Nepal has been claimed as a one of the nice tour destinations among the visitor from its varied landscape, high mountains, spectacular hill stations with far horizon views, Panoramic Himalayan views, wildlife and awesome natures with beautiful climates. Apart from these, Nepal’s vast diversity of people, rich culture, various ethnic groups with their tradition & hospitality, art as well as distinctive architecture renders which is ideal as the amazing & interesting destination for the holiday. Nepal has also got a widespread fame in the world with being the birthplace of Lord Buddha — ‘Light of Asia’ and the World highest Mount Everest (8848m) which is standing as glory for every Nepalese & Visitors.
Hinduism and Buddhism are the two principal religions of Nepal along with Christian and Muslim which are followed by the people from different ethnic groups. Nepal, therefore, known as one of the multi-religious country which holds temples, stupas, monasteries, church and masjit in uncountable number with their respected God & Goddess depicting the deep faith of the people. Trexmount Ventures has been organizing all the holidays’ tours with Hiking/Trekking, White-water Rafting, Mountain Climbing, Wildlife Safari, Mountain Biking, Bird Watching, Scenic Mountain Flights, Home Stay Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Volunteering and Helicopter tours along with nature adventure, cultural adventure and social activities into every possible destination in Nepal to experience the Difference.
Nepal Geography: Nepal lies geographically sandwiched between China and India stretching across diverse picturesque landscape. This tiny Himalayan nation encompasses the total surface area of 147141 square kilometers. The geographic coordinates lies between 28°00′N 84°00′E. On the basis of topography, there are three regions in Nepal namely, lowland Terai Region in the south, lower Hilly regions in the middle, and Mountainous Region in the north. And on the basis of diverse ecological settings of the country, the regions have been divided into Terai, and Siwalik, then Middle Mountain and finally High Himalaya.
Terai Region: The lowland Terai occupies about 17 percent of the total land area of the country. It provides excellent elevation of these flatlands ranges from 65m to 50m above the sea level. Sub-tropical forest areas, marshes and wildlife that include the Royal Bengal Tiger, one-horned rhinoceros and the gharial crocodiles, are found in this area.
Hilly Region: Hilly region occupies about 68 percent of total land of Nepal. And this is formed by the Mahabharata range that ranges from 500m to 4877m and the lower Chure range including Kathmandu which is the capital city of Nepal. Well, during the summer the temperature reaches an average 32 degree Celsius. Winters are cold; the temperature reaches 1 degree Centigrade sometimes. The eastern part of this region receives more rainfalls because of the monsoon clouds coming from the southeast part. Since the rivers in the west do not receive much rainfall, so they are dependent upon melted snow which flows down from the Mountains. Various kinds of birds and wildlife are found here. The people in the region have gained a lot from the growth of tourism industry.
Himalayan Region: The Himalayan Region ranges between the altitudes of 4877 meters to 8848 meters. This is the region which includes major eight of the ten highest summits in the world which exceeds the altitude of 8000 meters. Those glorious mountains include Mt Everest (8,848m), Kanchanjungha (8,586), Lhotse (8,516), Makalu (8,463m), Cho Oyu (8,201m), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Manaslu (8,163 m) and Annapurna I (8,091 m). The Himalayan range makes up the northern border of the country and occupies 15 percent of total land of Nepal. The Sparse vegetation is found up to 4500m. Some of Nepal’s most beautiful animals and plants are also found here. Although rare, but the snow leopards and Danphe birds are also found here. People who live in this region generally produce and then sell the yak cheese besides working as porters and guides. So many other people also trade with Tibet and travel across the border to sell their goods.
History of Nepal
We have got many variation and changes in the history of Nepal in short time. Nepal witnessed many rulers and dynasties with passing of every new century. Those rulers and dynasties played contributing roles in molding Nepal into present Modern Nepal. First, Kirant dynasty ruled Nepal from 9th Century BC to 1st Century AD. Then, Lichchhavi dynasty took over the regime from 3rd Century to 13th Century. Then, the reignis followedby the Thakuri andMalla andthen Shah Kings. Early Malla rule started with Ari Malla in the 12th Century and his kingdom expanded widely over the next two centuries into Terai and western Tibet. Then, Jayasthiti Mall commenced the later Malla dynasty of the Kathmandu Valley. She began to reign at the end of 14th century. During his short reign, he made various eminent social and economic reforms like ‘Sanskritization’ of the Valley people, commenced new methods of land measurement and allocation and so on.
