Nepal is a tiny and land-locked country covering a total area of about 147,181 sq. km. situated between India in the south, east, and west, and China in the north, thus, Nepal is termed to be yam between two giant stones. Even though it is such a small country in terms of its physical structure, it is such a diverse country in terms of language, culture, religion, ethnicity and no doubt with its geography, therefore, Nepal is alluded to be multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic country. According to the latest census (the census of 2001), there are over 103 castes and ethnic groups, 92 different language speakers residing in Nepal, making Nepal an example of unity in diversity. Similarly, over 10 different religious groups reside in Nepal making this country to be a center for religious and cultural sites.
In the same way, Nepal is the home of the world’s highest mountains including the Mt. Everest (8,848 m) popularly known as Sagarmatha and also home to over 8 the highest mountains (out of 14 in the world) above 8,000 m namely Mt. Everest (8,848 m), Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), Mt. Lhotse (8,516 m), Mt. Makalu (8,463 m), Mt. Cho Oyu (8,201 m), Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Mt. Manaslu (8,163 m) Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m). Moreover, Nepal is also home to over 1,300 peaks above 6,000 m. Of which, the government has opened nearly 400 peaks for organizing various adventure sports including trekking, expedition, peak climbing, and others. These all the features have made Nepal an ultimate destination for millions of travelers and trekkers from across the globe. The elevation of the country ranges from 60 m above sea level to the highest point on the earth, Mt. Everest at 8,848 m, resulting in different climatic conditions from sub-tropical to arctic. Nepal is the home to at least 2 percent of all the flowering plants in the world, over 850 species of birds which stands nearly 8 percent of the world's population of birds across the globe, 4 percent mammals on earth, over 500 species of butterflies, 600 indigenous plant families and over 320 species of exotic orchid.
These above facets are explicit enough that Nepal has something to offer to every one of you from varieties of culture to fantastic landscapes, majestic mountains, glacial lakes, lush forests full of endangered birds and animals with a range of sceneries, these all are the major attractions among the travelers from across the world. Appreciating to these incredible features of the country, the world-renowned travelers and the travel writers have given different titles to this country such as Shangri-la, roof of the world, birthplace of the apostle of peace, country of living goddess, living cultural museum, a country with non-spot festivals, a tiny country with over 100 ethnic and caste groups, the land of mysticism and exoticism, all these admirations are explicit enough how Nepal is and what it has to offer you on hand.
Nepal in brief
Location: Between India and the Tibetan autonomous region of the Republic of China
Area: 147,181 Sq. Km.
People: as many as 103 castes and ethnic groups (59 yet recognized by the government) and 92 spoken languages
Political system: multi-party democracy, Federal Republic democratic country
Topography: from the world’s deepest gorge ‘Kali-Gandaki’ to the highest point on earth ‘The Everest’
Vegetation: As per the size of the country, Nepal possesses some of the most outstanding bio-diversity in the world, ranging from sub-tropical rainforests to Alpine deserts.
Weather: Climate ranges from Tropical in the low lands to the Arctic in higher altitudes.
Season: Winter (December to February), Summer (March to May), Monsoon (June to August), Autumn (September to November) [Monsoon: mostly rains, making the following day crispy clean and fresh. Most of the northern belt of the trans-Himalayan Zone is rain-shadowed and ideal for trekking.
National Bird: Impian Pheasant (Danfe)
National flower: Rhododendron-Arboreum (Lali Gurans)
World Heritage sites (Cultural)
5. Kathmandu Durbar Square
6. Patan Durbar Square
7. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
World heritage sites (Natural)
1. Everest National Park (1148 square kilometer
2. Royal Chitwan National Park (932 square kilometers)
1. Royal Bardia National Park (968 square kilometers)
2. Langtang National Park (1710 square kilometer)
3. Shey –Phoksundo National Park (3555 square kilometers)
4. Rara National Park (106 square kilometers)
5. Khaptad National Park (225 square kilometers)
6. Makalu-Barun National (2330 square kilometer)
1. Shukla Phanta Reserve (499 square kilometers)
2. Parsa Reserve (499 square kilometers)
3. Koshi-Tappu Reserve (175 square kilometers)
1. Annapurna (2600 square kilometer)
2. Makalu-Barun (2330 square kilometer)
1. Dhorpatan (1325 square kilometer)
Tiger, Rhino, Snow leopard, Clouded leopard, Red panda, Brown bear, Assamese macaque, Gangetic dolphin, Wolf, wild elephant, Giant horn-bill, swamp deer, wild yak, Nayan, Tibetan antelope, Blackbuck, four-horned antelope, musk deer pigmy hog, Hispid harem Pangolin, Gharial, Indian bustard Saras crane, Impian pheasant, Python.
Nepal is regarded to be the world’s best habitats for one-horned rhino, royal Bengal tiger, snow leopard, clouded-leopard, Red panda, blue-sheep and long-snouted fish eating Gharial. Other wildlife includes wild elephants, buffaloes, bison, blue bull, brown bear, sloth bear, leopard, crocodiles and many vary cat, dog, deer and antelope families and 840 different species of wetland, migratory and residential birds.
A living cultural Heritage:
The heritages in Nepal are alive and dynamic. Shamanism, Pananimism, and witchcraft are still practiced in remote regions. Temples, shrines, monuments, and monasteries with devotees burning butter-lamps, singing hymns, chiming temple bells and playing drums are spotted everywhere as a living cultural heritage.
Travel Notes: Visa: Available in Nepalese Embassies and Nepalese Consulates abroad or on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Currency: Nepalese Rupees. Time: Nepal Time is 5 hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT. Tourism Services: Trekking Services: one of the best in the world with treks guided by world-renowned Sherpas. White Water River Rafting: One of the best in Asia in terms of quality water rafting and professionals. Mountaineering: One of the worlds’ most professional mountaineering services available here in Nepal. Jungle Safaries: One of the best jungle Safari operations in Asia. Helicopter Services: Most tourists’ destinations are easily accessible by a variety of helicopter services. Charter Air Services: Permission for chartered air services is easily obtained from the Department of Civil Aviation. Popular Tourist Destinations (By air/Road) Gorkha, Pokhara, Baglung, Tansen, Lumbini, Janakpur, Bardia, Sukla-Phanta, Chitwan, Dhankuta, Dharan, Ilam, Dolakha, Koshi Tappu are to name a few. Popular Tourist Destinations (By trek): Everest, Annapurna, Jomsom, Manang, Mustang, Dolpo, Rara, Jumla, Lukla, Syanboche, Larke, Rowling, Khaptad, Manaslu, Makalu, Barun, Gosainkunda, Langtang, Helambu, Namche, Muktinath, Kanchanjunga are to name a few.