The Gurung: Their Hidden History

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The Gurungs, who are also known as TAMU, are hill people. As the movement of people from one place to another is a historical phenomenon, Gurung an ethic group migrated from Mongolia in the 6th century to the central region of Asia.

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The Gurungs, who are also known as TAMU, are hill people. As the movement of people from one place to another is a historical phenomenon, Gurung an ethic group migrated from Mongolia in the 6th century to the central region of Asia. The word ‘Gurung’ is actually pronounced as ‘Gu-Rewan’, which is the combination of two sounds- ‘Gu’ and ‘Rewan’. ‘Gu’ means nine according to Tibetean language and ‘Rewan’ means Mountains and Hills. Therefore the word ‘Gu-Rewang’ signifies people living in and around the Mountains and Hills, which matches quite well with their historical background, hence speaks the great significance of the Gu-Rewang/Gurung. Gurung are found in the Indian hilly kurseong, Doors, Hasimara (North Bangal) of West Bengal, South, West and East districts of the state of Sikkim, throughout Assam, Dehra Dun, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh as well as other parts of India. A large number of the Gurung community aslo live in Nepal. Gurungs are found outside India and Nepal where they have played a renowned role as Gorkha soldiers.

Their ancients practiced BONPO (nature worship), later converting to Tibetan Buddhism. Today, Gurungs follow Buddhism as well as their own primitive religion.

The Gurungs have a rich tradition of music, culture and ‘Rodhi’. Gurungs are hard working, trustworthy, adaptable and quick learners in meeting the challenges of modern life. Their traditional occupation was sheep herding and Trans Himalayan trade. In the 19th and 20th century, many Gurungs were recruited into the British and Indian regiments.

To conclude the Gurung are Tribal Buddhist by origin, and have a rich culture, and three major traditional occupations like Sheep herding, Honey hunting and Service in the cultural identity showing they are a brave Himalayan Tribe. Today hardly anybody know them and their history is totally hidden from the world.


  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Author: Tshampa Megi Lama
  • Publisher:Pilgrims Publishing
    West Bengal Gurung Development and Culture Board
  • Language: English
  • ISBN:9789350761885
  • Product Dimensions:240 x 240 mm

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