It borders with the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's
Republic of China in the North and India in the East, South and
AREA: 147,181 sq. kilometers.
ALTITUDE: Varies from 70 meters to 8848 meters.
Nepali is the national language of Nepal. Educated people understand
and speak English as well.
Nepal Time is 5 hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT and 15 minutes ahead
of Indian standard time.
Nepal has four major seasons, namely, (1) Winter: December-February,
(2) Spring: March-May, (3) Summer: June-August, (4) Autumn: September-
Nepal can be visited the whole year round.
PEOPLE & RELIGION
Nepalese people are mainly divided into two distinct groups the
Indo-Aryans and the Mongoloids. Kathmandu Valley is the spiritual
and cultural meeting point of all these groups. Nepal is the only
Hindu Kingdom in the world. Hindu Temples and Buddhist shrines are
scattered all over the kingdom. Nepal is the birthplace of Lord
Buddha, the Light of Asia. There is a complex blending of Hinduism
and Buddhism in Nepal.
WHAT TO WEAR
Except in formal gathering informal clothes are acceptable mostly
everywhere. Warm garments are required in October-March. An umbrella
or a rain coat are must for the rainy season.
CURRENCY & FOREIGN EXCHANGE
Nepali Rupee notes come in Rs. 1, Rs. 2, Rs. 5, Rs. 10, Rs. 20,
Rs. 50, Rs. 100, Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 denominations. Coins come
in 5p, 1 0p, 25p, Rs. 1 & Rs. 5 denominations.
Foreign currencies must be exchanged only through the banks or authorized
foreign exchange dealers. The receipts from such transactions are
to be obtained and retained. Visitors can exchange foreign currency
at the foreign exchange counter at the airport upon arrival. Visitor
other than the Indian nationals have to make the payment in hotels,
travel or trekking agencies and air tickets in foreign currency.
Non-lndian visitors are not allowed to import or export Indian Currency.
The approximate value of one US Dollar is equivalent to Rs. 50.97
as of June 1995.
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold a passport and
a valid visa. The visas can be obtained at the Nepalese Diplomatic
Missions and Consuls abroad and entry points issue visa for a 15
days. The visa will be extended at the Department of Immigration,
Tridevi Marg, Thamel, Tel: 412337/418573. The Department also issues
multi entry visa for the visitors.
By Air: Tribhuvan Internaitonal Airport, Kathmandu.
By Land: (1) Kakarbhitta (2) Birgunj (3) Belhiya (Bhairahawa) (4)
Nepalgunj (5) Dhangadi (6) Jogbani (Biratnagar) and (7) Mahendra
Nagar in Nepal-lndia border and Kodari in Nepal-China border. The
overland tourists entering the Kingdom with their vehicles must
possess an international carnet.
All baggage is subject to customs' check at the point of entry.
Visitors are allowed to bring in the consumable articles such as
liquor one bottle up 1.15 litres, 200 sticks of cigarette, 15 rolls
of photo film and 12 rolls of movie camera film. Visitors are also
allowed to carry one binocular, one camera, one movie camera, one
video camera, one radio, one tape recorder, one bicycle, one wrist
watch, one set of fountain pen, one perambulator, 15 radio cassettes
& 10 disk records into the country on the condition that they
are declared and are to be taken back on return. Carrying narcotics,
arms and ammunitions are strictly prohibited. Visitors can export
souvenirs to their respective countries. The export of antiuques
requires special certificate from the Department of Archaeology,
National Archive Building, Ram Shah Path, Kathmandu (Tel: 215358),
Gold, silver, precious stones, wild animals and their skins, horns,
etc, all drugs whether processed or in their natural state, are
prohibited to export.
Royal Nepal Airlines the national flag carrier of Nepal and other
International airlines operate scheduled flights to Kathmandu from
Bangkok, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Dubai, Dhaka, Paro, Varanasi,
Frankfurt, Paris, Hongkong, Karachi, London, Moscow, Singapore and
Lhasa.The International Airlines operating their flights to Kathmandu
include Aeroflot, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, China South West Airlines,
Druk Air, Indian Airlines, Lufthansa, Pakistan International Airlines,
Singapore Airlines and Thai International.
Rs. 600 per person for departure to SAARC (South Asian) Countries
and Rs. 700 for departure to other international destinations. For
domestic flights those flying within Nepal are required to pay Rs.
Royal Nepal Arilines has an extensive network of air services in
the interior of Nepal. This include Taplejung, Bhadrapur, Rajbiraj,
Bhojpur, Phapl, Lukla, Lamidanda Tumlingtar, Rumjatar, and Biratnagar
in the East; Nepalgunj, Chaurjhari, Surkhet, Dang, Rolpa and Jumla,
in the Mid-West, and kolti, Mahendranagar, Dhangadi, Silgadi (Doti),
Tikapur, Sanphebagar, Baitadi, and Darchula in the Far Western Region.
Besides Royal Nepal Airlines, the other domestic airlines such as
Nepal Airways, Everest Air, Asian Airlines Helicopter, Necon Air
provide regular and charter services to different popular domestic
Royal Nepal Airlines and other domestic Airlines in the private
sector also operate breathtaking mountain flights for the tourists
round the year.
In addition to metered taxis, limousine service is also available
at the airport for transport to major hotels in the city.
OTHER TRANSPORT ARRANGEMENTS
Metered taxis having black plates with white figures are available
in Kathmandu. Metered tempos (three wheeler scooter) are also available
and are slightly cheaper than taxis. Bicycles, motorcycles and rickshaws
are also available on hire. The fare for the bicycles or motorcycles
is fixed wheareas the fare of rickshaws is to be negotiated. There
are regular bus services between the main town of the Kathmandu
Valley. The Bus Terminal is located at Gongabu (new bus terminal)
and Bagbazar (old bus terminal). Similarly, scheduled bus services
for outside the Valley operate from the Gongabu Bus Terminal which
is located at Balaju, Kathmandu.
