Travel Guide

7 Major Tribes of Himachal Pradesh

Tribes of Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is the renowned hill station of India that is regarded as the hub of tourism due to its unique cultures & incredible weather. Ranging from breath-taking plains to snowy mountain ranges, there are endless spots to explore. Yet, the top amazing feature of this region is the popular tribes of Himachal Pradesh who offer ethnic importance to the entire state. There’s much more to the tribal communities of Himachal that will amaze anyone discovering their journey. Hence, serve yourself with this brief list of 10 well-known Himachal Pradesh tribes, India, that you must know.

List of Himachal Pradesh Tribes to Explore

1. Kinnauras Tribe

Kinnauri Tribe

Kinnar is a combination of Sanskrit word: Kim+Nara that means ‘what sort of man?’ taken from the legends of a mythical being who possess a human figure and the head of a horse or vice versa. Kinnaur is also a district of Himachal Pradesh where these tribal communities majorly reside. Kinnauri tribes in Himachal Pradesh are supposed to be the successor of Kinners of Vedic Times. Their cultural dances are also displayed during Independence day at the National capital. ‘Dohru’ stall and Bushehri Topi are their essential signatures of Kinnauri traditional dresses. Their ethnic language is affected by the Tibetian accent. Usually, major people of this tribal community in Himachal Pradesh follow Buddhism or Hinduism as religion. 

Also Read : Traditional Dress of Himachal Pradesh

2. Gujjar Tribe

Gujjar Himachal Pradesh Tribes

Gujjar Tribes are considered to be the people of western Himachal Pradesh. Especially from the regions of Chamba & Kangra. Initially, the Gujjar tribes of Himachal Pradesh followed a nomadic life & who move along with their cattle & other things. But now, they are settling in plains or hills according to the favorable seasons. Usually, this tribal community has followers of Hinduism & Islam. The language used by them is mainly ‘Gojri’ influenced substantially by the Rajasthani group of languages. Historically Gujjar tribes were called the immigrants of plains who ran to hills due to the invasion of Hunas.  

Also Read: Rivers in Himachal Pradesh

3. Lahauli Tribe

Lahauli Tribe
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As the name implies, Lhauli Tribes come from the Lahaul region of Himachal Pradesh. They are said to be the successors of Mongoloids. Majorly their livelihood depends on agriculture, herding & weaving crafts. You’ll be amazed to see their vibrant, colorful woven crafts. This is one of the popular tribes in Himachal that had the unique Polyandry system in families.

Initially, the system worked effectively, but now it’s becoming extinct as modernization is knocking on their doors. Their society was divided into clans like Gotra or Kul. Tribal people of different clans were allowed to marry each other, but the same clan couldn’t as they would be regarded of the same family. Lahaul Tribes are renowned for potato production across the country. 

4. Gaddi Tribe

Gaddi tribes of Himachal Pradesh

Gaddi Tribes significantly reside in the Dhauladar region of Himachal Pradesh. Mainly on the banks of the river, Ravi & Budhil are crowded with this tribal community. Gaddi tribes of Himachal Pradesh are regarded as the immigrants who fled to hills during the Mughal times. They include all kinds of Hindus with an entire caste-based system.

Gaddi tribes also used to move from one place to another seasonally. Their main occupations were Herding or cattle stock. But now they have all forms of jobs both in the legislative & public sectors. Men wear Chola & turban women wear launchers as their unique ethnic dresses. You’ll easily observe their fondness for ornaments, as both men & women are seen wearing heavy gold jewelry with pride. Apart from other dialects of Gaddi, Takri their main language is Hindi too.   

Also Read : Traditional Food of Himachal Pradesh

5. Swangla

Swangla tribe
Image Courtesy : @sbkmsociety

Swangla tribes are regarded as the modern scheduled tribes in Himachal who are living in Pattan Valley along the river Chandra Bhaga. They speak Manchhad languages mainly. This language is a mixture of Hindi & Tibetian, Chinnali, Bhoti, Tinan, or Tinent dialects altogether. Modern tribes of HP. It was believed they inhabit the most distant, northern frontiers of Himalayan tracts. The northern fronts now have some of the best touring options in Himachal. You can book endless tours claiming crystal snow & tonnes of ice adventures in their brochures. For more info about the treks in Himachal .

6. Pangwal


Pangwals’ are are considered as the residents of Pangi Valley. A unique feature of this community is that every household has a ‘Choori’ that is a cross between yak & cow. ‘Tyane’ is their major festival that is celebrated in August. Whereas, ‘Hishoo’ is their new year day which celebrated with extreme euphoria & lots of long night traditional dances. They also have one of the controversial rituals of ‘marriage by capture’ mainly practiced in Pith or Chori systems of this tribal community. 

7. Khampa

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Khampa tribes of Himachal Pradesh migrated from Tibet. They settled in the Kullu, Chamba, Kinnaur & Lahaul regions of Himachal Pradesh. Gradually, every region now has its own term to define these tribal communities of Himachal Pradesh. In Kullu valley, they are known as ‘Bauddh’. In the Spiti division, they are known as ‘Piti Khampa’. They have various names in distinct regions, yet their unique facial features make them different from others. 

Also Read : Himachal Pradesh Fruits

I hope you enjoyed learning about various tribes in Himachal Pradesh. Along with the list of Himachal Pradesh tribes, you’ll also discover popular rituals & unique practices of various tribal communities through this easy guide. For more invigorating information, keep visiting our blogs.


1. What are the major tribes of Himachal Pradesh?

The Major tribes of Himachal Pradesh are Gaddis, Gujjar, Kinnara or Kinnauras, Pangwalas. Apart from these, some more scheduled tribes are settled in small groups like Bhot/Bodh, Beda, Jad/Lamba/ Khampa, and Swangla.

2. In which areas are the Gaddi tribes inhabited in Himachal Pradesh?

Gaddi caste is settled in four major areas of Himachal, namely Kangra, Chamba, Dharamsala, Kinnaur. By caste, they belong to Rana, Rajput, Thakur, or Khatri and follow Hinduism.

3. What occupation did the Gaddi tribe?

The Gaddi tribals are shepherds, but their main occupation is farming, sheep husbandry, animal husbandry.

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Sumit Kapoor
Sumit Kapoor is a passionate blogger and working as a marketing manager on He has written blogs on various topics like SEO, travel, health, food, lifestyle, etc. He has assisted many clients from different industries and helped them improve their online strategies.

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