Bunan in China

Joshua Project has identified the Bunan only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Bunan are a little-known people group. They are not mentioned in Chinese literature, so it is uncertain how they are officially classified. They may have been included in the Tibetan nationality because of linguistic and religious similarities. The area of China where they live is so remote that it is possible they were not counted at all in the Chinese census.


Numerous small ethnolinguistic peoples live along the Tibetan border with India and Nepal in very sparsely populated locations. China and India had several armed border clashes in the 1950s and 1960s. China has since claimed thousands of square miles of territory from India, including the area inhabited by the Bunan.


Bunan culture has been heavily influenced by their devotion to Tibetan Buddhism. Their lives are a long struggle against harsh winters. Because very little fruit or vegetables can grow in the Bunan region, their diet is comprised almost entirely of meat, fat, and yak yogurt.


Many Bunan make annual pilgrimages to Lake Manasarovar and Mt. Kailas - two holy Buddhist sites in western Tibet. The Bunan are trapped in an endless cycle of doing good works, a vain bid to ensure a better reincarnation in the next life.


The Bunan's isolated homeland is so remote that few outsiders have ever traveled there. The Indian government, who also claim the territory inhabited by the Bunan, did not find out that the Chinese had built a road there until two years after it was completed. The Bunan in India had parts of the Bible translated into their language by missionaries in 1911, but these have been out of print since 1923. Currently the Christians located closest to the Bunan are the small number of Moravian believers found among the Ladakhi people of northern India.

Profile Source:   Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Expanded PDF Profile

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-08-10
People Name General Bunan (Boo-nun)
People Name in Country Bunan
Population in China 2,100
World Population 2,100
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Boonan, Erankad, Gahri, Ghara, Keylong Boli, Lahaula, Lahul, Lahuli, Lahuli of Bunan, Poonan, Punan
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibetan
People Name General Bunan (Boo-nun)
Ethnic Code MSY50r
People ID 18423
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Approximately 6,000 Gahri (Bunan) people live on both sides of the remote India-China border in the western Himalayan mountains. The Ethnologue lists a 1997 estimate of 4,000 Gahri living in the Gahr Valley in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. A further 1,500 Gahri people live across the border in an extremely isolated area of western Tibet..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gahri: Bunan (2,100)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Gahri: Bunan 2,100
For Primary Language: Gahri

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1911-1923)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Buddhism

Major Religion Percent
99.80 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.20 %)
0.20 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
100.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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