Nepal has an area of 147,181 square kilometers and is landlocked by India on three sides and China's Tibet Autonomous Region to the north. Despite being a small country, Nepal has tremendous geographic diversity. It rises from as low as sixty meters elevation in the tropical Terai towards the northern rim of the Gangetic Plain, beyond the perpetual snow line to some ninety peaks over 7,000 metres including Earth's highest - Mount Everest at 8,848 metres. Such a rare geographical variation has created exceptionally diverse climate conditions and bio diversity in the country. From the wild buffalo of the subtropical climate to the snow leopard of the alpine terrain, Nepal has a lot to offer within a small territory.
Geographically Nepal can be divided into three regions - Mountain, Hill, and Terai regions.The Mountain region is the homeland of panoramic snowy peaks, with eight out of the world's fourteen highest peaks lying in this region. Many rivers duo perennial and non-perennial rivers originate from these snow capped peaks and flow down providing endless opportunities for rafting, boating, fishing, irrigating and immense hydropower potential. In fact, these mountain regions are uninhabited except for some scattered settlements in the mountainous valleys and plains.
Likewise, the Hilly region does have divisional landscapes, insurmountable hills, fertile valleys, flora and fauna, tranquil lakes and so on. The Hilly region is suitable for settlement due to a very favorable climate. Valleys in the hills have a denser population due to the fertile soil. The Hilly region constitutes the largest portion of Nepal's geographical area, The densely populated southern part of the country is the Terai region which occupies about seventeen percent of the total land area of the country. Because of the plain land and fertile soil for agriculture and alluvial plain the Terai realm is known as the "Food basket", of Nepal. This region also exhibits excellent wild life in its densely covered forests and the many wildlife reserves in this area attract thousands of animal and plant lovers every year .
of all the flowering plants in the world are found in Nepal
of all the world's population of birds(more than 848 species) exists in Nepal.
of mammals on earth live in Nepal.
indigenous plant families in the world are found in Nepal.
out of the fourteen highest peaks in the world lie in Nepal.
meters is the location of Tolicho Lake which is the highest lake in the world.
Kathmandu, the capital and the largest city of Nepal, derives its name from Kasthmandap or "house of wood" a pagoda-style temple. A few steps away is the Temple of the Living Goddess, where the clients may catch a glimpse of the Kumari at one of the open windows overlooking the inner courtyard. All around the splendour of historical monuments is the hustle & bustle of the market place. Vegetable vendors, trees of flutes, salesmen with their wares displayed on their person, souvenir hawkers, street shop selling imported goods and tucked away in a quiet corner the glittering bead market for custom made bead necklaces.
Patan is also known as Lalitpur othe "city of fine arts" and is the oldest city in the valley. This Buddhist City is said to have been founded by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. Patan is the cradle of arts and architecture of the valley, a great center both of the Newari Buddhist religion and of traditional arts & crafts with 136 bahals or courtyards and 55 major temples. Well known among these are the Krishna Mandir, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, Kumbheshwar temple, Jagatnarayan temple & the Mahabouddha temple. Patan is enclosed within 4 Buddhist stupas set on the four-corners of the outer boundaries of this ancient city. A tour of Patan would also include a visit to the Tibetan refugee village to witness the hand weaving of Tibetan carpets using age-old methods of dyeing and finishing. Three or four persons at each loom weaving traditional designs, chatting & singing can also be seen here.
Bhaktapur or Bhadgaon meaning the "city of devotees" lies 14 km east of Kathmandu. It is the home of medieval art & architecture and still retains its rich medieval aroma. A city of farmers, Bhaktapur is also known for it's pottery and weaving. Bhaktapur is the most charming and the best preserved of the valley?s three cities. The intricately carved temples, alleyways and timeless atmosphere of this place is simply intriguing. The major sightseeing places in Bhaktapur include Durbar Square, the Golden Gate, Palace of 55 windows, Bell of the barking dogs, Nyatapole Temple, Bhairavanath Temple, Dattatrya Temple, Pujari Math etc.
