About Nepal

With its ancient culture and the Himalayas as a backdrop, Nepal has long been the destination of choice for those in search of adventure. Land locked between the high plateaus of Tibet to the north and the hot, fertile plains of India to the south, Nepal is a land of ancient history, colourful culture and people, amazing architecture and stunning scenery.

Despite its wealth of natural beauty, Nepal is a developing country emerging from a decade-long conflict and is considered one of the poorest countries in the world with an average life expectancy of 66-67 years. Nepal relies heavily on tourism and foreign remittances for income, with the majority of the population depending on agriculture, and the UN estimates that about 40% of Nepalis live in poverty. Foreign aid is also vital to the economy, as is trade with its two neighbouring super powers, India and China.

The Maoist insurgency that ran from the mid 1990s to 2006 had a hugely detrimental effect on the country, leaving more than 12,000 people dead and 100,000 people displaced. Much of the country’s infrastructure and communications facilities were destroyed, especially in the remote regions where they were few and far between to start off with, cutting them off even further and isolating them from what little development was occurring. As is often the case, the most vulnerable members of society became the innocent victims of this conflict, especially Nepal’s children. Many were orphaned, displaced or left in dire poverty. Others were conscripted into the Maoist army, forced into employment for minimal or no wage and in the case of many girls, sold or trafficked into the sex trade.

Development in the country is difficult largely due to an unstable government, rampant corruption, mountainous terrain and a growing population, as well as a lack of basic amenities such as power, clean drinking water, affordable and accessible health care and stable food prices. Adherence to the caste system and the entrenchment of some traditional cultural values are also a hindrance to development, particularly for girls, women and the lower castes.

Despite its problems, Nepal has a huge amount to offer those who wish to visit. Nepal is not just a trekker’s paradise, but somewhere that can cater to every kind of visitor. This tiny, land locked country can boast some of the world’s best white water, amazing mountain biking trails, fascinating old towns, magnificent temples, ancient traditions, ethnic diversity and history stretching back thousands of years, as well as opportunities to see highly endangered wildlife in the jungles of its national parks.

Stretching from the hot, fertile plains on the boarder of India to the high Himalayas in the north of the country, Nepal is as diverse in the adventures it can offer, as it is in the landscapes, languages and people that make up this fascinating country.

Statistics at a Glance

Area: 147,181 sq. KM

Geography: Situated between Tibet in the north and India in the south, with three major regions - the Himalayan belt in the north, the hilly region and fertile valleys in the middle and the narrow strip of plains, the Terai in the South, all running parallel to each other from east to west. Capital: Kathmandu, a historical city with rich cultural heritage

Population: 27 million (estimate)

Language: Nepali is the official language as well as the main language of communication. English is widely spoken in the capital, other urban metropolises and tourist areas

Currency: Nepalese Rupee

Political system: The politics of Nepal function within a framework of a republic with a multi-party system.

Religion: Nepal enjoyed the distinction of being the only Hindu Kingdom in the world, but on the toppling of the King in April 2006, was declared a secular state. There is a high level of religious tolerance, and a distinct and harmonious blending of Hinduism and Buddhism throughout the country. Hinduism 86.5%, Buddhism 7.8%, Islam 3.5%, Others 2.1%

People: Nepal has more than 61 ethnic groups and 70 spoken languages Nepal Standard Time: 5:45 ahead of GMT

Power: 220 Volts. Electric Plugs are usually two or three round prongs

Flag: Nepal boasts the only non rectangular flag in the world

Claims to Fame: Nepal is home to 8 of the 10 highest peaks in the world, including the highest, Mt Everest. It is also hosts the Kali Gandaki gorge, the deepest river gorge in the world, and is where Lord Gautam Buddha was born.

Climate: Owing to its varied topography, the country has diverse climatic conditions. It is generally cold in the mountainous region, mild weather in the hills and warm in the plains

Average Temperatures in Nepal (Degree Celsius)

 

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Kathmandu

16/28

14/26

 7/22

1/20

1/18

4/20

7/25

12/28

16/30

1000 m

20/28

16/25

11/22

6/20

5/19

8/20

11/25

15/29

17/30

2000 m

13/22

10/21

4/17

1/14

0/13

1/14

4/18

8/22

12/23

3000 m

11/19

6/18

1/15

-2/13

-3/12

 -1/13

2/16

5/19

8/20

4000 m

1/13

-3/12

-8/8

-10/6

-12/4

-10/5

-6/9

 -3/12

-1/13

5000 m

-1/10

-6/8

-11/6

-13/4

-18/3

-14/5

-8/7

-4/11

-2/12