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... the Land of Mystical Splendor !

Bhutias are the people of Tibetan origin. They migrated to Sikkim perhaps somewhere after the fifteenth century. In Northern Sikkim, where they are the major inhabitants, they are known as the Lachenpas and Lachungpas. The Bhutia Language spoken by the  Sikkimes Bhutias is a dialect of the Tibetan language. Their villages are as large as those compared to those of Lepchas. A Bhutia house called "Khin" is usually of rectangular shape.                                                                                                                                    


Lachenpas & Lanchunapas
These communities live in some of the inner dry valleys of northern Sikkim, mainly in the Lanchung and Lachen chu valleys. The conditions are extremely severe and these valleys are separated from each other by almost impassable high mountains. The main settlement is at Lanchung and the principal summer pastures are Mome Samdong and Yumthang.

The people are nomadic shepherds who migrate from one place to another with their animals. The main sources of livelihood for these communities are animal husbandry and trade.


Lachenpas and Lachungpas have their own traditional legal system called “Dzumsa” (meaning meeting place of the people) headed by “Pipon” (Village headman). Even with the abolishing of Mondal Systems (A system where village headman called Mondal collects revenue from public and submits to government and also settles minor disputes) in other parts of Sikkim and coming up of Panchayeti system, the Dzumsa of North Sikkim has been given full protection by the government by deeming a status of Panchayet ward and the Pipon, a status of Panchayet. The Bhutia aristocrats are called Kazis and they were the part of Chogyal government before 1975 when Sikkim state was an independent Kingdom.

The Bhutia traditional dress called “Bakhu” which is a loose cloak type garment that is fastened at the neck on one side and near the waist with a cotton belt. Male members put ‘Bakhu’ with a loose trouser. The ladies use ‘Bakhu with a silken full sleeve blouse called “Honju” a loose gown type garment fastened near the waist tightly with a belt. In the front portion they tie a loose sheet of multi coloured woolen cloth made of special design. This is called “Pangdin” and is a symbol of a married woman. The ladies are very fond of heavy jewelry made of pure gold.

Bhutias usually take rice with animal fat fried vegetables or meat. The other foods are “Momo”(steamed samosa with meat inside) and Thukpa (Noodles). “Zhero” and “Khabzay” are beautiful salty tusks prepared from flour during the festivals like Losar/Loosong.

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| Monasteries & Chortens | Of Mist & Clouds | Ride On The Historic World Heritage Train | Monasteries Of Sikkim | Monastics & Ascetics | The Buddhist Lamas | The Kazi Bhutias | The Lachenpas & Lachungpas | A Pilgrimage To Pemayangtse

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