India Vs. Pakistan: The Traveler’s Guide

Out of Western Asia and the Northern African and Middle Eastern nations, you will find some difficult in deciding between which nation you’d like to visit more than another.  For me, I’ve had a love of traveling since I was young.  I suppose I may be a nomad at birth and was lucky and blessed enough to have the opportunity to travel and broaden my horizons and open my mind.  That said, I can say that the sky above us is a beautiful thing no matter what land you walk across, however the land you surround yourself in can be a huge factor in how you feel.  Your culture is often one of the most important factors in determining what kinds of values and beliefs you have, and I’ve had a certain interest in both Pakistan and India for a long time.

india-heritage-sites

This very accurate image (which we have Hampi.Info to thank for) is that of many of India’s cultural and historical heritage locations.  For me this is like a rough road map for locations I’d love to visit if I should ever get the chance to visit the country.

Now as you can see in this awesome road map to culture and what could be the journey of a life time, India is a country with some of the best aspects that any culture on the planet can offer.  Many western nations have certain glitz and glamorous aspects that are unlike anything you can find anywhere (I imagine Las Vegas, which has roots in organized crime and a lot of immoral activity underneath its shiny surface), but for a deeper fulfillment that is more than skin deep I will prefer India.  Between all of the religious, historical, and cultural aspects (not to mention the amazing food that cannot be found anywhere else), I’m feeling the travel bug’s bite more than ever.  Is anyone feeling hungry for curry?  I sure am!

saiful-malook-lake-pakistan

JD Rucker brings us this photo of Saiful Malook Lake in Pakistan.  The landscape is breath taking and something I’m surprised to find in Pakistan when my preconceptions usually centered on an arid landscape.

I’ve never studied Pakistan very much but the land has a surprising beauty to it.  This photo above shows off a beautiful lake and the snow-capped mountains that run parallel to it.  The sight is something reminiscent of Canada or Colorado, but it is surprisingly enough, right there in Pakistan, a land stereotyped by the media as being one of those “Muslim countries in the desert.”  But the nation is a highly civilized republic and full of beauty and culture that it certainly hasn’t been given enough credit for.  If I have the opportunity, I’d love to visit Pakistan, but I think I’m still on the fence about whether or not I would prefer India or Pakistan… But then again…

taj-mahal-agar-india

The Taj Mahal in beautiful Agar, India.  One of, if not the most beautiful piece of architecture on the planet… I think this photo makes up my mind!  © Colin Tsoi.

As much as Pakistan is a beautiful place and I’d like to see it someday, as money and time are both limited resources, if push comes to shove I’ll definitely have to choose India first.  Just take a look at the Taj Mahal and tell me if you’d love to see it with your own eyes at least once in your life or not?  Seriously, just the floor surrounding the building looks like a work of art.  I think I’d have to carry a clean pair of moccasins there and put them on just out of respect for the ground.  I’m seriously thinking about going on a ramen diet and not buying any new video games for a while just to try and save up for this trip…