Genetic Ancestry of Nepalis


One evening, few years back, my grandpa passed down a legacy to me and my cousins – the story of our ancestors. I belong to a Newar community which is one among the indigenous people of Kathmandu Valley. Newars have been living in Kathmandu valley from the prehistoric times. As per my grandpa, our ancestors were Tibetan merchants mostly dealing with the Royals in and around Kathmandu valley. After the unification of Nepal by the Great King Prithvi Narayan Shah, our major family link with Tibet was broken and those who survived fled within Kathmandu Valley. Introducing another twist to the story, I’m officially a Buddhist but culturally we are a hybrid of Buddhist and Hindu. This allowed me to ponder a bit – were we initially Buddhist (Tibetan) and adopted Hinduism more recently or is the other way around? Evidence also comes from our language – Nepal Bhasa and associated Ranjana script which has combination of both Tibetan as well as Sanskrit (Indian) flavors and still used in many parts of Tibet, Nepal and India. Being a student of genetics, this triggered a curiosity within me for years, where did the early ancestors in Nepal came from?

Nepal, geographically, is between Tibet (China) and India. These neighbors represent two distinct ethnicity – the Mongols from Tibet and the Aryans from India. It is natural to think and of course an intelligent guess would be that Nepalese are mostly the hybrids of Mongols and Aryans. Yes, indeed this is the truth but still the question is who came to Nepal first – the Mongols or the Aryans?

At present, scientific community has widely accepted the recent African origin of modern humans 200,000 years ago better known as “Out of Africa” theory. However, controversies still exist whether the early human originated in Africa (single-origin hypothesis) or were originated at several locations including Africa (multiple-origin hypothesis) (Harpending and Eswaran, 2005; Lui et al., 2006). It is believed that the modern human left Africa 125,000 years ago and reached the present day Middle-East Asia from where they dispersed into three different directions (at different time-scales) – one lineage to the Europe, second lineage towards China and the third lineage into South Asia (India).

A map of early human migrations ( Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spreading_homo_sapiens.svg )

The northeast Indian passageway connecting the Indian subcontinent to East/Southeast Asia is thought to have been a major corridor for human migrations. Indeed, abundant East Eurasian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages have already been detected in the northeast Indian populations raising the possibility that the East Eurasian influence could trace its origin back to the dispersal of Tibeto-Burman people who arrived at Nepal via northeast India (Cordaux et al., 2004; Reddy et al., 2007). Recently, by comparing the Y-chromosome lineages between the Nepalese and the Tibetan populations, Gayden et al. have proposed that the East Eurasian genetic components had been introduced into Nepal from Tibet directly (Gayden et al., 2007; Gayden et al., 2009). But still this raised a major question – did Tibetan cross the great Himalayas to enter Nepal?

A recent study by Wang et al. entitled “Revisiting the role of the Himalayas in peopling Nepal: insights from mitochondrial genomes”, published in March 2012, finally came up with an answer.  For this, mtDNA was collected from 246 unrelated individuals from Kathmandu and Eastern Terai. Other data from both mtDNA as well as Y-chromosome was obtained from various published studies as detailed in Table-1 in the paper.

Sampling locations of the populations analyzed in this study. The Nepalese populations collected in this study are highlighted with solid pentacles, and the black dots represent the populations retrieved from the literature.

 

Different loci of mtDNA and Y-chromosome are used as genetic markers to trace the great human migration and ancestry. The mtDNA traces the maternal lineage (as mitochondria of a zygote is always contributed by the mother) and Y-chromosome of course traces the paternal lineage (as only the father contributes Y-chromosome to a zygote destined to become a male). Often Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam are referred to as the ancestors of every human being living on earth today. They are certainly not the first female and male on the earth as the Bible interprets, there were many humans in addition to Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam, but they are the only surviving genetic markers/lineage till date that has been passed on to the existing human population. (For more information on the topic)

The study revealed that genetic components of East Eurasian (36.59%) and South Asian (51.63%) ancestry have comprised the vast majority of the Nepalese gene pool. Majority of the samples belonged to the already defined haplogroups, such as, M3, M5, M18, M30, M35, M43, D4, R8 and M60. (Haplogroup represents the group of individuals having similar alleles or SNP profile). Furthermore the study revealed a novel haplogroup characterized by variations 9266 and 11827, which was named as M81.

The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of 43 populations under study revealed 3 among 5 of the Nepalese population clustered with Tibetan population. This means that 3 of the Nepalese population are very similar to the clustered Tibetan population.

[PCA is a very popular statistical technique to analyze High-Dimensional Dataset. Simply putting it, whenever there are multiple variables/factors describing a population then the dimension of data (or degree of freedom) is proportional to the number of variables which makes it very difficult to analyze as well as visualize the data. PCA reduces all these n-variables to 2 Components (or sometimes 3 if needed) so that it will make us easy to find correlation among the different variables. (For more information on the topic)]

Principle component analysis (PCA) of the populations under study.

The pairwise-distance data reveals that the Nepalese population is closely related to the Tibetan population. Following is a UPGMA tree constructed from the distance data in Table-2.

UPGMA tree constructed from the distance data in Table-2

The results of the admixture estimation analysis revealed that the Tibetans made major contribution to virtually all Nepalese populations (except for the eastern Tharu population)

Admixture analysis of the Nepalese by comparing with its potential parental populations (Tharu_E : Eastern Tharu) (Note: the error bars have not been plotted for the sake of simplicity)

On the basis of the constructed median networks, several features could be observed:

  1. the Nepalese share some basal or internal haplotypes with the Tibetans;
  2. the Nepalese harbor a number of unique haplotypes at the terminal level, most of which branched off directly from the nodes occupied almost exclusively by the Tibetan lineages and
  3. only a few haplotypes are shared sporadically between the Nepalese and the northern Indians.

Taken together, the Nepalese lineages of East Eurasian ancestry generally show much closer affinity with the ones from Tibet, albeit a few mtDNA haplotypes, likely resulted from recent gene flow, were shared between the Nepalese and northern (including northeast) Indians.

[Note: Median Network is more or less similar to a phylogenetic tree but based on graph theory. These median networks are more informative than regular phylogenetic tree as the former considers the different evolutionary rate prevalent at different nodes of the network. Computationally it is termed as “Speedy Construction and Greedy Reduction” !!]

Median networks of haplogroups A11, C, F1c and Z.

Median networks of haplogroups G2a2 and M9a1a2a

Time estimation results revealed that haplogroups G2a2 and M9a1a2a have very similar ages ~6 kya (6,000 years ago). The previous work has suggested that the maternal genetic components from the northern East Eurasian was introduced into Tibet around 8.2 kya (Zhao et al., 2009) and time estimation resulted from this study fit the dating frame very well. Now it is convincing that the East Eurasian had entered Nepal across the Himalayas around 6 kya, a scenario in good agreement with the previous findings from linguistics and archeology. Yes, the Tibetans (Mongols) did cross the great Himalayas to enter Nepal even before the Aryans arrived.

Reference:

Wang HW, Li YC, Sun F, Zhao M, Mitra B, Chaudhuri TK, Regmi P, Wu SF, Kong QP, Zhang YP. Revisiting the role of the Himalayas in peopling Nepal: insights from mitochondrial genomes. J Hum Genet. 2012 Apr;57(4):228-34 (Download Full Text Article)

Related Papers:

  1. Gayden et al. The Himalayas as a directional barrier to gene flow. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 80, 884–894 (2007).
  2. Fornarino et al. Mitochondrial and Y-chromosome diversity of the Tharus (Nepal): a reservoir of genetic variation. BMC Evol. Biol. 9, 154 (2009).
  3. Su et al. Y chromosome haplotypes reveal prehistorical migrations to the Himalayas. Hum. Genet. 107, 582–590 (2000).
  4. Cordaux et al. The Northeast Indian passageway: a barrier or corridor for human migrations? Mol. Biol. Evol. 21, 1525–1533 (2004).
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110 thoughts on “Genetic Ancestry of Nepalis

  1. Pretty interesting stuff there but I am a bit confused. Why are the groups like Rais, Limbus and Tamangs who are more physically oriental looking than say compared to Newars, Bahuns and Chettris not included in the research? If you have any information regarding the genetic makeup and origin of Rais, Limbus and groups alike then please send me a reply.

    • Jack, I don`t know about the other two you mentioned but Tamang is actually considered Tibetans by heritage. The name itself means `horse army` (Cavalry in Tibetan) and were believed to have originated from the border soldiers guarding the frontiers during the might of the Tibetan empire. Later, when the empire fell apart, they assimilated themselves into the community they were at. I am not an expert but that is the generally believed story.

  2. Google is almost void of Nepalese talking about genetic ancestry. Yes, we talk about race but race a s of today. Not where it came from. And for someone who is neither a a genetics-related major student or an anthropologist just a curious one it was so frustrating to see nothing until I came to this page. I was like thank you god, atleast there is someone.
    I went through your post but the most unsatisfying part was no samples were taken from far western part of Nepal or even western where majority of Brahmin and Chettri live. By looking at the samples taken I guess it was obvious more influence from the Tibetan side would be seen. Like kathmandu houses ethnic newars by the looks you could get tibetan influence, likwise tharu people too exhibit mongoloid influence and eastern Nepal has majority of Tibetan influence too.

  3. I am a fellow Shrestha (Hada) so I’ll tell you a story-

    As you may know, up until the Malla rule until the 18th century, Shresthas (or Syasya: in Newari) were seen as the Kshatriya equivalents of Newars and in general, Nepal. Atleast the higher Shrestha families of today like Malla, Hada, Roy, Pradhan, Rajbhandari, among others claimed to be direct descendants of not only Malla, but also Khas (Western Nepal), Rajput (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh), Karnatak (Southern India) ancestry. These people till today refer to their Newar caste not as “Shrestha” but “Chatharia” or “Thakoo”. Chatharia/Chathariya here is a corruption of the word Kshatriya, and “Thakoo” being Thakur, the ruling/warrior caste group in Hindu societies. Pradhan (Singh) Hada, Raya, Chauhan (now referred as Amatya), Raghubanshi (Rajbanshi) have Rajput genealogies going back not more than 500-700 years. The Mallas come from the Magadh area (present day Bihar), and have connections with the Khas Malla, Sen, Chand kings, of which many still live there and are under present Thakuri caste. Karmacharya (tantric priests who are believed to be degraded Brahmins), many original Shrestha (not the caste but specific surname who were warriors) along with few occupational castes like Kulu, Khadgi, Kasain (butchers) families claim to have come from Karnataka in South India along with Adi Sankaracharya in the past 800 years.

