About Nepal

                    जननी जन्मभूमिष्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी  (Sanskrit)

                    "Mother and motherland are dearer than the heavens"

Main
Geography
General_Information
INTRODUCTION
History

Nature
Language
Climate_and_Rainfall_of_Nepal
Country_Profile
POPULAR_CITIES_OF_NEPAL
Festivals_of_Nepal
FLORA_AND_FAUNA
The_Hills
TERAI
MOUNTEERING
Village_Tour
Trekking
Mountaineerin
Jungle_Safaris
White-River_Rafting
RAFTING
SAGARMATHA_WILDLIFE_RESERVE
PEAK_CLIMBING
POKHARA
Chitwan
LUMBINI
KATHMANDU:
BHAKTAPUR:-B
LUMBINI
FUTUTRE_PROGRAM_OF_NEPAL_TOURISM_BOARD
 

Geography:- :-:-

A landlocked country the size of Arkansas, lying between India and the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, Nepal contains Mount Everest (29,035 ft; 8,850 m), the tallest mountain in the world. Along its southern border, Nepal has a strip of level land that is partly forested, partly cultivated. North of that is the slope of the main section of the Himalayan range, including Everest and many other peaks higher than 8,000 m.  Top

INTRODUCTION:-

Nepal, officially known, according to its Interim Constitution, as the State of Nepal (previously known as Kingdom of Nepal) is a landlocked Himalayan country in South Asia. It is bordered by China (Tibet) to the north and by India (Bihar, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand) to the south, east and west.For a small territory, the Nepali landscape is uncommonly diverse, ranging from the humid Terai in the south to the lofty Himalayas in the north. Eight of the world's ten highest mountains are in Nepal, including Mount Everest. The country is famous for: tourism, trekking, hiking, camping, mountain biking, national wildlife parks, jungle safaris, river rafting, sport fishing, and its many beautiful temples and places of worship.

Kathmandu is the capital and largest city. Other main cities include Dharan, Thimi, Pokhara, Biratnagar, Lalitpur (Patan), Bhaktapur. other main towns includes Birendranagar, Bharatpur, Nepal, Siddhartanagar (Bhairahawa), Birganj (Birgunj), Butwal, Janakpur, Nepalganj (Nepalgunj), Hetauda, Damak, Dhangadhi, and Mahendranagar.

 After a long and rich history, during which the region splintered and coalesced under a variety of absolute rulers, Nepal became a constitutional monarchy in 1990. However, the monarchy retained many important and ill-defined powers. This arrangement was marked by increasing instability, both in the parliament and, since 1996, in large swathes of the country that have been fought over by Maoist insurgents. The Maoists, alienated from mainstream political parties, went underground and started a guerrilla war against both monarchy and mainstream political parties. They have sought to overthrow feudal institutions, including the monarchy, and establish a Maoist state.

 This led to the Nepalese Civil War in which more than 15,000 people have died. After the intra-party conflict within the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) on the issue of continuation of state of emergency to deal with Maoist insurgents, then prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba recommended the king for the dissolution of lower house seeking a fresh mandate in 2002. The king accepted his recommendation and dissolved the house as per the constitution. Later on, Deuba recommended the king for the postponement of the parliamentary election on the pretext of insecurity due to the Maoist insurgency. Then the king sacked Deuba in 2002 on the grounds of not able to hold elections and started ruling through prime ministers appointed by him. He then unilaterally declared a state of emergency early in 2005 and assumed all executive powers.Following the 2006 democracy movement, the king agreed to relinquish the sovereign power back to the people and reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives on April 24, 2006. Using its newly acquired sovereign authority, on May 18, 2006, the newly resumed House of Representatives unanimously passed a motion to curtail the power of the king and declared Nepal a secular state. As of September, 2006, a complete rewrite of the constitution was still expected to happen in the near future.

      As of July 2007, many of Nepal's new political leaders, including the former Maoist rebels, now want the monarchy abolished. The former king has already lost his powers as head of state and head of the army and the government has decided to stop paying all allowances. Multi partysystem prevails in Nepal.    Top

History:-
The first civilizations in Nepal, which flourished around the 6th century B.C., were confined to the fertile Kathmandu Valley where the present-day capital of the same name is located. It was in this region that Prince Siddhartha Gautam was born c. 563 B.C. Gautam achieved enlightenment as Buddha and spawned Buddhist belief.

Nepali rulers' early patronage of Buddhism largely gave way to Hinduism, reflecting the increased influence of India, around the 12th century. Though the successive dynasties of the Gopalas, the Kiratis, and the Licchavis expanded their rule, it was not until the reign of the Malla kings from 1200–1769 that Nepal assumed the approximate dimensions of the modern state.

The kingdom of Nepal was unified in 1768 by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who had fled India following the Moghul conquests of the subcontinent. Under Shah and his successors Nepal's borders expanded as far west as Kashmir and as far east as Sikkim (now part of India). A commercial treaty was signed with Britain in 1792 and again in 1816 after more than a year of hostilities with the British East India Company.

In 1923, Britain recognized the absolute independence of Nepal. Between 1846 and 1951, the country was ruled by the Rana family, which always held the office of prime minister. In 1951, however, the king took over all power and proclaimed a constitutional monarchy. Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah became king in 1955. After Mahendra died of a heart attack in 1972, Prince Birendra, at 26, succeeded to the throne.

In 1990, a pro-democracy movement forced King Birendra to lift the ban on political parties. The first free election in three decades provided a victory for the liberal Nepali Congress Party in 1991, although the Communists made a strong showing. A small but growing Maoist guerrilla movement, seeking to overthrow the constitutional monarchy and install a Communist government, began operating in the countryside in 1996.

On June 1, 2001, King Birendra was shot and killed by his son, Crown Prince Dipendra. Angered by his family's disapproval of his choice of a bride, he also killed his mother and several other members of the royal family before shooting himself. Prince Gyanendra, the younger brother of King Birendra, was then crowned king.

King Gyanendra dismissed the government in October 2002, calling it corrupt and ineffective. He declared a state of emergency in November and ordered the army to crack down on the Maoist guerrillas. The rebels intensified their campaign, and the government responded with equal intensity, killing hundreds of Maoists, the largest toll since the insurgency began in 1996. In Aug. 2003, the Maoist rebels withdrew from peace talks with the government and ended a cease-fire that had been signed in Jan. 2003. The following August, the rebels blockaded Kathmandu for a week, cutting off shipments of food and fuel to the capital.

King Gyanendra fired the entire government in Feb. 2005 and assumed direct power. Many of the country's politicians were placed under house arrest, and severe restriction on civil liberties were instituted. In Sept. 2005, the Maoist rebels declared a unilateral cease-fire, which ended in Jan. 2006. In April, massive pro-democracy protests organized by seven opposition parties and supported by the Maoists took place. They rejected King Gyanendra's offer to hand over executive power to a prime minister, saying he failed to address their main demands: the restoration of parliament and a referendum to redraft the constitution. Days later, as pressure mounted and the protests intensified, King Gyanendra agreed to reinstate parliament. The new parliament quickly moved to diminish the king's powers. In May, it voted unanimously to declare Nepal a secular nation and strip the king of his authority over the military.

The Maoist rebels and the government signed a landmark peace agreement in November 2006, ending the guerrillas 10-year insurgency that claimed some 12,000 people. In March 2007, the Maoists achieved another milestone when they joined the interim government.      Top

 General Information:-

Nepal

Land area: 52,819 sq mi (136,801 sq km); total area: 54,363 sq mi (140,800 sq km)

Population (2006 est.): 28,287,147 (growth rate: 2.2%); birth rate: 31.0/1000; infant mortality rate: 65.3/1000; life expectancy: 60.2; density per sq mi: 536

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Kathmandu, 1,203,100 (metro. area), 729,000 (city proper)

Other large cities: Biratnagar, 174,600; Lalitpur, 169,100

Monetary unit: Nepalese rupee

Languages: Nepali 48% (official), Maithali 12%, Bhojpuri 7%, Tharu 6%, Tamang 5%, others. English spoken by many in government and business (2001)

Ethnicity/race: Brahman-Hill 12.5%, Chetri 15.5%, Magar 7%, Tharu 6.6%, Tamang 5.5%, Newar 5.4%, Muslim 4.2%, Kami 3.9%, Yadav 3.9%, other 32.7%, unspecified 2.8% (2001)

Religions: Hindu 81%, Buddhist 11%, Islam 4%, Kirant 4% (2001)

Literacy rate: 45% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2005 est.): $42.26 billion; per capita $1,500. Real growth rate: 2.5%. Inflation: 7.8% (Oct. 2005 est.). Unemployment: 42% (2004 est.). Arable land: 16%. Agriculture: rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat. Labor force: 10.4 million; note: severe lack of skilled labor (2004 est.); agriculture 76%, industry 6%, services 18%. Industries: tourism, carpet, textile; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarettes, cement and brick production. Natural resources: quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore. Exports: $822 million f.o.b. (2005 est.), but does not include unrecorded border trade with India: carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods, grain. Imports: $2 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): gold, machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer. Major trading partners: India, U.S., Germany, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia (2004).       Top

 

Nature:-

Nepal covers a span of 147,181 sq. kilometers ranging from altitude of 70 meters to 8,848 meters. Mountains, mid hills, valleys and plains dominate the geography of landlocked Nepal that extends from the Himalayan range in the north to the Indo-Gangetic lowlands in south. Mt. Everest, the highest point of the Himalayas is in Nepal.

Physical features also include green paddy terraces, wind-swept deserts, dense forests and marshy grasslands. The country is well endowed with perennial rivers, lakes and glacial lakes that originate in the Himalayas. Twenty percent of the land in the country is used for agriculture, where 0.49 percent is used for permanent crops, mainly rice.

