A common culture and history describe the intimate relationship between Nepal and India since ancient times. Both these nations share similar cultural diversities across equally diverse geographical landscapes. This makes them two marvelous destinations for traveling and trekking. While the vast Indian Territory houses untouched wilderness and thriving cultural traditions, Nepal offers the extremes of Himalayan ventures and plenty of ethnic communities. As such, there are massive attractions that travelers can relish on their trip to either of these countries. Below are some of the features that distinguish both India and Nepal both are the best country for trekking and traveling.
Nepal is known for the majestic Himalayas that cover the entire northern part of the nation. The country alone houses 8 of the ten highest mountains in the world with Mt. Everest 8848m) being the tallest mountain in the world. Similarly, Kanchenjunga (8586m), Lhotse 8516m), Makalu (8481m), Manaslu (8163m), Dhaulagiri (8167m), Cho Oyu (8201m), and Annapurna I (8091m) completes the list.
As of India, the Himalayas are instead the epitome of wilderness and diverse landscapes. Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh house the most famous Himalayas in India.
The beauty of Protected Areas
Nepal houses an astounding array of protected areas across its small territory. From the famous Chitwan National Park to the pristine Kanchenjunga National Park, there are many national parks and wildlife reserves. These reserves cover 23.39 % of the total land in Nepal.
India has a fair share of natural reserves like Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, Sundarban Biosphere Reserve, and Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, to name a few.
The natural reserves scattered across Nepal boast an abundance of biodiversity from a snow leopard, red panda, one-horned rhinoceros, and Royal Bengal Tiger to Impeyan Pheasants and spiny babblers. Similarly, Himalayan Quail, Jerdon Courser, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Himalayan Thar, and Lion-tailed Macaque are rare endangered wildlife found in India. Additionally, both these countries have received plaudits to preserve and protect the natural ecosystem and wildlife.
Nepal brims with ancient history and heritage that has been passed down for generations. As such, the durbar squares in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur are iconic tourist destinations with historical significance. Additionally, they are also enlisted as world heritage sites by UNESCO.
Similarly, Lumbini, Bandipur, Rani Mahal in Palpa, and Janaki Temple are few other Destinations. Speaking of India, there are countless buildings, forts, and places that have historical importance. Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Qutub Minar Complex, Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, and Hawa Mahal are few such destinations in India.
Nepal houses over 126 ethnic groups within its boundaries with different languages, cultures, and traditions to represent each of these groups. Brahmin and Chhetri are the major ethnic groups in the country& demographics, followed by Magar, Tharu, Newar, Tamang, Sherpa, and many other groups.
On the other hand, India is home to over 2,000 ethnic groups with Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, and Mongoloids making up for the majority of the population.
Celebrations and Festivities
Both Nepal and India have had a huge influence on Hindu, Muslim, and Christian religions. Both countries celebrate the same festivals as Dashain/Dussehra, Deepawali, Holi, Eid, an Christmas. However, the festivities of small minorities are different in both nations. Ubhauli, Ubhauli, Gai Jatra, and Machhendranath Jatra are some of the ethnic festivals celebrated in Nepal. Similarly, Onam, Pongal, Ugadi, Gudi Pawda, and Kumbh Mela are other Indian Festivals.
Food Cuisines and Dishes
Similar to the abundance of ethnic groups, food cuisines and dishes are also a key part of people’s lifestyles in Nepal and India. In Nepal, Dal Bhat Tarkari is the staple food enjoyed across the country. Apart from this, Momo, Chataamari, Bara, Sel roti, Samosa, Dhedo, Choila, and Gundruk are popular foods. Indian foods are known for expressive flavors and spicy combinations of food constituents. Pau Bhaji, Palak Paneer, Chicken Tikka, Idli, Korma, Dosa, and Biryani are few of the food cuisines one can choose to eat.
Variation in Trips
When traveling to Nepal, travelers have a mind-boggling number of trip variations to choose from. From high-altitude treks to peak climbing and expeditions, Himalayan ventures are the major attractions in Nepal. However, cultural tours and explorations and adventure sports are also a big part of Nepal tourism. India also offers similar travel options with the added option to enjoy seas, oceans, and beaches.
Hospitality is one of the biggest wow factors when traveling to any part of the world. In Nepal and India, the welcoming nature of the locals and their hospitality is a great attraction. Nepal is known for its kind and humble people belonging to various ethnic groups. As such, people from Sherpa, Tamang, Nubri, Thakali, Thakuri, Magar, Gurung, and Chhetri, Brahmin, and Tharu ethnic communities provide heart-warming hospitality. And, The same is also true of the ethnic groups spread across India.
History and Influence of Yoga and Meditation
Since the Vedic ages of rishi munis and yogis, Nepal and India have inherited the divine practice of yoga and meditation. People in both these countries practice yoga and meditation regularly. There are numerous centers and schools which teach yoga and meditation techniques. Osho Meditation Centers, Vipassana Meditation Centers, and Art of Living Centers are notable names that offer such services in Nepal and India. Enthusiasts can even partake in training camps and sessions to be a licensed yoga instructor.
Both Nepal and India have a deeper bond that goes back ages. And both these countries have their unique features which attract millions of travelers each year. While Nepal offers trekking in Nepal with other extreme adventures to a greater degree, the vast stretch of the Indian border offers infinite travel possibilities in India. With such a plethora of choices, the decision rests on the traveler’s hands and their need and expectations of a dream adventure.