    Along with these “newer” additions to Newar nation, some of the older (pre 1200s) ruling Licchavi and Thakuri families (these ruled before Mallas) were also included in the Shrestha division. Although still considered Kshatriyas, these “older” clans were clearly seen as lower than the “newer” additions of the Rajputs, Karnatak, Khas bloods of the newer Malla ruling class. These people are believed to be the prime progenitors of present day people who are called “Shrestha”. Not all Licchavis and Thakuris were turned into Shrestha though. Most of the common folks of that time were turned into sat-Sudra, working as farmers and agriculture as their main occupation, they are the present day Jyapus (farmers.) When the Mallas came into power, they made the few rich Lichhavis into “Bharos”, powerful, rich merchants. Unlike Chatharia whose primary occupation was as courtiers and rulers and who were barred from anything related to business or trade, these Shresthas were the primary carriers of business and trade, Vaishya equivalents. Those who made a ton of money also climbed up the social ladder and got their sons and daughters to marry with Chatharia families, thus raising their caste status altogether.

    Also, in the past 600 years, all other groups of people like Terai’s Kayasthas, Thakurs, along with the Jaishi Brahmins, the Joshis, were mixed into this pot of a truly mixed Syasya: caste. After the unification by Prithvi Narayan Shah, the previously mentioned “Chatharia or Thakoo” had no option but to marry outside of their circle and marry with the rich Shrestha, Joshi, Karmacharya et al.. thus further mixing the pot even more. Even till today, they prefer to marry within their traditional Chatharia caste status families only like Malla preferring only Amatya, Pradhan, Hada, or Karmacharya preferring the Guruba/Karmacharyas or Joshis.

    So question here is, although Shrestha/Syasya: caste seems to have a largely Indian descent, why do many look Mongoloid? There is no doubt that there has been a huge amount of racial intermingling within Newars (especially within Syasya: caste) Caste rigidity happened only in 1400s during Jayasthiti Malla’s rule. Before that there was no pronounced rule into marrying someone else of another race. Since Newars at that time did their primary trade with Tibetans, it is without a doubt that the rich Syasya: had TIbetan concubines, or gave away their daughters to rich TIbetan traders. The Udaya caste of Newars (Tuladhars, Bania, Kansakar, etc) were the Buddhist counterparts to these Shresthas. They too were traders and merchants, and they too had Tibetan wives. But unlike the Hindu Shresthas where having a Tibetan wife (not just concubines but true wives) was looked downed upon and discouraged, The Udayas continued this practice up until the Ranas and brought back many of their half-Tibetan children to be fully incorporated in Newar society.

    That is the near past. However if you look over two to three thousand years of history, it is a fact that those original settlers were undoubtedly of Mongol origins. Up until the past 2000 years, Nepal Valley was ruled by Kirants who are believed to be the forefathers of today’s Tamang, Sunuwar, Rai and Limbu people. There isn’t sufficient research on this, but it can be fairly assumed that even though defeated, some of these people stayed back after Licchavi conquest. Then, the new Aryan people from the south intermixed with the existing Mongol people to form the first true “Newar” population. Again, this was all before the caste rigidity and rules that prevented people from marrying people of other race or caste. There are sub-groups within Jyapus for example who claim to be descendants of Mahispals and Gopals. There are castes like Malakars/Mali and Tepe/Byanjankar who claim to be true descendants of those remaining Kirants. The Manandhars of Kathmandu claim Greek descent (apparently from one of Alexander’s soldier.) But it is evident in the faces of all Newar castes and people that the past 3000 + years of Nepal Valley’s history has brought a good amount of intermixing and intermingling of people. People aspired to reach the Shrestha status, and especially the Chatharia status. An example of this is a thar called “Sainju” or “Sayenju” which is currenly a Chatharia status thar, but it can be assumed that wasn’t so in the past. The meaning of this thar ‘Sayen’ or “Sain” = Bhote/Tibetan and “Ju” = honorific ‘sir’. So these people were originally believed or seen as Tibetans (or related to Tibetans in some way so could be Tamang or Kirant.) With good fortune, fate, or pure determination they rose up the social hierarchy (just like how Jang Bahadur changed his caste status from Khas to Rajput.) The only racially “pure” people within Newars have to be the Rajopdhyaya Bajyes, the “real” Brahmins of Kathmandu who came to Nepal in the 1400s and degraded the already existing Karmacharyas and Joshis into Kshatriya status. They have maintained their caste status and racial homogeneity by marrying within their Rajopadhyaya clan only.

    Oh my that was a long post. If you have more questions, I’m happy to share what I know!

    • Your insight on the story is very interesting. However I cannot comment on the story you have presented as I’m not an expert in the history/origin of any ethnic groups. I’m not sure if your story are merely anecdotal or based on any proven research. If you could cite your claims it would be much beneficial to the greater community.

      Also I do not take any credibility on the works and claimed in the paper presented. As a student and a genetics enthusiast I’ve only elaborated what’s known to the scientific community.

    • Dear Sir,
      Your post is very interesting. It has been evident that the term “Newar” cannot be wholly explained in terms of actual lineage and migration sources. But the Newars in Kathmandu wielded the premier influence in city planning, commerce and setting up many municipal combines. They set the standards high in the arts. One has to only take a look at the temples and foundational rock work in and around Kathmandu to know this.
      Thank You for your message.
      sanjiv

    • Your assessment might be partially true, but you have totally disregarded the language used by the newari people. Newari or Nepal Bhasa is a dialect of the tibetan language. Surely, it has borrowed a lot of words from sanskrit over the centuries. It has been said that the people who migrated with the Kirats, who were ruled by the dynasty were given the name Newar, which in its literal translation means people of nepal. Later when all the Lichhavis and the Mallas arrived, the ruling class was overthrown but the people that were ruled remained. It is well documented that the Licchavi kings learned how to speak the newari language and so did the mallas. During this time there was mixing and the people that did come from south asia introduced their surnames and so on. It is a well known fact that most of the newari traditions are similar to tibetan and kirati traditions. If you do make an argument saying the newars also share similarities of that of south asia, it is solely because of the introduction of hinduism and nothing else. So im pretty sure that it is the other way round. Because Tibetans or Mongols resided in kathmandu earlier than the Aryans and it was the Aryans that mixed with the mongols.

    • Whats ur source for this information it explains some reasonable points but lack of citation makes me skeptic about its validity. I have done some research my self and i havent found any information regarding the origin of non mallas of newars.

  4. Pingback: On the Roots of the “Shrestha” Clan | Aakhayan

  5. Yes these historical insights should always be seen as anecdotal stories because with history there is always the point of exaggeration or mere legends that has been passed on from generations. The evidence I have at least at my personal expense is my family’s genealogies (both paternal and maternal.) Among the Newas many financially stable or religious-minded families used to have genealogies of their families dating back hundreds of years (my mom’s side goes back almost 600 years.) But the question again is whether these are to be taken as 100% facts. It’s a fact that the Ranas for example altered much of their ancestry through these very genealogies. In Nepal especially your status in society comes from the power you have, and if you have power, you have others at your expense. Also, the stories I shared were stories told to me by my grand parents and older relatives with their own account and experiences.

    The other stories are merely based on the accounts I’ve read from a LOT of studies through the internet (I’m an anthropological and history nut.) There are also shared personal experiences (like the one about Sainju, and the marrying rules, and my elders’ take/beliefs/understanding on caste backgrounds.) Again not scientific at all, but in the traditional way of one generation to next kind of stories. But again, at individual levels, if you look at a Newari face it is evident that there is a genetic intermixing. I hate to generalize but just a sweeping look at Tuladhars or Shakyas or Shrestha families show that there is slightly more Tibetan influence. Again if you look at Bhaktapur’s other castes there are more darker, with more ‘Indian’ facial features like coarser hair, rounder eyes, better defined nose, etc. The Rajopadhyayas look almost like Madhesi people to be honest or Pahades. So just by looking at the features one can deduce assumptions which match in many cases with their historical/anecdotal evidences.

    And several old texts including the Swayambhu Puran mention about how different people entered Kathmandu in different times – all later combining to be the Newars of today. Things like Licchavis or Mallas originally coming from India or Rai and Limbus being descendants of the Kirantis are taken as historical facts, not mere assumptions. Studies done my MANY people throughout the years also link to the things I’ve said above. But again, unless proven by genetic studies (and even with that I don’t think a 100% true picture can ever be painted) all claims, studies should be seen with a grain of salt I suppose. But this is all damn interesting don’t you agree? And stories like this must be shared to more people because 99% of us don’t know about our glorious history.

  6. You can see where Newars cluster (as well as where Brahmins, Chettris, Madhesis and Magars cluster) in the PCA analysis below. This is the Xing et al paper:

    So essentially speaking, we all have East Asian admixture to a degree, including bahuns. In my case, since my ancestry is bahun, my East Asian admixture is 5% in excess of North Indian populations.

    Aside from the PCA above, here is admixture analysis on Xing et al data done by Harappa:

    Nepalese-a (mainly bahuns, but also one Madhesi who must be a Brahmin was included here) :
    34% South Indian
    38% Baloch
    5% Caucasian
    13% Northeast European
    8% East Asian of various types

    Nepalese-b ( Must include 2 Newars, 1 Magar, and some samples of unknown ethnicity. Also may have a bahun outlier or two as well) :
    25% South Indian
    8% Baloch
    1% Caucasian
    3% Northeast European
    >50% East Asian (mainly Northeast Asian, which peaks in the Japanese and Han, but is high in Tibetans as well).

    Nepalese-c (Some bahuns and 2 chettris):

    32% South Indian
    25% Baloch
    5% Caucasian
    6% Northeast European
    30% East Asian of various types

    I wish that the Magar sample would have been separated from the Newar samples, but the Xing dataset that Zack used does not separate Nepalese people by ethnicity unfortunately. One would expect differences between Newars and Magars.

    Link below:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuW3R0Ys-P4HdDhib1M5OE1wWENNb2haUFFWZzNBMEE#gid=0

    One interesting thing is, they have found R1b in Newars. It is a haplogroup virtually absent in India, and actually peaks in certain regions in Europe. The ultimate origin of R1b is somewhere in West Asia, possibly the Caucasus.

