Nepalese people of Indian ancestry

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Nepalese people of Indian ancestry
Yuyutsu Sharma.jpg
Total population
4,000,000 +
Regions with significant populations
Related ethnic groups

There is a large number of Nepalese people of Indian ancestry, consisting of the descendants of early migrants from India to Nepal. There are currently about 4 million people of Indian origin living in Nepal making it home to the largest Indian community outside of India.[1]


Inside the Janaki Mandir, Janakpurdham - An example of 'Hindu-Rajput' architecture

The wave of Indian immigration occurred during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The government of Nepal or its agents encouraged many Indian migrants to move into the Terai for settlement. In the early 1990s, this group mostly consisted of landless tenants and peasants from northern India's border states of Bihar and Bengal. Some of these Indian migrants later became large landowners.[citation needed]

Most of the Indo-Nepalese peoples, were primarily agriculturalists, although a majority of them also relied on other activities to produce supplementary income. They generally raised some farm animals, particularly water buffalo, cows, goats, and sheep for domestic purposes. The Paharis traditionally have occupied the vast majority of civil service positions.[citation needed]

Religion and caste system[edit]

The majority of the Indo-Nepalese are Hindus along with small numbers of Muslims, Buddhists and Jains. The Hinduism that is practiced by the Pahari and Madhesi has been influenced by Buddhism and indigenous folk belief.

A majority of Nepalese Muslims are of Indian descent. Nearly 97 percent of them reside in the Terai region.


Anti-India sentiment in Nepal is partly driven by history. The root of the problem lies in the settlement of Indian origin in the Terai region of Nepal. Indigenous Nepalese people residing mostly in the hill areas have resented their presence. The Tharus are the original inhabitants of Terai Regions of Nepal and consider other Bihari peoples as Indians. They feel the Terai population exercises a disproportionate influence over Nepalese politics and economy. They also feel that the Indian-origin population in Terai Region is settled newly, there was no existence of them in past.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]