Nepal, the native homeland of famous Sherpa climbers and Gurkha Soldiers. This Himalayan country is situated in the heart of Asia, on the southern slopes of the great Himalayan range, sandwiched between China in the north and India in the southeast. Nepal is about 800 kilometers long and 180 to 220 kilometers wide,with total area of 1,47,181 sq km.. Altitude varies from 60 to 8848 meters, from Tarai (lowland, bordering Nepal and India) to Himalaya (including Mt. Everest. The highest peak in the world, bordering Nepal and Tibet). Nepal is divided into four physical divisions (Terai, Mahabharat foothills, mid- green mountains and the high Himalayan peaks).
The major religions of Nepal are Hinduism (81%) and Buddhism (11%) .Many Nepali do not distinguish between Hinduism and Buddhism and follow both religion tradition.
The total population of Nepal is 30 million approximately and Katmandu Valley itself has estimated population of 5 millions. Kathmandu is the nation’s capital and the coutry largest metropolis.
Nepal has been a monarchy throughout most of its history. Prithvi Narayan Shah, a King of Shah Dynasty, unified the small kingdoms in the Himalayan Valley in 1768 A.D. Since then the country has been ruled by dyansty of kings until a civil war between monarchist forces and communist party of Nepal led to the abdication of King Gyanendra (last King of Shah Dynasty) and estblashment of a Fedral Democratic Republic in 2008.
Nepal has four climatic seasons. A. Spring: mid-February to May (high season), B. Summer: June to August(Monsoon. low season), C. Autumn: September to mid-December (high season), and D.Winter: December to February (snowfall in the high region, above 2000 Meters. Short trek around Kathmandu or Pokhara can be done). Nepal’s climate varies with its topography and altitude. It ranges from the tropical to the arctic. The low-land Terai region with its maximum altitude to approximately 305m, which lies in the tropical southern part of the country, for instance, has a hot and humid climate that can rise above 45 Degree Celsius during summer. The mid-land regions are pleasant almost all the year round, although winter nights are cool. The northern mountain region, around an altitude above 3,300m has an alpine climate with considerably lower temperature in winter as can be expected.
- Autumn (September to mid-December). Early Autumn (mid-September – mid- October) The monsoon ends with very clear bright skies. The countryside is fresh and lush green. Khumbu, Rolwaling, Hongu Valley, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna regions are best at this time of the year. Autumn (mid-October To mid-December) The very best season for treks to all of the region within the whole of Nepal. Perhaps a little crowded due to high season.
- Spring (February to May). Spring arrives when we reach the month of March. Little early for crossing high passes but excellent time for Helambu. (Not crossing Gosaikunda pass) Langtang, Khumbu, Pokhara Valley, Ghorepani area. Excellent time to trek to Milke Danda and Makalu Base Camp for rhodendron and varieties of wild flowers in full bloom. The temperature starts getting warm and afternoon clouds and showers in most places. Low elevations of pokhara starts getting hotter and quite hazy day by day. Khumbu offers excellent are for hikes. It would be better to fly to Lukla as the walk from Jiri can be disappointing due to haze.
- Summer (June to August. Low season). The trek at this time of the year should be at higher altitudes to avoid the heat. The areas that are recommended at this time of the year would be Khumbu (both way fly in and fly out) Rolwaling, Hongu-Gatlang, Langtang with Ganja la pass and Annapurna Circuit. The trails are slippery, with heavy overcast sky, humid heat and leeches. Only areas which falls under rain shadow i.e. Manang, Mustang, Northern Dolpa are recommended during this period.
- Winter (mid-December to February). Winter arrives in Kathmandu by November. Low level treks within an elevation of 3500m are best at this time of the year due to good sunny weather and very little rain. But one should avoid crossing high passes after the first week of December due to snow. Khumbu, north of Kathmandu (Both Helambu and Langtang), Pokhara Valley Trek, Ghorepani Circuit all good trips to be considered at this time of the year.