  7. That is very interesting Researcher! I’m surprised Nepalis have such a considerable amount of South Indian (Dravidian?) Could you further elaborate the Baloch type? I’m guessing it is an Indian subtype?
    And note to the author I don’t write Shrestha (Hada), it is just Hada.

    • :),
      The Baloch component peaks in Balochistan, but is elevated in Sindhis and Punjabis. However, it is also found in elevated levels in Iran as well as the North Caucasus. I would not necessarily call it Indian even though it is the second highest component in majority of Indians. The reason being, it is also the second highest component in Iran and possibly in various regions of the Caucasus.

  8. Interesting discussion going on. I suggest that you go through http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090922/full/news.2009.935.html

    and, also

    http://www.harappadna.org/

    We can infer a lot about Nepali ethnic people from these 2 sources. It would be great if interested people like you and me and others would do DNA test and see the percent contribution of European Ancestor, South Indian Ancestor and Tibetan-Magar (East Asian) Ancestors. We can share the results.

    There is one paper on DNA anaylsis of Nepali people with some Gayden as first author but again it seems its a flawed paper. It lumps all people together.

    • Ava,
      I myself have done a 23andme genetic test and sent my data to Harappa project. The guy who runs that site is about to release a new calculator, so I say hurry up.
      In fact I am the first official Nepali project member of harappadna.org.
      Ava, can you do a 23andme test and send your data to him? That would really be very helpful.
      And “:)”, you should do it to.
      Only 3 official Nepali participants to date. I sent my data a year ago actually.
      It has been rather difficult to recruit Nepalis. I tried emailing some of my 23andme dna relatives, but nobody wants to communicate.

      • Sure,How much is the cost? I am on tight budget – working on few projects (books) on Nepal but you know it has been in my mind for a long time. Getting results of 200-300 Nepali people and writing a book. What do you think about it? This will demolish the entire myth that Nepali people are so different – each ethnic group is an island having no relationship with the other.

      • Ava,
        Yes, the cost is $100. Do it when you get a chance.
        As for the Xing study, yes I have seen it. However, the issue with Xing samples is that it does not separate people by ethnicity. Also, Harappa’s new Calculator is based on 16 components. That Nepali study was based on 11 components. Harappa does not use that anymore. Another thing, Xing’s data lack enough snp’s, and as a result, it is not very accurate. This is why I say send your data.

        I am bahun too, and this is what I am approximately at K=16:
        32% South Indian
        35 % Baloch
        8% Caucasian
        12.5% Northern European
        3% Mediterranean
        8% or so East Asian out of which 5% is Tibeto-Burman. The other 3 % came from Central Asia, as it is found in Northwestern South Asia as well among Punjabis.

      • Yes, I will do the test asap. So the South Asian part is more than I had anticipated in Bahus. Makes sense, the more east of the Himalaya chain more South Asian ancestor percentage. Kashmiri bramhins I assume w have less SA component and more European ancestor. If u see the nature paper of 2009 they have 70$ european ancestor percentage while Sindis have 75%

        Similarly, I suspect there will be little variation among the mountain bahuns and the plain bahuns.

        The most interesting thing is that everyone in the mountains have some percentage of the 3 main ancestors… regardless of their phenotype diffeences. We are more like Hazara people.

      • Ava,
        The South Asian element in bahuns is one of the lowest in South Asia. The few populations with lower ASI are punjabi jats, Kashmiris as well as Pashtuns.
        As far as Nepalis being similar to Hazaras, it just depends on the group. Hazaras are mainly of the East Asian variety with some South Asian and West Eurasian.
        Based on their Reich paper, bahuns will have around 65% West Eurasian, but keep in mind that the paper is already outdated.
        My analysis suggests bahuns have West Eurasian in the 70’s.
        The actual Onge admixture will be in the teens with West Eurasian in the 70’s.
        Also, in my case I am perhaps 7% East Asian. Do you expect higher in your case?
        Bahuns are not homogeneous. There is one bahun sample that is 20% East Asian.
        So the East Asian range in bahuns is between 5-30%. Majority will have it around my level. So between 5-10%.

    • Ava, judging from your last name you are Kumai Bahun, originating from the Kumaon region of India in Uttarkhand. Your background will be very different from that of a Upadhyay Brahmin (if you are purely Kumai Brahmind and if the other person is purely Upadhyay Brahmin). Upadhyay Brahmins come from the Punjab/Kashmir Regions.

      Kumaon Brahmins: Uttar Pradesh
      In Uttar Pradesh from west to east: Upreti / Uprety(देवनागरी:उप्रेती),is a highly esteemed community of Brahmins living in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Some branches of Upreti / Uprety Brahmins are also found in Uttar Pradesh (mainly in Agra), Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan & now in Gujrat, they were originally migrated from Kumaon region. According to their traditions, they are the descendants of the sage Bharadwaj.[1]
      According to Pandit Badri Datt Pandey’s legendary book History of Kumaon, the Upretis were originally inhabitants of Maharashtra region of western India, or from Kannauj from where they migrated to the hills. They migrated to Nepal along with other Brahmins from Almora under the royal patronage of the Hindu kingdom when the Kumaon region was under the control of the Gurkhas till the early 19th Century.

      Upadhyay Brahmins(AKA:Saryupareen):
      Pancha Gauda Brahmins:
      Panch Gauda (the five classes of Northern India): (1) Saryupareen Brahmins, (2)Kanyakubja Brahmins, (3) Maithil Brahmins, (4) Saraswat Brahmins and (5)Utkala Brahmins. In addition, for the purpose of giving an account of Northern Brahmins each of the provinces must be considered separately, such as Uttar Pradesh, Ayodhya (Oudh), Kashmir, Nepal, Uttarakhand, Himachal,Kurukshetra, Rajputana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gandhara, Punjab, Bengal,Orissa, Bihar, North Western Provinces and Pakistan, Sindh, Central India, and Tirhut, among others. They originate from south of the (now-extinct) Sarasvati River.[13]

      SOURCE:http://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/surnames-of-all-brahmins-bengal-odisha-haryana-assam-up-mp/

      Example of a Upadhyay Brahmin: Sir name from Wiki:
      Paudel (Nepali: पौडेल, Latin: Pāudel) is a common South Asian surname, mainly used in Nepal. Nevertheless, Paudel surname is being used interchangeably in all continent with Poudyal, Poudar, Paudwal, Poudel and some other variations regardless of its origination, religion, and race. Most people with this surname live in the Nepali and Maithili speaking belt of South Asia. There are many sub-divisions in the Nepali caste which are based on peoples’ origins. For example, Brahmins(the highest of castes) who resided north of the Saryu River were called Saryuparin Brahmins.

      SOURCE:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paudel

      • How certain are you that Upadhyay Brahmins hail from Punjab /Kashmir region? I am Upadhyay and my documentation suggests we hail from Kannauj. I don’t necessarily agree with it.
        You look at my genetic data (32 % South Indian), and compare to Uttar Pradesh Brahmin, while I do have higher East Asian, my South Indian component is lower by quite a bit–by almost 8 %. Meaning that Uttar Pradesh Brahmins score around 40% South Indian. Not just that, my Caucasian component is higher as well, with the Baloch component lower. The Northern European component is around the same.
        Rajasthani Brahmins, Kashmiri Pandits as well as Punjabi Brahmins are genetically very close. I am not too far from these groups either–perhaps a difference of 4-5 %. But then, UP Brahmins aren’t too far either. Furthermore, UP Brahmins from Western side of Uttar Pradesh are no different from Punjabi Brahmins.
        There is one individual from Uttaranchal who is highly East-Asian shifted on the Harappa database. He is a brahmin, and he scores almost 30% East Asian.
        I think he may be an outlier. I mean, I have some Kumai bahuns on my 23andme DNA relative list, and we are really not very different.
        In my opinion, there will be no genetic difference between Kumain and Upadhyay.
        It will be interesting when Ava posts her data.

      • There are two sect of Hill Bhrahmin in Nepal, They are Kumaoni and Purbiya. Upadhyay is pure form of Brahman on both sect. Lower form is Jaishi.

      • True that. You cannot use “UPADHAYA” instead of “Purbiya Brahmins”. I mean even Kumaoni can be “UPADHYA”. And I am loving these conversations. And, researcher I am really impressed bro. Can we please share our details, since I am so much into history and ancestral lineage. I want to learn more from you. ping me at kevran22@gmail.com.

  9. Also, about the indigenous people of Kathmandu Valley I doubt if anybody ran away to the mountains as the mythical story goes. It does not make sense. It is more likely that the indigenous people who spoke a tibeto-burman language incorporated into their society the influx of culture, religion etc from the south. It must have happened slowly and taken a thousand plus years.

    This Valley Invasion Theory is akin to the Aryan Invasion Theory. The latter has bitten the dust and the former should also be given a nice farewell.

    • Indeed, the South Asian element has to be lowest in Bahuns as they have one of the highest European element in the Subcontinent. I have no idea what percentage the East Asian component will show in my case – maybe 10% to 15% or even less. Most of my relatives they look like Iranians or Europeans but again some of my relatives look like typical Khas of Western Nepal. All of my immediate relatives are Pandey, Lohani, Regmi – all from Kumaon. Regmis are Joshi from Kumaon although I saw a more typical khas imprint in them.

      About me, I look more like from the plains – Bihari, South Indian type. I have also few relatives who have very strong Magar element written all over their face and they are also “pure” bahuns. As you said the East Asian part has to vary among bahuns: maybe those migrated to the plains have less East Asian component and that was supplanted by South Asian component.

      We need to get 200 plus samples of Nepali people and also at the same time ensuring that we know their correct tribe and caste.

      • I am an “Eastern” hill bahun. However, given that my 23andme DNA relatives have some Western Nepali bahuns as well who cluster right next to me on PCA plots, it is my belief that there won’t be much of an autosomal difference.
        In terms of looks, I would say I look pretty much Indian. My mom basically looks Indian as well. However, my dad pretty much looks Middle Eastern/Iranian. My father’s side of the family has this type of look (i.e. Iranian). I too have cousins who have a Magar element in their faces.
        You are right about migrants from the plains having higher South Asian. Their South Asian would be in the high 30’s to low 40’s.
        I don’t think you’ll get East Asian > 10 % if you look Indian. Probably something similar to mine, which is between 5 – 8%. It probably just depends where you reside.

