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Location Between India & the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Area 147,181 Sq. Kms. Population Approximately 24 Million. Latitude 26° 12' and 30° 27' North. Longitude 80° 4' and 88° 12' East. Capital Kathmandu GMT Time + 05:45 People Over 40 Ethnic Groups & 70 Spoken Languages. Political-System Federal Republic Topography From the world's deepest gorge 'Kali-Gandaki' to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest at 8848m Vegetation Nepal possesses some of the most outstanding bio-diversity in the world, ranging from sub-tropical Rain-forests to Alpine deserts. Climate Climate ranges from sub-tropical in the low lands to Arctic in higher altitudes. Seasons Winter (December-February), Summer (March-May), Monsoon (June-Aug), Autumn (Sept-Nov) National Bird Impend Pheasant (Danfe) National Flower Rhododendron Arboretum (Lali Gurans). World Heritage Sites Ten (of which seven World Heritage Sites are situated within 20 kms. of radius, in the Kathmandu Valley). Flora and Fauna 840 different species of wet-land, migratory and residential birds. 8% of the world's population of birds. 11 of the 15 butterfly families in the world. 2% of the flowering plants. 4% of mammals on earth. Home to Endangered Species like: Royal Bengal tiger, One horned rhino, Snow - leopard, Red panda, Brown bear, Assamese macaque, Genetic dolphin, wolf, wild elephant , giant horn-bill, swamp deer, wild yak, Tibetan antelope, Black buck, four horned antelope, Musk deer, Pigmy hog, Hasped hare, Pangolin, Gharial, Indian bustard, Saras crane, Impend pheasant, Python, etc  A Living Cultural Heritage: Nepal's heritage is alive and dynamic. Shamanism, Pan-animism & Witch-craft are still practised in remote regions. Temples, shrines, monuments and monasteries are extremely active with devotees burning butter-lamps, singing hymns, chiming temple bells and playing drums. The only country that has living goddess "Kumari".  Economy Nepal is a developing country with an agricultural economy. In recent years, the country's efforts to expand into manufacturing industries and other technological sectors have achieved much progress. Farming is the main economic activity followed by manufacturing, trade and tourism. The chief sources of foreign currency earnings are merchandise export, services, tourism and Gurkha remittances. The annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about US$ 4.3 billion. Agriculture Eight out of 10 Nepalese are engaged in farming and it accounts for more than 40% of the GDP. Rolling fields and neat terraces can be seen all over the Terai flatlands and the hills of Nepal. Even in the highly urbanized Kathmandu Valley, large tracts of land outside the city areas are devoted to farming. Rice is the staple diet in Nepal and around three million tons are produced annually. Other major crops are maize, wheat, millet and barley. Besides food grains, cash crops like sugarcane, oil seeds, tobacco, jute and tea are also cultivated in large quantities. Manufacturing Manufacturing is still at the developmental stage and it represents less than 10% of the GDP Major industries are woollen carpets, garments, textiles, leather products, paper and cement. Other products made in Nepal are steel utensils, cigarettes, beverages and sugar. There are many modern large-scale factories but the majority are cottage or small scale operations. Most of Nepal's industries are based in the Kathmandu Valley and a string of small towns in the southern Terai plains. Trade Commerce has been a major occupation in Nepal since early times. Being situated at the crossroads of the ancient trans-Himalayan trade route, trading is second nature to the Nepalese people. Foreign trade is characterized mainly by import of manufactured products and export of agricultural raw materials. Nepal imports manufactured goods and petroleum products worth about US$ 1 billion annually. The value of exports is about US$ 315 million. Woollen carpets are Nepal's largest export, earning the country over US$ 135 million per year Garment exports account for more than US$ 74 million and handicraft goods bring in about US$ 1 million. Other important exports are pulses, hides and skins, jute and medicinal herbs. Tourism In 1999, a total of 491,504 tourists visited Nepal, making tourism one of the largest industries in the Kingdom. This sector has been expanding rapidly since its inception in the 1950. Thanks to Nepal's natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and the diversity of sight-seeing and adventure opportunities available. At one time, tourism used to be the biggest foreign currency earner for the country. Nepal earned over US$ 152 million from tourism in 1998 . Location Between India & the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Area 147,181 Sq. Kms. Population Approximately 24 Million. Latitude 26° 12' and 30° 27' North. Longitude 80° 4' and 88° 12' East. Capital Kathmandu GMT Time + 05:45 People Over 40 Ethnic Groups & 70 Spoken Languages. Political-System Federal Republic Topography From the world's deepest gorge 'Kali-Gandaki' to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest at 8848m Vegetation Nepal possesses some of the most outstanding bio-diversity in the world, ranging from sub-tropical Rain-forests to Alpine deserts. Climate Climate ranges from sub-tropical in the low lands to Arctic in higher altitudes. Seasons Winter (December-February), Summer (March-May), Monsoon (June-Aug), Autumn (Sept-Nov) National Bird Impend Pheasant (Danfe) National Flower Rhododendron Arboretum (Lali Gurans). World Heritage Sites Ten (of which seven World Heritage Sites are situated within 20 kms. of radius, in the Kathmandu Valley). Flora and Fauna 840 different species of wet-land, migratory and residential birds. 8% of the world's population of birds. 11 of the 15 butterfly families in the world. 2% of the flowering plants. 4% of mammals on earth. Home to Endangered Species like: Royal Bengal tiger, One horned rhino, Snow - leopard, Red panda, Brown bear, Assamese macaque, Genetic dolphin, wolf, wild elephant , giant horn-bill, swamp deer, wild yak, Tibetan antelope, Black buck, four horned antelope, Musk deer, Pigmy hog, Hasped hare, Pangolin, Gharial, Indian bustard, Saras crane, Impend pheasant, Python, etc  A Living Cultural Heritage: Nepal's heritage is alive and dynamic. Shamanism, Pan-animism & Witch-craft are still practised in remote regions. Temples, shrines, monuments and monasteries are extremely active with devotees burning butter-lamps, singing hymns, chiming temple bells and playing drums. The only country that has living goddess "Kumari".  Economy Nepal is a developing country with an agricultural economy. In recent years, the country's efforts to expand into manufacturing industries and other technological sectors have achieved much progress. Farming is the main economic activity followed by manufacturing, trade and tourism. The chief sources of foreign currency earnings are merchandise export, services, tourism and Gurkha remittances. The annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about US$ 4.3 billion. Agriculture Eight out of 10 Nepalese are engaged in farming and it accounts for more than 40% of the GDP. Rolling fields and neat terraces can be seen all over the Terai flatlands and the hills of Nepal. Even in the highly urbanized Kathmandu Valley, large tracts of land outside the city areas are devoted to farming. Rice is the staple diet in Nepal and around three million tons are produced annually. Other major crops are maize, wheat, millet and barley. Besides food grains, cash crops like sugarcane, oil seeds, tobacco, jute and tea are also cultivated in large quantities. Manufacturing Manufacturing is still at the developmental stage and it represents less than 10% of the GDP Major industries are woollen carpets, garments, textiles, leather products, paper and cement. Other products made in Nepal are steel utensils, cigarettes, beverages and sugar. There are many modern large-scale factories but the majority are cottage or small scale operations. Most of Nepal's industries are based in the Kathmandu Valley and a string of small towns in the southern Terai plains. Trade Commerce has been a major occupation in Nepal since early times. Being situated at the crossroads of the ancient trans-Himalayan trade route, trading is second nature to the Nepalese people. Foreign trade is characterized mainly by import of manufactured products and export of agricultural raw materials. Nepal imports manufactured goods and petroleum products worth about US$ 1 billion annually. The value of exports is about US$ 315 million. Woollen carpets are Nepal's largest export, earning the country over US$ 135 million per year Garment exports account for more than US$ 74 million and handicraft goods bring in about US$ 1 million. Other important exports are pulses, hides and skins, jute and medicinal herbs. Tourism In 1999, a total of 491,504 tourists visited Nepal, making tourism one of the largest industries in the Kingdom. This sector has been expanding rapidly since its inception in the 1950. Thanks to Nepal's natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and the diversity of sight-seeing and adventure opportunities available. At one time, tourism used to be the biggest foreign currency earner for the country. Nepal earned over