The road access to Changunarayan, 18 kms east of Kathmandu is from behind Bhaktapur. Alternatively, it is a 45 minutes walk up from the Sankhu road, across the Manohara River, using the old pilgrim?s route or a pleasant half-day hike along the ridge from Nagarkote on the eastern valley rim. The lavishly decorated two-tiered temple was rebuilt after a fire in 1702, but the earliest inscription in the valley dated 467 A.D. testifies to the considerable talents of the Licchavi King Mandeva I, Nepal?s first great historical figure. The temple stands in a spacious courtyard, littered with priceless stone sculptures from the 4th to 9th century A.D. (Licchavi period). This golden age of classical Newari art produced masterpieces that were entirely religious in character.
Atop a green hillock west of Kathmandu stands the great stupa of Swayambhunath, a site over 2,500 years old marking the point where the legendary patriarch Manjushri discovered the lotus of the ancient Valley lake. For centuries an important center of Buddhist learning, the painted eyes of the Buddha gaze out from all four sides of the monument. Constructed to specific rules each with a symbolic meaning, the stupa of Swayambhunath is a model of its kind. Its dazzling white hemispherical mound represent the ladder to nirvana, itself symbolized by the umbrella on the top. The whole is hung with multi-colored prayer flags whose every flutter releases holy prayers. The faithful circumambulate the stupa clockwise, turning the banks of prayer wheels and even prostrating full-length in reverence.
Pokhara valley is a scenic 6-hour mountainside drive or a 25 minute flight west of Kathmandu. It is famous for its lakes and its location beneath the towering Annapurna massif. It is highly recommendable to visit this scenic valley, stay in small resort hotels with views of the magnificent Himalayan peaks, go boating on the calm waters of the Phewa and the Begnas lakes or go on tours or day hikes in the nearby hills or if time permits, on a well organized trekking holiday.
Further 12 km east of Pokhara at the end of a road that turns north from highway to Kathmandu lies the Begnas Lake offering the perfect nature retreat because of its relative seclusion. Splendid hiking, boating and fishing opportunities can be found here. The Begnas Lake Resort, located on a hillside of unspoiled forestland with guest rooms built on rice terraces close to the lake offers magnificent views over tranquil waters of the Begnas, beautiful ethnic villages on the opposite hillsides and the snowy mountain peaks from every room.
Just a 5 hour drive from Kathmandu or a 4 hour drive from Pokhara or a 20 minutes flight from Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park is proud to be called Asia's best managed park and is home to over 50 species of mammals, 55 species of amphibians and reptiles and 525 species of birds. Wildlife that thrive here include; the great one-horned Asian Rhinoceros, Gaur, wild Bison, sloth Bear, four different species of Deer, the Rhesus Monkey and the black-faced Langur, the spotted Leopard, Royal Bengal Tiger, the fish-eating Gharial, the flesh-eating marsh Crocodile and the Gangetic Dolphin among many others. The birdlife too is very rich and varied and a delight for Ornithologists. A number of jungle lodges & camps operate inside and on the periphery of the park. They offer activities such as; elephant back safaris through the jungle in search of wildlife, nature walks, jungle drives to spot animals, canoe rides to see crocodiles & water-birds, tribal village visits etc; In the evenings, slide shows on Nepalese flora & fauna and Tharu tribal folk dances are also held.
Bardia National Park situated in western Terai of Nepal is one of largest undisturbed parks in the region. The park is the home of many endangered animals, reptiles and birds - including the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger. A few years ago, under a successful wildlife project several young one-horned rhinos where translocated here from Royal Chitwan National Park. Over the years, Bardia has also been a good place for tiger viewing - a rare event anywhere. Recently sightings of a group of wild elephants have further enhanced the wildlife experience possible in this beautiful and unspoiled sanctuary. A stay in this park is recommended with the combination of a short raft trip down the Karnali and Bheri rivers or with a trek to Dolpo and the Rara lake area in far western Nepal.