  10. This makes sense:

    Nepalese-a (mainly bahuns, but also one Madhesi who must be a Brahmin was included here) :
    34% South Indian
    38% Baloch
    5% Caucasian
    13% Northeast European
    8% East Asian of various t

    • http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_R1a_Y-DNA.shtml

      According to 23andme data the Nepali Hill brahmin is from the R1a haplogroup. The link above describes our roots very clearly. Another thing if you look at Pandeys (kumaon brahmins)from Nuwakot and compare them with lets say Upadhyay Brahmins from the Hills you will see that Kumaon brahmins have less east asian looking features. I do not have ANY cousins with east asian features at all. we are all tall, fair and my immediate family is light eye’d (hazel,green, light brown and gray eyes). Extended family and Immediate family are all Fair tall and have big eyes and long pointy noses(lol). Lohani’s,Pandey’s, Khakurels etc all have slanted eyes (downwards) If you analyze them in bulk (many). You will never see that in pure Upadhyay bauns. Researcher you are also mixed between Upadhyay and Kumaon, so we cannot categorize you as Upadhyay Brahmin.

      Dixit, Rimals, Koirala’s , Mishra’s I urge you to ahead an find pure brahmins from these surnames. I promise you, they will have way less east asian in them than Kumai Brahmins.

      As far as Kashmir and Punjab is concerned lets get this straight: Not all Brahmins migrated from the same place. But I can tell you that both of my parents sides are from these regions. My great granddad (moms side) has written a book on our family’s ancestry. Also Mr. Kishor Rimal (uncle) has also recently written a book of our family tree dating several generations. Thats how I know I’ve had none to very little mixture in my family. When majority of your family looks the same, has nearly the same features its easy to tell.

      However some of my distant relatives have now married women from terai(brahmins) (Grandmas sisters sons) and their kids are darker.

      • And also Lamichanne’s, Chapagains have Asian features as well. Devkota’s, Mishra’s, Gyawali, Dixit’s, Rimals, Risals-these family’s who have been very strict families, you tend to see no asian features. They are very Indo-Aryan looking. Again its hard because you can’t just ask someone if they are pure Upadhyay or Kumai Bahuns or not without them thinking you are some kind of racial supremacist. Its a touchy subject.But you know living around Nepal you can generally find out through family/friends. Just try to analyze what i’ve said and find these types of people. You’ll see what I mean.

      • I am mixed Kumain and Upadhyay? No, I am Upadhyay with no Kumaoni in my family. The bahuns with low East Asian admixture will be more like me. I will be very surprised if you get much lower East Asian admixture. There are some bahuns with more than 20 % East Asian admixture. If you got harappa results are different from mine, you can post it right here. We can compare. Just go to gedmatch.com and upload your data and then run the Harappa calculator.

        I have people in my family who could even pass in Europe. That’s phenotype. However, we are talking about genotype, and the reality here is Nepali brahmins will have some degree of East Asian admixture, with some having it higher than 20%. My Kirati admixture is probably in the 5% range, with some other admixtures perceived as “East Asian” coming from Central Asia.

        23andMe has me at 1% East Asian. However, that’s not reality. Their PCA is more accurate.

  11. So you have come down to low east asian and high blablabla genetic admixtures theory.It stings. .Dear Researcher please continue to be an unbaised student of anthropological geneticist

    • His answer is based on genetic testing from 23andme. It is credible and seems far from ‘biased’……

  12. Dear Researchers, I just stumbled unto this but is the Harappa Project still on? If yes is there a chance of including samples from Darjeeling and Sikkim? You have a whole lot of Khas and Kiranti populace here too.

  13. I am Upadhyay and i admit that if some Brahmin is living in Nepal, then there is 90% chance that his European gene has been contaminated with Mongolian gene. Because the people having face similar to that of Indo-chinese in Nepal are nothing but a mix-breed of Aryan and mongolian gene. I am a pure Aryan (Kanjkunj Brahman) and want to confess that the original Brahmans living in northern India have Indo-European gene with exception of those who have married with Nepali womens or any anglo-tribal community.

    • The above is ridiculous statement from an Indian. I have never seen Nepali hill Brahmins have any Mongolian features although they might carry Mongolian genes from a distant past. Kshatriyas are mixed. My grandparents used to say Khas were very fair till they moved to the plains and became dark like plains people. Most Nepali Brahmins look better than Indian Brahmins, and if you marry a Nepali Brahmin girl, there is not a chance they will look Mongilian, but your kids will probably look better than the typical Indian Brahmin if she is a Nepali hill Brahmin. Since Brahmins do not intermarry with other castes and Nepal was a strict Hindu nation without much Islamic influence, the amount of Mongolian is from a distant gene pool. Nepalese Kshatriyas have a lot of Mongolian in them and have Mongolian looks.There are differences between Brahmins in Nepal as they have come from different regions of India, some like Khas are from Kashgar not India. Kashmiris look most like us from what I have seen among Indian Brahmins. The beauty of hill Brahmin women was legendary, after migrating to plains from mountains they are getting to look different. But again this is my family. I am married to a Kashmiri and I don’t find the average Kashmiri more distinguished looking than people I see in my family. Look at BP Koirala and Nehru, the former is the handsome Khas Nepali Pandit, Nehru not great looking. However, I have seen some very dark Nepali Brahmins almost black but never one with Mongolian features.

      • what do you mean by better look?? your racial facts might be true but your choices of words clearly influenced by something else……..nway nice discussions…

      • @Rajeev
        I was merely responding to the extreme statements by Nishant Upadhaya using a bit of hyperbole in response. Nepalis would not make such statements. It is true historically people married within their castes, but people got along overall living in harsh mountain conditions. If you were to marry outside your caste that was that and end of matter. Despite the various ethnicities in Nepal, there is a cultural and civilizational unity. No one is denying marginalization resulted historically, but you find this in all societies, in the United States, for example, blacks were denied civil rights till recently. Nepal was historically a closed country, I would say most of social ills came from political conditions such as people not being allowed access to higher education during Rana regime, this denial of access to higher education was true for all castes. Nepal can self correct without extreme destabilizing political movements. Due to fascism in Europe, people always sound the alarm bells when there are movements to the far right, but no one raises a voice against the extreme left. If you take a look historically, the far left has killed more people and caused more damage. And if you only see Indic civilization in terms of caste, you will not be able to understand how it spread bloodlessly to Indo China going all the way to Indonesia. It spreads via gradual assimilation and cultural contact. Moreover, it was common for Brahmins to become Buddhist in Kashmir and other areas historically. These religions existed harmoniously for the most part as their essential world view is the same. Moreover, Hindu society when left to itself is self correcting, you have the emergence of other Dharmic sects such as Jainism, Buddhism to increase the Dharmic fold and greater inclusion, to self correct as it were while keeping the essential philosophical world view in tact. One has to remember Indic civilization was also destabilized historically with Islamic invasions and also colonialism…Mr. Upadhaya must be from around Bihar, which was historically devastated and perhaps UP where you see caste conflict to make statements of such a nature…But Nepal is quite different in this respect and it should self correct unless the far left destabilizes it to the point of no return…

  14. Brahmins living in Nepal are not pure Brahmins. They are mix-breed of Aryan and Mongolian(Chinese) gene. Actually, the Aryans( the people of northern plains of India who are believed to have migrated from Europe and middle-east Asia) had first settled on the land of Nepal. But the constant Tibetan migration to Nepal led to the tying of knots between the Aryans who had originally settled there and people of tibetan/mongolian gene who look like chinese people(are descendent of later) which led to marriage between them. The migration of Tibetan people has occurred in waves following from beginning of 20th century and mainly after 1950( after Confiscation of Tibet by China). It is ridiculous that Tamang, Lepchas and many other tibetan originated tribes or group claim to be of a particular cast, but the reality is that they are not a part of Indian society. They had never been divided into any caste since they are new to these lands.

    • Dear Indian gentleman Nishant,
      I am amused by your comment that Nepali Brahmins are not pure. What is a pure Brahmin? Your comment has a lot of inaccuracies and you remind me of a South Indian lady who claimed the pagodas in Nepal are of South Indian origin. On the contrary, there is a lot of evidence the pagoda style of architecture originated in Buddhist Hindu areas like Nepal and Kashmir which had a composite Hindu Buddhist culture and went to the Far East. Who are Brahmins? They are people who married other Brahmins historically, simple as that. There were times when caste was rigid and there were times when it was not, depending on the historical situation. There are old historical instances when Brahmins migrated to other parts of India and there not being enough Brahmins accepted other groups into their fold making them Brahmins. Else they would look all alike but they don’t . So your notion of pure Brahmins is ridiculous. After Islamic invasions caste became more rigid. Now Brahmins in Nepal tend to be from all over India due to Ismamic invasions and movement towards hills. But Nepal being an old kingdom, Brahmins have been there for millennia as well. The Khas tribes also had Brahmin castes, and the Khas spread out across the Himalayas, Kashmiris also have some Khas, and people in Uttarakhand as well. I noticed the girls in Simla are beautiful like Nepali hill women. What is a pure Brahmin by your definition? There is no such thing as a pure race. My mother a Nepali hill Brahmin looks European and was often mistaken for French abroad, when she studied in North India girls would pinch her cheeks and lips thinking she was wearing makeup due to being extremely fair. Now if you examine her genetics, I am sure she should have some Mongolian bit in her because of ancestry from remote times, also all kinds of distant tribal genes. Similarly, South Indian Brahmins are likely to have more genes from the areas in which they have lived for centuries and so on. Nepali Brahmins do not have Mongolian features due to lack of intermarriage historically, they might carry those genes from remote history and all kinds of other genes as there is no such thing as a pure race. When my mother studied in India, girls could not believe she was from Nepal, because they think all Nepalese are Mongolian looking. And nothing wrong with having Chinese genes. But Brahmins in Nepal don’t display these features. Nepal is ethnically very diverse. Also your rude remark that if an Indian marries a Nepali Brahmin, the children look Mongolian is ridiculous because it is not going to happen. Besides what is wrong with looking Mongolian? At least make statements with sense. I noticed the same variation amongst Kashmiri Brahmins, they range from very fair to dark but the features are the same despite skin color. The same for Nepali Brahmins. My husband is Kashmiri and they tend to look like us and have a similar culture from living in the mountains. So if you are lucky to marry a real Nepali hill girl, chances are your children will be better looking than the average Indian, and as for nice personality of Nepalese, there is no comparison. Stop calling people pure and impure, people are what they are! There is no such thing as a pure race! The Nepali girls of other non Brahmin groups are also very beautiful and stunning!

