Fact of the Country

Nepal General Information

Quick Facts

Location: Between India and Tibet
Area: 140,800 sq km
Population: 26 million
Capital city: Kathmandu (1.5 million)
People: Brahmins, Chhetris, Newars, Tibetans, Gurungs, Magars, Tamangs, Bhotias, Rais, Limbus, Sherpas
Language: Nepali
Religion: 75-80% Hindu, 15% Buddhist, 3% Muslim, rest others
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Time: GMT plus five hours 45 minutes
Electricity: 220V, 50 Hz

History

Nepal is a historical and ancient country.There are references about Nepal in early Hindu texts of Mahabharata and Puranas ,  as many sages used tovisit  Nepal from Gangetic plain of India for spiritual actvities in the Nepal himalayas.Buddha was born in the city state of  Lumbini in 500 BC in Nepal. The recorded history in Nepal starts from fifth century, the Changunarayan temple in Kathmandu dates back to the same period. The Lichhavi King Amsuvarma (602 AD) married his daughter Bhrikuti with the Tibetan king Shrong tsong Gompo and Buddhism travelled from Nepal to Tibet.The Buddha statues she brought from Nepal to Tibet are seen in Jokhang Temple of Lhasa even today.

After the Lichhavis started the glorious Malla period from 12 th century onward   and continued till 1768. Alll the great art and architecture of Kathmandu are from Malla period. During the Malla period, there were many tiny city states outside kathmandu, each with their own King and a standing army. They were quarreling all the time. The British in India were trying to take advantage of this situation .It was in the same time that the King Prithvinarayan from Gorkha started to unify the country and the conquest of Kathmandu valley concluded the project in 1768.

In 1846,   in a bloody court massacre the then general killed all the important figures of the state and took power from the king for next one century or more. They were the Ranas. Nepal remained closed to the outer world till 1950.

In 1950 there was a popular revolt against the Ranas which toppled them and established democracy. Before democracy was well established it was now the King's turn to snatch the power, he dismissed the parliament and elected prime minister .Nepalese had to wait till 1990 to see democracy again. But soon after the democracy was restablished, there started a communist guerrilla war and which has just ended and we have now all party coalition government. Now the country is heading for a election to elect constituent assembly to make new constitution.

Geography

Almost rectangular in size and landlocked between India and Tibet, Nepal is a small country measuring 1, 47,181 sq km in area. Nepal is roughly the size of England with an rough average of 800km in length (east west) and 200km in width (north south). From the south to the north, Nepal can be divided into three main physical belts, each of which extends east to west across the country.

The Terai Plain
The Terai which is the extension of the Genetic Plain forms the boarder with India. It is the home to Tropical flora and fauna, the famous wetlands and is a fertile land for agriculture. The world famous Chitwan National Park is located in the Terai region.

The mid hills
The 2nd region lying north to the Terai is the mid hills of Churia and Mahabharat hill ranges.
The Churia Range, which is sparsely populated, rises to an altitude of more than 1200 metres. The Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys come under this Mahabharat range.
Between the Mahabharat range and Himalayas is another mountain ranges about 80 km in width and 2400m -4200m in elevation, this is the habitat of the famous Sherpas and Tamangs. .

The Himalaya region
North to the mid hills lie The Great Himalaya Range, ranging in elevation from 4200 to 8848 metres and  contains many of the world's highest peaks--Everest, Kanchenjunga I, Lhotse I, Makalu I, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri I, Manaslu I, and Annapurna I - all of them above 8000 metres. Except for scattered settlements in high mountain valleys, this entire area is generally uninhabited.
Beyond the Himalayan ranges there are few Nepali villages like Mustang which are the ideal places to observe Tibetan culture in its intact form.
In Nepal altitude generally increases as one travels from south to north.

Flora and fauna

Nepal has it all –tropical, temperate and alpine flora and fauna. The species of flora and fauna available in such a small country is really mind boggling.
Nepal has 6500 known species of tress, shrubs and wild flowers. Nepal bags more than 300 species of orchids.
In May and April you see the whole hill in bloom with rhododendron while there will be grand scenery of wild flowers in rain shadow zones of Dolpo and Mustang during summer days.
Similarly, there are more than 800 species, almost 10 % of world's bird species found in Nepal. This number is greater than total birds found in USA and Canada combined!
Nepal also boasts to be the home of Bengal tiger. Rhinos, elephants, deers, wild bison and crocodiles just to mention the few. Many National parks and conservation areas are established to protect the habitat of these fauna and flora.

World heritage sites

There are a total of 10 world heritage sites declared by UNESCO in Nepal. Out of that the seven are in Kathmandu valley within a periphery of 30 km, which makes Kathmandu a unique destination, an open museum of art.

World heritage sites (Cultural)

  • Kathmandu Durbar square:
  • Patan Durbar square
  • Bhakta pur Durbar Square
  • Swoyambhunath Stup
  • Bouddhanath Stupa
  • Changunarayan Temple
  • Pashupatinath Temple
  • Lumbini Garden

World heritage sites (Natural)

  • Everest National Park (1148sq km)
  • Chitwan National Park (932 sq km)

Further Information

Our homepage contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you have any questions regarding trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can send us an email or contact us directly by phone: 0977 98510 23742 (Jitendra), 0977 98510 23758 (Thakur).

Testimonials

Two weeks holiday in Nepal with Mission Eco-Trek

My wife and I took a 2 week tour in Nepal with Mission Eco-Trek in Feb 2011 and had a fantastic time. Mission Eco-Trek provided the very highest caliber guides and Ram Kumar (the proprietor) personally made sure that everything went smoothly. When storms caused our original flights to be cancelled and then cancelled for a second time, he graciously accommodated our changes at no extra cost. The cost was reasonable and the services provided were exceptional -even beyond what we had expected from the contract....

Namaste!
Kevin & Jacque
New York, USA

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