Nepal is a land-locked country nestled in the laps of mighty Himalayan Range . Situated in southern Asia, the Tibetan Autonomous Region of People’s Republic of China borders Nepal in the north while Nepal shares its eastern, western and southern borders with India.
Nepali is the national language of Nepal . However, people in urban areas speak and understand English quiet well. People in the tourism industry also speak and understand selected international language like Chinese, Indian, French, Japanese, German, Spanish and others. Apart of these, there are hundreds of local dialects spoken by people from various ethnic groups.
Nestled in the laps of mighty Himalayan Range, Nepal has a moderate climatic condition throughout the year. Nepal has four major seasons, namely: (1) winter (December-February), (2) spring (march-May), (3) summer (June-August) and (4) autumn (September-November). Nepal can be visited all the year round.
People and Religion
Nepal is a secular state and it respects the practices and existence of different religions 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 birthplaces of the lord Buddha, the herald of peace. Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and people of other religions live together here in perfect harmony.
Currency & Foreign exchange
Nepal banks notes comes in Rupees 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000 denominations. Coins come in Rupees 1, 2, 5 and 10 denominations. Foreign currencies must be exchanged only through banks or authorized money exchangers. The receipts of such transaction 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. Though Nepal has been declared a federal republic demarcation of federal states is yet to be done.
Nepal is a mountainous country and major portion of the world famous Himalayan Range lies in Nepal . Nepal is home to eight of the fourteen 8,000-meter peaks including the Mt. Everest . Other 8,000-meter peaks in Nepal are Kanchenjunga, Cho-Oyu, Makalu, Manaslu, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Lhotse . Apart from these Mountains, Nepal is home to hundreds for other beautiful and challenging peaks in the likes of Amadablam, Island , Mara, Ganesh Himal, Gauri Shankar and others. A government of Nepal has opened 326 peaks for mountaineering and expeditions.
Nepal receives foreign visitors in the tunes 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/pleasure activities and to involve in trekking, mountaineering and other activities. Significant number of visitors comes for pilgrimage, official and business purpose. Apart from Katmandu valley, visitors prefer to visit pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini and different trekking areas of the country including the Everest, Annapurna and Langtang regions.
Culture and Traditions
Nepal is a country rich in ancient culture and tradition. 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 cultural and ethnical diversities. People of Nepal celebrate different festival throughout the year. There is not a single day in Nepal ‘s calendar when colorful festivals are not celebrated. Various temples, monasteries and place 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 70m above sea level at kechana kalan of Jhapa to the world’s highest point 8,848m at the summit of Mt. Everest . This variation occurs at the distance of less than 300kms. Nepal is divided into three different religions as per altitude variations: Mountain, Hills and Terai. Nepal has three major river systems: Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali which all drain into the Bay of Bengal through the Ganges . Similarly, Nepal is home to little lakes of different sizes at the laps of Himalayas to the lowlands of Terai. Nepal is also home to Lake Tilicho , the lake in the highest altitude in the world.
Despite being a small country, Nepal has a great biological diversity. Nepal has gazette different national park and conservation areas to protect bio-diversity in those areas. Nepal is home to 167 pieces of mammals, 50 amphibian, 130 reptiles, 863 birds and more than 6000 pieces of plants among which about 245 pieces of plant are only found in Nepal . A total of 118 ecosystem, 75 vegetation and 35 forest types have been identified so far. Endangered animal spices like Royal Bengal Tiger, one-horned rhinos, Red Panda and other are preserved in different protected areas of Nepal.