We move into the modern period of Nepal’s history with Shah King Prithvi Narayan Shah who was the 9th descendent of Dravya Shah. Actually, Dravya Sha is the founder of Gorkha ruling house. Prithvi Narayan Shah started the unification process and was successful in bringing together diverse religious and ethnic groups under one nationality. But later on, Nepalese had differences of opinion with the East India Company regarding the ownership of the land strip of the western Terai which led into the conflict and then war with British. Though Nepalese were able to inflict heavy losses to the British Army on various fronts, British proved too strong due to their superior weapons and the large number of army. Ultimately, the Treaty of Sugauli was signed with British Government in 1816. The Kot Massacre led by Jung Bahadur Rana in 1846back-seated the power of monarchy and made Rana Regime more powerful for 103 subsequent years. In 1950, King Tribhuvan with the support of India restored monarchy in the country.Then, a coalition government comprising the Nepali Congress Party and the Ranas was thereafter installed with the promise of free elections in 1952.
And in 1960, the King Mahendra (Son of King Tribhuvan) tactically established Panchayat System which means ‘Five Councils System’ by engineering a coup and declaring a new constitution imprisoning all the leaders of the then government and enforcing a ban on all political parties. But, People’s Movement of 1990 opened up a new chapter for a decade of democracy in Nepal which led to constitutional monarchy with multiparty democracy. However, democracy came with heavy price leading to incompetent political leaders, Maoist insurgency and other political conflicts, corruptions and downfall of national economy. The Royal Massacre in 2001 left the whole world in complete shock as King Birendra and his whole family was assassinated. Then, King Gyanendra was crowned the King of Nepal after his brother’s assassination.
With the advent of 2006 during People’s Movement, all major political parties committed to reform their past mistakes and Maoist rebels came together with the support from Nepalese people and King Gyanendra was compelled to hand over the political power to Nepalese people and democracy was once again restored in Nepal. Nepal was declared Federal Republic in December 24, 2007 by the seven parties including Maoist and ruling party. In the elections held on 10th April 2008, Maoists secured a simple majority. And on 28th May, 2008, the newly elected Constituent Assembly declared Nepal a Federal Democratic Republic.
Weather and Climate:
Nepal with the long stretch of the northern frontier, which is mostly rugged terrain, towered by the mighty Himalayas experiences arctic type of climate and a few hours down south at the fringes of the Indian borderlands the landscape and climate changes dramatically as the elevation decreases. With lush green tropical forests and vast stretches of plains one can encounter hot humid climate.
The year is divided into 4 different seasons in Nepal – winter, spring, monsoon and autumn.
The best period to visit the country for plant lovers is during spring when the flowers are in full bloom. The mountain slopes are covered with beautiful and colorful flowers. Spring season commences from early March and continues until late May. Even though the days are clear haze disturbs the mountain views. Late May, and the downpour begins. It continues till late August. Come September and the autumn season begins. It continues till late November. With temperate climate, clear blue skies and extraordinary mountain views it is the best season to visit the country. Winter begins in late November and continues till late February.
Himalayan region climate varies as per the altitude wise from the low southern land of Gangetic plains of Terai at 60meters above sea level to the mid hills-valleys at 9,00m, 1500-200m and to the high mountain settlement at 3000-4000m and above. From over 40oC warm sub-tropic, to the arctic climate of -0oC to -20oC conditions exists. Here’s our Climate Guide that can help you with your selection of treks in the Himalayan region and Good Luck! Nepal and its Himalayan range have a typical monsoonal two season a year. There’s the dry season from October to May and the wet season, the monsoon, from June to September. September-November, the start of the dry season, is in many ways the best time in Nepal and around the Himalaya. As the Himalayan regions have low precipitations, the snow fall is limited depending upon the region, season and elevation.
