Thakali community of Nepal

Originated from the Thak Khola region of the Mustang district in the Dhaulagiri zone of Nepal, Thakali is one of the many ethno linguistic groups of Nepal that constituents some of the most successful businessmen in the country.

The traditional area of the Thakali community named Thak-sat-se lay in the salt trading zone on the south of Tukuche Mountain in the valley of the Kali Gandaki River in western Nepal. This successful business community trade in places like Tukuche and Thaksatse and many of them owns most of the hotels and motels in Nepal. This highly skilled business community has resettled in Pokhara, Kathmandu and in the southern part of Nepal. They have also made their reach to Japan and England and the Thakalis living here follows a form of Tibetan Buddhism while the Thakalis in southern Nepal practice Buddhism with a bit of a Hindu flavor (as a result of their closer contact with Brahmin/Chettri community and their impact). However, the Thakalis living in Mustang follow the traditional Buddhism.


This strictly endogamous group is divided into four exogamous clans and a member of the Thakali community is expected to marry another Thakali, however, out of their own particular clan group. Although on the basis of precedence in worship, the Gauchan clan usually comes first followed by Tulachan, Sherchan and Bhattachan, the four clans are equal in social as well as ritual status. Each clan group has a clan god represented by an animal totem like dragon for Gauchan, elephant for Tulachan, snow leopard for Sherchan and yak for Bhattachan.

The Thakalis are considered to be one of the best cooks and are also rich in culinary talents and assest. Also, are they very organized and have neat kitchens and tidy homes. Some of the major festivals of Thakali are Lhafewa (Bar Barse Kumbha Mela), Tornala (ancestral worship) and Falo (Kumar Yatra). The Thakali priest who works as the local shaman is known as Dhnom and their major musical instruments include madaal, khaprang and thamken.

In the Thak Khola Valley, three types of Thakali resides that are the Three Village Thakali (Thak Thini, Thak Syang, Thak Chimang) known as Tin Gaule Thakali (Yhulkosompaimhi), Marphali Thakali is also known as PUNEL (Lalchan, Hirachan, Jawarchan and Pannachan) and Thakali (Gauchan, Tulachan, Sherchan and Bhattachan) among which the Tin Gaule Thakali are the indigenous Thakali of Thak Khola.

They have their own unique culture and rituals regarding birth, marriage and death ceremony, have their own festivals like Tungla and Fala and have their own language known as Panchgaunle. The Thakalis of Nepal are forward and successful in terms of business with not only the male members but also the female members of the community being more active in the world of business which itself is unique in Nepal.