Nepal
























Introduction

Sandwiched between China in the north and India in the south, Nepal is a country of high Himalayan Mountains, artistic monuments, exotic wildlife and diverse culture. Lord Buddha was born over 2,500 years ago in this land of Mount Everest. Nepal is blessed with an incredible diversity of natural beauty and a consequent opulence of cultural varieties and at the same time she can offer new heights in the conference facilities and incentive opportunities with the Himalaya as a backdrop.
Nepal is the "Land of Paradise" for tourists, treks and mountaineering expeditions. The natural landscape of Nepal Mountains, rivers, glacial lakes, forests and wild animals are major resources for its tourism industry. The famous Himalayan range, favorable climate and the hospitality of the Nepalese people and their culture are also major attractions.


History

For centuries Nepal remained divided into many principalities. Kirats ruled in the east, Newars ruled in Kathmandu Valley, while Gurungs and Magars occupied the mid-west. The Kirats ruled from 300 BC and during their region, emperor Ashoka arrived from India to build a pillar at a city called Lumbini. in the south of Nepal, in the memory of Lord Buddha. The Kirats were followed by the Lichchhavis whose decendants today are believed to be the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley. During this period, art and artifacts thrived in Nepal with beautiful woodcarvings and sculptures. After Lichchhavi, Malla dynasty ruled from 1200 AD and contributed a lot to Nepal's art and cultures. However,after almost 600 years of rule, the kings were not united among themselves. During the late 18th century, Prithvi Narayan Shah, King of a small city called Gorkha, conquered Kathmandu and united Nepal into a kingdom. Rocognizing the threat of British rule in India, he dismissed European missionaries from the country and for more than a century, Nepal remained in isolation. During the 19th century, the cruel Rana dynasty ruled the country as Prime Minister but they were overthrown in a democracy movement of the early 1950s. Today, Nepal enjoys a multiparty democratic system.


Physical Features

Nepal covers an area of 147,181 square kilometers and stretches 145-241 kilometers north to south and 850 kilometers west to east. At latitudes 26 and 30 degrees north and longitudes 80 and 88 degrees east, Nepal is topographycally divided into three regions: the Himalayan region to north, the Hilly region consisting of Mahabharat range and Churia Hills in the middle, and the plain terai in the south.

  1. Himalayan Region:
    Nepal Physical Features The altitude of this region ranges between 4877 meters and 8848 meters above sea level with the snow line running around 488848 meters. Mt. Everest (8848 meters above sea level) and several other mountains lie within this range.
  2. Hilly (Mountain) Region:
    This region takes around 64% of total area of Nepal. The Mahabharat Range rises upto 4877 meters and the lower Churia range whose altitude varies from 610 meters to 1524 meters above sea level.
  3. Terai Region:
    The plain Terai region, has the maximum altitude of 305 meters which occupies around 17% of total land area of Nepal. Kechanakawal, the lowest point of the country with an altitude of 70 meters lies in a district named Jhapa of the eastern part of Terai.

All this adds up one interesting fact that there is no seasonal constraint on travelling in and through Nepal. Even in December and January, when the winter is at its severest, there are compensating bright sun and brilliant vies. Winter days often begin in mist, which can last until noon. Then suddenly, as if by magic, the fog disappears bringing in to views snowy peaks, glistening white and fresh against the large blue sky.


Culture and Religion

Nepal Culture Religious practices are an important part of the lives of the Nepalese people. Mythologies of various Hindu gods and goddesses abound in this country and cultural values arebased on the philosophies of holy books like the Gita, Ramayana, etc. People visit neighbourhood shrines at dawn to offer worship to gods. Occasionally, groups of men sit near the temples playing music and singing religious hymns until late night.
In Nepal, Hinduism nd Buddhism are the two main religions. The two have co-existed down the ages and many Hindu temples share the same complex as, Buddhist shrines. Hindu and Buddhist worshippers may regard the same god with different names while performing religious rites. Nepal is a secular state, many other religions like Islams, Christianity, and Bon are practiced here.


