Nepal is renowned the world over for contrasting entities like Mt Everest and the Gurkhas. However, it is also arguably one of the most intriguing countries in the world thanks to its rich historical heritage, diverse cultures and people, astonishing bio-diversity and scenic grandeur. Nature has bequeathed the land with the greatest mountain range on earth, rising up wave upon endless wave, cradling deep valleys within, with foaming rivers cascading through them. The snow-capped peaks give way to densely forested hills that in turn descend to steamy sub-tropical jungles. The constantly changing natural vegetation on this descent is complemented with an amazing variety of wildlife. The sharp drops in altitude within a very limited longitudinal distance have resulted in innumerable ecosystems, each with its own unique flora and fauna. All this - and more - contributes to the bewildering and bewitching charm of this magnificent land.
The erstwhile kingdom is a landlocked geographical entity, sandwiched between China on its northern flank, and India on its other three directional borders. However, the physical isolation did not restrict the interaction of its peoples with those of its neighbours. Thus, over the millennia, the culture, the traditions, the languages, the architecture, the art and the religions of this small, but variegated nation have blossomed to exotic, colourful and vibrant dimensions, resulting in an eclectic pot-pourri of nature, ethnicity and spiritualism. Perhaps the most intriguing facet is the capital city Kathmandu that represents all these characteristics in microcosm; it is a small-scale reflection of the grand, mystifying, intriguing and glorious larger picture of the whole country.
The country is roughly trapezoidal in shape, longer in length than in breadth, which at at the narrowest point is a mere 120 miles! The altitudinal variation ranges from sea level to nearly thirty thousand feet. Given the extremely short longitudinal distance in which this staggering elevation occurs, the resultant waves of mountain ranges with alternating valleys (doons) in between are only natural. Furthermore, with the country’s tropical location, the variation of climatic regions within its domains ranges from the high alpine to the sub-tropical. Great mountains spawn formidable rivers and the Himalayas have their fair share of these too. While the magnificent range runs east to west across the northern boundary of the nation, the rivers that originate in it drain north to south through the country on their run to the Bay of Bengal.
Nepal At A Glance
- Area: 147,181 sq.km.
- Capital: Kathmandu
- Continent: Asia
- Latitude: 26° 22' and 30° 27' North
- Longitude: 80° 4' and 88° 12' East
- Language: Nepali is the national language, however, English is spoken widely by workers in the travel industry
- Population: 25 million
- Religion: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity
- Geographical Location: Situated between China to the north, and India to the east, west and south
- Political System: Multi-Party Democracy
- Topography: From the world's deepest river gorge in the Kali Gandaki to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest
- Vegetation: Nepal has a wide variety of vegitation owing to its topographical variation
- People: Nepal has more than 61 ethnic groups and 70 spoken languages
- Currency: Nepales Rupee (NPR)
- Winter: December - February
- Spring: March - May
- Summer: June - August
- Autumn: September - November