The Great Stupa at Sanchi, located in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, is a Buddhist shrine in India.

Buddhist communities of India

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(including ) constitute the most populous Buddhist community in India.

Various indigenous ethnic Buddhist communities such as the Sherpas, , Lepchas, Tamangs, Yolmos, and ethnic Tibetans can be found in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region.

Indian Buddhists celebrate many festivals. Ambedkar Jayanti, Dhammachakra Pravartan Day and Buddha’s Birthday are three major festivals of Navayana Buddhism.

Traditional Buddhists celebrate Losar, Buddha Purnima and other festivals.

Khamti people

The Tai Khamti, (Khamti: တဲး ၵံးတီႈ, or simply Khamti as they are also known, are a Tai ethnic group native to the Hkamti Long, Mogaung and Myitkyina regions of Kachin State as well as Hkamti District of Sagaing Division of Myanmar. In India, they are found in Namsai district and Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Smaller numbers are present in Lakhimpur district, Dhemaji district and Munglang Khamti village in Tinsukia district of Assam and possibly in some parts of China. Khamtis have a population of 100,031 out of which 40,005 live in Arunachal Pradesh and 60,026 in Assam. However, in Myanmar their total population is estimated at 200,000 people.

Lepcha people

The Lepcha are among the indigenous peoples of the Indian state of Sikkim and Nepal, and number around 80,000. Many Lepcha are also found in western and southwestern Bhutan, Tibet, Darjeeling, the Province No. 1 of eastern Nepal, and in the hills of West Bengal. The are composed of four main distinct communities: the Renjóngmú of Sikkim; the Dámsángmú of Kalimpong, Kurseong, and Mirik; the ʔilámmú of Ilam District, Nepal; and the Promú of Samtse and Chukha in southwestern Bhutan.

Tamang people

The Tamang are an tibeto ethnic group originating in Tibet. In Nepal Tamang/moormi people constitute 5.6% of the Nepalese population at over 1.3 million in 2001, increasing to 1,539,830 as of the 2011 census. are also found in significant numbers in the Indian state of Sikkim and districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong in West Bengal state of India and various districts in the southern foothills of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Such districts include the Tsirang District, the Dagana District, the Samtse District, the Chukha District, the Sarpang District and the Samdrup Jongkhar District. Tamang tibeto language is the fifth most spoken language in Nepal.


or Bhot are groups of ethno-linguistically related Tibetan people living in the Transhimalayan region that divides India from Tibet. The word Bhotiya comes from the classical Tibetan name for Tibet, བོད, bod. The Bhotiya speak numerous languages including Ladakhi. The Indian recognition of such language is Bhoti / Bhotia having Tibetan scripts and it lies in the Parliament of India to become one of the official languages through Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.


The Bhutia are a community of Sikkimese people living in the state of Sikkim in northeastern India, who speak Drenjongke or Sikkimese, a Tibetic language fairly mutually intelligible with standard Tibetan. In 2001, the Bhutia numbered around 60,300. Bhutia here refers to people of Tibetic ancestry. There are many clans within the Bhutia tribe and Inter-Clan marriages are preferred rather than marriages outside of the tribe.

Sherpa people

Sherpa is one of the ethnic groups native to the most mountainous regions of Nepal and the Himalayas. The term sherpa or sherwa derives from the Sherpa language words Shar (“east”) and Wa (“people”), which refer to their geographical origin of eastern Nepal.

Rakhine people

The or Arakanese people are a Southeast Asian ethnic group in Myanmar (Burma) forming the majority along the coastal region of present-day Rakhine State. They possibly constitute 5.53% or more of Myanmar’s total population, but no accurate census figures exist. Rakhine people also live in the southeastern parts of Bangladesh, especially in Chittagong Division and Barisal Division. A group of Rakhine descendants, living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh at least since the 16th century, are known as the Marma people or Mog people.

Chakma people

The are a tribal group from the eastern-most regions of the Indian subcontinent. They are the largest ethnic group in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of southeastern Bangladesh, and the second-largest in Mizoram, India. Other places in Northeast India also have significant Chakma populations. Around 60,000 Chakma people live in Arunachal Pradesh, India; a first generation migrated there in 1964 after the Kaptai Dam tragedy. Another 79,000 Chakmas live in Tripura, India, and 20,000-30,000 in Assam, India.

Gurung people

The , also called Tamu, are an ethnic group in the hills and mountains of Gandaki Province of Nepal. They live in Manang, Mustang, Kaski, Lamjung, Parbat, Dolpo and Syangja, Dhading districts, with a population of 522,641 people as of 2011. They speak the Sino-Tibetan Gurung language.

Tai Phake people

Tai Phake, also known as Phakial or simply Phake, belong to the Tai-speaking indigenous ethnic group living in Dibrugarh district and Tinsukia district of Assam, principally along the areas of Dihing river as well as adjacent parts of Lohit and Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh. As of 1990, their population stood at 5,000, which consists of less than 250 families.

