Nepal is a country of amazing extremes. There are the world's highest mountains including Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest--8848m) towering above populated valleys and forested plains in which the lordly tiger and trundling rhinoceros live. Enchantment is everywhere, be it on the shoulders of high mountains, on terraced farmlands meticulously carved like stairways out of hill ridges and rushing rivers, or in forests full of wildlife, flowers and bird songs. Something for everybody: tourist, trekker, river runner, mountain biker, wildlife enthusiast, poet, artist, writer, scholar, or the weary in search of a personal Shangri-La.
In Kathmandu, the capital or in its suburbs, to cross a street is to travel across centuries. Shrines, temples, palaces, palace-squares, ageless sculptures and legends that are parts of every brick and stone and gilded masterpiece, make Kathmandu Valley a verifiable museum.
Nepal has a long glorious history. Its civilization can be traced back to thousands of years before the birth of Christ. Modern Nepal is an amalgamation of a number of principalities which had independent entities in the past. Before the campaign of national integration launched by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, the Kathmandu Valley was ruled by the Malla kings, whose contributions to art and culture are indeed great and unique. As the popular legend goes, the original settlers of the Kathmandu Valley were the Gopalas, the Abhiras and the Kiratas, later succeeded by the Lichchhavis, who in turn where succeeded by the Thakuris and Mallas. In 1768 A.D. the Shah dynasty ascended the throne of the unified Kingdom.
The revolution of November 1950 brought to an end of Rana regime who ruled the country for 104 years since 1846 A.D. After the fall of Rana regime on February 1951, Nepal saw the dawn of democracy. The parliamentary government under the multi-party system was adopted for some years which was followed by Panchayat System since 1960. The popular demcoratic revolt of 1990 has reinstated the multi-party democratic system since April. The new democratic constitution of the Kingdom was promulgated on November 9, 1990.
Nepal has a population of more than 27 million, made of different races and tribes, living in different regions, wearing different costumes and speaking different languages and dialects. The Gurungs and Magars live mainly in the west and on the southern slopes of Annapurna, Himalchuli and Ganesh Himal mountains. The Rais, Limbus and Sunuwars inhabit the slopes and valleys of the eastern midhills.
The Sherpas also known as "the Tigers of the Snow" live in the Himalayan region up to an average altitude of 4570m. The Newars constitute an important ethnic group in the capital valley of Kathmandu There are Tharus, Yadavas, Satar, Rajvanshis and Dhimals in the Terai region. The Brahmans, Chhetris and Thakuris are spread generally over most parts of the Kingdom.
Many different ethnic groups have their own languages for dialects, but Nepali, the language of the nation, written in Devanagari script, serves the purpose of the Kingdom's lingua franca in Nepal. The educated people speak and understand English as well.
Nepal's climate varies with its topography. It ranges from tropical to arctic depending upon the altitude. The terai region, which lies in the tropical southern part of the country, for instance, has a hot, humid climate. The mid-land regions are pleasant almost all the year round, although winter nights are cool. The northern mountain region, around an altitude above 3,353 m. has an alpine climate with a considerably lower temperature in winter as can be expected.
Nepal has four climatic seasons:
- Spring: March-May
- Summer: June-August
- Autumn: September-November and
- winter: December-February
Things to do:
Nightlife in Nepal
The nightlife in Nepal is exhilarating and entertaining. There are four casinos that are open round the clock. Games and gambling, tables and station machines, bets and jackpots challenge your luck and make a fortune. Apart from the gambling, they organize cultural shows and festival celebrations, which add to the excitement. There are some discos and dancing is gaining popularity in Nepal. Music bars and pubs that serve premium beverages, where local bands play a variety of melodies.
There are several gorgeous locations for trekking. The dense forests, large varieties of plants and flowers, rivers crisscrossing the fertile plains and other heavenly sights furnish the most revitalizing trekking expeditions.
Nepal is one of the best places in the world for rafting and kayaking. Surrounded by the breathtaking sights of the mountains and rivers, the experience is invigorating. Ranging from gradual streams to rapid rivers, Nepal offers the perfect sites for both, amateurs and professionals.
The Chitwan National Park, Jungle Safari Lodge and Royal Bardia National Park offer a close encounter with the wildlife. The population of these parks includes tigers, rhinos, deer, elephants, monkeys, hyenas and numerous other species of animals and birds.
Nepal has many fine handicrafts for tourists to take home as souvenirs such as hand-knotted woolen carpets, jewelry, Pashmina shawls, Thang ka paintings, Mithila painting, wood carvings, metal works, ceramics and rice paper and stationary.