Scheduled Tribe of Himachal Pradesh

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Scheduled Tribe of Himachal Pradesh

  • Based on 2011 Census total popultaion of India is 08 Crore out of which ST population is 10.45 Crore (8.6%).
  • The tribal communities in India are enormously diverse and heterogeneous. There are wide ranging diversities among them in respect of languages spoken, size of population and mode of livelihood.
  • The number of communities that find their place in the list of the Schedule of the Indian constitution is reflective of this diversity. The Government of India, in its Draft National Tribal Policy, 2006 records 698 Scheduled Tribes in India.
  • As per the Census of India 2011, the number of individual groups notified as Scheduled Tribes is 705.
  • Tribes of Himachal Pradesh are scattered in different parts of this state and have occupied 0.4 %percentage of India.
  • The tribal communities residing in different parts of Himachal Pradesh are sociable and by their own culture and tradition, they have marked their position in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Dancing, musical melodies, festivals, fairs etc. bore evidence to it.
  • They are by nature nomadic people and their customs and social structure make them identifiable from each other.
  • Tribes of Himachal Pradesh have taken up the occupations including rearing of cattle and also raising of wool.
  • Dresses that these tribes of Himachal Pradesh wear also are quite exquisite to look at.
  • Ttribes of Himachal Pradesh belong to the famous Indo-Aryan family group.
  • The major tribes of this region include Kinnaura Tribe, Lahaule Tribe, Gaddi Tribe and Gujjar Tribe.
  • In According to 2011 Census and Ministry of Tribal Affiars Reports the Tribal Polpulation of Himachal Pradesh
Total Population of HP


Total Population of ST in HP


Percentage of ST population in HP


% STs in the State to total ST population in India


Sex Ratio in STs (Gender Composition of Scheduled Tribe Population) 999
Literacy Rates of ST Population in State 73.6%

Scheduled Tribe of Himachal Pradesh

Total Scheduled Tribe in Himachal Pradesh that included in Constiturional List of Scheduled tribe by Government of India through President order with Name like

  1. Bhot, Bodh
  2. Gaddi
  3. Gujjar
  4. Jad, Lamba, Khampa
  5. Kanaura, Kinnara
  6. Lahaula
  7. Pangwala
  8. Swangla
  9. Beta, Beda
  10. Domba, Gara, Zoba

State  List of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups

PVTGs, currently including 75 tribal groups, have been identified as such on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Forest-dependent livelihoods,
  2. Pre-agricultural level of existence,
  3. Stagnant or declining population,
  4. Low literacy rates
  5. A subsistence-based economy.

As currently there is no tribal group of Himachal Pradesh included in PVTGs.

States List of Scheduled Areas

  • The Fifth Schedule (Aarticle 244(1)) contains provisions relating to the administration of Scheduled Areas other than in Northeast India.
  • First, areas can be designated Scheduled Areas on the order of the President, who can similarly declare that certain parts of/entire Scheduled Areas cease to be such.
  • Second, the Governor of each State having Scheduled Areas shall annually, or whenever required by the President of India, submit a report to the President regarding the administration of Scheduled Areas.
  • Currently, certain parts of nine States of the country are covered by the Fifth Schedule. The broad list of Scheduled Areas of HP is as follows:
  1. Lahaul and Spiti district
  2. Kinnaur district
  3. Pangi tehsil and Bharmour sub-tehsil in Chamba district.

Specified by the Scheduled Areas (Himachal Pradesh) Order, 1975 (Constitution Order No.102) dated 21.11.1975

Detailed Explation of Some Major Tribes of HP are as Following

The tribal communities residing in different parts of Himachal Pradesh are sociable and by their own culture and tradition, they have marked their position in the Indian subcontinent. Dancing, musical melodies, festivals, fairs etc. bore evidence to it. They are by nature nomadic people and their customs and social structure make them identifiable from each other.

The tribes of Himachal Pradesh belong to the famous Indo-Aryan family group. The major tribes of this region include Kinnaura Tribe, Lahaule Tribe, Gaddi Tribe and Gujjar Tribe.

Kinnaura Tribe, Himachal Pradesh

Total population of Kinnaura is about 0.52 lakhs and about 13% of ST population of HP.

