WELCOME TO SIKKIM
... 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
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.