Hinduism in Nepal

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Nepali Brahmin (Bahun) wearing Dhaka topi; Bahun priests are associated with priestly works
Mainstream Nepali Hindu Bride

Hinduism is the major religion of Nepal. In the 2011 census, approximately 81.3 percent of the Nepalese people identified themselves as Hindus, although observers note that many of the people regarded as Hindus in the 1981 census could, with as much justification, be called Buddhists. According to 2011 census, the Hindu population in Nepal is estimated to be around 22.1 million which accounts 81.3% of country's population. "[1] The national calendar of Nepal, Vikram Samvat, is a solar Hindu calendar essentially the same to that widespread in North India as a religious calendar, and is based on Hindu units of time.

The geographical distribution of religious groups revealed a preponderance of Hindus, accounting for at least 87 percent of the population in every region. Among Tibeto-Burman-speaking communities in Nepal, those most influenced by Hinduism are the Magars, Sunwar, and Rai peoples.

Year Percent Increase
1952/54 88.9% -
1961 87.7% -1.2%
1971 89.4% +1.7%
1981 89.5% +0.1%
1991 86.5% -3.0%
2001 80.62% -5.9%
2011 81.3% +0.7%

Hindu foundation of the Kingdom of Nepal

Historians and local traditions say that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself in the valley of Kathmandu during prehistoric times, and that the word "Nepal" means the place protected ("pala" in Sanskrit) by the sage Ne.[2] He performed religious ceremonies at Teku, the confluence of the Bagmati and Bishnumati rivers.[3] According to legend he selected a pious cowherd to be the first of the many kings of the Gopala Dynasty.[2] These rulers are said to have ruled Nepal for over 500 years.[4] He selected Bhuktaman to be the first king in the line of the Gopal (Cowherd) Dynasty.[3] The Silncan Gopal dynasty ruled for 621 years. Yakshya Gupta was the last king of this dynasty.

According to Skanda Purana, a rishi called "Ne" or "Nemuni" used to live in Himalaya.[5] In the Pashupati Purana, he is mentioned as a saint and a protector.[6] He is said to have practiced penance at the Bagmati and Kesavati rivers[7] and to have taught his doctrines there too.[2]

Hindu symbolism of Nepal

The pennant is an important Hindu flag that is help atop Hindu temples.

It is believed that Lord Vishnu had organized the Nepali people and given them their flag, with the sun and moon as emblems on it.[8] In a Hindu Purana, it is written that it was Lord Shiva who handed the flag to Lord Vishnu, and then Lord Vishnu to Lord Indra, for the purpose for battling demons.[9]

List of festivals in Nepal

Dashain Tika Plate prepared during the great Dashain festival in Nepal
  • Mata Tirtha Aunsi (Nepali equivalent of Mother's Day)
  • Buddha Jayanti (the birthday of the Budhha, but also celebrated by Hindu people as great harmony exists between Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal)
  • Ghanta Karna Chaturdasi
  • Janai Purnima,Rakshya Bandhan,Khumbeshwor Mela Patan
  • Gaijatra
  • Shree Krishna Janmastami
  • Gokarna Aunsi (Nepali equivalent of Father's Day)
  • Teej Ko Darkhane Din
  • Indrajatra(Holiday Only in Kathmandu)
  • Dashain Holidays
  • Tihar Holidays
  • Chhath Public Holidays
  • Maghe Sankranti
  • Shree Panchami
  • Maha Shiva Ratri
  • Fagun Purnima (Holi)
  • Ghode Jatra
  • Shree Ram Nawami
  • Bagh Jatra
  • Bhairav Kumari Jatra
  • Chaite Dasain
  • Gaura Parva
  • Gunla
  • Guru Purnima
  • Rato Macchendranath Jatra
  • Mani Rimdu
  • Mata-yaa
  • Neel Barahi Pyakhan
  • Rath Yatra
  • Sita Vivaha Panchami
  • Tamu Dhee
  • Tansen Jatra
  • Taya Macha
  • Yomari punhi

Hindu-Buddhist syncretism

However, there has traditionally been a great deal of intermingling of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. Many of the people regarded as Hindus in the 1981 census could also in some senses be called Buddhists. Hindus long have worshipped at Buddhist temples and Buddhists at Hindu temples. The reason for this is that both Hinduism and Buddhism have common roots, and over most of their history have not been seen as separate communions, but rather rival tendencies within a shared religious tradition. Because of such dual faith practices (or mutual respect), the differences between Hindus and Buddhists have been very subtle and academic in nature; Hindus and Buddhists have never engaged in any religious conflicts for past millennia. There are many temples where both Hindus and Buddhists can enter and worship.

