Changpa community


Uneasy frontier robs Ladakh’s herders of pastures

      WHY IN NEWS:

Flocks of prized Pashmina goats hit as the LAC conflict has cut off crucial feeding grounds

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:Tribe : Changpa Tribe UPSC


For PRELIMS it is important to understand the key features of the tribe . We have mentioned them all below . Let us dive in !


The Chinese Army’s intrusion in Chumur and Demchok since January has left Ladakh’s nomadic herding Changpa community cut off from large parts of summer pastures.  

  • The People’s Liberation Army has taken over 16 kanals (two acres) of cultivable land in Chumur and advanced around 15 km inside Demchok, taking over traditional grazing pastures and cultivable lowlands.

  In a cascading effect, this has resulted in a sharp rise in deaths of young Pashmina goats this year in the Korzok-Chumur belt of Changthang plateau in Ladakh.


  • The Changpa are a semi-nomadic Tibetan people found mainly in the Changtang in Ladakh and in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • A smaller number resides in the western regions of the Tibet Autonomous Region and were partially relocated for the establishment of the Changtang Nature Reserve.
  • As of 1989 there were half a million nomads living in the Changtang area.


The Changpa of  are high altitude pastoralists, raising mainly yaks and goats.


  • Among the Ladakh Changpa, those who are still nomadic are known as Phalpa, and they take their herds from in the Hanley Valley to the village of Lato.
  • Hanley is home to six isolated settlements, where the sedentary Changpa, the Fangpa reside.


Despite their different lifestyles, both these groups intermarry.


The Changpa speak Changskhat, a dialect of Tibetan, and practice Tibetan Buddhism.


  • The Changpas rear the highly pedigreed and prized Changra goats (Capra Hircus) that yield the rare Pashmina fibre (Cashmere wool).
  • The Cashmere goats (Changra goats) are not raised for their meat but for their fibre (pashm).
  • The pashmina fibre (Pashm in Persian) is the finest fibre of all goat hair.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

This tribe’s motto could be ‘work hard, play hard’, because the Changpa pursue a clear goal: to work as much as possible in the summer months, and to relax in winter, when it’s not possible to work due to the extreme low temperatures.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/Changpa Tribe UPSC/Changpa Tribe UPSC



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