Monday, August 18, 2008

About Nepal

Nepal is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of bio-diversity due to its unique geographical position and altitude variation. The elevation of the country ranges from 60 meters above sea level to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest at 8,848 meters, all within a distance of 150 kilometers resulting in climatic conditions from sub-tropical to arctic. This wild variation fosters an incredible variety of ecosystems, the greatest mountain range on earth, thick tropical jungles teeming with a wealth of wildlife, thundering rivers, forested hills and frozen valleys.
Within this spectacular geography is also one of the richest cultural landscapes anywhere. The country is a potpourri of 101 ethnic groups and sub-groups who speak over 92 languages and dialects. Nepal offers an astonishing diversity of sightseeing attractions and adventure oppurtunities found nowhere else on earth. And you can join in the numerous annual festivals that are celevrated throughout the year in traditional style highlighting enduring customs and beliefs.

Language: Nepali

Currency: Nepalese Rupee

Political System: Nepal was declared a Federal Democratic Republic state on May 28, 2008, during the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly. It was previously a multiparty democracy since 1990

National Bird: Impean Pheasant Danfe).

National Flower: Rhododendron Arboreum (Lali Gurans).

The most exhilarating titles with which Nepal has been admired and praised by various renowned travel writers in recognition of her cultural richness :

Living cultural Museum


Roof of the World

Birth place of the Apostle of Peace

Country of Living Goddess

City of Golden Pagodas and Parasols

Himalayan Pilgrimage

Nature amphitheatre

Melting pot of Hinduism and Buddhism

A tiny Kingdom of 103 ethnic groups and 93 spoken languages

Birth place of Sita

Abode of Shiva

Land of Mysticism & Exoticism

Land of non-stop festivals are explicit and self-explanatory. They tell the world about our incomparable & prosperous cultural heritage.

Place To vist in Nepal

The capital city, Kathmandu is enriched with temples more than homes and festivals exceeding the number of days in a year. The whole valley with its seven heritage sites has been enlisted in cultural World Heritage Site list. The place, which blends cultural vigor with modern facilities possible on earth is place liked by tourists been here. The place has more to offer and it is not only administrative capital of the country but to the fullest extend capital of traditional culture and physical resources. Three Durbar Squares - Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath, Swoyambhunath and Changunarayan are the places most revered by the Kathmanduities and whole world.

Kathmandu is not big when one compares it to other cities in South Asia. Kathmandu is a fascinating old city today where pagodas, narrow cobbled lanes, old carved windows, and stone shrines are backdrops to the drama of life that continues unhindered. Here the experiences are amazing, views fascinating, and the climate charming.

There are living Goddesses whose smiles are a benediction. There are reincarnate Lamas who foresee the future with a roll of dice and scriptural reference. There are walks that lead the adventurous to legendary places where ogres once lived. There are hidden gardens behind palaces yet unseen and courtyards where miracles happen, and a city the Buddha visited.

The natural beauty of Pokhara in Midwestern Nepal is simply bewitching. Forming the backdrop are the spectacular Annapurna Mountains with the magnificent fish-tailed Machhapuchhre dominating the scene. Adding to Pokhara's enchantment are the three serene lakes of Phewa, Rupa and Begnas. Lumbini, in the southwest, is the birthplace of Lord Buddha and a World Heritage Site. An inscription on the Ashoka Pillar identifies the Sacred Garden as the place where the Buddha was born. Lumbini has a number of artistic temples and monasteries built through international support.

UNESCO recalls Chitwan as one of the few remaining undisturbed vestiges of the 'Terai' region, which formerly extended over the foothills of India and Nepal at the foot of the Himalayas. The Chitwan National Park has been enlisted in natural World Heritage Site. It has a particularly rich flora and fauna. One of the last populations of single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros lives in the park, which is also one of the last refuges of the Bengal tiger.