Demographics

Hindu population by ethnic group

Hindus as percentage of total population in districts of Nepal

The figures are based on the Census 2011 of Nepal.[10] NEG denotes newly listed ethnic group, for which 2001 census figures are not available.

Caste Hindu change Race Hindus 2001 Hindus 2011 Pop 2011
Chhetri/Kshetri -0.23% Khas 99.48% 99.25% 4,398,053
Brahmin (Hill)/Bahun -0.12% Khas 99.68% 99.56% 3,226,903
Magar +4.36% Sino/Tibetan 74.60% 78.96% 1,887,733
Tharu -3.67% Adivasi 97.63% 93.96% 1,737,470
Tamang +1.19% Sino/Tibetan 7.69% 8.88% 1,539,830
Newar +3.25% Sino/Tibetan 84.13% 87.38% 1,321,933
Musalman -2.19% Muslim 2.19% 0.00% 1,164,255
Kami -0.34% Dalit 96.69% 96.35% 1,258,554
Yadav -0.09% Terai/Low 99.78% 99.69% 1,054,458
Rai +2.53% Sino/Tibetan 25.00% 27.53% 620,004
Gurung +3.43% Sino/Tibetan 28.75% 32.18% 522,641
Damai/Dholi -1.22% Dalit 97.81% 96.59% 472,862
Limbu +3.02% Sino/Tibetan 11.32% 14.34% 387,300
Thakuri -0.09% Khas 99.40% 99.31% 425,623
Sarki -2.44% Dalit 97.90% 95.46% 374,816
Teli 0.39% Terai/Low 99.19% 99.58% 369,688
Chamar 0.70% Dalit 98.85% 99.55% 335,893
Koiri -0.06% Terai/Low 99.77% 99.71% 306,393
Kurmi 0.00% Terai/Low 99.84% 99.84% 231,129
Sanyasi -0.16% Khas 99.21% 99.05% 227,822
Dhanuk -0.15% Terai/Low 99.75% 99.60% 219,808
Musahar +0.58% Dalit 98.52% 99.10% 234,490
Dusadh +0.20% Dalit 99.47% 99.67% 208,910
Sherpa -6.26% Sino/Tibetan 6.26% 0.00% 112,946
Sonar +1.29% Terai/Low 98.20% 99.49% 64,335
Kewat +0.17% Terai/Low 99.58% 99.75% 153,772
Brahman(Terai) -0.05% Terai High 99.58% 99.53% 134,106
Kathbaniyan +0.36% Terai High 99.32% 99.68% 138,637
Gharti/Bhujel +1.10% Sino/Tibetan 96.50% 97.60% 118,650
Mallaha +0.63% Terai/Low 99.13% 99.76% 173,261
Kalwar +0.08% Terai/Low 99.69% 99.77% 128,232
Kumal -0.17% Sino/Tibetan 98.42% 98.25% 121,196
Hajam/Thakur +0.07% Terai/Low 99.59% 99.66% 117,758
Kanu -0.16% Terai/Low 99.89% 99.73% 125,184
Rajbansi +13.75% Adivasi 85.15% 98.90% 115,242
Sunuwar +12.79% Sino/Tibetan 79.50% 92.29% 55,712
Sudhi -0.18% Terai/Low 99.67% 99.49% 93,115
Lohar -0.24% Terai/Low 99.78% 99.54% 101,421
Tatma -0.29% Dalit 99.79% 99.50% 104,865
Khatwe +0.15% Dalit 99.45% 99.60% 100,921
Dhobi +0.27% Dalit 99.45% 99.72% 109,079
Majhi +0.31% Sino/Tibetan 81.67% 81.98% 83,727
Nuniya +0.48% Terai/Low 99.34% 99.82% 70,540
Kumhar +0.39% Terai/Low 99.19% 99.58% 62,399
Danuwar -15.60% Sino/Tibetan 99.26% 83.66% 84,115
Chepang -5.73% Sino/Tibetan 70.23% 64.50% 68,399
Haluwai +0.25% Terai/Low 99.38% 99.63% 83,869
Rajput +0.29% Terai High 99.32% 99.61% 41,972
Kayastha +0.74% Terai High 98.88% 99.62% 44,304
Badhaee +0.07% Terai/Low 99.52% 99.59% 28,932
Marwadi -1.53% Other 94.88% 93.35% 51,443
Santhal -6.07% Adivasi 83.06% 76.99% 51,735
Jhangad -11.29% Adivasi 92.79% 81.50% 37,424
Bantar/Sardar +1.31% Dalit 97.85% 99.16% 55,104
Baraee -0.10% Terai/Low 99.90% 99.80% 80,597
Kahar -0.39% Terai/Low 99.88% 99.49% 53,159
Gangai -11.13% Adivasi 98.44% 87.31% 36,988
Lodh -1.39% Terai/Low 99.82% 98.43% 32,837
Rajbhar +0.25% Terai/Low 99.41% 99.66% 9,542
Thami -11.81% Sino/Tibetan 55.74% 43.93% 28,671
Dhimal -1.30% Adivasi 57.41% 56.11% 26,298
Bhote -37.90% Sino/Tibetan 37.90% 0.00% 13,397
Bin -0.10% Terai/Low 99.88% 99.78% 75,195
Gaderi -0.03% Terai/Low 99.70% 99.67% 26,375
Nurang -98.54% Sino/Tibetan 98.54% 0.00% 278
Yakkha -2.67% Sino/Tibetan 14.17% 11.50% 24,336
