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They used to traverse from extreme North to extreme South  up to Kaveripattanam and Rameshwaram ports. They had been foreign exchange earners for India till the trade with Tibet ceased in 1959.


Without   any    reference   to     Bhotia community,  the  details about Uttaranchal are   incomplete.   The   higher      Himalayas  ( above   10000 Ft )    are inhabited  by  these  tribes.   Thus   this  area is  named   as 'Bhotantic'   by   Dr   Shiv  Prasad Dabral.  These  brave  sons   of   Himalayas    had  been   instrumental   to  made     India  a  Golden    Bird   since   ages.   No     history    of    Uttranchal  is available  before  Katyuri  Dynasty.      But    these     traders     find  references   in   ancient   Hindu Scriptures    like     Mahabharata,     Puranas,   Harsh Charitam,  Kadambni     etc.  According    to     Mahabharata     their  representative   was   present   during Rajsuya  Yagna  performed   by  King   Yudhishtira  with  gifts  of   Pipalika  Gold  ( dig by   ants ),   soft    white   and    black    Chawar   (tail  of   Chawar  Cow),      Honey,   Precious   Gems,    Mahabala medicine and holy Ganges water.

They  were the  traders    who    used      to   make available   the    precious   Pipalika   Gold,    Kasturi   (Musk) ,  refined    Suhaga  (Borax)   used   to   melt metals  and  in  medicine,  Chamar   tail,    Gems    and      Stones    (  Lapis  Lazuli ,    Diamonds,     Gypsum,    Vadurya  (Turquoise) ,    Topaz, Sapphire etc),    Rock    salt,    Silajit,    Holy      water    of  Shrines,   Wool,   Fur,   Skins,  Pashmina   Shawls,  Horns of wild animals,   Dogs,    Horses,   Shrubs   and     herbs,  Condiments,    Scents,       Poisons      (used   in    drugs),    Deodar  Oil, Mushrooms,  Bhojpatra  to the world  from far Tibet  after  crossing    and    crawling   the    impregnable Himalayan     Peaks    and     Glaciers      and         fighting inhospitable    and    hostile    weather  for  months together.

Women    have   equal   importance  in    the society and  besides looking after the house hold  they  weave  pretty   Carpets, Shawls,    Pankhi,    Pattoo,    Thulma,  Blanket    etc.   They       learn        the   mysterious    art   of producing          bright         colors            and craftsmanship from their mothers.

Basically   Bhotias were  nomads   and    inhabited  in    the     higher    valleys     of Himalayas. Harsil, Niti, Mana, Malari in the Garhwal region and  Darma , Johar and Byans  Valleys  of  Kumaon  region  are   mainly  inhabited  by  these  tribes. Generally  they have two homes; one in higher ranges  for Summer and one in lower ranges   for Winter. Due  to  the Geographic   conditions  and  climate,   Bhotias    practice    unique   customs, rituals  and  traditions.  In  fact  it  was  an   open   society   with   a   carefree  life style  best  suited    to such harsh conditions.   Different  languages are spoken  by   inhabitants  of   various valleys.   Although  these  tribes  are associated with Tibet and China  since  ancient  times  but  they never accepted Buddhism     and   are   followers    of Hinduism. 

Bhotias have  more  faith  upon their  dogs than  any one else. These dogs sleep  in the  day   but  remain vigilant during nights and can challenge  even tiger or  bear. It is said that King of  Kekaya  presented one  such   dog along with other gifts to   Alexander   The  Great.

    The      Bhotias    are      brave,        courageous, adventurous  and   entrepreneurs.  After  the  cessation  of  business  with Tibet  they  merged into  the  main  stream  of   nation   and   are   holding    important    positions    in   Government   and   Private Sector.  Few  of   them  are still  engaged  in traditional   trade  of  woolen and other goods.  During  the  fairs  at Jauljibi,  Bageshwar,  Ghucher,  Uttarkashi etc they exhibit and sell their handicrafts articles.  They also provide their services as Guide and porters to trekkers  and  mountaineers  which  is of great help to them.

These      communities        have produced great adventurers like Pt Nain  Singh  and  Durga Singh brothers      who    clandestinely surveyed         Tibet pretending as  traders,            great mountaineers like H. C. S. Rawat, Hukum Singh, Bachendri Pal etc.