People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Dolpa in Nepal


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Dolpa in Nepal map

Flash Map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
4,700 Sherpa Buddhism 1.10 % Unknown   

Dolpa in Nepal

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

A few thousand Dolpo people live in the Karnali Zone in north-west Nepal, all the way up to the border between Nepal and China. This has led some to speculate that the Dolpo may also be found inside Tibet. The Dolpo inhabit the villages of 'Goomatara, Kola, Tachel, Kani, Bajebara, Laun, Chilpara, Bantari and Byas ... beyond the mountains west of the upper Kali Gandaki River valley.... [The Dolpo] live in about 24 villages scattered over 500 sq. miles in Namgang, Panzgang, Tarap and Chharbung subdistricts.' Dolpo people also live within the Dhawalagiri Zone, west of the Loba people. The name Dolpo comes from Dolpa—the historical name for their area.

Most Dolpo people these days have settled down in permanent villages, but some continue to lead a nomadic existence, travelling around with their herds ten months every year. The Dolpo villages are situated between 3,660 and 4,720 metres (12,000 to 15,500 ft.) above sea level. 'The terrain is rather bare, with almost treeless grassland valleys, which take on a colourful luster in July and August with a carpet of bright alpine flowers. The rough stone houses of Dolpo are all clustered into a narrow space, making the villages look like forts. Some of them are probably among the highest human settlements in the world.' The Dolpo say it takes seven days to walk from one end of their region to the other.

There seems little doubt that the ancestors of the Dolpo originated in Tibet, before coming south in search of better pastures. They have been in Nepal now for many centuries, although they still retain many of their traditional customs and oral legends of their long migration. The Dolpo are regarded as the original inhabitants of their region.

Severe winter temperatures have made the Dolpo a hardy people. Their houses are built with no windows at all, as every inch of insulation helps them survive the brutal weather. Ceilings are built low to the ground to retain warmth. Cattle and other animals are housed in the ground floor during the winter months.

Tibetan Buddhism and Bon exist harmoniously side by side among the Dolpo. Buddhist and Bon lamas often combine their duties. 'Not only do these lamas handle the religious works and celebrations of the community, but they also act as faith-healers in times of sickness. Without the direction of the lama, these people neither perform any big ceremonies, nor go on journeys and in fact do not decide on anything at all. '

In the mid-1990s a missionary organization noted, 'This group is totally untouched with the gospel. They still have no written language or Christian literature. There are no known Dolpo believers. In order for a church to be established within this people group, there must be a movement starting with the village leaders and working down from there. Because of their culture, it will do little good for a few individuals or young people to accept Christ.' Since that time a few Dolpo people are known to have started following Christ, but this group remains in great need of the gospel.

View Dolpa in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-08-13
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-10-30
  Submit Update:
Country: Nepal
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:4,700
Largest Provinces:
Karnali (4,600)Bagmati (50)
Location in Country:Approximately 10,000 Dolpo people live in the Kamali Zone in north-west Nepal, all the way up the border between Nepal and China. This has lead some to speculate the Dolpo may also be found inside Tibet. The Dolpo inhabit the villages of Goomatara, Kola, Tachel, Kani, Bajebara, Laun, Chilpara, Bantari and Byas...beyond the mountains west of the upper Kali Gandaki River valley.
(Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004)
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Dolpa
People Name General: Dolpa
Alternate People Names:
DhopaDolpa Tibetan
DolpaliDolpali Bhote
Dolpo BhotiaGurung
KaikhePhoke Dolpa
डोल्पा, डोल्पा टिबेटन
ROP3 Code: 102678
Joshua Project People ID: 11595
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 4,700
Population all Countries: 4,700
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Buddhist
People Name General: Dolpa
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Sherpa (2,100 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): xsr    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Dolpo (1,700)Kham, Western Parbate (400)
Nepali (Unknown)
Total Languages: 4
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism96.71 % 
Christianity1.10 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism2.19 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1975-2008
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Sherpa
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralGospel resources links
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Text / Printed MatterBible: Sherpa
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Dolpa in Nepal

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Buddhist     Asia, South    
      Dolpa Nepal    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Dolpa in Nepal          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Sherpa  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: