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संघीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल
Sanghiya Loktāntrik Ganatantra Nepāl
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Flag Emblem
Mottoजननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी(Devanāgarī)
"Mother and Motherland are Greater than Heaven"
Anthem"Sayaun Thunga Phool Ka"
(and largest city)
Kathmandu (Nepali: काठमांडौ)
27°42′N 85°19′E / 27.7°N 85.317°E / 27.7; 85.317
Official language(s) Nepali[1]
Recognised regional languages Maithili, Nepal Bhasa, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Gurung, Tamang, Magar, Awadhi, Sherpa, Kiranti, Limbu and other 100 different indigenous languages.
Demonym Nepali
Government Republic
 -  President Ram Baran Yadav
 -  Vice President Parmanand Jha
 -  Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal
 -  Kingdom declared December 21, 1768 
 -  State declared January 15, 2007 
 -  Republic declared May 28, 2008 
 -  Total 147,181 km2 (93rd)
56,827 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 2.8
 -  2009 estimate 29,331,000[2] (40th)
 -  2007 census 28,875,140 
 -  Density 199.3/km2 (56th)
518.1/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $31.634 billion[3] 
 -  Per capita $1,144[3] 
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $12.283 billion[3] 
 -  Per capita $444[3] 
Gini (2003–04) 47.2 (high) 
HDI (2007) 0.553[4] (medium) (144th)
Currency Rupee (NPR)
Time zone NPT (UTC+5:45)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+5:45)
Drives on the left
Internet TLD .np
Calling code 977
Nepal (pronounced /neˈpɑːl/ nə-PAHL, /-pɔːl/ -PAWL[5]; Nepali: नेपाल Nepal.ogg [neˈpaːl] ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia and, as of 2010, the world's most recent nation to become a republic. It is bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India. With an area of 147,181 square kilometres (56,827 sq mi) and a population of approximately 30 million, Nepal is the world's 93rd largest country by land mass[6] and the 41st most populous country. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and the country's largest metropolitan city.
Nepal is a country of highly diverse and rich geography, culture, and religions. The mountainous north has eight of the world's ten highest mountains, including the highest, Sagarmatha, known in English as Mount Everest. The fertile and humid south is heavily urbanized. It contains over 240 peaks more than 20,000 ft (6,096 metres) above sea level.[7]
By some measures, Hinduism is practised by a larger majority of people in Nepal than in any other nation.[8] Buddhism, though a minority faith in the country, is linked historically with Nepal as the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, who as the Gautam Buddha gave birth to the Buddhist tradition. About half of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.[9]
A monarchy throughout most of its history, Nepal was ruled by the Shah dynasty of kings from 1768, when Prithvi Narayan Shah unified its many small kingdoms. In 2006, however, decade-long People's Revolution by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) along with several weeks of mass protests by all major political parties of Nepal culminated in a peace accord, and the ensuing elections for the constituent assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of the abdication of the last Nepali monarch Gyanendra Shah and the establishment of a federal democratic republic in May 28, 2008.[10] The first President of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav, was sworn in on 23 July 2008.



Nepal Bhasa origin

The word "Nepal" is believed by scholars to be derived from the word "Nepa:" which refers to the Newar Kingdom, the present day Kathmandu Valley. With Sanskritization, the Newar word Nepa became Nepal.[11] The Newars of present day Nepal, refer to all the inhabitants of Kathmandu valley and its peripheries (called "Nepa:") before the advent of Shah dynasty.

Ne Muni

History and local traditions say that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself at the valley of Kathmandu during prehistoric times and that the word "Nepal" came into existence as the place protected ("pala" in Sanskrit) by the sage "Ne". The etymology of the name Nepal means, "the country looked after by Ne".[12]
He used to perform religious ceremonies at Teku, the confluence of the Bagmati and Bishnumati rivers.[13] He is said by legend to have selected a pious cowherd to be the first of the many kings of the Gopala Dynasty.[12] These rulers are said to have ruled Nepal for over 500 years.[14] He selected Bhuktaman to be the first king in the line of the Gopal (Cowherd) Dynasty.[13] The Gopal dynasty ruled for 621 years. Yakshya Gupta was the last king of this dynasty.
According to Skanda Purana, a rishi called "Ne" or "Nemuni" used to live in Himalaya.[15] In the Pashupati Purana, he is mentioned as a saint and a protector.[16] He is said to have practiced penance at the Bagmati and Kesavati rivers[17] and to have taught his doctrines there too.[12]


Nepal's diverse linguistic heritage evolved from four major language groups: Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman, Mongolian and various indigenous language isolates. The major languages of Nepal (percent spoken as mother tongue) are Nepali (48.61%), Maithili (12.30%), Bhojpuri (7.53%), Tharu (5.86%), Tamang (5.19%), Newari/Nepal Bhasa (3.63%), Magar (3.39%), Awadhi (2.47%), Rai (2.79%), Limbu (1.47%), and Bajjika (1.05%).
Derived from Sanskrit, Nepali has roots in Sanskrit and is written in Devanagari script. Nepali is the official national language and serves as lingua franca among Nepalis of different ethnolinguistic groups. Hindi and related regional dialects Awadhi, Bhojpuri and Maithili are spoken in the southern Terai Region. Hindi is also widely understood by the many Nepalis who have lived in India. Many Nepalis in government and business speak English as well. Dialects of Tibetan are spoken in and north of the higher Himalaya where standard literary Tibetan is widely understood by those with religious education. Local dialects in the Terai and hills are mostly unwritten with efforts underway to develop systems for writing many in Devanagari or the Roman alphabet.



Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least 9,000 years. It appears that Kirat ethnicity people were the first people to settle in Nepal and ruled Nepal for about 2,500 years.[18]


Terai News writes, "Nepal has been highlighted for the last several centuries in Indian Sanskrit literature like ‘Skand Purana’. ‘Skanda Purana’ has a separate volume known as ‘Nepal Mahatmya’, which explains in more details about the beauty and power of Nepal."[19] Nepal is also mentioned in Hindu scriptures such as the Narayana Puja[20] and the Atharva Siras (800-600 BC).[20] Around 1000 BC, small kingdoms and confederations of clans arose in the region. From one of these, the Shakya confederation, arose a prince named Siddharta Gautama (563–483 BC), who later renounced his royalty to lead an ascetic life and came to be known as the Buddha ("the enlightened one"). The 7th Kirata king, Jitedasti, was on the throne in the Nepal valley at the time. By 250 BC, the region came under the influence of the Mauryan Empire of northern India, and later became a vassal state under the Gupta Empire in the fourth century AD. In the fifth century, rulers called the Licchavis governed the majority of its area. There is a good and quite detailed description of the kingdom of Nepal in the account of the renowned Chinese Buddhist pilgrim monk Xuanzang, dating from c. 645 AD.[21][22]
The Licchavi dynasty went into decline in the late eighth century and was followed by a Newari era, from 879, although the extent of their control over the entire country is uncertain. By the late 11th century, southern Nepal came under the influence of the Chalukaya Empire of southern India. Under the Chalukayas, Nepal's religious establishment changed as the kings patronised Hinduism instead of the prevailing Buddhism.


By the early 12th century, leaders were emerging whose names ended with the Sanskrit suffix malla ("wrestler"). Initially their reign was marked by upheaval, but the kings consolidated their power and ruled over the next 200 years; by the late 14th century, much of the country began to come under a unified rule. This unity was short-lived; in 1482 the region was carved into three kingdoms: Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur.

Kingdom of Nepal

Hindu temples in Patan, capital of one of the three medieval Newar kingdoms
After centuries of petty rivalry between the three kingdoms, in the mid-18th century, Prithvi Narayan Shah, a Gorkha King, set out to unify the kingdoms. Seeking arms and aid from India, and buying the neutrality of bordering Indian kingdoms, he embarked on his mission in 1765. After several bloody battles and sieges, he managed to unify the Kathmandu Valley three years later in 1768. However, an actual battle never took place to conquer the Kathmandu valley; it was taken over by Prithvi Narayan and his troops without any effort, during Indra Jatra, a festival of Newars, when all the valley's citizens were celebrating the festival. This event marked the birth of the modern nation of Nepal.
In 1788 the Nepalese overran Sikkim and sent a punitive raid into Tibet. Kangra in northern India was also occupied by the Nepalese. In 1809, Ranjit Singh the ruler of the Sikh state in the Punjab, had intervened and drove the Nepalese army east of the Satluj river.[23]
Statue of a Gurkha soldier
At its maximum extent, Greater Nepal extended from the Tista River in the east, to Kangara, across the Sutlej River in the west as well as further south into the Terai plains and north of the Himalayas than at present. A dispute and subsequent war with Tibet over the control of mountain passes forced the Nepalese to retreat and pay heavy reparations to China.
Rivalry between Nepal and the British East India Company over the annexation of minor states bordering Nepal eventually led to the Anglo-Nepalese War (1815–16). At first the British underestimated the Nepalese and were badly defeated until committing more military resources than they had anticipated needing. They were greatly impressed by the valor and competence of their adversaries. Thus began the reputation of "Gurkhas" as fierce and ruthless soldiers. The war ended in the Treaty of Sugauli, under which Nepal ceded recently captured portions of Sikkim and lands in Terai as well as the right to recruit soldiers.
Factionalism inside the royal family had led to a period of instability. In 1846 a plot was discovered revealing that the reigning queen had planned to overthrow Jung Bahadur Rana, a fast-rising military leader. This led to the Kot Massacre; armed clashes between military personnel and administrators loyal to the queen led to the execution of several hundred princes and chieftains around the country. Jung Bahadur Rana emerged victorious and founded the Rana lineage.
The king was made a titular figure, and the post of Prime Minister was made powerful and hereditary. The Ranas were staunchly pro-British and assisted them during the Indian Sepoy Rebellion in 1857 (and later in both World Wars). Some parts of the Terai Region were given back to Nepal by the British as a friendly gesture, because of her military help to sustain British control in India during the Sepoy Rebellion. In 1923, the United Kingdom and Nepal formally signed an agreement of friendship, in which Nepal's independence was recognized by the UK.
Nepalese royalty in the 1920s
Slavery was abolished in Nepal in 1924.[24] Nevertheless debt bondage even involving debtors' children has been a persistent social problem in the Terai.
In the late 1940s, newly emerging pro-democracy movements and political parties in Nepal were critical of the Rana autocracy. Meanwhile, with the assertion of Chinese control in Tibet in the 1950s, India sought to counterbalance the perceived military threat from its northern neighbour by taking pre-emptive steps to assert more influence in Nepal. India sponsored both King Tribhuvan (ruled 1911-55) as Nepal's new ruler in 1951 and a new government, mostly comprising the Nepali Congress Party, thus terminating Rana hegemony in the kingdom.
After years of power wrangling between the king and the government, King Mahendra (ruled 1955-72) scrapped the democratic experiment in 1959, and a "partyless" panchayat system was made to govern Nepal until 1989, when the "Jan Andolan" (People's Movement) forced King Birendra (ruled 1972-2001) to accept constitutional reforms and to establish a multiparty parliament that took seat in May 1991.[25] In 1991–92, Bhutan expelled roughly 100,000 ethnic Nepalis, most of whom have been living in seven refugee camps in eastern Nepal ever since.[26]
In 1996, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) started a bid to replace the royal parliamentary system with a people's socialist republic by violent means. This led to the long Nepal Civil War and more than 12,000 deaths. On June 1, 2001, there was a massacre in the royal palace. King Birendra, Queen Aiswarya, Crown Prince Dipendra and seven other members of the royal family were killed. Dipendra was accused of patricide and of committing suicide thereafter. This outburst was alleged to have been Dipendra's response to his parents' refusal to accept his choice of wife. Nevertheless there are speculation and doubts among Nepalese citizens about who was responsible.
Following the carnage, Birendra's brother Gyanendra inherited the throne. On February 1, 2005, Gyanendra dismissed the entire government and assumed full executive powers to quash the violent Maoist movement, but this initiative was unsuccessful because a stalemate had developed where the Maoists were firmly entrenched in large expanses of countryside yet could not dislodge the military numerous towns and the largest cities. In September 2005, the Maoists declared a three-month unilateral ceasefire in order to negotiate.
In response to the 2006 democracy movement King Gyanendra agreed to relinquish sovereign power to the people. On April 24, 2006 the dissolved House of Representatives was reinstated. Using its newly acquired sovereign authority, on May 18, 2006 the House of Representatives unanimously voted to curtail the power of the king and declared Nepal a secular state, ending its time-honoured official status as a Hindu Kingdom. On December 28, 2007, a bill was passed in parliament to amend Article 159 of the constitution — replacing "Provisions regarding the King" by "Provisions of the Head of the State" - declaring Nepal a federal republic, and thereby abolishing the monarchy.[27] The bill came into force on May 28, 2008, as the constituent assembly overwhelmingly voted to abolish royal rule.[28]


The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) won the largest number of seats in the Constituent Assembly election held on April 10, 2008 and formed a coalition government which included most of the parties in the CA. Although acts of violence occurred during the pre-electoral period, election observers noted that the elections themselves were markedly peaceful and "well-carried out."[29]
The newly elected Assembly met in Kathmandu on May 28, 2008, and, after a polling of 564 constituent Assembly members, 560 voted to form a new Government,[28][30] with the monarchist Rastriya Prajatantra Party, which had four members in the assembly, registering a dissent note. At that point, it was declared that Nepal had become a secular and inclusive democratic republic,[31] with the government announcing a three-day public holiday from May 28 to 30. The King was thereafter given 15 days to vacate the Narayanhiti Royal Palace, in order to re-open it as a public museum.
Nonetheless, political tensions and consequent power-sharing battles have continued in Nepal. In May 2009, the Maoist-led government was toppled and another coalition government with all major political parties barring the Maoists was formed. Madhav Kumar Nepal of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) was made the Prime Minister of the coalition government.


Topographic map of Nepal.
Map of Nepal
Geography of Nepal is uncommonly diverse. Nepal is of roughly trapezoidal shape, 800 kilometres (500 mi) long and 200 kilometres (125 mi) wide, with an area of 147,181 square kilometres (56,827 sq mi). See List of territories by size for the comparative size of Nepal.
Nepal is commonly divided into three physiographic areas: the Mountain, Hill, Siwalik region and Terai Regions. These ecological belts run east-west and are vertically intersected by Nepal's major, north to south flowing river systems.
The southern lowland plains or Terai bordering India are part of the northern rim of the Indo-Gangetic plains. They were formed and are fed by three major Himalayan rivers: the Kosi, the Narayani, and the Karnali as well as smaller rivers rising below the permanent snowline. This region has a subtropical to tropical climate. The outermost range of foothills called Shiwalik or Churia Range cresting at 700 to 1,000 meters marks the limit of the Gangetic Plain, however broad, low valleys called Inner Tarai (Bhitri Tarai Uptyaka) lie north of these foothills in several places.
Barun Valley - There are many such valleys in the Himalaya created by the glacier flow.
The Hill Region (Pahad) abuts the mountains and varies from 800 to 4,000 metres (2,600–13,125 ft) in altitude with progression from subtropical climates below 1,200 meters to alpine climates above 3,600 meters. The Mahabharat Lekh reaching 1,500 to 3,000 meters is the southern limit of this region, with subtropical river valleys and "hills" alternating to the north of this range. Population density is high in valleys but notably less above 2,000 meters and very low above 2,500 meters where snow occasionally falls in winter.
The Mountain Region (Parbat), situated in the Great Himalayan Range, makes up the northern part of Nepal. It contains the highest elevations in the world including 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) height Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepali) on the border with China. Seven other of the world's eight thousand metre peaks are in Nepal or on its border with China: Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Kanchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu.
The arid and barren Himalayan landscape.
Nepal has five climatic zones, broadly corresponding to the altitudes. The tropical and subtropical zones lie below 1,200 metres (3,940 ft), the temperate zone 1,200 to 2,400 metres (3,900–7,875 ft), the cold zone 2,400 to 3,600 metres (7,875–11,800 ft), the subarctic zone 3,600 to 4,400 metres (11,800–14,400 ft), and the Arctic zone above 4,400 metres (14,400 ft).
Nepal experiences five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. The Himalaya blocks cold winds from Central Asia in the winter and forms the northern limit of the monsoon wind patterns. In a land once thickly forested, deforestation is a major problem in all regions, with resulting erosion and degradation of ecosystems.
Nepal is popular for mountaineering, containing some of the highest and most challenging mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. Technically, the south-east ridge on the Nepali side of the mountain is easier to climb; so, most climbers prefer to trek to Everest through Nepal. Morever Nepal has 8 of the top 10 highest mountains of the world with postcard beauty.


The dramatic differences in elevation found in Nepal result in a variety of biomes, from tropical savannas along the Indian border, to subtropical broadleaf and coniferous forests in the Hill Region, to temperate broadleaf and coniferous forests on the slopes of the Himalaya, to montane grasslands and shrublands and rock and ice at the highest elevations.
At the lowest elevations we find the Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands ecoregion. These form a mosaic with the Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests, which occur from 500 to 1,000 metres (1,600 to 3,300 ft) and include the Inner Terai Valleys. Himalayan subtropical pine forests occur between 1,000 and 2,000 metres (3,300 and 6,600 ft).
Above these elevations, the biogeography of Nepal is generally divided from east to west by the Gandaki River. Ecoregions to the east tend to receive more precipitation and to be more species-rich. Those to the west are drier with fewer species.
From 1,500 to 3,000 metres (4,900 to 9,800 ft), we find temperate broadleaf forests: the eastern and western Himalayan broadleaf forests. From 3,000 to 4,000 metres (9,800 to 13,000 ft) are the eastern and western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests. To 5,500 metres (18,000 ft) are the eastern and western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows.


Subdivisions of Nepal
Nepal is divided into 14 zones and 75 districts, grouped into 5 development regions. Each district is headed by a permanent chief district officer responsible for maintaining law and order and coordinating the work of field agencies of the various government ministries. The 5 regions and 14 zones are:


The collision between the Indian subcontinent and the Eurasian continent, which started in Paleogene time and continues today, produced the Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau, a spectacular modern example of the effects of plate tectonics. Nepal lies completely within this collision zone, occupying the central sector of the Himalayan arc, nearly one third of the 2,400 km (1,500 mi)-long Himalayas.[32][33][34][35][36][37]
The Indian plate continues to move north relative to Asia at the rate of approximately 50 mm (2.0 in) per year.[38] Given the great magnitudes of the blocks of the Earth's crust involved, this is remarkably fast, about twice the speed at which human fingernails grow. As the strong Indian continental crust subducts beneath the relatively weak Tibetan crust, it pushes up the Himalaya mountains. This collision zone has accommodated huge amounts of crustal shortening as the rock sequences slide one over another.
Erosion of the Himalayas is a very important source of sediment, which flows via several great rivers (the Indus to the Indian Ocean, and the Ganges and Brahmaputra river system) to the Bay of Bengal.[39]

Government and politics

Nepal has seen rapid political changes during the last two decades. Until 1990, Nepal was a monarchy running under the executive control of the king. Faced with a Communist movement against the absolute monarchy, King Birendra, in 1990, agreed to large-scale political reforms by creating a parliamentary monarchy with the king as the head of state and a prime minister as the head of the government. Nepal has also been noted for its recent speed of development, such as being one of the few countries in Asia to abolish the death penalty[40] and the first country in Asia to rule in favor of same-sex marriage, which the government has a seven-person committee studying after a November 2008 ruling by the nation's Supreme Court, which ordered full rights for LGBT individuals, including the right to marry.[41]
Nepal's legislature was bicameral, consisting of a House of Representatives called the Pratinidhi Sabha and a National Council called the Rastriya Sabha. The House of Representatives consisted of 205 members directly elected by the people. The National Council had 60 members: ten nominated by the king, 35 elected by the House of Representatives, and the remaining 15 elected by an electoral college made up of chairs of villages and towns. The legislature had a five-year term but was dissolvable by the king before its term could end. All Nepali citizens 18 years and older became eligible to vote.
The executive comprised the King and the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet). The leader of the coalition or party securing the maximum seats in an election was appointed as the Prime Minister. The Cabinet was appointed by the king on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Governments in Nepal tended to be highly unstable, falling either through internal collapse or parliamentary dissolution by the monarch, on the recommendation of the prime minister, according to the constitution; no government has survived for more than two years since 1991.
The movement in April 2006 brought about a change in the nation's governance: an interim constitution was promulgated, with the King giving up power, and an interim House of Representatives was formed with Maoist members after the new government held peace talks with the Maoist rebels. The number of parliamentary seats was also increased to 330. In April 2007, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) joined the interim government of Nepal.
On April 10, 2008, the first election in Nepal for the constitution assembly took place. The Maoist party led the poll results but failed to gain a simple majority in the parliament.[42]
On December 10, 2007, the interim parliament passed a bill that would make Nepal a federal republic, with the Prime Minister becoming head of state. On May 28, 2008, lawmakers in Nepal legally abolished the monarchy and declared the country a republic, ending 239 years of royal rule in the Himalayan nation. The newly elected assembly, led by the former communist rebels, adopted the resolution at its first meeting by an overwhelming majority. King Gyanendra was given 15 days to leave the former Royal Palace in central Kathmandu by the Nepalese Constituent Assembly. He left the former Royal Palace on June 11.[43]
On June 26, 2008, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala tendered his resignation to the Nepalese Constituent Assembly, which is also functioning as the Nepalese Parliament; however, a new Prime Minister has yet to be elected by the Nepalese Constituent Assembly.
On July 19, 2008, the first round of voting for the election of the country's president and vice president took place in the Constituent Assembly. Parmanand Jha became the first vice president of Nepal. However, the two presidential frontrunners, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav of Nepali Congress and the Maoist-backed candidate Ram Raja Prasad Singh, both failed to gain the minimum 298 votes needed to be elected, with Yadav receiving 283 votes and Singh receiving 270. 578 out of 594 CA members registered in the voter list had cast their votes, of which 24 were invalid.
On July 21, 2008, the second round of voting was held. Yadav received 308 of the 590 votes cast, securing his election as president.[44]
On August 15, 2008, Maoist leader Prachanda (Pushpa Kamal Dahal) was elected Prime Minister of Nepal, the first since the country's transition from a monarchy to a republic. On May 4, 2009, Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigned over on-going conflicts over sacking of the Army chief.

Military and foreign affairs

A member of the Nepalese Quick Reactionary Force (QRF).
Nepal's military consists of the Nepalese Army, which includes the Nepalese Army Air Service (the air force unit under it.) Nepalese Police Force is the civilian police and the Armed Police Force Nepal[45] is the paramilitary force. Service is voluntary and the minimum age for enlistment is 18 years. Nepal spends $99.2 million (2004) on its military—1.5% of its GDP. Many of the equipment and arms are imported from India. Consequently, the USA provided M16s M4s and other Colt weapons to combat communist (Maoist) insurgents. As of now, the standard-issue battle rifle of the Nepalese army is the Colt M16.[46]
Nepal has close ties with both of its neighbours, India and China. In accordance with a long-standing treaty, Indian and Nepalese citizens may travel to each others' countries without a passport or visa. Nepalese citizens may work in India without legal restriction. Although Nepal and India typically have close ties, from time to time Nepal becomes caught up in the problematic Sino-Indian relationship. Recently, China has been asking Nepal to curb protests in Nepal against China's Policy on Tibet,[47] and on April 17, 2008, police arrested over 500 Tibetan protestors[48] citing a need to maintain positive relations with China.
Terai News writes, "Being a Hindu Nation Nepal has a permanent relation, especially with the important religious places of the northern states of India. Religion has played a great role in the cultural relations between Nepal and India."[19]


Terraced farming on the foothills of the Himalayas.
Nepal's gross domestic product (GDP) for the year 2008 was estimated at over US$12 billion (adjusted to Nominal GDP), making it the 115th-largest economy in the world. Agriculture accounts for about 40% of Nepal's GDP, services comprise 41% and industry 22%. Agriculture employs 76% of the workforce, services 18% and manufacturing/craft-based industry 6%. Agricultural produce — mostly grown in the Terai region bordering India — includes tea, rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops, milk, and water buffalo meat. Industry mainly involves the processing of agricultural produce, including jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain.
Its workforce of about 10 million suffers from a severe shortage of skilled labour. The spectacular landscape and diverse, exotic cultures of Nepal represent considerable potential for tourism, but growth in this hospitality industry has been stifled by recent political events. The rate of unemployment and underemployment approaches half of the working-age population. Thus many Nepali citizens move to India in search of work; the Gulf countries and Malaysia being new sources of work. Nepal receives US$50 million a year through the Gurkha soldiers who serve in the Indian and British armies and are highly esteemed for their skill and bravery. The total remittance value is worth around US$1 billion, including money sent from the Persian Gulf and Malaysia, who combined employ around 700,000 Nepali citizens.
The famous outpost of Naamche Bazaar in the Khumbu region close to Mount Everest. The town is built on terraces in what resembles a giant Greek theatre.
A long-standing economic agreement underpins a close relationship with India. The country receives foreign aid from India, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union, China, Switzerland, and Scandinavian countries. Poverty is acute; per-capita income is less than US$470.[49] The distribution of wealth among the Nepalis is consistent with that in many developed and developing countries: the highest 10% of households control 39.1% of the national wealth and the lowest 10% control only 2.6%.
The government's budget is about US$1.153 billion, with expenditures of $1.789 billion (FY05/06). The Nepalese rupee has been tied to the Indian Rupee at an exchange rate of 1.6 for many years. Since the loosening of exchange rate controls in the early 1990s, the black market for foreign exchange has all but disappeared. The inflation rate has dropped to 2.9% after a period of higher inflation during the 1990s.
Nepal's exports of mainly carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods and grain total $822 million. Import commodities of mainly gold, machinery and equipment, petroleum products and fertilizer total US$2 bn. India (53.7%), the US (17.4%), and Germany (7.1%) are its main export partners. Nepal's import partners include India (47.5%), the United Arab Emirates (11.2%), China (10.7%), Saudi Arabia (4.9%), and Singapore (4%).
A Rs.500 banknote of The Republic of Nepal. For economical reasons, the watermark on the right still contains a picture of King Gyanendra, obscured by printing a rhododendron, the national flower of Nepal.[50]
Nepal remains isolated from the world's major land, air and sea transport routes although, within the country, aviation is in a better state, with 48 airports, ten of them with paved runways; flights are frequent and support a sizable traffic. The hilly and mountainous terrain in the northern two-thirds of the country has made the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive. There were just over 8,500 km of paved roads, and one 59-km railway line in the south in 2003. There is only one reliable road route from India to the Kathmandu Valley. The only practical seaport of entry for goods bound for Kathmandu is Calcutta in India. Internally, the poor state of development of the road system (22 of 75 administrative districts lack road links) makes volume distribution unrealistic. Besides having landlocked, rugged geography, few tangible natural resources and poor infrastructure, the long-running civil war is also a factor in stunting the economic growth.[51]
There is less than one telephone per 19 people. Landline telephone services are not adequate nationwide but are concentrated in cities and district headquarters. Mobile telephony is in a reasonable state in most parts of the country with increased accessibility and affordability; there were around 175,000 Internet connections in 2005. After the imposition of the "state of emergency", intermittent losses of service-signals were reported, but uninterrupted Internet connections have resumed after Nepal's second major people's revolution to overthrow the King's absolute power.[52]


The Population Density map of Nepal.
The Nepalese are descendants of three major migrations from India, Tibet, and North Burma and Yunnan via Assam.
Among the earliest inhabitants were the Kirat of east mid-region, Newar of the Kathmandu Valley and aboriginal Tharu in the southern Terai region. The ancestors of the Brahman and Chetri caste groups came from India's present Kumaon, Garhwal and Kashmir regions, while other ethnic groups trace their origins to North Burma and Yunnan and Tibet, e.g. the Gurung and Magar in the west, Rai and Limbu in the east (from Yunnan and north Burma via Assam), and Sherpa and Bhutia in the north (from Tibet).
In the Terai, a part of the Ganges Basin with 20% of the land, much of the population is physically and culturally similar to the Indo-Aryans of northern India. Indo-Aryan and East Asian looking mixed people live in the hill region. Indo-Aryan ancestry has been a source of prestige in Nepal for centuries, and the ruling families have been of Indo-Aryan and Hindu background.[53] The mountainous highlands are sparsely populated. Kathmandu Valley, in the middle hill region, constitutes a small fraction of the nation's area but is the most densely populated, with almost 5% of the population.
Nepal is a multilingual society. These data are largely derived from Nepal's 2001 census results published in the Nepal Population Report 2002.
According to the World Refugee Survey 2008, published by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Nepal hosted a population of refugees and asylum seekers in 2007 numbering approximately 130,000. Of this population, approximately 109,200 persons were from Bhutan and 20,500 from People's Republic of China.[54][55] The government of Nepal restricted Bhutanese refugees to seven camps in the Jhapa and Morang districts, and refugees were not permitted to work in most professions.[54] At present, the United States is working towards resettling more than 60,000 of these refugees in the US.[26]
Languages Spoken in Nepal.
Population Structure
Data Size
Population 28,676,547 (2005)
Growth Rate 2.2%
Population below 14 Years old 39%
Population of age 15 to 64 57.3%
Population above 65 3.7%
The median age (Average) 20.07
The median age (Male) 19.91
The median age (Females) 20.24
Ratio (Male:Female) 1, 000:1,060
Life expectancy (Average) 59.8 Years
Life expectancy (Male) 60.9
Life expectancy (Female) 59.5
Literacy Rate (Average) 53.74%
Literacy Rate (Male) 68.51%
Literacy Rate (Female) 42.49%
Despite the migration of a significant section of the population to the southern plains or terai in recent years, the majority of the population still lives in the central highlands. The northern mountains are sparsely populated.
Kathmandu, with a population of around 800,000 (metropolitan area: 1.5 million), is the largest city in the country.


Shaiva-devotees gather at the Hindu Pashupatinath Temple
Nepal religiosity
religion percent
The overwhelming majority in Nepal follow Hinduism. Shiva is regarded as the guardian deity of the country.[56] Nepal is home to the largest Shiva temple in the world, the famous Pashupatinath Temple, where Hindus from all over the world come for pilgrimage. According to mythology, Sita Devi of the epic Ramayana was born in the Mithila Kingdom of King Janaka Raja.
Near the Indian border, Lumbini, is a Buddhist pilgrimage site and UNESCO World Heritage Site site in the Kapilavastu district. It is held to be the birthplace in about 563 B.C. of Siddhartha Gautama, a Kshatriya caste prince of the Sakya clan, who, as the Buddha Gautama, gave birth to the Buddhist tradition. The holy site of Lumbini is bordered by a large monastic zone, in which only monasteries can be built. All three main branches of Buddhism exist in Nepal and the Newar people have their own branch of the faith. Buddhism is the dominant religion of the thinly populated northern areas, which are inhabited by Tibetan-related peoples, such as the Sherpa.
The Buddha, born as a Hindu, is also said to be a descendant of Vedic Sage Angirasa in many Buddhist texts.[57] The Buddha's family surname is associated with Gautama Maharishi.[58] Differences between Hindus and Buddhists have been minimal in Nepal due to the cultural and historical intermingling of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. Morever traditionally Buddhism and Hinduism were never two distinct religions in western sense of world. In Nepal, the faiths share common temples and worship common deities. Among other natives of Nepal, those more influenced by Hinduism were the Magar, Sunwar, Limbu and Rai and the Gurkhas. Hindu influence is less prominent among the Gurung, Bhutia, and Thakali groups who employ Buddhist monks for their religious ceremonies.[18][52] Most of the festivals in Nepal are Hindu.[59] The Machendrajatra festival, dedicated to Hindu Shaiva Siddha, is celebrated by many Buddhists in Nepal as a main festival.[60] As it is believed that Ne Muni established Nepal,[61] some important priests in Nepal are called "Tirthaguru Nemuni".


The fertility rate in Nepal was at 3.7 births per woman in the early 2000s. [62] Public expenditure on health was at 1.5 % of the GDP in 2004.[62] Private expenditure on health was 4.1 % in 2004.[62] In the early 2000s, there were 21 physicians per 100,000 people.[62] Infant mortality was 56 per 1000 life births in 2005.[62]


A typical Nepalese meal is dal-bhat-tarkari. Dal is a spicy lentil soup, served over bhat (boiled rice), served with tarkari (curried vegetables) together with achar (pickles) or chutni (spicy condiment made from fresh ingredients).. The Newar community, however, has its own unique cuisine. It consists of non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian items served with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Mustard oil is the cooking medium and a host of spices, such as cumin, coriander, black peppers, sesame seeds, turmeric, garlic, ginger, methi (fenugreek), bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, chillies, mustard seeds, etc., are used in the cooking. The cuisine served on festivals is generally the best.
Costumed Hindu-girls in Nepal. The two small children represent the god Krishna and his consort Radha. Sitting behind are the god Vishnu and his consort Laxmi.
The Newari Music orchestra consists mainly of percussion instruments, though wind instruments, such as flutes and other similar instruments, are also used. String instruments are very rare. There are songs pertaining to particular seasons and festivals. Paahan chare music is probably the fastest played music whereas the Dapa the slowest. There are certain musical instruments such as Dhimay and Bhusya which are played as instrumental only and are not accompanied with songs. The dhimay music is the loudest one. In the hills, people enjoy their own kind of music, playing saarangi (a string instrument), madal and flute. They also have many popular folk songs known as lok geet and lok dohari.
The Newar dances can be broadly classified into masked dances and non-masked dances. The most representative of Newari dances is Lakhey dance. Almost all the settlements of Newaris organise Lakhey dance at least once a year, mostly in the Goonlaa month. So, they are called Goonlaa Lakhey. However, the most famous Lakhey dance is the Majipa Lakhey dance; it is performed by the Ranjitkars of Kathmandu and the celeberation continues for the entire week that contains the full moon of Yenlaa month. The Lakhey are considered to be the saviors of children.
Folklore is an integral part of Nepalese society. Traditional stories are rooted in the reality of day-to-day life, tales of love, affection and battles as well as demons and ghosts and thus reflect local lifestyles, cultures and beliefs. Many Nepalese folktales are enacted through the medium of dance and music.
The Nepali year begins in mid-April and is divided into 12 months. Saturday is the official weekly holiday. Main annual holidays include the National Day, celebrated on the birthday of the king (December 28), Prithvi Jayanti (January 11), Martyr's Day (February 18), and a mix of Hindu and Buddhist festivals such as dashain in autumn, and tihar in late autumn. During tihar, the Newar community also celebrates its New Year as per their local calendar Nepal Sambat.
Most houses in rural lowland of Nepal are made up of a tight bamboo framework and walls of a mud and cow-dung mix. These dwellings remain cool in summer and retain warmth in winter. Houses in the hills are usually made of unbaked bricks with thatch or tile roofing. At high elevations construction changes to stone masonry and slate may be used on roofs.
Nepal's flag is the only national flag in the world that is non-quadrilateral in shape, and one of only two non-rectangular flags in use (the other being the flag of the U.S. state of Ohio). According to its official description, the red in the flag stands for victory in war or courage, and is also color of the rhododendron, the national flower of Nepal. Red also stands for aggression. The flag's blue border signifies peace. The curved moon on the flag is a symbol of the peaceful and calm nature of Nepalese, while the sun represents the aggressiveness of Nepalese warriors.


About two thirds of female adults and one third of male adults are illiterate.[62] Net primary enrolment rate was 74 % in 2005.[62] It now is at about 90 %.[63] In 2009 the World Bank has decided to contribute a further US$130 million towards meeting Nepal’s Education for All goals.[63] Nepal has several universities.

International rankings

Organization Survey Ranking
Institute for Economics and Peace[1] Global Peace Index[64] 77 out of 144
United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index 144 out of 182
Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 143 out of 180
World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 125 out of 133

See also


  1. ^ According to Interim Constitution Nepali is only the official language (article 5, point 2). Other languages spoken as the mother tongue in Nepal are the national languages (article 5, point 1). According to article 5, point 3, all languages are accepted as official languages at the regional level. Nepal_Interim_Constitution2007
  2. ^ Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2009) (.PDF). World Population Prospects, Table A.1. 2008 revision. United Nations. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Nepal". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  4. ^ "Human Development Report 2009. Human development index trends: Table G". The United Nations. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  5. ^ Merriam-Webster Online
  6. ^ "The World Factbook : Rank order population". CIA. 
  7. ^ Shaha (1992), p. 1.
  8. ^ "CIA Factbook, Nepal, "People" section". Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  9. ^ Human Development Indices, Table 3: Human and income poverty, p. 34. Retrieved on 1 June 2009
  10. ^ "Nepal's first president sworn in". Radio Australia. 2008-07-24. 
  11. ^ Newa-Author:Shrestha, Moolookha Publication
  12. ^ a b c W.B., P. 34 Land of the Gurkhas
  13. ^ a b "The Ancient Period". Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  14. ^ Balfour, P. 195 Cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, :
  15. ^ Dangol, Amrit (2007-05-06). "Alone In Kathmandu". Alone In Kathmandu. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  16. ^ Prasad, P. 4 The life and times of Maharaja Juddha Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal
  17. ^ Khatri, P. 16 The Postage Stamps of Nepal
  18. ^ a b "A Country Study: Nepal". Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. Retrieved 2005-09-23. 
  19. ^ a b Terai News
  20. ^ a b P. 17 Looking to the Future: Indo-Nepal Relations in Perspective By Lok Raj Baral
  21. ^ Li, Rongxi (translator). 1995. The Great Tang Dynasty Record of the Western Regions, pp. 219-220. Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research. Berkeley, California. ISBN 1-886439-02-8
  22. ^ Watters, Thomas. 1904-5. On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India (A.D. 629-645), pp. 83-85. Reprint: Mushiram Manoharlal Publishers, New Delhi. 1973.
  23. ^ "The Enclosing of Nepal". Source: U.S. Library of Congress.
  24. ^ Tucci, Giuseppe. (1952). Journey to Mustang, 1952. Trans. by Diana Fussell. 1st Italian edition, 1953; 1st English edition, 1977. 2nd edition revised, 2003, p. 22. Bibliotheca Himalayica. ISBN 99933-0-378-X (South Asia); ISBN 974-524-024-9 (Outside of South Asia).
  25. ^ "Timeline: Nepal". BBC News. Retrieved 2005-09-29. 
  26. ^ a b Bhaumik, Subir (November 7, 2007). "Bhutan refugees are 'intimidated'". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  27. ^ Nepal votes to abolish monarchy - CNN
  28. ^ a b "Nepal votes to abolish monarchy — CNN". BBC News. 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  29. ^ The Carter Center. ""Activities by Country: Nepal"". Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Nepal abolishes its monarchy". Al Jazeera. May 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  32. ^ Beek van der Peter,Xavier Robert, Jean-Louis Mugnier, Matthias Bernet, Pascale Huyghe and Erika Labrin, "Late Miocene- Recent Exhumation of the Central Himalaya and Recycling in the Foreland Basin Assessed by Apatite Fission-Track Thermochronology of Siwalik Sediments, Nepal," Basic research, 18, 413-434, 2006.
  33. ^ Berger Antoine, Francois Jouanne, Riadm Hassani and Jean Louis Mugnier, "Modelling the Spatial Distribution of Present day Deformation in Nepal: how cylindrical is the Main Himalayan Thrust in Nepal?", Geophys.J.Int., 156, 94-114, 2004.
  34. ^ Bilham Roger and Michael Jackson,"Constraints on Himalayan Deformation inferred from Vertical Velocity Fields in Nepal and Tibet," Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 99, 897-912, 10 July 1994.
  35. ^ Chamlagain Deepak and Daigoro Hayashi, "Neotectonic Fault Analysis by 2D Finite Element Modeling for Studying the Himalayan Fold and Thrust belt in Nepal," University of the Ryukyus,Okinawa, Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 1-16, 14 July 2006.
  36. ^ F. Jouanne et al., "Current Shortening Across the Himalayas of Nepal", Geophys.J.Int., 154, 1-14, 2004.
  37. ^ Pandey M.R, R.P. Tandukar, J.P. Avouac, J. Vergne and Th. Heritier, "Seismotectonics of the Nepal Himalaya from a Local Seismic Network", Journal of Asian Earth Sciences,17, 703-712,1999.
  38. ^ Bilham et al., 1998; Pandey et al., 1995.
  39. ^ Summerfield & Hulton, 1994; Hay, 1998.
  40. ^ "Death Penalty Statistics 2006". Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  41. ^ "Progress in new Republic of Nepal". 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  42. ^ "Nepal's election The Maoists triumph". 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  43. ^ Nepal's Lawmakers Abolish the Country's Monarchy
  44. ^
  45. ^ "Official Website of Armed Police Force Nepal". Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  46. ^
  47. ^ "China urges Nepal to act on Tibet". BBC News. 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  48. ^ Haviland, Charles (2008-04-17). "Nepal Arrests Tibetan Protesters". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  49. ^ "Nepal". Factbook on Global Sexual Exploitation. Retrieved 2005-09-23. 
  50. ^ "Nepal king's head spared on new banknotes". Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  51. ^ "Nepal: Economy". MSN Encarta. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. Retrieved 2005-09-23. 
  52. ^ a b "Nepal". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 2005-09-23. 
  53. ^ "Nepal". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  54. ^ a b "World Refugee Survey 2008". U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. 2008-06-19. 
  55. ^ "NEPAL: Tibetans Warned of Deportation to China". IRIN Asia. April 1, 2008.
  56. ^ Anthologia anthropologica. The native races of Asia and Europe; by James George Frazer, Sir; Robert Angus Downie
  57. ^ The Life of Buddha as Legend and History, by Edward Joseph Thomas
  58. ^ P. 95 A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms By James Legge
  59. ^ "Festivals of Nepal". Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  60. ^ P. 885 Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Part 10 By James Hastings
  61. ^ Wright, P. 107, History of Nepal: With an Introductory Sketch of the Country and People of Nepal
  62. ^ a b c d e f g Human Development Report 2009 - Nepal
  63. ^ a b News & Broadcast - World Bank Supports School Sector Reforms in Nepal
  64. ^ "Vision of Humanity". Vision of Humanity. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : South Asia : Nepal
Kathmandu, city of Patan
Quick Facts
Capital Kathmandu
Government Republic. Monarchy was dissolved by Constituent Assembly on 28 May 2008.
Currency Nepalese rupee (NPR)
Area total: 141,848 km2
water: 4,000 km2
land: 136,800 km2
Population 27,676,547 (July 2006 est.)
Language Nepali (official; spoken by 90% of the population), about a dozen other languages and about 30 major dialects; note - many in government and business also speak English (1995)
Religion Hinduism 86.2%, Buddhism 7.8%, Islam 3.8%, other 2.2%
Calling Code +977
Internet TLD .np
Time Zone UTC+5:45
Nepal [1] is a landlocked country in Southern Asia, between the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and India. It contains eight of the world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest - the world's tallest - on the border with Tibet. It recently was declared a republic and has abolished the monarchy.



Elevation Zones

Nepal can be divided into elevation zones, south to north:
  • Outer Terai - Level plains, a cultural and linguistic extension of northern India. Nepali is spoken less than Awadhi and Bhojpuri dialects related to Hindi and Maithili related to Hindi and Bengali. Lumbini, Buddha's birthplace and Janakpur, Sita's birthplace are in this zone. Other cities -- Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj, Bhairawa, Butwal, Birgunj, Janakpur and Biratnagar -- are transportation hubs and border towns more than travel destinations. Nevertheless the Terai may offer opportunities for intimate exposure to traditional Indian culture that have become less available in India itself.
  • Siwalik Range or Churia Hills - the outermost and lowest range of foothills, about 600 m (2,000 ft) high. Extends across the country east to west but with significant gaps and many subranges. Poor soils and no agriculture to speak of. No developed tourist destinations, however the forests are wild and the sparse population of primitive hunters and gatherers is unique.
  • Inner Terai - large valleys between the Siwaliks and higher foothills to the north. The Dang and Deukhuri valleys in the Mid West are the largest, offering opportunities to experience Tharu art and culture. Chitwan south of Kathmandu is another of these valleys, known for Royal Chitwan National Park where tigers, rhinos, crocodiles, deer and birds can be observed. Originally these valleys were malarial and lightly populated by Tharus who had evolved resistance and developed architectural and behavioral adaptations limiting exposure to the most dangerous nocturnal mosquitos. Suppression of mosquitos with DDT in the 1960s opened these these valleys to settlers from the hills who cleared forests and displaced and exploited Tharus. Nevertheless remoter parts of these valleys still have a Garden of Eden quality - forests broken by indefinite fields, lazy rivers, fascinating aboriginal peoples.
  • Mahabharat Range - a prominent foothill range continuous across the country from east to west except for narrow transecting canyons, with elevations ascending up to 3,000 m (10,000 ft). Steep southern slopes are a no-man's land between lowland and Pahari (hill) cultures and languages, which begin along the crest and gentler northern slopes. Given clear skies, there are panoramic views of high himalaya from almost anywhere on the crest. Underdeveloped as a tourist venue compared to India's 'Hill Stations', nevertheless Daman and Tansen are attractive destinations.
  • Middle Hills - Valleys north of the Mahabharat Range and hills up to about 2,000 m (6,500 ft). are mainly inhabited by Hindus of the Bahun (priestly brahmin) and Chhetri (warriors and rulers) castes who speak Nepali as their first language. Higher where it becomes too cold to grow rice, populations are largely Magar, Gurung, Tamang, Rai or Limbu, the hill tribes from which the British recruited Gurkha soldiers while the soldiers' families grew crops suited to temperate climates. Men in these ethnic groups also work as porters or may be herders moving their flocks into the high mountains in summer and the lower valleys in winter. Trekking through the hills is unremittingly scenic with streams and terraced fields, picturesque villages, a variety of ethnic groups with distinctive costumes, and views of the high himalayas from high points.
  • Valleys - Kathmandu and to the west Pokhara occupy large valleys in the hills The Kathmandu Valley was urbanized long before the first europeans reached the scene and has historic neighborhoods, temple complexes, pagodas, buddhist stupas, palaces and bazaars. Its natives are predominantly Newar farmers, traders, craftsmen and civil servants. Newar culture is an interesting synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist elements. Unfortunately a range of hills north of this valley limit views of the himalaya. Pokhara has fewer urban points of interest but outstanding views of the nearby Annapurna Himalaya. Pokhara's Newar population is confined to bazaars. Elsewhere upper caste Hindus dominate, whose ancestors probably were Khas peoples from far western Nepal. Both valleys offer excellent opportunities to experience Nepal without strenuous trekking. Narrower valleys along streams and rivers are important rice-growing centers in the hills. There is a limited amount of this land and most of it is owned by upper caste Hindus.
  • Lekhs - Snow occasionally falls and lasts days or weeks in the winter above 3,000 m (10,000 ft), but melts away in summer below about 5,500 m (18,000 ft). Treeline is about 4,000 m (13,000 ft). This zone is used for summer pasturage but not year-round habitation.
  • Himalaya - North of the lekhs, the snowy high himalayas rise abruptly along a fault zone to peaks over 6,700 m (22,000 ft) and even over 8,000 m (26,000 ft). Himalaya means 'abode of snow', which is uninhabited. Valleys among the peaks are inhabited, especially along trade routes where rice from the lowlands was traded for salt from the Tibetan Plateau along with other goods. Trade has diminished since China annexed Tibet in the 1950s but catering to trekkers and climbers has become an economic engine. People living along these routes have Tibetan affinities but usually speak fluent Nepali.
  • Trans-Himalaya - Peaks in this region north of the highest himalayas in central and western Nepal are lower and gentler, mostly around 6,000 m (20,000 ft). Valleys below 5,000 m (17,000 ft). are inhabited by people who are essentially Tibetan and have adapted to living at much higher elevations than other Nepalis. Roads have not yet penetrated this far and travel is expensive by air or arduous on foot. Nevertheless, it is a unique opportunity to experience a very significant and attractive culture in spectacular surroundings.

River Basins

are also important geographic divisions. The Mahabharat Range is a major hydrologic barrier in Nepal and other parts of the Himalaya. South-flowing rivers converge in candelabra shapes to break through this range in a few narrow gorges. Travel is usually easier within these candelabra drainage systems than between them, so high divides between river systems became historically important political, linguistic and cultural boundaries.
The Karnali system in the far west is the birthplace of Pahari ('hill') culture. It was settled by people called Khas speaking an indo-european language called Khaskura ('Khas talk') that was related to other north indian languages, all claiming descent from classical Sanskrit.
East of the Karnali proper, along a major tributary called the Bheri and further east in another basin called the Rapti lived a Tibeto-Burman people called Kham. Khas and Kham people seem to have been allies and probably intermarried to create the synthesis of aryan and mongoloid features that especially characterizes the second-highest Chhetri (Kshatriya) caste. It appears that Khas kings recruited Kham men as guards and soldiers. Khas and Kham territories in the far west were subdivided into small kingdoms called the Baisi, literally '22' as they were counted.
Nepal has one of the world's highest birthrates because Hindu girls usually marry by their early teens, causing their entire reproductive potential to be utilized. Furthermore, men who can afford it often take multiple wives. This may trace back to Khas culture, explaining relentless Khas colonization eastward as finite amounts of land suitable for rice cultivation were inevitably outstripped by high birthrates.
Rapti and Gandaki
The Rapti river system east of the Karnali-Bheri had few lowlands suitable for growing rice and extensive highlands that were not attractive for Khas settlement but were a barrier to migration. However the Rapti's upper tributaries rose somewhat south of the Himalaya. Between these tributaries and the Dhaulagiri range of the Himalaya, a large east-west valley called Dhorpatan branching off the upper Bheri provided a detour eastward, over an easy pass called Jaljala into the Gandaki river system further east. The Gandaki is said to have seven major tributaries, most rising in or beyond the high Himalaya. They merge to cut through the Mahabharat and Siwalik ranges. In this basin elevations were generally lower and rainfall was higher compared to the Karnali-Bheri and Rapti basins. There was great potential for rice cultivation, the agricultural base of the Khas way of life. A collection of small principalities called the Chaubisi developed. Chaubisi literally means '24', as these kingdoms were counted. Not all were Khas kindoms. Some were Magar -- a large indigenous hill tribe people related to the Kham. Other kingdoms were Gurung and Tamang. Several Gandaki tributaries rose in the transhimalayan region where inhabitants and rulers became increasingly Tibetanized to the north.
  • Emergence of Shah Dynasty from Gorkha
Within the Chaubisi kingdoms of the Gandaki basin, Gorkha was a small valley east of Pokhara ruled by a Khas family now called Shah, an honorific title that may have come later, however any earlier name seems to be forgotten. In 1743 A.D. Prithvi Narayan Shah became the ruler of Gorkha after his father Nara Bhupal Shah died. Prithvi Narayan already had a reputation as a hotheaded upstart. Resolving to modernize Gorkha's army, he was bringing modern arms from India when customs officers demanded inspection and payment of duties. Prithvi Narayan refused and attacked the officers, killing several before escaping with his arms and men. He also visited Benares to study the situation of local rulers and the growing encroachment of British interests. Prithvi concluded that invasion was a chronic danger to rulers on the plains of northern India, whereas the hills were more defensible and offered more scope to carve out a lasting empire.
Kathmandu Valley (Bagmati)
Prithvi Narayan must have been a charismatic figure, for he recruited, equipped and trained a formidable army and persuaded his subjects to underwrite all this from his ascension until his death in 1775. Through conquest and treaty, he consolidated several Chaubisi kingdoms. As his domain expanded, Khaskura became known as Gorkhali, i.e. the language of the Gorkha kingdom. Then he moved east into the next river basin, the Bagmati which drains the Kathmandu Valley that held three small but prosperous urban kingdoms. Like the Rapti, the Bagmati rises somewhat south of the Himalaya. Unlike the Rapti basin, this valley had once held a large lake and the remaining alluvial soil was exceptionally fertile. Between the agricultural abundance, local crafts, and extensive trade with Tibet, the cities were prosperous. Prithvi Narayan encircled the valley, cutting off trade and restricting ordinary activities, even farming and getting water. With a combination of stealth, brutality and intimidation he he prevailed and deposed the local kings in 1769, making Kathmandu his new capital. This was the high point of Prithvi Narayan's career, however he continued consolidating the Kathmandu Valley with the Chaubisi and Baisi federations to the west until his death in 1775. Gorkhali was re-dubbed Nepali as 'Nepal' came to mean not only the urbanized Kathmandu Valley, but all lands ruled by the Shahs.
Prithvi Narayan's heirs Pratap Singh, Rana Bahadur and Girvan Yuddha continued expansion of their kingdom into the Koshi river basin east of the Bagmati system. Like the Gandaki, the Koshi traditionally has seven major tributaries descending from the Himalaya before joining forces to break through the Mahabharat and Siwalik ranges. Ranges drained by Koshi tributaries include Mount Everest and its neighboring peaks, as well as the western side of the Kangchenjunga massif. Kangchenjunga and a high ridge to the south are the watershed between the Koshi and Tista basins as well as the border between Nepal and the former kingdom Sikkim that India annexed it in 1975.
Containment by British
The Shah dynasty's expansion continued eastward across Sikkim and westward across Kumaon and beyond Dehra Dun to the Sutlej River, until the British declared war in 1814 and finally defeated Nepalese forces in 1816. The British wanted a buffer state between British India and the Chinese empire that ultimately controlled Tibet, so it trimmed Nepal back approximately to its present size and let it remain independent.
Informal Settlement in Sikkim and Bhutan
Nevertheless Nepalese eastward colonization beyond the Kosi continued informally, still driven by high birthrates. By the 1800s land-hungry Nepalis were settling in the Tista basin, which happened to be a different country, Sikkim. In the 1900s they were settling beyond Sikkim in the kingdom of Bhutan. This kingdom -- where late marriage and low population densities prevailed among the indigenous, culturally Tibetan population -- saw the demographic writing on the wall and expelled as many as 100,000 Nepalis in 1990.

Caste, Ethnicity, Religion and languages

The caste and ethnic groups of Nepal according to the 2001 census are classified into five main categories: (a)Castes originating from Hindu groups (b) Newars (c) the ethnic groups or janajati (d) Muslims (e)Others.

Hindu Groups

Hindu castes migrated from India to Nepal after 11th century due to Muslim invasion of northern India. The traditional Hindu caste system is based on the four Varna Vyawastha "the class system" of Brahman (Bahun) priests, scholars and advisors; Kshatriya (Chhetri) rulers and warriors, Vaishya (merchants); Shudra (farmers and menial occupations not considered polluting). Below the Shudra Dalit perform 'polluting' work such as tanning and cleaning latrines. However the middle Vaishya and Shudra are underrepresented in the hills, apparently because they did not have compelling reason to leave the plains while Muslim invaders tried to eliminate previous elites. Dalits seem to have accompanied the upper castes into the hills because they were bound by longstanding patronage arrangements.
Traditional caste rules govern who can eat with whom, especially when boiled rice is served, and who can accept water from whom. Until the 1950s these rules were enforced by law.
Dalits are subject to caste-based discrimination and so called ‘untouchability’ in social, economic, educational, political and religious areas. The National Dalit Commission (2002) categorized 28 cultural groups as Dalits. Some argue that the use of the term Dalit will never ever help to abolish caste-based untouchability. (Literally, 'Dalit' translates to 'suppressed' in Nepali.) There are suggestions that the term should not be used because it not only breeds inferiority but is also insulting.


Newars -- the indigenous people of the Kathmandu valley -- follow both Hinduism and Buddhism. According to the 2001 census they can be classified into 40 distinct cultural groups, but all speak a common language called Nepal bhasa (Newa bhaaya). Newars use prevailing lingua francas to communicate outside their community: Nepali in the hills and Maithili, Bhojpuri and Awadhi in the Terai.

Indigenous peoples

The ethnic groups of the hills, Terai and mountain areas are grouped as Janajati. According to the National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities (NFDIN), ethnic groups are those “who have their own mother tongue and traditional customs, a distinct cultural identity, a distinct social structure and written or oral history all of their own" (NFDIN, 2003). A total of 61 Adibasi Janajatis have been recognised by the Nepal Government, 5 are from the mountain regions, 20 from the Hills, 7 from inner Terai and 11 from the Terai region. A Janajati is a community who has its own mother tongue and traditional culture and yet does not fall under the conventional fourfold Varna of the Hindu system or the Hindu hierarchical caste structure[2]. Many of these ethnic groups are Hinduized to some degree, although Hindu practices supplement rather than replace more ancient beliefs and practices. Unlike the Hindus, many indigenous nationalities of Nepal such as the Sherpa people as well as the people of Muslim & Christian faiths, have a culture of eating beef.
Other caste and ethnic groups included in the ‘other’ category are; Sikhs, Christians, Bengalis, and Marawadis.
Different indigenous nationalities are in different stages of development. Some indigenous nationalities are nomads, e.g. Raute, and some are forest dwellers, e.g. Chepang and Bankaria. Most of the indigenous nationalities rely on agriculture and pastoralism and very few are cosmopolitan, e.g. Newar.


The census of 2001 has listed 8 religions—Hindu, Buddhist, Islam, Kiranti, Christian, Jain, Sikh and Bahai. In addition, are animism or Bon are still practiced. Hindu comprises 80.6% and other religions are 19.4%.


Nepal has a Monsoonal climate with four main seasons - though traditionally a year was categorized into six distinct climate periods: Basanta (spring), Grishma (early summer), Barkha (summer monsoon), Sharad (early autumn), Hemanta (late autumn) and Shishir (winter).
Below is a general guide to conditions at different seasons:
  • Heavy monsoonal rains from June to September - the rains are generally lighter high in the Himalayas than in Kathmandu, though the mountain peaks are often lost in cloud.
  • Clear and cool weather from October to December - after the monsoon, there is little dust in the air so this is the best season to visit the hilly and mountainous regions.
  • Cold from January to March, with the temperature in Kathmandu often dropping as low as 0°C (32°F) at night, with extreme cold at high elevations. It is possible to trek in places like the Everest region during the winter, but it is extremely cold and snow fall may prevent going above 4,000 - 4,500 meters (13,000 - 15,000 feet). The Jomosom trek is a reasonable alternative, staying below 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) with expected minimum temperatures about -10°C (14°F) (and much better chances of avoiding heavy snow.)
  • Dry and warm weather from April to June - there is an abundance of blooming flowers in the Himalayas at this time, with rhododendrons, in particular, adding a splash of color to the landscape. Terai temperatures may reach or exceed 40°C (104°F) while Kathmandu temperatures are about 30°C (86°F). This is the best time to undertake mountain expeditions.
The recording of temperatures and rainfall of the major locations across Nepal was started in 1962 and their averages [3] provides a reference point for analyzing the climate trend.


Nepal is officially divided into 14 administrative zones and five development regions, but travellers might be more comfortable with the conceptual division below (based on the country's elevation). From north to south:
Regions of Nepal
Regions of Nepal
The roof of the world, including Mount Everest, Annapurna and Langtang National Park with numerous sightseeing, trekking, and other adventure sport opportunities.
Kathmandu Valley
Home to Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, this is the heart of Nepal and a crossroads of cultures with numerous sacred temples and monuments.
Middle Hills
The Hill Region (Pahar in Nepali) is mostly between 700 and 4,000 meters altitude. This region is split from the Terai Range by the Mahabharat Lekh (Lesser Himalaya) and forms a geographic midlands between the Terai and the Himalayas. It includes the scenic Pokhara valley, a popular base for activities in the area.
Western Tarai
The western side of the Terai mountain range with the Royal Chitwan and Royal Bardia National Parks.
Eastern Tarai
Quite a populated area with Biratnagar, Nepal's second largest municipality.
  • Kathmandu - capital and cultural center of Nepal, with the stupa at Boudhanath in a separate district
  • Bhaktapur - well-preserved historical city, center of Nepali pottery making.
  • Biratnagar - this city is in eastern Nepal near Dharan and famous for political reason.
  • Birgunj - business gateway between India and Nepal. It is in mid-southern Nepal.
  • Janakpur - a historical religious centre and home to the 500-year old Janaki Temple.
  • Namche Bazaar - a Sherpa settlement located in the Solu Khumbu region - popular with trekkers
  • Nepalgunj - the main hub for the Mid- and Far-Western Development Region. Bardiya National Park is close-by
  • Patan - sister-city of Kathmandu and metal working center
  • Pokhara - Picturesque lake-side town, and the base for many activities. Great live music scene, with plenty of cool bars and hotels. Fast becoming the destination of choice for travelers due to the scenery, adventure sports and nightlife.

Other destinations

Locked between the snow peaks of the Himalayas and the seething Ganges plain, Nepal has long been home to wandering ascetics and tantric yogis. Consequently, the country has a wealth of sacred sites and natural wonders:
  • Annapurna - Popular trekking region of Nepal with the world-famous Annapurna Circuit
  • Chitwan National Park - See tigers, rhinos and animals in the jungle
  • Daman - tiny village in the mountains offering panoramic views of the Himalayas - especially stunning at sunrise and sunset
  • Haleshi (Tibetan: Maratika) - the site of a mountain cave where Padmasambhava attained a state beyond life and death.
  • Mount Everest - The tallest peak of the world in the Khumbu region
  • Lumbini - the sacred site of the Buddha Shakyamuni's birth
  • Nagarkot - A hill station one hour from Kathmandu offering excellent views of the Himalayan Range.
  • Parping - the site of several sacred caves associated with Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism

Get in


Visas for citizens of most countries are available on arrival at the land borders and at the airport in Kathmandu at a cost of US$25 for 15 days, US$40 for 30 days and US$100 for 90 days multiple entry visa. Tourist visa can be granted for a maximum of 150 days in a visa year. You can pay this in Nepali Rupees, US dollars or Indian rupees. The Nepali Rupee is tied to the Indian Rupee at a rate of 1.6. Note 500 Indian Rupee notes are not accepted.
Entry points for foreigners are Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu), Kakarvitta, Jhapa (Eastern Nepal), Birganj, Parsa (Central Nepal), Kodari, Sindhupalchowk (Northern Border) ,Belahia, Bhairahawa (Rupandehi, Western Nepal), Jamunaha, Nepalgunj (Banke, Mid Western Nepal), Mohana, Dhangadhi (Kailali, Far Western Nepal), Gaddachauki, and Mahendranagar (Kanchanpur, Far Western Nepal).

By plane

The ceasefire signed by the Maoists has seen the opening up of routes with new airlines in the country. There are direct flights from Kathmandu to Bangkok [4], Singapore [5], Hong Kong with Dragon Air/Cathay Pacific [6]. ArkeFly [7] flies direct to Europe (Amsterdam, Netherlands). Many European destinations can be reached via Doha with Qatar Airways [8], Abu Dhabi with Ethihad [9], Dubai with Emirates [10], Bahrain with Gulf Air [11]. Flights are also available via Delhi on Jet Airways and UAE on Air Arabia.
Nepal's Tribhuvan International Airport is located just outside of the Ring Road in Kathmandu. The terminal is a one-room brick building with a large wooden table serving as both customs and immigration. [12]Tourist visa of 15 days or more is available on arrival. Money can be changed to the local currency as well, but these services are only available directly after scheduled arrivals.
Outside the airport, all 'representatives' of the tourist industry are required to remain 10 meters (about 30 feet) from the front door. This does not prevent them from waving large signs and yelling in an attempt to encourage you to choose them as your guide/taxi/hotel/luggage carrier. Make your choice before crossing the line, or better yet, arrange your first night's accommodation before you arrive and ask the hotel to send someone to meet you. Many hotel and guest houses offer complimentary pick up and delivery from the airport. Fixed priceTaxis are also available before you exit the building but you may get a cheaper fair if you are willing to haggle!. As always, negotiate the price beforehand with the driver. A taxi ride to Thamel or Boudha should be around 300 NRS. Otherwise, order a taxi at the pre-paid booth inside the airport, which costs 400+NRs (and rising). This is more than the normal taxi rate, but it saves the hassle of long negotiations.

By car or motorcycle

Car rental in Nepal is almost unheard of, as is renting a car in India and taking it across the border.
Many travellers drive from India on Royal Enfield motorcycles. Technically, foreigners have to pay customs at the borders but most don't bother. Selling the bike in Nepal is easy as other travelers are looking for bikes to ride back to India.
If you are coming from India you will find driving in Nepal a lot less chaotic! The roads are amazing and the new east-west highway currently under construction with support from the Japanese will open up new destinations for those interested in exploring Nepal by motor-bike.
Please check before hiring a motorbike on the current state of fuel. At time of writing (13DEC 09) there was large problems with fuel supply which can leave riders stranded. At time of writing, bike hire should be no more than 500Rs a day (Pulsar, Hero Honda, scooter) unless you are hiring an Indian Enfield.
Hirers are also notorious for trying to charge tourists large amounts of money on returning the bike for 'damage payment' that may not have been from you. Therefore make sure a thorough damage assessment with the hirer is carried out before departing and if the hirer tries to scam you on return go to local police.

By bus

There are Five border crossings open to tourists. The Sunauli-Bhairawa border crossing is the closest to Varanasi, the Raxaul-Birganj crossing to Patna, Kolkata, and Siliguri-Kakarbhitta is to Darjeeling. The Banbassa-Mahendrenagar border crossing in the extreme west of Nepal, is the closest to Delhi. The bahraich-Nepalganj border is the one closest to Lucknow which is the easiest destination by air or train from Delhi.
The crossing between Nepal and Tibet via Kodari is open to independent travelers entering Nepal, but only to organised groups entering Tibet.

By train

A cargo train began operating between Sirsiya in southern Nepal, and the Indian town of Raxaul in 2003. Internal train network is limited to few kilometers of train network in Janakpur
  • Micro Bus has become very popular lately. They are 10-12 seater with very fast service. It has almost replaced local bus service given its fast service. However, apart from previous few routes, Micro Bus has come up with many other alternate routes and now has got good coverage. The fare is more expensive than the local bus.
  • Super Express Bus - or 'Supper Express' as the ticket says is somewhere between a micro and a local bus. These generally depart between 5 - 7AM and do not stop to pick up locals along the way. People are not allowed to sit on the roof. The 'supper express' is more expensive than a local bus but cheaper, (and faster) than the micro.
  • Local Bus - Although the system can be confusing they are cheap. They can be crowded at times both with people and domestic animals such as goats, ducks etc. Some buses will not depart until full to a certain quota.
  • Tourist Bus - Book a few days ahead at a Kathmandu or Pokhara travel agent (or your hotel will book for you). A few steps above local buses (no goats, everyone gets a seat) but not much safer.
  • Rickshaw - Good for short jaunts if you don't have much luggage and don't mind being bounced around a bit. Bargain before you get in, and don't be afraid to walk away and try another.
  • Tempo - These come in two types. One is a three wheeled electric or propane powered micro-bus for 10-13 passengers. They run in different routes around the city and cost 5-12 NRs. The other type is a newer Toyota van running the same routes at a higher price and a bit faster and safer. Be prepared for a crowd
  • Taxis - There are two types of taxi -- "private", which pretty much run from the airport to your (upscale) hotel; and "10 Rupee", which don't leave until they are full. When haggling for fare remember that Taxi drivers have been hit hard by the petrol crisis sometimes queing up overnight to get 5 litres of petrol at twice the market price. So be sympathetic but don’t get ripped off! Offer to pay 'meter plus tip', 10% is more than enough.
  • Tram - The old-fashioned street cable-car that ran from Kathmandu (near the stadium) to Bhaktapur is currently closed due to 'non-existing maintenance' and the fact that none of the drivers paid for the power.
  • Custom or classic motorcycle - Run by a European couple, Hearts and Tears in Pokhara offer lessons, guided tours and rental of 350cc and 500cc Royal Enfield bikes. In Kathmandu, Himalayan Enfields (behind the Israeli Embassy on Lazimpat)sells/rents good bikes and does repairs. The official Enfield dealer in Nepal is in Balaju Industrial Estate off the Ring Road.
  • Local motorcycle - Another choice is to rent a small motorcycle. And it can be rented in the Thamel area. Again with the petrol crisis, motorcycle rental has become a costly choice, depending on availabily 1 litre of petrol will cost you 120-250 NRs on top of the rental fee (300-800NRs).
  • On Foot - although motor roads are penetrating further into the hinterlands, many destinations can only be reached by foot (or helicopter). See the section on trekking, below.


The great biological and cultural diversity of present-day Nepal is matched by its linguistic diversity. Nepal boasts a variety of living languages many of which are remnants of the traditional Asiatic cultural amalgamation in the region. impressively large number for a country with a small land mass like Nepal. Nepal has more distinct and individual languages in one country than the whole of the European community.
The official language of Nepal is Nepali. It's related to Hindi, Punjabi, and other Indo-Aryan languages, and is normally written with the Devanagari script (as is Hindi). While most Nepali speak at least some Nepali, a large percentage of the population has as their mother tongue another language, such as Tharu around Chitwan, Newari in the Kathmandu Valley, and Sherpa in the Everest area.
Although Nepal was never a British colony, proximity to India has made English somewhat widespread among educated Nepalis. Nevertheless learning even a few words of Nepali is fun and useful, especially outside of the tourist district and while trekking.As Asian languages go, Nepali has to be one of the easiest to learn, and the traveler making the effort isn't likely to make worse blunders than many natives with a different first language.
A disturbingly large number of Nepal’s mother tongues are severely endangered and will likely be reduced to symbolic identity markers within a generation. So why not try to pick up a few phrases!



The spectacular view from Annapurna Base Camp.
The spectacular view from Annapurna Base Camp.
A total of 101,320 trekkers visited Nepal in 2007. Out of total 60,237 (59.4%) visited Annapurna area while those visiting the Everest and Langtang regions accounted for 26,511 (26.5%) and 8,165 (8.1%) respectively.
"Tea-House Trekking" is the most easy way to trek as it doesn't require support. Tea Houses have now developed into full-scale tourist lodges with hot showers, pizza, pasta and beer. The day's hikes are between lodge-filled settlements or villages: there's no need for tents, food, water, or beer-- all those things, plus luxuries such as apple-pie, can be purchased along the way. Physical requirements go from very soft to strenuous.
Facilities available in remote areas are less extensive than in the more popular areas. It may be advisable to visit such regions with organised groups, including guide, porters and full support. Manaslu, Kanchenjunga, Dolpo, Mustang and Humla are in remote areas. Many of them require also special permits.

Annapurna Region Treks

Annapurna - North of Pokhara, from lush middle hills into high mountains.
  • Annapurna Circuit: A 2-3 week trek around the Annapurna mountains, leads up the Maryangdi river to Manang, over Thorung La (5400m) to the Hindu temples at Muktinath. Down the Kali Gandaki on the Jomsom trail- The last week of the Annapurna Circuit, done in the opposite direction. Known as the "Apple-Pie Trek" partly for crossing the apple growing region of Nepal, and partly for being one of the easier treks, enjoying Gurung and Thakali hospitality. Up through spring rhododendron blooms to Poon Hill for a dawn Himalayan vista. Another shorter but spectacular mini-circuit is the Nayapul-Ghandruk-Ghorepani-PoonHill-Nayapul route.
  • Annapurna Sanctuary: A trek up into the very heart of the range provides an awesome 360 degree high mountain skyline.

Everest Region Treks

Everest lies in the region known as Khumbu - To get here, take a bus to Jiri or fly to Lukla then hike up to Namche Bazzar, capital of the Sherpa lands at the foot of Everest. Main "teahouse trek" regions, in each of these areas there are a number of trail options, there is plenty of scope for short treks of less than a week to much longer if you have time and wanderlust.
  • Everest Base Camp Trek: Lukla to EBC, Stunning scenery, Wonderful Sherpa people. The most popular trek is up to Everest Base Camp and an ascent of Kalar Patar. Visit the Buddhist Tengboche monastery for the Mani Rimdu festival in November.
  • The 'Classic Everest Base Camp Trek': Jiri to EBC
  • Gokyo: Lukla to the sacred lakes of Gokyo. Explore the Gokyo valley with its sacred lakes and stupendous views of four 8000m peaks. Or a circuit of the region crossing the high passes or Cho La and Renjo La.
  • Numbur Cheese Circuit Trek through the largest cheese producing area, via the sacred lakes of Jata Pokhari and Panch Pokhari to Numburchuili base camp.
  • Island Peak Trek in the Everest region takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Himalayas. See 'Regions' - Khumbu
  • Pikey Cultural Trail
  • Dudh Kunda Cultural Trail

Trekking Peaks

Trekking Peaks require a qualified "climbing guide", permits and deposits to cover camp waste disposal
  • Island Peak Trek - The Island Peak trek in the Khumbu region takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Himalayas.
  • Mera Peak Climbing - Enjoy panoramic views of Mt. Everest (8,848 m; 29,030 ft), Cho-Oyu (8,201 m; 26,910 ft), Lhotse (8,516 m; 27,940 ft), Makalu (8463 m; 27,770 ft), Kangchenjunga (8,586 m; 28,170 ft), Nuptse (7,855 m; 25,770 ft), and Chamlang (7,319 m; 24,010 ft).

Langtang Region Treks

  • Helambu Langtang Trek: a short taxi ride from Thamel to the roadhead at Shivapuri leads to a trail through the middle-hills countryside of Helambu, either circuit around and return to Kathmandu or cross the pass to the sacred lake at Gosainkhund, descend and then hike up the Langtang valley beneath mountains that form the border with Tibet. Descend back to catch a bus on a rough road through Trisuli to Kathmandu.
  • Tamang Heritage Trail

Pro-Poor Rural Treks

Tourism is a dynamic sector of economy and accepting it as a vehicle of poverty reduction is a relatively new concept in Nepal. Nepal is a predominantly rural society, with 85% of the population living in the countryside. Naturally, Nepal’s rich culture and ethnic diversity are best experienced in its village communities. You can engage in local activities, learn how to cook local cuisine or take part in agricultural activities like kitchen gardening, etc.
According to the NTB rural tourism in Nepal focuses on "Village Trek" visits to indigenous people that “… will make tourists, experience rural life and Nepalese hospitality off the beaten path with all the beautiful scenery and cultural diversity of Nepal.”
In the rural Nepal context, pro-poor tourism means expanding employment and small enterprise opportunities especially pro-Indigenous Peoples, youth and pro-women. Recent pro-poor initiatives in Nepal include the UNDP-TRPAP [13] and ILO-EMPLED [14] projects.
Trekking on the Indigenous Peoples Trail and the Numbur Cheese Circuit is a means for Nepali as well as foreign visitors to experience the rural and traditional Nepali way of life, and for the local Community to participate in and benefit directly from tourism. You'll feel better knowing that your visit is genuinely helping your hosts. And if you want to simply lie on a beach.... well, The 'Majhi Fishing Experience' on the Sun Kosi in Ramechhap features one of the best beaches in Nepal!

'Ethno-Tourism' or Cultural Treks

Ethno-tourism is increasingly popular in Nepal and is designed to maximize social and economic benefits to the local communities and minimize negative impacts to cultural heritage and the environment. Ethno-tourism is a specialized type of cultural tourism and can be defined as any excursion which focuses on the works of humans rather than nature, and attempts to give the tourist an understanding of the lifestyles of local people.

Remote Treks

Other more remote regions will require a bit more planning and probably local assistance, not least as the required permits are only issued via Nepali guides/agents. Camping is required on one or more nights.
  • Kanchenjunga - far eastern Nepal, accessible via Taplejung (from Kathmandu 40min by plane, 40hrs by bus), a strenuous trek through sparsely populated country to the third highest mountain.
  • Dolpa - Upper Dolpa in northwestern Nepal beyond the highest Himalaya is the remote Land of the Bon, almost as Tibetan as Nepali. Lower Dolpa is more accessible and can me reached by plane
  • Manaslu - Unspoiled trails through remote villages and over a wild pass to circuit an 8000m mountain. The Manaslu massif rises above the old kingdom of Gorkha about halfway between Kathmandu and Pokhara.

Social Responsibility and Responsible Travel

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and hiring a local company will benefit the local economy, however the involvement of travel agents in Kathmandu must be approached with caution. The numbers of travel, trekking and Rafting agencies registered in 2007 were 1,078, 872 and 94 respectively. The rapid growth in tourism in Nepal coupled with the absence of a self-regulating code of conduct has helped to grow unhealthy competition among travel agents with regular undercutting in tariffs. Such undesirable actions take away benefits not only from trekking guides and porters but also from others engaged in supplying goods and providing services to the tourists. By paying lower tariffs tourists may save money but directly at the expense of local Communities. Try to use 'socially responsible' tour operators that promote proper porter treatment and cultural and environmental sensitivity among their clients in line with the UN-WTO Sustainable Tourism Criteria [15]
  • Organised Group Trekking or Independent Trekking?
While organized groups from "western" tour operators drain the big chunck of the profit out of the country, still organized groups hire a larger amount of local workforce from porters to guides. While with local agents most of the profit remains in the country. Groups are more likely to go remote areas, and rely as much as possible on local resources to minimize transport cost and hire maximum local porters. Cost of full organized tours might be also very high, depending on services.
In comparison, independent trekkers while concentrated on the main trails with Lodges, stay often longer also in one place with less budget. They usually use simpler lodges with less costs. They venture seldom in remote areas, as that would mean more expense or very basic local services which most try to avoid. While individual travellers may consume more locally easy producable services, they generally spend less than organized travellers on same trails simply because they often have longer travel periods with less budgets.
Safety and comfort are higher with organized tours, freedom of changing itinerary is the domain of the individual traveller. There is a full range of choice for any demand, just be sure to think about well what trekking means. For the hard core trekkers, no porter will ever carry, while for many to carry a 15-18 kg backpack might be just simple too much.
  • Tourism Concern and ACTSA are two UK-based organizations dedicated to encouraging community-based and fair-trade tourism in Nepal. Tourism Concern UK [16] publishes a list of those operators who are working with Tourism Concern's porters campaign, using or developing guidelines on porters' working conditions. Conversely there is also a list of UK tour operators who do not have, or have not demonstrated to Tourism Concern proof of policies on porters' rights and working conditions.
  • Keep working conditions and wages in mind when selecting a trekking company. For visitors from the west, hiring guides and porters is affordable and an extra few dollars can make a big impact in the life of a guide or porter. In order to feed themselves and their families, porters take on the job of carrying heavy loads to high elevations. Some of the problems porters face are underpayment by companies, not receiving the full amount of tip intended for them, inadequate clothing and gear, being forced to carry excess weight, insufficient food provision and poor sleeping facilities. Sometimes these issues leave porters open to illness and neglect on the mountain. As porters have no job security, they have little room for complaint.
  • There are a number of websites that facilitate direct contact with recommended trekking guides and porters. The standard wage for a porter is 500 NRs per day and you pay for food and accommodation (approx 200 NRs) or 700 NRs per day without food - Most porters prefer this arrangement as they may save a few rupees by staying with relatives along the trail!
  • The International Porter Protect Group’s (IPPG) [17] was set up in response to these issues, to improve health and safety for the trekking porter at work in the mountains and reduce the incidence of avoidable illness, injury and death. This is achieved by raising awareness of the issues among the trekking community and travel companies, leaders and sirdars. IPPG recommends the following guidelines that:
    • Adequate clothing is made available for protection in bad weather and at altitude. This should include adequate footwear, hat, gloves, windproof jacket and trousers, sunglasses, and access to a blanket and pad above the snowline.
    • Leaders and trekkers provide the same standard of medical care for porters they would expect themselves.
    • Porters must not be paid off because of illness without the leader or trekkers being informed.
    • Sick porters are never sent down alone, but rather with someone who speaks their language.
    • Sufficient funds are provided to sick porters to cover the cost of their land rescue and treatment. Also, we select strong and experienced porters!
    • All trekking porters should have provision for security, personal protective equipment including shoes and clothes, depending on the weather.
Other Trekking Companies and Information: NOTE: The Companies & individuals below are listed by individual editors for personal & business purpose, and do not represent government or Wikitravel recommendation.
  • Swan Valley Treks & Expeditions - [18] Is a small, personalized firm specializing in treks, tours & expedition in Nepal. They have also started tours with Nepals neighbours Tibet, Bhutan and India.
  • Navyo Nepal - Discover Asia [19], a female run company offers it's service mainly to European clients.
  • Mountain Sherpa Trekking & Expedition [20] is one of the reputable Local own Sherpa Trekking Company operating all Nepal trekking & tours as well as Tibet & Bhutan tours since 1980. This Company donates 20% of total profit for different orphanage, School & social organization Every Year.
  • A Local Village organization [21], Empowering Women, Children, provides Education, Health, Teaching, Local Development, Environment awareness, Volunteer Placement. Groups of Local People, Has charity trip and providing to you some charity trip to make village sustainable.
  • Austravel & Tours Nepal P. Ltd. [22] is socially responsible Tour & Trekking holiday operator in Nepal. Team of young and dynamic people headed by Mr. Rammani Khatiwada has vast experience in the service he offers. Contact to: info@trekandtournepal.comor call on +977 9841207303 for a reliable local agency on affordable price as well as a tribute to eco-tourism.
  • Friendship Nepal Tours [23] is a premier Tour Operator located Kathmandu, Nepal with highly trained team of individuals with over two decades of experience in the travel industry offers Tours and trekking in Nepal and inbound and outbound tour to Tibet, Sikkim, India and Bhutan.
  • One reliable and highly recommended trekking company is run by the very experienced Ngawang Sherpa:
  • Ker & Downey Nepal [24] Lodge to Lodge Trekking service provider in Annapurna Region. Has Trekking Lodges in Birethanti, Ghandrug, Dhampus and Majgaun in Lumle. Trekking and Rooms are available on advance booking.
  • Adarsha Nepal Adventure Tours and Travels [25] is a reliable adventure tour operator with expertise in Nepal and Tibet Travel.
  • Firante Treks & Expeditions Pvt Ltd [26] fully licensed Nepalese Adventure Company run by team of experts.
  • Ngawang Yonten Sherpa. An experienced guide and native of Solu Khumbu - many years of leading groups and organizing treks in the Everest Region:
  • Trekking With Shiva [27] offers adventure, nature and culture treks for groups and individuals to every region of Nepal. Phone: +977-9846040820,+977-61-462693
For your Full travel activites remember Unique EuroLines Travels and TOurs, Thamel KTM ,Phone-+977-1-4265358/4251957 or contact MR. Surya Prakash Tiwari. 9841446491
  • There is one trade union of Trekking guides and porters called UNITRAV ( Union of trekking travels rafting workers Nepal). They are only authorized trade union in this field. For more information please visit their site


Rafting trips for various durations and all levels of experience leave from Kathmandu and Pokhara. For detailed itineraries visit the Nepal Association of Rafting Agents [28]. The main rivers are:
  • Bhote Koshi
  • Kali Gandaki
  • Karnali
  • Seti
  • Sun Koshi
  • Trisuli
  • Arun
  • Tamor
  • Marshyangdi
  • Bheri

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking in Nepal is fun and at times challenging event. There are many popular biking routes in Nepal that are in operation at the moment. They are:
  • The Scar Road from Kathmandu starts from Balaju towards Kakani to Shivapuri ending in Budhanilkantha in northern Kathmandu.
  • Kathmandu to Dhulikhel starts from Koteshwor in Kathmandu to Bhaktapur to Banepa to Dhulikhel. You can also continue from Dhulikhel to Namobuddha to Panauti to Banepa.
  • The Back Door to Kathmandu starts from Panauti and heads to Lakuri Bhanjyang and then to Lubhu in Lalitpur ending near Patan.
  • Dhulikhel to the Tibetan Border starts in Dhulikhel and follows the Araniko Highway with a night stay on the way.
  • The Rajpath from Kathmandu starts from Kalanki in Kathmandu and follows the Prithvi Highway up to Naubise. Then Tribhuwan Highway route is taken with overnight stay in Daman. From there, ride downhill to Hetauda, with the option of heading towards Narayangarh or the Indian border.
  • Hetauda to Narayangarh and Mugling starts from Hetauda and heads along the Mahendra Highway to Narayangarh. You could take a detour to Sauraha near from Taandi.
  • Kathmandu to Pokhara starts from Kathmandu and traverses through Naubise, Mugling to Pokhara.
  • Pokhara to Sarangkot and Naudanda starts from Lakeside Pokhara and heads towards Sarangkot and from there towards Naudanda. From there, ride downhill towards the highway.
The best time to go for biking is between mid October and late March, when the atmosphere is clear the the climate is temperate - warm during the days and cool during the night. Biking in other times of the year is also okay but great care should be taken while biking during the monsoon season (June to September) as the roads are slippery. Biking can be done independently or can be organized through biking companies of Nepal.
You can rent mountain bikes from simple indian made to real good ones locally, but remember that if your'e going on a longer or harder ride, at least your own saddle would be a good option to bring. Rent goes from anywhere (november 2009) 3 (simple bike) to 30 US Dollars (western bikes with suspention).


Nepal's geography and climate makes for some of the best motorcycling roads in the world. The traffic is a little chaotic, but not aggressive, and the speeds are low. Be aware that you need an international driving licence in Nepal, even do you might never be stopped by the police as a tourist on a bike.
Perhaps the best and most original way to explore the country is by motorcycle. Kathmandu should be avoided by beginners, but the rest of Nepal is simply amazing. Hearts and Tears Motorcycle Club in Pokhara is run by a European couple with experience on the race track and around the world. They specialise in teaching and touring, and have a great collection of custom bikes. It's a professional set-up with imported safety equipment, structured training, and well organised group tours.

Jungle Safari

Royal Chitwan National Park offers elephant rides, jungle canoeing, nature walks, and birding, as well as more adventurous tiger and rhino-viewing.

Trance Parties

"The Last Resort", near the Tibetan border, has frequent Full Moon Trance Parties, lasting 2-3 days. Watch for posters and check music shops. Pokhara has started featuring its own brand of Full Moon raves and interesting Western takes on Nepali festivals.
Mountain Madness Trance Festival is located on the top of Lubu hill overseeing the Himalayas & Kathmandu valley which is 1 ½ hour drive from Thamel.


There are banks in Kathmandu, Pokhara and in several other major cities that will allow you to retrieve cash from ATM or credit cards. You may be charged a service fee, depending on your bank. There are quite a number of ATMs now in those cities that are open round the clock. Although Indian currency is valid in Nepal, the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes are not acceptable. Carrying 500- and 1000-Indian rupee notes is a punishable offence in Nepal. Be sure to keep all currency exchange and ATM receipts as they are required at the airport bank to convert back to your original currency. If you don't have them, they will refuse to convert your currency but they will suggest going to the Duty Free shop upstairs, eventhough it isn't a licensed money changer. Traveller's checks may be useful outside of the major cities.


The Nepali national meal is daal bhaat tarkaari. It is essentially spiced lentils poured over boiled rice, and served with tarkari: vegetables such as mustard greens, daikon radish, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, squash etc, cooked with spices. This is served in most Nepalese homes and teahouses, two meals a day at about 10 AM and 7 or 8 PM. If rice is scarce the grain part may be cornmeal mush called Ato, barley, or chapatis (whole wheat 'tortillas'). The meal may be accompanied by dahi (yogurt) and a small helping of ultra-spicy fresh chutney or achar (pickle). Traditionally this meal is eaten with the right hand. Curried meat -- goat or chicken -- is an occasional luxury, and freshwater fish is often available near near lakes and rivers. Because Hindus hold cattle to be sacred, beef is forbidden. Buffalo and yak are eaten by some but considered too cow-like by others. Pork is eaten by some tribes, but not by upper-caste Hindus. And like in India, some communities and tribes are vegetarians and do not eat meat of any sort.
Outside the main morning and evening meals, a variety of snacks may be available. Tea, made with milk and sugar is certainly a pick-me-up. Corn may be heated and partially popped, although it really isn't popcorn. This is called "kha-ja", meaning "eat and run!" Rice may be heated and crushed into "chiura" resembling uncooked oatmeal that can be eaten with yogurt, hot milk and sugar, or other flavorings. Fritters called 'pakora' and turnovers called "samosa" can sometimes be found, as can sweets made from sugar, milk, fried batter, sugar cane juice, etc. Be sure such delicacies are either freshly cooked or have been protected from flies. Otherwise flies land in the human waste that is everywhere in the streets, then on your food, and so you become a walking medical textbook of gastrological conditions.
Because of the multi-ethnic nature of Nepali society, differing degrees of adherence to Hindu dietary norms, and the extreme range of climates and microclimates throughout the country, different ethnic communities often have their own specialties.
Newars, an ethnic group originally living in the Kathmandu Valley, are connoisseurs of great foods who lament that feasting is their downfall (whereas sexual indulgence is said to be the downfall of Paharis). In the fertile Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys this cuisine often includes a greater variety of foodstuffs -- particularly vegetables -- than what are available in most of the hills. As such, Newari cuisine is quite distinct and diverse relatively compared to the other indigenous regional cuisines of Nepal, so watch out for Newari restaurants. Some of them even come with cultural shows...a great way to enjoy good food while having a crash-course in Nepalese culture.
The cuisine of the Terai lowlands is almost the same as in adjacent parts of India. Locally-grown tropical fruits are sold alongside subtropical and temperate temperate crops from the hills. In addition to bananas ('kera') and papayas ('mewa') familiar to travelers, jackfruit ('katar') is a local delicacy.
Some dishes, particularly in the Himalayan region, are Tibetan in origin and not at all spicy. Some dishes to look for include momos, a meat or vegetable filled dumpling (similar to Chinese pot-stickers) often served with beer, and Tibetan Bread and Honey a puffy fried bread with heavy raw honey that's great for breakfast. One delicacy that you do not want to miss while in Nepal is the dried meat (it especially complements with beer/alcoholic beverages. Up in the Himalayan mountains, potatoes are the staple of the Sherpa people. Try the local dish of potato pancakes (rikikul). They are delicious eaten straight off the griddle and covered with dzo (female yak) butter or cheese.
Pizza, Mexican, Thai and Chinese food, and Middle-Eastern food can all be found in the tourist districts of Kathmandu and Pokhara. If you are on a budget, sticking with local dishes will save a lot of money.
Note that many small restaurants are not prepared to cook several different dishes; try to stick with one or two dishes or you will find yourself waiting as the cook tries to make one after another on a one-burner stove.
As far as possible, eat only Nepali village products. Do not eat junk foods like biscuits, noodles etc. If you take only village product foods, it will help to rise their economic life.


  • Raksi is a clear liquid, similar to tequila in alcohol content. It is usually brewed "in house", resulting in a variation in its taste and strength. This is by far the least expensive drink in the country. It is often served on special occasions in small, unbaked clay cups that hold less than a shot. It works great as a mixer in juice or soda. Note that it may appear on menus as "Nepali wine".
  • Jaand (Nepali) or chyaang (Tibetan) is a cloudy, moderately alcoholic drink sometimes called Nepali beer". While weaker than raksi, it will still have quite an effect. This is often offered to guests in Nepali homes, and is diluted with water. For your safety, be sure to ask your guests if the water has been sanitized before drinking this beverage.
  • Beer production in Nepal is a growing industry. Some local beers are now also exported, and the quality of beer has reached to quite international standards International brands are popular in the urban areas.
  • Cocktails can pretty much only be found in Kathmandu and Pokhara's tourist areas. There you can get watered-down "two for one drinks" at a variety of pubs, restaurants, and sports bars.
Tea: Although not as internationally famous as Indian brands, Nepal does in fact have a large tea growing industry. Most plantations are located in the east of the country and the type of tea grown is very similar to that produced in neighboring Darjeeling. Well known varieties are Dhankuta, Illam, Jhapa, Terathhum and Panchthar (all named after their growing regions). Unfortunately over 70% of Nepal's tea is exported and the tea's you see for sale in Thamel, while they serve as token mementos, are merely the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel.
  • Chya is a tea drink with added milk and also sometimes containing ginger and spices such as cardamom.
  • Suja. Salty tea made with milk and butter - only available in areas inhabited by Tibetans, Sherpas and a few other Himalayan people.
  • Herbal teas. Most herbal teas are made from wild flowers from the Solu Khumbu region. In Kathmandu, these teas are generally only served in high class establishments or those run by Sherpas from the Solu Khumbu.
Water: Problematic due to lack of sanitary facilities and sewage treatment. It is safest to assume water is unsafe for drinking without being chemically treated or boiled, which is one reason to stick to tea.


Budget accommodation in Nepal ranges from around 250 NPR to around 750 NPR for a double. Cheaper rooms usually do not have sheets, blankets, towels, or anything else besides a bed and a door. Most budget hotels and guesthouses have a wide range of rooms, so be sure to see what you are getting, even if you have stayed there before. Accommodations will often be the cheapest part of your budget in Nepal.
  • Yoga & Meditation
- The Himalayan Buddhist Meditation Center (HBMC)[29] for Tibetan Buddhist studies is an urban center in Thamel for meditation, study, and spiritual practice. The Center hosts daily yoga classes (9AM-10AM 300NRs) and evening meditation classes. -Nepal Vipassana Centers. Vipassana Meditation as taught by S. N. Goenka. - Osho Tapoban International Commune and Forest Retreat Center located in the dense forest of the Nagarjun Hills in the Outskirts of Kathmandu holds regular Osho meditations with weekend, monthy 1 to 7 days meditation events.
  • Massage
- Foot Fetish (9851032715) Proprietor Liza and friendly staff in Thamel offers reflexology (600NRs) Thai Massage (700NRs) and Ayurvedic Massage (1200NRs). - The Healing Hands Center [30]. Classes in Ancient Massage / Thai Massage. Five-day course, ten-day course and one-month professional course every month.
  • Nepali
  • Motorcycling Professional training with Hearts and Tears Motorcycle Club in Pokhara
  • Buddhism
- Kopan Monastery [31] offers an extensive library with books in several languages as well as an audio and video library. Full board and accommodation is available to visitors throughout the year at a very reasonable cost. The income generated through this form an important part of the income of the monastery, and help in providing free facilities to all the monks and nuns. - Rangjung Yeshe Institute [32]. An international institute for Buddhist higher studies in Boudhanath, Nepal, modeled on a traditional Tibetan Shedra.
  • Thangka Painting
Tsering Art School[33] offers a professional Thangka Painting Course. A minimum study period of 3 months a year for 3 years is recommended.Due to the sacred nature of this art form, those who wish to study here must have taken refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and consider themselves to be Buddhist. There are no boarding facilities offered at the Tsering Art School for foreign students. The school fees are 1,600 Nrs per month. Basic drawing and painting implements are required and can be purchased in Nepal. For study enquiries and enrolments please contact the school administrator, Miss Lobsang Dolma by email on:


Volunteer in Nepal

Volunteering in Nepal can be a rewarding alternative to simple tourism. Currently in Nepal, the tourism industry is far removed from the everyday village life of most of the population. Trekking or package tours often move too quickly through the country to provide an appreciation of the natural beauty and diverse cultures. Volunteering is sometimes the only way to see remote areas outside the Kathmandu Valley and well-trod trekking trails.
Unfortunately, volunteer tourism has mostly become more profitable than real tourism. Foreign operators and Nepali agents have found an inexhaustible supply of well-meaning but naieve people who will pay big money to "volunteer" in Thamel, Lakeside and Chitwan.
Teaching English is a popular project for volunteers and is often combined with courses in computer literacy or health and physical education. The Nepali school system, which many children only attend for a few years, requires English fluency so there is always a demand for native English speakers of all ages, races, and nationalities. There are no prerequisites for teaching beyond English fluency and, in some programs, any university level degree.
There are many options for finding volunteer opportunities. Several international organizations will find you a project, room, and boarding - either at the school or with a local family - for a fee. This fee can range from 500 USD to 2000 USD depending on the type and length of program. Often only little of the money will go to the school and host family, often they are too poor even to support a volunteer, the bulk often goes however to the agency. In some cases the agency will provide language and culture lessons as well as general teaching supplies and support. Once you make a deposit on a particular program there may be limited options for change. Programs can last from two weeks to six months, but keep in mind the longer stay is more rewarding for both you and the school, as it can take several weeks to get into the swing of things. Above all, examine carefully how your money is spend and who really benefits.
An alternative to paid placement is to find a local, grassroots program, or to contact schools directly in Kathmandu when you arrive. Local hostels and restaurants usually have bulletin boards full of requests for volunteers. More and more local groups are placing ads on the web as well. These programs are more likely to charge only for room & board, but you will need to do some research to find out the specifics of each group and what, if any, support you will receive. Waiting until you arrive also lets you get to know the areas you can volunteer in and allows you to shop around for a situation that best suits you. These placements tend to be longer term (3-6 months), but this is always negotiable with a specific school or project.

Stay safe

There are strikes ("bandas") and demonstrations to contend with. Businesses close and transportation halts. Ask about strikes at your hotel and make sure you have enough money to last. Food and water are still available in hotels, and much business goes on behind closed doors. Rallies and demonstrations are routinely charged by police wielding laathis or long sticks. Tourists should keep a low profile, and to avoid confrontations.
The Maoist insurgency ended in 2006 after they signed comprehensive peace agreement with the government. Their combatants are still in camps (as of September 2008) with their future to be decided by the government. The former rebels are now leading the government and their activists on the ground have not harassed the tourists. The trekking routes and other tourist destinations are safe for travel [34]. If your country has an embassy or consulate in Nepal, let them know your whereabouts and plans, and at least listen seriously to any cautionary advice they offer.
Nepal's cities are safer than most. Even pickpockets are rare. Still, don't flash cash or make ostentatious displays of wealth, out of respect for the nonmaterialistic reality of the people.
Be cautious about transportation. Roads are narrow, steep, winding and frequently crowded. Seatbelts are an aberration. If you read the papers regularly, you may notice articles about busloads of people falling into gorges.
Scheduled flights are safer than the roads, but planes occasionally fly into clouds and find mountains. The risks are greatest before and during the monsoon season when the mountains are usually clouded over. Helicopters may be better at avoiding this, but sometimes crash due to mechanical complexity and dubious maintenance. If you are flying with a company that has no pilots older than 30, you might wonder why. Aviation was already fairly well developed by the 1960s; where have all the old pilots gone?
Nevertheless if you should be seriously injured or sick out where there are no motorable roads or airports, medical evacuation by helicopter may be your last best chance. This can get very expensive. If there is no firm guarantee that the bill will be paid, companies offering these services may demur, so look into insurance covering medical evacuations. Also ask if your embassy or consulate guarantees payment; another reason for introducing yourself, even if they seem a bit stuffy.
  • Minimizing gastrointestinal problems - Since most of Nepal still gets along without modern sanitation, these are endemic. They range from self-limiting attacks of diarrhea where dehydration is the main risk, through intestinal parasites, amoebic dysentery and giardiasis which are chronic without proper medical treatment, to immediately life-threatening infections like cholera and typhoid. Habituation even to common intestinal flora generally takes about a year and many unpleasant bouts of stomach problems, so tourists contemplating shorter stays should take extensive precautions. Filter or treat your own water, use bottled water, checking to make sure lid is sealed (limit use of bottled water since there's no place to dispose of the used bottles) or stick with beverages made from water that has been thoroughly boiled and filtered. Tea or coffee from cafes catering to tourists are 'generally' safe.
    • When trekking carry iodine or other chemical means of treating water and be sure to follow directions, i.e. don't drink the water before the specified time interval to ensure that resistant cysts are deactivated. In trailside teashops, although glasses may be washed in questionable water, tea is made by pouring boiling water through tea dust into your glass. The chances of disease-causing organisms surviving that are small but not zero.
    • Brush teeth with prepared drinking water and avoid water entering the mouth when showering.
    • Salads, especially in the wet season, should be treated as a suspect.
    • Wash hands regularly and especially before eating.
    • Thoroughly wash fruit and vegetables for raw consumption using boiled and filtered water. Also consider peeling them.
    • Look for freshly-cooked food and avoid anything that has been cooked and then left sitting around without refridgeration (which can expose you to a buildup of bacterial toxins), or without protection from flies (which can transfer disease organisms and parasite eggs to the food).
    • Also see the Food poisoning article.
  • Get vaccinated and consider prophylactic treatment. You may be exposed to typhoid, cholera, hepatitis malaria, and possibly even rabies. Read the article on Tropical diseases and review travel plans with your health care provider.
  • Practice safe sex or do without. Nepali women are sought after in India and the Middle East and so there is human trafficking. Victims may be allowed to return home when health issues become a liability, then continue 'working' as long as possible. The incidence of STDs is rising and the government has not always been proactive about treatment and promoting awareness. Unless your Nepali is extremely fluent, your chances of finding out about a prospective partner's sexual history are slim.
  • Altitude sickness Permanent snow lines are between 5,500 m and 5,800 m (18,000 ft and 19,000 ft), so base camps and passes in the Himalaya are usually higher than Mount Blanc or Mount Whitney. This puts even experienced mountain climbers at risk of altitude-related medical conditions that can be life-threatening. Risks can be minimized by choosing routes that don't go high, such as Pokhara-Jomosom, or routes and trekking companies where gamow bags or other treatment are available, and by sleeping not more than 300 m (1,000 ft) higher per day. According to the "climb high, sleep low" mantra, it is good to take daytime conditioning hikes that push acclimation, then to return to a more reasonable elevation at night.
  • Hypothermia is a risk, especially if you are trekking in spring, autumn or winter to avoid heat at low elevations. When it is a comfortable 30°C (85°F) in the Terai, it is likely to be in the teens Fahrenheit or -10°C (14°F) at that base camp or high pass. Either be prepared to hike and sleep in these temperatures (and make sure your comrades, guides and porters are equally prepared), or choose a trek that doesn't go high. For example, at 3,000 m (10,000 ft) expect daytime temperatures in the 40s Fahrenheit or 5 to 10°C.
  • Rabies - Dogs are not vaccinated and catch this fatal disease from other dogs or wild animals with some regularity. All mammals are potentially vulnerable. Dogs are considered ritually polluting and are widely abused, so it can be impossible to know whether a dog bit you because it is paranoid about people or because it is rabid. You should be vaccinated against rabies before going to Nepal, but this is not absolute protection. Be on the lookout for mammals acting disoriented or hostile and stay as far away as possible. Do not pet dogs, cats or pigs no matter how cute. Keep a distance from monkeys, especially in places like the Monkey Temple in Kathmandu. If bitten or exposed to saliva, seek medical attention. You may need an extended series of injections that provides a higher level of protection than routine vaccination.
  • Snakebite - The risk is greatest in warm weather and at elevations below 5,000 ft (1,500 m). Poisonous snakes are fairly common and cause thousands of deaths annually. Local people may be able to differentiate poisonous and non-poisonous species. Cobras raise their bodies in the air and spread their hoods when annoyed; itinerant snake charmers are likely to have specimens for your edification. Vipers have triangular heads and may have thick bodies like venomous snakes in North America. Kraits may be the most dangerous due to innocuous appearance and extremely potent neurotoxin venom. Kraits are strangely passive in daylight but become active at night, especially around dwellings where they hunt rodents. Krait bites may be initially painless, causing only numbness. However without proper antivenin numbness can progress to deadly paralysis, even with bites from small, seemingly harmless specimens. Wearing proper shoes and pants rather than sandals and shorts provides some protection. Watch where you put your feet and hands, and use a flashlight when walking outside at night. Sleeping on elevated beds and on second stories helps protect against nocturnal kraits.


