Limbu : Know Everything of Limbu Caste,Culture and Tradition in Nepal


Limbu caste

The Limbu people, who call themselves the Yakthung, are referred to as Limbu by people of other races or other ethnic groups (Campbell, 1840: 495; v. 60 of the Hudson Manuscript, p. 240). And, today they say the same thing. However, the Bhote of Tibet and the Lapche of Sukhim call him Chong (Hooker 1854, 1905: 128; Risley 1894, 1989: 37; Vol. 60 of the Hudson Manuscript, p. 240). The Limbu people are also known as Kirats.

Limbu Caste


According to Mundhum, Yakthung Laje, or Limbu land, is found in Saya Muden (China-Tibet) in the north, Temen Walang (India) in the south, Sumroti Umroti (Brahmaputra) in the east, and Thosu Varumma Parumma Onu Yosu Paramawa Kakamawa in the west. .

Among the various castes of the non-Aryan Kirat dynasty, They live in the south of the Himalayas in Nepal, Sikkim or some parts of northeastern India. Among these Kirat castes, the caste has been living in the geographical area from Arunadi to the east, Mechinadi to the west since time immemorial. This settlement area of ​​the Limbus was formerly called Pallo Kirat. The  people are also found in countries like Burma, Bhotang (Bhutan), Thailand, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, USA, Australia and Russia.


According to the 2068 census, there are 126 castes in Nepal including Himalayan, hilly and Terai (Madhesh). Of these, 59 castes have so far been listed as Adivasi Janajati by the Government of Nepal. It  is one of the 59 indigenous tribes listed by the Government of Nepal. Within Nepal alone, the ethnic population of the Limbu caste is 3,87,300 (Census, 2068). This is 1.46 percent of the total population.

Limbu religion and culture

Among the tribes of Nepal, the people who call themselves Kirat consider Kirat religion. They are nature worshipers. The Limbu people have been living their social and cultural life according to the Mundhum which has been in the oral tradition since time immemorial.

Nepali Language

Limbu language

Of the 123 languages ​​spoken in Nepal (Census 2068), Limbu is one of the major languages ​​with a long history of writing. The Limbu language is a distinct language within the Eastern subgroup of the vernacular languages ​​(GA Grierson, 1908: 283-304), one of the ancient Kirati languages ​​of the Bhote-Burmese subdivision of the Sino-Tibetan language family. The ethnic population of the Limbu people living in Nepal is 3,87,300 (Census, 2068). The number of native speakers is 343,603. This is 1.29 percent of the total population.

Limbu Scholars

Due to the settlement of thw people in different geographical areas, the form of the language has become somewhat different. These different forms of the language are called the dialects of the Limbu language. Hudson’s first manuscript was a collection of 188 words from the Fagu (Tamorkhole), Panthare, Chaubis, Fakfok (Ilam), Chhathare and Khajum dialects in various forms of the  language. 74, p. It has been shown that there are various dialects of  language within 133 to 148.

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At that time the Hudson Manuscript 74, p. Giving 188 words from 143 to 144, Panthare and Chaubise, the  language spoken in the Fakfok area of ​​Ilam (Charkhole) seems to have been identified as speakers of the same language. Similarly, Siring, Samba and Phagu living in the Maiwa region have the same dialect spoken by the thirteen tribes within the three tribes. Later G.A. Grierson (1908 AD: 288) was promoted to Major W.H. Referring to Sr. (1908 A.D.), Phedappe, Fagurai and Tamorkhole of Limbu have written that there is a slight difference in the dialect of Panthare.

According to recent scholars, the language has four main dialects: Panthare, Phedape, Tamarkhole, and Chathare (see Wiedert and Subba 1985, Van Dream 1987, Kainla 2002). Similarly, Tamorkho has further divided the dialect into Taplejunge and Yangroke dialects. There are also those who keep the Phedape and Chhathare Limbu dialects within the Phedape dialect. Similarly, the Panthare dialect is further divided into twenty-four and Charkho dialects. The only difference in these dialects is in the words. However, in Chhathare, there is a difference between words as well as form.

Limbu Caste

Limbu script

The script written in the Limbu language is called Kirat Sirijanga script. It seems that some people used to call it Kirat script only. After the establishment of Yakthunghang Chumlung in Kalebung, India in 1925, it was decided to rename it after the incarnation Sirijanga script.

Limbu alphabet

Currently, 16 letters and 9 consonants are used in the current Limbu alphabet. Similarly, the 12 vowels as well as the suffixes: (k) for the length of the vowel and the patch (.) For the vowel A are used. Similarly, 8 half letters and 3 conjunctions are in use.


Limbu literature

Limbu is one of the main languages ​​spoken in Nepal. Studying the written tradition of this language, we come to Tiangsi Sirijanga (1704-1741). Many of the manuscripts in the Kirat script, which have been widely used since his time, are found in Hudson’s (1846-1858) collection. In the days that followed, after the establishment of Yakthunghang Chumlung (1925) in Kalebung many years later, the Limbu language seems to have developed rapidly.

In 1938, a school for the formal teaching of the Limbu language was established in Kalebung, and in 1968, the Limbu language was introduced in the primary schools of Sikkim.Today, ample works have been written in all genres of Limbu literature such as poetry, short stories, essays, epic poems, epics, plays, critiques, etc. Shrutiparampara, Mundhum, and folklore have also been extensively researched and published.

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