The countries in South Asia, while enjoying their own peculiarities, share common culture and ways of life. The norms and values, mainly of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism, are deeply rooted in South Asian societies. Though the numbers of followers of these religious and cultural mainstays vary from country to country, their presence and influence in local arts, cultures and traditions are distinctly visible in every country and society in the region. Nepal, too, has its unique geography, history and cultural heritage, and still is an integral part of the broader cultural history and tradition of Indian sub-continent. As the saying goes, culture sees no borders.
While being parts of broader South Asian culture, Nepal and India share special closeness and similarity in cultural tradition. They are so closely and strongly interlinked by social life and cultural tradition that nobody can imagine to separate them. Both have made great contributions to enriching religious and cultural heritage in this region, and beyond. Lord Buddha, born in Nepal, has left his footprints not only in South Asia but all over the world. Sita, the daughter of Nepal, who was married to Ram, the crown prince of Ayodhya in India, has made special place in the hearts of Hindus living anywhere in the world. The contributions made by Indian philosophers and saints need no further elaboration. It is these great personalities of this region that have helped evolve, develop and spread the cultural heritage that is proudly known today as the South Asian culture.
The cultural links between Nepal and India have many facets. Religion is perhaps the most important factor, and plays a predominant role in shaping the cultural relations between these two countries. This is manifested in the large number of peoples from both countries visiting each other's countries for pilgrimage. Thousands of Nepalese nationals visit pilgrimage sites in India every year. The char dham yatra (visit of four...
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