Na people

The Na or Nga people is a small tribal group residing in the higher reaches, below the great Himalayan ranges in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Within the district, they are found in the villages within Taksing circle: Gumsing, Taying, Esnaya, Lingbing, Tongla, Yeja, Reding, Redi, Dadu villages. As of 2000, the tribal population stood at 1,500. However, in all official censuses the Nga are classified together with the Tagin, who are ethnically related to them.

Marathi Buddhists

Marathi Buddhists are Buddhists of Marathi ethnic and linguistic identity. The religious community resides in the Indian state of Maharashtra. They speak Marathi as their mother-tongue. The Marathi Buddhist community is the largest Buddhist community in India. According to the 2011 Indian census, Marathi Buddhists constitute 5.81% of the population in Maharashtra, which is 77% of the total Buddhist population in India.


Mahar (also known as Mehra, Mehta and Dhegu Megu meaning “original inhabitants of Maharashtra” is an Indian community found largely in the state of Maharashtra and neighbouring areas. Most of the Mahar community followed B. R. Ambedkar in converting to Buddhism in the middle of the 20th century. As of 2017 the Mahar caste was designated as a Scheduled Caste in 16 Indian states.

Lishipa tribe

The Lishipa is a tribal group found in the Dirang area in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh in India. They are ethnically related to both the Chugpa and Monpa, in which they are officially classified as a tribe of the Monpa. However, the relative affinity of their linguistic origins to the Sherdukpen, Sulung and that rendered their distinct identity from the Monpas. The tribe boasts about 1,000 individuals.

Beda people

The are a community of the Indian UT of Ladakh. They are mostly found in different parts Ladakh, where they practise their traditional occupation of musicianship. They are predominantly followers of the Muslim faith, although some are Buddhists. According to some scholars, they are an untouchable group, although others think that the situation is more nuanced.

Khamyang people

The Tai-Khamyangs, also known as Shyam, is a subgroup of the Tai peoples of Southeast Asia. They are numerically a small indigenous group found in Tinsukia, Jorhat, Sivasagar and Golaghat districts of Assam and adjacent parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Their population totals about 7,000, of which only a small minority speak the native Tai Khamyang language while the vast majority speak the Assamese language. The Khamyang are followers of Theravada Buddhism and are closely related to the Khamti. They maintain good relations with other Tai Buddhist tribes of Assam.

Bengal Buddhist Association

is a Buddhist organisation based in Kolkata.

Khamba people

The Khamba, also spelled Khemba, are a people who inhabit the Yang-Sang-Chu valley in the westernmost part of Arunachal Pradesh, near the borders with Tibet and Bhutan. Within the valley, they live in the villages Yorton, Lango, Tashigong, Nyukong and Mangkota.

Chugpa tribe

The Chugpa are one of the few smaller tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, living in the West Kameng district around Dirang. They are a tribe of the Monpa.


The Buguns are one of the earliest recognized schedule tribe of India, majority of them, inhabiting the Singchung Sub-Division of West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh. Their total population is approximately 3000. The notable features of Buguns are reflected in their simple life and warm hospitality. Buguns live in several exogamous clans. Traditionally, the predominant occupation was agriculture, supported with other allied activities like fishing and hunting, cattle rearing etc. Buguns have their own folklores, songs, dances, music and rituals. A rare bird, the Bugun liocichla, was named after the tribe.

Bodh people

The , also known as Khas Bhodi, are an ethnic group of Himachal Pradesh, India. They are found in Lahaul tehsil, Lahaul and Spiti district, predominantly in the Bhaga and Chandra valleys, but also to a lesser extent in Pattani valley, Miyar Valley, in the upper reaches of Pangi, Himachal Pradesh and Paddar valley, Jammu and Kashmir. Their religion is predominantly Buddhism with animistic and shaivite practices. Caste wise, they are identified as Rajput, Thakur or Kshetri although caste rules are not as rigid as in the plains. Historically, 3-4 prominent families of the area were accorded the titles of Rana, Wazir or Thakur by the kings of Chamba, Kullu or Ladakh for the purpose of general administration and revenue collection. They have a mix of martial traditions alongside shamanistic and lamaistic beliefs. Certain families/clans used to be significant zamindars/jagirdars. There is a significant cultural and ethnic mixing due to the region passing under the hegemony of rulers of Ladakh, Kullu and Chamba over the last many centuries. The language spoken differs from valley to valley with some dialects being very close to Kumaoni, while others are mixed with Chambyali and Dari. They are progressive, enterprising, honest and were involved in the centuries old India-Tibet-Nepal trading routes. Organized into family groups/clans with clan names ending in the suffix “-pa” similar to the “-ta” suffix found in the family/clan names of the Simla area.


Bhuta-Lepcha is an ethnic grouping consisting of people of the Bhutia and Lepcha communities in Sikkim, India. Both these groups are listed as Scheduled Tribes by the Government of India.

Bengali Buddhists

are a religious subgroup of the Bengalis who adhere to or practice the religion of Buddhism. Bengali Buddhist people mainly live in Bangladesh and Indian states West Bengal and Tripura.

Tanchangya people

The or Tanchangyas are an indigenous ethnic group living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh, Indian states of Tripura and Mizoram, Arunachal and Rakhine state of Myanmar.

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