Climatic conditions of Nepal vary from one place to another in accordance with the geographical features. In the north summers are cool and winters severe, while in south summers are sub tropical and winters mild.

The variety in Nepal's topography provides home to wildlife like tigers, rhinos, monkeys, bears, yaks, leopards and different species of insects and birds. Nepal is a home to almost 10 percent of the world's bird species among which 500 species are found in the Kathmandu Valley.

The country has managed to preserve some endangered species of Asia in its extensive parks and protected natural habitats. The most abundant natural resource in Nepal is water. Other resources found here are quartz, timber, lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore and scenic beauty.       Top

Chitwan:-

Surrounding Chitwan National Park in southern Nepal is one of the best planned and most intelligently developed tourist areas in Nepal. Not only does it offer a wide variety of resorts and lodges, it is also easy to reach - by road or by air. Regular flights are scheduled by Nepal Airlines and other airlines to Meghauli, Simara and Bharatpur. Many resorts provide coach service. Local buses offer a choice between a night ride and a day ride. Chitwan National Park is perhaps the best park in Nepal for seeing animals in the wild. In the earlier part of the century, when rapid deforestation was devastating Nepal's southern Terai belt, Government of Nepal intervened and proclaimed the Chitwan area a national park. The Government of Nepal declared the Chitwan region a national park, outlawed settlement and deforestation within its boundaries, and a campaign to save the animals began. Projects carried out with the help of friendly nations have revived the animals that remained. Though the Terai is certainly not what it once was, the preserved portion within the Chitwan National Park is still a treat for animal lovers. Bengal tigers roam the region; one-horned rhinos can be seen charging through the underbrush, feeding and even courting. The Rapti River has been dammed to form a man-made lake called Lamital where water-birds and marsh mugger peckers and many other birds are found in plenty in these forests. Elephant grass, five to six feet tall, provides excellent camouflage for animals. This grass serves as food for the gaur (a local bison), rhino and other herbivores. Once a year, local people are allowed into the park area to cut grass. The grass is dried, and used to thatch roofs or stored for food for the domestic animals during the dry season. Access : Chitwan is easily accessible from Kathmandu, being well connected by a national highway to Bhadrapur and Sauraha. There are daily flights to Meghauli airstrip just outside the park boundry. Accomodation : Resorts and lodges are available to suit one's travel budget; most include elephant safaris, jungle walks, canoeing and a variety of cultural activities in their programs. Reservations for accommodations can be made at the Kathmandu offices of Chitwan resorts and lodges, with selections ranging from the most luxurious to those with simple food and shelter. On a village tour, you can observe the culture of the Tharu people. Tharu dance and song performances are included in most resort and lodge entertainment. A visit to Chitwan is a visit filled to the brim with activities, whether you stay two days or a week

Nepal's first and most famous national park is situated in the Chitwan Doon or the lowlands of the Inner Terai. Covering an area of 932 sq km. the park includes hilly areas of the Siwalik Range covered by deciduous sal forest. One fifth of the park is made up of the floodplains of the Narayani, Rapti, and the Reu Rivers and is covered by dense tall elephant grass interspersed with riverine forests of silk cotton (kapok), acacia and sisam trees. This ecologically diverse area is the last remaining home in Nepal for more than 300 of the endangered Asian one-horned rhinoceros and harbors one of the largest populations of the elusive and rare Bengal tiger. Besides rhino and tiger, Chitwan also supports a great variety of flora and fauna. There are four species of deer, including the spotted chittal, leopard, sloth bear, wild boar, rhesus monkey, grey langur monkey, wild dog, small wild cats, the white stockinged gaur (the world's largest wild cattle) and many other smaller animals. The swampy areas and numerous oxbow lakes of Chitwan provide a home for marsh crocodiles. In a stretch of the Narayani river is found one of the few remaining populations of the rare and endangered fish-only eating gharial, or Gangetic crocodile. Here also is found one of the world's four species of freshwater dolphins. For the ornithologist and the amateur bird-watcher the park offers excellent possibilities with more than 450 species recorded. Some of the resident specialities are several species of woodpeckers, hornbills, Bengal florican, and red-headed trogons. Winter birds such as waterfowl, Brahminy duck, pintails and bareheaded geese, amongst many other cold weather visitors are drawn by the sanctuary of the park's rivers. In the summer the forest is alive with nesting migrants such as the fabulous paradise flycatcher, the Indian pitta and parakeets.

Entry Fee Per Person Per Day:

For Nepalese Nationals, Rs. 20/-

For SAARC Nationals, Rs. 200/-

For Other Foreign Nationals, Rs. 500/-         Top

N ote:

Entrance fee not required for children under 10 yearsPark

Entrance fees is regulated by Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (Phone: 4220850). Entrance fees for mountain National Parks can be paid at ACAP counter (Phone: 4222406) at Sanchaykosh building in Thamel, Kathmandu, or at the Park gate. For other National Parks entrance fees are to be paid at the Park gate

Access:

Chitwan is easily accessible from Kathmandu, being well connected by a national highway to Bharatpur and to Sauraha. There are daily fights from October through May to Meghauli airstrip just outside the park boundary. Another exciting alternative is a two to three day raft trip down the Trishuli river to Narayanghat or directly into the western edge of the park.

Visitors can stay in one of the several lodges and camps inside or outside the park. Visitors can actively participate in exciting stalks through the forest looking for animals signs. One unique Chitwan experience is elephant back safaris in search of the one-horned rhinoceros, leopard, deer, bear, monkey and crocodile. Few visitors can ever forget the excitement of crashing through 20 feet high elephant grass and sightseeing wildlife. Apart from elephant safaris, the traveller will be happily occupied for several days with nature walks, canoe rides down the park rivers, and land-over drives through the forest.

Royal Chitwan National Park is home to the great one horned rhinoceros, sloth bear, wild boar, gaur (bison), 4 species of deer, 2 species of monkeys, 2 species of crocodiles, leopard the elusive Bengal Tiger and over 450 species of birds and various other reptiles. It is listed in the world heritage site. Apart from jungle safari, there are many places which are quite interesting to visit: Elephant Breeding Centre, Crocodile Farm etc.

Jungle Safari: One can go for a jungle safari on elephant back so that s/he can penetrate deep into the jungle for viewing and photographing wildlife or for a jungle walk to experience the abundant bird-life and the flora and fauna of the Park. If you are lucky, you may see the elusive Bengal Tiger.

Birdwatching: The Chitwan National Park is a World Heritage Site that protects 932 square kilometres of dry deciduous forest, tropical evergreen forest and riverine grasslands. A larger number of bird species (over 480) has been recorded here than in any other part of Nepal due to Chitwan’s diverse habitats and tropical lowland situation.

Boat tour: to watch a Gharial: Take a drive through the jungles followed by a boat ride down the Narayani river where there are excellent chances of viewing the gharial crocodiles as well as mugger crocodiles, fresh water dolphins, otters and varieties of water birds, or go on a nature walk.       Top

 

Climate and Rainfall of Nepal :-

Nepal has four distinct seasons. Spring, from March to May is warm and dusty with rain showers. Summer, from June to August, is the monsoon season when the hills turn lush and green. Autumn, from September to November, is cool with clear skies, and is the most popular trekking season. In winter from December to February, it is cold at night and can be foggy in the early morning but afternoons are usually clear and pleasant, though there is occasional snow in the mountains.

Weather condition in Nepal vary from region to region. Summer and late spring temperatures range from more than 40 Degrees Celsius in the Terai to about 28 Degrees Celsius in the hilly region of the country. In winter, average maximum and minimum temperatures in the Terai range from a mild 23 Degrees Celsius to a brisk 7 Degrees Celsius while the central valleys experience a chilly 12 Degrees Celsius maximum temperature and a minimum temperature often falling below freezing point.

Much colder temperatures prevail at higher elevations. The Katmandu Valley situated at an altitude of 1310m, has a seasonable but equable climate with average summer and winter temperatures of 27 Degrees Celsius to 19 Degrees Celsius and 20 Degrees Celsius to 2 Degrees Celsius respectively. The annual rainfall in Katmandu generally exceeds 1300mm. The mean annual precipitation ranges from more than 6000mm along the southern slopes of the Annapurna range in central Nepal to less than the 250mm in the north central portion near the Tibetan plateau. Amounts varying between 1500 and 2500mm predominate over most of the country. On an average, about 80% of the precipitation is confined to the monsoon period (June-September).      Top

Country Profile:-

Situated in the lap of the Himalayas, Nepal is located between the latitude 26*22' to 30*27' North and longitude 80*4' E to 88*12' East, and elevation ranges from 90 to 8848 meters. The average length being 885 km east to west and the average breadth is 193 km from north to south. The country is bordering between the two most populous countries in the world, India in the East, South, and West, and China in the North. Nepal is a land locked country and home place of natural beauty with traces of artifacts. The Northern range (Himalayas) is covered with snow over the year where the highest peak of the world, the Mount Everest, stands. The middle range (Hill) is captured by gorgeous mountains, high peaks, hills, valleys and lakes. Southern range (Terai) is the gangaitic plain of alluvial soil and consist of dense forest area, national parks, wildlife reserves and conservation areas. The temperature and rainfall differ from place to place. In the geographic diversity and varied climatic conditions 23.2 million people of more than 60 caste/ethnic groups are accommodated in the country. Nepal presents an example of being united in diversity over the history and has maintained it's pride as being an independent sovereign state. There is constitutional monarchy where people exercise right of adult franchise. The executive, legislative and judiciary bodies function and exercise their rights independently. There is two tier system of legislation, the upper house, called the Rastriya Sabha, consists of 60 members and the Lower House, called the Pratinidhi Sabha is the house of Representatives for which members are elected from 205 electoral constituency distributed in 75 districts of the country. The elected Prime Minister heads the government.