Nepal has nine National Parks and four Wildlife Reserves. About 15,000 square kilometers amounting to almost 18 percent of the total area is protected. This is an amazing commitment to conservation. The Terai lowlands are defined by a belt of well-watered floodplains stretching from the Indian border northward to the first slopes of the Bhabhar and the Siwalik Range. This is the richest habitat in the land with tall grasslands interspersed with riverine and hardwood Sal Forest. Here one can see wildlife such as the swamp deer, musk deer, black buck, blue bull, the Royal Bengal Tiger, gharial and marsh mugger crocodile and the last of a breed of Asiatic wild buffalo. Parks and Reserves are also rich in bird species with a variety of babbles and orioles, koels and drongos, peacocks and floricans, and a multitude of wintering wildfowl.
National Parks and Wildlife Reserves of Nepal
Shey-Phoksundo National ParkKanchenjunga Conservation Area
Sagarmatha National ParkAnnapurna Conservation Area
Makalu Barun National ParkShukla Phant Wildlife Reserve
Chitwan National Park
Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve
Langtang National Park

Koshi-Tappu Wildlife Reserve

Shivapuri National ParkManaslu Conservation Area
Khaptad National ParkParsa Wildlife Reserve
Rara National Park 
Bardia National Park 

For more information, visit the official homepage of:
Department of National Parks and WildLife Conservation 

Nepal where major chunk of area is occupied by villages has tremendous potential in rural tourism. Its main aim is to link Village Development and Sustainable Tourism through the generation of income, employment and local markets for agricultural products and handicrafts. Other objectives include the provision of incentives for forestation and nature conservation and the creation of a global family through the encounter between rural Nepalese people and foreign tourists during village home stays, resulting in mutual understanding and learning. 

The main target group of the program is women who will be the main beneficiaries due to new income opportunities. It is a rural enterprise owned and operated by the local people. It is a group activity, and benefits are shared among as many villages and individuals as possible. "Village Trek", visits to indigenous people are the activities, which will make tourists, experience rural life and Nepalese hospitality off the beaten path with all the beautiful scenery and cultural diversity of Nepal. 

Accommodation is in individual guestrooms with host families or, in between villages, in tents. During the trekking, meals are prepared by a professional team. In the villages, the visitors can try a delicious, hygienically prepared Nepali "Daalbhaat" consisting of locally produced rice, lentils and garden-fresh, organically grown vegetables. The guestrooms are simple, but clean and cozy.

Nepal has several ancient pilgrimage sites. Each temple is attached to a legend or belief that glorifies the miraculous powers of its deity. Kathmandu Valley is home to the famous Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhu Stupa and several other famous temples. Hundreds of famous temples are located in and around the Kathmandu Valley. Some well-known pilgramage sites are: Baraha Chhetra, Halesi Mahadev, Janakpur, Pathibhara, Tengboche in East Nepal; Manokamana, Gorkha, Lumbini, Muktinath, Gosainkunda, Tansen, Kathmandu Valley in Central Nepal; and Swargadwari, Khaptad Ashram in West Nepal. Pashupatinath, Swoyambhunath, and Boudhanath are the sites that are also listed in the UNESCO Heritage Sites.

Nepal is also the Gateway to Kailash Mansarovar, the mythical abode of Lord Shiva. Devotees from various parts of Nepal and India throng the temples during special festivals. Even though weak infrastructure renders some places hard to reach, efforts are being made on national level to develop and promote some popular sites.

Pilgrimage sites of Nepal like Muktinath and Gosainkunda make popular trekking destinations. Tours to these sites are encouraged for the novelty they provide in terms of nature and culture. 

Pashupatinath, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the holiest Hindu destination in Nepal. 

Swoyambhunath is believed to have been established more than 2,500 years ago. 

Janaki Temple dedicated to Janaki (Sita in Ramayana).

Things to do in Nepal

With eight of the highest peaks in the world, Nepal has been the focus of some of the most outstanding achievements in the world of mountaineering. For many decades the dauntless icy peaks have posed as challenge to those who dare. There are some 326 peaks in Nepal open for mountaineering today. Government of Nepal opened around 175 peaks in the last two years to mark the Mount Everest Golden Jubilee Celebrations.

Climbing permit to scale the Nepal Himalayas is issued in all seasons by the Mountaineering Section of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. Certain official documents are required to seek permission for climbing peaks. Around 121 peaks do not require liaison officer for expedition. Fees or ties depend upon the altitude of the peak starting at US $ 1,000 for peaks below 6,501 meters and rising by US $ 500 for every 500 meters.

Climbing gears and equipments can be bought or rented in Kathmandu. Many mountaineering and trekking agencies also offer packages that take care of needs like gear, food, transportation, guide and porter services. They also arrange insurance. Visitors should choose an agency that has good track record.