Major Tourist Destinations:
  1. Trekking:
    Nepal has some of the best trekking in the world, to and around several of the world's highest mountains, including Mount Everest. Many people visit the country just to trek and the tourism industry is well prepared to facilitate all manner of trekking styles and destinations. On the one hand you could spend a year planning an expedition to wild and lofty places; on the other you could land in Kathmandu with no plans and be on the trail to Everest Base Camp (EBC) in a matter of days.
    Nepal Trek Major trekking routes:
    • Everest region
    • Helambu and Langtang region
    • Annapurna region
    • Kanchenjunga region
    • Dolpa region
    • Jumla Rara region

  2. Rafting and Kayaking:
    Nepal has earned a reputation as one of the best destinations in the world for white water rafting. White water rafting means cruising down a rushing river in an inflatable rubber raft or white water kayak over crashing waves and swirling rapids.
    Nepal Rafting Popular rafting rivers:
    • The Trishuli river
    • The Kali Gandaki river
    • The Bhote Koshi river
    • The Marshyandi river
    • The Karnali river
    • The Sunkoshi river
    • The Bheri river
    • The Seti river

  3. National Parks:
    Nepal is a land of extreme contrasts in climate and geography. It has a unique topography ranging from lowlands with sub-tropical jungles to arctic conditions in the Himalayan highlands. Within a mere 150 kilometers the land rises from near sea level in the south to over 8000 meters in the North. This, together with the monsoon rainfall along the south facing slopes, has resulted in compacting virtually all climate zones found on planet Earth. As a result, Nepal has been endowed with a great diversity of life-zones providing a home for a large variety of plants, birds and animals.
    Nepal Natural Park Some national parks to visit:
    • Royal Chitwan National Park
    • Sagarmatha National Park
    • Langtang National Park
    • Rara National Park
    • Makalu Barun National Park
    • Shey Phoksundo National Park
    • Royal Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve

  4. Religious sites:
    Nepal Religious Site The major religion in Nepal is Buddhism, and the Lumbini, which is located in Kapilvastu, attracts many pilgrims and tourists. Other Hindu pilgrimage site include the temple complex in Swargadwari located in the Pyuthan district, lake Gosainkunda near Dhunche, the temples at Devghat, Manakamana temple in the Gorkha District, and Pathibhara near Phungling. Buddhism is the largest minority religion. The World Heritage site Lumbini, which is traditionally considered to be the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, is an important pilgrimage site. Another prominent Buddhist site is Swayambhunath, the Monkey Temple, in Kathmandu. Muktinath is a sacred place for Hindus as well as Buddhists. The site is located in Muktinath Valley, Mustang district.

  5. Other Outdoor Activities:
    An adventurer's delight, Nepal offers a plethora of outdoor activities, from paragliding near the mountains to waiting for the Royal Bengal Tiger in Chitwan's wild. Adventure tourism in Nepal dates back to the early attempts to ascend world's highest peak Mt. Everest fifty years ago.
    Nepal Bunjee Jumping Major activities:
    • Bunjee Jumping
    • Mountain Flight
    • Sightseeing
    • Mountain Biking
    • Paragliding
    • Hot air Balloning

Nepal Fast Facts
  • Location:
    Between India and the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.

  • Area:
    147,181 Sq. Km.

  • Latitude:
    26º 12' and 30º27' North.

  • Longitude:
    80º 4' and 88º 12' East.

  • Capital:
    Kathmandu

  • Topography:
    From the world's deepest gorge 'Kali-Gandaki' to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest at 8848.

  • Vegetation:
    Nepal possesses some of the most outstanding bio-diversity in the world, ranging from sub-tropical Rain forests to Alpine deserts.

  • Climate:
    Climate ranges from sub-tropical in the low lands to Arctic in higher attitudes

  • World Heritage Sites:
    Ten (of which seven World Heritage Sites are situated within 20 km radius, in the Kathmandu Valley).

  • Flora and Fauna:
    840 different species of wet-land, migratory and residential birds. 8% of the world's population of birds. 11 of the 15 butterfly families in the world.
    2% of the flowering plants.
    4% of mammals on eart.

  • Home to Endangered Species like:
    Royal Bengal tiger, One-horned Rhino, Snow-leopard, Red panda, Brown bear, Assamese macaque, Gangetic Dolphin, Wolf, Wild Elephant, Giant Horn-bill, Swamp Deer, Wild Yak, Tibetan Antelope, Black Buck, Four Horned Antelope, Musk Deer, Pigmy hog, Haspid hare, Pangolin, Gharial, Indian Bustard, Saras Crane, Impean Pheasant, Python, etc.

  • A Living Cultural Heritage:
    Nepal's heritage is alive and dynamic. Shamanism, Pan-animism and Witch-craft are still practiced in remote regions. Temples, shrines, monuments and monastries are extremely active with devotees burning butter-lamps, singing hymns, chiming temple bells and playing drums. The only country that has living goddess "Kumari".




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