The Department of Immigration located at Tridevi Marg, Thamel (Tel
412337) issues trekking permit for the tourists who intend to trek
any part of the country. Trekking permit fee for different trekking
areas are fixed as follows.
Trekking areas Trekking permit fee
1. Annapurna, Everest,Langtang and Rara Equivalent to US$ 5 per
person per week for the first four weeks and US$ 10 per week thereafter.
2. Dolpa and Kanchenjunga Equivalent to US$ 10 per person per week
for the first four weeks and US$ 20 per week thereafter.
3. Manaslu US$ 75 per person per week.
4. Mustang and upper Dolpa US$ 700 per person for the first ten
days and US$ 70 per person per day thereafter.
Note: Trekking to Dolpa, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Mustang can be
undertaken through registered trekking agencies only. To Trek in
a national park area an entrance fee of Rs. 650.00 is to be paid
separately. Likewise, an entrance fee of Rs. 200.00 is also collected
from every trekker going into the Annapurna Conservation Area. There
are several government registered trekking agencies in Nepal to
conduct such trekking programmes.
Nepal has every type of accommodation facilities that a tourist
might ask for. This ranges from the international standard star
hotels to budget hotels and lodges. Similarly one can also have
a choice of sightseeing from a range of different tour packages.
In order to have an assured quality service it is advisable to use
the facilities and services of government registered hotels, lodges,
travel agencies the licensed tour guides only and engage an authorized
guide or porter only through a registered travel/trekking agency.
MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Very few countries in the world can offer as many varieties of adventure
tourism packages as Nepal. Of the 14 peaks above 8000 meters in
the world eight are located in Nepal. It is the land of Sagarmatha
(Mount. Everest, 8848 meters), the highest peak in the world and
other 1310 mountain peaks.
For those who can not withstand the rigorousness of mountain climbing
there are mountain flights which fly around the Mount Everest and
provide a close look of the top of the world. Also from Nagarkot
(32 kilometers East of Kathmandu) and Daman (80 Kilometers south-west
of Kathmandu) one can have a distant view of Mount Everest and beautiful
Himalayan ranges. Trekking is the best way to get to interesting
and remote mountain villages of Nepal and to enjoy views of the
famous peaks together with their lifestyle untouched with modern
The river rafting,which is known as "White Water Adventure"
represents another major attractions. Within distance of 100 miles,
one can see the topographical variations with the rivers rising
from the higher points near Nepal's Tibetan border and then
dropping dramatically to lower levels the plains bordering India.
For those who wish to view wildlife, Nepal offers plenty of scope.
Of the eight National Parks and four Wildlife Reserves and two conservation
areas in Nepal.
For the less adventures, Pokhara, the lake city of Nepal has no
equal as it provides ample opportunities for fishing, swimming,
canoeing and boating along with the sightseeing of majestic panoramic
views in its background. It is only Pokhara, a tropical spot with
an altitude of about 900 meters where from one can see the mountain
crossing over 8000meters from such a short distance of about 40
kilometers. For the nature lovers Nepal is such a land of natural
beauty that metaphors cannot delineate its real picture. At the
sametime, Nepal proffers an incomparable scope to the scholars and
connoiseurs of art and culture to see and study the different aspects
of the fine-arts be it painting, sculpture, wood carving or architecture.
Kathmandu Valley possesses several historical monuments, old palaces
and palace squares, shrines and temples, ageless traditions and
legends all make it a living museum that any visitor would cherish
its vivid memory in his/her heart for ever. Nepal is the land of
Lord Pashupatinath, which is supposed to be the holiest Hindu temple
in the world. Besides, two out of the four main holy places (chhetras)
of Hindu pilgrimages namely Muktichhetra and Varahachhetra,are located
in Nepal. Not only for the Hindus but also for the Buddhists Nepal
offers a unique place of pilgrimage as it happens to be the birthplace
of Lord Buddha, the apostle of peace and compassion.
Nepal is a land of Festivals with some part of the Kingdom or the
other celebrating some festival during everyday of the year. Festivals
may be linked with the remembrance of the departed soul, to herald
the different seasons, to mark the beginning or end of the agricultural
cycle, to mark the national events, or just family celebrations.
On a festive day the Nepalese take their ritual bath, worship different
gods and goddesses, visit temple, observe fasting and undertake
feasting. The most important aspect of Nepali culture is the religious
harmony and understanding prevailing among the Hindus and Buddhist.
Some of the major festivals of Nepal are:
New Year's Day-April 14,(First day of Baisakh)
Matatirtha Aunsi or Mother's Day - (April)
Buddha Jayanti - (April)
Machchendranath Rath Jatra- (May-June)
Guru Poornima (August)
Krishnashtami - (August-September)
Gokarna Aunsi or Father's Day - (August-September)
Indra Jatra - (September)
Bada Dashain - (September-October)
Constitution Day - (November 9, ie. Kartik 23)
Bala Chaturdarshi - (November-December)
Birthday of His Majesty the King - (December 28, ie. Paush 14)
Birth-Anniversay of His Late Majesty King Prithvi Narayani Shah,
The Great - (January 10, ie. Paush 27)
Basanta Panchami - (January-February)
National Democracy Day- (February 18, ie. Falgun 7)
Maha Shivaratri - (March-April)
Ghode Jatra - (March-April)
If someone really wants to be away for sometime from the cacophony
of modernization, here is Nepal,the best sojourn cradled in the
lap of the Himalayas that never ceases to offer eternal peace and