Nepal at Glance
The Nepalese People are known all over the world for their bravery and kind hospitality. Everywhere you go, you would be welcomed with a very friendly smile.
- Area: 147,181 sq. km
- Geography: Situated between China in the north and India in the south
- Capital: Kathmandu
- Population: 27 million
- People: Nepal has more than 61 ethnic group and 70 spoken languages
- Language: Nepali is the national language. However, travel trade people Understand and speak English as well
- Currency: Nepalese Rupees
- Political System: Democratic Republic
Roughly rectangular in shape of Nepal is between China to the north and India to the south. Nepal contains the world’s tallest peaks, while the fertile plains to the south, known as the Terai, lie at almost sea level. In between the plains, which are interspersed with tropical jungles teeming with wildlife, and the high mountains, lie lush hills and valleys. More than 80% of the people live off the land, while tourism, carpets and garments are its main industries.
Nepal’s 27 million people belong to dozens of ethnic groups. If the Newars are indigenous to the Kathmandu Valley, the sturdy Sherpas, known for their climbing skills, inhabit the Everest region. Brahmins and Chhetris are scattered across the hills and valleys while the Tamangs live in the hills surrounding the Kathmandu Valley. Also inhabiting the hills are the Gurungs, Limbus, Magars and Rais of the Gurkha fame. The Terai is home to the Maithili, Bhojpuri and Tharu people.
Nepal’s different communities speak different languages and dialects, but Nepali is the national language, and it serves as the lingua franca of its people. In this linguistic diversity, there are six languages - Nepali, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Tamang and Nepal Bhasa - which are spoken by more than half a million people as a mother tongue. In the urban areas and places frequented by tourists, people understand Hindi and English.
The majority of the people follow either Hinduism or Buddhism, which since ages past have co-existed in harmony in Nepal. Some of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus are located here, while the Buddha was born in Lumbini, which lies to the southwest of Kathmandu.
ART AND CULTURE
Straddling the trans-Himalayan trade routes, Nepal has been exposed to varied cultural influences throughout history. Nepal’s diverse heritage is mainly religious in character. In the Kathmandu Valley, which is a center of cultural excellence, the traditional art, architecture, music, dance and festivals are all expressions of religious devotion. Art consists of scroll paintings, murals, carvings and statues depicting sacred themes. Folk music and dances are linked to the agricultural cycle.
Because of its differing elevation, Nepal offers varied climatic conditions - from the tropical heat in the Terai to the freezing cold in the mountains. In the mid-hills, particularly Kathmandu, the climate is temperate with warm summers and cool winters. Temperatures range from a maximum of 37 to a minimum of 8 degrees Celsius in the plains, 28 to 2 degrees in the Kathmandu Valley, and between 16 and -6 degrees in the mountains. From June to August is the rainy season.
WHAT TO WEAR
Light, loose garments are recommended in spring and summer, while woolens and jackets or similar warm clothing are needed from November to February.
Banks here accept major international currencies as well as the Indian rupee. The Nepalese currency is the rupee (Rs.), which is made up of 100 paisa. The Nepalese rupee comes in denominations of Rs. 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. When traveling outside the major city areas, carry smaller notes. At the time of going to press, the exchange rate was US$ 1 = Rs. 97.
When visiting a temple, always circumambulate it in a clockwise direction. Entrance to some temples is restricted, so look out for such signs. Refrain from touching the images or the offerings, and don’t climb on the statues to pose for photographs. Always ask for permission to photograph or film personal ceremonies. If you have been invited to a Nepalese home, it is customary to take your shoes off before entering the room. Showing affection in public is frowned upon in Nepal.
NEPAL OCCUPYING ONLY 0.1% OF THE EARTH - IS HOME TO
- 2% of all the flowering plants in the world
- 8% of the world's population of birds (more than 865 species)
- 4% of mammals on earth
- 11 of the world's 15 families of butterflies (more than 500 species)
- 600 indigenous plant families
- 319 species of exotic orchids
TOURIST VISA RULES IN NEPAL: Tourists who visit Nepal must hold valid passport and visa.
Tourist entry visa can be obtained for the following duration from Nepal Embassy/ Consulate or Mission offices abroad, or at the following immigration offices upon arrival in Nepal:
- Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu
- Kakarvitta, Jhapa (Eastern Nepal)
- Birganj, Parsa (Central Nepal)
- Kodari, Sindhupalchowk (Northern Kodari Border)
- Belhiya, Bhairahawa (Rupandehi, Western Nepal)
- Jamuna, Nepalgunj (Banke, Mid Western Nepal)
- Mohana, Dhangadhi (Kailali, Far Western Nepal)
- Gaddachauki, Mahendranagar (Kanchanpur, Far Western Nepal)
- Tourist Visa
US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
- Tourist Visa Extension
- Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day
Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January – December).