Nepal at a Glance
Nepal - occupying only 0.1 % of the earth - is the home to:
- 2 % of all flowering plants in the world;
- 8 % of the world's population of birds (more than 848 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
Area: 147,181 Sq. Kms (56,827 sq mi)
Latitude/ Longitude: 26° degree 12' and 30° 27' North. 80 degree 4' and 88° 12' East.
Political-System: republic with a multi-party system.
Time: Nepal Time is 5 Hours 45 Minutes ahead of GMT.
It share borders with the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China in the North and India in the East, South and west respectively.The length of the kingdom is 885 km east west and its breadth varies from 145-241 km north south. The country can be divided into three main geographical regions.
Himalayan Region: The attitude of this region ranges between 4877 m - 848 m.
Mountain Region: This region accounts for about 64 % of the total area. The Mahabharat range that soars up to 4877 m and the lower Churia range form it.
Terai Region: The lowland Terai occupies about 17 % of the total land area of the country.
40 Ethnic Groups & 70 Spoken Languages. Nepal's many ethnic groups are as varied as its land with their own languages and cultures. The Newars race in the Kathmandu Valley, whose culture and artistry have earned them an international reputation. The Sherpas of the Himalaya are known as tough mountain climbers. Brahmins and Chhetirs are scattered over the hills and valleys, and Tamangs are found in the districts around the Kathmandu Valley. The Rais, Limbus, Magars and Gurungs of the mid-hills have earned fame as Gurkha soldiers. Lowland ethnic groups such as the Maithili, Bhojpuri and Tharu enhance the colorful mosaic
Majority of Nepalese are Hindu. Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the light of Asia. There is a complex blending of Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal.
Nepali, written in the Devanagari script, is the national language as well as the lingua franca for Nepal's diverse communities. Numerous languages and dialects are spoken in the Kingdom, however, only six (Nepali, Mailthili, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Tamang and Nepali bhasa) are spoken by more than half a million people. English is widely understood in the urban centers and areas frequented by tourists.
All cities and towns in Nepal have electricity and rural electrification in selected areas through mini hydro projects are currently underway. Voltage available is 240-220 volts AC & 50 cycles throughout the country. Load shedding is frequently experienced in Nepal but mostly during dry month only
From the world's deepest gorge, 'Kali-Gandaki' to the highest point on earth 'The Everest', eight other magnificent peaks over 8000 m. There are total of One thousand, three hundred and ten mountains over 6000 m. in height.
Hilly and mountainous-77%, Terai lowlands-23% (more than 25% above 3000m)
As per the size of the country, Nepal possesses some of the most outstanding bio-diversity in the world, ranging from sub-tropical Rain-forests to Alpine deserts
A diverse terrain ranging from the tropical zone in the Terai (70 m. above sea level) to the alpine zone (up to 8848m). Altitude generally increases as one travels south to north
Nepalese currency is the rueee (abbrev. Rs.) which is divided into 100 paisa. Bank notes come in denominations of 1000, 500,100, 50, 25, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 rupees. Approximate exchange rate to this date USD 1 = Rs. 63.
Bank are open from 10 am to 2:30 p.m. and (until 1:00 p.m. on Friday) for business transactions. A foreign exchange encashment receipt must be obtained for all foreign currency exchanged and it is possible to exchange back into foreign currency upon production of exchange receipts at the time of departure at the airport. Major credit cards are also acceptable but charge 3% as service charge.
WEATHER AND SEASONS
Climate ranges from Tropical in the low lands to Arctic in higher altitudes.
Trekking in Nepal can be undertaken throughout the year. There are four seasons in Nepal. Each season has its distinct attractions to offer. The seasons are classified as follows:
||This season offers excellent weather and tantalizing mountain views.
||This season is noted for occasional snowfall only at higher elevations, generally below 3000 meters.
||Different varieties of wild flowers, especially the rhododendrons make the hillside 5000 meters a haunting paradise during this season. It is mildly warm at lower elevations and at higher elevation over 4000 meters the mountain views are excellent and temperature is quite moderate.
||Summer months, continues up to mid September making travel wet and warm. These times are blessed for the keen botanist as the higher valleys and meadows blossom with flowers and lush vegetation
The climate of Nepal varies according to altitude. A visit to Nepal is possible all year round but the best is in summer and autumn.
Average temperature in Celsius. Average rainfall in mm.
Mostly rains at night, making the following days crispy clean and fresh. Most of the northern belt of the Trans-Himalayan zone is rain-shadowed and is ideal for trekking.
Medium-weight and easy-to-wash cottons can be a good choice year-round in the Kathmandu Valley. From October to February, woolen sweaters, jackets or similar other warm outfits are necessary. Short or long sleeved shirts are good March through May. From June to September, light and loose garments are advisable. Special clothing is necessary for trekking and mountaineering.