Darai -2.95% Sino/Tibetan 97.89% 94.94% 16,789
Tajpuriya +13.05% Adivasi 64.15% 77.20% 19,213
Thakali -3.21% Sino/Tibetan 33.83% 30.62% 13,215
Chidimar -0.17% Adivasi 99.29% 99.12% 1,254
Pahari +12.28% Sino/Tibetan 78.90% 91.18% 13,615
Mali -0.11% Terai/Low 99.78% 99.67% 14,995
Bangali +2.05% Other 97.02% 99.07% 26,582
Chhantyal +64.25% Sino/Tibetan 30.78% 95.03% 11,810
Dom -0.05% Dalit 99.24% 99.19% 13,268
Kamar +1.89% Terai/Low 98.00% 99.89% 1,787
Bote -10.53% Sino/Tibetan 98.57% 88.04% 10,397
Brahmu +7.55% Sino/Tibetan 72.04% 79.59% 8,140
Gaine -2.72% Dalit 97.01% 94.29% 6,791
Jirel +6.82% Sino/Tibetan 10.55% 17.37% 5,774
Dura +80.43% Sino/Tibetan 18.94% 99.37% 5,394
Badi -2.88% Dalit 98.83% 95.95% 38,603
Meche -4.69% Adivasi 80.28% 75.59% 4,867
Lepcha +1.93% Sino/Tibetan 7.62% 9.55% 3,445
Halkhor -0.01% Dalit 99.34% 99.33% 4,003
Punjabi +10.36% Other 80.68% 91.04% 7,176
Kisan -0.85% Adivasi 95.62% 94.77% 1,739
Raji +9.69% Sino/Tibetan 88.33% 98.02% 4,235
Byangsi -98.05% Sino/Tibetan 98.05% 0.00% 3,895
Hayu -22.67% Sino/Tibetan 70.29% 47.62% 2,925
Koche -3.14% Adivasi 97.76% 94.62% 1,635
Dhunia +6.38% Terai/Low 93.10% 99.48% 14,846
Walung -82.40% Sino/Tibetan 82.40% 0.00% 1,249
Munda +18.12% Adivasi 78.94% 97.06% 2,350
Raute +13.00% Sino/Tibetan 83.28% 96.28% 618
Yehlmo -1.55% Sino/Tibetan 1.55% 0.00% 10,752
Patharkatta -5.95% Adivasi 99.82% 93.87% 3,182
Kusunda -14.78% Sino/Tibetan 97.56% 82.78% 273
Lhomi NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 0.00% 1,614
Kalar NEG Dalit NEG 99.26% 1,077
Natuwa NEG Dalit NEG 99.74% 3,062
Dhandi NEG Dalit NEG 100.00% 1,982
Dhankar NEG Dalit NEG 99.59% 2,681
Kulung NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 2.27% 28,613
Ghale NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 35.96% 22,881
Khawas NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 87.61% 18,513
Rajdhob NEG Terai/Low NEG 99.78% 13,422
Kori NEG Dalit NEG 99.98% 12,276
Nachhiring NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 3.17% 7,154
Yamphu NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 7.05% 6,933
Chamling NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 28.70% 6,668
Aathpariya NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 5.86% 5,977
Sarbaria NEG Dalit NEG 99.55% 4,906
Bantaba NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 42.66% 4,604
Dolpo NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 0.00% 4,107
Amat NEG Terai/Low NEG 99.11% 3,830
Thulung NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 17.45% 3,535
Mewahang NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 10.23% 3,100
Bahing NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 14.73% 3,096
Lhopa NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 0.27% 2,624
Dev NEG Terai/Low NEG 99.44% 2,147
Samgpang NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 25.34% 1,681
Khaling NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 20.88% 1,571
Topkegola NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 0.00% 1,523
Loharung NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 10.15% 1,153
Dalit Oth +0.02% Dalit 97.84% 97.86% 155,354
Janajati Oth NEG Sino/Tibetan NEG 70.36% 1,228
Terai Oth +8.47% Terai/Low 90.44% 98.91% 103,811
Undefined NEG Other NEG 70.32% 15,277
Foreigner NEG Other NEG 67.22% 6,651
Total +0.72% All 80.62% 81.34% 26,494,504

