The word Tharu is believed to be derived from sthavir, meaning followers of Theravada Buddhism. The Tharu community belongs to the Terai lowlands, amid the Shivaliks or lower Himalayas. Tharus live in both India and Nepal. In Indian Terai, they live mostly in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh , and Bihar.
The Bhotiya, also called Rongpa, are located in the trans Himalayan region of India. Rongpa communities are some of the oldest in the upper belt of Himalayas, close to the border of Tibet in Gadhwal.