NEPAL PEOPLE AND LANGUAGES
NEPAL PEOPLE AND LANGUAGES: The official statistics shows that the population of Nepal is around 29 million which include more than 60 ethnic groups speaking 70 different dialects and languages.Around 86 percent of population follow Hinduism while 8 percent follow Buddhism and 3 percent follow Islam. The total population comprises of various groups of different races which are further divided into different castes. Nepalese society is ethnically diverse and complex ranging in phenotype and culture from India and Tibet. Various ethnic groups evolve into distinct patterns over time. Many customs have been developed by the influences of the land and climate as well as available resources.
We can divide the largest groups of people on the basis of geographical location by altitude. In fact, Nepali is the official language of Nepal which is spoken and understood by almost whole population of the country. Multiple ethnic groups speak more than a dozen other languages in about more than 93 different dialects. Though, English is spoken by many in government and other business offices. English is the mode of education in most. There are as many as 126 listed languages spoken in Nepal. And out of these, and apart from Nepali, other most commonly spoken languages in Nepal include: Maithili, Abadhi, Bhojpuri, Newari, Tamang, Gurung, Tharu, Magar, Limbu, Hindi, Urdu, Doteli, and so on.
The diverse ethnic distribution of Nepal can be depicted as follows:
NORTHERN HIMALAYAN PEOPLE
There are Tibetan speaking people like Sherpas, Lopas, Dolpas, and Manangis in the northern region of the Himalayan region. Sherpas are mainly found in the east in the Solu and Khumbu region and Barangonlis and Lopas live in the Semi-deserted areas of Upper and Lower Mustang in the Tibetan rain shadow area. Manangis live in Manang district area while the Dolpas live in Dolpa district of the West Nepal.
MIDDLE HILLS AND VALLEY PEOPLE
There are several ethnic groups live together with harmony in the middle hills and valleys. Magars and Tamangs, Gurungs and Sunwars, Thakalis and Newars, Chepangs and majority of Brahmins and Chhetries among many others are the main inhabitants of this region. In fact, Brahmins and Chhetris have long dominance in all religious, social and political sectors. Other occupational castes in this area are: Damai (Tailor), Kami (Blacksmith), Sarki (Cobbler), and Sunar (Goldsmith).
KATHMANDU VALLEY PEOPLE
In fact, Kathmandu Valley represents a cultural blend of the country where people from varied backgrounds have come together to present the valley culture. The natives of the Kathmandu valley are Newars and Newari culture is an integration of both Hinduism and Buddhism. And well, in the past, the Newars of the valley were well recognized as traders or farmers by occupation.
Tharus, Kumhal, Darai, Majhi and other groups who have roots in India are the main ethnic groups of Terai. They speak north Indian dialects like Bhojpuri and Maithili. Most inhabitants of Terai live on agriculture as Terai containsfertile plains. However, some occupational castes like Majhi (fisherman), Danuwar (cart driver), and Kumhal (potter) also live in Terai.
Nepali culture and traditions
Nepali culture and traditions: Nepal is rich in culture and its culture is comprised of the social customs and traditional values. The diverse geography of Nepal has made its culture unique. The rich and multidimensional cultural heritage of Nepal encompasses within itself the cultural diversities of various ethnic, social and tribal groups inhabiting different attitudes and it manifests various forms like music and dance, craft and art, literature and languages, folktales and folklores, philosophy and religion, celebrations and festivals, foods and drinks and so on. Also being sandwiched between India and China, the culture and lifestyle of the people at different places has greatly affected. Many ethnic groups have their own dramatic culture and customs. Most of the customs go back to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The most interesting among them are the marriage customs, festival celebrations, funeral ceremonies etc.
