Location: Latitude 26 12′ to 30 27′ North and Longitude: 80 4′ to 88 12′ South East Asia ( Between India and Tibet )

Capital: Kathmandu

Area: 147,181 Sq. Km

Population: 32 million

People: more than 100 ethnic groups and 90 spoken languages

Political-System: Federal Democratic Republic state.

Currency: Nepalese Rupee (NRS)

Topography: From 60m Kechanakalan/ Jhapa District to Mt. Everest (8848m).

Language: Nepali language is the official language of Nepal. In the cities and popular trek region English is understood.

Time: Nepal’s time is 5 hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT.

Vegetation: Nepalis rich in bio-diversity, ranging from sub-tropical to alpine/artic.

Religion: 80% Hindu, 12% Buddhist and rest are Christian, Islam and Kirants.

National Bird: Impean Pheasant (Danfe)

National Flower: Rhododendron- Arboreum (Lali Gurans)

Official Holiday: Government and most other offices work six days a week. Saturday is the official weekly holiday when most of the shops are closed

Working Hours and days: Government offices open from 10 to 17:00 hrs in summer and till 16:00 hrs. in winter. On Fridays these offices are open till 15:00 hrs. only.

But our office remains open throughout the week and all the year around . All the shops at Thamel in Kathmandu remain open in Saturday.

Electricity: 220 Volts AC – 50 MHZ Cycles through out the country.

Geography

Nepalis landlocked country in south east Asia. Nepal is rich in geography. Eight of the world’s ten highest mountains lie in Nepal. The highest point on Earth is Mount Everest which lies in Nepal. Nepal is the birth place of Gautam Buddha. Nepal experiences five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. Nepalis very rich in terms of bio-diversity and unique geographical position and altitude variation. Nepal is normally brick shaped, 850 kilometers long and 190 kilometers wide with an area of 1,47,181 sq. km. The elevation of the country ranges from 60m above sea level to Mt. Everest 8,848 meter which is the highest point in the world. The climatic condition ranges from tropical to arctic.  Nepal is divided into 3 main regions;

a) Plain or Terai: It lies in the southern part of Nepal. 17% of the total land mass of Nepal is covered by plain lowland which lies below 100m from sea level and borders India. This region has subtropical and tropical climate. The soil is very fertile so, green agricultural fields are common and this belt is most productive region of Nepal. It is also called the bread basket of Nepal as it feeds other part of nation. The main crops are paddy, wheat, maize, pulses, jute, sugarcane and tobacco. So, this area is covered with agro-based industries. Terai is full of deciduous forest, grasslands and savannas. The renowned national park Chitwan and Bardia lies in this region. Famous pilgrimage site Lumbini, birth place of Buddha and Janakpur, the birth place of Sita lies in plain land of Nepal. The main ethnic groups in terai are Tharus, Danuwar, Kumhal, Majhi and Darai. They speak Bhojpuri, Maithili and Hindi.

b) Hills: In Nepal 68% of the total land mass is covered with hills. This area begins at  Mahabharat range. The hills  of Nepal is merged between plain in the south and Himalayas (mountain) in the north. The hilly region lies in between 700 meter to 4,500 meter altitude. Gentle slopes are occupied and are used for cultivation. The place where there is irrigation or on river basin are more fertile, so rice and wheat is grown but the main crop of this area is maize, millet, barley and potatoes. Most of the trekking goes in this hills and it is a gateway to Himalayas. There are various ethnic groups like Magar, Rai, Limbu, Gurung, Tamang, Newar, Bhramin and Chhetri

c) The mountain or Himalayas: 15% of the total land mass is covered with mountains which are also called Himalayas. Out of 10 eight thousand peaks 8 of them lies in this region. The highest mountain in the world Mt. Everest (8848m) lies in Himalayas. Nepal is also called the Third Pole. There are regions which are behind the Himalayas like Manang, Mustang, Humla and Jumla which are rain shadow and it is like Tibetan land feature. Also people living here migrated from Tibet. They are rich in culture. The people living in this areas are Bhutiya, Lopas, Manangae and  Sherpa. The people traditionally graze yaks, sheep and Himalayan goat. They are also involved in tourism and most of the renowned climbers are from Sherpa community. The main crops grown here are potatoes, barley, millet and buckwheat.

: Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Kanchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu are the world famous mountain peaks above 8000 m.

Nepalliterary means: (Ethnology of Nepal)

The legend and history says that there was Hindu sage named “Ne” who himself established Kathmandu valley during prehistoric time. “Pala” is derived from Sanskrit which means to protect. So, we can say that Nepal was looked and protected by sage named ‘Ne’. So, Later with Sanskritization it became Nepal. The word “Nepal” is also believed to be derived from Newari language, ‘Nepa’ meaning Newar Kingdom of Kathmandu. Later it became Nepal. “Nepal” derived from Sanskrit “Nipalaya” meaning ‘at the foot of the mountains.’ And In Tibetan language Nepal is called ‘niyampal’ which means “holy land”.

Brief History of Nepal

Nepal was ruled by many dynasties. The Gopal dynasty was the first ruler in Nepal and they were followed by Mahesh Dynasty and came Kirants who is believed to have been ruled in Nepal from 7th Century B.C. to 1st century A.D. Kirants were replaced by Lichhavis. They ruled in Nepal from 1st century to 9th Century. The oldest Temple recorded in Nepal called Changu Narayan at Bhaktapur is said to be build in this period. Beside that they build many fine sculptures around Kathmandu valley. Licchavis were replaced by Thakuris and came the Malla dynasty. They build many Cultural heritage in Kathmandu. So, Kathmandu Valley itself has seven world heritage sites which is under UNESCO sites. In the Malla period the country divided into many small feudal states including the three major ones in Kathmandu Valley itself. Then the Shah Dynatsy who was ruling in Gorkha came into the power. King Prithivi Narayan Shah unified Nepal into one single kingdom. In this period India was under British Colony. Nepal had fought a war with British and finally signed a ‘Sugauli’ Treaty. During 19th Century Jung Bahadur Rana got rise and manipulated absolute power being a Prime minister and ruled the country. Rana ruled in Nepal for about a century. They were overthrown in 1950’s by a democracy movement. In May 28, 2008 Nepal was declared a federal Democratic Republic state.

People and Culture

The population of Nepal is about 32 million. There are more than 100 ethnic groups living in Nepal. As the topography varies accordingly the people and culture are different in each region. The hot and humid  lowland of Nepal is the home of Aryan people who are more Indio-Aryans with dark complex. Their culture is similar to people living in India. Whereas travelling toward north near the Himalayas people are mongoloid with flat nose, red cheeks, chinkey eyes and their way of living a life i.e. culture and custom is similar to that of Tibetan. 86% percent of the Nepalese follow Hinduism, 8% follow Buddhism and 3% of the people are Islam. Rest of  the people are Kirats, Bon and Christians. Hinduism and Buddhism are two main religions in Nepal. The Buddhist and Hindus are intermingled, as they worship same god and shrine with different names. So, there is always co-existence and religious harmony of these two religions  in Nepal. So, Nepal never had and will have conflict with religion. Now Nepal is secular country since 2006.

Festivals in Nepal

Nepalis the land of non-stop festivals. The  are festivals all the year round. It is said that there are more festivals than number of days in a year. So, almost each day is festival in Nepal. Festivals celebrated in Nepal have religious significance. Dates of the festivals are fixed by astrologers using the lunar calendar. One of the biggest festival in Nepal is ‘Dashain’ or Dashami which falls in the month of September/ October. It lasts for 10 to 15 days worshipping the goddess Durga or Bhagavati (Goddess of power). To make the goddess happy people worship her for 10 days and on day eight and ninth there goes sacrifice of animals. Almost every houses sacrifice an animal or domestic birds (chickens/ducks). Governement offices and school remains closed. Family members get together and meet relatives/cousins and put ‘Tika’ from elders and get blessings. Children and youth enjoy playing Sea saw / swing.
Likewise Tihar or Dipawali is considered as the second biggest festival which lasts for 5 days. It is the celebration of lights and dedicated to Goddess Laxmi (goddess of wealth). Sisters and brothers put tika each other wishing for long life, good health and good fortune.

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