Thakali: The community of renowned traders

The Thakali community in Nepal basically refers to the renowned traders of Mustang. Being specific, they belong to the Thaka Kola zones, hence such naming convention. Especially, the Thak-sat-se is considered the region with cultural importance among Thakali community. You can find them predominantly along the south regions of Tukuche peak, around the Kali Gandaki Rivers at the west of Nepal, which is known for being one of the crucial ones for salt production and business.


Despite being the least populated communities among all in Nepal, these groups of people have been having significant impact on the nation’s cultural image. They contribute about 0.07 percent of the total population in Nepal. About sixty five percent of the total Thakali population belong to Buddhism, and almost rest all belong to Hinduism.

Thakali Traders

As it has been mentioned above, despite being less in number they are well settled in the nation. The biggest fact behind this is that you can find good number of Thakali people among Nepal’s most successful businessman. Especially, these groups of people hold a great business hilt in the zones like Tukuche and Thaksatse. Being explicit, they are more frequent in to hotel businesses in Nepal. It is said that their business strategy resembles with the antique Chinese traders. There are many successful Thakali business organisations one can witness in the zones of Kathmandu and Pokhara. Apart from Nepal, these groups of people are too active in other parts like Bhutan, Tibet and north east Indian states. In fact, a good number of these people are also settled in the nations like Japan and the UK. Thakali Buddhist rituals bear a resemblance to those of Tibetan in a great way, which is the reason that they are such comfortable in Tibet, which is quite equivalent to Hinduism as well. However, the Mustang Thakalis are pretty classic Buddhists.

Marriage and spirituality

When it comes about marriage, Thakalis are too strict about marrying someone beyond their own groups. Anyway, it is allowed for one Thkali to the other groups of the community, but it is important that they belong to separate clans. Basically, there are four clans in the community and Sherchans are offered a bit higher position. Every clan does have a unique god represented by a distinct animal. Generally, those belong to Guachan clans obey dragons, Tulachans obey elephants, Sherchans obey leopards and Bhattachans obey yak.

Festivals and Disciplines

Thakalis hold a great reputation in terms of being very ordered. Especially, their highly polished kitchens and other rooms have been exemplary. Thakalis observe festivals like Lhafewa, Tornala and Kumar yatra. You can find some unique instruments like Madaal, Khaprang and Thamken among Thakali communities.

Unity and culture

The more interesting about the Thakalis is that despite being divided in to numerous groups, there remains hardly any kind of discrimination or differences. You can say they all are united in terms of their language, literature and ceremonies. The most popular and observed Thakali language is Panchgaunle. Thakalis unite irrespective of groups during the festivals of Tungla and Fala. They are having their unique rituals in terms of birth, marriage and cremation ceremonies as well.

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