 Geographically, the country is divided in three regions; Mountain, Hill and Terai accommodating 7.44 and 49 % of the population respectively. Based on area of districts these regions constitute 35, 42 and 23% of the total land area. There are 5 development regions and 75 administrative districts. Districts are further divided into smaller units, called Village Development committee (VDC) and Municipality.

Currently, there are 3914 VDCs and 58 Municipalities in the country. Each VDC is composed of 9 wards, Municipality ward ranges from 9 to 35. Kathmandu is the capital city.There are number of peaks, rivers and lakes in the country.

Nepal is the member of the United Nations and has established diplomatic relation with 113 (Jun 2001) countries of the world. Major export commodities are paste, Pulses, oil Cake, Catechu, Jute good Sacking, Twins, Carpets (Hand knitted wollen), Readymade garments, handicrafts, ginger.

Economic growth of the country has not improved markedly over time to over take population growth. As the country estimated population growth is 2.3 per annum, the gain achieved by developmental activities has been concealed by growing population. Little over half (57%)of the population of working age reported economically active in 1991 and among them 81% were engaged in agricultural activities. Contribution of non-agricultural activities are gradually increasing in the GDP. Per capita GDP is estimated in the order of US $ 240 (preliminary estimate) for 2000/01. The currency is Nepalese Rupee.

    * District Profile

Total Area of The Kingdom   1,47,181 Sq.Km.

Total Agricultural Holdings    (1991) 25,98,970 Ha.

Provisional Population 2001

Total    2,32,14,681

Male    1,15,87,547

Female             1,16,27,134

 

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POPULAR CITIES OF 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.

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Festivals of Nepal

·         Mata Tirtha Snan (Mother's Day)
This is one of the widely celebrated festivals that falls on the first month, Baisakh (April/May), of the Nepali Year.It is also called Mata Tirtha Aunsi as it falls on a new moon night.

·         Buddha Jayanti
This day is celebrated to mark the birthday of the Lord Buddha which dates back in about 543 BC.It falls on Jestha Purnima (Full moon night-May/June).

·         Ghanta Karna Chaturdasi
This festival celebrates the exorcism of the mythical demon Ghantakarna.It is also called Gathemangal festival which falls on trayodashi of the month Shrawan (July/August).

·         Janai Purnima,Rakshya Bandhan,Khumbeshwor Mela Patan
Janai Purnima is the festival of Sacred Thread.On this day every Hindu ties a sacred thread on the wrist.It is also called Rakshya Bandhan.On this day, there is a big Mela (fair) at Khumbeshwor, Lalitpur.It is again on a full moon night.

·         Gaijatra
The festival of "Gai Jatra" (the procession of cows) which is one of the most popular festivals, is generally celebrated in the Nepalese month of Bhadra (August-September).This festival has its roots in the belief that the god of death, Yamaraj, must be feared and hence worshipped.

·         Shree Krishna Janmastami
Sri Krishna Janmastami marks the celebration of the birth of Lord Sri Krishna. This festival is also known as Krishna Jayanti or Janmashtami. Lord Krishna is regarded as the 8th avatar or 'incarnation' of Lord Vishnu.It falls on Saptami of Bhadra (August/September).

·         Gokarna Aunsi (Father's Day)
The most auspicious day to honour one's father is Gokarna Aunsi . It falls on the dark fortnight of Bhadra or in August or in early September.It is also known as Kuse Aunsi.

·         Teej Ko Darkhane Din
"Teej" is the fasting festival for women. Through this religious fasting, hindu women pray for marital bliss, wellbeing of their spouse and children and purification of their own body and soul. It takes place on Tritiya of Bhadra (August/September).

·         Indrajatra(Holiday Only in Kathmandu)
This festival falls in the end of Bhadra (August/September). Both Hindus and Buddhists unite to celebrate the festival of Indra Jatra with great enthusiasm.

·         Dashain Holidays
During the month of Kartik in the Bikram Sambat calendar (late September and early October), the Nepalese people indulge in the biggest festival of the year, Dashain. Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese of all caste and creed throughout the country. The fifteen days of celebration occurs during the bright lunar fortnight ending on the day of the full moon.

·         Tihar Holidays
Tihar, the festival of lights is one of the most dazzling of all Hindu festivals. In this festival we worship Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth. It heralds the month of Kartik (October/November) starting with Kukur Puja-Narak Chaturdashi.

·         Maghe Sankranti
Maghe Sankranti is the beginning of the holy month of Magh, usually the mid of January. It brings an end to the ill-omened month of Poush (mid-december) when all religious ceremonies are forbidden. Even if it is considered the coldest day of the year, it marks the coming of warmer weather and better days of health and fortune.

·         Shree Panchami
This festival falls in mid Magh (January/February).It is celebrated as the birthday of Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning. She is the lily-white daughter of Shiva and Durga in spotless white robe and seated in a full-blown lotus.
This day is also dedicated to the martyrs of Nepal and hence celebrated as Martyr's Day.

·         Maha Shiva Ratri
This day is the celebration dedicated to the Lord Shiva which falls on the Trayodashi of the month Fagun (February/March).

·         Fagun Purnima (Holi)
The ancient Hindu festival of Holi falls on late February or on early March. Allegedly named after the mythical demoness Holika, it is a day when the feast of colours is celebrated. The festival is of a week. However, it's only the last day that is observed by all with colours.

·         Ghode Jatra
Ghode Jatra, the Horse Racing Day falls on Darhsa Shrad Aunsi of the month Chaitra (March/April). A grand horse parade takes place at Tundikhel, the central point of the city reputed to have been in the former days the largest parade ground in Asia.

·         Shree Ram Nawami
Ram Nawami is celebrated in the mid of Chaitra (March/April) as Lord Ram's Birthday. It is celebrated with much pomp at Janaki temple in Janakpur city, which lies in southern Nepal.

·         Bagh Jatra
The Bagh Jatra of Pokhara is another cultural baggage brought by Newars from Kathmandu, celebrated in early august. The festival has been celebrated in Pokhara for about 150 years. It expresses the people's joy at their deliverance from a marauding tiger. On the first day, people dress up like hunters and make an appearance accompanied by musical bands. The next day is an interlude devoted to the showing of comic programs. For three days,the hunting party parades through different parts of the town before "slaying" the beast to end the festivities.

·         Bhairav Kumari Jatra
This is one of the major religious celebrations in Dolkha, an historic town in north-eastern Nepal (133 km from Kathmandu off the highway to Tibet). The festival falls on early August; and consists of masked dances that go on non-stop for five days. Escorted by musical bands, dancers representing the deities Bhairav and Kumari and other gods and goddesses swirl and sway through Dolkha, visiting its many temples. On the occasion, devotees also undergo fasting and worship Bhairav and Kumari. The ceremony has a history going back more than five centuries.

·         Chaite Dasain
Chaite Dasain used to be the original day of the grand Dasain festival (which takes place exactly six months later now), but because people got their stomachs upset after feasting on spicy food during the warm month of Chaitra, the grand celebration was shifted to the cooler season. But the religious fervor is still evident in the celebrations of the day.

·         Gaura Parva
Gaura Parva is another celebration honoring Lord Krishna's birthday. It is celebrated in far western Nepal with much gusto for two days (August/September). Apart from the many ceremonies that happen during this festival, it is the occasion for married women to put on the sacred thread. The deuda dance is a major part of the festivities in which participants hold hands and form a circle as they step to traditional music.

·         Gunla
Gunla is a sacred month dedicated to Lord Buddha. This festival commemorates the auspicious "rains retreat" when the Buddha, over 2,500 years ago, led his close disciples into solitary meditation and preached to them the essence of his principles.

·         Guru Purnima
Teachers come second (after the gods) in the Hindu hierarchy of respect. The full moon day of the month June/July is set aside for students to pay homage to their teachers and receive blessings from them in return. At a place called Vyas on the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway, special worship is performed to Maharishi Vyas, the saint who wrote the great Hindu epic, Mahabharat. For Buddhists, the occasion (Dilla Punhi) is sacred as the day when the Buddha-to-be entered the womb of Queen Mayadevi. Religious functions are held at monasteries and temples to commemorate the event.

·         Lhosar
Lhosar is the Tibetan New Year which falls on February/March. This festival is mast impressively observed by all the Tibetan-speaking populations. They organize folk songs and dances on this occasion. These dances can be seen in Khumbu, Helambu and other northern regions of Nepal and also at Boudhanath in Kathmandu.

·         Rato Macchendranath Jatra
(Begins on the full moon day of Baisakh)This is the longest as well as the most important festival of Patan. It begins with several days of ceremonies and the fabrication of a wooden-wheeled chariot at Pulchowk, near the Ashoka Stupa.

·         Mani Rimdu
(Full moon of the 9th Tibetan month) Mani Rimdu is the biggest event of the year for the Sherpas of the Khumbu region. Sherpas from the Khumbu region congregate at Thyangboche Gompa, the picturesque monastery situated on a spur at 3,870 meters from where both Mt. Everest and Ama Dablam can be seen.

·         Mata-yaa
Celebrated in mid-August Mata-yaa is one of Patan's popular festivals. It consists of a day-long procession of devotees going around the Buddhist courtyards of the town and offering worship at the shrines there. Carrying lighted tapers and joss sticks in their hands, Mata-yaa participants rush in a meandering file and visit the hundreds of Buddhist sites scattered all over Patan. They toss rice grains, flowers and coins at the shrines as they pass by. Some devotees wear elaborate and amusing costumes. Musicians also take part in the parade.

