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About Nepal
 

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)


Location Map


 

Go to Nepal Map Page.....

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.

 


Nepal At a Glance


Name of the Country: Nepal

Area: 140,800 sq km

Population: 23 million

Capital city: Kathmandu

People: Hindus, Newars, Tibetans, Gurungs, Magars, Tamangs, Rais, Limbus, Sherpas

National Language: Nepali

Religion: Hindu

Government: Parliamentary Democracy

Prime Minister: Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal

Annual GDP: US$27.4 billion

Annual GDP per head: US$1100

Annual growth: 6%

Inflation: 2.1%

Major industries: Tourism, Handicraft, Agriculture and Water Resources.


 


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

 


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.


 
 

 


People of Nepal can be divided into two distinct group, the Aryans and the Mongolians. And three are many different ethnic groups in Nepal living in different part of the country with their own unique cultures, languages and religions. The ethnic group of Magars, Rais, Sunuwars and Gurungs live in the eastern mountains observing their own culture and speaking their own culture and speaking their own mother languages. By tradition, most Gurkha soldiers come from these ethnic groups and are famous for the bravery in the battles. Sherpas, inhabitants of the Northern Himalayan region are influenced with the Tibetan culture. The Sherpas are famous in the world for mountaineering.The Newars constitute the important ethnic group in the Kathmandu valley. The Newars are rich in culture and famous for their craftsmanship. There are many artistic pagodas, monuments and old palaces in the Kathmandu valley built by the Newars. The ethnic group of Tharus, Maithili, Bhojpuri Danuwar etc live in the Terai region.The Brahman and Chhetris also play an important role in Nepalese Society. These groups are originally from the west Nepal and now inhabit the most of all the parts of the country.Tamangs live outside the rim of the Kathmandu valley. The Thakalis inhabitant in the northwest part, upper the Kali Gandaki Rivers.The Thakalis were considered to be expert traders in the past.Apart from the above, there are still many other ethnic group in Nepal and all of these groups are tied up together by their common ideals of peace and nationalism.
   
Nepal's recorded history began with the Kiratis, who arrived in the 7th or 8th century BC from the east. Little is known about them, other than their deftness as sheep farmers and fondness for carrying long knives. It was during this period that Buddhism first came to the country; indeed it is claimed that Buddha and his disciple Ananda
visited the Kathmandu Valley and stayed for a time in Patan. By 200 AD, Buddhism had waned, and was replaced by Hinduism, brought by the Licchavis, who invaded from northern India and overthrew the last Kirati king. The Hindus also introduced the caste system (which still continues today) and ushered in a classical age of Nepalese art and architecture. By 879, the Licchavi era had petered out and was succeeded by the Thakuri dynasty. A grim period of instability and invasion often referred to as the 'Dark Ages' followed, but Kathmandu Valley's strategic location ensured the kingdom's survival and growth. Several centuries later, the Thakuri king, Arideva, founded the Malla dynasty, kick-starting another renaissance of Nepali culture. Despite earthquakes, the odd invasion and feuding between the independent city-states of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, the dynasty flourished, reaching its zenith in the 15th century under Yaksha Malla.


The Shah Dynasty in Nepal
The rulers of Ghorkha, the most easterly region, had always coveted the Mallas' wealth. Under the inspired leadership of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the Ghorkha launched a campaign to conquer the valley. In 1768 - after 27 years of fighting - they triumphed and moved their capital to Kathmandu. From this new base the kingdom's power expanded, borne by a seemingly unstoppable army, until progress was halted in 1792 by a brief and chastening war with Tibet. Further hostilities followed in 1814, this time with the British over a territorial dispute. The Nepalese were eventually put to heel and compelled to sign the 1816 Sugauli Treaty, which surrendered Sikkim and most of Terai (some of the land was eventually restored in return for Nepalese help in quelling the Indian Mutiny of 1857), established Nepal's present eastern and western boundaries and, worst of all, installed a British 'resident' in the country. The Shah dynasty continued in power during the first half of the 19th century until the ghastly Kot Massacre of 1846. Taking advantage of the intrigue and assassinations that had plagued the ruling family, Jung Bahadur seized control by butchering several hundred of the most important men while they assembled in the Kot courtyard. He took the more prestigious title Rana, proclaimed himself prime minister for life, and later made the office hereditary. For the next century, the Ranas and their offspring luxuriated in huge Kathmandu palaces, while the remainder of the population eked out a living in medieval conditions. The Rana's antiquated regime came to an end soon after WW II. In 1948, the British withdrew from India and with them went the Ranas' chief support. Around the same time, a host of insurrectional movements, bent on reshaping the country's polity, emerged. Sporadic fighting spilled onto the streets and the Ranas, at the behest of India, reluctantly agreed to negotiations. King Tribhuvan was anointed ruler in 1951 and struck up a government comprised of Ranas and members of the newly formed Nepali Congress Party. But the compromise was shortlived. After toying with democratic elections - and feeling none too pleased by the result - King Mahendra (Tribhuvan's son and successor) decided that a 'partyless' panchaayat system would be more appropriate for Nepal. The king selected the prime minister and cabinet and appointed a large proportion of the national assembly, which duly rubber-stamped his policies. Power, of course, remained with only one party - the king's. Cronyism, corruption and the creaming-off of lucrative foreign aid into royal coffers continued until 1989. The Nepalese, fed up with years of hardship and suffering under a crippling trade embargo imposed by the Indians, rose up in popular protest called the Jana Andolan or 'People's Movement'. In the ensuing months, detention, torture and violent clashes left hundreds of people dead. It all proved too much for King Birendra, in power since 1972. He dissolved his cabinet, legalised political parties and invited the opposition to form an interim government. The panchaayat system was finally laid to rest. The changeover to democracy proceeded in an orderly, if leisurely, fashion, and in May 1991 the Nepali Congress Party and the Communist Party of Nepal shared most of the votes. On December 28, 2007, the Interim Parliament passed a bill and declared Nepal to be a Federal Democratic Republic. The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly officially implemented that declaration on May 28, 2008.

