Location in Globe: Asia continent between India South east west and China in North.
Total area: 147181 sq. Km
Population: 30 Million
Official Language: Nepali
Capital city: Kathmandu (Known as City of Temple)
Monetary unit: Nepalese rupee = 100 paisa
Main exports: Carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods, grain
Internet domain: .np
International dialing code: +977
Best Activities: Trekking in Nepal, Tour in Nepal, Peak Climbing in Nepal, Helicopter Tour etc.
Nepal is the youngest republic in the world. The people’s movement in June 2006 overthrew centuries- Old Shah Dynasty and declared Nepal as a Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal on May 28, 2008.
Nepal is a small and beautiful landlocked country, 800 km long and 200 km wide. In the longitudinal 200 km, the terrain changes from glaciers of the Tibetan border to the flat jungles of the Terai, barely 150m above sea level. The country does not ascend gradually from the plains.
Nepali is the national language of Nepal. However, people in urban areas speak and understand English quite well. People in the tourism industry also speak and understand selected international languages like Chinese, Indian, French, Japanese, German, Spanish and many more. Apart from these, there are hundreds of local dialects spoken by people from various ethnic groups.
Nepal has four distinct seasons, spring, from March to May, is warm and dusty with rain showers. Summer is from June to August, and much of this season is dominated by the monsoon, when the hills turn lush and green. Autumn, from late September to November, is cool with clear skies, and is the most popular trekking season. In winter, from December to February, it is cold at night and can be foggy in the early morning, but afternoons are usually clear and pleasant, though there is occasional snow in the mountains.
People & Religion
Nepal is a secular state and it respects the practice and existence of different religion within its territory. Nepalese people are mainly divided into two distinct groups; the Indo- Aryans and the Mongoloids (the kirants). The Hindu temples and Buddhist Shrines are scattered all over the country. Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the Herald of peace. Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and people of other religion live together here in perfect harmony.
Currency & foreign exchange
Nepal bank notes comes in rupees 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000 Denominations. Coins come in rupees 1, 2, 5, 10 denominations. Foreign currencies must be exchange only through banks or authorized money exchange. The receipt of such tranctions are to be obtained and retained. Visitors can exchange foreign currency at the foreign exchange counter at the airport upon arrival too. Visitors other than the Indian nationals have to make the payment in foreign currency (non-Indian currency) in hotel, trekking agencies or travel agencies and for air tickets.
Nepal has been declared as a Federal Democratic Republic by the first meeting of Constituent assembly on May 28, 2008. Nepal practices multi-party system of democracy with president as the head of State and the prime minister enjoying executive power. Through Nepal has been declared a federal republic, the democration of federal states is yet to be done.
Nepal is a mountainous country and the major of the world famous Himalayan range lies in Nepal. Neapal is home ot eight of the fourteen 8,000 meters peaks including the Mt. Everest. Other 8000 meters peaks in Nepal are Kanchanjunga, Cho-oyu, Makalu, Manaslu, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Lhotse. Apart from these mountains, Neapl is home to hundreds of other beautiful and challenging peaks in the lakes of Amadablam, Island, Mera, Ganesh Himal, Gauri Sankar and others. Government of Neapl has opened 326 peaks for mountaineering and expeditions.
Nepal receives foreign visitors in the tune of five lakhs every year. The arrival figure in the country in 2007 crossed five lakhs for the first time. Most of the visitors come to Nepal for holiday or pleasure activities and to involve in trekking. Significant number of visitors come for pilgrimage, offical and business purpose. Apart from Kathmandu valley. Lumbini and different trekking areas of the country including the Everest, Annapurna and Langtang regions.
Culture & Traditions
Nepal is country rich in ancient culture and traditions. Nepal is home to over 60 ethnic groups and indigenous nationalities that have their distinct attire, culture, tradition and lifestyle. These communities speak more than 100 local dialects making Nepal a country of great culture and ethnical diversities. People of Nepal calendar when colorful festivals are not celebrated. various temples, monasteries and places of religious significance are found everywhere in Nepal.
Nepal is a country of great topographical diversities. The altitude in the country varies from less than 70 m above sea level at Kechana Kalan of Jhapa to the world’s highest point 8,848 meters at the summit of Mt. Everest. This variation occurs at the distance of less than 300 kms. Nepal is divided into three different regions as per altitude variations mountain, hills and Terai.
Despite being a small country, Nepal has a great biological diversity. Nepal has gazetted different national parks and conservations areas to protect bio-diversity in those areas. Nepal is home to 167 species of mammals, 50 amphibian and 130 reptiles, 863 birds and more than 6000 species of plants among which about 245 species of plant are only found in Nepal. A total of 118 ecosystem,75 vegtation and 35 forest types have been identified so far. Endangered animal species like Royal Bengal Tiger, One-horned Rhino, Red Panda and others are preserved in different protected areas of Nepal.
Security of the visitors
Tourist Police was established in 1979 under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. The special unit has been designated the task of providing security to visitors. The team of Tourist Police consists of officers who can speak and understand English and Hindi. They register complaints, investigate matters, provide protection and safety to tourists. They also try to ensure hassle-free trip for visitors and assit tourists when necessary. There are three units of Tourist Police forces in Kathmandu. While the main office is at the Tourist service Center in Bhrikuti Mandap (phone: 4247041,4247037),the other two are in tourist areas Thamel (phone: 4429750) and Basantapur (Phone: 4268969).
Here are some tips on how visitors can remain safe:
Nepal weather and Climate
Nepal’s weather is generally predictable and pleasant. There are four climatic seasons:
(a) Spring: March-May
(b) Summer: Juune-August
(c) Autumn: September-November
(d) Winter: December-February
Nepal has four distinct seasons. Spring, from March to May, is warm and dusty with rain showers. Summer is from June to August, and much of this season is dominated by the monsoon, when the hills turn lush and green. Autumn, from late September to November, is cool with clear skies, and is the most popular trekking season. In winter, from December to February, It is cold at night and can be foggy in the early morning , but after-noons are usually clear and pleasant, though there is occasional snow in the mountains.
Because Nepal is quite far south (at the same latitude as Miami and Caro) the weather is warmer and winter is much milder at lower elevations, including Kathmandu at 1400m. It rarely snows below 2000m.
In Kathmandu and Pokhara, and even some trailheads like Beni, Lukla and Besi Sahar, you can change money officially at banks, hotel exchange counters and moneychangers authorized by the Nepal Rastra Bank. Himalayan Bank is the most convenient place to change rate in larger hotels is often unfavorable.
There are also numerous licensed moneychangers in Pokhara, Kathamndu and a few trekking villages. These facilities are more convenient and efficient than banks but, despite their signs advertising ‘no commission’. they offer rates slightly below what the banks give. You can change both cash and travelers cheques in Nepal.US dollars are the most acceptable.
Kathmandu and Pokhara have dozens of ATMs. Standard Chartered Bank machines are perhaps the most reliable, though Himalayan Bank and Nabil Bank ATMs also accept international cards. There are even functioning ATMs in Jomsom and Namche Bazaar. Frequent power outages limit the machines working hours, so use one when you see it’s working. Using an ATM attached to a bank during business hours will minimize the hassle in the rare event that the machine eats your card.
major credit cards are widely accepted at midrange and better hotels, restaurants and fancy shops in the kathmandu valley and Pokhara only. Most places levy a 3% to 4% surcharge to counter the credit-card company’s fees to the vendor. Branches of Standard Chartered Bank,Nabil Bank and Himalayan Bank give cash advances against Visa and Mastercard in Nepali rupees only (no commission).