The Himalayan Republic
Nepal is a sovereign independent Asian country, lies between 80.4′ and 88.12′ East longitude and 26.22′ and 30.27′ North altitude. It is bounded on the North by Tibet Antonymous Region of the China, on the East by Sikkim and West Bengal of the Indian Union, on the South by Indian State of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and on the West by Uttar Pradesh of the Indian Union. The length of the country is 885 Kilometers East-West and the breath varies from 145 to 241 kilometers North-South.
Climatically it lies in the temperate zone with the added advantage of altitude. Except for some exceptions, there are seldom less than 1220 meters above the sea level. Nepal can be divided into three main Geographical regions. The Himalayan Region is the altitude range between 4877 meters to 8848 meters.
The Mountain Region account for about 64 percent of the total land area. It is formed by the Mahabharat range that soars up to 4877 meters. Churia Range (altitude varies from 610 meters to 1524 meters) lies in the South. The Terai Region is the low-land region which has width of about 26 to 32 kilometers and the altitude maximum of 305 meters occupies about 17 percent of the total land of the country.
Kachanakawal, the lowest point of the country with an altitude of 70 meters in Jhapa District of Eastern Terai.
Q: How to enter Nepal?
A: By Air: Some of the major international airlines operating scheduled services to Nepal are Nepal Airlines, Biman Banladesh, China South West Airlines, Druk Air, Gulf Air, Indian Air Lines, Thai Airways, Qatar Air, Pakistan Air, Air Sahara, Jet Airways, Dragon Air, Hongkong Express and Orient Thai Airlines. By air, you will arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport located in the heart of Kathmandu City. By Road: There are several entry points by land route mainly from Nepal / Indian borders; a) Kakarvita, b) Birgunj c) Bhairahawa d) Nepalganj e) Dhangadhi f) Mahendranagar Scheduled public as well as tourist buses run to and from Kathmandu. Traveling by bus is recommended If you can cope with 10 to 12 hours of long drive in return for a fascinating mountainous views and snail tail roads that meet above the clouds.
Q: Is trekking difficult? What training should I do before I go?
A: Two questions in one I think. Firstly -I take it that by ‘difficult’ you mean physically demanding. The simple answer is yes – it is. That is the point of it really. The rewards for trekking in the form of the mountain views, villages, and the whole experience are hard earned. This does not mean that trekking is either an endurance event, nor is it mountaineering and it is definitely not necessary to be an Olympic athlete to be able to have an experience that you will always remember and want to repeat. Obviously it would be foolish for someone who leads a mostly sedentary existence (sitting down a lot and being out of condition) to hit the trail and expect not to have problems. I would expect that most people would realize this or they wouldn’t want to go trekking. However, one of the most common (if not the most common) ways to end a trek prematurely is to get blisters on your feet. I may as well deal with this now.
Q: What to wear in Nepal?
A: Nepal has a wide range of climates so take both light and warm clothing in casual and comfortable styles. In the mountain areas, warm woolen clothing are necessary while at lower altitude cotton clothing is ideal. Bring any stuff and you will always be wearing to your comfort. If you missed any of your clothes, don’t worry. Buy Nepalese garments; a snow jacket, a pair of pants, and a t-shirt for under fifty bucks!
Q: What’s the climate like in Nepal?
A: -Winter: December-February, -Spring: March-May, -Summer: June-August, -Autumn: September-November The weather in Nepal varies from sub tropical to meditation. The capital, Kathmandu reaches below 1 Degree Celsius during the winter and rises to an average 25 Degree Celsius during the summer. The temperature during the winter also rises to 15 to 20 degree Celsius during the day. The Terai region has temperature some what equivalent to that of Delhi / India where temperature can reach upto 44 Degree Celsius during the summer season.
Q: What’s the currency of Nepal?
A: Currency is spelled as Nepalese Rupees or Rupee (Rs) or in short NRS. 100 Paisa equals 1 Rs. Currently Notes of the following denominations are used: 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 rupees. Coin hasn’t been popular in Nepal and hence is almost always ignored. The coins of the following denominations can be found: 1 paisa, 5 paisa, 10 paisa, 50 paisa and 1 Rs, 2 Rs, and 5 Rs. It is recommended that you travel with smaller notes in less populated areas, while large notes are easily accepted else where.
Q: What’s the national language of Nepal?
A: There are other 72 different spoken languages in Nepal. Most people living in the city areas can understand and speak English fluently. Nepali, written in the Devanagari script, is the official language of Nepal. English and Hindi are widely understood in the urban centers. Nepalese learn Hindi language through Hindi movies which dominate most movie theaters. Language such as Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Newari, Tamang and Nepalbhasa are also popular in most popular cities and towns.
Q: When is the best time to travel in Nepal?
A: When traveling abroad, climatic factors always remain an important issue. Your best time for Nepal is October to November or February to April. Visit Nepal during October to November, as this is the time when you can expect better visibility, the air is fresh, and the weather is perfect and that the Nepalese most important festivals (Dashain and Tihar) are marked during that season . May to June is also a good time to travel although the weather is hot and dusty- you can live with that; wear a mask and a Nepali Topi (Cap) and learn how Nepalese get along with this period. December to January is the winter season in Nepal, which is also a good time to travel; the climate and visibility is good. Snow jackets and sweaters are recommended. Manson starts from Mid June to September; traveling during this period is not advisable unless you are the one who loves best in everything or finds best from anything. Just bring your raincoat during that season.
Q: Where is Nepal?
A: Nepal, pronounced as NAY PAHL, is a land locked mountainous kingdom in southern Asia, located between India and China. Currently has over 26 million people of different races and tribes, living in different regions, wearing different costumes and speaking different languages occupy a total of 147,181 square kilometer (885 km east to west, and 193 km north to south) of this tiny country. Nepal is a little larger than North Carolina state of America. Nepal is geographically, culturally, and linguistically diverse. The capital of Nepal is ‘Kathmandu’ but many love to call it by the name Catmando or Woodmandu or simply by the name `city of temples’. Nepal is a kingdom of Himalayas, artistic monuments, exotic wildlife, and a unique harmony of diversified cultures. It attracts visitors for casual holidays, tours, and adventure activities including `Everest Expedition’. Nepal is also popular for having it’s land the birth place of Lord Buddha and birth place of Lord Sita. Agriculture and Tourism are two important revenues that keeps this nation exist.
Q: Where is the best place to trek in Nepal?
A: Ask any trekker and you’ll get an opinion. A better question might be ‘Where can I trek in Nepal?’. Okay – let’s not dwell on all the myriad variations on routes that give themselves a trek ‘name’ (the Royal Trek springs to mind). Most people want to see the Himalaya (note the singular – right on. It means ‘abode of snows’). As they have some interest in anything from hillwalking through rockclimbing and even mountaineering then most trekkers will want to be in amongst the big mountains. Well they don’t come any bigger than Mount Everest in Eastern Nepal and for a number of people this is one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences; to see the biggest mountain in the world from as close up as possible. Travelling in the other direction from Kathmandu brings you to the Annapurnas and the famous Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Sanctuary. In the middle are the Langtang and Helambu National Parks. All of the ‘big three’ are accessible and realistic ambitions for first time trekkers.
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