A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Athpagari, Athpahariya, Athpare, Athpariya, Belhare

612, all users. L1 users: 600 (2011 census), decreasing. L2 users: 12 (2011 census).


Kosi zone: Dhankuta district, Belhara village and hill west of Dhankuta Bajar.

Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Rai.


None known. Different from Athpariya [aph], although also called and closely related to it (Winter and Hansson 1991). Not intelligible with Athpariya although Athpariya speakers claim full intelligibility (Bickel 1996:21).


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no genders; content q-word in situ; up to 3 prefixes, up to 10 suffixes, and several clitics; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; ergativity; passives and voice; nontonal; 22 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

Many parents only use Nepali [npi] with their children, citing advantages for economic and social success. Religion; mixed use: Home, friends, work. Some young people, all adults. Adults and elderly. Some use among children and adolescents. Negative attitudes. Also use Nepali [npi].

Language Development

About 5 speakers are literate in their mother tongue. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts.


Devanagari script [Deva], recently developed.

Other Comments

Athpare refers to the ethnic group made up of Belhare and Athpariya which have close cultural ties, but who recognize their linguistic differences. They clarify by calling the Dhankuta people Noupagari and the Belhare people Athpagari (Bickel 1996). Traditional religion, Hindu.

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