    • hi, im Acharya brahmin from eastern hill.Mother is Bhattarai.Maternal eye n skin feature is southindian,which i noticed long ago.Our eye is wide Rajasthani like,where as skin is south indian type.Once when i asked my maternal grand dad,he told me that they were Bhatta brahmin from karnataka (all nepali bhattarai are bhatta from karnataka).Im still unable to know from where we acharyas belong originally? dad only tell that we are from tanahu/kaski/lamjung side. does anyone knows about acharyas?( every indian states have acharya brahmin)???

      • Acharyas are not one ethnic bramhin group. As it was a title for ” teachers” or “professor”, most of which were bramhins with some kshetriya exceptions, it is possible that a accomplished teacher could have continued Acharya as family name. In Nepal, I have seen two kind of Acharyas (both Eastern) 1. Garg Acharyas: They were called Bramhin Kshetrias (or warrrior bramhin), Most likely they came from Utter Pradesh around Mathura, migrated west, there is possibility that they could have mixed with Greeks (some of the translated Greek text were called Gargsastra), I’m not sure about what route they came to Nepal. 2. Kaudinya Acharya (I’m one of them coming from Tanahun): I know from our Bansawali states that 14 generations earlier somebody came from Jumla (Sinja) and settled around Lamjung, from where it disseminated to western Nepali hills. Sinjali Bramhan most likely came from somewhere India (UP, Kashmir?). Kaudinya Rishi (name of the Gotra) was from UP, later converted to Buddism (was an Arahat). So we can guess that some of the off-springs of Kaudina or followers migrated to Sinja(converting back to bramhinism). My relative Acharyas are mostly fair with a mild Kashmiri and Iranian look.

  15. My surname is Dhakal (Upamanyu Gotra) and I am from Sikkim. May I know what kind of genetic composition Dhakals may have. I have cousins and relatives who look like Iranians and Afghanis and at the same time I have other kins who look like Indians in skin shade. Also Rishi Upamanyu and his son Kamboj Aupamanyaava are stated to be from Kamboj region of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and kyrgyzstan.

  16. Good Morning Mr. Shrestha,
    I am glad I read this article.
    I quickly glanced over the replies and I am thinking of doing a test 23andMe Canada.
    I will post my results once I have them.

  17. Same here Mr. Shrestha. We are hill Brahmins. I have a mom who everyone thinks is European and a dad who has handsome features but is dark like North Indians. I am going to do this test and post my results. I have a lot of Persian friends and they often think I am from their country. It will be fascinating do do a genetic test. I am sure there will be quite variety of genes!

  18. Also when speaking of resemblance to Afghans and Persians, one has to understand these are not a uniform group as well. Eastern Afghanistan had Hindu kings till the sixth century. They were brave kings and fought the Muslims. They were ethnically wiped out by Ghaznavids who were a dynasty made of Turko Mongol slaves. Western Afghanistan was conquered by Arabs. So the Afghan mix is Arabs, Turko Mongols and Central Asians as Muslims employed slaves many from Central Asians in their armies and bureaucracy called memluks. The original Hindus were wiped out ethnically in Afghanistan. Persians are also not the original Persians but a mix of Arabs, Turks and original Persians and other groups after Persia fell to Islam…

  19. Also skin coloration seems very dependent on climate. If people live in an area where there is no respite from brutal hot weather they become dark to adjust to those conditions, however fair, I think it takes about thirty generations for skin to change but am not sure about this…. However if there is snow to provide relief from the brutal heat or extreme cold weather to provide respite from the heat, the people living in those parts tend to be fair…So one has to adjust for climate and how people change after generations living in certain climates apart from just genetics.

    • I am not sure if that happens in small scale of time. Darkness of skin is genetically passed to the off-springs and the environment has no influence. However, natural selection can work in span of thousands of years to select skin color for its benefit in the natural surroundings. However that is less possible now as Humans have made their surroundings suitable for them, not vice versa and do not live in wilderness where nature can do its selection.

  20. Great that some peope are going to do a 23andme test. Please note, once you get your data from 23andme, upload it to gedmatch. The 23andme ancestry composition will have you as 95%+ South Asian which isnt accurate. Gedmatch has the harappa calculator, which is the best for South Asians.

  21. Dear Mr. Poudyal,
    I am married to a Kashmiri and there is a lot of differences among them even though they are all Brahmins. Some are dark, and some extremely fair even within the same family last name. My husband’s grandfather looks German in pics, he was that fair, my husband’ s mother is dark and husband is somewhere in between usually mistaken for Kurdish and Middle Eastern…Kashmir has had a lot of invasions from Huns, Tibetans and there were people who moved there from the Deccan historically. There was a Kashmiri family I saw with parents with both dark hair and their son is a redhead with freckles and looks Circassian. These are all Brahmins and so much variation all within the same family last name…While being Brahmins they are a diverse lot for sure!

  22. Among the Brahmins, Kashmiris along with Rajasthani Brahmins tend to be the most West Eurasian shifted. Actually, Kashmiris tend to have some East Admixture admixture as well. It makes sense since they live right next to mongoloid populations like we do. Nepali Brahmins tend to have around 2 % more East Asian than Kashmiri Brahmins. Himachali and Nepali Brahmins tend to have around equal. Also, Kashmiris speak a Dardic language, while we speak an Indo Aryan tongue. Compared to other Dardic populations of Pakistan, Kashmiri Pandits are more Indian shifted. Try comparing autosomal admixture components of Kashmiris to the Kalash for example. The Kalash are similar to Pashtuns.
    Anyways, I feel that Nepali Brahmins have a very different profile. We probably score the highest Northern European component in comparison to other Brahmins. The ones close to us from that perspective would be Rajasthani Brahmins and Uttar Pradesh Brahmins from close to the Nepalese border. At least based on the results I have seen.

    • It is true Kashmiris speak a different dialect. But, historically, they produced great Sanskritists in all spheres of learning. Kashmir fell to Islam in the thirteen hundreds, and it was among the last places in North India to be penetrated by Islam. After forced conversions, the only Hindus left were the Kashmiri Pandits who are all Brahmins, so they don’t have any caste among themselves. They survived by learning Persian and offering their intellectual services at the Muslim court while keeping their religion at home. In that process they lost their Sanskrit tradition, they don’t have a continuous Sanskrit tradition in the family like some Pandits in India and Nepal.
      Historically greater Kashmir extended up to Afghanistan. The Shahi Hindu kings are mentioned in the Rajatarangini as well as by the Persian Al Biruni who has great praise for them. The Rajatarangini is a surviving Sanskrit historical account of course mixed with legend. Colonel James Tod was of the opinion that most historical genealogies of Hindus were lost during invasions, he questions how can people who have excelled at logic, mathematics, arts and all other spheres of learning not have historical documents and surmises they must have been destroyed by invaders. Now Kashmiri Pandits seem to have a keen historical sense compared to other Indians from what I have seen. The Kashmiri Pandits converts to Buddhism are said to have helped Tibetans devise their script. Chinese travelers to Kashmir could not distinguish between Hindus and Buddhists in Kashmir and to this day ordinary Chinese seem to have a memory of Buddhism as coming to China from Kashmir. Now before Afghanistan and the Northwest and Central Asia fell to Islam and were lost to our civilization, there was great interchange of knowledge in the Buddhist areas from Afghanistan, Central Asia, Kashmir to Tibet. Padmasambha who the Tibetans revere as Guru Rinpoche was from the Swat valley. Nepal always had a connection to Tibet recorded from ancient times as far back as the Licchavis. Also the Khas Malla kingdoms of Western Nepal extended to Kashmir and Tibet in the eleventh century apart from contact between Kathmandu and Tibet as old as Licchavi times. So Nepal figures into this network of the flow of ideas connected by monasteries, centers of learning and places of pilgrimages. This gets interrupted by the invasions. The Newars of Kathmandu preserve a great deal of the Sanskrit Buddhism lost in India coming via Nalanda and monasteries in Bihar. The Western Khas kingdom of Nepal was fascinating and not much is known about it as well as the Khas tribes coming from the Tarim Basin. These at that time were not Mongolian tribes, the composition of Tarim Basin today is different, Tibet also had Khas rulers of non Tibetan origins. This history is very fascinating and more needs to be researched about the Khas kingdoms.
      Someone mentioned their ancestors came from Kanauj. That is interesting as Kanauj was the center of Hindu orthodoxy and learning. They must have been brought to Nepal by ancient kings importing learned people or must have fled when Kanauj was destroyed by invaders such that not a trace is left today of its old glory…
      As for the padoga style of architecture originating around Hindu Buddhist greater Kashmir, it is contained in an old book by Cunningham called the Arain Order of Architecture. It is available on google books free and is fascinating to read, an eyewitness account of Kashmiri architecture focusing on the Martand Temple…The author states pagodas are no longer there as they were of brick and wood and destroyed. He links them to a composite Hindu Buddhist architecture…Newaris also excelled at architecture and we all know about Araniko and the stuff he built in China. There must have been a great deal of architectural exchange in these Buddhist areas. The history of these places is fascinating. It is very sad though to see many of the former Buddhist areas no longer a part of our civilization….

      • Well, the documentation that my family has suggests that we came from Kannauj. I do not know if the documentation is fudged. Once a group gains prestige, everybody wants to be a part of it.
        Anyways, some of the old books written by the British seem to suggest that the Khas were a mixture of indo-aryan and Nepalese mongoloid. Another book suggested that the Khas as a purer race did exist, but today, they are found only in a mixed form. I would like to read more about the Khas, but it seems that research is pretty non-existent. The British were pretty racist, so their research is pretty flimsy.
        Anyways, about Nepalese Brahmin east asian admixture, the date of such admixture can be figured out via linkage disequilibrium programs like Alder, provided that the admixture is recent. Turns out that the software cannot pick up any such recent admixture. So I am inclined to believe that the admixture has to be at a MINIMUM older than a thousand years. It can figure out admixture in Turks pretty accurately amd gives an accurate date.

      • Actually, come to think of it, the mixed nature of Khas makes sense given the variation in brahmins. One group has East Asian between 5 to 10 %, while the other group has it at close to 30%. Actually, the one Uttaranchal Brahmin sample I saw also had 30% East Asian admixture.
        So the claim that some plains Brahmins converted the Khas people already living in the hills may be supported by genetic evidence.