Ethnic diversity and unique cultural pattern of Nepal make Nepal one of the most fascinating tourist destinations of Nepal. Nepalese society is culturally influenced by the caste hierarchy. The caste system is comprised of Brahmin-Chhetri-Vaisya-Shudra. Actually, Nepal remained a Hindu Kingdom but has now become a secular nation. Nepalese people’s love for art is evident as you will get to see attractive artworks in temples and monuments and even at the houses. We can see the typical culture reflected through valuable artworks within Kathmandu Valley and outside. There are many cultural heritages within and out of valley which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
While visiting Nepal, it’s better to know about few of the really useful and popular customs & etiquettes though:
Visa Requirements: You can either processed tourist visas from any Nepalese Embassy or via the web or you upon arrival in Nepal. Please note that once the visa is issued, it may not be amended or re-validated and visa fees will not be refunded. USD cash or Visa and Master Card credit cards are accepted for visa fees. Visitors who wanted to get tourist visa at arrival, they can obtain into following arrival points in Nepal:
Tribhubhan International Airport (TIA), Kathmandu| Kodari| Kakarbhitta| Birgunj| Belhiya Bhairahawa | Nepalgunj |Dhangadi | Mahendranagar.
REQUIREMENTS for Visa is as following:
Valid Passport (with a validity of a minimum period of six months) duly completed Visa application form.
Visa fees easier to be paid in cash.
Visa fees at arrival points in Nepal: Visa for 15 days = $25, For 30 days = $40, For 90 days = $100.
Please also note that: Nationals of the following countries must apply for a tourist visa through Nepalese Embassies as they do not get visas on arrival at the entry points of Nepal.
Note: Nigeria | Ghana | Zimbabwe | Swaziland | Cameroon | Somalia | Liberia| Ethiopia| Iraq| Palestine and Afghanistan’s Travel Document holders (Passport holder) should apply for a tourist visa at the Nepalese Embassy. Entry validity: The validity of visa dates is counted from the date of arrival in Nepal which is Six months from the date of issue.
Visa Extension: A tourist visa can be extended from the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu and Pokhara Immigration Office for a total of 120 days. Over the course of a visa year, a tourist cannot stay in Nepal more than cumulative 150 days.
EACH CLIENT IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR OBTAINING ALL NECESSARY VISAS.
Country entry regulations can be changed, Unique Path Travels does not accept responsibility for changes in regulations or requirements for visas. The information provided is given in good faith.
Currency: The official currency in Nepal is Rupee. The most commonly use symbol for Rupee is NPR or Rs. One Rupee is made up of 100 Paisa, a smaller unit. There are coins for denominations of one, two, five and ten rupees and bank notes in denominations of 1,2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees. There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency or travelers checks brought into Nepal.
Money Exchange: Nepal Rastra Bank (National Bank) sets the exchange rate and lists rate in daily news paper. There are many money changer counters and Banks in the cities at where you can change your cash money. When you are changing money officially, you need to show your passport and get receipt with your identity.
There are various ATM Machines in main cities and towns like Kathmandu, Pokhara and so on. Where you can get cash (only Nepalese Rupee) on both Visa and Master Card’s 24 hours a day. Usually you can draw Maximum 30,000 NPR a day from your Card.
Travel / Medical Insurance: Travel / Medical insurance a compulsory in all Trexmount Ventures trips, all clients MUST be insured to cover personal accident, medical expenses, cancellation, curtailment and repatriation.
Vaccinations: Your doctor might suggest you while traveling in Asia or any 3rd world countries, as in Nepal vaccinations are not compulsory unless coming from a yellow fever infected region but we do recommend you are covered for: *diphtheria & TB, hepatitis A, *hepatitis B, *malaria, typhoid, polio and tetanus. NB* a Yellow Fever certificate is required if arriving from infected areas.
For traveling in the countryside and remote areas, immune globulin is also recommended to combat hepatitis A. We advise you to bring along a supply of antibiotics, an anti-diarrhea agent, and any other prescription drugs required by your current medical conditions.
Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.You may need additional inoculations so please contact your GP or a travel medical center for further information. Please consult your doctor for up-to-date information and prescriptions for vaccinations, anti-malarial requirements and any reasonably foreseeable illnesses whilst traveling into Asia.
Note: Please don’t forget check up with your Doctor & get advice whether your health permit or not to go into the region.
VOLTAGE: Electricity in Nepal is 230 volts AC, 50 cycles. We do have two pins & 3 pins power sockets, you better to have two Pin travel plug adapter which will be useful to charge your batteries.
NEPAL TIME ZONE: Nepal Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 5:45 Hours).