Nepal Himalaya is known as the rooftop of the world. The Himalayas are the highest mountains in the world. Their scenery is legendary. These mountains have had an air of mystery until recently. Even today, the vast area of the Himalaya is untouched. It has always remained a source of fascination and inspiration for people from all walks of life in the world. Himalaya ("Him" means snow and "Alaya" means abode), the abode of snow and the Gods, extends about 2500 Kilometers. The Brahmaputra (Assam) in the east and Indus river in the west demarcate the length of the Himalaya. It is 300 Kms wide and rises nine kilometers above the sea level.

The Nepal Himalaya is in the centre of the Himalayan range. Eight peaks that exceed 8000 metres including the world's highest peak Mt Everest are the prominent members of Nepal Himalaya. It has a convergence of 1310 magnificent peaks over 6,000 metres. Nepal has become famous through out the world due to these mountains.

It is a very interesting thing to know that there was a sea (the Tethys sea) between Indian Gondwana continent (Indian sub continent and Eurasian continent). Around 70 and 80 million years ago, the Himalaya began to come into existence. It is a peak of each evolution only about 10 to 20 million years back. Therefore, the Himalaya is extremely young and geologically active. According to geologists, mountains are growing at a rate of 15 cm (6 inch) a year as the Indian plate moving northward and forcing under the Eurasian plate. This process (plate tectonics) causes the earthquakes in this region. Geologists say that the collision of continents is squeezing up sedimentary rocks that were once below the sea. The mountains of Himalaya are the result of the collision of continents.

Nepal offers excellent trekking options to visitors from the easy walking excursions to the strenuous climb of the snowy peaks. The most rewarding way to experience Nepal's natural embellishment and cultural assortment is to walk through the length, breadth and the altitudes of the country. Trekking in Nepal is a big part of the ultimate Himalayan adventure and a majority of tourists have trekking as a part of their itinerary.

One can also trek on ponies in some remote places, which is equally enthralling for visitors. Pony treks follow nearly the same routes and are offered mostly in western region of Pokhara, Dolpo and Lo Manthang (Mustang).

Nepal has earned the reputation of one of the best destinations for white water rafting. Cruising down rushing rivers of crashing waves and swirling rapids can make up excitement of a lifetime. Rafting trips for some is the highlight of their stay in Nepal. The waters in Nepal offer something for everybody: Grade 5-5+ rivers with raging white water rapids for the adventurous, to Grade 2-3 rivers with a few rapids for novices. Rafters also have a choice ranging from two to three-week trips to trips of two or three days.

The options include paddling, oaring and kayaking. Paddling requires all on boat to participate with instructions from river runner. Luxury safari-style trips with full team are available too. In an oar boat, the guide rows alone giving participants a chance to observe the surroundings. Kayaking is another way to travel downstream. A few companies offer inflatable kayaks, or fiberglass kayaks for hire while some arrange for kayaks on their own.

A typical day in the river begins early morning when participants arrive at the site. Instructions on safety and emergency situation are given to participants before the event. Life vests and helmets are worn by participants at all times during the trip. Meals are provided during the trip. Some packages also provide river equipment and camping equipment. The best time for rafting is from October through mid-December and March through early May. In winter hypothermia may be hindrance to some. During monsoons months of June through September, the white water sections are dangerous, but gentler stretches are easy to raft on. So far the government has opened sections of 10 rivers for commercial rafting.

With the thrills of outdoor activities Nepal also offers city fun for its visitors. While visitors enjoy the rustic by simply beholding spectacular sights and partaking in the activities of exotic cultures, in cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara some entertainment is on par with western world.

Visitors have a choice from a potpourri of amusements. They can: partake in cultural shows that include theater and local art; wine and dine at premier hotels that provide excellent service; enjoy music and dance at newly-opened discotheques; try a luck at rummy or blackjack at one of our casinos; enjoy a game of golf in our Himalyan serenity; or just watch a movie as cozy twosome in one of our movie theaters.

A taste of Nepali culture is still sought by tourists. Visitors are fascinated by ethnic ambience in local restaurants that serve authentic Nepali food. Art galleries and museums of the Valley exhibiting cultural treasures are also among preferred tourist choices. Health clubs and gymnasiums are available for sports lovers. While latest Nepali and Hindi movies run in most movie theaters, a theatre in Kathmandu also runs good English movies. Video and DVD stores offer wider range of choices.

