Nepal, nearly 30 million people is one of the most beautiful countries in the Himalayas. No less than eight of the world’s 10 highest mountain peaks existed here. The country is, however, distinguished not only for its high mountains but also for its unique cultural heritage, artistic monuments and exotic wildlife, languages, lifestyle, architecture and rich biodiversity.
Buffered between the Chinese province of Tibet in the north and India on the other three sides, Nepal is the confluence of two ancient religions — Hinduism and Buddhism. It is the land where Lord Buddha was born about 2,500 years ago and is also the birthplace of Sita, consort of Lord Rama.
Area: 147181 Sq. Km. – 800 km long and 200 km wide
Longitudinally, the terrain changes from glacial moraines in the Northern Tundra hemisphere, temperate climate with terraced fields and meadows in the Mid hill section and flat fields and Sub-tropical jungles in the Southern parts. Most rivers flow from North to South. Rapid grades in the Mountain Rivers – Up to Grade 5.
Kathmandu, in Nepali, houses more than 822.000 people. It’s 2000 years old and the biggest temple is Bouddhanath in Bouddah; most palaces you find around Durbar Square. The Pashupatinath Temple is the largest Hindu temple of Lord Shiva (Pashupati) in the world and regarded as the most sacred. In the valley, you’ll find no less than seven Monuments that have a status of World Heritage. Kathmandu is most popular among Western tourists, who stay mostly in Thamel, famous for backpackers and packed with guest houses, restaurants, shops and bookstalls. From the point of view of tourism, economy and cultural heritage, the sister cities of Patan (Lalitpur) and Bhaktapur are integral to Kathmandu.
Nepali is the National language. But most of the travel trade people and a new generation can understand and speak English.
Hindu & Buddhist.
Nepali Rupees, in 1, 5, 10, 20, 25 50 100, 500, 1000 denominations. One US Dollar is equal to 73.1 NPR, one Euro equal to 97.6 NPR (April 2010). It fluctuates against hard currencies like Dollar, Euro & Pound Sterling.
Democratic Republic, multi-party system.
Spring (between March-May): The temperature is mildly warm in low lands while moderate at higher altitudes with plenty of opportunities to have a tryst with the mountain views. It is also the time for flowers to blossom and the national flower of Nepal – rhododendron sweeps the ascending altitudes with its magnanimous color and beauty.
Summer (between June – August):
This is also the monsoon season in Nepal. The weather is hot and wet at times. It rains almost every day with occasional thunderstorms in the evenings. The rain spreads the pleasantness around with lush green vegetation.
Autumn (between September – November):
This is the best tourist season in Nepal with the summer gone by and the winter to set in. The weather is highly pleasant so are the mountain views. This is the peak season for trekking in Nepal as mountain views are guaranteed. So better book your flights in advance. This is also the season of festivities as Nepal celebrates the biggest Hindu festivals Dashain followed by Tihar.
Winter (between December – February):
The weather is cool and the sky is clear with occasional snowfalls at higher elevations. This season is good for trekking in lower elevations. The morning and night are cold and the days are warm when sunny.
Temperature & rainfall
Nepal is the country of extremes. The lowland plains of the Terai can have tropical temperatures and also the mosquitoes. The Himalayas can get to sub-zero temperatures, but the sun blaze can bring some warmth during the day, even in the mountains. The temperature of Kathmandu goes below 1 Degree Celsius (34 Degree Fahrenheit) in winter and rises to an average of 25 Degree Celsius (77 Degree Fahrenheit) in summer.
The average temperature in Kathmandu during the four seasons:
* Spring season ranges between 16-23 Degree Celsius (61-73 Degree Fahrenheit)
* summer season ranges between 23-25 Degree Celsius (73-77 Degree Fahrenheit)
* Autumn season ranges between 15-24 Degree Celsius (59-75 Degree Fahrenheit)
* Winter season ranges between 9-12 Degree Celsius (48-54 Degree Fahrenheit)
During the rainy monsoon season between June to August, it rains on an average between 200-375 millimeters in Kathmandu. There is occasional rainfall during the other seasons too. In an average, 1300 millimeters of rain falls in Kathmandu every year.
Although crime is still relatively low by many standards. Visitors should avoid walking alone after dark, especially in areas experiencing power cuts, and should avoid carrying large sums of cash or wearing expensive jewelries. Women travelers are advised not to wear revealing clothing in public places, as this can be culturally offensive to Nepalese. Valuables should be stored in the hotel safety deposit box and should never be left unattended in hotel rooms. Travelers should be especially alert at or near major tourist sites, including the Thamel district of Kathmandu, where pick-pocketing bag-snatching is common in general. It is recommended that passports and cash be carried in a protected neck pouch or money belt–not in a backpack or handbag.
What makes Nepal special?
Nepal is the only country in the world, which Contains World’s Tallest Mountain & deepest Gorge. So you can visit Mount Everest or Sagarmatha in Nepali and also Kali Gandaki Gorge respectively. Eight of the world’s highest mountains are located in Nepal.
By some measures, Hinduism is practiced by a larger majority of people in Nepal than in any other nations. Buddhism, though a minority faith in the country is linked historically with Nepal as the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, who as the Gautam Buddha gave birth to the Buddhist tradition. Lord Buddha and Sita were born in Lumbini and Janakpur Dham respectively. The Jyotirlinga of Pashupatinath is in Kathmandu; Lord Muktinath Dham is in Mustang District. Home of Gurkha warriors and abode of abominable Yeti is here.
Nepal is also to be considered as one of the world’s great trekking paradise. But is not all about the Himalayas: Nepal occupying only 0, 2% of the earth is home to 0, 2% of all the flowering plants in the world. more than 758 species existing here, 4% of mammals on earth, more than 500 species of butterflies, 600 indigenous plant families and 319 species of exotic orchids!.