·         Neel Barahi Pyakhan
Neel Barahi Pyakhan is a sacred masked dance which is shown over four days(August/September)in different parts of Bode. Nineteen persons representing the town's guardian pantheon take part in the dance performance. Music is provided by a 27-piece traditional orchestra. The ceremony invokes peace and harmony, and is dedicated to the deity Neel Barahi whose temple is located in a jungle outside Bode. Bode adjoins Thimi which is 8 km east of Kathmandu.

·         Rath Yatra
Biratnagar in south-eastern Nepal brings out a spectacular chariot procession to mark Lord Krishna's birthday (August/September). The parade sets out from the Radha Krishna temple and goes around the town. The six-meter tall chariot carries the images of Krishna and his consort Radha and is drawn by hordes of devotees. The annual chariot festival was started in 1932 to commemorate the building of a temple dedicated to Krishna.

·         Sita Vivaha Panchami
This festival, commemorating the marriage of Sita to Ram, is particularly celebrated in Janakpur. Each year in Janakpur, idols of Ram and sita are brought out in bright processions and their Hindu wedding ceremony is enacted.

·         Tamu Dhee
Tamu Dhee (also known as Trahonte) is a Gurung holiday (august). Ceremonies are performed to purge the neighborhood of evil spirits and to safeguard one's farm and farm animals from hostile elements. The festival can be observed in Pokhara. Groups of people beating on different kinds of drums form a colorful procession and make house-to-house visits. Participants with their faces smeared with soot and wearing feather headdresses parade through the town to drive away negative influences and ensure peace and security.

·         Tansen Jatra
The hilltop town of Tansen in central Nepal exults in a week-long festive spree beginning with Janai Purnima, when Hindus change their sacred threads. The next day, Gai Jatra is marked by parading figures of cows made of bamboo and cloth. Ropai Jatra is the rice planting ceremony and participants perform plowing and planting acts on the streets. During Bagh Jatra, actors dressed up like tigers and hunters march through town. Then there are the parades. Images of Ganesh, Bhimsen and Narayan are placed on palanquins and carried around Tansen. The celebrations climax on August 12 with Bhagawati Jatra, the procession of the town's protective goddess.

·         Taya Macha
The Taya Macha dance is shown in different parts of Pokhara as part of the Gai Jatra observances. The five dancers, four dressed up as angels and one as a clown, are accompanied by a group of traditional musicians. It is believed that the performance will bring peace to the souls of those who have passed away during the previous year. The festival has its roots in the Kathmandu Valley. It was brought to Pokhara by Newars who migrated here centuries ago.

·         Yomari Punhi
Yomari Punhi is one of the popular Newar festivals observed every year during the full moon of December. A yomari is a confection of rice-flour (from the new harvest)dough shaped like fig and filled with brown cane sugar and sesame seeds, which is then steamed

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FLORA AND FAUNA:-  

 

Nepal's flora and fauna can be divided into four regions:-

1. Tropical Deciduous Monsoon Forest:

2. Subtropical Mixed Evergreen Forest:

3. Temperate Evergreen Forest:

4. Subalpine and Alpine Zone:

Ranging from the subtropical forests of the Terai to the great peaks of the Himalayas in the north, Nepal abounds with some of the most spectacular sceneries in the whole of Asia, with a variety of fauna and flora also unparalleled elsewhere in the region. Between Nepal�s geographical extremes, one may find every vegetational type, from the treeless steppes of the Trans-Himalayan region in the extreme north and the birch, silver fir, larch and hemlock of the higher valleys to the oak, pine and rhododendron of the intermediate altitudes and the great sal and sissau forests of the south.

The rolling densely forested hills and broad Dun valleys of the Terai along with other parts of the country, were formerly, renowned for their abundance and variety o wildlife. Though somewhat depleted as a result of agricultural settlements, deforestation, poaching and other causes, Nepal can still boast richer and more varied flora and fauna than any other area in Asia. For practical purposes, Nepal�s flora and fauna can be divided into four regions:-

1. Tropical Deciduous Monsoon Forest:

This includes the Terai plains and the broad flat valleys or Duns found between successive hill ranges. The dominant tree species of this area are Sal (Shorea Robusta), sometimes associated with Semal (Bombax malabricum), Asna (Terminalia termentosa), Dalbergia spp and other species, and Pinus rosburghi occurring on the higher ridges of the Churia hills, which in places reach an altitude of 1800m. Tall coarse two-meter high elephant grass originally covered much of the Dun valleys but has now been largely replaced by agricultural settlements. The pipal (ficus religiosa) and the �banyan� (ficus bengalensis) are to be noticed with their specific natural characteristics. This tropical zone is Nepal�s richest area for wildlife, with gaurs, buffaloes, four species of deer, tigers, leopards and other animals found in the forest areas rhinoceros, swamp deer and hot deer found in the valley grasslands and two species of crocodile and the Gangetic dolphin inhabiting the rivers. The principal birds are the peacock, jungle fowl and black partridge, while migratory duck and geese swarm on the ponds and lakes and big rivers of Terai. Terai forests are full of jasmin, minosa, accecia reeds and bamboo.

2. Subtropical Mixed Evergreen Forest:

This includes the Mahabharat Lekh, which rises to a height of about 2400m and comprises the outer wall of the Himalayan range. Great rivers such as the Karnali, Narayani, and Sapta Koshi flow through this area into the broad plains of the Terai. This zone also includes the so-called �middle hills� which extend northwards in a somewhat confused maze of ridges and valleys to the foot of the great Himalayas. Among the tree species characteristic of this region are Castenopsis indica in association with Schima wallichii, and other species such as Alnus nepalensis, Acer oblongum and various species of oak and rhododendron which cover the higher slopes where deforestation has not yet taken place. Orchids clothe the stems of trees and gigantic climbers smother their heads. The variety and abundance of the flora and fauna increase progressively with decreasing altitude and increasing luxurance of the vegetation. This zone is generally poor in wildlife. The only mammals, which are at all widely distributed, are wild boar, barking deer, serow, ghoral and bears. Different varieties of birds are also found in this zone. Different varieties of birds are also found in this zone.

3. Temperate Evergreen Forest:

Northward, on the lower slopes and spurs of the great Himalayas, oaks and pines are the dominant species up to an altitude of about 2400m above which are found dense conifer forests including Picea, Tusga, Larix and Abies spp. The latter is usually confined to higher elevations with Betula typically marking the upper limit of the tree line. At about 3600 to 3900m, rhododendron, bamboo and maples are commonly associated with the coniferous zone. Composition of he forest varies considerably with coniferous predominating in the west and eracaceous in the east. The wildlife of this region includes the Himalayan bear, serow, ghoral, barking deer and wildboar, with Himalayan tahr sometimes being seen on steep rocky faces above 2400m. The red panda is among the more interesting of the mammals found in this zone; it appears to be fairly distributed in suitable areas of the forest above 1800m. The rich and varied avifauna of this region includes several spectacular and beautiful pheasants, including the Danfe pheasant, Nepal�s national bird.

4. Subalpine and Alpine Zone:

Above the tree line, rhododendron, juniper scrub and other procumbent woody vegetation may extend to about 4200m where it is then succeeded by t a tundra-like association of short grasses, sedge mosses and alpine plants wherever there is sufficient soil. This continues up to the lower limit of perpetual snow and ice at about 5100m. The mammalian faun is sparse and unlikely to include any species other than Himalayan marmots, mouse hare, tahr, musk deer, snow leopard and occasionally blue sheep. In former times, the wild Yak and great Tibetan sheep could also be sighted in this region and it is possible that a few may still be surviving in areas such as Dolpa and Humla. The bird life at such as lammergeyer, snowcock, snowpatridge, choughs and bunting, with redstarts and dippers often seen along the streams and rivulets. Yaks are the only livestock, which thrive at high altitude. They serve both back and draught animals. The cheeses prepared out of the milk are edible for months. The female Yak provides milk to the Sherpas.

Of the wonderful flora and fauna must suffice to indicate what a paradise Nepal is to the lovers of wild animal and bird life, to the naturalists and to the foresters.

Etymology:-

The word Nepal is believed to be derived from Nepa: (नेपा:) Nepal Bhasa, the language of Newars, as the old name of Kathmandu valley was Nepa: (नेपा:). Another evidence for this is that the term Nepal Bhasa, language of Newars was called as Nepal Bhasa long before the unification of Nepal. The term Nepali, national language of Nepal, was given to a language called Khas Kura long after unification of Nepal.

According to Skandha Purana, a rishi called "Ne" or "Nemuni" used to live in Himalayas [2]. According to Himwatkhanda, a Hindu scripture, the word Nepal comes from "Ne"' (the seer) and "pal" meaning protection.

 

History:-

 Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least nine thousand years. It appears that people who were probably of Tibeto-Burman ethnicity lived in Nepal two and half thousand years ago. Indo-Aryan tribes entered the valley around 1500 BCE. Around 1000 BCE, small kingdoms and confederations of clans arose. One of the princes of the Shakya (Sakas) confederation was Siddhartha Gautama (563–483 BC), who renounced his royalty to lead an ascetic life and came to be known as the Buddha ("the one who has awakened"). By 250 BCE, the region came under the influence of the Mauryan empire of northern India, and later became a puppet state under the Gupta Dynasty in the fourth century CE. From the late fifth century CE, rulers called the Licchavis governed the area. The Licchavi dynasty went into decline in the late eighth century CE and from 879 was followed by a Newar era, although the extent of their control over the entire country is uncertain. By late eleventh century, southern Nepal came under the influence of the Chalukya Empire of southern India. Under the Chalukyas, Nepal's religious establishment changed as the kings patronised Hinduism instead of the Buddhism prevailing at that time.