Kathmandu is connected by direct flights from Bangkok, Doha, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Seoul, Dhaka, Kunming, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Lhasa, Muscat, Delhi, Mumbai, Amsterdam, Calcutta, Vanaras, Kuala Lumpur, Sharjah, Dubai, Karachi etc by Thai Airways (TG), Nepal Airlines (RA), Qatar Airways (QR), Gulf Air (GF), Etihad Air (EY), Silk Air (MI), Dragon Air (KA), Korean Airlines (KE), Biman Bangladesh (BG), China Eastern (MU), China Southern (CZ), Air China (CA), Oman Air (WY), Jet Airways (9W), Jet Lite (S2), Spice Jet (SG), Indigo (6E), Arke Fly (OR), Air India (AI), Malaysian Airlines (MH), Air Asia (D7), United airways(Bangladesh), Air Arabia (G9), Fly Dubai (FZ), PIA (PK).
Entry/ Exit points for those wiling to travel by surface are
Kakarviota, Jhapa ( Eastern Nepal)
Birgunj, Parsa ( Central Nepal)
Kodari, Sindhupalchowk ( Northern Border)
Belahia, Bhairahawa ( Rupandehi, Western Nepal)
Jaminaha, Nepalgunj (Banke, Mid Western Nepal)
Mohana, Dhangadhi (kailali, Far Western Nepal)
Gadda Chauki, Mahenndranagar(Kanchanpur, Far Western Nepal)
Tourist Visa fee for visitors who enter Nepal for the first time in a visa year (Jan-Dec)
- Multiple entry visa for 15 days or less from the date of entry US$ 25 or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
- Multiple entry visa for 30 days US$ 40 or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
- Multiple entry visa for 100 days US$ 100 or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
Tourist visa extension facility:
- Visa extension fee for the period of 15 days or less - US$ 30. Visa extension fee for the period of more than 15 days US$ 2 per day.
- Visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a visa year (January - December) at the Department of Immigration.
Children below 10 yrs.
Citizens of member countries of South Asian association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the People’ s Republic of china aren’t required to pay for first 30 days.
Any foreigner, who has lived in Nepal up to fifteen (15) days continuously, is re-entering Nepal during the same visa year.
Any nationalities can obtain the visa upon arrival with the two passport size photos and passport minimum valid for six months. However, to save the time upon arrival, one can also apply to the Nepalese consulates or embassy in his own country.
CUSTOMS AND EXPORTS
Passengers arriving at the airport without any dutiable goods can proceed through the Green channel for quick clearance without a baggage check. If the passengers are carrying dutiable articles they must pass through the Red channel with Customs clearance. Beside personal belongings, the passengers are allowed to bring into Nepal free are; 1 pair of Binoculars, one still camera (with 15 rolls of film), one movie or video camera, a laptop computer, a portable music system, 200 cigarettes or 20 cigars, 1 bottle of liquor and a reasonable amount of perfume.
It is illegal to export objects over 100 years old (sacred images, paintings, manuscripts) that are valued for their cultural and religious significance. As such, tourists are advised not to purchase any item of antique value as they are Nepal’s cultural heritage. The Department of Archaeology at Ramshahpath, Kathmandu has to certify all metal statues, sacred paintings & similar objects before carried out of the country.
HEALTH GUIDE - INSURANCE
A travel insurance policy that covers theft, loss, trip cancellation & medical treatment is highly recommended. For trekkers and climbers and guests going for the adventurous activities, their insurance policies should also cover helicopter evacuation expenses in the eventuality of serious illness or accident or if clients are stranded in remote areas due to unexpected bad weather conditions. It is highly recommended to have a personal travel insurance policy, which contains emergency evacuation protection (helicopter rescue) and for repatriation in case of an accident.
We recommend that the clients get themselves immunized against certain illness that are not prevalent in their home country such as Cholera, Typhoid, Malaria, Meningitis, Hepatitis etc; Their physician would be best able to advise them on the availability and administration of these inoculations.
WORLD HERITAGE SITES (CULTURAL)
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square
WORLD HERITAGE SITES (NATURAL)
Everest National Park (1148 sq. kms.)
Royal Chitwan National Park (932 sq. kms.)
Nepal provides shelter to over 30 species of large wild animals and approximately 180 species of mammals. The rhinoceros, tiger crocodile, snow leopard, red panda, Himalayan black bear and many other beasts are found in Nepal's jungle. Nepal is also a heaven for birds. There are more than 650 species of butterflies and over 6,000 species of moths.