US$ 152 million from tourism in 1998 . The country can be divided into three main geographical regions: Himalayan Region The altitude of this region ranges between 4877 meters and 8848 meters with the now line running around 488848 meters. It includes 8 of the existing 14 summits in the world which exceed the altitude of 8000 meters. They are: (1) Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) - 8848 m (2) Kangchenjunga - 8586 m, (3) Lhotse - 8516 m, (4) Makalu - 8463 m, (5) Cho Oyo - 8201 m, (6) Dhaulagiri - 8167 m, (7) Manaslu - 8163 m, and (8) Annapurna - 8091 m. Hilly Region This region accounts for about 64 percent of total land area. The Mahabharat range that rises up to 4877 meters forms it. To its south lies the lower Churia range whose altitude varies from 610 meters to 1524 meters. Terai Region The lowland Terai region, which has a width of about 26 to 32 kilometers and an altitude maximum of 305 meters, occupies about 17 percent of total land area of the country. Kechanakawal, the lowest point of the country with an altitude of 70 meters lies in Jhapa District of the eastern Terai. All this adds up one interesting fact that there is no seasonal constraint on traveling in and through Nepal. Even in December and January, when the winter is at its severest, there are compensating bright sun and brilliant views. Winter days often begin in mist, which can last until noon. Then suddenly, as if by magic, the fog disappears bringing in to views snowy peaks, glistening white and fresh against the large blue sky. The country can be divided into three main geographical regions: Himalayan Region The altitude of this region ranges between 4877 meters and 8848 meters with the now line running around 488848 meters. It includes 8 of the existing 14 summits in the world which exceed the altitude of 8000 meters. They are: (1) Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) - 8848 m (2) Kangchenjunga - 8586 m, (3) Lhotse - 8516 m, (4) Makalu - 8463 m, (5) Cho Oyo - 8201 m, (6) Dhaulagiri - 8167 m, (7) Manaslu - 8163 m, and (8) Annapurna - 8091 m. Hilly Region This region accounts for about 64 percent of total land area. The Mahabharat range that rises up to 4877 meters forms it. To its south lies the lower Churia range whose altitude varies from 610 meters to 1524 meters. Terai Region The lowland Terai region, which has a width of about 26 to 32 kilometers and an altitude maximum of 305 meters, occupies about 17 percent of total land area of the country. Kechanakawal, the lowest point of the country with an altitude of 70 meters lies in Jhapa District of the eastern Terai. All this adds up one interesting fact that there is no seasonal constraint on traveling in and through Nepal. Even in December and January, when the winter is at its severest, there are compensating bright sun and brilliant views. Winter days often begin in mist, which can last until noon. Then suddenly, as if by magic, the fog disappears bringing in to views snowy peaks, glistening white and fresh against the large blue sky. The Kathmandu Valley has an exotic setting. It is surrounded by a tier of green mountain wall above which tower mighty snow-capped peaks. It consists of three main towns of great historic, artistic and cultural interest: Kathmandu , Patan and Bhaktapur. The Kathmandu Valley covers an area of 218 sq. miles. It is situated 4,423 ft. above sea-level. The ancient Swasthani scriptures tell of Lord Shiva, supreme among Hindu gods, who came down to the Kathmandu Valley to escape boredom. He came as a tourist, if that is the appropriate word, but he was neither among the first nor the last of the gods to visit the Valley. Visitors have come to since times forgotten. And though the country is much different today than it was in ancient times, it has not diminished in charm; the increase in the number of visitors over the years is a living proof. Those who come to the Valley today will appreciate a lot more than Lord Shiva did in his tour. The architecture started here by the Lichhavi and Malla kings is one such example. Much of the greenery that Lord Shiva saw is gone, but the forests surrounding Pashupati, where he stayed, are still intact. The seven World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are the highlights of the Valley. Kathmandu Durbar Square It is the historic seat of royalty. The Durbar square, with its old temples and palaces, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the people. It is here that kings of are crowned and their coronations solemnized. Interesting things to see here are: Taleju temple built by king Mahendra Malla in 1549 AD, the temple of Kal Bhairab , the god of destruction, Nautalle Durbar, Coronation Nasal