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Gaddi village men with hookah, on a mountain path near Dharamshala, India

The Gaddis are a tribe living mainly in the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. They are Hindus and belong to several castes including Brahmin, Rajput, Dhangar, Khatri, Rana and Thakur.[citation needed]

Frequently associated with the ancient Brahmpur kingdom at Chamba, although they played no major role in its governance, the origins of the Gaddi people are lost in time. There are at least four theories for their arrival in that place, often relying on the intertwining of oral history and myth, and in one case on the dubious ethnohistories of the British Raj era.The gaddi shepherd mainly spend their winter in the low hills of shiwalik range.When the snow melted and the and the high passes were clear they moved on to higher mountain meadows.Omacanda Hāṇḍā discusses the dubiety of these and concludes that "Nevertheless, it may be said with due certainty that the present-day Gaddis are the descendants of one of those casteless nomadic shepherds of the Indian plains who once lived around the Barmer area of Rajasthan" and infers this from the similarities of various costumes and accessories.[1]


Further reading[edit]

  • Verma, V. 1996. Gaddis of Dhauladhar: A Transhumant Tribe of the Himalayas. Indus Publishing Company, New Delhi.

External links[edit]