Greet people with a warm Namaste (or "Namaskar" to an older or high-status person) with palms together, fingers up. Show marked respect to elders. Be friendly, be patient.
Feet are considered dirty. Don't point the bottoms of your feet (or your bum!) at people, or at religious icons. In this vein, be sure not to step over a person who may be seated or lying on the ground. Be sensitive to when it is proper to remove your hat or shoes.
The left hand is considered unclean because it is used to wash after defecating. Nepalis carry a small jug (called a lota) of water for this purpose in lieu of toilet paper. It would be insulting to touch anyone with this hand.
Accept tea.
Circumambulate temples, chortens, stupas, mani walls, etc. clockwise. (ie, with your right side closest to the object or respect)
When haggling over prices, smile, laugh, and be friendly. Be prepared to allow a reasonable profit. Don't insult fine craftsmanship, it's much better to lament that you are too poor to afford such princely quality.
Many Hindu temples do not allow non-Hindus inside certain parts of the temple complex. Be aware and respectful of this fact, as these are places of worship, not tourist attractions.
Being a non-Hindu makes you moderately low caste, but not an untouchable. Avoid touching containers of water; let someone pour it into your drinking container. Likewise avoid touching food that others will be eating. Make sure you are invited before entering someone's house. You may only be welcome on the outer porch, or in the yard.
Wash hands before and after eating. Touch food only with the right hand. The left hand can be used to hold glasses, bowls, and probably eating utensils. Outside the main cities, be prepared to eat rice meals with your (right) hand as Nepalis do, or bring along a fork and spoon.


The use of email is growing, although its avaliability is most widespread in Kathmandu (especially in Thamel and around the Boudha Stupa in Boudhanath) or Pokhara. However, Namche, in the the Everest region, has several internet cafes that use satellite connections, but the cost is more that us$2/min compared to 30NRs than in Kathmandu . Mail can be received at many guesthouses or at Everest Postal Care, opposite Fire & Ice on Tri Devi MAag. Phone calls are best made from any of the international phone offices in Kathmandu-- Voice over Internet (VOI) is usually 1-2 NRs/min.
Mero Mobile SIM cards can be purchased for 550NRs in Kathmandu and most major towns. .You will need to bring a passport photo, fill in a form and have your passport and visa page photocopied.^ You need to upgrade your Flash Player .
  • Joshua Project - Ethnic People Groups of Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Try to buy the SIM card at a shop owned by the phone company as if you buy it from a corner shop it can take some time for the card to be activated, despite promises that it will be done in " a couple of hours" .
The standard Nepalese electrical outlet is a three-pronged triangle, but some have been retrofitted to accept US and European plugs. Simple adapters can be purchased inexpensively, around 80NRs, in Kathmandu to change the shape of the plug (but not the voltage of the electricity!); some have fuses built in.
  • By motorcycle - For foreigners it is easy to buy an indian registered bike, ride it to India and sell it at the end of the trip. Himalayan Enfields nest to the Israeli embassy has good deals, approx 20,000 - 35,000 NRs for a 350cc. For the more adventurous, a Nepali registered bike can be ridden around the world - or shipped back home for us$200-350.
  • Mount Kailash - Actually in Tibet, a short distance beyond the NW corner of Nepal. Hindu and Buddhist cosmology describes the cosmos as a central mountain, Mount Meru, surrounded by the earth's continents and seas, then by the rest of the universe. Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple complex is actually an architectural representation of this schema. As geographical knowledge developed, Mount Kailas was proclaimed the physical manifestation of Mount Meru. Factually it is the hydrologic hub of the subcontinent. The Karnali, Sutlej Indus and Brahmaputra rivers all begin near this mountain. Hindus and Buddhists gain religious merit by circumambulating the mountain.
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

.NEPAL, Nepaul or Nipal, an independent state, situated on the north-eastern frontier of India, lying between 80° 15' and 88° 10' E., and 26° 20' and 30° io' N.; area, 54,000 sq.^ There were approximately 10 independent, domestic human rights NGOs, including the Human Rights Organization of Nepal, INSEC, the INHURED, and the Human Rights and Peace Society.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

^ According to UNAIDS, 10,000 of these cases are among women ages 15 to 49, and 930 are among children ages 0 to 15.

^ Dialects : Differences in speech between Nepal and India dialects.
  • Ethnologue report for Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: General]

m. Its. extreme length is about 525 m., and its breadth varies from 90 to 140 m. It is bounded on the N. by Tibet; on the E. by Sikkim; on the S. by Bengal and the United Provinces; and on the W. by Kumaon, from which it is separated by the Kali river. Its population is estimated by the natives at about 5,200,000, the common phrase used by the rulers in speaking_ of popular opinion being, "but what will the Bawan (i.e. fifty two) Lakh say to this." Nepal consists physically of two distinct territories: (I) the tarai, or strip of level, cultivated and forest land lying along the southern border; and (2) the great mountainous tract stretching northwards to Tibet. Along the northern frontier stand many of the highest peaks of the Himalayan range, such as Dhaulagiri (26,837 ft.), Mutsiputra, Gaurishankar and Yasa (24,000), Gosain Than (26,313), Mount Everest (29,002 according to the survey value), Kinchinjunga (28,146), and numerous peaks varying from 20,000 to 24,000 ft. In clear weather this magnificent snowy range may be seen in an almost continuous line from the top of some of the lower ranges near Katmandu. South of these are numerous parallel lower ranges, varying from 16,000 to 6000 ft. in height, which are broken up at intervals by cross ranges, thus forming a series of glens with a few hill-girt valleys interspersed.
These mountain ranges determine the course of the rivers, which are divided by the cross ranges into four groups. The first of these extends from Kumaon eastward as far as Dhaulagiri, and consists of the affluents of the Kali (Sarda), Sarju, Kurnali, Eastern Sarju, and Rapti, all of which ultimately form the Gogra or Gogari, and flow into the Ganges. The second group, known to the Nepalese as the Sapt Gandaki, rises from the peaks between Dhaulagiri and Gosain Than, and unite at Trebeni Ghat to form the Gandak. .The third is a group of smaller rivers draining the great valley of Nepal, the valleys of Chitlong, Benepa, and Panouti, and portions, of the tarai around the Churiaghati range of hills.^ Sagarmatha zone, north Khotang District, hills near the middle of the Rawakhola Valley, Baksila, Saptesvara abutting Rava and Tap rivers near the confluence and upriver.
  • Ethnologue report for Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: General]

^ Dhaulagiri zone, Mustang District, north central upper Kali Gandaki River area; high valleys north of the middle-range Thakali, Gurung and Magar areas.
  • Ethnologue report for Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: General]

These are the various branches of the Bara Gandak, the lesser Rapti, the Bagmati and Kumla. .East of this again is the fourth group, known to the Nepalese as the Sapt Kosi, rising from the peaks between Gosain.^ Kosi zone, Dhankuta District, north of the Tamur, between the Dhankutakhola in the west and the Tangkhuwa in the east; Dhankuta and Bhirgaon panchayats.
  • Ethnologue report for Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: General]

Than and Kinchinjunga, and uniting to form the Soon Kosi, which falls into the Ganges.
There is thus a natural division of the country into four portions. The most western is the country of the Baisi (or twenty-two) rajas,. and contains the towns of Jumla, Doti and Sulliana. The second is the country of the Chaubisi (or twenty-four) rajas, and contains the towns of Malebum, Palpa, Gurkha and Noakote. .The third is the district containing Nepal proper, with the capital and many large towns to be mentioned afterwards.^ STATUS REPORT: The large size of Nepal's population relative to its resource base, and its high growth rate are at the root of many environmental problems in Nepal.
  • Country Profile - Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Academic]

.The fourth is the eastern portion of Nepal, comprising the country of the Kiratis, and many small towns, such as Dhankota, Ilam and Bijapur.^ Bhutanese refugees, numbering approximately 107,000, were required to live in seven camps in the eastern portion of the country.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

Table of contents

Route into Nepa

.The portion of Nepal, exclusive of the tarai, which is open to Europeans is the "valley of Nepal," containing the capital of the country, and a few adjacent smaller valleys.^ Nepal may be among the few countries in the world where farmers use traditional botanical pesticides with considerable success in crop protection.
  • Country Profile - Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Academic]

.There is only one means of access open to Europeans, and this indeed is in general resorted to by the natives, as the other routes to the capital are longer and far more difficult.^ The law mandates access to buildings, transportation, employment, education, and other state services, but these provisions generally were not enforced.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

The road runs nearly north from Segauli, passing through the tarai and sal forests, to Bhichhkhori; then through the beds of mountain streams, through a pass in the Churiyaghati range, and through another sal forest, to Hetoura; thence by a wide and good road to Bhimphedi at the foot of the Sisaghari range of hills. So far the route is practicable for carts and baggage animals, but from this point the road is a mere rugged footpath over the Sisaghari Pass, through the Chitlong valley and over the Chandragiri range. The distance from Segauli to Katmandu is 90 m.
.The valley in extreme length from east to west is about 26 m., and in breadth from north to south about 15. The surrounding hills vary in height from 6000 to 9720 ft., the level of the valley itself being about 4500 ft.^ Upper ridges south and east of Rawakhola Valley and adjoining ridges northeast at middle Arun River headwaters (main tributaries).
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^ Koshi zone, Dhankuta District, south of the Tamorkhola, between the Jaruwakhola east and the Raghuwkhola west, Bodhe, Maunabuduke, and Rajarani panchayats.
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^ Northern Yakha is in south Sankhuwasawa District and adjoining strip of land in extreme north Dhankuta District; Southern Yakha in Dhankuta District; Eastern Yakha in Mechi zone, Ilam and Panchthar districts.
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above the sea. Tradition has it that Nepal was once a lake, and appearances are in favour of this view. .It is crossed from east to west by a low limestone range, through which the waters have gradually forced a passage, and in like manner the collected rivers have escaped at the south-east corner of the valley.^ From October 2006 to September MWCSW conducted pilot projects at two border crossings, Jhapa in the east and Rupandehi in the west, to combat trafficking.
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There are three principal streams, the Bagmati, Vishnumati, and Manohora, besides many small tributaries of these. .All the rivers rise within the valley, except the Bagmati, which springs from the northern side of the Shiupuri peak, and enters the valley through a ravine at the north-east corner.^ Gandaki zone, East Tanahun District, south side of Chimkesori Peak, behind Yangchok, near the Magar.
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^ To the south, the Jaljale Himal east of the Arun and the Apsuwakhola west of the Arun; north as far as Leksuwakhola and Barun rivers.
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^ East, Koshi zone, Sankhuwasabha District, upper Arun Valley east of the river.
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They all unite and pass through a long narrow gorge in the limestone range, already mentioned, at Chobhar, and ultimately escape from the valley at Kotwaldar.


In and around the Nepal valley, as in India, the year may be divided into the rainy, cold and hot seasons. The rains begin in June and last till October, but the fall is not so heavy or continuous as in the plains of Hindustan. The cold season extends from the middle of October to the middle of April. During these months the climate is delicious. Hoar-frost and thin ice are common in the mornings, and the thermometer sometimes falls as low as 25° Fahr., but the days are bright and warm. From Christmas to the end of February there are occasional showers of rain; and snow falls on the surrounding low ranges, but is very rarely seen in the valley itself. From April to the beginning of the rains is the hot season, but the thermometer seldom reaches 85° in the shade. The result of observations extending over many years gives an average mean temperature of 60° Fahr., and an annual rainfall of about 60 in. Violent thunderstorms are not uncommon, and occasionally severe earthquakes occur, as in 1833 and 1866.

Flora and Fauna

In a country possessing such a range of altitudes the flora and fauna are of course very varied. For descriptive purposes, Nepal may again be divided into three zones. These are - (I) the tarai and lower ranges of hills up to 4000 ft. in height; .(2) the central ranges and high-lying valleys, up to Io,000 ft.; and (3) the alpine region, from Io,000 to 29,000 ft.^ Dhaulagiri zone, Mustang District, north central upper Kali Gandaki River area; high valleys north of the middle-range Thakali, Gurung and Magar areas.
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in height. These zones are not, however, sharply defined, as the climate varies according to the latitude, the height of intermediate ranges, and the depth of the valleys; so that tropical plants and animals are sometimes found far in the interior, and the more northern species descend along the loftier spurs into the southern zones.
The low alluvial land of the tarai is well adapted for cultivation, and is, so to speak, the granary of Nepal; but owing to scantiness of population and other causes the greater portion of it consists of swamps, jungles and forests. Considerable stretches of land are, however, being reclaimed from year to year. The productions here are those of British India - cotton, rice, wheat, pulse, sugar-cane, tobacco, opium, indigo, and the fruits and vegetables familiar in the plains of India. The forests yield a magnificent supply of sal, sisii, and other valuable forest trees; and the jungles abound with acacias, mimosas, cotton tree (Bombax), dak (Butea frondosa), large bamboos, rattans, palms, and numerous ferns and orchids. On the Churiaghati range the common Pinus longifolia grows freely. Tea can be grown at a height of from 2000 to 4000 ft. The middle zone supplies rice, wheat, maize, barley, oats, ginger, turmeric, chillies, potatoes, Cucurbitaceae, pineapples, and many varieties of European fruits, vegetables and flowers. The forests contain tree rhododendrons, Pinus longifolia, oaks, horse-chestnuts, walnuts, maples, hill bamboos, wild cherry, pear, allies of the tea plant, paper plants (Daphne), roses, and many other inhabitants of temperate climes, with various orchids, ferns and wild flowers. In the alpine zone exist Coniferae of many kinds, junipers, yew, box, hollies, birch, dwarf rhododendrons and the usual alpine flora.
The wild animals follow a similar distribution, and the following typical species may be mentioned. In the lowest zone are found the tiger, leopard, wolf, hyena and jackal, the elephant and rhinoceros, the gaur (Gavaeus gaurus), gayal (Gavaeus frontalis), wild buffalo or arna, many species of deer, and the black bear (Ursus labiatus). Among the birds are found the pea-fowl, francolins, wild jungle fowl, and the smaller vultures, &c. In the middle zone there are the leopard, the Himalayan black bear (Ursus tibetanus), the wild dog, cats of many sorts, squirrels, hares, porcupines, the pangolin, and some species of deer and antelope. Among the birds are the larger vultures and eagles, pheasants (Gallophasis), chukor, hill partridges, &c. In the alpine zone are found the true bear (Ursus isabellinus, or brown bear), the yak, musk deer, wild goats and sheep, marmots, &c. Among the birds are the eagle-vulture (Gypaetus), the blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus), snow pheasant (Tetraogallus himalayensis), snow partridge (Lerwa nivicola), the horned pheasant (Ceriornis saiyra), crested pheasant (Catrens wallichi). &c. Geese, ducks, waders of all sorts, and other migratory birds are found in abundance in the two lower zones.


The lowest zone in some directions abounds in fossils; and deposits of lignite, and even of true coal, are met with, the latter notably at a spot south of Palpa. The middle zone is rich in limestone and marbles, and abounds with minerals, such as iron, copper, zinc, lead and sulphur. .Copper is found near the surface in many places, and there are remains of mines both at Markhu and in the great valley of Nepal.^ STATUS REPORT: There is a great diversity in the nature of different geographical regions of Nepal.
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^ Nepal being a mountainous country, combating desertification is a matter of great concern both in developmental activities as well as in regional cooperation.
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Mineral springs, both hot and cold, are numerous. Traces of silver, and also of gold, have been found in the alpine zone.


The races occupying Nepal are of mixed Mongol. origin. To the north, inhabiting the higher mountains and valleys, dwell the Bhutias or Tibetans. To the west lie the Gurungs and Magars. .The Murmis, Gurkhalis and Newars occupy the central parts; and the Kiratis, Limbus and Lepchas occupy the eastern districts.^ Bagmati zone, west Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Dhading; Gandaki zone, parts of Gorkha District; districts west and possibly southwest, central mountainous strip.
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^ Central-Eastern in Bagmati zone, Kabhre District, west Sindhupalchowk, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, east Nuwakot districts, and districts south of those.
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There are also Brahmans and Chhatris in the hills. .Besides these there are many small tribes residing in the tarai and some other malarious districts, known as Kumhas, Tharus, Manjis, &c., but generally classed together by the Nepalese as Aoulias, or dwellers in the malarious or aoul districts.^ Maoist extortion and pressure forced private schools, orphanages, and other institutions to close or alter schedules in some districts.
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^ Some of these NGOs had branch offices providing similar services in other districts.
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These are probable descendants of immigrants from the lower castes of Hindus, occupying the borderlands of the tarai. Among the forests of the lower eastern region are also to be found some small savage tribes, known as Chepangs and Kusundas.
All the races except the Aoulias are of a decidedly Mongolian appearance, being generally short and robust, and having flat faces, oblique eyes, yellow complexions, straight black hair, and comparatively hairless faces. .The Newars, according to the Vamcavali or native history, trace their descent from the races of southern India, but this is rendered more than doubtful by both their appearance and language.^ There were more than 75 ethnic groups that spoke 50 different languages.
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^ Rumdali is best understood among all Bahing dialects (Lee et al 2005); Bahing is more homogeneous than most Kiranti languages.
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The Gurkhalis (Gurkhas or Ghurkhas) are descendants of the Brahmans and Rajputs who were driven out of Hindostan by the Moslems, and took refuge in the western hilly lands, where they ultimately became dominant, and where they have become much mixed with the other races by intermarriage.


.The Bhutias, Newars, Limbus, Keratis, and Lepchas are all Buddhists, but their religion has become so mixed up with Hinduism that it is now hardly recognizable.^ Instead, they strongly encouraged local authorities and schools to make their holiday schedule based on all religions, not only Hinduism.
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.The Newars have entirely abandoned the monastic institutions of Buddhism, and have in great measure adopted the rules of caste, though even these sit but lightly upon them.^ In accordance with these laws, Nepal has established the Nepal Pesticide Board which will assist the Government to formulate pesticides policies and to adopt regulatory measures for the safe use of pesticides.
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^ A number of important measures have already been adopted to tackle some of these problems.
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They burn their dead, eat the flesh of buffaloes, goats, sheep, ducks, and fowls, and drink beer and spirits. The Gurkhalis, Magars, and Gurungs are Hindus, but the last two are by no means strict in the observance of their religion, though there are some peculiarities which they carefully preserve. Thus, for instance, the Magars will eat pork but not buffalo's flesh, whereas the Gurungs eat the buffalo but not the hog.