Hindu temples in Patan, the capital of one of the three medieval kingdoms.

Hindu temples in Patan, the capital of one of the three medieval kingdoms.

 

By the early thirteenth century, leaders were emerging whose names ended with the Sanskrit suffix malla ("wrestler"). Initially their reign was marked by upheaval, but the kings consolidated their power over the next two hundred years. By late fourteenth century, much of the country began to come under a unified rule. This unity was short-lived; in 1482 the kingdom was carved into three areas, Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhadgaon, which engaged in petty rivalry for centuries.

 

In 1765, the Gorkha ruler Prithvi Narayan Shah set out to unify the kingdoms, after first seeking arms and aid from Indian kings and buying the neutrality of bordering Indian kingdoms. After several bloody battles and sieges, he managed to unify Nepal three years later. However, the actual war never took place while conquering the Kathmandu Valley. Prithivi Narayan Shah was unable to defeat the powerful Newar kingdom of Kathmandu. In fact, it was during the Indra Jaatra, when all the valley citizens were celebrating the festival, Prithvi Narayan Shah with his troops captured the valley, virtually without any effort. This marked the birth of the modern nation of Nepal. A dispute and subsequent war with Tibet over control of mountain passes forced Nepal to retreat and pay heavy repatriations to China, who came to Tibet's rescue. Rivalry with the British East India Company over the annexation of minor states bordering Nepal eventually led to the brief but bloody Anglo-Nepalese War (1815–16), in which Nepal defended its present-day borders but lost its territories west of the Kali River, including present day Uttarakhand state and several Punjab Hill States of present day Himachal Pradesh. The Treaty of Sugauli also ceded parts of the Terai and Sikkim to the Company in exchange for Nepalese autonomy.

Nepalese royalty in the 1920s.
Factionalism among the royal family led to instability after the war. In 1846, a discovered plot to overthrow Jang Bahadur, a fast-rising military leader, by the reigning queen, led to the Kot Massacre. Armed clashes between military personnel and administrators loyal to the queen led to the execution of several hundred princes and chieftains around the country. Bahadur won and founded the Rana dynasty, leading to the Rana autocracy. The king was made a titular figure, and the post of Prime Minister was made powerful and hereditary. The Ranas were staunchly pro-British, and assisted the British during the Sepoy Rebellion in 1857, and later in both World Wars. In 1923 the United Kingdom and Nepal formally signed an agreement of friendship, truth, and law, in which Nepal's independence was recognised by the UK.

In the late 1940s, emerging pro-democracy movements and political parties in Nepal were critical of the Rana autocracy. Meanwhile, China regained control of Tibet in 1950, making India keen on stability in Nepal. King Tribhuvan offered then Indian Prime Minister accession of Nepal on the condition that he be made President of India. Nehru refused but sponsored KingTribhuvan as Nepal's new king in 1951, and a new government, comprising the Nepali Congress Party. After years of power wrangling between the king and the government, the democratic experiment was dissolved in 1960, and a "partyless" panchayat system was instituted to govern Nepal. In 1990, the "Jana Andolan" (People's) Movement forced the monarchy to accept constitutional reforms and establish a multiparty parliament in May 1991.[4] Krishna Prasad Bhattarai became the Prime Minister, drafted a new Constitution and carried out the democratic elections for the parliament. The Nepali Congress Party won the country's first democratic elections, with Girija Prasad Koirala becoming prime minister.

 

Recent developments:-

According to officials, on June 1, 2001, the Heir Apparent Dipendra is believed to have gone on a killing spree in the royal palace, in response to his parents' rejection of his choice of wife. His parents were killed and he died three days later. Some people, however say it was Gyanendra's son who was responsible for the killings. Following the carnage, the throne was inherited by Birendra's brother Gyanendra. In the face of unstable governments and a Maoist siege[4] on the Kathmandu Valley in August 2004, popular support for the monarchy waned.[5]

On February 1, 2005 Gyanendra dismissed the entire government and assumed full executive powers in the name of combating the Maoist movement.[4] In September 2005, the Maoists declared a three-month unilateral ceasefire which was not reciprocated by the royal government; the latter vowed to defeat the rebels by force. A few weeks later, the government stated that parliamentary elections would be held by 2007 even after the failed municipal elections.[6]

On January 14, 2006, the Maoists attacked five military and paramilitary installations throughout the Kathmandu Valley. Bombs were detonated in two of the locations. Twelve people died, eleven at the Thankot checkpost where multiple blasts shook homes as far away as Matatheirtha. The public was shocked as this was proof that the Maoists were able to organize and plan a simultaneous attack on multiple locations within the Valley, long considered to be relatively safe from Maoist violence. During the attack on the Thankot checkpost, a local toll station was robbed, which was located less than 100 metres away from an orphanage housing sixty-four children.

The Maoists, through support from the seven parliamentary parties (SPA),[7] arranged a mass uprising against the reign of King Gyanendra. The royal government used various means to quell the uprising. Frustrated by lack of security, jobs and good governance, thousands of people took to the streets to demand that the king renounce power outright, but the royal government turned even more ferocious and continued its suppression, including daytime curfews amid a Maoist blockade. Food shortages took effect. Soon there was a plan to hold a march with over one million people into the city center and encircle the royal palace. The security forces turned brutal. Thousands were injured and twenty-one people died in the uprising.

Foreign pressure continued to increase on King Gyanendra to surrender power. On April 21, 2006, Gyanendra announced that he was giving up absolute power and that "Power was being returned to the People". He called on the seven party coalitions to name a Prime Minister and that elections would be held as soon as possible. Both the U.S. and India immediately called on the SPA to accept this proposal. Many Nepalese protesters, however, still carried out rallies in numerous cities and vowed to continue the stir until they would achieve complete abolition of the monarchy. The SPA felt the pressure of these protests as some took place directly outside the deliberations of Gyanendra's offer. Finally, at midnight on April 24, after nineteen days' tumultuous protest, the king called for the country's parliament to reassemble on April 28.

Parliament has since reassembled and stripped the king of his power over the military, abolished his title as the descendent of a Hindu God, and required royalty to pay taxes. Furthermore, several royal officials have been indicted, and the Nepalese government is no longer referred to as "His Majesty's Government", but rather as the "Government of Nepal". Following Gyanendra's relinquishing of absolute power, the Nepalese government and Maoist rebels agreed on a ceasefire. In August 2006, both parties came to an agreement on the issue of arms accountability, agreeing to ask the United Nations to oversee and keep track of the weapons cache of both sides. The government and the Maoists are trying to come to an agreement on the future of the monarchy.

As of 15 January 2007, SPA and Maoists serve together in an Interim legislature under the new Interim Constitution of Nepal awaiting elections to take place in June 2007[8] to a Constituent Assembly, while all the powers of the Nepali King are in abeyance. On April 1, 2007 the SPA and the Maoist together formed an interim government.[9] The interim government was mandated to hold the Constituent Assembly elections in June 2007. But, constituent assembly election could not take place in June, 2007 because of the lack of security and delay in the verification of People's Liberation Army. Now, a new date, November 22, 2007, has been declared for Constituent Assembly Election.[5] The purpose of the constituent assembly election will be to rewrite the constitution and to decide the fate of monarchy in Nepal. with the possible abolition of the monarchy as part of constitutional change[6].

The Madhesay movement in the Terai area has recently demanded the end to discrimination against the Madhesay people. Thousands of Madhesay people came for the protests, in which more than 40 people have already died in the uprising. Recently, the government agreed to hold talks with the representatives of Madhesay group and few rounds of talk have also been carried out. However, there are still many conflicts between Madhesay people representatives and the government which need to be addressed in order to mitigate the problems of Terai people and bring in peace in the country.

But, it seems that Madhesay groups are now busy to settle the scores with maoists rather than to work to enhance the rights of communities. Being divided in many factions and groups, they have very diverse demands and government is unable to fulfill them[7]. Some Madhesay Party are demanding separate independent Madesh State[8] which seems to be completely unacceptable to other Madhesay leaders and Nepalese Peoplle.Fingers have been raised against India for encouraging such movements and demands in Terai[9] as most of the madhesay are similar to Indian people residing in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh State of India. India has been accused as creating instability in Nepal at this point where Nepal is slowly trying to revert to peace; though the allegation against India is not of a new kind.Top

The Hills:-

The Mahabharat range, running closely parallel to the Chure range, separates the Terai from the Hill region, which covers about 64% of the total land area. This range averages 1,525 to 4,877m altitude and 16kms in breadth. Its structure is synclinal and topography steep and jagged. Forests are usually found on the higher elevations whereas the lower and gentler slopes are used for terraced cultivation.

North of this range and south of the Himalayas, lies the extensively cultivated broad hill complex of the "Pahar" of mountain region, the major subdued in character, this complex has a generally salubrious climate. The fertile valleys formed by the principal river systems, including the Katmandu Valley, are the main settlement and cultivation areas in the region.

 Jungle Safari have a long history in Nepal. They first started as hunting trips for the Royal Family and big game hunters from around the world. In Nepal's protected National Parks you can observe the wildlife on foot, from the back of a jeep or even atop an elephant! Some of the animals you may come across include endangered one horned rhinos, deer, birds, monkeys and, if you are very lucky, a royal Bengal tiger.

We recommend a jungle safari as the perfect way to relax, unwind and experience the wildlife of Nepal. We offer three to five day safari packages, with a choice of different standards of jungle lodges and tented camps. We arrange everything for you, from accommodation, National Park entrance permit; elephant back safari, nature walk, jungle drive, canoeing and even a traditional Tharu stick dance! We can arrange safaris in Royal Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park and Royal Suklaphata Wildlife Reserve, Parsa wildlife reserve. 

