Nepal is a bio-diversely prosperous country in South Asia. It is located between the giant neighbors- China and India. Kathmandu is its capital city. It is a landlocked country, bordering its northern part by the high Himalayan peaks. Being a tiny country, it has got altitude variations, ranging from 60 meters (the lowest part) to 8848 meters (the highest part, Mt. Everest). The difference between them is just 150 kilometers.
Out of 14 world’s 8000 meters peaks, 8 of them lie in Nepal, including the world’s highest peak- Mt. Everest (8848m). Along with this, this beautiful country is loaded by the tropical, sub-tropical and alpine forests, Rivers, open and hidden valleys, Lakes, meadows, terraced farm lands and others.
The beauty of nature has been accompanied by the cultural perfection. Diversity can be found as there are 125 ethnic groups and 93 different languages spoken in various communities.
The Kathmandu Valley
It is the capital city of Nepal and the administrative center. It is a business hub of the country. Lalitpur and Bhaktapur are neighboring districts. These three districts lie in the Kathmandu valley, which is a melting pot of different culture and religion. They were three different states during the 14th century and it remained until 18th century. Pyramid shaped Hindu shrines, Buddhist stupas and other heritages lie in this mystical valley. Arts and architectures have been flourished. Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa, Swayambunath Stupa, Pashupatinath temple and the Changu Narayan temple are seven UNESCO world heritage monumental sites in the Kathmandu valley.
Outside the Kathmandu Valley
As Kathmandu is a cultural hub, there are several naturally God gifted places outside of this valley. Chitwan National Park, Bardiya National Park, Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, Parsa Wildlife Reserve, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve are wonderful places for the jungle safari trips.
Pokhara is a natural paradise, located on the bosom of the Annapurna Himalayan range. It is surrounded by the Lakes and green hills.
Lumbini is a birthplace of Lord Buddha. It is also a popular pilgrimage destination of Buddhist devotees and a UNESCO listed world heritage site. Lumbini is one of the places that Nepal uses to introduce it.
Abundant natural attractions are another feature of Nepal. The Himalayan range on its northern border, mid hills and the plain land include diverse fascinations. Beside the airborne peaks in the alpine territory, green hills, gorges, valleys and terraced farming lands are prevailed. People are dependent on agriculture. The plain land region (Terai) is the grain store of the country. Tropical climate is found in this region National parks and wildlife reserves (exploring the rare found animals like one horned rhino and royal Bengal tiger) have increased huge attractions in this part of the country.
Religions and Festivals
Nepal is a multi religious country; however, about 80% people have their faith in Hinduism. Other religions include Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and others.
Festivals come along the religious groups. Hindu people celebrate numerous festivals throughout the year. Dashain is the greatest festival. Tihar, Teej, Maghe Sakranti, Janai Purnima, Indra Jatra and many more. Matatirtha (for mothers), Gokarna Ausi (for fathers), Gaijatra (for the ones who are passed away). Nepali New Year, Christmas, Eid and others are also celebrated in Nepal as national celebrations. Newars of the Kathmandu valley are forward in celebrating festivals and celebrations.
Nepali (national language in the Devanagari script)
English (most used second language). Chinese is also in use.
People and Culture
Melting pot (culture and religion), harmonious social structure
Different castes and social backgrounds: Sherpas, Rai (Himalayan region) Chhetris and Brahmins, Tamang, Gurung, Magar, Thakali, Majhis (hilly region) and Tharu, Dhimals, Rajputs (Terai region).
Newar (in the Kathmandu valley)
Temples, Churches and Masjids are found all over the country.
Folk, pop and modern music are played
Communication and News
The Central post Office located near Dharahara Tower, in Sundhara. Now a days, only few people use post office due to the advancement of technology.
Telephone, fax, telex and telegraph services are available at any part of the country. The country Code for Nepal is 977 and the area code for Kathmandu is 1.
E-mail and Internet
Available in most of the areas of Nepal. Free WIFI is available in hotels, restaurants, book shops.
Daily Newspapers and Magazine (Nepali, English and others)
English: The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu post (English Daily).
Almost throughout the country: FM and radio: for news, music and entertainment programs.
Security for Visitors
Tourist Police was established in 1979 under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, provide protection and safety to tourists. Tourist Service Center in Bhrikuti Mandap (Phone: 4247041, 4247037), the other one at Basantapur(Phone: 4268969).
Best Time to Visit Nepal (Weather in Nepal)
Spring (March-May) looks magnificent with blooming flowers, temperature at that time hovers around 22-25 Celsius)
Autumn (Sept-Nov): Clear weather, tantalizing mountain views, days are warm and nights are cold).
Winter (Dec-Feb): snowfall only at higher elevations, better to visit lower altitudes, hilly regions)
Monsoon (Rain shadow areas like Upper Mustang and Dolpo are best destinations in monsoon). The rainy season lasts from July to August. Sub-tropical climate and alpine climate areas are dissected by deep valleys, formed by run-off from the monsoon and snow melt-water.
Nepali cuisine differs according to the geographical variations. But there are also similarities in cuisine of different parts of the country. Dal (lentil), Bhat (rice), Tarkari (curry), Achar (pickle) include in a national recipes. People from northern territory follow the Tibetan cuisine (Mo:Mo, Chowmin) and southern follow Indian cuisine (Chapati, Samosa). Dhedo, a type of Tibetan food made of flour, butter, ghee or water is also popular. Gundrook-Dheedo is a typical recipe eaten mostly in the hilly areas. Tongba and Rakshi are the traditional drinks of Nepal. Alu Tama, Bara and Chatamari is a typical Newari cuisine.
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I spent very memorable days in the Everest region in Nepal. I used to dream to see this highest peak of the world and now I arrested it in my camera. My guide arranged everything…
Jan 20,2021Stephen Gray