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Khas Nepali Brahmin people (Bahun)
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Regions with significant populations
Nepal, India, Bhutan
Nepali language
Om.svg Hinduism

Bahun (बाहुन) (or Brahmin (संस्कृतम्  :ब्राहमण)), is any learned man, no matter which class he belongs to, per The Vedas. Brahmins are traditionally educators, scholars and priests. By tradition and civil law (until 1962), they represent the highest of the four Hindu varna, or castes.


Brahmins have historically been a caste, one of the four varnas, according to he varnarasram system (वर्णराश्रम पद्धति). The Brahmin castes may be broadly divided into two regional groups: Pancha-Gauda Brahmins and Pancha-Dravida Brahmins, as per the shloka. Many communities find their roots from sages mentioned in much older Vedas and puranas.[citation needed]

The indigenous ethnic groups Gurung, Magar, Tamang, Sunuwar, Rai, Limbu, Sherpa, Mananggay, Mustang-gi, Thakali, Dolpo, Walungi and similar ethnic groups comprise over 50% of the population of the Middle Hills, the Khas represent 31% of the population. By tradition (and civil law) it was the highest of four Hindu varna (or castes), making up 12.5% of the population of Nepal.[citation needed]

Early migration[edit]

The Khas Brahman community make up a major portion of the demographics of Nepal.[citation needed] They have moved eastward through the Xinxiang province of China, into western Tibet, and the Himalayan foothills from Kashmir and Kumao/Garwal. They settled first in the Karnali River basin and then the Gandaki. Lastly they settled into the Kosi basin as well as Sikkim and Bhutan.[citation needed]

Brahmins of Indian Origin[edit]

During Mughal as well as various Muslim invasions in India, various Hindus, mostly of Rajasthani and Punjabi origin started migrating to the Himalayas. Most of the Brahmins who had migrated to Nepal got assimilated into the already existing Brahmin society in the hills. Brahmins with surname such as Gyawali, Adhikari, Jha, etc. are mostly or sometimes considered to be of Indian Origin.

Brahmo-Kshatriyas of Bhutan[edit]

As early as the rule of Shabdrung Namgyal in early Bhutan, a group of Gurungs from North-East Nepal was known to have gained the Vedic knowledge and had emigrated to Bhutan. They are also called as Gurung Pandits, but mostly these Gurungs were in medicine along with Warfare. Along with the Vedas, they were known to be scholars in various other Hindu as well as Buddhist scriptures. Shabdrung Namgyal was so impressed with this Aryanised group of Kirats that they gave them the title of Huig-Namtre or Warrior doctors. Though often mistaken as Lhotshampas by foreigners, the Druk-Pa and Sharchop ethnic groups of Bhutan assimilated them into their own society. Many of these Brahmo-Kshatriyas migrated out side Bhutan to North-East India as well as Gorkhaland and West Bengal, and many of them have common surnames with Bengalis, Assamese, Nepalis, and Various other eastern Indo-Aryan and Tibetan groups.

The Brahman–Hill[edit]

The Brahman-Hill (or Khas Bahun) is the colloquial Nepali term for a member of the hill or mountain Brahmin caste, a traditional caste of educators, scholars, and priests in Hinduism. This ethnic group of Nepal makes up 12.5% of the country's population. The Brahmins were a powerful group of educators, scholars, and priests found in medieval and modern Nepal and India until the 19th century.[citation needed] Nepal's present constitution rejects such hierarchical categorizations.[citation needed] Bahuns currently comprise about 31% of the Hindu population.[citation needed]


Bahuns are also called Brahmins, Vipra "learned", or Dvija "twice-born". The English word brahmin is an anglicised form of the Sanskrit word Brāhmaṇa, "having to do with Brahman (Sanskrit: ब्रह्म) or divine knowledge". In Buddhist sources (written in Pali and Prakrit—including Ashokan inscriptions), they are also called Babhans, which is the Pali word for Bahuns.[citation needed]

Notable Khas Bahuns[edit]


See also[edit]


External links[edit]