Lumbini, the birthplace of lord Gautam Buddha, is the pilgrimage destination of the world?s millions of Buddhists. The main attraction at Lumbini remains the sacred garden spread over 8 sq. kms and possessing all the treasures of this historical area. The Mayadevi temple (under reconstruction) is the main attraction for pilgrims and archaeologists alike. This site, identified by the Indian Emperor Ashoka?s commemorative pillar is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. To the south of the pillar, we find the sacred pond Puskarni, where Queen Mayadevi had her bath just before giving birth to the Buddha. Other attractions include the various monasteries and stupas erected by different Buddhist countries.
The Annapurna Circuit attracts a relatively high number of trekkers in Nepal. As the name itself suggests, this trail goes on a circuitous route around the entire Annapurna massif, visiting the Tibet-like country on the northern slopes of the Himalaya and the dramatic Kali Gandaki gorge. Much of the trek is through lowland country, but there is one high pass, "Thorung La" (5,380m). The trail over the pass is steep but in good shape and not hard to follow. This is the one point of the entire circuit where you really feel you are amidst the mountains. However you should be aware of altitude sickness and be prepared for weather extremes as the Thorung La is notorious for changing its moods. The pass is usually snowbound and un-crossable form mid-December to mid April.
The Kali Gandaki gorge is another spell binding part of this trip. Known to be the worlds deepest river gorge the trail upto the Jomsom (and Upper Mustang) actually goes side by side with the river giving the lonely trekker company and groups something to talk about. Thus the Annapurna circuit is an extraordinary trek, truly one of the world's best. It requires at least three weeks. But due to the popularity of this route it can sometimes tend to be crowded.
This major Himalayan highway follows the gorge of the Kali Gandaki River, crossing from subtropical jungle to high-altitude desert in less than one week. Mixed in the stream of international trekkers are Hindu saddhus (ascetic) walking to Muktinath and jingling mule trains heading down from Tibet loaded with bales of wool. Both are reminders of the trail's status as a major trade and pilgrimage route, an important cultural corridor across the Himalaya.
The end point is the ancient shrine of Muktinath (3,170 meters), one of Nepal's holiest pilgrimage sites. There's no real village, but lodges around the lower portion (Ranipauwa) put up pilgrims and trekkers. The ancient holy site is a typically confusing blend of natural, Buddhists and Hindu beliefs. The little Newari-style pagoda to Lord Vishnu is a relatively recent addition. Muktinath has been sacred for over 2000 years; the Hindu holy book Mahabharata mentions it as Shaligrama, "Place of the Shaligram,"the black fossil stones sacred to Vishnu and found in abundance in the Kali Gandaki valley. Its holiness stems from flickering blue flames of natural methane gas burning on water, stone and earth, and now enclosed in the shrine of Jwala Mai below the Vishnu temple. Near the pagoda, there is 108 spouts, shaped like bulls' heads, where devout pilgrims bathe in the freezing water to purify their sins and earn mukti or spiritual liberation.
The best known of the many isolated high Himalayan valleys across the northern Nepal, Dolpo preserves one of the last remnants of traditional Tibetan culture. Legend says it's a bayul, one of the "hidden valleys" created by Guru Rinpoche as a refuge for devout Buddhists in troubled times. Surrounded by high mountains including the Dhaulagiri massif to the southeast rand cut off by high passes closed by snow half the year, Dolpo's easiest access is from Tibet, where its' people emigrated from perhaps thousand of years ago.
Upper Dolpo shelters about 6,000 people, whose lives revolve around Buddhism, barley, and yaks; their villages (over 4,260 meters) are among the highest settlements on earth. A large portion of Dolpo has been set aside as Shey-Phoksumdo National Park, at 3,555 sq.km. The park shelters blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, leopards, wolves and the elusive snow leopard. Largely thanks to "The Snow Leopard" book and Oscar nominated movie, "Caravan," Dolpo is the best known of Nepal's remote northern border regions. Phoksumdo lake at 3,627m is the most fascinating part of the whole trek in Dolpo. The lake is a basin of unearthly turquoise blue ringed by rocky crags and forest, framed by snowcapped peaks.
