License No:1907 - 2071
  • Join our small group guided tours and treks with guaranteed departure dates

People, Religion & Culture - Nepal

People, Religion & Culture - Nepal


Nepal's population is made up of more than 30 million of tribes, living in different regions, wearing different costumes and speaking different languages and dialects. The Sherpas live mainly in the mountains of eastern and central Nepal, in particular in the Solu Khumbu region. The Sherpas are probably the best known Nepalese ethnic group. Originally from Tibet, they first settled about 500 years ago. The Sherpas - also known as "the tigers of the snow" live in the Himalaya region up to an average altitude of 4,570m.

Bramins and Chhetris are the two highest castes; and live throughout the Kingdom. The progeny of Bramins men and hill women were considered Chhetri and a number of high status families from other hill groups have also adopted Chhetri status, though some have Mongoloid ancestry. All Bramins and Chhetris are Hindu. The Newars constitute and important ethnic group in the capital. The Newaris of the Kathmandu valley are a good example of the result of our Himalayan melting pot. The Gurung and Magars live mainly in the west and on the southern slopes of the Annapurna, Himalchuli and Ganesh Himal mountains. The Magars and Gurungs often find as soldiers in the famous Gurkha regiments.

The Rais, Limbus, and Sunuwars inhabit the slops and valleys of the eastern mid hills and many have migrated to the eastern Terai. Tamangs are one of the largest Tibet - Burman ethnic groups in Nepal. Around half the Himalayan zone of Nepal is inhabited by Tamangs.

Many Tamangs have been influenced in their dress by both western and Newari styles. Traditionally, women wear a colorful wraparound skirt, a blouse, jacket and scarf. On important occasions they wear chunky gold or brass ear and nose rings set with semiprecious stones. Men wear loincloths or the traditional Newari pants, short-sleeved jackets and topis. Both men and women wear several meters of cloth wrapped around the waist.

The Thakalis live mainly in the Kali Gandaki valley in central Nepal, and are a Tibeto Burman people who have become the entrepreneurs of Nepal. Originally Buddhist, many pragmatic Thakalis have now adopted Hinduism. The actual number of Thakalis is very small.

Tharus, Yadavs, Satar, Rajvanshis, and Dhimals are spread generally in the Terai region. Tharus are one of the largest ethnic group in Nepal.














% of total population














Hinduism and Buddhism share between them some 86.5 and 7.8 percent of the total population respectively. Their sense of fellow- feeling and bonhomie is evident in their worship of common deities and the joint celebration of many festivals. Buddhism was introduced in Kathmandu valley by Emperor Ashoka of India around 250 BC. Later, around 8th century AD, the ancestors of the Sherpas emigrated from Tibet bringing with them a form of Buddhism known as Ningmapa.

Gurungs, Tamangs, Serpas and Newars in the Kathmandu valley also follow Mahayaa Buddhism and the famous temple of Swayambhu in Kathmandu and the "Golden Temple" or the Hiranya Varna Mahabihar in Patan are visited mainly by Buddhist Newars.

A few people have adopted a complex blend of both Hinduism and Buddhism known as Bajrayana, which is mainly practiced in the Kathmandu valley. Apart from the Hindus and Buddhists, Muslims (3.5%) form the third largest religious group. There has also been an increase in the number of Christians in Nepal in recent years, now around 40,000 - about 1% of the population and 1.2 percent of other religions.


Nepal is host to two main religions - Hinduism and Buddhism, two races, Caucasoid and Mongoloid and two civilizations, Indic and Sinic. Each ethnic group has its distinct identity. Although legislation banned it in the sixties, Polygamy is stilled practiced in some areas.

On entering a Nepalese home it is polite to remove your shoes. Some westernized Nepalese might not do it, but it is much appreciated. Many Hindu temples do not admit westerners to enter. Always walk clockwise around Buddhist stupas, chortens or mani walls. Shoes and any other leather items such as belts and bags must be removed before entering a Buddhist or Hindu temple Public displays of affection are not considered polite. Nor should you think of swimming naked in our rivers and lakes. In the northern hill area, polyandry, the custom of a wife having more than one husband, was also practiced till recently. For a widow to re-marry was not socially acceptable in some groups. Ethnic groups such as the Brahmins was prohibited from drinking alcohol and sometimes practice vegetarianism. Brahmins met their spouse for the first time on the day of the wedding.

Further Information
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you have any questions regarding trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can send us an email or contact us directly by phone: 0977 98510 36844 (Ram Kumar Adhikari).


Locally Owned Company

As a local company based in Nepal, all of our team members were born and raised in the regions you explore, making them more knowledgeable and aware of their destinations, trails, and community. We deliver an international standard...

Read More

Committed to Small Group

We further commit to our intention to give our clients a quality experience by usually engaging with the small group size of clients, this way we can maintain consistency in the kind of service we provide. Additionally, this allows...

Read More

Highly Experienced Team

Travelling to the parts unknown always comes with a little unpredictability, at Alpine Eco Trek we along with our experienced local guides work to minimize this. First, our travel planner finds you the perfect blend of experience...

Read More

Get Connected

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Read Our Reviews

Get Referrals

Stephen Izant
Redondo Beach, CA
Email: sizant at icloud dot com

Russ & Kay Lynn Larsen
United States of America
Email: russlars at comcast dot net

Mr. David Fessaguet & Anne Marie
david_fessaguet at yahoo dot co dot uk

Mr. Jerald Richardson
jeraldrichardson at gmail dot com
Pasadena, California

George Schmeltzer
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Phone: +1 310 941 5437
Email: g.j.schmeltzer dot att dot net

Ricardo Reznichek
E-mail: reznichek2 dot gmail dot com
St. Cross, Hermosa Beach, CA, USA

Sherri McEwen , Canada
Email: sherrimaeb dot shaw dot ca

Sherri McEwen
Email: sherrimaeb at shaw dot ca

Sister Concern

Kailash Tour Trek Tibet Tour Trek