Quick facts about Nepal
- Country: Nepal
- Capital: Kathmandu
- Currency: Nepalese rupee (NPR)
- Official languages: Nepali
- Population: 28,095,714
- Religion: 83% Hinduism, 9% Buddhism & others
- Total Area: 147,181 km2 (56,827 sq mi)
- GDP: $84 billion
- Country Calling code: +977
- Time Zone: UTC+5:45
Nepal is the landlocked multiethnic, multilingual and multi-religious country situated at the north of India in the Himalayas. Nepal is the cultural powerhouse of the Himalaya with the Kathmandu Valley offering an unparalleled collection of world-class palaces, hidden shrines and sublime temple art.
Nepal is generally associated as the nation with snow-capped mountain peaks. The country along the southern slopes of the Himalayan mountain range is host to eight of the 10 highest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga (on the border to Sikkim). South of Nepal’s mountains lay a chain of national parks presenting diverse wildlife.
Of all the countries located in South Asia, Nepal is perhaps the most incredible to visit. From breathtaking terrain to be explored to friendly, colourful locals who are eager to share their culture and traditions with visitors, a trip to Nepal is sure to inspire even the most adventurous traveller.
Nepal boasts a variety of living languages of the traditional Asiatic cultural. The official language of Nepal is Nepali. A large population also speak other languages such as Tharu around Chitwan, Newari in the Kathmandu Valley, Sherpa in the Everest area, and Maithili and Bhojpuri in the Terai. English is widely spoken by the young generation and Hindi is widely understood and spoken, particularly in the south of the country.
Nepal currently has a population of around 30 million. Nepalis are admirably flexible and tolerant in religious beliefs. There is almost no religious or ethnic tension in Nepal. Nepali’s are generally good-humoured, patient and happy people.
In southern Nepal, summer temperatures exceed 40° C and in winter temperatures range from 7°C to 23°C. In mountainous regions, hills and valleys summers are temperate while winter temperatures can drop to sub-zero. The Kathmandu Valley has a pleasant climate with average summer temperatures of 20°C – 35°C and 2°C – 12°C in winter. Average temperatures in Nepal drop 6°C for every 1,000 m you gain in altitude.
The currency of Nepal is NEPALI RUPEES. There are coins for denominations of one, two, five and 10 rupees, and banknotes in denominations of one, two, five, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees. It’s easy to change cash and access ATMs in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other cities, but almost impossible in rural areas or on treks.
Exquisite handicrafts with exclusive workmanship are sold in the markets of Nepal. Artistic works of stone and metal, silver and gold trinkets and incredible wood carvings are readily available. Other kinds of souvenirs include Nepali tea, the famous Gurkha knife, prayer wheels, stone carvings, singing bowls, papier–maché masks, pashmina, carpets, jewellery etc.
Souvenir items are available in tourist areas like Thamel, New Road, Basantapur, Asan, Patan, Bhaktapur and around major hotels. But remember anything older than 100 years old cannot be taken out of the country.
HOW TO REACH NEPAL FROM INDIA
There are a handful of airlines that operate daily from India including Jet Airways, Indigo and Air India to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Other airlines that connect Nepal to various international destinations are Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airlines, Silk Air, Oman Airlines, Air China, Air Asia, Fly Dubai and Air Arabia.
There are regular passenger and cargo trains that connect Sirsiya (Southern Nepal) and Raxaul (India). There is no visa requirement and this option is only open to Indians and Nepalese.
The bus is the most convenient option to reach Nepal from India. There are direct buses that operate between Delhi and Kathmandu. Travelling by car is also a common practice. You are required to pay a toll fee and a transport permit at the border crossing. Do not forget to collect the receipts as you might be asked at other checkpoints. Please note, there is a lot of traffic at the border that often makes the journey tedious.
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