L1 users: 5,530 (2011 census), decreasing. Ethnic population: 5,980 (2011 census).
Kosi zone: Dhankuta district, north of the Tamur, Dhankuta municipality and Bhirgau VDC between the Dhankuta khola west, and the Tangkhuwa east.
6b (Threatened). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Rai.
None known. Athpare and Belhariya [byw] are very similar, but not mutually intelligible (Bickel 1996).
SOV; postpositions; genitives, adjectives, numerals before noun heads; polar questions marked with a suffix attached to the verb sentence final; noun head final; no noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; content questions can have the same word order as assertive sentences, or the question word occurs directly before the verb; up to 2 prefixes, up to 9 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; affixes indicate case of noun phrase; verbal affixation marks person, number, object—obligatory; split ergative; comparatives with Nepali, Bhanda; both tense and aspect; no passives or voice; CV, CVC, CVCC; 24 consonant and 5 vowel phonemes; nontonal.
Devanagari script [Deva], used since 2011.
Communities prefer to be called Kirati rather than Kirant. Traditional religion, Buddhist, Hindu.