Nepal - The Himalayan Kingdom


Nepal, as a state, was established when an ambitious Gorkha king named Prithvi Narayan Shah embarked on a conquering mission that led to the defeat of all the kingdoms in the valley (including Kirtipur which was an independent state) by 1769. Instead of annexing the newly acquired states to his kingdom of Gorkha, Prithvi Narayan decided to move his capital to Kathmandu establishing the Shah dynasty which ruled unified Nepal from 1769 to 2008 when the last Shah ruler, Gyanendra relinquished his power to make way for total democracy under the rule of a Prime Minister.

Nepal, a sovereign Independent Kingdom, lies between 80 degree 12' east longitude and 26 degree 22' and 30 degree 27' north latitude. It is bounded on the north by the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China; on the east by Sikkim and West Bengal of the Indian Union on the south by Indian States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and on the west by Uttar Pradesh of Indian Union. The length of the Kingdom is 885 kilometers east-west and its breath varies from 145 to 241 kilometers north-south. Climatically, it lies in the temperate zone with the added advantage of altitude. The country can be divided into three main geographic regions: Himalayan Region, Mountain Region, Terai Region.


By Air
The Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu is Nepal’s only international airport.

By Road
There are just eight entry points into Nepal by land open to foreigners, from which six are from India and two from Tibet. Via Tibet - You can cross the border into Nepal from Tibet via Kodari.

NOTE: unpredictable weather during monsoons, at times forces delays flights and travellers are advised to include a buffer day in their itinerary.

Visas & Passports
Valid passports and an entry visa are essential. A tourist may stay in Nepal upto 150 days in a visa year (Jan-Dec). Visa is issued on arrival at the airport.

You are permitted to carry one bottle of spirits and two bottles or 12 cans of beer free of duty, also includes personal items such as binoculars, cameras, film stock, record player, tape recorder, transistor, and radio. It is illegal to export antiques; objects like metal statue, sacred images, paintings, and manuscripts.

The climate of Nepal varies from warm summers with mild winters in the low-lying southern region, to alpine conditions with very severe winters in the mountains. Between December and February temperatures drop well below freezing in the mountains. The best time to travel to Nepal for trekking is in early spring or late autumn, when the weather is dry and temperatures mild. The monsoon season on the coast occurs between June and September. Best time to travel to Nepal is October to November, and February to April.

In the mountain areas, warm woollen clothing are necessary while at lower altitude cotton clothing is ideal.

Nepal uses 220V, 50HZ Electricity.

Currency is spelled as Nepalese Rupees or Rupee (Rs) or in short NRS. 100 Paisa equals 1 Rs. Nepali Notes are 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2, and 1 rupees, and coins are rarely used.

Credit Cards
All International credit cards (Master Card, Visa Card etc) are also accepted in all leading hotels, shopping centres, bars and restaurants in Nepal.

Communication Facilities
Fair telephone and telegraph service; fair radiotelephone communication service and mobile-cellular telephone network.

Nepali is the official language of the state, spoken and understood by almost all the people of Nepal. English is spoken by many in government and business offices.

To protect against unforeseen accidents and mishaps, we advise you to have Travel insurance policy from your country. It should adequately cover helicopter evacuation and medical assistance.

Culture & customs
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the total population of Nepal was 26,42,799 in 2007. The population comprises people of more than 100 multiple ethnic groups who speak about 93 different languages and dialects which are further divided into different castes. The distinction in caste still plays a significant part in a Nepali’ life when it comes to marriage. Some of them main customs to be followed in Nepal are: Take off your shoes before entering a temple or one's home Ask for permission before entering a Hindu temple Taking photographs inside most of the temples is considered illegal Ask for permission before taking photographs of objects, and including Nepali people. Nepali people are friendly by nature. Have a genuine interest in them. Talk to them. Be friendly as you travel.

The two major religions practiced in Nepal are Hinduism and Buddhism with a majority of the people being Hindus. The two have co-existed through the ages and many Hindu idols are found within Buddhist shrines. The other religions practiced in Nepal are: Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism and Bon.

What is Nepal known for? -
Nepal is known for Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, spectacular natural beauty that can be seen in its land especially hilly regions, known as the birth place of Lord Buddha, and the Hindu Goddess Lord Sita. Also known as the home of Gurkha Warriors. It is also known as a country with abundant Natural Water Sources.

Travelling to Nepal?
Exercise caution when travelling to Maoist affected areas, mainly the remote parts of Nepal which includes Gorkha, Palpa, Nawalparasi, Syangja, Banke, Dang, Surkhet, Kalikot, Rukum, Jajarkot, Rolpa, and Salyan.

Do I need to obtain Permit before trekking in Nepal?
Trekking permit is only required to trek in the restricted areas. Before trekking, you should register with your country's Embassy or Consulate located in Nepal.

Health requirements to visit Nepal?
Nepal does not require any specific immunization for visitors. It is however best to have vaccine before coming to Nepal. Your doctor can advice you on the type of vaccine to be taken to travel to third world countries like Nepal.