A trip to one of Nepal's protected National Parks or Wildlife Reserves is a unique opportunity for students to experience some of Nepal's native flora and fauna. We can arrange safaris by jeep or elephant, both a great but safe way of viewing wildlife such as the one horned rhino, deer, monkeys, sloth bears and, if you are very lucky a royal Bengal tiger! There are also opportunities to visit the elephant-breeding center, see traditional Tharu dancing and visit a typical Tharu village.

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LUMBINI:-

The birthplace of Lord Buddha

Shakyamuni Buddha was born in Lumbini, in southern Nepal, twenty-five hundred years ago. Since his time, Nepal has been a sacred ground for Buddhists as the birthplace of the Buddha. Lumbini is a small town in the southern Terai plains of Nepal, where the ruins of the old city can still be seen. Shakyamuni Buddha was born to a family. Lumbini has been a holy ground for Buddhists all over the world. Ashok Pillar, LumbiniThe restored garden and surroundings of Lumbini have the remains of many of the ancient stupas and monasteries. A large stone pillar erected by the Indian Emperor Ashoka in 250 BC bears an inscription about the birth of the Buddha. An important part of Lumbini is the temple of Maya Devi. It has a stone image of Maya Devi giving birth to Lord Buddha as she holds onto a branch. It has been well worn by the strokes of barren women hoping for fertility. To the south of the temple is a pool where Queen Maya Devi is said to have bathed and given her son his first purification bath. A quiet garden, shaded by the leafy Bo tree (the type of tree under which Buddha received enlightenment), and a newly-planted forest nearby lend an air of tranquillity which bespeaks Buddha's teachings. Lumbini is now being developed under the Master Plan of the Lumbini Development Trust, a non governmental organization dedicated to the restoration of Lumbini and its development as a pilgrimage site. The plan, completed in 1978 by the renowned Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, will transform three square miles of land into a sacred place of gardens, pools, buildings, and groves. The development will include a Monastic Zone, the circular sacred Garden surrounding the Ashoka pillar and Maya Devi temple, and Lumbini Village, where visitors will find lodges, restaurants, a cultural center and tourist facilities. An important archeological site near Lumbini, Kapilvastu evokes the ancient palace where Lord Buddha spent his formative years. Scattered foundations of the palace are abundant, and archeologists have by now discovered 13 successive layers of human habitation dating back to the eighth century BC. A must for archeological and historical buffs! Besides its religious and historical significance, Lumbini offers cultural insights into the village life of southern Nepal. If possible, try to coincide your visit with the weekly Monday bazaar when villagers come from miles around to buy grains, spices, pottery, jewellery, saris and various other items. It may appear as a scene out of the Arabian Nights, with colorful merchandise spread out under the mango trees and the air perfumed with incense. It's a chance to bargain for souvenirs while witnessing local life in Lumbini. Wooden ox-carts loaded with hay trundle by. Villagers dry cow-dung for fuel, and tea stalls serve sweet milk tea. Today, Lumbini is beginning to receive travellers' and archaeologists' attention after centuries of neglect. Serious preservation work has only just been started in the latter half of this century and Lumbini as a slice of history is worth seeing and worth preserving. Access : 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. Top

 

FUTUTRE PROGRAM OF NEPAL TOURISM BOARD:--

 

Notice for Participation in Travel Trade Fairs

Nepal Tourism Board announces the participation in the following travel trade fairs for the year 2007. Fair/Mart:TTF, Hyderabad Date:Aug 10 - 12 2007 Participation Fee (Nrs):35,000 Deadline for Application:1 August 2007 No of Participants:4 Contact:jbhattarai@ntb.org.np Fair/Mart: TTF, Kolkata Date:Aug 18 - 20, 2007 Participation Fee (Nrs):35,000 Corporate Night: Aug 16, 2007 Participation Fee (Nrs): 8,000 Deadline for Application: 5 August 2007 No of Participants:4 Contact:jbhattarai@ntb.org.np All tourism companies registered with Government of Nepal are encouraged to apply and participate. Application form for participation is available with Nepal Tourism Board. (The forms can be received by email by making specific request or by downloading from NTB's website. Duly filled up forms should be submitted to Accounts Unit, Corporate Services Department, NTB along with full participation fees before the deadline. Participation shall be allowed on first come- first served basis. Nepal Tourism Board Tourist Service Center, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu Tel: 977-1-4256909 or 4256229 Fax: 977-1-4256910 E-mail: info@ntb.org.np

 SilkAir SETS ITS SIGHTS on KATHMANDU

Nepal's inbound tourism to benefit from capacity boost, customers will enjoy direct flights between Kathmandu and Singapore. Subject to government approval, SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, hopes to introduce a three-times weekly service between Kathmandu and Singapore from end October 2007. Flights will leave Singapore every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, at 0910 hours and will arrive in Kathmandu at 1205 hours (local time). Flights out of Nepal's capital will depart at 1305 hours, arriving in Singapore at 2015 hours (local time). There are presently no direct air services between both countries. The inbound flights will cater to leisure traffic out of Singapore and facilitate easy connections for customers from Australia, New Zealand Japan and Europe, all of which are important source markets for inbound tourism to Nepal. For customers from Kathmandu, the new service will offer direct flights to Singapore and the convenience of onward connections to more than 90 international cities in the joint Singapore Airlines-SilkAir network. "We're thrilled by the opportunity to fly to Kathmandu and are looking forward to the conclusion of the agreements between the aviation authorities," said David Lim, SilkAir's Vice President Commercial. " Nepal's unparalleled natural beauty and diverse attractions make it more than just a trekking destination and we're eager make it easier for more visitors to enjoy its splendour." Flights will be operated on SilkAir's Airbus A320 family aircraft. SilkAir extends the Singapore Airline Group's footprint in Asia by offering connections from Singapore to 28 other exotic destinations in the region. It was voted "Best Regional Airline" for the seventh time by members of Asia Pacific's Travel Trade in the annual TTG Travel Awards. SilkAir operates a fleet of 14 Airbus A-320 family aircraft; with 12 more of the same type on firm order and options for a further nine. [Operating schedules are pending regulatory approvals.] For further information please contact: Singapore SilkAir Renu Nair/ Manager Public Affairs Telephone: (65) 6541 5303 Fax: (65) 64900516 E-mail: Renu_Nair@singaporeair.com.sg Kathmandu Everest Express Tours and Travel GSA Singapore Airlines/SilkAir Rabendra Raj Pandey/Executive Chairman Telephone: +977-1-422 0759 Fax: +977-1-422 6795 E-mail: rrpandey@everest-express.com.np

 Visitors Arrival in June 2007 (by air only)

Arrival growth continues The arrival figure released by Immigration Office, TIA has shown that visitor arrivals to Nepal increased by 9.6 % with total 23502 visitors in June 2007. The European market has recorded a strong increase by 39 %, keeping on the ascending trend of arrivals from this segment in each month of this year. Indian market recorded a negative growth of 12.8 %, nevertheless this market alone contributed more than 50 % percent in the total arrivals. Overall, the Asian market registered a commendable upsurge in arrivals with a notable rise of 289.5% from china, 235.4 % from Taiwan and 11.7 % from Japan. The major tourist generating markets from both Europe and Americas registered a healthy growth this month, despite some records of negative trend from France and Italy. Canada and USA market grew by 81.4 % and 50 % respectively. Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway recorded a remarkable growth, more than double arrivals compared to the corresponding month last year. Other major markets with bigger share in total arrivals from European segment like UK, Germany and Spain also showed a healthy growth of 48.1 %, 7 % and 71.7 % respectively. The total arrival figures till June 2007 has reached to 167133, up by 45538 arrivals compared to the same period last year. This clearly shows that tourism sector is manifesting the strong message of gradual recovery. The drop in the arrivals from Indian market, considered as a major volume market, is a matter of concern. Election in the state of Uttar Pradesh and good number of flow maintained by the non Indian travelers from overseas via India had a cascading effect on availability of seats from India. This has squarely created the dearth in seat availability from major Indian metro cities from where connection to Kathmandu was there. Moreover, the surge in the air traveling cost between India and Nepal is also one of the greatest reasons of all in the arrival figures from India. Frequent strikes, street protest and demonstration, hurdles in vehicle movement in the country, mainly in the Terai region are some of the factors contributing indirectly to retard the healthy growth of tourism.

 Appa atop for countdown no 17

Nepal's celebrated mountaineer Appa Sherpa scaled the world's highest peak Mount Everest for a record 17th time on Wednesday, May 16, 2007. Appa, 47, who was leading a 7-member team of Sherpas on a charity climb to raise education funds for children of mountain guides -- reached the summit at 8:45 on May 17 morning. Appa and his team member of the Super Sherpa expedition Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa shot a video for a documentary and took some pictures on the top of the world. The footages of the climb will be made into a charity documentary, the money raised from which will go towards providing better education and health care for children in the Sherpa community in the mountainous regions. World record holder with 17 summits, four without oxygen on Mt. Everest, Appa, married with four children, reached the top of the world in the spring of 1990 for the first time. Meanwhile, television journalist Kami Sherpa also scaled Mount Everest.