chowk, the Gaddhi Baithak, the statue of King Pratap Malla, the Big drum and the Jagannath Temple . It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument list in 1979. On the right hand corner, a large wooden lattice screen hides an enormous gilded face of Sweta Bhairav. The screen is removed only during the Indra Jatra festival. There are also the Numismatic Museum and Tribhuvan Museum inside the Hanuman Dhoka Palace building. Photography is prohibited inside the museums. Both the museums remain closed on Sundays, Mondays and government holidays. Patan Durbar Square It is situated in the heart of the city, constitutes the focus of visitors’ attraction. The square is full of ancient palaces, temples and shrines, noted for their exquisite carvings. The Patan Durbar Squareconsists of three main chowks: Central Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Keshar Narayan Chowk. The Sundari Chowk holds in its center a masterpiece of stone architecture, the Royal Bath called Tushahity. It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List in 1979. The museum inside the Durbar Square is considered as one of the best museums in Asia. It specializes in bronze statues and religious objects. It Opens daily from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. It is closed only for 3 days during Dashain and for 3 days during Tihar. Bhaktapur Durbar Square The Golden Gate is the entrance to the main courtyard of the the Palace of 55 windows, built by King Ranjit Malla, the gate is one of the most beautiful and richly carved specimens of its kind in the entire world. This gate is embellished with deities and monsters with marvelous intricy. The palace of 55 windows was built in 1700 AD. Among the brick walls in their gracious setting and sculptural design, is a balcony of 55 windows. The stone temple of Batsala Devi which is also located in the Durbar Squareis full of intricate carvings. This temple also sets a beautiful example of Shikhara style architecture in . There is a bronze bell on the terrace of the temple which is also known as the ‘Bell of Barking Dogs’. This colossal bell, placed in 1737 AD, was rung to signal curfew during those days.> The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces like the Lion Gate, the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, the Picture Gallery, the Batsalla temple etc. A magnificient statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, in the act of worship is placed on a column facing the palace. It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List in 1979. Pashupatinath Situated 5 km east of Kathmandu, the temple of Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath with two tiered golden roof and silver door is considered one of the holiest shrines for Hindus. Although only Hindus are allowed inside the temple, visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed in the temple premises from the eastern bank of the Bagmati river. The temple was listed in the UNESCO World heritage monument list in 1979. Swayambhunath This is one of the world’s most glorious Buddhist Chaityas. It is said to be 2000 years old. Painted on the four sides of the spire’s base are the all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. It is 3 km west of Kathmandu city and is situated on a hillock about 77m above the level of the Kathmandu valley and hence commands an excellent view of the valley. This stupa is the oldest of its kind in . It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List in 1979. Boudhanath The stupa of Bouddhanath lies 8 km east of Kathmandu . This ancient colossal stupa is one of the biggest in the world, and the center of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. It was listed in the UNESCO world heritage monument list in 1979. Kirtipur It is a small town, 8 km southwest of Kathmandu and situated a top a hill. Trubhuvan University, ’s premier seat of education is located at the foothills of Kirtipur. This historic town has many things to offer like old shrines and temples and old houses. Some of the folks are typically dressed in traditional costumes, and can be spotted working on looms. Chobhar Situated 9 km southwest of Kathmandu , this place is famous for its gorge. All the water of the valley drains through it. There is a small but picturesque temple of Adinath on the top of a hill from where one can take in a panoramic view of snow capped mountain peaks Budhanilakantha Eight kilometers north of Kathmandu is a remarkable, colossal statue of lord Vishnu reclining on a bed of snakes. The fifth-century statue lies in the middle of a small pond Budhanikantha is a place of pilgrimage for all Hindus and is the scene of great activity