  23. Nepal and Kashmir both have interesting histories, especially with respect to the composite Hindu Buddhist culture. Unlike Kannauj, the center of orthodoxy which was wiped out by Muslims, Nepal and Kashmir were along trade routes, making it a popular place for Buddhism, a religion existing along trade routes throughout Central Asia. Unlike in Kashmir where the composite Hindu Buddhist culture was wiped out by forced conversions to Islam, the Hindu Buddhist composite culture of Nepal still exists till today. Both Nepal and Kashmir were famous for Tantra and Shaivism. The wooden houses in these parts also bear an uncanny resemblance. The oldest Sanskrit Buddhist manuscripts are preserved in Nepal, the venerable Min Bahadur Shakya singlehandedly began to collect them, now most of the manuscripts have been digitalized, and many are to still be recovered from monasteries and private collections. Mr Shakya passed away a few years ago. He was an amazing dedicated Buddhist scholar. No one has made a proper study of the Sanskrit Buddhist manuscripts in Nepal, the manuscripts translated to Chinese, Tibetan and Korean were the sources of our understanding of Mahayana Buddhism. After the torching of Nalanda University by Turks, many of the Nalanda teachers came to Nepal and married with Newars. Newars have a rich tradition of copying manuscripts and had a tradition of becoming Buddhist monks. Apart from Buddhism, Nepal is an amazing place to study Hinduism because unlike India where Hinduism was interrupted by Islam, Nepal was mostly Hindu Buddhist so many of the Hindu traditions still exist that you just can’t find in India. We are sitting on a gold mine as far as these things are concerned. Soon these things will disappear due to our lack of regard for them and lack of government patronage. Our Marxist parties are hell bent on destroying our cultural heritage that sustained us through millennia for blind Westernization, the effects of which they don’t understand. We are never taught our glorious history in school. We learn about other peoples history, but we know little about ourselves due to the faulty educational system which does not value our cultural heritage. We are in a cultural amnesia in terms of what we are sitting on. Instead of preserving Kathmandu, we have exchanged our cultural heritage to urban ugliness without any planning. Our leaders have no vision for maintenance of our heritage, only private individuals can do something about it. Our faulty educational system must be addressed, this takes leaders with vision, we have political parties that cannot even write a constitution in seven years, it is terrible…

  24. I am going to do this test. It says it needs up to six weeks for results after you send it in. Since it is summer, I will be able to post results in about three months. I will ask husband to also do the test and we can compare results for a Kashmiri and Nepali. My grandmother on my mother’s side used to say we are Khas Brahmins. My mother’s family seem to have had very little memory of living in the plains. They settled in the Terai only after the deforestation of the Terai. Not all research by British is flimsy. It just needs to be read with other existing sources, they provide good eyewitness accounts. Cunningham’s book is quite accurate as far as the architecture of Kashmir is concerned and it is an eyewitness account. Colonel James Tod’s Annals of Rajputana is also good. The explorer Aurel Stein is another good source on Kashmir and Central Asia as well as Tucci, who were respectively German and Italian. Stein published the definitive edition of the Rajatarangini. Elphinstone is another good eyewitness account. There are Tibetan references to Khas being non Mongolian. It is something that needs more research. I have come across another book on the internet called “Western Tibet and the British Borderland, the sacred country of Hindus and Buddhists” by Sherrington. Research on the Khas is complicated by the fact that many of the areas where they are said to have come from are no longer part of our civilization. Also the Pandits were all driven out of Kashmir in ’89 due to terrorism and what the existing elders know and remember will soon vanish unless recorded…

  25. Yeah, research on Khas is pretty much non-existent. You should order a kit for you and your husband as soon as possible. When I did mine 2 years ago, it probably took me 6 weeks from the day I received the kit. I have heard that it is much faster these days.
    For anthropology/genetics, the best forum has to be:
    http://www.anthrogenica.com

    A member of that site has collected genetic results for various groups. It can be found below. You can see that it already has Nepalese Brahmin samples.
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuXBmvmgdkfVdFMtRHVlZDBuQ3lMcjhxMDE4V3JoYlE&usp=drive_web#gid=7

    I would go straight to the Harappa DIY sheet.

    I am looking forward to seeing your results.

  26. They need to also test a Zoroastrian Iranian as these were the Persians before their conversion. As they don’t intermarry with others, it would be interesting to see their genetic variation. They are also called Baraman by Muslim Iranians which is curious. How do geneticists come up with the categories of Baloch, South Indian and so on?

    • A
      Zoroastrian Iranian has indeed tested herself. She is a 50-50 mix of Indian and Iranian from what I recalled.
      As far as Baloch, South Indian, etc, are basically cluster components that peak in those population. For example, the South Indian peaks in South Indian tribals like the Paniya.

      • Whoops, the above applies to Parsis. Actually, Zoroastrians have not tested themselves.

  27. It was interesting to read on the Harappa site that the Parsi migration was first via males according to genetics, then they married with local Gujrati women and I suppose became endogamous again to preserve their traditions as their numbers grew. Culture can’t be explained by genetics alone, though genetics can explain some things. The Zoorastrians I have seen from Iran were subdued as compared their Indian counterparts who are quite successful as a community, and the former did not have as much a historical sense as the latter, I suppose amidst the tolerant Dharmic culture, Zoorastrians in India were able to flourish, whereas in Iran they must live with a lot of restrictions owing to the regime. I am always struck by the similarities of their fire rituals to ours, and there are other similarities such as the keeping of jamara during their Noh Rooz which only we have in Nepal amidst Hindus during Dashain….
    Also it seems that cultural assimilation was largely a harmonious process amidst the Dharmic populations. Witness the harmonious relationship culturally amidst the various Indo Greek kingdoms historically in the NorthWest where till today you see the remains of half destroyed Buddhist statues built by Indo Greeks along with Greek theaters in Afghanistan…Look at the way in which Buddhism coexists harmoniously with Hinduism in Nepal till today…. I am sure Khas assimilated in a harmonious manner. Contrast this to massive slaughter of populations who don’t agree to your religion and the imposition of a religion by force and the destroying of another’s religion as opposed to gradual cultural assimilation over centuries…Some serious Nepali student of anthropology, please do a detailed research on Khas!

  28. There are obvious similarities. Eastern Afghanistan was Hindu and Buddhist and central Asia had Buddhist kingdoms before they got converted to Islam. In fact, there were a lot of contributions by the Indo Greeks to Mahayana Buddhism and they built the first statues of the Buddha…Those areas must have been fascinating all connected culturally by places of pilgrimages, monasteries and places of learning along the silk route. The pre-Abrahamic religions have fluid boundaries and there was a great deal of give and take amongst the religions..The Western world does not have any initiatory traditions left, they were destroyed when the Church destroyed all heterodox sects and the Greek mystery cults…As for Zoroastrians, the bulk of their religious books were destroyed, so we do not have a complete picture of that religion apart from the few living remnants who have preserved that religion, they are mostly a merchant community today….

  29. Here is the genetic composition of Newar:
    C5 – 3% (South India)
    H1a – 6.1% (Central Asia – Kazakh)
    J2a – 6.1% (Arab, semite)
    J2b – 6.1% (South-East Europe – Greek, Italian)
    J2b2 – 1.5% (Jew?)
    O3a5a – 21.2% (East Asia – Japan, Korea, Burma)
    R2 – 25.9% (Baluch – Pakistan, Afgan)
    R1a1 – 25.7% (Eastern Europe – Khotons, Pashtun, Brahmins)
    R1b1 – 10.6% (Western Europe – Spain, Irish, French)

    I think Newar has most diversed genetic than any other ethnic people in Nepal. Of that J2b and R1b1 is most different than any other ethic group.

  30. Found this interesting research on Newar genetic.
    C5 – 3% (South India)
    H1a – 6.1% (Central Asia – Kazakh)
    J2a – 6.1% (Arab, semite?)
    J2b – 6.1% (South-East Europe – Greek, Italian)
    J2b2 – 1.5% (Jew?)
    O3a5a – 21.2% (East Asia – Japan, Korea, Burma)
    R2 – 25.9% (Baluch – Pakistan, Afgan)
    R1a1 – 25.7% (Eastern Europe – Khotons, Pashtun, Brahmins)
    R1b1 – 10.6% (Western Europe – Spain, Irish, French)
    Very interesting link below:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1852741/

  31. @researcher
    I just finished Giuseppe Tucci’s The Discovery of the Malla. He had set out to find out about the Malla kingdom in Western Nepal due to the Tibetan sources which mentioned it. He discovered the remains of a very extensive kingdom at Dullu. What happened to this kingdom and how its prosperity ended after three centuries is a mystery. Archaeology in Nepal has not touched areas outside Kathmandu with the exception of Lumbini which has been excavated somewhat. The ruins of the Malla kingdoms in Western are still to be excavated. These kingdoms would shed light on migrations to Nepal. Tucci was an amazing scholar and researcher. He was also every perceptive about politics with respect to Nepal. Writing about the politics of Nepal in 1960, he warns that Nepal is going back to a repressive regime and curtailment of liberties would make it vulnerable to left wing extremism. Which is exactly what has happened in Nepal…Europeans were ruling the world at the time and they had resources to undertake such studies, still Tucci was an exceptional scholar and explorer who was quite intrepid. Whatever his politics, the depth of his scholarship is unmatched today by Westerners…

  32. @researcher
    I just ordered my DNA kit.
    I will post the genetic results when it is all done. It will take several weeks. I hope it will be of help to have data from more Nepalis for people interested in this kind of research. Thanks

    • Great! I am looking forward to what you get! If you need any help, head over to Anthrogenica (I post there), which has a lot of knowledgeable people when it comes to population genetics. It will be especially helpful for your maternal line (mtdna). Not trying to advertise the website or anything, since I am just a mere member there.
      Is your husband willing to participate also? There is a dearth of Kashmiri Pandit samples as well. His would be very interesting to me.
      As far as Tucci’s book, did you order the book via amazon?
      You know what would be interesting? If we find ancient DNA in Nepal around the Khas territories. It should give us an idea of who the Khas were. Right now, all aDNA samples have come from either Europe (some from Siberia and a few from China) and the Americas. No aDNA from the middle east or South Asia. Due to the climate in South Asia, it is hard to find usable DNA of any kind! There is hope though. Check this out:
      http://forbesindia.com/article/recliner/in-search-of-the-harappan-dna/40501/1

      I hope they are successful in extracting DNA from those ancient harappan skeletons.

  33. Minu, you will find the following link interesting. Genetic analysis of samples from 800 AD from Uttaranchal (Roopkund lake). Who knows, the Indo-Aryan samples may be Khas. This is going to be big for some of us Nepalese folks:
    http://yim.indiabioscience.org/poster/67

    I hope they make the data publicly available.

