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For the Bhutia pony, see Indian Country Bred. For Indian soccer player see Baichung Bhutia.

The Bhutia (In Sikkim: Denzongpa; ; "inhabitants of Denzong;" in Bhutan: Dukpa) are ethnic Tibetans who speak Sikkimese, a Tibetan dialect fairly mutually intelligible to standard Tibetan. In 2001, the Bhutia numbered around 70,300. Bhutia here refers to Sikkimese Tibetans; in contrast, the Bhotiya are a larger family of related Tibetan peoples in northern Nepal of which the Bhutia are one member group.


The language spoken by the Bhutias in Sikkim is Sikkimese, which is 85% intelligible with either Tibetan or Dzongkha, the language of Bhutan, although in recent times Nepali is more widely spoken. Most Bhutias practice the Nyingmapa school, followed by the Kagyupa school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Bhutias are spread out over Nepal, Bhutan, and in the northern West Bengal, especially in the towns of Kalimpong and Darjeeling.


The ancestors of the Bhutia migrated from Tibet to Sikkim, Darjeeling, Kalimpong other parts of modern-day India and Bhutan some time around 6th century. They migrated through the different passes ("La" in Tibetan means "hill") in the Himalayas. Geographical denotations in the name of Bhutias' last names is common. In Northern Sikkim for example, where the Bhutias are the majority inhabitants, they are known as the Lachenpas or Lachungpas, meaning inhabitants of Lachen (; "big hill") or Lachung (;...
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