The classic walk through the Sherpa homeland of Solu-Khumbu is a tough trek with a clearcut goal - to see Mt. Everest, the highest peak of the world. There are many ways to trek in this area. One can either walk all the way up and back, or walk one way and fly out on the way back, or fly in and out depending on the time at hand and inclination. The first requires a month, the second just about three weeks and the third at least two weeks.
Most Everest trekkers avoid the hardest walking by flying in and out of Lukla airstrip. If you have got time and energy, the walk in from Jiri through the Sherpa's traditional homeland is worth the extra effort. It passes through the lovely region called Solu and the narrow gorge of the Dudh Kosi (Pharak) to reach the high mountain region of Khumbu in a little over a week. Khumbu is exceptionally at high altitude with trekking routes going up to 5,400 meters. Solu can be trekked year around while Khumbu's trekking season is limited. October-November and March-May are the busiest trekking season of Khumbu. Besides good weather, this period offers the five-day Dumje festival (usually April) and the masked Mani Rimdu dances held at major monasteries in spring and fall. Khumbu is a good region for a monsoon trek. High pastures are full of wildflowers and grazing yaks, and the people are relaxed, taking a well-deserved break from trekking and expedition work. One can fly from Kathmandu to Lukla and Syangboche in the Everest region. At Lukla accommodations are available in Sherpa huts and lodges Lukla is the most popular base for trekking in the Khumbu region. Days could be spent hiking and visiting the Sherpa villages, Thyangboche Monastery, Khunde Hospital, Khumjung Hilary School and trekking towards the Everest Base Camp. Accommodations are available at Thyangboche, Debuche, Pheriche, Pangboche, Lobuche and Gorakhshep.
Langtang, at 3,307m above sea level, extends from north of Helambu to all the way up to the Tibetan Border. It is the largest village of the region despite its small size. Its upper valley is a grazing paradise, rich in flowers and grass and dotted with stone huts used in the summer time for butter making. Sewn in skins and exported to Tibet to flavor tea and fuel monastery lamps, butter was once the region's major industry. It is generally a thirteen day trip, counting transportantion time and a day above Kyangjin and Gosaikund, the sacred lake devoted to Lord Shiva.
The trek to Helambu is one that remains open for twelve months of the year. It is the most easily accessible of all trekking regions. Helambu is below 3000 meters and creates few altitude problems. The trek provides a sudden, dramatic contrast between higher and lower areas of Helambu. The higher region consists of pleasant forests, interesting Sherpa villages and offers stunning mountain views. The lower valley is comparatively dull and depressing hot much of the year.
Nepalese Visa can be obtained on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and at the boarded entry points in Kakadvitta ,Birgunj,Bhairahawa,Nepalgunj,Gaddachowki at Nepal-India border and also in Kodari and Rasuwagadhi at Nepal-Chaina border.
Foreigners who intend to visit Nepal must hold valid passport of at least up to six months and for the on Arrival Visa visitor needs to bring two passport size photographs. Visa can be obtained only through payment of cash in the following currency:Euro, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Japanese Yen.Credit card, Indian currency and Nepali currency are not accepted as payment of visa fee.
For the online Visa application one can visit: www.online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa. On this applicant needs to upload color photo and submit passport details and contact details while filling up the forms. Applicant will then get a receipt which have to be produced, along with original documents, before immigration officials upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.
|Tourist Visa Fee-|
|Multiple entry||15 days from the date of entry||US 25 or equivalent convertible foreign currency|
|Multiple entry||30 days from the date of entry||US 40 or equivalent convertible foreign Currency|
|Multiple Entry||90 days from the date of entry||US 100 or equivalent convertible foreign Currency|
Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day
Tourist Visa Extension: A tourist visa can be extended up to 120 days from the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu and Pokhara Immigration Office on request. Thereafter an additional 30 days can be extended from Department of Immigration ensuring that tourist visa cannot be extended more than 150 days.
Late fee for not applying extension in time:-
– US in equivalent Nepalese currency per day for the first 30 days
– US in equivalent Nepalese currency per day for the next 31 to 90 days
– US in equivalent Nepalese currency per day for more than 90 days
Children below 10 yrs
Defendants up to the age of 16 years, holding foreign passports of Nepalese parents or either of their parent being a Nepalese citizen.
