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About Nepal
Introduction Highlights Geography Religion
Region Climate Nature Tourist Info
 Introduction
Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the north and by India to the south, east and west. The Himalaya mountain range runs across Nepal's northern and western parts, and eight of the world's ten highest mountains, including the highest, Mount Everest, lie within its borders.

In the northern region of high Himalayas, the Tibetan speaking, the Sherpas, the Dolpas, the Lopas, the Baragaonlis, the Manangis live in different settlements scattered along the country. The Sherpas are mainly confined in the east in the Solu and Khumbu region. The Baragaonlis and the Lopas live in the semi- deserted area of the upper and lower Mustang in the part of the Tibetan plateau in the rain shadow area; the Managis in the Manang district and the adjacent areas; and the Dolpas in the highest settlements on the earth in the Dolpa district of Nepal ( in the west) at an altitude of above 4000 m.

In the middle hills and valleys, there coexists numerous ethnic groups. Among them are the Magars, Gurungs, Tamangs, Sunuwars, Newars, Thakalis, Chepangs and majority of Brahmans and Chhetris. There are also some occupational castes e.g. the Damai ( tailor), Sarki ( Cobbler), Kami (Blacksmith) and Sunar (Goldsmiths). Though, there exists numerous dialects, the language of unification is the national language, Nepali, an Indo- Aryan language.

Known as the Land of Everest and being sublime scenery, one of the world’s best and Archeologically very important temples, and some of the best walking trails on the Earth. Although the GDP of Nepal is very low, but it is rich in scenic splendour and cultural treasures. 



Nepal is the only country in the world which contains :

• The highest mountain peak in the world ( Mt. Everest 8848 MTR), with seven other highest peaks in the world.
• The deepest gorge in the world ( Kaligandaki river )
• The birthplace of lord Buddha (Lumbini), the light of Asia
• The living Goddess ( Kumari) who is worshipped and taken in a Chariot procession annually.
• The best place in the world to study Tibetan Buddhism.
• Kathmandu the capital city with many idols as men and as many temples as houses.
• A hotel situated at an altitude of 3870 MTR in Everest National Park, claimed to be the highest hotel in the world ( Hotel Everest View)

 

 Geography

Location:

The kingdom of Nepal lies between 80º 4' and 88º 12' east longitude and 26º 22' north latitude. It borders with China in the North and India in the South.

Area:

1,47,181 sq. Kms. (56,827 sq miles)

Altitude:

Varies from 70 to 8848 meters.

Capital:

Kathmandu .

Population:

29.8 million (UN, 2010)

Language:

Nepali, the national language is the common language in Nepal. However different ethnic groups have their own mother languages like Tamang, Gurung, Newari, Maithili, Sherpa, Bhojpuri, Rai Tharu etc.

Population Density:

122 per sq. Kms.

 
Hinduism and Buddhism are two major religions of Nepal. Hindus and Buddhist are tolerant to each other and the both religious group worship each other’s deities and observe festivals, traditional customs and rites of both religious group in Nepal, followed by Muslims, Jains and Christians.

1. Himalayan                   2. Hilly                          3. Terai

1. Himalayan Region – 15 percent of the total land of the country are covered with snow capped mountains in the northern part and altitude ranges from 4,877 to 8,848 meters including 8 peaks above the 8,000 meters namely Mt Everest (8,848m), Kanchanjungha (8,586), Lhotse (8,516), Makalu (8,463m), Cho Oyu (8,201m), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Manaslu (8,163 m) and Annapurna I (8,091 m).


2. Hilly Region – 68 percent of the total land of the country are covered by the hills and mountains in the central part of Nepal. Altitude varies from 610 to 4,877 meters in this region.


3. Terai Region – In the southern part, the plain area of Terai region covers the 17 percent of the total land of the country.


