Dirang Monpa in India

The Dirang Monpa have only been reported in India
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

The Dirang Monpa have been granted status in India as a scheduled tribe. One of the alternate names for the Dirang Monpa is Sangla, which suggests that they may be related to the large Tsangla ethnic group of Bhutan, China and India.

The Dirang Monpa claim that they were the first inhabitants of the Dirang area. Some of their elders say their forefathers originated in eastern Bhutan, before migrating to their present location in India.

The Dirang Monpa live in the Dirang Circle in the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The diet of the Dirang Monpa consists of cereals, fish, meat, vegetables, and chhung (local drink brewed from maize, rice, millet, wheat and buckwheat). Maize is the staple food item. They eat beef, pork, mutton, fowls, yaks, mithuns, and deer. They eat many fruits: apples, peaches, bananas, pomegranates and oranges.

Marriage in Dirang Monpa society is a simple procedure. They hire a lama to consult the horoscopes to determine the most auspicious time and day for a wedding to take place. Family members and friends gather at the bride's home. The lama simply places a white scarf, called a katha, around the necks of the bride and groom, blesses the couple, and they are married. Then they have a huge feast. Everyone gets drunk on rice whiskey, even the children.

The lamas perform many other roles in the community as well, in keeping with the important role that Tibetan Buddhism plays in the daily lives of Dirang Monpa society. After a baby is delivered, the mother is not allowed to leave the room for seven days. She is considered in a state of spiritual and physical pollution, and nobody can visit her. When the baby is three days old, they invite the lama to name the child. He prays and prepares a horoscope for the baby. The horoscope determines the name of the child.

Not only is the Buddhist lama present at birth, but he also officiates at funerals. When there is a death, the body is carried to a nearby river and thrown into the water after being cut into 108 pieces (Tibetan Buddhists consider 108 to be an auspicious number). If a person dies in an accident his or her body is buried. When a lama or an influential person dies, the body is cremated. On the seventh day after the death the lama says a prayer and erects a festoon in front of the house of the deceased to satisfy the soul. On the ninth day, the last day of the mourning period, there is a feast.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Tibetan Buddhism has a strong grip on the lives of the Dirang Monpa.

What Are Their Needs?

They need the Holy Spirit to open their eyes so they can see Jesus.

Prayer Points

Pray for loving workers to go to the Dirang Monpa people, and for their hearts to be ready to receive their savior.

Pray for families of believers loving and serving others to grow reproducing churches.

Pray for a chain reaction of families reaching families that result in thousands of new disciples who share their faith with others.

Pray for grace and truth expanding into their entire society as all believers learn to love others.

Scripture Prayers for the Monpa Dirang in India.


Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Monpa Dirang
People Name in Country Monpa Dirang
Natural Name Dirang Monpa
Alternate Names Diran; Dirang; Menba; Monba; Sangla; मोनपा, दिरांग
Population this Country 8,600
Population all Countries 8,600
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 16724
ROP3 Code 111965
ROP25 Code 305594
ROP25 Name Monpa
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country The Dirang Monpa live in the Dirang Circle in the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh.   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country The Dirang Monpa live in the Dirang Circle in the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States 1
  Arunachal Pradesh 8,500
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
97.74 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.77 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.82 %
0.20 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.15 %
0.32 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Tshangla (7,100 speakers)
Language Code tsj   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 11
Secondary Languages
  Hindi 60
  Naga, Mao 10
  Adi 0
  English 0
  Tibetan, Central 0
  Nepali 0
  Santhali 0
  Digaro-Mishmi 0
  Kharia 0
  Mundari 0
People Groups Speaking Tshangla

Primary Language:  Tshangla

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2000)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2014-2023)
Bible-Complete No
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories One Story
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tshangla Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Tshangla YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Tshangla YouVersion Bibles
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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