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Nepal

Nepal  Map
 

Nepal is a Himalayan country, which lies in South Asia between Tibet, an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China to the North and India to the South. This country is rectangular in shape having 885 km in length from east to west and its breadth varies from 145 km to 241 km north to south. The elevation of the country ranges from 70 m sea level to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest at 8,848 m all within a distance of 150 km with climatic variations from sub-tropical to alpine. The country is popularly known in the world for an incredible variety of ecosystems, the greatest mountain ranges, thick tropical jungles teeming with a wealth of wildlife, thundering rivers, forested hills and frozen valleys. The temples and historical palaces full of architectural values give glimpse of the craftsmanship and artistic ingenuity of the people then and now. Numerous religious and social festivals are celebrated all year round, as these festivals are the inevitable and aesthetical part of the religious and traditional heritage of the people from time immemorial. Smiling and welcoming attributes of the people add more meaning to the hospitality to give guest the feeling that homely atmosphere is waiting for them in this beautiful and enchanting land of myths and legends.

Nepal at a Glance

Location: Situated between India and Tibet, an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China.
Area: 147,181 sq. km.
Latitude: 26’22’’ and 30’27’’ north.
Longitude: 80’4’’ and 88’12’’ east.
People:
61 ethnic groups and over 100 spoken languages.
Population:
25 million
Topography:
From the world’s deepest gorge ‘Kali Gandaki’ to highest point on earth ‘ Mt. Everest’
Vegetation: Nepal possesses wide range of vegetation due to its unique topographical variation.
Weather:
Climate ranges from tropical in the lowlands to Arctic in higher altitudes.
Seasons:
Winter (Dec-Feb) Summer (March-May) Monsoon (June-Aug) Autumn (Sept-Nov)

The official currency is the Nepali Rupee (NPR), which is divided into 100 paisa. As change can be a problem it is recommended that visitors have a supply of small notes handy. Tourist activities are often quoted in US Dollars and it is advisable to carry new dollar bills in varied denominations. Both Euro and US dollar travellers cheques are widely accepted in tourist areas and can be cashed easily in most banks and major hotels throughout the country. There are ATMs in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards are accepted in many tourist hotels, shops, restaurants and travel agencies. Banks and moneychangers are present in all tourist places and in the major cities; all receipts from foreign exchange transactions should be kept so rupees can be exchanged back into foreign currencies on departure. Cash is needed when trekking.

People:

Nepal has a composite population stemming from various racial and ethnic communities. It has been a melting pot of diverse linguistic and ethnic groups with population 25 million living in different regions, wearing different costumes and speaking different languages and dialects. The people belong to multi-ethnic groups, ranging from the Indo-Aryan to Mongoloid. The Himalayan and central hilly regions are mostly inhabited by the people of the Tibeto-Burman strand while the people inhabiting the Terai lowlands may be grouped under the Indo-Aryan category.

Religion:

Hinduism and Buddhism constitute two major religions in Nepal. A remarkable feature of Nepal is the religious homogeneity what exists, particularly between the Hindu and Buddhist communities. Apart from the Hindus and Buddhists, Muslim forms the third largest religious group.

History:

Nepal has a long glorious history. Its civilization can be traced back to thousand of years before the birth of Christ. For centuries, the kingdom of Nepal was divided into many principalities (Chaubise States). Kirantas ruled in the east, the Newars in the Kathmandu Valley, while Gurungs and Magars had their domain the mid-west. The Kirantas were said to have ruled their territories from 300 B.C. The country took its present shape only after 1768 A.D. when Prithvi Narayan Shah, King of Gorkha, conquered and united all the tiny states into one kingdom.

Art and Culture:

There is perhaps no country in the world except Nepal where traditional architecture, painting and sculpture have been well preserved for 1500 years. The exquisite medieval art and architecture of the Kathmandu valley vividly reflect the artistic ingenuity and the religious tradition of the people. To better understand the deep and complex roots of Nepalese culture, it is necessary to visit the monuments and religious shrines.

climate
Nepal's climate varies with its topography and altitude. It ranges from the tropical to the arctic. The low-land Terai region with its maximum altitude to approximately 305m, which lies in the tropical southern part of the country, for instance, has a hot and humid climate that can rise above 45 Degree Celsius (113 Degree Fahrenheit) during summer. The mid-land regions are pleasant almost all the year round, although winter nights are cool. The northern mountain region, around an altitude above 3,300m has an alpine climate with considerably lower temperature in winter as can be expected.

seasons
Nepal has four climatic seasons.

Spring (between March – May): The temperature is mildly warm in low lands while moderate in higher altitudes with plenty of opportunities to have 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 everyday with occasional thunderstorms in the evening. 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 as mountain views are guaranteed so better book your flight 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 is cold and the days are warm when sunny.

temperature & rainfall 
Nepal is the country of extremes. The low-land 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 to 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.

Travel Tips: Monsoon in Nepal is not the typical monsoon of Asia. Rains usually occur during the night-time leaving the sky clean and clear by the morning making the Himalayan view even more dramatic. Some parts of the Himalayas in Manang, Mustang and Dolpo are in rain-shadow areas; the mountains are high enough to block the clouds. Tibet's high travel season also corresponds to Nepal's monsoon.

Nepal Footprint Holiday Treks P. Ptd.
P.O. Box : 6427, Paknajol 16, Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone : +977-1-4701091
Fax : +977-1-4700122
Website: www.treknepalhimalaya.com / www.trip2himalaya.com
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