  34. Tucci’s books are available online. He wrote many books, thousands of articles and took several hundred thousand pictures…Seceral,of his books on Nepal have been translated. He wrote with wisdom and respect for the cultures he studied which is why he is a great scholar. Here are some excerpts from his book The Discovery of the Malla: “I demand from my companions not only discipline but above all a prudent and circumspect psychological adaptation to the people, a comprehensive and tender humanity, and a respect for differing customs and habits. No one can accompany me, or at least not without mutual exasperation, who tries to counter the simplicity, albeit sometimes perverse of the inhabitants with the presumption of the superiority of his own civilization or his own religion. In such a case, the traveller, despising all that he sees and irritated by it, finds himself overbearing and petulant, in a world that closes itself before him, as certain sensitive plants withdraw into themselves as soon as they are touched…(p. 18). ” Wish westerners who write about us only from the point of view of class conflict as is nowadays fashionable would heed this advice of Tucci!
    Then there is a beautiful part on which why Nepal should be studied:
    “Our century, devoted to sport, practical and efficient, runs the risk of forgetting that valleys and mountains are not merely nature, but are also the refuge and retreat of the migrations of peoples. Looked at this way, exploration is not a descriptive knowledge of physical reality, nor is it a study which register the travail of creation, nor a search for riches that the sub-soil conceals from our greed; exploration is above all the revelation of human life, and I would insist, not only in the present. To explore means to descend to the depths of the past, to retrace with the aid of science and imagination the road of time and to restore to the light the events of the past, to make them once more alive, to justify them and find once more in them the eternal human values. I have been asked what could there be to I terest us in Nepal, and I replied: whenever there is one man, one only, there we are too; and where there is a memory of the past there we shall find fresh forms of the same illusions, fresh evidence, different but not discordant, of the basic patterns of the human spirit. Furthermore Nepal is not suspended in a void; it is a part of the complex of Asiatic cultures which from the dawn of history has been linked with Europe by enduring bonds and by trade to such an extent that it has created a unity of all the ancient world, which I would call a Euro-Afro-Asiatic unity, woven of invasion and resistance, of trade and competition, of mutual expansion and withdrawal but precisely because of its variety and cohesion,miss participation or separation, so actively creative that only in this triune continent, diverse yet united, the greatest adventures of the mind and imagination have taken place…”(p. 9)
    “Whence came these Malla Kings, all of whose names we know from the first to last? We cannot say with absolute certainty; it cannot however be denied they belonged to the Khasia people, diffused throughout Kashmir, and the nearby mountains of Garwhal, and who are frequently mentioned in Indian literature…”
    Tucci describes the Khas Kings as benevolent, existing in harmony with Buddhist subjects and says they even became Buddhist proselytizers: “…they made their way up the valleys of Karnali and other rivers and took possession of them. Then they spread out and extended their conquests, probably attracted by the gold mines of Tok-jailing and the rich wool and salt markets of Western Tibet. After their conquest of this region, they became assimilated to the extent of taking Tibetan names, nonetheless did not abandon their old ones and enjoyed the twofold nomenclature which indicated the twofold composition of their empire, twofold also from the religious viewpoint, since perhaps by tradition worshippers of Shiva, they became Buddhists in Tibet…an empire which united Tibetan and Indian provinces under the twofold standard of Hinduism and Lamaism. We see its founders ascend the courses of the sacred rivers that flow down to replenish the Ganges, and then stop on the shores of the Brahma Lake near the foothills of the mountains of Shiva, Manasarovar and Kailasa, now here today as formerly the pilgrims gather together from all parts of India to raise in that sublime beauty their supplications to the inaccessible divinities….”(58-71)

  35. @researcher
    That is fascinating research. Most of Nepal is unexplored and untouched as far as history is concerned…There are a lot of Khas in Western Nepal existing in isolation for centuries. It would really be interesting to do a genetic study on these groups…I will post my genetic results along with my husband’s…However, genetics can only tell us so much and one has to look at the totality of a civilization…

  36. @researcher
    I have been thinking about the fall of the Khas kingdom and it occurs about the time of the Mongol invasion of Kashmir which greatly destabilized Kashmir and made it easy for Islam to take over. The Khas kingdom seems to be part of a larger civilizational network comprising of the mountain areas from the Hindu Kush to Kailash, a civilizational network of Hinduism and Buddhism of larger Uddiyana as one might call it. There was always a tussle over control of Central Asia by Tibet, China and Indic peoples of the area, however this area becomes different after the gradual takeover of Islam of these territories from Afghanistan to Central Asia. It appears the civilizational network connecting these areas becomes destroyed thereafter. One notices that Chinese pilgrims stop coming to India after the fall of these territories to Islam. One can guess at the cultural interconnectedness by the fact that when Mirza Haider, after Kashgar has fallen to Islam, tries to capture Tibet, the king of Jumla sends reciforcements and supplies to Tibetans. (Mongols, Central Asian Rivalry and Kashmir by M.M Munshi). Tucci says waves of invasions destroys the Khas kingdom. It is unclear who the invaders were. It breaks up and the entire larger civilizational area to which it was connected and received cultural sustenance, and which we can roughly term larger Uddiyana, is destabilized by Islamic invasions as well. The splintered Khas kingdom which Tucci writes displayed “the brotherhood of Hinduism and Buddhism” loses its connection to India and Tibet which was the cause of its prosperity, as it controlled the gold mines around Kailasa and the salt trade from Tibet…Tucci writes “The progressive breaking up of Western Nepal into dozens of petty princedoms was hastened by the poverty of their resources and the restricted size of their territories so that they declined more and more. Shut up within their narrow boundaries, cut off from their trade with India and overwhelmed with the expansion of the less civilized tribes which thronged about them in all sides, they little by little stagnated in a cultural decadence in which even the memory of their former prestige was forgotten.” (The discovery of the Malla) And indeed, Humla and Jumla from where Khas entered Nepal are today the remotest and most backward regions…After the fall of the Malla different kinds of migrations followed. The final fall of Chitor which was the last bastion against Islam caused fresh migrations through these areas writes Tucci. To understand the Khas one has to envision the larger civilizational context which they were a part of….
    I wonder if the tribe of the Buddha is also connected to the waves of migrations related to the Khas but that is an altogether different subject!

  37. Interesting. Here is Harappa calculator data for a Sherpa Sample (dataset from Reich et al). This is my own calculation.

    9.23% S-Indian
    0.00% Baloch
    0.51% Caucasian
    0.00% NE-Euro
    0.06% SE-Asian
    11.45% Siberian
    76.97% NE-Asian
    1.47% Papuan
    0.27% American
    0.00% Beringian
    0.00% Mediterranean
    0.06% SW-Asian
    0.00% San
    0.00% E-African
    0.00% Pygmy
    0.00% W-African

    So the Sherpas are similar to Tibetan people. I would classify Sherpas as North-East Asians genetically.
    My opinion is that Magars, Rais, Gurungs, etc–Kirat people who live side-by-side with bahuns and chettris will score a lot more of the South Asian components.
    And it is quite curious that the Sherpas don’t have any of the Baloch or North East European components that the Bahuns do. So the South Indian admixture that Sherpas have must not have come from Hill groups like bahuns or Chettris.
    Any opinions or comments?

  38. @researcher
    There are two identical posts above sorry for that, one should be deleted. Also I meant to say the King of Humla not Jumla sent help to Tibet against the Muslims. I am convinced before the Islamic infiltration, the entire region from Hindu Kush to Kailash formed a civilizational unity with a great deal of cultural exchange amongst the Hindu Buddhist kingdoms. After the fall of the Hindu Shahi kings of Afghanistan, their descendants fled to Kashmir, one can see how these kingdoms are interrelated culturally…This is the only way in which the Khas kingdom makes cultural sense, as a part of that network…

  39. Minu,
    If you don’t mind, could you provide me with a link to Tucci’s book, the one about Khas people. I have not been able to find a free version of the book.
    The history is very interesting.
    Also Minu, did you receive your 23andme kit yet?
    Thanks.

  40. Yes it is in my closet unopened! I will send out our samples this week. There is a discount if you order more than one kit apparently. It was not cheap but you guys got me interested in this! I got a bit lazy opening it after getting it but obviously not lazy about speculating on the Khas kingdoms here with you guys! I promise to send it out this week. If you have access to a good library you could perhaps get an inter library loan, it is on amazon as well used. I do not think anyone has uploaded it online….He is an awesome writer on Buddhism and Hinduism…Like Aurel Stein another great explorer! I wonder what happened to Westerners that they do not produce such great scholars and explorers anymore writing with such wisdom…When they killed each other during the world wars, perhaps the best people died, you can have technology but a culture takes several generations to recover!

  41. @researcher Dai
    Is there a way to get in touch with you? The genetic mapping of our diverse population needs to be undertaken seriously and protected. It needs to be undertaken by native Nepalese because only the various ethnic groups understand the subtleties about their own particular ethnicity which an outsider would not… I also have questions about downloading my data on to that site you were talking about….
    We are in bad days again with new blocade right after an earthquake, but the spirit of talented young folk I see operating out of Nepal really gives me hope for our country…

  42. Minu bahini, I wonder if the person I sent an invititation to on 23andme is actually you. If so, please accept my invitation. Thanks.

    • No, sorry I have not been on that site. Is there a way to contact you? If you don’t want your email public, u can contact site admin and he can forward it to me. Right now I have not been looking at any sites on genetic ancestry as horrible things are happening in Nepal and three million children are at risk to due blockade from lack of fuel and essential medicines. At a better time I would like to discuss this with you, and also the project of mapping out of our genetic diversity. Each Nepalese community has specific knowledge of their ancestry and everyone needs to come together and contribute. I would like to discuss all this at a better time…..

    • Dear dai, I have not been focused on these things for the last few months as terrible things are currently happening in Nepal. Three million children are at risk due to shortage of fuel and essential medicines. Please have the admin send me your email. At a better time for us with regard to the situation in our country, I would like to discuss how all Nepalese can get together and map out their genetic diversity. If Nepalese don’t take charge of this and protect it, someone else will do it instead for them, and since all Nepalese communities have special knowledge of their own particular communities different communities need to get involved.

