling faces and the great hospitality that they are all renowned about.