at such festivals as Haribodhini Ekadasi and Kartik Poornima. An interesting feature of this shrine is that the reigning King of Nepal may not visit the spot according to an old tradition Changunarayan Situated at the end of a long ridge which runs well into the valley, it is said to have been built by King Hari Dutta in 323 AD and said to be the oldest temple in the valley. It was listed in the UNESCO world heritage monument list in 1979. Bungamati and Khokana These are two newar farming villages lying 7 km south of the ring road that encircles the two cities Kathmandu and Patan. The villages begin with a wide cobbled street and in the middle of the main street lies the temple of Machhindranath in Bungamati and Shekali Mai in Khokana. Khokana is famous for mustard oil, which is still made the traditional way and spun woollen yarn. Godavari Situated at the foothills of Phulchoki, the Royal Botanical garden of Godavari has splendid natural beauty. The road from Patan city runs to Godavari to the southeast, passing through the small old towns of Harisiddhi, Thaiba and Badegaun. The only botanical garden in , it is open daily including weekends and government holidays. Pokhara Pokhara is a remarkable place of natural beauty. Situated at an altitude of 827m from the sea level and 200km west of Kathmandu valley, the city is known as a center of adventure. The enchanting city with a population of around 95,000 has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panaromic views of Himalayan peaks. The serenity of lakes and the magnificence of the Himalayas rising behind them create an ambience of peace and magic. So today the city has not only become the starting point for most popular trekking and rafting destinations but also a place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Fewa Lake Phewa lake, the second largest lake in the kingdom, roughly measuring 1.5 km by 4 km, is the center of all attractions in Pokhara. The enchanting lake is an idyllic playground. Brightly painted wooden boats and sailboats can be rented on reasonable cost around lakeside. The lake is neither deep (roughly 47 meters at most) nor particulary clean, but the water is warm and swimming is pleasant if you don't think about the probable pollution. The eastern shoreline of the lake, popularly known as Lakeside or Baidam, consists of seemingly endless strip of lodges, restaurants, bookshops and souvenir shops. One of the fascinating parts of lakeside is the splendid view of the mountains, especially when the still water reflects the peaks, creating a double image. Begnas and Rupa Lake The lakes are located about 15km from Pokhara at the end of a road that turns north from the highway to Kathmandu . Divided by the forested hillock called Panchabhaiya Danda, the lakes offer the perfect nature retreat because of their relative seclusion. Splendid boating and fishing can be done here. Barahi Temple This is the most important religious monument in Pokhara. Built almost in the middle of Phewa lake, the two storied pagoda is dedicated to the boar manifestation of Ajima, the protectress deity representing the female force Shakti. Devotees can be seen, especially on Saturdays, carrying male animals and fowl across the lake to be sacrificed to the deity. World Peace Pagoda The pagoda is a massive Buddhist stupa and is situated on top of a hill on the southern shore of Phewa lake. Besides being an impressive sight in itself, the shrine is a great vantage point which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna range and Pokhara city. You can get there by crossing the lake by boat and then hiking up the hill. Seti River Flowing right through the city, the boisterous river runs completely underground at places. Amazingly, at certain points the river appears hardly two meters wide. But its depth is quite beyond imagination - over 20 meters! Mahendra Pul, a small bridge near the old Mission Hospital , provides a perfect view of the river's dreadful rush and the deep gorge made by its powerful flow. Davis Fall Locally known as Patale Chhango (Hell's Fall), Devi's fall (also known as Devin's or David's) is an awesome waterfall lying about 2 km south-west of Pokhara airport on the highway to Tansen. An interesting modern legend says that a foreigner named David was skinnydipping in the Pardi Khola (river) when the floodgates of the dam were opened, sweeping him into an underground passage beneath the fall, never to be seen again. Gupteshwor Cave Gupteswar Gupha, a sacred cave, lies 2 km from Pokhara airport on the Siddhartha Highway leading southwest from the city. The entrance is right across from Devi's Fall and the cave is almost 3 km long. It has some big hall-size rooms