  43. To the mongoloid people of Nepal(as myself is a rai). You are all stupid. We have no connection with Mongolia. Now stop calling yourself Mongolian .Mongolian is a nationality while mongoloid is a race. Makes me sick of you trying to take their identity. And by the way newar were originally mongoloid. True, yea true. WHY?
    The Newari language belongs to Tibeto-Burman language family and to larger extent THE Sino-Tibetan language family, like other mongoloid group llike mine and other group like gurung ,tamang , limbu, magar , Sherpa , etc.
    But unlike other mongoloid group they are diversed as they might have intermarriage with the lichivi and the malla which are both Aryan race.So, majority of them must be diversed but not all newar. Some newar still looks pure mongoloid.

    FYI: THE SINO-TIBETAN speaking language people all have O3 in them which is the main parental genes.
    Yes, that includes the Chinese, Tibetan , Tibeto-Burman speaking people , Burmese ,etc.

    FYI: Tibeto-Burman speaking can be found in Nepal , North East India(Basically the Tibeto-Burman speaking homeland extended from Himalayan region of Nepal all the way to Myanmar,) and in Myanmar(Burma) and Burmese in Myanmar specifically and others in China.

  44. Dear Dai,
    I have not been keeping up with this as terrible things are happening in Nepal. Yes Nepalese should track down their genetic ancestry. It is diverse and quite amazing with respect to migrations. The aim should be seeking the truth and not peddling some ideology. And all ethnic groups need to be involved with this as each group has special peculiar knowledge about their ancestry. Lets discuss these matters at a better time for our country. Give me some some weeks and i will get back to you.

  45. Dear Dai,
    With the blockade and all I have not been keeping up with this. Please give me a few weeks and I will get back to you. We need to discuss this at a better time for our country. It is hard to focus on this when there is a blockade in Nepal. Thanks

  46. Dear Researcher Dai and other Friends
    I think as the situation in Nepal is a bit better, we can resume our discussion. Sorry it is hard to focus on these things when so many horrible things are going on with blockades and so on…
    I have been thinking about this topic over the months and what our genetic diversity means for us as a peoples. Naturally the great genetic diversity we find in Nepal fascinates us all. First of all, we have been a plural society for millennia and we have been comfortable living with difference around us. I mean long before the West discovered “multiculturalism” we had a largely plural civilization and outlook. It might have been the same for pagan societies of Greece and Rome in pre Christian times, because Europeans as Greeks and Romans seem to have interacted differently with others outside their civilization from the way Europeans interacted as Christians towards non Christians, the Greeks and Romans had no desire to force their religion on others and, in ancient times, people fought over territory and not religion. Fighting over religion to me seems an Abrahamic concept and occurs when you have got religions with claims to exclusivity as far as truth is concerned. Now sometimes the ancients also had religious skirmishes and would impose a sect over another, but not in a way as to wipe out completely another mode of thinking, paganism in its essence is open source, which is why there is a harmonious give and take between pagan traditions. We currently still have got all kinds of paganisms existing alongside Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal which we do not see in Islamic and Christian societies where paganisms were wiped out. You don’t see Alexander trying to impose Greek religion on Indians. He largely fought over territory and the result was a harmonious Indo-Hellenic civilization in Afghanistan where Greeks built the first statues of the Buddha. So being pagan societies, religion (if we can even term the various ancestral traditions religions) was open source. Less organized forms of paganisms absorbed more organized forms of paganism. Witness the peaceful transition of Tibetans from Bon to Buddhism via proximity to Kashmir which was Hindu Buddhist just like Nepal today. Look at the way Japanese consider themselves both Shinto and Buddhist at the same time without conflict, or the way Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism co-exist harmoniously for the most part in China…
    It would not be an overstatement to say that our Hindu Buddhist civilizational outlook existed all the way to Central Asia up to places like Merv which historically had a strong Buddhist presence. Since paganisms are open source, less organized forms absorbed the practices of the more organized forms via proximity and gradual cultural assimilation. That is how paganism works. That is why the Khas kings being Shiva worshippers, were comfortable with ruling Tibetans who were Buddhists and even encouraging the Buddhism of their subjects and intermarrying with them. From a civilizational point of view, we were all connected through a sacred geography up to Central Asia, which was Hindu, Buddhist and pagan. Muslim accounts speak of the rulers of Kannauj visiting shrines in Kabul. Westerners do not highlight this aspect of our civilization and I find the more recent literature is exclusively focused on ethnic conflict and what divides us as people more than the ways in which peoples have been living together. It really takes a genius like Tucci to see the other aspect, the aspect of how people have been living together as a civilizational unit for millennia before disruptions to the pagan way of life and thinking began with various monotheisms. Moreover, Hinduism and Buddhism are often studied as different streams by scholars and not as a part of a civilizational unit so the coexistence of the pagan systems is not emphasized. The religious tradition of the entire Himalayas from Nepal up to Afghanistan historically was Shivaism and Buddhism and other paganisms coexisting. So I am not surprised given the historical civilizational unity of the Himalayas from Nepal up to Afghanistan, that Nepalese gene pool would be naturally diverse given the interaction and movement of peoples in this civilization.
    So when analyzing our genes, we need to take into account the principle of coexistence as a pagan civilization. There is a general tendency by Westerners to give a racist flavor to interpretation of genetic data which loses sight of coexistence of peoples and various modes of cultural adaptation. After Christianization of Europe, multiculturalism and diversity are concepts the West is experimenting with only in recent times as pagans were wiped out everywhere in Europe and Americas. We are the direct heirs still of pagan pluralism and coexistence in Nepal even though this pluralism has been wiped out in many of our former Buddhist/Hindu/Pagan civilizational areas. There is a difference, however, between the modern concept of multiculturalism and the plural outlook inherent in pagan traditions. In Nepal, the previous forms of governance has lead to marginalization of various groups historically and Nepal currently faces a lot of problems as attempts are made towards a proper decentralization of power from a system of absolute monarchy. These kinds of problems are not unique to us as a society historically. Rather than import solutions from outside which have very little bearing on our essential pagan culture and civilizational outlook, it is best we study our past properly and formulate solutions that are meaningful in light of our historical experience and cultural context. Obviously if Khas as Shiva worshippers can rule over Tibetans, encourage Buddhism and marry with them, we have had many principles of coexistence in the past, and it is these kinds of historical experiences we need to study and derive inspiration from as we try to devise more harmonious models of coexistence for the future. This is different from adopting alien modes of discourse arising in different historical and religious contexts which we do not properly understand and superimposing it on ourselves without a thought as to how it affects us culturally as a civilization!

  47. Rastra Guru Yogi Narharinath citing ancient evidences mentions and writes about the origin of Humankind from the Himalayas, that to some extent make sense as we follow evolution of our canine friends and the route of early human migration. Likewise, the upward migration theory of America and the Adivashi genetic lienage of India hints at some unconventional migrations not covered by current theories. Thus, the travels through water theory is another dimension for the story, the same applies for early human settlements in Nepal on or through river banks.

  48. Interesting thread, no doubt. I enjoyed reading all inputs. However, I am astonished to know why many here (the Bahuns in this thread) who seems to be knowledgeable to some extent on this topic seems almost obsessed to tie themselves with European?! Why not just say Caucasoid , because European is ethnicity and even that is sub-divided. Just like the Mongoloid here discussed is based upon their facial features , the same applies to Bahuns to , you fall into the Caucasoid group and not European because Europeans themselves fall into the Caucasoid group! I think its just a common knowledge and one does not have to be an expert of Anthropology or Genetics to get this simple fact right.

    BTW hello Ava nice to see you here lovely! didn’t expect , but then wasn’t surprised 🙂

  49. Also let me point out that this testings does not always give us the full answer but in my opinion only a generic idea. some of you have mentioned Greek genetic, but even within Greek there are a lot of sub-divisions, and can come from anywhere and not just Greece but Egypt too. So which Greek are you? Greece Greek, Egyptian Greek or even Albanian Greek? The genetic makeup depends on which reason you come from due to inter-breeding and geographical changes. Same goes with Jews, Jews itself is not a race or ethnicity but followers of Judaism so you can be Palestinian Jew, Ethiopian Jew or even a Chinese Jew. In fact the Ashkenazi Jews which makes the highest numbers in Israel and America are not even the Semitic or ancient Israelite (although they want you to think they are with their biased Rothschild funded research/lies), they are modern day Europeans , but it goes further than that , they are not even European in the sense like the Norse/Vikings but migrated in great numbers especially to Germany form Caucasus, therefore the white looking Ashkenazi Jews for example is possibly genetically more closer to an Asian than Scandinavians or Germans although the former two look so different from one another.

    There is only one race and that’s human race, and within this race we have our own genetic make unique to ourselves which makes each one of us an INDIVIDUAL , due to thousands of years of migration and inter-marriage between various groups ,I doubt if there is anything ‘pure’ in the strictest sense. Look at the Nepali Mongoloid groups itself, Gurung, Magar, Rai, Limbu, Tamang, Sherpas et al, to others they might look the same due their features but as a Gurung I can clearly distinguish between a Gurung and Magar or Tamang, We Gurung have slightly different features than Magars and even obvious difference if you compare with a Rai.

    DNA/Genetics goes much deeper than just facial features. One food for thought though , there has never been any interbreeding/marriage from both my parent’s sides, we are ‘pure’ Gurung , however my mother’s 3 sisters are not married to Gurung (all 3 have been married for over 50 years now), one is married to a Rana (Lineal descendant of JBR), the second to Khatri Chettri and the last one to a Newar and the funny thing is NONE of them look like Gurung in anyway shape or form ,even facial feature wise! They all look like the respective caste/group they got married into. So I guess its safe to say culture and environment shapes our looks ? at least to some extent? If not then it makes no sense how the 3 Gurung ladies don’t look like typical Gurung anymore 🙂

    • European dna I don’t think it’s accurate. they have about 97% south Asian (Indian) . about 3% Melanesia . Pure 100% Gurung have about 15- 30 % south Asian DNA . Ancestry time line shows that we mixed with them before we cross the Himalaya may be somewhere in south central Asia. In gedmatch I also hit Baltic, east European, etc but it’s not accurate. Btw we have 0.00% Tibetian DNA . My result Mongolian 40 %east Turkic 25% Indo Aryan 20% and south Chinese 12% may be some Himalayan tribe naxi/yi native Mongolian also share naxi DNA.

  50. Hello I just did my ancestry DNA test and got results. I am of Khas descent.
    Looks like I’m an Asian mix. I can post my DNA results if anyone’s interested.
    Thanks

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