The Rongpa community is located in the trans-Himalayan regions of India and is much older than twelve decades. It has been suggested that the Rongpa community almost lost its existence. Anthropological evidence also suggests that the Rongpa have their own community history within Tibet and that the word "Rongpa" literally translates to "valley people". An alternative translation proposes that 'rang' refers to a rigid valley while 'pa' refers to the commuters.
In the past many people described the Rongpa community as interchangeable with Tibetan culture. However, the Rongpa have their own distinct history, tradition and customs which exist as a subset of a larger Tibetan culture. According to the late sh. Hayat Singh Pal, a recognized influence in Rongpa culture, "The people of these valleys are Suryavansi, Chandravansi, Rajputs and Thakurs as described thousands of times in ancient margins. [Rongpa sanskriti apane aap main ekdam alag hai, Iska kisi aur sanskriti ke saath tukmilan karna galat hoga kyonki , chahe aap iski veshbhusa, khan-pan, ya phir rahan sahen ho dekhein].
Several writers, philosophers and history writers interconnected this culture in a same category. But apart from this Tibetans are known as chaungpa, and the word bhot is also connected with Tibetan culture, which exists as people who are living in high altitude, or border areas. Rahul Shankratayan describes in the story of the gathering of Pandavas in these valleys which led them to heaven "Satopanth Yatra". All these peoples, were united by real bonds and concerned in interests common to all. This community may be summed up in the terms Hindus, who have succeeded by means of peaceful penetration.
The great Lords Vishnu and Shiva are recognized and worshipped more or less in all the parts of these valleys. Niti and Mana are smack in the border of the Himalayas, with Tibet in the North; the plains of Western Uttarakhand in the South and Kumaon in the East. Historically, it has been described in the ancient text of Kedarkhand to extend from Gangadwar (modern day Haridwar) in the South to the high mountains in the North, and from the Tamsa (Tons) river in the West to Buddhachal (probably the Nanda Devi group of peaks between Garhwal and Kumaon) in the East. The history of Rongpaz is older than that of the Ramayan /and Mahabharata.
It is a land of popular myths, like that of Lord Shiva appearing as Kirat, of Urvashi, Shakuntala and the Kauravas and Pandavas. Worship of Lord Shiva is pre-dominant in this region. In earliest times, Mana was known as Manibhadrapram, since it was surrounded on all sides by mountains. King Kanakpal came to Garhwal from Rajasthan (Gujardesh) of the region Bagarh and the business with Tibet brought their language, therefore rongpaz, Garhwali and Bagerhi language, written and spoken, are very similar to each other. After 1962 there was changed in the scenario, the Tibet business was stopped. The Rongpa community is accumulated under Schedule Tribe in Indian Constitution.
- Reference 1
- Reference 2
Parker, Anne. The Meanings of 'Sherpa': An Evolving Social Category. University of Oregon
Vol. 32, No. 2/3, MONSOON-WINTER 2005 Where the Sun Rises When Shadows Fall: The North-east Published by: India International Centre Issue Stable