Where temples are so numerous (there are 2733 shrines in the valley) priests naturally abound, both of the Hindu and Buddhist religions. The festivals too are many in number, and in consequence holidays are incessant. .The raj guru, or high priest, is an influential person in the state, a member of council, and has a large income from government lands as well as from the fines for offences against caste, &c.^ A special court hears cases related to narcotics trafficking, trafficking in persons, mainly women and girls, crimes against the state, corruption, and crimes related to foreign currency.
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^ Some NGOs working with persons with disabilities received funding from the government; however, most persons with physical or mental disabilities relied almost exclusively on family members for assistance.
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^ Societal discrimination against lower castes, women, and persons with disabilities remained common, especially in rural areas.
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Many other priests, gurus and purohits, have lands assigned to them, and most of the temples have been richly endowed by their founders. Every family of rank has a special priest, whose office is hereditary.
Astrologers are also numerous, and their services are in constant request. One cannot build a house, set out on a journey, commence a war, or even take a dose of physic, without having an auspicious moment selected for him.


.The various races have all separate languages, or at least dialects.^ Rumdali is best understood among all Bahing dialects (Lee et al 2005); Bahing is more homogeneous than most Kiranti languages.
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^ Dialects Dolkhali of Dolakha and Pahri of Sindhupalchok may be separate languages (Genetti 1994:2–3), especially Dolakha (Genetti 2006).
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The Gurkhalis and western tribes use Khas (see Pahari), which, unlike the other dialects, is of Sanskrit origin. The Newars have a distinct language and alphabets, for there are three known to their pandits, though only one is in use now. Their language, called Gubhajius, greatly resembles Tibetan, but is now interspersed with many Sanskrit words. The Bhutias use the Tibetan language and alphabet.


There is a central educational institution at Katmandu with sixteen branches, or schools, over the valley of Nepal. This central institution has three departments, English, Sanskrit and Persian - or more correctly perhaps Urdu. .Education is provided free by the state, and is encouraged by grants of scholarships and prizes.^ However, government policy provided free primary education for all children between the ages of six and 12 years.
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.Boys passing out well are sent at government expense to the various universities of northern India to complete their education, and some have lately been sent to Japan.^ Many discriminatory laws remain even after the Gender Equality Act, passed in September 2006, amended 56 out of 173 discriminatory provisions in various laws.
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^ In 1994, the Government of India supported the municipality of Kathmandu with some modern equipements worth Rs-12 crores.
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.The evil effects of higher education, as taught in the Indian colleges, on the youth of Bengal, &c., has, however, given the Gurkha durbar a distinct shock, and it seems not unlikely that education in Nepal may receive a set-back in consequence.^ Better education and higher levels of prosperity, especially in the Kathmandu valley, were slowly reducing caste distinctions and increasing opportunities for lower socioeconomic groups.
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Some of the upper classes speak English fluently, but the bulk of the labouring classes is quite illiterate.
Katmandu is a perfect storehouse of ancient Sanskrit literature, and some of the oldest MSS. in that language as yet known to scholars have been found there. There is also a fair English library. Both are lodged in a good building.


There are three principal eras in use in Nepal. The Samvat of Vikramaditya begins fifty-seven years before the Christian era, the Saka era of Salivanhn begins seventy-eight years after the Christian era, and the Nepalese Samvat dates from October A.D. 880. The Sri-Harsha and Kaligat eras are also sometimes used. .Day is considered to begin when the tiles on a house can be counted, or when the hairs on the back of a man's hand can be discerned against the sky.^ The NA also took Keshab Singh and Ramebak Chaudhari from a house, tied their hands behind their backs, and assaulted them.
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Sixty bipalas =1 pala; 60 palas =1 ghari or 24 minutes; 60 gharis =I day of 24 hours.


All families of good position have at least one baid, or medical man, in constant attendance, and there are also many general practitioners. There is a large central hospital at Katmandu, and some thirteen other smaller hospitals are distributed over the country, with free beds, and provision for outdoor treatment. There is also a small hospital attached to the British Residency. The diseases most prevalent in the country are rheumatism, chronic dyspepsia, skin diseases, syphilis, goitre, smallpox, cholera and leprosy. In the rains a number of cases of mild intermittent fever, diarrhoea, and dysentery are met with. Fever of a severe typhoid type is common in the crowded lanes and dirty villages. .Vaccination is being gradually introduced into the country, and the general health of the inhabitants of the principal cities in the valley has greatly improved since the introduction of fresh water, which has been brought in by pipes from mountain springs.^ Environmental concerns are gradually being incorporated into the trade sector.
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.There are three large towns in the Nepal valley, Katmandu, the capital, said to contain approximately 50,000 inhabitants, Patan and Bhatgaon about 30,000 each.^ The UNHCR estimated a current population of between 50,000 and 70,000 IDPs in Nepal.
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The houses are from two to four storeys in height, built of brick and tiled. The windows and balconies are of wood, and some are elaborately carved. There are numerous handsome temples in all the towns, the majority of which are pagoda-shaped and built of brick, with roofs of copper, which is sometimes gilt. The streets are narrow, and they, as well as the squares, are alI paved with brick or stone. In front of the temples generally stand monoliths surmounted by figures of Garuda, or of the founder, made of brass gilt, or sometimes of black stone. .Besides these three large towns, there are at least twenty smaller towns and numerous villages in the valley.^ Mechi zone, Taplejung District, Tamar valley, Walungchung, Yangma, Gunsa, Lilip, and Lungtung, some smaller villages; Amjilesa, and Kambachen.
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all of which possess many temples. Some of these, as for instance those of Pashupati, Bodhnatha and Symbhunatha, are considered of great sanctity. Many thousands of pilgrims come at one festival to worship at Pashupati, and it is there that the dying are brought to be immersed in the Bagmati, and the dead are burned on its banks.


While the Gurkhalis are occupied in military affairs, the agriculture of the valley is carried on by the Newars. The soil is varied in character, from light micaceous sand to dense ferruginous clay. The whole valley is cultivated and irrigated where practicable, and the slopes of the hills are carefully terraced, so that there is little grazing ground, and few sheep or cattle are kept. There are some milch cows and buffaloes, which are either stall-fed or grazed in the jungles at the foot of the hills. Animals for consumption and sacrifice are all imported, and are consumed as fast as they are brought in. In the cold season the Bhutias bring large flocks of sheep and goats laden with bags of borax, salt and saltpetre. These are sold for consumption, except a few that are retained to carry back the bags. These droves are generally accompanied by ponies and some of the large Tibetan dogs; the latter are powerful, fierce, shaggy animals, about the size of a small Newfoundland dog. Poultry are kept and used by the Newars, especially ducks, the eggs of which are in great demand even among the orthodox Hindus. The crops grown in the valley consist of rice, both the transplanted and the dry-sown or ghaiya varieties, wheat, pulse, murwah, maize, buckwheat, chillies, radishes, mustard, garlic, onions, ginger, turmeric, sugar-cane, potatoes, ground nuts, many species of cucumbers and pumpkins, &c. Nothing but articles of food are allowed to be grown in the valley; hence its capabilities for producing tea, cotton and tobacco are unknown. .All of these, however, are grown in other parts of the country, both in the hills and the tarai.^ Strengthening the capacities of both the governmental and semi-governmental organizations at all levels, from central to local level, is essential for the successful implementation of these programmes.
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^ Almost all of these refugees lived in camps in the southeastern part of the country.
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Large cardamoms are extensively grown in the eastern hills, and form an important article of export. .The hemp plant (Cannabis indica) grows wild, and is used both for manufacturing purposes and for producing the resinous extract and other intoxicating products which are exported.^ Other data Some 0.1% of national domestic product is used for research and development.
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Plants producing dyes, such as madder or manjit, are grown in some places; and drugs, such as chirata, are collected and exported. The better class of soils yields a return of about Rs. 180 per khait, and the poorest about Rs. 90 per khait. .From some of the finer soils as many as three crops of various sorts are obtained annually.^ It has been noted that soil fertility is declining in many parts of Nepal, having a negative impact on the yield of the key crops.
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The landmeasures in use are different in different parts of the country. Thus, in the eastern tarai a bigha measures 90X90 yds. English, while in the western tarai it is only 15 X15 yds. In the hills the unit of land measurement is called ropni, which is about twice the size of a western tarai bigha, - and twenty-five ropnis make one khait. This measurement applies only to rice lands. Other land measurements for the valley are as follows: One Nepali bigha is 90 yds. X 90 yds. British. (A British Indian bigha is 40 yds. X 40 yds. and 3 Nepali bighas equal about 5 acres.) Sixteen ropnis equal I Nepali bigha.

Land Taxes

The tarai lands pay from two to nine rupees (British) per Nepali bigha according to quality of land. .In the hills taxes are charged on the plough, thus: one plough pays 13 annas; one bullock without plough about 10 annas; one spade 62 annas.^ On Sale $10 $20 (pay$18) $50 (pay$45) $100 (pay$90) $250 (pay$225) 4 hr 13 min local .
  • Nepal - Katmandu phone cards from USA | Nepal - Katmandu calling cards | Low rates to Nepal - Katmandu 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Academic]

These taxes are termed Hal, Patay and Kodaley. Horticulture. - The Newars are also fond of horticulture. Many European fruits, flowers and vegetables have been introduced and grow freely. The country is famous for its oranges and pineapples. Flowers are grown and sold for religious purposes, and even wild flowers are brought into the market and much used by the Newar women in adorning their hair, as well as for offerings at the shrines. Many wild fruits are collected and sold in the markets. Apples and pears, of English stock, thrive well; apricots and plums are good; peaches and grapes grow freely and are of large size, but they seldom ripen before the rains begin, when they rot.


All the trade and manufactures of the country are in the hands of the Newars, and a few Kashmiris and natives of Hindustan. The trade in European goods is chiefly carried on by the latter, whilst the Newars deal in corn, oil, salt, tobacco and articles of domestic manufacture. The trade with India is carried on at numerous marts along the frontier, at each of which a customs station is established, and the taxes are collected by a thikadar or farmer. The Newars also carry on the trade with Tibet, through a colony which has been for many years established at Lhasa, but this trade has been a shrinking item since the opening of the LhasaDarjeeling route. There are two principal routes to Tibet. .One of these runs north-east from Katmandu to the frontier-station of Kuti or Nilam, crossing the Himalayan range at a height of 14,000 ft.; the other passes out of the valley at the north-west corner, and runs at first upwards along the main branch of the Gandak, crossing the Himalayas, near Kerung, at a height of 9000 ft.^ The government set up temporary camps for approximately 14,000 other Kamaiyas awaiting settlement.
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All goods on these routes are carried on men's backs, except the salt, &c., carried in bags by the Bhutia sheep and goats. The principal imports from Hindustan are raw cotton, cotton goods, woollen goods, silks and velvets, hardware, cutlery, beads, jewels, coral, saddlery, shoes, guns, gunpowder, glassware, vermilion, indigo, lac, tea, betel-nut, spices, paper, sugar, tobacco, oils, sheet copper, goats, cattle, buffaloes; and from Tibet, musk, medicines, yaks' tails, tea, woollen cloth, blankets, borax, salt, saltpetre, paper-plant, honey, wax, sheep, goats, yaks, ponies, silver, gold. The exports to Hindustan include wax, paper-plant, musk, yaks' tails, medicines, cardamoms, borax, sulphate of copper, brass pots, iron pots, ponies, elephants, hawks, hides and horns (buffalo), rice, ghee, oil seeds, red chillies, madder, cobalt, potatoes, oranges; and to Tibet, broad cloth, raw cotton, cotton goods, tobacco, sugar, opium, coral, jewels, pearls, spices, betel-nut, copper pots, iron pots and hardware. The Nepalese are utterly regardless of statistics, but recent estimates value the exports and imports to and from the British provinces at 3 million sterling annually. Duties are levied on exports and imports, which will be noticed under the head of revenue.


The Newars are skilful workmen. Their bricks are excellent, and so also is their pottery, for which certain towns are famous, such as Themi and Noakote. As carpenters they excel, though the use of the large saw is still unknown, and planks are cut with chisel and mallet. Some of the wood carvings on the temples and large houses are most artistic in design and bold in execution, though unfortunately they are sometimes of a most obscene character. The manufactures are few, consisting chiefly of coarse cotton cloths, paper made of the inner bark of the paper-plants (Daphne), bells, brass and iron utensils, weapons, and ornaments of gold and silver.


At one time Nepal supplied Tibet with its silver coinage, but this was abandoned on account of the adulterations introduced by the Nepalese. The ancient coins, specimens of which are still to be met with, were made by hand. The modern coinage is struck by machinery, a regular mint having been established by Sir Jung Bahadur at Katmandu, and since improved by his successors.


The Nepalese have relations with China, and occasionally send an embassy with presents to Peking. The British too have considerable influence with the government in regard to their foreign relations, and a British resident is stationed at Katmandu. But in all matters of domestic policy the Nepalese brook no interference, and they are most jealous of anything that has a tendency to encroach on their independence. Theoretically the government of Nepal is a pure despotism, and the maharajah is paramount. .Practically, all real power has long been in the hands of the prime minister, and much of the modern history of the country consists of accounts of the struggles of the various factions for power.^ The interim constitution provides for the election of a Constituent Assembly; commits Nepal to become a federal republic after the Constituent Assembly meets; strips the king of all formal powers; and makes the prime minister both head of government and head of state.
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.Under the prime minister there is a council, consisting of the relations of the king, the raj guru, the generals, and a few other officials known as kajis and sirdars and bhardars, which is consulted on all important business, and which forms a court of appeal for disputed cases from the courts of law.^ A special court hears cases related to narcotics trafficking, trafficking in persons, mainly women and girls, crimes against the state, corruption, and crimes related to foreign currency.
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^ The interim constitution provides for the election of a Constituent Assembly; commits Nepal to become a federal republic after the Constituent Assembly meets; strips the king of all formal powers; and makes the prime minister both head of government and head of state.
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^ The Constitutional Council, chaired by the prime minister, nominates the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
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.There are separate civil and criminal courts, but the distinction is not always observed, as difficult cases are often transferred from one to the other.^ These courts had no due process, and handled both criminal and civil cases.
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^ In one case, the court granted compensation to Karna Bahadur Thapa, a lawyer who was tortured by police outside of a government facility after he had participated in a peaceful demonstration.
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Law and Justice

.The old savage legal code with its ordeals by fire and water, and its punishments by mutilation and torture was abolished by Sir Jung Bahadur after his return from England in 1851. Treason, rebellion and desertion in war-time are punished by death.^ The law prohibits torture, beating, and mutilation; however, security forces engaged in such activities to punish suspects or to extract confessions.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

Bribery and peculation by public servants are punished by dismissal from office, and a fine and imprisonment, the latter of which can be commuted by payments at various rates, according to the nature of the offence. Murder and the killing of cows are capital offences. Manslaughter and maiming cows are punished by imprisonment for life and other offences against the person or property by imprisonment or fine. Brahmans and women are exempted from capital punishment. Offences against caste are heavily punished by fine and imprisonment. In some cases indeed all the offender's property is confiscated, and he and his family may be sold as slaves. Bankruptcy laws have been recently introduced. The marriage laws are somewhat peculiar. Among the Gurkhas the laws resemble those of other Hindus as regards the marriage of widows, polygamy. &.c, but among the .Newars every girl while still an infant is married with much ceremony to a bel fruit, which is then thrown into some sacred stream.^ Some persons considered marrying a girl before menarche an honorable, sacred act that increased one's chances of a better afterlife.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

As the fate of the fruit is unknown, a Newari is supposed never to become a widow. At the age of puberty a husband is selected, but the woman can at any moment divorce herself by placing a betel-nut under her husband's pillow and taking her departure Adultery is punished by the imprisonment and fine of both the adulteress and her paramour. Sati has been abolished in Nepal by law.


.There are three large prisons in the Nepal valley, one for males and two for females; there are also a considerable number of gaols throughout the country.^ There were three cases of female infanticide reported to the police women's cell between July 2006 and June.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

^ STATUS REPORT: Nepal has bilateral trade relations with several countries, around 17 in number, based on the Most Favoured Nations principle.
  • Country Profile - Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Academic]

^ There were a reported 2,500 madrassas functioning throughout the country.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

The prisoners are kept in irons, and employed in public works of various sorts. They are allowed six pice a day for subsistence at the capital, and five pice in other places. Their relatives are allowed to minister to their creature comforts.
.Slavery is an institution of the country, and all families of rank possess many slaves, who are employed in domestic and field work.^ Many of the Tibetans who live in the country have irregular status.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

^ In 2003 the government lifted a ban on female domestic labor leaving the country to work in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the gulf.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

.They are generally treated well, and are carefully protected by law.^ In practice the government generally provided protection against refoulement, the return of persons to a country where they feared persecution.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

The price of slaves ranges from Rs. Poo to Rs. 200.


.The revenue of Nepal is about one hundred and fifty lakhs of rupees, i.e. £10,000,000. The chief sources of it are the land-tax, customs, mines, forests and monopolies.^ By 2004, 12,019 Kamaiyas reportedly had received land, 7,149 families had received approximately $143 (10,000 rupees) for building homes, and approximately 3,000 had received timber to build houses.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

About io % of the tarai lands, and 20% of the hill lands, are private property. .Some lands were assigned by the Gurkhali rajas to Brahmans, soldiers and others, and these are untaxed.^ Some of these NGOs had branch offices providing similar services in other districts.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

Others, which were the gifts of the old Newar kings, pay from 4 to 8 annas per bigha. All such grants of land, however, are subject to a heavy fine on the coronation of a new raja. .Land which does not produce rice is lightly taxed, but in the valley of Nepal, and wherever rice is grown, the government tax or rent is one half of the produce of the land.^ The government owned two television stations, Nepal TV and Nepal TV Metro, and controlled one radio station that broadcast both shortwave AM and FM signals.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

.Waste lands, when brought into cultivation, are rent free for ten years, after which for five years the tax is only 4 annas per bigha, and the cultivator receives one-tenth of the cleared land rent free for his life.^ In fact, one of the major goals of the ongoing Eighth Five Year Plan (1992-1997) is sustainable development.
  • Country Profile - Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Academic]

^ The Eighth Five-Year Plan (1992-97) has set a target to reduce poverty by 7 per cent by the year 1997.
  • Country Profile - Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Academic]

^ Waste reduction rates per unit of GDP (t/year) .
  • Country Profile - Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Academic]

A considerable revenue in the shape of royalty is obtained from mines of copper, iron, &c. The taxes on merchandise amount to from 12 to 14% on the value of the goods carried to and from British India and from 5 to 6% is charged on goods exported to Tibet.


Much attention is devoted by the Gurkhalis to military matters and the bulk of that race may be said to be soldiers. The standing army consists of about 50,000 men, in a fair state of efficiency. .Besides this force there is a reserve, consisting of men who have served for a few years and taken their discharge, but in case of necessity can be called on again to enter the ranks.^ At year's end there had been no action taken to investigate the July 2005 deaths in custody of Laxmi Yadab, Hari Prasad Yadab, Kari Kapar, and Kari Saha.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

^ A conviction for conversion or proselytizing can result in fines or imprisonment, or in the case of foreigners, expulsion from the country; however, there were no incidents of arrest for conversion or proselytizing during the year.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

^ According to NHRC estimates, there were 646 unresolved cases of disappearances at year's end.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

.These would probably raise the strength to between 70,000 and 80,000 men.^ The UNHCR estimated a current population of between 50,000 and 70,000 IDPs in Nepal.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

The regiments are formed on the European system, and similarly drilled and officered. .Each man carries in addition to a bayonet a
kukri or native knife There is practically no cavalry, as the country is riot suited for horses.^ A conviction for conversion or proselytizing can result in fines or imprisonment, or in the case of foreigners, expulsion from the country; however, there were no incidents of arrest for conversion or proselytizing during the year.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

^ There are no known Jewish adherents in the country and there were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

The artillery, however, is on a larger scale, and consists nearly entirely of batteries of mountain artillery. There is a large arsenal well provided with supplies of gunpowder and military stores There are workshops where cannon are cast, and rifles and ammunition of all sorts turned out in large quantities, but of an indifferent quality.
.In addition to its own army, Nepal supplies to the British army in India a large force of splendid soldiers, who were raised under the following circumstances.^ Recruiters in the country who used deception to trick workers into forced labor in Iraq despite a government ban remained largely unmonitored and unpunished.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

^ The November 2006 peace agreement forbade the use of children under the age of 18 as soldiers in the armies of either side; however, the Maoists continued to recruit large numbers of children after signing this agreement.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

^ Decision-Making Structure: - The Ministry of Water Resources - The Department of Water Supply and Sewerage - The Nepal Water Supply Corporation follows the government corporation decision-making procedures.
  • Country Profile - Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Academic]

In 1815 the British enlisted three battalions of Gurkhas from amongst the soldiers of that race who were thrown out of employment, owing to the termination of the first phase of the war with Nepal. These regiments were styled the 1st. 2nd and 3rd Gurkhas, and were soon employed on active service. The 1st and znd behaved with much gallantry at the siege and storming of Bharatpur, and in the First Sikh War, while the 2nd and 3rd won a great name for loyalty and courage during the Mutiny of 18 5758, especially at the siege of Delhi. .This induced the British to raise, in 1858, two more battalions, which they numbered the 4th and 5th, and the whole Gurkha force has since proved its usefulness and loyalty on many occasions, particularly during the Afghan War of 1878-80, and on many frontier expeditions.^ Police allegedly arrested Pandey because he had been speaking publicly about the fact that they had tortured him during his previous two arrests in December 2006.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

Battalions have also been sent on service to Burma, Egypt, China and Tibet. The Gurkhas in the British service now consist of ten regiments of riflemen of two battalions each, and number about 20,000 men.