and some passages where you have to crawl on all fours. This cave holds special value for Hindus since a phallic symbol of Lord Shiva is preserved here in the condition it was discovered. An entrance fee of Rs. 5 is charged and taking pictures inside the cave is prohibited. Mahendra Cave Mahendra Gufa, locally called Chamero Odhaar ("House of Bats"), is the large limestone cave. Shepherd boys are said to have discovered it around 1950. A two hour walk to the north of Pokhara, it is best to bring your own torch to see the stalactites and stalagmites, although most of them have been carted out by souvenir hunters. Pokhara is the starting and ending point for many of the popular trekking routes in Nepal. Longer treks (one to three week long) such as the Jomsom trek, Annapurna Circuit, and Annapurna Sanctuary begin here. Check a book on Nepal trekking for more details on this. Otherwise, you can also visit this site Pilgrims Book House for information on trekking books of Nepal. For those with less time, Pokhara also provides shorter (one to seven days) more leisurely treks around the neighboring hills and villages. The popular ones are: Ghachowk Trek : two days, a circuit through Lhachowk to Ghachowk and down to Batulechaur, north of Pokhara, close up view of Fishtail mountain. Naudanda Trek : two days, to Naudanda from Suikhet and then back through Kaski, west of Pokhara. Ghorepani Circuit : five to seven days long, upto the Gurung village of Ghandruk village, great views of the Annapurna range, north-west of Pokhara. Kahun Danda : day trip, north east of Pokhara, 1560m altitude. Sarangkot : day trip, great view of the mountain range including Dhaulagiri, north of Fewa Lake, 1592m altitude. Rupa and Begnas Lakes : day trip, 15km south-east of Pokhara, take a bus there and leisurely walk along the ridge that separates the two twin lakes. Chitwan Until the 1950s this narrow strip of land was an impenetrable jungle, infested with malaria. It’s only inhabitants, the Tharus, were somehow immune as was the wildlife that inhabited these dense forests. Even today 450 species of birds and over 50 species of animals have been sighted here. You can either raft down the Himalayan Rivers, or take a short thirty minutes flight or a five hour drive to this adventure land, staying in jungle lodges or camp. Jungle safaris on elephant back, nature walks and canoe trips enable you to watch animals in their natural environs. Lumbini Lumbini, the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam, the Shakya prince and the ultimate Buddha, the enlightened one, is the pilgrimage destination of the world’s millions of people faithful to all schools of Buddhism. This nativity site, identified by Indian Emperor Ashoka’s commemorative pillar is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Besides its religious and historical significance, Lumbini also offers cultural insights into the village life of southern Nepal. Nepal Airlines and other airlines fly regularly to Bhairahawa, near Lumbini, and bus services are available from Pokhara and Kathmandu. Accommodation : There are several good hotels and lodges in Lumbini. Muktinath and Jomsom The famous temple of Lord Muktinath lies in the district of Mustang and is situated about 18 km northeast of Jomsom at an altitude of about 3,749m. The main shrine is a pagoda shaped temple dedicated to lord Vishnu. Set into the wall around it are 108 water spouts from which pour holy water. The temple is situated on a high mountain range and is visited during fair weather. It is believed that all miseries/ sorrows are relieved once you visit this temple. Jomsom is the gateway of Muktinath. Jomsom is a major center in the Annapurna region. There is a good accommodation facility in Jomsom from where one can enjoy remarkable natural beauty. Tansen Situated at an altitude of 1,343m, Tansen is the most popular summer resort in western Nepal on account of its position and climate. It has the most extensive views of the country’s chief attraction, the Himalayas from Dhaulagiri in the west to Gaurishankar in the northeast. It takes just seven hours by bus from Pokhara to reach Tansen. Shirubari Sirubari is one of the most attractive villages in Nepal. The village is neat and clean, very colorful and warm. The people are friendly, well educated and are enthusiastic about tourism. It is a compact farming community village and short drive from Pokhara, followed by the comfortable walk. In May 2001 this village in conjunction with the Nepal Tourism Board was awarded the PATA Gold award in recognitions of its efforts to preserve the culture and heritage of Nepalese total life.
   
 
   
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