EBC of Nepal tops Asia's first 11 tourist destinations

Venture Magazine published by a UK Based Kumuka Worldwide, a leading company specialising in worldwide adventure tours for more than 23 years has enlisted Everest Base Camp (EBC) of Nepal in top of their list of Asia's First 11 tourist destinations. EBC, Nepal, precedes other destinations such as Lhasa(Tibet). The Taj Mahal(India), Kettuvalom Cruising(India), Benotta Beach( Sri Lanka) and The Great Wall of China which are respectively on the list in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th spots. Trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp, offers a unique vacation, also Listed in UNESCO Natural World Heritage Sites, home of Sherpa Peoples and Stunning Mountain Views, the region boasts some of the most extraordinary high mountain scenery on earth. Venture Magazine writes about Everest Base Camp, "Trekking to Everest isn't just for mountaineers: the fit will find it a life-changing experience. Kumuka's 'Base Camp Trek' puts the world's greatest mountain in perspective, exploring Kathmandu and taking the time to meander through the Sherpa people's homeland, with porters to take the strain of heavy luggage and simple, atmospheric tea-house accommodation. Three weeks on the 'Roof of the World' finishes all-too-quickly, with a spectacular flight from Lukla. Commenting on Asia's first 11, the Venture Magazine says," Asia has a wealth of riches, among them the world's highest mountains, the oldest civilizations and an unsurpassed biodiversity. From such abundance we have picked a team of attractions that should make it on every traveller's wishlist. We cn take you to all of them. But how many have you seen?" Venture Magazine was distributed in Daily Telegraph Adventure Travel Show (ATS) held in Olympia, London from 12 to 14th January 2007. Prior to this accolade Nepal is also honored by Wanderlust Travel Award 2001, UK. It has kept Nepal in Second Position in the Top Country Category. Similarly, Modern Maturity (Sep/Oct 2001), America's largest circulated magazine has declared The Annapurna Trail-one of the best 12 walks in the world; Observer Travel Award 2002, UK has declared Nepal Favorite Long Haul Destination; Lonely Planet has pictured Nepal as the country with some of the best walking trails on earth and BBC Holidays has kept Nepal in the list of 50 places to see before you die.

Adventure Travel in Nepal

Nepal is home to the Himalaya's and the world's highest mountain. Rapid rivers flow through the country and wilderness areas abound. Experience the ultimate adventure travel in Nepal. Join us as we explore the various adventure travel options in Nepal.Top

Trekking:-

With the great diversity of landscapes in Nepal, trekking has truly grown in popularity and will always be a fantastic adventure in Nepal. Most treks take place through the Middle Hills region where areas lie between 500m and 3000m above sea level. Excellent trails in this region will lead you across mountains and through quaint Nepalese villages. Trails can be traversed without the use of ropes or other mountaineering equipment. At certain times and on certain paths you may experience snow, but it is usually not a major hazard. Trekking in Nepal doesn't require any special skills, just stamina and good health. Various companies offer guided treks through Nepal some featuring a trek up one of the impressive peaks of the country. Treks through Nepal are very physically demanding as long trails take in a several ascents and descents. People who are interested in trekking in Nepal should have some hiking experience and be comfortable with living outdoors. To find out more about trekking in Nepal, visit our page on “Trekking”. Top

Mountaineering:-

Of course Nepal's grand mountains offer the ultimate in mountaineering and expeditions can be organized to most of the peaks. Such expeditions require special arrangements and are best done through a company offering such a service along with guides and other staff. Technical mountaineering equipment and experience is required for this amazing adventure. As these hikes, especially those up the high peaks of the Himalaya's require extensive organization, it is best to contact an adventure company to find out exactly what is required.

Mountain Biking:-

Mountain biking through Nepal, though challenging at some stages, is a great way to explore the natural wonders of this lovely country. Riding over mountain passes, through small towns and settlements and past monasteries is a truly unique and exciting experience, well worth the effort. Friendly locals will great you as you go along, what better way to familiarize yourself with the great diversity of Nepal.    Top

 

Jungle Safaris:-
Jungle safaris are popular among adventure travelers in Nepal. View the wonderful wildlife of Nepal in a four wheel drive or even from elephant back. There are so many wonderful birds and little creatures to see as well as amazing vegetation, don't forget to bring your binoculars. From sub-tropical lowlands to the highest mountains in the world, there is much to see in Nepal.    Top

White-River Rafting:-

For a truly unique adventure, experience Nepal from its lively waters. Whether you are an experienced or beginner rafter, you will find Nepal's rivers a real treat. Enjoy simply drifting along, observing the natural beauty or for the more adventurous, tackle the exhilarating white waters. Adventure companies in Nepal offer a variety of river tours and adventures with experienced guides for tourists. This is an experience not to be missed.     Top

 

BHAKTAPUR:-B
haktapur or 'the City of Devotees' is situated at an altitude of 1.401 m and covers and area of about four square miles. This small little city still retains the medieval charm and visitors are treated with numerous natural wonders. The ancient glory of the Malla rulers reflects in the Durbar Square and pottery and weaving are their traditional industries. The city is situated a mere 14 km east of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal and is easily accessible by car or bus.

Due to a long-term westward drift, the city has two centers (residents of the two centers stage a energetic tug-of-war during Bhaktapur's annual Bisket festival) and three main squares. In the west side of Bhaktapur, the Bhaktapur Durbar Square and the Taumadhi Tol dominates the post-fifteenth-century city, while in the east side Tachapal Tol rules.

Bhaktapur is world wide renowned for its elegant art, magnificent culture and its indigenous lifestyle. It is also known for its majestic monuments, colorful festivals and celebrations and the natives are best known for their long history of craftsmanship.

This marvelous city is also sometimes called the 'City of Culture', the Living Heritage' and 'Nepal's Cultural Gem' and it really lives up to its names.

Bhaktapur's jewel actually lies in the Durbar Square. The Durbar Square has an abundance of unique palaces, temples and monasteries, which are admired for their beautiful artworks in wood, metal and stone. The panoramic view of the Himalaya Mountains is the perfect setting for picture perfect opportunities.

Its not the culture, the heritage, the monuments or the natural wonders that makes Bhaktapur such a beautiful place, it's the way they all come together.      Top

SAGARMATHA WILDLIFE RESERVE:-

Unique among natural heritage sites world-wide is the Sagarmatha National Park, which includes Mt. Everest (8,848 m) and other high peaks such as Lhotse Shar, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, Pumori, Kangtega, Gyachung Kang, Thamserku and Kwangde. Located North-east of Kathmandu, Sagarmatha National Park is 1,148 sq km. in area and consists of the upper catchment areas of the Dudh Koshi, Bhote Koshi and the Imja Khola rivers. Much of the park lies above 3,000m. Sagarmatha is rugged, with deep gorges, glaciers and unnegotiable ice and rock faces. Locally known as the 'Khumbu', it is the home of the famous Sherpa people. The Sherpas make a living by farming barley and potatoes and graze their yaks in high altitude pastures. Young Sherpas have also made their name in mountaineering and the trekking industry has of late become the community's economic mainstay. In 1979 the park was declared a World Heritage Site.

Trees such as rhododendron, birch, blue pine, juniper and silver fir are found up to an altitude of 4,000 meters above which they give way to scrub and alpine plants. In late spring and summer, the hillsides around the villages of Namche Bazaar, Khumjung, Thyangboche and Thame are a riot of colours with several species of rhododendon in bloom. Wildlife most likely to be seen in Sagarmatha are the Himalaya tahr, ghoral, musk deer, pikka (mouse hare) weasel and occasionally jackal. Other rarely seen animals are Himalayan black bear, wolf, lynx and snow leopard. Birds commonly seen are Impeyan pheasant, blood pheasant, snow cock, snow pigeon, red billed and yellow billed chough, Himalayan griffin vulture and lammergeier.

Entry Fee Per Person Per Entry:

For Nepalese Nationals, Free

For SAARC Nationals, Rs. 100/-

For Other Foreign Nationals, Rs. 1,000/-

Access:

All of Khumbu is road-less, all travel and exploration must be undertaken on foot. Quick access are by helicopter at the Syangboche and via the Lukla airstrip from where the park head-office at Namche Bazaar is a two-day walk. Alternative approaches are from Jiri in the south-west and through Arun Valley in the south-east. Namche is 10 to 12 days trek on both these approaches. The best time to visit is in October and November and from March to May when days are warm and clear. However night temperatures can reach zero levels. A two to three-week stay in the park is ideal and the best areas to visit are Gokyo Valley, Lobuche-Kala Pattar-Base Camp, Chukung Valley and Thame valley. Travellers should come with camping, food and fuel support to enable them to move freely although room and board are available in most villages. To enjoy the visit thoroughly it is best to arrange services of guides and porters with government registered outfitters in Kathmandu.

N ote:

Entrance fee not required for children under 10 yearsPark

Entrance fees is regulated by Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (Phone: 4220850). Entrance fees for mountain National Parks can be paid at ACAP counter (Phone: 4222406) at Sanchaykosh building in Thamel, Kathmandu, or at the Park gate. For other National Parks entrance fees are to be paid at the Park gate .     Top

PEAK CLIMBING:-

Peak Climbing is the one of the major sports observed in Nepal. More than anything else; Nepal is best known for its mountains and mountaineering. Nowhere else on earth can provide you such a concentration of high snow capped mountains and have the opportunity to climb some of the highest peaks of the world. Of course, Mount Everest immediately comes to mind when people think of Nepal is home to another seven peaks over 8000 meters and innumerable others between six and eight thousand meters. Currently 326 peaks are available for expedition with an additional 33 minor peaks being designated as Trekking peaks". 

A1 Excursion is fully organized to provide qualified & trained climbing guides to take non climbers for convenience, safety & expected successes. Apart from that we are ready to support of any kind of trekking peak and obtaining permission, providing other supporting staff during your climbing. All mountaineering trips are run with professional mountain Guides, cook & Sherpas. We provide handsome services for our patrons and make your trek simple and easiest one.

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POKHARA:-

If Kathmandu is the cultural hub of Nepal, Pokhara is its center of adventure. An enchanting city nestled in a tranquil valley; it is the starting point for many of Nepal's most popular trekking and rafting destinations. The atmosphere on the shore of Phewa Lake is one of excited vitality as hipster backpackers crowd the many bars and restaurants exchanging recommendations on guest houses and viewpoints, both by the lake and above the clouds.

Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty. The serenity of Phewa Lake and the magnificence of the fishtailed summit of Machhapuchhre (6,977 m) rising behind it create an ambience of peace and magic. At an elevation lower than Kathmandu, it has a much more tropical feel to it, a fact well appreciated by the beautiful diversity of flowers which prosper in its environs. Indeed, the valley surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forests, gushing rivers, emerald lakes, and of course, the world famous views of the Himalaya.

The powerful rule of the old kings of Kathmandu, the Lichhavis and the Mallas, held sway over this valley for some time. As these dynasties fell prey to their own troubles, Pokhara Valley and the surrounding hills disintegrated into small kingdoms, frequently at war with each other. These were called the Chaubise Rajya or the Twenty-four Kingdoms. It was among these that Kulmandan Shah established his kingdom. His descendant Drabya Shah was the first to establish Gorkha, home of the legendary Gurkha warriors.

Finally, Pokhara is a part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the outskirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalaya. This is the land of the Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned world-wide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship

 Mountain Views
Clearly the most stunning of Pokhara's sights is the spectacular panorama of the Annapurna range which forms its backdrop. Stretching from east to west, the Annapurna massif includes Annapurna 1 to IV and Annapurna South. Although the highest among them is Annapurna 1 (8,091 m), it is Machhapuchhre which dominates all others in this neighbourhood. Boastfully levitating in the skyline, the fish-tailed pinnacle is the archetypal snow-capped, needle-pointed mountain. If you want to see the mountains from close up, Everest Air offers a mountain flight from Pokhara that takes you on an aerial sightseeing tour of the western Himalaya.

 Phewa Lake
Phewa Lake, the second largest lake in the Kingdom, is the center of all attraction in Pokhara. It is the largest and most enchanting of the three lakes that add to the resplendence of Pokhara. Here, one can sail or row a hired boat across to the water or visit the island temple in its middle. The eastern shore, popularly known as lakeside or Baidam, is the favorite home base for travellers and is where most of the hotels, restaurants and handicraft shops are located.

 Barahi Temple
The Barahi temple is the most important monument in Pokhara. Built almost in the center of Phewa Lake, this two-storyed pagoda is dedicated to the boar manifestation of' Ajima, the protesters 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.

Seti Gandaki

Another of Pokhara's natural wonders that unfailingly interests visitors is the Seti Gandaki 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.

 

Devi's Fall

Locally known as the Patale Chhango (Hell's Fall). Devi's Fall (also known as Devin's and David's) is a lovely waterfall lying about two km south-west of the Pokhara airport on the Siddhartha Highway. Legend has it that a trekker (Devin, David..) was washed away by the Pardi Khola and mysteriously disappeared down into an underground passage beneath the fall.

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Mahendra Cave

Another of nature's wonders in Pokhara is the Mahendra Gupha. This large limestone cave is locally known as the House of Bats, an apt name for it. A two-hour walk to the north of Pokhara, it is best to bring your own torch to see the stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the local winged residents.

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World Peace Pagoda

World Peace Pagoda This pagoda is situated on the top of a hill on the southern shore of Phewa Lake. It has four images of Buddha facing in four directions. The pagoda is an impressive sight and its hilltop location commands great view. It is a great vantage point which offers spectacular views of the Annapurna.

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The Old Bazaar

Pokhara's traditional bazaar is colorful and so are its ethnically diverse traders. In its temples and monuments can be seen ties to the Newar architecture of the Kathmandu Valley. Located about four km from Lakeside, the market's original charm is alive and well. This area strewn with shops selling commodities ranging from edibles and cloth to cosmetics and gold is a pleasant and shady spot to stroll around. The old bazaar is also home to one of Pokhara's most important shrines'. Locally called the Bindhyabasini Mandir, this white dome-like structure dominates a spacious stone-paved courtyard built atop a shady hillock. It is dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati, yet another manifestation of Shakti. The park-like grounds offer a fine picnic area, and on Saturdays and Tuesdays when devotees flock there to offer sacrifices, it takes on a festive local flavour.

 

Museums

The Pokhara Museum, located between the bus stop and Mahendra Pul, reflects the ethnic mosaic of western Nepal. The lifestyles and history of ethnic groups such as Gurungs, Thakalis and Tharus are attractively displayed through models, photographs and artefacts. One major attraction is a display highlighting the newly-discovered remains of an 8000-year-old settlement in Mustang. Open daily, except Tuesdays and holidays, from 10 am to 5 pm. Entrance fee is Rs.10 (tel: 20413).

The Annapurna Regional Museum, also known as the Natural History Museum, is another interesting visit in Pokhara. Run by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), the museum has an exceptional collection of butterflies, insects, birds and models of wildlife found in the area. Located at Prithvi Narayan Campus east of the old bazaar, it is open daily except Saturdays and holidays from 9 am to 5 pm. Entrance is free (tel: 21102).

Surrounding Areas

 

Pokhara is the starting and/or finishing point for some of the most popular treks including the Annapurna Circuit and the Jomsom Trek. It also offers a number of short treks for those who cannot opt for long, challenging ones. The most popular destination among them is Sarangkot (1592 m), a former Kaski fort lying atop a hill to the west of Pokhara. The panoramic view of the Himalaya seen from this point is superb. Kahundanda, Naudanda, Ghandrung, Ghorepani, and Ghalchok are other favorite destinations around Pokhara.

KATHMANDU:-

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.      Top

LUMBINI:-

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.      Top

RAFTING:-

Rafting In Nepal has earned reputation of being one of the best places for providing the white-water challenges for paddlers. Due to the variety in mountain shape, the current in the rivers are very high which leads in the enormous excitement and adventure.. The combination of spectacular rivers, mountain scenery and rich cultural heritage makes Nepal an obvious river-runner's destination.      Top

Culture:-

Hinduism followed by Buddhism, constitute two major religion of Nepal. Both these co-religionists are bound together by a sense of fellow-feeling and bonhomie particularly displayed in their worship of common deities and joint celebration of many festivals belonging to either religion or culture. Kumari, the Virgin Hindu Goddess, for instance, is selected from a Buddhist clan.

 A remarkable feature of Nepal is the religious homogeneity that exists. Apart from the Hindus and Buddhists, Muslim form the third largest religious group.

The exquisite architecture and artistic embellishment of the Nepalese pagodas that enshrine the bronze and stone images of great beauty and, more often than not, treat antiquity, are a unique features of Nepal.

The temples and stupas are rich repositories of wood carving, metal work, terracotta and stone sculpture. In their uniqueness they add glory and grandeur to the cultural scene of the Kingdom and tell a long history of native genius.    Top

Language:-

Nepali is the national language of Nepal and is written in Devnagari Script. Other languages spoken in Nepal include Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tamang, Avadhi, Tharu and Newari, however most educated Nepalese can also speak and write English.

The Religious way of Life:

Religion is an integral and deep-rooted part of Nepalese life.  Temples, images, sacred paintings are to be seen everywhere.  Majority of the people is Hindu in Nepal, nevertheless, Buddhism has also important place in this country.  Hinduism and Buddhism are closely connected in Nepal and it would take a lifetime's study to understand the complexities of country's religious life.  Some hints regarding religious matters.

Visitors to Hindu temple or Buddhist shrine are expected to take off their shoes before entry as a mark of respect.  In fact, a pair of open sandals is more convenient and comfortable while visiting the temples and stupas. In some of the temples entrance may be prohibited for the non-Hindus.

Leather articles are prohibited to be taken inside the temple premises.     Top

 

TERAI:-

The Terai region is composed of a 26 to 32 km wide broad belt of alluvial and fertile plain in the southern part of the country. This belt extends from the westernmost part of the country to the eastern limit and covers about 17% of the total land area. In between the Chure hills, rising abruptly to the north of the southern plains and the Mahabharat range, are a number of low valleys called "Duns". The Duns resemble the Terai in relief and climate and are also called the Inner Terai. The Chure range running east west across the country is shaped like a hedge. The hills of this range are rather sparsely forested, averaging 600 to 1220 meters in altitude and 8-16 km in breadth. The soil is immature and dry.

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MOUNTEERING:-

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

 

'Trekking in Nepal' means watching the most spectacular sceneries and also follows the trails, which had been used for the purpose of communication and trade for centuries, walking through the heart of the Hills and Mountains. We offer you a trek of any length that you choose, starting from a day to long ones ranging from week to months. The best period for Trekking in Nepal is in the autumn season which extends from early September to early December.  A number of popular treks provide you the satisfaction of peace and enjoyment with the friendly people to care you all the way around the trip and even visits to the base camps used by mountaineering expedition.You can find more specific information ranging from specific small place of the country to entire regions. Listed below are some popular and interesting treks available.

 Village Tour:-

Village Tour  is the best way to explore villages of Nepal walking through the villages surrounding of Nepal, interaction with the warm and hospitable local people, buying their authentic handicraft products and observing their traditional rituals will bring one closer to understanding the diversity of cultures in Nepal. Tour in villages also gives opportunity to observe landscapes and vegetation found in the outskirts of the settlements. The people in these traditional villages offer a peep at their agro-based rural lifestyle, colorful costume, festivals which they celebrate with much joy and enthusiasm, and gracious hospitality.  Home stay during the walk is the most exciting of all; it gives the opportunity to observe the interior decoration and gives the chance to learn the living style of the villagers of Nepal. It also helps to interact and know the people of its best. We offer you Sirubari Village Tour, Balthali Village Tour, Tamang Heritage Trail, Langtang Tour, Dolpa Experience Circuit Tour, Phoksundo Tour and Dolpa circuit tour.     Top

 

 
 
   
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