Lahaula in India






Largest Religion

Main Language



The Lahaula or Lahuli Tinan - who are counted under the Tibetan nationality in China - are also known as Bhotia. The term Bhotia refers to people of Tibetan stock in general. The name Lahuli is also a generic term used to describe the inhabitants of the Lahul District, which was formerly controlled by the British. A 1922 missionary survey explained, "The name Tibet is unknown in the country itself, having been given to it by the Turks and Persians. Its true name is Bod or Bodyu, ie. Bodland, the original name of the inhabitants being Bodpa. Little Tibet, to the west of Tibet proper, consists of Lahoul and Spiti, which belong to England."


The Lahuli region was part of the Ladakhi Kingdom in the tenth century. Border clashes in the area in the 1950s and 1960s resulted in the Chinese seizing a large tract of land from India. The region, which is home to the Lahuli people, is called Aksai Chin.


Lahuli men are skillful merchants and traders. Lahuli women are known for their independence. "Since their husbands are usually off on trading expeditions, the women feel free to take more than one husband. The men trade salt, grain and wool to other people in the Himalayan region and in the process sometimes become quite wealthy."


The strength of Tibetan Buddhism in northern India depends to a great extent on the prosperity and generosity of the Lahuli Tinan. "They, in turn, feel spiritually secure because of the religious merit they gain by dispensing charity and generously supporting the temples."


There are a handful of Lahuli Tinan believers in India, but none are known on the Tibetan side of the border. Few have ever heard of Jesus Christ. Mission work in Lahul began after Karl Gutzlaff challenged the Moravians to begin a mission in Tibet. "The first missionaries, A. W. Heyde and E. Pagell, settled down in Kyelang, a Tibetan village in the province of Lahul."

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

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Lahaula
People Name in Country Lahaula
Population in India 4,000
World Population 7,100
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Bhot, Bhotia of Lahui, Bodh, Gondhia, Gondia, Lahula, Lahuli, Lahuli Tinan, Rangloi, Stod, Teenan, Tinani, Tod
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster South Himalaya
People Name General Lahaula
Ethnic Code MSY50r
People ID 18532
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Central Himalayas, on both sides of India - China border.   Source:  Joshua Project
Total States on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Himachal Pradesh (3,900) Chandigarh (20)
Total States on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Himachal Pradesh (3,900) Chandigarh (20)
Languages & Dialects on file:  17  (up to 20 largest shown)
Tinani (1,900) Pattani (600) Bhattiyali (600) Hindi (400)
Kangri (100) Kinnauri (60) Tibetan, Central (60) Nepali (20)
Kinnauri, Bhoti (20) Panjabi, Eastern Byangsi Khandesi
Naga, Liangmai Dogri Bodo Urdu
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tinani 1,900 Pattani 600
Bhattiyali 600 Hindi 400
Kangri 100 Kinnauri 60
Tibetan, Central 60 Nepali 20
Kinnauri, Bhoti 20 Panjabi, Eastern 10
Byangsi 10 Khandesi 10
Naga, Liangmai 10 Dogri 10
Bodo 10 Urdu 0
Kuvi 0
For Primary Language: Tinani

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1908-1915)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
48.92 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
50.51 %
0.56 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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