As per official circular of the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing, China, Chinese nationals applying for tourist visa to Nepal are being provided "gratis tourist visa" from Jan. 5, 2016, from following Nepali missions in the People's Republic of China:
Embassy of Nepal, Beijing - http://nepalembassy.org.cn/visa/visa-information
Consulate General of Nepal, Lhasa
Consulate General of Nepal,
Hong Kong Honorary Consulate of Nepal, Shanghai
Nationals from Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan will need to obtain visa from Nepal Embassies or Diplomatic Missions in their respective countries, as they do not get visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal.
Please contact The Department of Immigration which is located at Kalikasthan,Dillibazar, Katmandu and the contact details of the central office is as under.
Tel: +977 – 1- 429659 / 4429660
Fax: +977 – 1 – 4433934
Office Hours (Immigration Department):
Sunday to Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in summer 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in winter .
Climatic conditions of Nepal vary from one place to another in accordance with their geographical features. In the north summers are cool and winters severe, while in the south summers are tropical and winters are mild. The mid-land regions are pleasant almost all year round, although winter nights are cool. Nepal has five seasons: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter. In the Terai (south Nepal), summer temperatures exceed 37° C and higher in some areas, winter temperatures range from 7°C to 23°C in the Terai. In mountainous regions, hills and valleys, summers are temperate while winter temperatures can plummet under sub zero.
The Kathmandu Valley has a pleasant climate with average summer and winter temperatures of 19°C – 35°C and 2°C – 12°C respectively. Good to know is that on average temperatures drop 6°C for every 1,000 m you gain in altitude. The Himalayas act as a barrier to the cold winds blowing from Central Asia in winter, and forms the northern boundary of the monsoon wind patterns. Eighty percent of all the rain in Nepal is received during the monsoon (June-September).
Winter rains are more pronounced in the western hills. The average annual rainfall is 1,600 mm, but it varies by eco-climatic zones, such as 3,345 mm in Pokhara and below 300 mm in Mustang. There is no seasonal constraint on traveling in and through Nepal. Even in December and January, when winter is at its severest, there are compensating bright sun and brilliant views.
September, October and November (Autumn):
This is the best trekking season in Nepal which offers you excellent weather and wonderful mountain views. The trekking trails will be full of trekkers.
March April and May (Spring):
The second premium trekking season in Nepal. The temperature is quite moderate and the rhododendrons (National flower of Nepal) are in complete blossom and the mountain views are excellent.
June, July and August (Summer):
This is the most preferable season to trek in the rain shadow areas like upper Mustang, around Annapurna, Upper Manag, Manaslu and Upper Dolpo, and so on. These regions are out of reach of the rain clouds because of the huge mountains, and unaffected by the monsoon. This season is also good for forest researchers and botanists to trek around these locations.
December, January, February (Winter):
This season is noted for occasional snowfall and the air can be quite cold at higher elevations. Hence it is ideal for trekking at lower elevations, generally below 3000 meters and offers tantalizing mountain views. Skies are usually very clear especially in December and the mountain views are at their best. Nights will be very cold with temperatures down to -15°C to -20°C at highest altitudes but days are pleasant and sunny. In Kathmandu maximum daytime temperatures are 19°C.
If you want to travel to Nepal by air there are over twenty four major international airlines linking Kathmandu with other countries of the world. The Nepal Airlines (NA) is the national flag carrier of Nepal with flight connections to: Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai in India, Bangkok in Thailand, Dubai in United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong in China and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
Other international airlines connecting Kathmandu to other parts of the world are Biman Bangladesh and US-Bangla airlines to Dhaka in Bangladesh. China Eastern to Kunming,, China Southern to Guangzhou, Air China to Chengdu and Lhasa, Sichuan Airlines to Chengdu Druk Air to Paro in Bhutan and New Delhi, Etihad Air to Abu Dhabi, Air India to Delhi, Kolkata, and Varanasi in India, Qatar Airways to Doha, Thai International to Bangkok, Air Asia to Kuala Lampur, Air Arabia to Sharjah, Cathy Dragon to Hongkong and Dhaka, Fly Dubai to Dubai, Indigo to Delhi, Jet Airways to Delhi and Mumbai, Korean Air to Seoul, Malaysian Airline to Kuala Lumpur, Milando Air to Kuala Lumpur, Oman Air to Muscat, Turkish Airlines to Istanbul and Silk Air to Singapore. Similarly, two other Nepalese airlines have recently started their international routes .They are Buddha air connecting Varanasi in India and Himalayan Airlines flying to Colombo and Doha.