As seen from the 2001 and 2011 Census data, the percentage of Hindus has gone up by 0.72%, from 80.62% to 81.34%. However, the overall trend remains largely negative. All the major racial group except the Sino/Tibetans showed a decline in the percentage of Hindus, which was especially sharp among certain Adivasi groups such as Tharu and Dalit groups. Among the Sino/Tibetans, the percentage of Hindus went up by 2.37%, from 49.74% to 52.11%.

Hindu population by district

janakpur(mithala dham) 99.95%


District % Hindu[11]
Janakpur 99.95%
Jajarkot 99.85%
Baitadi 99.89
Bajhang 99.83%
Kalikot 99.78%
Dadeldhura 99.78%
Bajura 99.77%
Kanchanpur 99.15%
Achham 98.78%
Darchula 98.72%
Dailekh 98.32%
Rukum 98.29%
Jumla 97.90%
Kailali 97.56%
Doti 97.49%
Arghakhanchi 96.95%
Pyuthan 96.71%
Dang 96.48%
Gulmi 96.10%
Bardiya 95.17%
Salyan 94.43%
Surkhet 91.20%
Siraha 90.88%
Dhanusa 90.08%
Bhaktapur 89.87%
Saptari 88.44%
Palpa 88.02%
Parbat 87.77%
Nawalparasi 87.23%
Sarlahi 86.74%
Mugu 86.44%
Syangja 86.07%
Rupandehi 85.34%
Humla 84.40%
Mahottari 84.39%
Baglung 83.30%
Tanahu 83.16%
Chitwan 82.75%
Parsa 82.37%
Bara 81.94%
Kaski 81.72%
Kapilbastu 81.06%
Morang 80.12%
Jhapa 79.37%
Rautahat 78.96%
Banke 78.49%
Sunsari 77.09%
Rolpa 75.49%
Kathmandu 75.49%
Udayapur 75.43%
Myagdi 74.88%
Dhading 73.89%
Okhaldhunga 73.86%
Gorkha 72.79%
Dolakha 72.43%
Lalitpur 70.43%
Sindhuli 68.56%
Ramechhap 68.06%
Kavrepalanchok 64.77%
Sindhupalchok 62.53%
Nuwakot 61.32%
Khotang 60.54%
Dolpa 60.35%
Lamjung 58.47%
Bhojpur 53.77%
Terhathum 51.27%
Dhankuta 49.52%
Makwanpur 49.36%
Ilam 47.28%
Sankhuwasabha 46.95%
Solukhumbu 42.91%
Taplejung 36.52%
Panchthar 34.20%
Rasuwa 33.10%
Manang 25.35%
Mustang 25.28%

Gallery

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/.

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c W.B., P. 34 Land of the Gurkhas
  3. ^ a b The Ancient Period Archived 2008-05-24 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Balfour, P. 195 Cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, :
  5. ^ Alone In Kathmandu
  6. ^ Prasad, P. 4 The life and times of Maharaja Juddha Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal
  7. ^ Khatri, P. 16 The Postage Stamps of Nepal
  8. ^ Gorkhapatra Corporation The Nepalese Perspective
  9. ^ P. 10 The Lotus & the Flame: An Account on Nepalese Culture By Dhooswan Saymi, Dhūsvāṃ Sāyami
  10. ^ http://cbs.gov.np/image/data/Population/Population%20Monograph%20of%20Nepal%202014/Population%20Monograph%20V02.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.cbs.gov.np/Population/National%20Report%202001/tab18.htm

External links

Nepali priests

  • Acharya Keshavasharana
  • Jagadguru Kripali Parishat

Nepali organizations

  • Shree Krishna Pranami Youth Council Nepal
  • Shree Radha Madhava Samiti Nepal
  • Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir Nepal

Nepali temples

Other worship

  • Durga Puja in Nepal

News

  • Nepal Hindus in secular protest
  • Nepal Maoists disrupt Hindu meet
  • Hindu fears over secular Nepal
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