Tucked in between two gigantic nations; India in the south, east and west, and China in the north, Nepal is a landlocked country with the total area of 1, 47,181 square kilometers. The official name of country Nepal is “Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal”. However, dwelling the world’s highest peak Mt. Everest (8848m) and other several majestic Himalayan ranges in its meager domain, the country is also known as the land of Himalayas. Regardless of its small territory, Nepal is enriched with unique biodiversity and cultural delights.
With Kathmandu as its capital city, Nepal is further divided into three geographical regions; the Himalayan region in the north, Hilly region in the center ad Terai region in the south. The meager territory of Nepal accommodates 29.62 million people. The Himalayan region of Nepal boasts the sky soaring iconic Himalayan peaks inclusive of 8 highest peaks in the world such as Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Annapurna etc. whereas Hilly region bestows lush green forests and medieval valleys rich in cultural diversity. Moreover, the Terai region is called the granary of Nepal as it supplies food products to the entire nation.
Despite the fact that Nepal was announced as secular state in April, 2006, the most noteworthy number of citizens of Nepal follow Hinduism i.e. 81.3% along with Buddhist followers 9.0%, Muslim 4.4%, Kiratist 3.0%, Christian 1.4%, Sikhs 0.2%, Jains 0.1% and 0.6% devoted to other religion. About 44.6% of Nepal’s population speaks “Nepali” as an official language and mother tongue of Nepal. However, Nepal possesses more than 70 spoken languages including Newari (3.2%), Bhojpuri (6%), Maithili (11.7%), Tharu (5.8%), and Magar (3%) etc. about more than 46.49% of total population of Nepal can fluently communicate in the English language. Thus, this cultural and religious diversity makes Nepal a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multilingual nation.
Nepal follows “Nepal Standard Time (NPT)” as the standard time zone for Nepal. NPT is one of just three time zones with a 45-minute balance from UTC.16 with a time counterbalance from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) of +5:45 all over Nepal. The official working hours of Nepal starts from 9 am in the morning till 5 pm in the evening. However, the working hours differ according to public holidays.
Entry points to Nepal-
Nepal being a landlocked country tucked between India and China, you can enter the territory of Nepal either by air or roadways. Nepal possesses only one international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport, which is located at Kathmandu. On the off chance, you are entering Nepal via roadways. You can enter Nepal via entry points either from China border or Indian border. From China, you can enter Nepal from Kodari Border, Kimathanka (Sankhuwasabha), Karola (Mustang), Olangchungola (Taplejung), Larke (Gorkha), Yari (Humla), Lamabagar (Dolakha) and Mugu. Whereas from India, you can enter Nepal via Kakarvitta, Birgung, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Dhangadi, and Mahendranagar.
Acquiring Nepalese visa after your arrival in Nepal is mandatory and the most conducive way to obtain your visa is upon your advent at Tribhuvan International Airport if you are entering Nepal through airways. But in case, if you are entering the territory of Nepal via entry points located at the border of India or China, you can procure your visa upon your arrival at the entry points. To acquire a Nepalese visa, you should fill up the visa application form. The documents required to fill the form are a valid passport with validity of at least 6 months, two passport size photographs and visa application fee in Nepalese currency or equivalent currency. Moreover, you can also extend the Nepalese visa upon your will to explore the territory of Nepal by paying the extra visa fees. Nepal allows free visitor visa for 30 days to outsiders from SAARC countries, in like manner, Indian nationals don’t have to get the visa to investigate the region of Nepal.
Local Currency and Foreign Exchange-
The official currency of Nepal is a “Nepali rupee” which comes in the section of NRs. 1, NRs. 2, NRs. 5, NRs. 10, NRs. 20, NRs. 50, NRs. 100, NRs. 500 and NRs. 1000 alongside coins of NRs. 1, NRs. 2 and NRs. 5. If you happen to exchange your foreign currency then you can look up to major banks of Nepal as they provide foreign currency exchange services. Or you can also exchange your currency with authorized money exchangers in Kathmandu, particularly; Thamel area is convenient to place to exchange your foreign currency at higher exchange rates than that of the bank. The advantage of having these money exchangers to banks is that they open for broadened periods, consistently from 9 am to 7 pm.
Weather and Climate-
The atmosphere of Nepal is influenced by maritime and mainland factors and possesses four specific seasons; spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Spring lasts from March to May with appropriate atmospheric temperature whereas summer begins from June and lasts till August when the temperature can heat up to 30°C or eventually even more. Likewise, autumn lasts from September till November and the winters in Nepal are extremely cold with drop down in temperature to 25°C.
Nepal is also well renowned for the wide range of festive celebrations. Nepalese calendars are often filled with festive holidays. The wide range of festive occasions celebrated in Nepal holds their distinctive importance. However, some of the important festivals celebrated in Nepal are Dashain, Tihar, Fagu Purnima, Teej, Shivaratri, Lhosar and Dumji etc. Despite the fact that the majority of them are of religious nature, they are quite often of blissful. In Nepal, there are no any religious barriers to the celebration of these joyful festivals.
Moreover, Nepal is a land of diversified natural beauty and cultural allurement. The profound valleys, soaring Himalayas and plain terrains are able to captivate your heart and make your journey extremely memorable with a touch of warm hospitality by the people of Nepal.