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farooq gujjar banda mali bakarwal
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Bakkarwals (part-1of4)
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pakhwal jhelum bakarwal dog of ch=waqas
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Aman Gupta As Bakarwal In a TV Serial  Junoon
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koochi dog(age:7 months) v/s punjabi bully(age:3 years) Swabi
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Pakhwal 1 Jhelum Part 1
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bakerwals Locals
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwals of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. In Jammu & Kashmir, these nomadic people are cow/buffalo herders (esp. Gujjars) and goat/sheep herders (esp. Bakharwals/dhangar). However, the two groups are very closely associated and intermarry, and commonly referred to as the "Gujjars and Bakarwals." Photographed in Rajouri, Jammu & Kashmir, India. Photo by Paul La Porte; from http://laporte.uchicago.edu/india2.htm
Bakarwal
Significant populations in: Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab (India)
Language Gojri, Kashmiri, Urdu, Dogri.
dhangar.
Religion Islam, Hindu

Bakarwal (or Bakharwal) is a nomadic tribe based in the Pir Panjal and Himalayan mountains of South Asia. They are mainly goatherds and shepherds. They are called as Dhangar in rest of India.

Etymology[edit]

Bakarwal is derived from the Gojri/Urdu/Punjabi/Kashmiri/Dogri terms, Bakri/Bakar meaning "goat/Sheep", and Wal meaning "one who takes care of". Essentially, the name "Bakarwal" implies "high-altitude goatherds/shepherds".

The Bakarwals (Dhangars) belongs to the same ethnic stock as the Gujjars, and inter-marriages freely take place among them.[1] Although, Bakarwals (Dhangars) have same gotra or clan like Gujjars, many local shepherds, who may not necessarily belong to the community, are often termed as Bakarwal.

Geographical distribution[edit]

Bakarwals are spread throughout the northern part of the Himalayan Range. This includes the states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab (India) in India. In Pakistan, Bakarwals are found in the hilly northern parts of Punjab (Pakistan) as well as parts of the North West Frontier Province.

In Jammu and Kashmir in India, Bakarwals are found in all three regions of the state including Jammu (comprising the districts of Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur, Poonch, Rajouri and District), the Kashmir Valley (comprising the districts of Srinagar, Baramulla, Kupwara, Pulwama, Budgam and Anantnag) and Ladakh (comprising the district of Ladakh and Kargil).

In Pakistan, Bakarwals inhabit the Northern Areas (Gilgit, the Hunza Valley and Baltistan) and Azad Kashmir (Mirpur and Muzaffarabad).

They are also found in the PRC controlled regions of the state, namely Aksai Chin and the Shaksgam Valley.

Life[edit]

Bakarwals lead a lonely and tough life in the high-altitude meadows of the Himalayas and the Pir-Panjal. Every year, they take their sheep high into the mountains, above the tree-line to graze in the lush meadows. It may take them as many as sixty days to reach these meadows. During the summer, they move from one meadow to the other. They generally travel in pairs but sometimes they may go alone or in larger groups (depending on how many sheep/goats need to be taken care of). During this migration their whole family accompany with their sheep and goats.

They are accompanied by their dogs, the famous bhotia or bakarwal dogs, and their pack-animals.

Social status[edit]

As of 2001, the Bakarwal were classified as a Scheduled Tribe under the Indian government's reservation program of positive discrimination.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kapoor, A. K.; M. K. Raha, D. Basu, Satwanti Kapoor (1994). Ecology and man in the Himalayas. M. D. Publications. pp. 43–44. ISBN 978-81-85880-16-7. 
  2. ^ "List of Scheduled Tribes". Census of India: Government of India. 7 March 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Prashad, Ram (1992). Tribal Migration in Himalayan Frontiers: Study of Gujjar Bakarwal Transhumance Economy. Vintage Books. ISBN 81-85326-46-0. 
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