Nepal has four major seasons
1. Winter – December to February
2. Spring – March to May
3. Summer – June to August

4. Autumn – September to November


  Nature
Covering an area of 147,181 sq.km, Nepal shares a border with India in the west, south and east and with the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China in the north. Kanchan Kalan in Jhapa district is the lowest point at 70m above sea level and the summit of Mt. Everest at 8,848 m is the highest. From east to west, Nepal is 800 km long and only 230 km. north to south at its widest. Within this narrow stretch of land there is incredible diversity in topography ranging from a sub-tropical climate in the tarai (plains) to Alpine conditions in the Himalayan regions. Mountains, mid hills, valleys, lakes and plains dominate the landscape of this landlocked country. Eight of the fourteen peaks over eight thousand meters lie in Nepal including Everest, the highest in the world. Nepal also has an abundance of rivers most of which originate in the Himalaya while some flow down from Tibet. They all flow on to India, many of them joining the holy Ganges. High amid the mountains there are glacial lakes and spectacular valleys where few people venture. Recent physiographic data show that around 4.27 million hectares (29 % of total land area) is made up of forests, 1.56 million hectares (10.6%) of scrubland and degraded forest, 1.7 million hectares (12%) of grassland, 3.0 million hectares (21%) of farmland and 1.0 million hectares (7%) of un-cultivated land.

Climatic conditions within Nepal vary from one place to another in accordance with the geographical features. In the north, summers are cool and winters severe, while in the south summers are sub-tropical and winters mild. The monsoon that brings rain from June through September affects most of the country except those that lie in the rain-shadow areas like Mustang which is within Nepal but a part of the Tibetan plateau. Large tracts of forested land have been preserved as national parks and wildlife reserves where endangered species like the Royal Bengal tiger and the Greater one-horned rhinoceros roam freely along with an amazing variety of mammals and reptiles that include bear, leopards, hyenas, wild boar, wild elephants, monitor lizards, crocodiles, pythons, turtles and various species of insects and birds. Nepal is home to almost 10 percent of the world's bird species among which 500 species are found in the Kathmandu valley alone.

The most abundant natural resource in Nepal is water. Much of the rivers have been harnessed for hydro-power but they also play a crucial role in tourism as most of them are suitable for adventure sports like kayaking and rafting.

The Himalayas are not merely a source of revenue through mountaineering and trekking, they are also mined for quartz, lignite, copper, cobalt and iron ore. The scenic beauty of the countryside attracts hordes of trekkers while there seems to be an ever increasing number of mountaineers attempting to climb the hundreds of peaks that have been opened for climbing.



A) Airport Facilities
Coffee shop, confectionery shop, restaurant, post office, and pre-paid phones are located for the convenience of passengers both at the arrival and departure lounges at the airport.

B) Airport Tax
The airport tax levied on all passengers departing from the Tribhuvan International Airport is NRs 1356 to SAARC countries and NRs 1,695 to all other International destinations. Airport tax for domestic departures is NRs 170. Nepalese nationals going to SAARC countries are requested to pay NRs 791 and NRs 1130 to all international destinations.

C)Airport to Downtown
There are taxis and pre-taxis which take passengers anywhere in the city area of Kathmandu Valley.

D) Time – Nepal Time is 5 hour 45 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 15 minutes ahead of Indian Standard Time.

E) Local Transport
There are metered taxi, private taxi available in most hotels, auto rickshaw (meter tempo), hired motorbike or hired mountain bike/ordinary bicycle. Long distance day or night service from Kathmandu to major cities of Nepal is available at Gongabu Bus Terminal.

F) Souvenirs to Buy
One can buy souvenirs like carpets, pashmina, thankas, tea, woodcarvings, garments, gems, jewellery, khukuris, metalware, music (audio & CD), paper products, pottery, statues, etc. of superior qualtiy.

G) Banks, Money Changers and Credit Cards
Banks are open from 10 am to 3 p.m. and (until 1:00 p.m. on Fridays) for business transactions.
One can also change money in major hotels, banks and licensed money changers.
Major credit cards are also acceptable at major hotels, restaurants, carpet and handicraft shops.
There is one bank counter at the departure lounge and three bank counters at the arrival lounge.
There are also many Western Union Money Transfers branches for easy money remittance from abroad.

