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 Lesson 12: Gurkas, Brahmans, Cchetris, Tharu 

0081Kevin.jpg (106004 bytes) Welcome to the EverestNews.com Lesson plans developed by Kevin Cherilla ( base camp manager of the NFB 2001 Everest Expedition and 7th and 8th grade physical education teacher from Phoenix, Arizona) and the staff at EverestNews.com, the largest mountaineering publication in the world.

If you would like to hire Kevin as an Everest speaker e-mail us at everestnews2004@adelphia.net today!

The Gurkas, The Brahmans, The Cchetris, and the Tharu (Click here for more information about the Gurkas, Brahmans, Cchetris and Tharu.)

Objective: The students will list three unique characteristics of the Gurkas, the Brahmans, the Cchetris, and the Tharu. The students will locate, on a map of Nepal, where these groups of people reside.

Guided Practice:

1. Review material on the Sherpas and the Thakalis from yesterday's lesson. Point out where they live on the map of Nepal. Have two or more students give their reports on the ethnic background of their own family (This is the last day set aside to give reports).
2. Either read the information on the Gurkas, the Brahmans, the Cchetris, and the Tharu orally to the class or have each student read it independently.
3. Locate where each of these groups live on a map of Nepal. Discuss the unique characteristics of each of these cultures.

Independent Practice:

1. The students will read the paragraphs on the Gurkas, the Brahmans, the Cchetris, and the Tharu and answer the questions.
2. On a map of Nepal, the students will locate and color code where each of these groups live.

Optional Extensions:

1. In the Terai region (where the Tharus live) malaria used to be a huge problem until 1950 when it was eradicated. Research malaria and write a report, be sure to include how it is spread and the symptoms.
2. What characteristics would you look for if you were recruiting soldiers into the army? Which branch of the United States military has the reputation for being so brave?

Reading and Questions:


The Gurkas are originally from Gorka, which is located in the central part of Nepal. Gurkas fought for the British and Indian armies. The Gurkas are known for tremendous bravery and loyalty to their cause. The Gurkas were influential in both of the world wars.

Being a Gurka soldier is prestigious career. Before these people were soldiers, they were mountain climbers even before the Sherpas. A teen the age of 17or 18 may be recruited by Gurka soldiers. Once recruited, the teen must undergo a medical exam, which often limits potential soldiers from signing up. If a teen passes the medical exam, he then goes to basic training in Hong Kong for 10 months

The Brahmans and The Cchetris 

The Brahmans and the Cchetris originally came from western Nepal. Now, however it is common to find people from these groups all over the Terai. The Brahmans and the Cchetris are devout Hindus whose society is characterized by a caste system. This caste system defines people by the group in which they were born.

Farming is the main source of income. Many people are taking positions in the government and education. In the past, most or the ruling families have come from the Cchetris group. Both of these groups have had a lasting impact on Nepal's legal system.


The Tharu people live in the Terai portion of Nepal. Tharu villages consist of longhouses, which are built with mud and lattice wall. The walls are often decorated with animals or fish paintings. A longhouse might have as many as 150 people living in it. Tigers, crocodiles, and scorpions are prevalent in this area. The Tharus are mostly farmers who grow barley, wheat, maize, and rice. Some of these farmers might also have chickens, ducks, pigs, and goats. Fish, shrimp, and snails are a major part of the Tharu diet. Fishing is prevalent on the large rivers with huge nets.

1. What are some unique characteristic on the Gurkas, the Brahmans, the Cchetris, and the Tharus? Be able to list three interesting facts.
2. On the map of Nepal that was used yesterday, locate and color-code where each of these groups of people live.


Lisa Choegyal, Insight Guides Nepal, Langenscheidt Publishers Inc., New York, 11378, p. 84-86.

AZ State Standard - SS3 E5 Describe natural and human characteristics of places and use this knowledge to define regions, their relationships with other regions and their patterns of change, with emphasis on:

PO 1 common characteristics of regions at local, national and international scales on the basis of climate, landforms, ecosystems and culture.

PO 2 patterns of climate, landforms and ecosystems in a region.

PO 4 the concept of region and how and why regions change.

PO 5 relationships and interactions among regions.

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