 


Office Hours
Working hours for all government offices, immigration offices and corporations are from :
Sunday to Friday
(10.00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in summer)
(10.00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in winter)
Weekend–Saturday is the official holiday in Nepal.

Kathmandu Immigration Office
The department is located at Bhrikuti Mandap.
Tel: 4223681, 4222453, 4223590
Fax: 4223127

Pokhara Immigration Office
A visa extension may be requested from the Department and Pokhara Immigration Office. Tel: 061-21167

TOURIST INFORMATION

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.

Name of the company or place
Phone Number
E-mail

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB):

4256909, 4256910

 

Police Headquarter

4411618, 4412737

 

Ministry of Culture Tourism & Civil Aviation

4256232, 4256234

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

4416001, 4416002

 

Department of Immigration

4495813, 4494273

 

Department of Customs

4226662, 4221781

 

Ministry of Information & Communication

4227525, 4220150

 

Police (Emergency)

100

 

Tourist Police (Bhrikuti Mandap)

4226359/4226403

 

Ambulance, Bishal Bazaar

4244121

 

Ambulance, Nepal Chamber

4230213/4222890

 
Ambulance, Paropakar 4251614/4260869  
Ambulance, Red Cross 4228094  
Ambulance, Bhagawan Mahavir Jain Niketan 4418619/4422280  
Bir Hospital 221988  
Patan Hospital (Lagankhel) 4522278  
Teaching Hospital (Maharajgunj) 4412707/4412505/4412808  
B & B Hospital (Gwarko) 4351930/4533206  
Teku Hospital (Teku) 4253396  
AWON Kalimati Clinic (Kalimati) 4271873  
Blood Bank 4225344  
CIWEC Clinic (Durbar Marg) 4228531  
Homeopathic Clinic (Kalimati) 4277431  
Kunfen Tibetan Medical Center (Chhetrapati) 4251920  
Himalayan International Clinic (Chhetrapati) 4263170  
Nepal lnternational Clinic (Lal Durbar) 4434642/4435357  
Himalayan Rescue Association (Tridevi Marg) 4262746  
Synergy International Clinic (Thamel) 4225038  
Tilganga Eye Centre 4476575/4474937  
Homeopathic Treatment Centre 4522092  
Friends of Shanta Bhawan 4470181  
Nepal Oral Health Clinic 4245572  
Ask me 4427806  
Night Taxi 4224374  
Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) 4472256/4472257  
Himalayan Buddhist Meditation Centre 4221875  
KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Education Project) 4259275  
WWF 4434820 anil.manandhar@wwfnepal.org
Place
Code
Place
Code
Achham 97 Kalaiya 53
Arghakhanchi 77 Katari 35
Bandipur 95 Kathmandu 1
Banepa 11 Khadbari 29
Baglung 68 Khotang 36
Bardiya 84 Khusma 67
Beni 69 Krishanagar 76
Besisahar 66 Lahan 33
Bhadrapur 23 Lalitpur 1
Bhairawaha 71 Lumbini 71
Bhajani 91 Lumjung 66
Bhaktapur 1 Mahendranagar 99
Bharatpur 56 Malangawa 46
Bhimphedi 57 Myagdi 69
Bhojpur 29 Nawalparasi 78
Bidur 10 Nepalgunj 81
Biratnagar 21 Okhaldhunga 37
Birgung 51 Palpa 75
Birtamod 23 Panchthar 24
Butwal 71 Patan 1
Charikot 49 Phidim 24
Dadheldhura 96 Pokhara 61
Damak 23 Rajbiraj 31
Damauli 65 Rajpur 84
Dang 82 Ramechap 48
Darchula 93 Rangeli 21
Dhabi 25 Rasuwa 10
Dhading 10 Sandikharka 77
Dhangadi 91 Sankhuwasava 29
Dhankuta 26 Simra 53
Dharan 25 Sindhuli 47
Dipayal 94 Siraha 33
Dodharachadani 99 Surkhet 83
Doti 94 Syanja 63
Gaighat 35 Tandi 56
Gaur 55 Tansen 75
Ghorahi 82 Taplejung 24
Gorkha 64 Taulihawa 76
Guleria 84 Terathum 26
Gulmi 79 Tikapur 91
Hetauda 57 Tribeni 78
Ilam 27 Trishuli 10
Inaruwa 25 Tulsipur 82
Itahari 21 Udaipur 35
Jaleshwar 44    
Janakpur 41    
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