  • Kinnaura tribes are the Scheduled tribes of the state of Himachal Pradesh and are of Mongoloid origin.
  • This tribe is also known by the name of Kinor. In the western Himalayas, this Kinnaura tribal community is found in Baspa or Sangla valley that is located in high altitude of the Kinnaur district. Other regions where these Kinnaura tribes are located include Batseri or Bosering, Rakchham and Chhitkul.
  • As per some scholars, the people of Kinnaura tribal community are the descendants of Kinners of Mahabharata. Another group holds that Kirats are the ancestors of this tribal group. The history says that the Kirats, defeated buy the Khasaas and Aryans fled away and came to inhabit in the lands of Trans Himalayan areas.
  • The family structure of the Kinnaura tribes is joint family and the notable custom of this tribal group is their marriage. According to their custom, the brothers in a family share only one wife. This kind of marriage is known as Pandava marriage in their society.
  • Though the main occupation of the Kinnaura tribes are raising wool and rearing sheep, some are also engaged in horticulture and agriculture.
  • The culture of this tribal group maintains the ethnicity and this Kinnaura tribal community is ennobled as depicted in all the elements of culture and tradition.
  • Dancing, singing, festivals and languages – all these bore witnesses of their cultural exuberance. During their occasions and festivals they consume a special kind of drink known as ‘Angoori’.
  • The language of this tribal group is known as Kinnauri language. Moreover, under the influence of the tribal communities of Indian subcontinent, this Kinnaura tribal community has developed fluency in Hindi language. Amongst this Kinnaura tribal community, there are Bhoti speakers also.
  • These Kinnaura tribes have the tradition of maintaining herds of cattle in their houses. Women of this Kinnaura tribal community are quite hardworking. Weaving is practiced mainly by the female groups of this community. This Kinnaura tribal community produces exquisite baskets and other utensils, which have got demand not only on the local markets but also in the entire nation. The women also work in fields.
  • The costumes of the male Kinnaura tribe include long coats or chubha and woolen pyjamas which are known as chamu sutan. The women wear a kind of woolen saree which is called Dhoru. They wear shoes made of goat hair and wool and capes called Bushahri.
Gaddi Tribe, Himachal Pradesh

Total Population of Gaddi tribe is about 1.78 lakhs and about 45.4% of ST population of State.

v  The concentration of these Gaddis tribes is mainly found on both sides of the Dhauladhar Range of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Quite a number of Gaddi tribes also dwell mainly in the Brahmaur region of Chamba District, in the higher regions of the Ravi River and also the valleys of the Budhil River. Other regions include Kangra district, chiefly in the villages of the Tota Rani, Khaniyara, close to Dharamsala.

v  The origin of these Gaddi tribes has a rich history behind the development of this tribal community. It has been assumed that the Gaddi tribes came down from emigrants who had taken refuge in the plain lands of Indian Territory.

v  Most of he Gaddi tribal people are the worshiper of Lord Shiva.

v  There are people of several other castes in the whole of the Gaddi tribal society namely Thakur, Khatri, Brahmin, Dhangar, Rajput, and Rana.

v  The people of this tribal community are oriented towards religion as well as spiritualism. Both the religions of Hinduism Gaddi Tribal Customs and also Islam are being practiced by a large section of the Gaddi tribal community.

v  The Indian anthropologist has duly highlighted another aspect; by nature, these Gaddi tribes are largely esteemed for their honesty, friendly disposition and peaceable life-style. Crime is almost obscure in almost all the villages of the Gaddi tribal community.

v  In general, these Gaddi tribes go with their livestock to several pastures of the upper regions of the state at the time of summer season.

v  The majority of the Gaddi tribe speaks Gaddi language. For writing, however, this Gaddi tribal community uses Takri language. However, the language had gone into oblivion only few years back. Devangiri script is in vogue. Also under the impact of the modern day culture, the Gaddi tribal people have also mastered Hindi language.