Shopping in Nepal is easy. With a little money and some time one can obtain the best buys this little kingdom has to offer. It will be helpful to have a Nepali for company if a huge shopping project is at hand. Common tourist shopping items include souvenirs and trinkets like gems and jewelry. However, one should be careful while buying jewelry as assessing their quality is difficult. Hand-weaved cotton fabric is a popular buy among visitors. Some buy pashmina that this Himalayan region is famous for and some also buy fresh tea and spices.

Popular buys among visitors are local craft and artwork. Among these are the Tibetan and Newar Thangka and Paubha paintings that belong to the time when these cultures were at their peak. Visitors buy Newari woodcrafts of picture frames, windows, statues and carvings. Carpets that represent the age-old folk art of the Tibetans are also very popular. Shops have rugs on display, however, carpets can be custom made by contacting the manufacturer. Traditional Nepali paper is popular as writing pads and bound journals, calendars and lampshades.

There are government restrictions that visitors should be aware of before purchasing items to take home. Antiques are not permitted to be taken out of the country. Hence inspection by the Department of Archeology is required for export of antiques. To be on the safe side, visitors should have all material examined by the Department of Archeology and obtain a certificate from the office before leaving Nepal.

In adventurer's delight, Nepal offers a plethora of outdoor activities, from paragliding near the mountains to waiting for the Bengal tiger in Chitwan's wild. Adventure tourism in Nepal dates back to the early attempts to ascend worldâ's highest peak Mt. Everest fifty years ago.

The 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest was celebrated recently amidst great fanfare and extravaganza. Renowned mountain summiteers Sir Edmund Hillary, Ms. Junko Tabei, Mr. Reinhold Messner, Mr. Appa Sherpa, Mr. Jamling Norgay Sherpa took part in the celebrations.

Trekking and mountain climbing are still the most popular sport among visitors. Rafting on white water mountain streams across the typical cross section of Nepal's geography is equally popular. Jungle safari in the Terai is preferred by visitors interested to see Nepal's rare varieties of animals and birds. Nepal also offers bungy jumping above the wild waters of River Bhote Koshi. Canyoning to explore the rugged and out-of -reach landscapes is another option at the site.

Aerial activities include taking off in micro-light aircrafts or hot-air balloons for a good view of the mountains. Mountain flights offer the closest possible spectacle of Mt. Everest and other peaks. The close encounter with the tallest mountains of the earth often draws awe-stricken silence from onlookers.