Due to its landlocked nature, visitors can enter Nepal by flights or overland via India and Tibet. There are direct flights from most of the important cities of the world.
Nepal Airlines is the national flight carrier of Nepal with flights to/from Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Bangkok, Doha and Hongkong. Other International airlines operating from and to Kathmandu are Air Arabia (Sharjah), Air Asia (Kuala Lumpur), Air China (Lhasa, Chengdu), Bahrain Air (Bahrain), Biman Bangladesh (Dhaka), China Eastern Airlines (Kunming), China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou), Dragon Air (Hong Kong), Druk Air (Delhi, Paro), Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), Flydubai (Dubai), GMG Airlines (Dhaka), Gulf Air (Bahrain), Indian Airlines (Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi), Indigo Airlines (Delhi), Jet Airways (Delhi, Mumbai), Jet Lite (Delhi), Korean Air (Seoul), Pakistan International Airlines (Karachi, Islamabad), Qatar Airways (Doha), RAK Air (Ras al- Khaimah), Silk Air (Singapore), Spicejet (Delhi), Thai Airways (Bangkok)and United Airways (Dhaka).
All visitors entering Nepal by land must use these designated entry points and may not enter from any other point:
(3) Belhiya, Bhairahawa
(5) Dhangadi and
(6) Mahendranagar in the Nepal-India border and
(7) Kodari in the Nepal-China border.
Route Approx. distance (km) Nearest Railways Station in India 1 Silguri-Kakkarvitta-Kathmandu 620 New Jalpaiguri 2 Jogbani-Biratnagar-Kathmandu 550 Jogbani 3 Raxual-Birgunj-Kathmandu 280 Raxaul 4 Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Kathmandu 280 Gorakhpur 5 Rupaidiya-Jamuna (Nepalgunj)- Kathmandu 520 Rupaidiya / Nanpara 6 Gauriphanta-Mohana (Dhangadi)-Kathmandu 630 Gauriphanta / Paliya 7 Banbasa-Gaddachauki (Mahendranagar)- Kathmandu 715 Banbasa / Tanakpur 8 Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Palpa-Pokhara 185 Gorakhpur 9 Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Chitwan 145 Gorakhpur 10 Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Lumbini 26 Gorakhpur
Note:Please note that overland tourists entering Nepal with their vehicles must possess an international carnet or complete customs formalities.
Foreigner who intends to visit Nepal must hold valid passport or any travel document equivalent to passport issued by the Government for visiting a foreign country prior to apply for visa.
Tourist entry visa can be obtained from Nepal Embassy in your country/ Consulate or Mission offices abroad, or on arrival visa can be obtained at the following immigration offices in Nepal: *
- Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.
- Kakarvitta, Jhapa (Eastern Nepal).
- Birgunj, Parsa (Central Nepal).
- Kodari, Sindhupalchowk (Northern Border, gateway to Tibet Autonomous Region of China).
- Belhiya, Bhairahawa (Rupandehi, Western Nepal).
- Jamuna, Nepalgunj (Banke, Mid Western Nepal).
- Mohana, Dhangadhi (Kailali, Far Western Nepal).
- Gaddachauki, Mahendranagar (Kanchanpur, Far Western Nepal).
*People of these countries do not get visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal: Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan.
Tourist Visa (Effective from July 2008):
Visa Facility Duration Fee Multiple Entry 15 days US$25 or equivalent convertible currency Multiple Entry 30 days US$40 or equivalent convertible currency Multiple Entry 90 days US$100 or equivalent convertible currency
Tourist Visa Extension:
Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US$25 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$2 per day. Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January – December).
Gratis (Free) Visa:
Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SARC countries. Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal.
Transit visa for one day can be obtained from Nepal’s immigration offices at the entry points upon the production of departure flight ticket via Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal, by paying US$5 or equivalent convertible currency.