Gujjar Tribe, Himachal Pradesh

  • Gujjar tribes generally reside in Himachal Pradesh and are the descendants of the Khajar tribes.
  • Their population is about 0.93 lakh and about 23.6% of state ST share.
  • Gujjars are also known as Goojar, Gujar or Gurjara.
  • Though the proper origin of the Gujjar tribes is not known but it is said that during the time of the invasion by Hunas the Gurjara clan moved to northern India and the Himachal Pradesh.
  • Another school of thought has assumed that the Khazar tribes are ancestors of these Gujjar tribes of Himachal Pradesh. Moreover, ‘Gujjar’, the term is a derivation of the ‘Khazar’. Interestingly, the Indo-Aryan languages are devoid of the use of the sounds ‘kh’ and ‘z’, which got converted respectively into ‘g’ and ‘j’.
  • The relation of these Gujjar tribal community has also been established with other tribal communities, namely, Chechen tribes etc.
  • Cultural exuberance of these Gujjar tribal communities has nicely being depicted in several of its aspects like dancing, religious rites and customs etc.
  • This Gujjar tribal community has got inclination towards religion. Quite a handful of these Gujjar tribes have been converted to Hinduism and also Islam. Only few Gujjar tribal members are there who have adapted to other religions as well.
  • In order to carry on conversation, these Gujjar tribal community use the beautiful language of Gujari , also called Gojri. This Gujari language belongs to the famous Rajasthani language group. In the ancient times, however, Rajasthani had been the main language spoken by all the Gujjar tribal community. In the present day, due to rapid interaction with the people of the modern community, many members of this Gujjar tribal community also have developed fluency in several other Indian languages. These are namely Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi, Pashto Language, Pahari languages namely Kangri and Dogri, Dardic languages viz. Khowar and Kashmiri and Balti.
  • Following the tradition of most of the tribal communities of the Northern hilly regions of Indian Territory, this Gujjar tribal community has adapted the occupation of semi nomadic tribal community. Majority of this Gujar tribal community used to herd animals like sheep, goats and buffalo.
  • The Gujjar tribes migrate from the plains to the upper ranges of the Himachal Pradesh during the summer season. However to go hand in hand with the demands of the changing situations, many of the Gujar tribes of the contemporary period have taken various other occupations.
  • Patriarchal norms are prevalent. Gujjar males also are very much family oriented. It is the Gujjar tribal female who has had the duty and responsibility of fulfilling all the activities of the households.
  • Festivals and fairs are also part and parcel of the life of this Gujjar tribal community. Apart from celebrating all the festivals of the national significance, these Gujjar tribes too have incorporated their religious beliefs and customs.
  • Id is one of the main festivals of the Gujjar tribal society, which they fete, in great festivity and enthusiasm.

Lahaule Tribe, Himachal Pradesh

  • Lahaule tribes of Himachal Pradesh are of mixed origination and are the inhabitants of Lahaul.
  • Mostly this Lahaule tribal community is found in several regions like Lahaul Valley, Pattan, Chamba-Lahaul, and lower Mayar valleys.
  • The term ‘Lahule’ connotes the inhabitants of Lahaul. This tribal people are said to be originated from the aboriginal Munda tribe and Tibetans.
  • The language of the Lahaule tribal community is In fact there are alternative names of this language, which are popular amongst the Lahaule tribal community.
  • Manchati, Manchad, Patni, Chamba, Chamba Lahuli, Lahuli, Swangla, Changsapa Boli are some of the alternative names of their language. Apart from these, there are certain dialects of this language, which are also prevalent in Lahaule tribal groups.
  • Though the people of the Lahaule tribal community are basically agrarian, some of them are also engaged in trade. They export wheat, barley, ‘Kuth’ which is a herb, to Kolcuta.
  • Their society is ramified in upper and lower classes namely Brahmins, Thakurs, Lohars and Dagis.
  • Marriage in the same clan is allowed among the Lahaule tribal community. Just like many other tribal communities of the whole of the Indian subcontinent, this Lahaule tribal community too is oriented to religious customs and beliefs.
  • Most of the people of this community are the followers of Buddhism and they visit their main temple of worship, Trilokinath often.
  • These people prefer to wear colourful attires and ornaments which are a major part of their costumes. That the culture and the tradition of this Lahaule tribal community are quite exquisite is revealed from the fact that it has a plethora of dance forms, music, fairs and festivals.

Bhot or Bhutiya Tribal Group

  • Bhotiya or Bhot are groups of ethno-linguistically related Tibetan people living in the Transhimalayan region of the SAARC countries. The word Bhotiya comes from the classical Tibetan name for Tibet, Bod.
  • Languages- The Bhotiya speak numerous languages including The Indian recognition of such language is Bhoti/Bhotia having Tibetan scripts and it lies in the Parliament of India to become one of the official languages through Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • The Bhotiya, tribe people are of Mongoloid facial features, they are native (indeginious) people belonging to Himalayan Belt.
  • Weddings: Bhotiya marriages are similar to Hindu weddings. When the bride’s palanquin arrives at her husband’s house, gods are worshipped and then she is admitted to the house. Rice, silver or gold is put in the hands of bridegroom, which he passes on to the bride.
  • Bhotiya Tribe, the natives of the Himalayan belt are maximum Buddhist followers along with followers of other religion. Though most of Bhotiya practice a combination of Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism
  • Economy
  1. They are also traders in the Himilayas for products such as, cereal, wool and salt. Now, some are farmers and others are merchants of stones, gems and herbs.
  2. The Bhotiya are experienced in the use of medicinal plants. The local fermented beverages are jan (a local beer), and daru. A local fermented food stuff is sez. The traditional catalyzing agent used in the preparation of fermented foods and beverages is called balam in the Kumaon Division and balma in Garhwal Division.
  3. A cottage wool industry employs many Bhotiya. Women weave pattu, a coarse woolen serge. Plants are collected to make natural dyes for colouring the wool.


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