LIST OF THE FESTIVALS
These are some of the major festivals only and the date mention is only the tentative only.
||Name Of Festival
||Observed by Hindus by taking holy bath, eating delicious foods and visiting pilgrimage centers, This day is also regarded as a day for eating sweetened sea same balls, yam tuber, sweet potatoes followed by khichari, a cooked mixture of rice, lentils and spices.
|Feb First Week
||Full of festival like singing, dancing and feasting for several days by Himalayan people in the Tibetan New Year Day
|Feb First Week
||Holy recitation by priests about advent of religious function is held at the courtyard of historic Hanuman Dhoka. His Majesty also graces the function.
|Mar First Week
||Maha Shiva Ratri
||Greatest religious festival of the Hindus. Hindu pilgrims pay homage to Lord pashupatinath, the guardian deity of Nepal. Grand fair held at Pashupati temple area.
||'Festival of colors' marked by throwing of Vermillion and other lively colors on relatives and friends.
|Apr First Week
||Horse race, cycle race and Newari religious procession at Bhaktapur temple.
||Important National festival celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists.
||New Years 's Day
||Nepalese New Year's Day (Bikram Sambat )
||New Years 's Day
||Nepalese New Year's Day (Bikram Sambat )
||Color Of Festival
|May First Week
||Rato Machhindranath Jatra
||Traditional Chariot festival. Most interesting Chariot festival depicted for God of grains.
||The day Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini. The same day, a full moon day, Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya and also it was on the same day attained Nirrvana.
||Brahmins change their holy thread and chant Gayetri mantra after taking holy dips in the river. A religious fair Gosain Kunda (16,000ft.), four days walk from Kathmandu.
||A most colorful religious procession of cows and people with peculiar head dress painted as figures of cows go around the market places. Relatives of the deceased of that year send religious groups to join the procession.
|Aug Last Week
||Observed by Hindu women by taking holy baths, fasting, singing and dancing. They worship Lord Shiva for the long life and prosperity of their husbands.
|Sep Last Week
||Beginning of the greatest festival 'Dashain' lasting for nine days. Sowing of maize and barley, known as 'Jamara'.
|Oct First Week
||Eighth Day of the Dashain festival. Animals (goats, buffaloes, ducks and chicken) are sacrificed in the temples of Goddess Durga and also at homes. Offering of sacrifices continue on the ninth day too.
|Oct First Week
||Vijaya Dashami Tika
||Elders and seniors in each Hindu household put on the foreheads of their juniors with 'Tika' or rice/curd mixture. Relatives are also visited. Feasts are held. A lot of festivities.
|Oct Last Week
||Laxmi Puja/ Tihar
||Worship of Goddess of Wealth, Goddess, Laxmi, Celebrated with great pomp and grandeur. Sisters put 'Tika' on their brother's forehead and pray for their long-life on the 3rd day of Tihar.
CODE OF CONDUCT
The Nepalese people are friendly and hospitable by nature. Nepal has its own way of regulating life though it might be different in degrees to each individual visitor. We want the visitors to observe and see the way of Nepalese people live and share with them. It is in the spirit that we offer some practical guidelines that could help to make the stay delightful, homely and rewarding. The religion is a integral and deep-rooted part of Nepalese life. Temples, images, sacred paintings are to be seen everywhere. Hinduism and Buddhism are closely connected in Nepal and it would take a lifetime's study to understand the complexities of county's religious life. Visitors to Hindu temple or Buddhist shrine are expected to be unshedding as a mark of respect, In fact, a pair of open sandals is more convenient and comfortable while visiting the temple and stupas.
- Never enter anyone's house or a temple without permission. Many Hindu temples may be closed to non-Hindus. If permitted, always remove your shoes before entering.
- In tea-shops or in local houses, please stay away from the kitchen.
- Keep away from dogs or animals no matter how friendly they may be, as they are often not inoculated against Rabies
- Always use the right hand while giving or accepting anything.
- While circling Hindu temples or Buddhist stupas, always go about it in a clock-wise direction.
- Never presses anyone to pose for photographs. Seek permission.
- Never leave belongings unattended. The general tendency of villagers is, if things are just lying, they are not needed. The villagers may take these things away without permission.
- Most Hindus do not eat food that has been touched or half eaten by others. Similarly, avoid throwing rubbish into cooking fires. It is considered impure by the Nepalese.
- For religious reasons, Nepalese people are offended by being touched on the head. Similarly, foreigners should never sit so that the sole of the feet is pointed at a person or a religious shrine.
- It is better to be decently clad when visiting any place. Sun sand beachwear is not proper when roaming around. Briefs, shorts, bare shoulders and backs may not be appreciated. One need to be decently covered.
- Do not be offended if a Nepalese lady hesitates to shake hands. In Nepal, people, especial women, do not normally shake hands when they greet one another, but instead press the palms together in a prayer-like gesture known as "namaste".
- Public display of affection between man and women is frowned upon.
- We are hard on drug abuse; trafficking and possession of drugs are taking as serious offences.
- Cheap charity breeds beggars but does not solve their basis problem. Therefore, do not encourage beggary by being benevolent.
- Last but not the least; everyone should remember that in Nepal punctuality has little meaning. Patience & a sense of humor are great assets.