This is a small landlocked Himalayan country in South Asia, bordered by the People's Republic of China to the north and India to the south, east and west. For a small country like Nepal, landscape is diverse, ranging from the Terai in the south to the Mount Everest in the north. Within a very small breadth the elevation of Nepal increases from the plain terrain to the tallest Himalayas. Nepal boasts eight of the world's ten highest mountains, including Mount Everest. The captivating landscape, with a diversity of flora and fauna, is the ultimate destination for a adventure holiday. It has to offer everything to the traveler from easy and short excursions to the long challenges of the snowy peaks, invoking visions of the spectacular Himalayas. Down south the lush meadows, green woodland and fragrant orchards leads to Lumbini the holy land of the Lord Gautam Buddha. Nepal is known for tourism, trekking, hiking, camping, mountain biking, national wildlife parks, jungle safaris, river rafting and for its beautiful temples. The other main cities and places of interest include Pashupatinath, Pokhra, Biratnagar, Birgunj, Janakpur, Nepalgunj, Mahendranagar, Chitwan, etc.
Nepal Tourist Place
- NEPAL HISTORY
In the mid-18th century, Prithvi Narayan Shah, a Gorkha king, set out to put together what would become present-day Nepal. He embarked on his mission by securing the neutrality of the bordering mountain kingdoms. After several bloody battles and sieges, notably the Battle of Kirtipur, he managed to conquer the Kathmandu Valley in 1769. A detailed account of Prithvi Narayan Shah's victory was written by Father Giuseppe, an eyewitness to the war. The Gorkha dominion reached its height when the North Indian territories of the Kumaon and Garhwal Kingdoms in the west to Sikkim in the east came under Nepal rule. At its maximum extent, Greater Nepal extended from the Teesta River in the east, to Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, across the Sutlej in the west as well as further south into the Terai plains and north of the Himalayas than at present. A dispute with Tibet over the control of mountain passes and inner Tingri valleys of Tibet forced the Qing Emperor of China to start the Sino-Nepali War compelling the Nepali to retreat and pay heavy reparations to Peking.
Nepal is of roughly trapezoidal shape, 800 kilometres (497 mi) long and 200 kilometres (124 mi) wide, with an area of 147,181 km2 (56,827 sq mi). See List of territories by size for the comparative size of Nepal. It lies between latitudes 26° and 31°N, and longitudes 80° and 89°E.
Nepal is commonly divided into three physiographic areas:Himal,Pahad and Terai. 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 Plain.Terai is a low land region containing some hill ranges. 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 Sivalik Hills or Churia Range cresting at 700 to 1,000 metres (2,297 to 3,281 ft) marks the limit of the Gangetic Plain, however broad, low valleys called Inner Tarai Valleys (Bhitri Tarai Uptyaka) lie north of these foothills in several places.
Nepal has five climatic zones, broadly corresponding to the altitudes. The tropical and subtropical zones lie below 1,200 metres (3,937 ft), the temperate zone 1,200 to 2,400 metres (3,937 to 7,874 ft), the cold zone 2,400 to 3,600 metres (7,874 to 11,811 ft), the subarctic zone 3,600 to 4,400 metres (11,811 to 14,436 ft), and the Arctic zone above 4,400 metres (14,436 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.
Folklore is an integral part of Nepali 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, culture, and beliefs. Many Nepali folktales are enacted through the medium of dance and music.
Most houses in the rural lowlands 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 not rectangular in shape.The constitution of Nepal contains instructions for a geometric construction of the flag. According to its official description, the red in the flag stands for victory in war or courage, and is also the colour 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 Nepali, while the sun represents the aggressiveness of Nepali warriors.
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 47 airports, 11 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. In 2007 there were just over 10,142 km (6,302 mi) of paved roads, and 7,140 km (4,437 mi) of unpaved road, and one 59 km (37 mi) railway line in the south. More than one-third of its people live at least a two hours walk from the nearest all-season road; 15 out of 75 district headquarters are not connected by road. In addition, around 60% of the road network and most rural roads are not operable during the rainy season. The only practical seaport of entry for goods bound for Kathmandu is Kolkata in West Bengal state of India. Internally, the poor state of development of the road system makes access to markets, schools, and health clinics a challenge.
Nepal Places of Interest
Kathmandu, the capital and largest city in Nepal, is like no other city in the world. The decaying buildings in the heart of the city are a contrast to the lively atmosphere that permeates the streets. The smell of incense wafts from the stores while street sellers push their wares, and people go about their daily lives, all against a backdrop of historic temples and carved statues.