Hotels and resort

Hotels and ResortsRating
Aloha lnn
Amar Hotel
Annapurna Guest House P. Ltd.
Chhimkeswori Hotel
Chitwan Jungle Lodge
Dwarika's Hotel
Fish Tail Lodge
Fuji Guest House
Grand Hotel
Highlander Guest House
Holyland Guest House
Hotel Ambassador
Hotel Anand
Hotel Barahi (Pvt) Ltd.
Hotel Bharat
Hotel Blue Diamond (P) Ltd.
Hotel Blue Horizon (P) Ltd.
Hotel Buddha (P) Ltd.
Hotel Centre Point
Hotel Clarion (P) Ltd.
Hotel Classic Pvt. Ltd
Hotel Courtyard (P) Ltd.
Hotel de l' Annapurna
Hotel Diplomat
Hotel Diyalo
Hotel Dragon
Hotel Dynasty Plaza-Woodlands
Hotel Dynasty Thamel (P) Ltd.
Hotel Eastern Star
Hotel Encounter Nepal Pvt. Ltd.
Hotel Everest View
Hotel Excelsior (P) Ltd.
Hotel Fewa Prince
Hotel Florid Nepal P. Ltd.
Hotel Ganesh Himal
Hotel Gangjong Pvt. Ltd
Hotel Garuda
Hotel Gautam
Hotel Harati P. Ltd
Hotel Heera Plaza
Hotel Himalaya
Hotel Holy Heaven
Hotel Horizon Kathmandu
Hotel Iceland View
Hotel Impala Pvt. Ltd
Hotel Jagat
Hotel Kailas
Hotel Kailash Parbat
Hotel Kamal
Hotel Karma (P) Ltd
Hotel Karnali (P) Ltd
Hotel Kido House Pvt. Ltd.
Hotel Kohinoor
Hotel Lai Lai
Hotel Lion
Hotel Lumbini Garden New Crystal
Hotel Makalu
Hotel Manang P. Ltd
Hotel Manaslu
Hotel Mandap (P) Ltd
Hotel Marshyangdi P. Ltd
Hotel Marsyangdi Mandala (P) Ltd
Hotel Meera (P.) Ltd.
Hotel Melungtse (P) Ltd
Hotel Metropolitan Kantipur (P) Ltd.
Hotel Metropolitan Kantipur (P) Ltd.
Hotel Monalisa
Hotel Moonlight
Hotel Moonlight
Hotel Mountain P.Ltd
Hotel Mt. Annapurna
Hotel Namaskar
Hotel Nature
Hotel Nepa International
Hotel Nirvana
Hotel Norbu Linka Pvt. Ltd
Hotel Orchid (P) Ltd.
Hotel Paradise Plaza
Hotel Pawan International
Hotel Pisang (P) Ltd.
Hotel Poon-Hill P. Ltd.
Hotel Ramada (P) Ltd.
Hotel Rara Pvt. Ltd
Hotel Safari Narayani (Resort)
Hotel Sahana Pvt. Ltd.
Hotel Samjhana
Hotel Seema
Hotel Seven Corner (P) Ltd.
Hotel Shahanshah International
Hotel Shakti
Hotel Sneha Pvt. Ltd.
Hotel Snowland (P.) Ltd
Hotel Srinagar (P) Ltd.
Hotel Stupa
Hotel Sun-n-Snow (P) Ltd.
Hotel Sunset View
Hotel Swoniga (P) Ltd.
Hotel Tashi Dhargey inn (P) Ltd.
Hotel Tashi Dhele (P) Ltd.
Hotel Tayoma
Hotel Tenki (P) Ltd.
Hotel Thamel
Hotel The Hungry Eye
Hotel The Kantipur
Hotel Tibet
Hotel Tibet Holiday Inn (P) Ltd.
Hotel Tradition Pvt. Ltd.
Hotel Utse Pvt. Ltd.
Hotel Vaishali
Hotel Vajra Pvt. Ltd
Hotel Valley View
Hotel Vishuwa
Hotel Xenial
Hotel Yak & Yeti
Hotel Zenith
Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
International Guest House
Kantipur Temple House
Kathmandu Guest House
Kathmandu Prince Hotel
Lama International Guest House
Lama International Guest House
Marcopolo Business Hotel
Motel Avocada
Mount Annapurna Guest House
Mount Annapurna Guest House
New Hotel Bheri
New Hotel Tragopan
New Pokhara Lodge
New Tibet Rest House (P) Ltd.
Nirvana Garden Hotel
Pancha Pandav Guest House
Park Village Hotel Pvt. Ltd
Pilgrims Guest House
Potala Guest House
Potala Tourist Home
Radisson Hotel Kathmandu
Royal Park Hotel (P.) Ltd.
Royal Singi Hotel
Sangam Hotel (P) Ltd.
Shangri-la Hotel
Soaltee Crowne Plaza
Souvenir Guest House
Summit Hotel Pvt. Ltd
Syangboche Panorama Hotel (Resort)
The Everest Hotel
The Fort Resort Nagarkot
The Fulbari Resort & Spa
The Garden Hotel
The Malla Hotel
The Shanker Hotel
Thorong Peak Guest House
Tibet Guest House P. Ltd.
Tibet Peace Guest House
Tirupati Holiday Inn
Trek-O-Tel Hotel
Welcome Guest House
Baghmara Wildlife Resort
Bardia Jungle Cottage
Base Camp Resort
Chitwan Adventure resort
Club Himalaya Nagarkot Resort
Dhulikhel Lodge Resort
Dhulikhel Mountain Resort
Everest Panoroma Resort
Gaida Wildlife Camp
Godavari Village Resort
Gokarna Forest Golf Resort & Spa
High View Resort
Himalayan Height Resort
Island Jungle Resort
Jomsom Mountain Resort
Machan Wildlife Resort
Mirabel Resort Hotel Pvt. Ltd.
Mum's Garden Resort Pvt. Ltd.
Nagarkot Cottage
Rhino Residency Resort
Riverside Springs Resort
Shangri-La Village Resort
Temple Tiger Jungle Resort
Tiger Mountain P. Ltd.
Tiger Tops P. Ltd.
Vardan Resort
West Nepal Adventure P. Ltd.