.Nepal and the somewhat similar country of Kashmir are peculiar among the Hindu states of India in possessing an historical literature.^ Brief summary of any particular UN System response affecting this country/state: Nepal recognizes UNESCO's contribution in raising environmental awareness in the 1975's.
  • Country Profile - Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Academic]

^ Nepal, a country of approximately 28 million, is in a state of political transition.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

The Nepalese Vamcavali professes to start from a very early period in the Satya Yuga, when the present valley was still a lake. The earlier portion of it is devoted to the Satya and Treta Yugas, and contains mythological tales and traditions having reference to various sacred localities in the country. .During these two Yugas, and also the Dwapur Yuga, the VamOvali deals in round numbers of thousands of years.^ During the year the government attempted to register and formally recognize the nationality of these stateless persons.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

In the beginning of the Kali Yuga, the Gupta dynasty is said to have been founded by Ne-Muni, from whom the country takes its name of Nepal. Lists are then given of the various dynasties, with the lengths of the reigns of the rajas. The dynasties mentioned are the Gupta, Ahir, Kirati, Somavanshi, Suryavanshi, Thakuri or first Rajput, Vaishya Thakuri, second Rajput and Karnataki dynasties. .The country was then invaded by Mukundasena, and after his expulsion various Vaishya Thakuri dynasties are said to have held the throne for a period of 225 years.^ A conviction for conversion or proselytizing can result in fines or imprisonment, or in the case of foreigners, expulsion from the country; however, there were no incidents of arrest for conversion or proselytizing during the year.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

The chronology of the Vamgavali up to this period is very confused and inaccurate; and, though the accounts of the various invasions and internal struggles, mixed up as they are with grotesque legends and tales, may be interesting and amusing, they can hardly be considered authentic. Some of the names of the rajas, and the dates of their reigns, have been determined by coins, the colophons of old MSS., and certain inscriptions on the temples and ancient buildings. For instance, Ancuvarma, of the Thakuri dynasty, reigned about A.D. 633, as he is mentioned by the Chinese traveller Hsuan Tsang, who visited Nepal. His name too is found in an inscription still extant. In like manner it is ascertained from MSS. that Rudra-deva-Varma was reigning in 1008; Lakshmikama-deva from 1015 to 1040; Padma-deva, of the Vaishya Thakuri dynasty, in 1065; Manadeva, of the second Rajput dynasty, in 1139; Ananta-Malla, 1286-1302; Harisinha-deva, 1324; Jayastithi-Malla, 1385-1391. Much information as to the chronology of the various dynasties can be obtained from the catalogue of the Cambridge MSS. compiled by Cecil Bendall, and also from his papers on the ancient coins of the country. Inscriptions too have been edited by Professor Biihler in the Indian Antiquary, vol. ix. Detailed lists of the rajas are to be found in Kirkpatrick's Account of Nepal, in Hodgson's Essays, Prinsep's papers in the Asiatic Society's Journal and Wright's History of Nepal. The records begin to be more accurate from the time of the invasion and conquest of the country by Harisinha-deva, the raja of Simraun, 1324. This raja was driven from Simraun by Tughlak Shah of Delhi, but seems to have found little difficulty in the conquest of Nepal. There were only four rajas of this Ayodhya dynasty, and then the throne was occupied by Jayabhadra-Malla, a descendant of Abhaya-Malla, one of the Rajput dynasty, who reigned in the 13th century. There were eight rajas of this dynasty. The seventh, Jayastithi-Malla, who reigned for forty-three years (1386-1429), appears to have done much in forming codes of laws, and introducing caste and its rules among the Newars. In the reign of the eighth raja, YakshaMalla, the kingdom was divided into four separate states - namely, Banepa, Bhatgaon or Bhaktapur, Kantipur or Katmandu, and Lalitapur or Patan. There was only one raja of Banepa, who died without issue. The Malla dynasty in the other three branches continued in power up to the conquest of the country by the Gurkhas in 1768.
The Gurkhas claim descent from the Rajputs of Chitor, in Rajputana. .They were driven out of their own country by the victorious Moslems, and took refuge in the hilly districts about Kumaon, whence they gradually pushed their way eastwards to Lamjung, Gurkha, Noakote and ultimately to the valley of Nepal, which under Raja Prithwi Narayana they finally captured.^ On November 1, YCL cadre members beat two persons whom they forcefully captured from the premises of the Ministry of Local Development in Lalitpur District.
  • Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Original source]

In the struggle which took place at Bhatgaon, Jayaprakasa (the raja of Katmandu) was wounded, and shortly afterwards he died at Pashupati. Ranjit-Malia, the aged raja of Bhatgaon, was allowed to retire to Benares, where he ended his days. Tej Narsinha, the raja of Patan, was kept in confinement till his death. During the latter years of the war Jayaprakasa applied to the British for assistance, and a small force, under Captain Kinloch, was sent into the tarai in 1765, but it was repulsed by the Gurkhas.
Prithwi Narayana died in 1774. He left two sons, Pratapasinha Sah and Bahadur Sah. The former succeeded his father, but died in 1777, leaving an infant son, Rana Bahadur Sah. On the death of Pratapa-sinha, his brother, who had been in exile, returned to Nepal and became regent. The mother of the infant king, however, was opposed to him, and he had again to flee to Bettia, in British territory, where he remained till the death of the rani, when he again became regent, and continued so till 1795. During this time the Gurkhas were busily annexing all the neighbouring petty states, so that in 1790 their territories extended from Bhutan to the Sutlej river, and from Tibet to the British provinces. At length, in 1790, they invaded Tibet, and were at first successful; but they were thus brought into contact with the Chinese, who in 1791 sent a large force to invade Nepal. In 1792 the Chinese advanced as far as Noakote, and there dictated terms to the Nepalese.
In 1791 the Gurkhas had entered into a commercial treaty with the British and hence, when hard pressed, they applied for assistance against the Chinese to Lord Cornwallis. In consequence of this Kirkpatrick was despatched to Nepal, and reached Noakote in the spring of 1792, but not till after peace had been concluded. One result of this embassy was the ratification of another commercial treaty on the 1st of March 1792.
In 1795 Rana Bahadur removed his uncle, Bahadur Sah, from the regency, and two years subsequently put him to death. From this time up to 1799 the king, who seems to have been insane, perpetrated the most barbarous outrages, till at length his conduct became so intolerable that he was forced to abdicate in favour of his son, Girvan-yuddha Vikrama Sah, who was still an infant. Rana Bahadur once again recovered the throne in 1804, but was assassinated in 1805.
In October 1801 another treaty was signed by the British and Nepalese authorities, and a British resident was sent to the Nepalese court, but was withdrawn in 1803, owing to the conduct of the Nepalese. From this time the Nepalese carried on a system of encroachment and outrage on the frontier, which led to a declaration of war by the British in November 1814. At first the British attacks were directed against the western portion of the Nepalese territory, and under Generals Marly, Wood and Gillespie several disasters were met with. General Gillespie himself was killed while leading an assault on a small fort called Kalunga. .General Ochterlony was more successful, and the Gurkhas were driven eastward beyond the Kali river, and began to negotiate for peace.^ Beyond the mountains west of upper Kali Gandaki River Valley.
  • Ethnologue report for Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: General]

Arms, however, were soon taken up again, and Ochterlony, who was put in command, in January 1816, advanced directly on the capital in the line of the route that is now in use. He soon fought his way as far as Mukwanpur, and the Nepalese sued for peace. A treaty was concluded in March, by which the Nepalese relinquished much of their newly acquired territory, and agreed to allow a British residency to be established at Katmandu. In November the raja died, and was succeeded by his infant son, Surendra Bikran Sah, the reins of government being held by General Bhimsena Thapa.
From this time the records for many years furnish little of interest except a history of struggles for office between the Thapa and Pandry factions, and futile attempts at forming combinations with other states in Hindustan against the British.
In 1839 Bhimsena's enemies succeeded in driving him from power, and he committed suicide, or was murdered, in prison. The Kala Pandry faction then came into power, and there were frequent grave disputes with the British. War, however, was averted by the exertions of the resident, Mr Brian Hodgson.
In 1843 Matabar Singh, the nephew of Bhimsena, returned from exile, soon got into favour at court, and speedily effected the destruction of his old enemies the Kala Pandrys, who were seized and executed in May 1843. At this time mention begins to be made of a nephew of Matabar Singh, Jung Bahadur, the eldest of a band of seven brothers, sons of a kaji or state official. He rose rapidly in the army and in favour at the court, especially with one of the ranis, who was of a most intriguing disposition. In 1844 he was a colonel, and on the 18th of May 1845 killed his uncle, and immediately, with the aid of the rani, took a prominent part in the government. After a short but turbulent interval of intrigue, he got rid of his enemies at one fell swoop, by what is known as the Kot massacre, on the 15th of September 1846. From that time till the day of his death Jung Bahadur was in reality the ruler of Nepal. His old friend, the rani, was banished, and all posts of any consequence in the state were filled by Jung, his brothers and other relatives. In 1850, finding himself securely seated in power, Jung Bahadur paid a visit to England, which made a great impression on his acute intellect, and ever after he professed and proved himself to be a stanch friend of the British. On his return in 1851 he at once devoted himself to reforming the administration of the country, and, whatever may have been the means by which he gained power, it must be allowed that he exercised it so as to prove himself the greatest benefactor his country has ever possessed. In 1853 a treaty for the extradition of criminals was proposed, but it was not ratified till February 1855. In 1854 the Nepalese entered into a war with Tibet, which lasted with varying success till March 1856, when peace was concluded on terms very favourable to Nepal.
In June 1857 intelligence of the mutiny of the native troops in Hindustan reached Nepal, and produced much excitement. Jung Bahadur, in spite of great opposition, stood firm as a friend of the British. On the 26th June 4000 troops were sent off to assist, and these rendered good service in the campaign against the mutineers. Jung himself followed on the 10th of December, with a force of 8000 men, 50o artillerymen and 24 guns, but too late to be of much use. Many of the mutineers and rebels, including the infamous Nana Sahib, took refuge in the Nepalese tarai, and it was not till the end of 1859 that they were finally swept out of the country. The Nana was said to have died of fever in the tarai, and it is probable that this was the case. His wives and a few attendants resided for many years near Katmandu.
In return for the aid afforded to the British, Jung Bahadur was well rewarded. He was created a G.C.B., and in 1873 a G.C.S.I., honours of which he was not a little proud. The troops employed received food and pay from the day of leaving Katmandu; handsome donations were given to those severely wounded, and to the relatives of the killed; great quantities of muskets and rifles were presented to the Nepalese government; and, to crown all, a large portion of the tarai was restored to Nepal. This ground contains most valuable sal and sisu forests, and yields a revenue of several lakhs of rupees yearly.
From the termination of the mutiny Nepalese history has been uneventful. .The country has been prosperous, and the relations with the British have continued to be most friendly.^ STATUS REPORT: Nepal has bilateral trade relations with several countries, around 17 in number, based on the Most Favoured Nations principle.
  • Country Profile - Nepal 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: Academic]

Nevertheless the restrictions on commerce, and the prohibitions against Europeans entering the country, or travelling beyond certain narrow limits, are as rigidly enforced as they were a hundred years ago. Sir Jung Bahadur died suddenly in the tarai in 1877. In spite of all the exertions he had made to bring about a better state of things, three of his wives were allowed to immolate themselves on his funeral pyre. His brother, Sir Ranadip Singh Bahadur, G.C.S.I., succeeded him as prime minister. Shortly, after his accession to power a plot was formed against him, but nearly forty of the conspirators were seized and executed, while others escaped into exile. He was, however, murdered in 1885 and was succeeded by his nephew Sir Shamsher Jung, G.C.S.I., who died in 1901 and was succeeded by his brother Deb Shamsher Jung. But in June of that year a palace revolution placed another brother, Chandra Shamsher Jung, in power, whilst Deb Shamsher fled to India. Maharajah Chandra Shamsher has ruled Nepal with much ability. He gave effective aid to the British during the Tibet war of 1904, and the relations with the government of India became more cordial after his accession to power. In 1906 Chandra Shamsher was created a G.C.S.I., and in 1908 he visited England as a guest of the government, when he was invested with the G.C.B. by King Edward VII. He was also made a major-general in the British army, and honorary colonel of the 4th Gurkha Rifles.
For authorities see Dr Daniel Wright, History of Nepal (1877); Colonel Kirkpatrick, Account of Nepal; Brian Houghton Hodgson's essays; Dr H. A. Oldfield's sketches; Sir C. M. Aitchison, Treaties and Engagements; Sir Joseph Hooker's writings; and Sir Richard Temple, Hyderabad and Nepal (1887). (D. Wx.; H. WY.)


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:
See also Nepál, and Népal



Proper noun

  1. A country in South Asia between China and India.^ Nepal is in Southern Asia, between China and India.

    ^ Nepal is landlocked between China and India.
    • EquipNepal: Proclaiming His Word. Empowering His People 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: News]

    ^ Nepal is a landlocked country in Southern Asia, between China and India.
    • Nepal Trekking everest base camp | Annapurna himalaya adventure 28 January 2010 0:33 UTC [Source type: General]

    Official Name: Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

Derived terms


See also



Proper noun

Nepal m.
  1. Nepal


Proper noun

Nepal m. 
  1. Nepal

Derived terms


Proper noun

Nepal m.
  1. Nepal


Proper noun

Nepal n.
  1. Nepal

Derived terms


Proper noun

Nepal m.
  1. Nepal

Derived terms


  • Anagrams of aelnp
  • panel


Proper noun

  1. Nepal

Related terms



  • IPA: /ˈnɛpal/

Proper noun

Nepal m.
  1. Nepal


Singular only
Nominative Nepal
Genitive Nepalu
Dative Nepalowi
Accusative Nepal
Instrumental Nepalem
Locative Nepalu
Vocative Nepalu

Derived terms

  • Nepalczyk m., Nepalka f.
  • adjective: nepalski


Proper noun

Nepal m.
  1. Nepal

Cyrillic spelling


Proper noun

  1. Nepal

Simple English

[[File:|right|]] Nepal is in South Asia bordering the Republic of India and the People's Republic of China. Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, is found there, as well as the Himalaya Mountains[1]. 12 of the world's 18 highest mountain peaks are in Nepal.[2] It is also birth place of Buddha, founder of Buddhism. It has recently become a secular country, but it used to be the only Hindu nation the world. Nepal is a very important pilgrimage place for both Hindus and Buddhists. The population of Nepal in 2007 was almost 29 million people.[3]

Nepali is the official language, and there are many other regional languages. English and Hindi are widely understood. The capital city of Nepal is Kathmandu which has a population of over two million people.[3] The second largest city is Pokhara. Pokhara has many lakes, including Phewa Tal.


An isolated, agrarian society until the mid-20th century, Nepal entered the modern era in 1951 without schools, hospitals, roads, telecommunications, electric power, industry, or civil service. The country has, however, made progress toward sustainable economic growth since the 1950s and is committed to a program of economic liberalization. Nepal has used a series of five-year plans in an attempt to make progress in economic development. It completed its ninth economic development plan in 2002.

Agriculture remains Nepal's principal economic activity, employing 80% of the population and providing 37% of GDP. Only about 20% of the total area is cultivable; another 33% is forested; most of the rest is mountainous. Rice and wheat are the main food crops. The lowland Terai region produces an agricultural surplus, part of which supplies the food-deficient hill areas.

Even though China is the 2nd largest exporter to Nepal, yet unlike India which is the largest buyer of Nepal's goods, China's imports from Nepal are zero, thus burdening Nepal's monetary stability and monetary balance. The annual monsoon rain, or lack of it, strongly influences economic growth. From 1996 to 1999, real GDP growth averaged less than 4%. The growth rate recovered in 1999, rising to 6% before slipping slightly in 2001 to 5.5%.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $31.09 billion (2008 est.) GDP - real growth rate: 5.6% (2008 est.) GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,100 (2008 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 40% industry: 20% services: 40% (2002 est.) Population below poverty line: 33% (2007) Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.2% highest 10%: 29.8% (1995–96) Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.9% (2002 est.) Labour force: 10 million (1996 est.) note: severe lack of skilled labour Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 81%, services 16%, industry 3% Unemployment rate: 47% (2001 est.) Budget: revenues: $665 million expenditures: $1.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY 99/00 est.) Industries: tourism, carpet, textile; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarette; cement and brick production Industrial production growth rate: 8.7% (FY 99/00) Electricity - production: 1,755 GWh (2001) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 8.5% hydro: 91.5% nuclear: 0% other: 0% (2001) Electricity - consumption: 1,764 GWh (2001) Electricity - exports: 95 GWh (2001) Electricity - imports: 227 GWh (2001) Oil - production: 0 barrels per day (0 m3/d) (2001 est.) Oil - consumption: 16,000 barrels per day (2,500 m3/d) 2001 Agriculture - products: rice, maize, wheat, sugarcane, root crops; milk, domestic buffalo meat Exports: $568 million f.o.b., but does not include unrecorded border trade with India (2002 est.) Exports - commodities: carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods, grain Exports - partners: India 50.5%, US 26%, Germany 6.6% (2003 est.) Imports: $1.419 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.) Imports - commodities: gold, machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer Imports - partners: India 82.9%, China 13.5%, UAE 2.6%, Singapore 2.1%, Saudi Arabia 1.2%. Debt - external: $2.7 billion (2001) Economic aid - recipient: $424 million (FY 00/01) Currency: 1 Nepalese rupee (NPR) = 100 paisa Exchange rates: Nepalese rupees (NPR) per USD$1 – 64.20 (2007), 78.88 (2002), 74.95 (2001), 68.253 (1999), 65.976 (1998), 58.010 (1997), 56.692 (1996), 51.890 (1995) F year: 16 July - 15 July


Modern education in Nepal began with the establishment of the first school in 1853; this school was only for the members of the ruling families and their courtiers. Schooling for the general people began only after 1951 when a popular movement ended the autocratic Rana family regime and initiated a democratic system. In the past 50 years, there has been a dramatic expansion of education facilities in the country. As a result, adult literacy (age 15+) of the country was reported to be 48.2% (female: 34.6%, male: 62.2%) in the Population Census, 2001, up from about 5% in 1952–54. Beginning from about 300 schools and two colleges with about 10,000 students in 1951, there now are 26,000 schools (including higher secondary), 415 colleges, five universities, and two academies of higher studies. Altogether 5.5 million students are enrolled in those schools and colleges who are served by more than 150,000 teachers. Despite such examples of success, there are problems and challenges. Education management, quality, relevance, access are some of the critical issues of education in Nepal. Societal disparities based on gender, ethnicity, location, economic class, etc. are yet to be eliminated. Resource crunch has always been a problem in education. These problems have made the goal of education for all a challenge for the country.


  1. Buskey, Theresa. "II". In Alan Christopherson, M.S. (in English). History and Geography. LIFEPAC. 804 N. 2nd Ave. E. Rock Rapids: Alpha Omega Publications, Inc.. pp. 21. ISBN 978-1-58095-157-9. 
  2. "Highest mountains in the world". Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Real Nepal - Population". Retrieved 8 January 2011. 

Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 13, 2010

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