For several hundred years, Kathmandu was one of three rival royal cities, along with Bhaktapur and Patan. Situated in close proximity to each other, today these three almost run together. The highlight of Kathmandu has long been Durbar Square, the largest of the palace squares in the three royal cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Temples and monuments of varying shapes, sizes, styles, and faiths can be found here.
Bhaktapur is the cultural hub of Nepal with abundance of historic, artistic & uniquely architectured, monuments; cultural riches , festivals, dances, music, art, life & life style with in Bhaktapur city and has since attracted millions of tourists. It lay on the trade route between Tibet / China and India. The temple has developed the Pagoda style and the best of them is the five - tiered Nyatapole. Durbar Square is the hub of activity that houses the 55 window Palace and is now a National Gallery. Golden Gate which is nearby is the venue of Taleju Temple. This temple is dedicated to the goddess Taleju Bhawani with Taleju Bhawani and Kumari’s shrines. Photography of goddess is strictly prohibited. Surrounded by green mountains almost around its three sides with clean, fresh mountain air, natural environment, green fields and beautiful view of the Himalayan mountain range, innumerable wilderness of flora and fauna are the main tourist attractions. Things to watch is romantic sun rise and sun set, exciting nearby village walks Siddhi Laxmi Temple, Vatsala Temple, Bhandarkhal Complex, Chatu Brahma Mahavihar, Indrayani Temple, Balakhu Ganesh Temple, Tripura-sundari Temple, etc.
The Bodhanath Stupa, just outside of Kathmandu, is one of the largest stupas of its kind in the world, and dates to sometime around the 6th century, possibly even earlier. Like Bhaktapur, it lies on the old trade route to Tibet and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stupa sustained minor damage during the 2015 earthquake but is otherwise in good condition. The stupa itself is a symbol of enlightenment but at Boudhanath the symbolism is particularly clear. Each different shape represents one of the five elements, earth, water, fire, air, and sphere, which are also the attributes of the five Buddhas. Brought together in the form of the stupa, their unity reflects in abstract fashion the structure of the universe itself.
Pokhara, at the base of the foothills, is 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu and surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the world - Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Annapurna I. For many trekkers, Pokhara is the gateway to the Himalayas. It is the starting point for treks to Jomsom and the Annapurna region. But visitors will enjoy Pokhara and the beautiful scenery even if they are not planning on heading off on a hike.
By population, it is the second largest town in Nepal after Kathmandu but still does not feel like a big city. People coming from the Kathmandu Valley notice the much cleaner air and pleasant climate almost immediately. Lake Phewa, with its cluster of lakeside hotels, restaurants, and shops, is ideal for those looking for relaxation and for day excursions.
Chitwan National Park is the place to come to experience a different side of Nepal, apart from the hiking and the intrigue of Kathmandu. This is the place for wildlife viewing and a safari-type atmosphere. At an altitude of only 100 meters in some areas, much lower than Kathmandu at 1400 meters, this area has a tropical monsoon climate, usually quite different than what most people expect to find in Nepal. Visitors come here primarily to see wildlife. Tours from the lodges take visitors out into the park, either on foot, or more often, on elephants for close-up views of the animals. The park is home to rhinos, Bengal tigers, leopards, sloth bears, gaur (buffalo) deer, and many other critters. Freshwater dolphins (gangetic) and crocodiles inhabit the rivers and streams but are rarely seen. More than 500 species of birds make Chitwan a paradise for ornithologists.
Set on a hilltop to the west of Kathmandu, Swayambhunath is the second most important shrine in the Kathmandu Valley after Boudhanath. Due to the resident monkeys that inhabit parts of the temple, it is more affectionately known as the Monkey Temple. The Swayambhu Stupa, painted with the eyes of the omnipresent god, forms the centerpiece of the temple complex. It was originally a prehistoric cult site, but the temple complex dates to the 5th century. Swayambhu plays a major part in the lives of the Vajrayana Buddhists of Northern Nepal and Tibet, but especially of the Newari Buddhists of the Kathmandu Valley.
The Helambu region is a popular trekking area, particularly with trekking companies offering guided hikes. This is largely because it is close to Kathmandu, does not reach astoundingly high elevations, and offers some beautiful mountain scenery. For many of these same reasons, it is often touted by tour groups as being easy. However, many hikers who come here on tours find it is more demanding than they feel they were led to believe and more difficult than they anticipate. Trekking in the Himalayas is always demanding, and although it is not as high as other treks, it is still a physically demanding hike and trekkers should be in good physical condition. With that in mind, this is a beautiful trek and well worth the effort.