H) Currency – Currency of Nepal is known as Rupee which comes in notes of 1,2,5,10,20,25,50,100,500and 1000. Coins known as paisa comes in 5,10,25,50 and 100.Rupees coins are also used; 1,2,5,and 10.One Nepali Rupee is made up of 100 paisa. Foreign currencies must be exchanged only through the banks or authorized foreign exchange dealers.


I) Communication Facilities
Postal Services: The Central Post Office located near Dharahara Tower, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. The counters are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provide stamps, postcards and aerograms. Post Restante is available Sunday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Express Mail Service ( EMS) is available at GPO and at Thamel, Basantapur and airport postal counters.

Telephone Services: Telephone and fax services are available at the Nepal Telecommunications Corporation at Tripureshwar. Hotels and private communications centers provide long distance telephone and fax facilities. For calling from outside, country code for Nepal is 977 and the area code for Kathmandu is 1.

Pre-paid Telephone Cards: Pre-paid telephone cards can be purchased at different branches of Nepal Telecom Offices. Rs. 200, 500 and 1,000 pre-paid telephone cards which includes STD and ISD calls are available.


Internet Services: There are countless Internet cafes and communication centers have opened up in the Valley and around the country. Visitors only have to find a place they are most comfortable in to use the facilities to keep in touch with home. Internet services are also offered by hotels.

Media: Nepali media has made a gigantic leap ahead in just a few years time and what used to be a controlled and tight knit community, is no more. The government audio and television news networks are Radio Nepal and Nepal Television respectively. However, numerous FM radio stations and regional television stations are dominating the market. Major Nepali daily newspapers are Gorkhapatra and Kantipur, while the English dailies are The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu Post and The Himalayan Times. A number of other newspapers and magazines are also available.

Electricity: Major towns have electricity and the voltage available is 220-volts and 50 cycles. Load shedding is a seasonal phenomenon during the dry season and eases off once it begins to rain. However, most major hotels have uninterrupted power supply through their own generators.


J) Restaurants, Pubs and Entertainments
The best eatery places are located in Thamel, Durbarmarg, Kantipath and Pulchowk and not forgetting the restaurants at different hotels.
Varieties of mouth-watering foods like Chinese, Thai, Continental, Typical Nepali and Newari food, Mexican, etc. can be easily found. One can make a choice from one's own budget whether to eat at a reasonable priced restaurants or at star hotels.
At night, the pubs at Thamel are alive with people of all nationalities. This is one interesting place to go.
There are also live bands at star hotels and pubs on a Friday night. You can check it out for details in the daily papers.
For those who love to gamble, then a visit to one of the 6 casinos is a must. The casinos are located in different parts of Kathmandu.

K) Hotel Accommodations
In Nepal different categories of hotels are available all over major cities and towns from star to Budget standard with all facilities as per the client's interest, timeframe and affordability.

L) Best season for travelling
The most popular seasons for travelling in Nepal are spring (Mar-May) and autumn (Sep-Nov). Also, during the monsoon season (June-Aug), tours and treks are possible depending on the areas or regions.

M) Required clothing:
Lightweight clothing is recommended for May through October, warm garments and required throughout October to March, and an umbrella or a raincoat is a must for the rainy season(June-Aug)

N) Trekking Permits
A trekking permit is required to visit the interior of the country except the Annapurna, Everest and Langtang regions. They are obtained at the Immigration offices in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

Trek Safely
• Never trek alone. Hire a guide if you can't find a companion.
• Become informed about high altitude sickness.
• Carry a good medicine kit and any drugs you need.
• Watch where you are walking. Don't step backward blindly when taking photos.
• Time your trek generously. Taking rests is not a sign of weakness.

Nepal Tourism Board Information Centers
The counters are located at Tribhuvan International Airport, Bhrikutimandap and other towns like Pokhara, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Janakpur and Kakarvitta for the tourists.

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