During the peak trekking travelling season of autumn (October to November) and spring (March to May) most of the flights into and out of Kathmandu can be found over booked, in such a situation travelers sometimes might have to resort to travelling overland to India to wait for a flight out of the region. To avoid such a last minute rush we advise you to book your air tickets well in advance when planning your trip so that our ticketing department can find the most ideal and cost friendly air connections.
If you want to enter Nepal via road you will have to come through either India or Tibet (China). The entry points to Nepal from India are Kakarbhitta, Birgunj, Belhiya, Bhairawa, Nepalgunj, Dhangadi and Mahendra Nagar. The Kodari Pass at Sindhupalchok and Rashuwagadi pass at Rashuwa on the Nepal-China border are the two entry point to Nepal from Tibet (China). Tourists entering Nepal by land must also carry their passports.
For getting around the country, there is an excellent domestic air network operated by seven different domestic Airlines and also some private helicopter charter services. For the long journeys by road there are deluxe tourist coaches and private cabs available and we will assist you in making your travel arrangements within Nepal as per your trip itinerary.
In the cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara you can take metered taxis as they are easily recognizable by the taxi sign and the black number plate and can be hailed on the street. Micro buses and battery-run tempos are cheaper than taxis and are also easily available during the day time.
If you will need to book accommodation for your holiday in Nepal and the options are extensive .In Kathmandu besides the well known and five star and four star hotels, there are good numbers of two star ,three star hotels and lodges also and these are located in the old part of the town, in the streets around the Durbar Square and in the Thamel district. Three star hotels and Lodges are available outside the main towns also, and provide suitable accommodation for mountaineers and trekkers. So whether you require 5 star or 4 star luxury in kathmandu or have budgeted for a premier Inn in outside towns we can assist every step of the way. You will receive an instant confirmation from us and you have the options to settle directly upon your arrival.
Foreign exchange can be used to make payments to hotels, restaurants and travel agencies. Major Credit Cards such as Visa, MasterCard, JCB and American Express are readily accepted at most tourist class hotels, restaurants, airlines, and major tourist companies. There are plenty of cash machines or ATMs in cities and most will accept cards issued by any of the major international banking networks.
The Nepali rupee has the denominations of two, five,10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees notes. It is always a good idea to keep a stash of small denomination notes ready during local travel because away from cities the changing of bigger notes can be difficult.
As in most south Asian countries, Nepal also uses 220-240 volts/50 HZ. Sockets usually take plugs with three round pins. The plugs can be both small and large in size. Some sockets take plugs with two round pins as well.
If you are bringing your electrical appliances during your travel, it is important that you should carry both a voltage converter and a plug adapter in order to use your electrical appliances.
Altitude sickness can occur in some people as low as 8,000 feet, but serious symptoms do not usually occur until over 12,000 feet. To avoid such dangerous health issues trekkers must not take a trail to get to any particular place in a hurry. The main precaution that needs to be taken while trekking is not to go up too high, too fast. The body should be given plenty of time to acclimatize. Acute mountain sickness (AMS) refers to the effects of the thin air at high altitudes. If you get initial symptoms like nausea, dizziness, swelling in the face and breathlessness, descend to a lower elevation immediately and seek medical help. The symptoms usually start twelve to twenty four hours after arrival at altitude and begin to decrease in severity around the third day. Comprehensive travel and medical insurance is advised to cover emergencies, like helicopter evacuation and medical treatment in case of accidents on the trail.