nepal - welcome to nepal (2001)

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Welcome to Nepal Nepal at a Glance Places to See Adventure & Eco Tourism in Nepal Festive Nepal Incentives and Conferences Information for Tourists Foreign Investment Policy and Feasible Project Areas Information Directory

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Map of Nepal




Welcome to Nepal


The biggest natural museum in the world

epal is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of bio-diversity due to its unique geographical position and latitudinal variation. The elevation of the country ranges from 60m above sea level to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest at 8,848 m, all within a distance of 150 km with climatic conditions ranging from subtropical to arctic. This wild variation fosters an incredible variety of ecosystems, the greatest mountain range on earth, thick tropical jungles teeming with a wealth of wildlife, thundering rivers, forested hills and frozen valleys. Within this spectacular geography is also one of the richest cultural landscapes anywhere. The country is a potpourri of ethnic groups and sub-groups who speak over 70 languages and dialects. Nepal offers an astonishing diversity of sightseeing attractions and adventure opportunities found nowhere else on earth. And you can join in the numerous annual festivals that are celebrated throughout the year in traditional style highlighting enduring customs and beliefs. We are glad to extend our warm hospitality and hope your stay in Nepal is a memorable one. If you have any queries or comments, please feel free to contact us at the Nepal Tourism Board. Tourists are advised to avail services from registered agencies only.

NEPAL TOURISM BOARDTourist Service Center, Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu Tel: 977-1-256909, 256229. Fax: 977-1-256910 Email:

NEPAL TOURISM BOARDTourist Information Counter Tribhuvan International Airport (Arrival) Tel: 977-1-470537 Email:

Website: www.welcomenepal.com3

Nepaloccupying only 0.1% of the earthis home to:u u u u u u

2% of all the flowering plants in the world; 8% of the worlds population of birds (more than 848 species); 4% of mammals on earth; 11 of the worlds 14 families of butterflies (more than 500 species); 600 indigenous plant families; 319 species of exotic orchids.

Nepal at a Glance AREA : 147,181 sq. km GEOGRAPHY : Situated between China in the north and India in the south. CAPITAL : Kathmandu POPULATION : 22 Million LANGUAGE : Nepali is the national language. However, traveltrade people understand and speak English as well. CURRENCY : Nepalese Rupee (Approximately US$ 1 equals Rs. 72.90 as of October 2000). POLITICAL SYSTEM : Multi-party democracy with constitutional monarchyRELIGION

Nepal enjoys the distinction of being the only Hindu Kingdom in the world. However, there is a harmonious blending of Hinduism and Buddhism.GEOGRAPHY

Nepal, a sovereign independent Kingdom, is bounded on the north by the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, and on the east, south and west by India. The length of the Kingdom is 885km east-west and its breadth varies from 145-241km northsouth. The country can be divided into three main geographical regions.4

Himalayan Region: The altitude of this region ranges between 4,877m.-8,848m. It includes eight of the 14 highest summits in the world which exceed an altitude of 8,000m including Everest, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and others. Mountain Region: This region accounts for about 68% of the total land area. It is formed by the Mahabharat range that soars up to 4,877m and the lower Churia range. Terai Region: The low-land Terai occupies about 17% of the total land area of the country.


Nepal has always been an independent and sovereign country with glorious history, culture and tradition that date back to time immemorial. Before the campaign of national integration was launched by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, the Great, the Kathmandu Valley was ruled by the Malla Kings, whose contributions to art and culture are indeed great and unique. In 1768 AD, the Shah dynasty ascended the throne of the unified Kingdom. His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev is the tenth King in the Shah dynasty. The new Democratic Constitution of the Kingdom was promulgated on November 9, 1990. Nepal is one of the founder members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).5



Nepal has a population of more than 22 million people made of different races and ethnic groups living in different regions, with diverse culture, languages and dialects. The Gurungs and Magars live mainly in the west. The Rais, Limbus and Sunwars inhabit the slopes and valleys of the eastern mid hills. The Sherpas live in the Himalayan region. The Newars constitute an important ethnic group of the capital valley-Kathmandu. There are Tharus, Yadavas, Satars, Rajvanshis and Dhimals in the Terai region. The Brahmins, Chhetris and Thakuris are generally spread over all parts of the Kingdom. Average Temperature and Rainfall in Kathmandu Month Minimum Maximum Rainfall o o C C (in mm) January 2.7 17.5 47 February 2.2 21.6 11 March 6.9 25.5 5 April 8.6 30.0 5 May 15.6 29.7 146 June 18.9 29.4 135 July 19.5 28.1 327 August 19.2 29.5 206 September 18.6 28.6 199 October 13.3 28.6 42 November 6.0 23.7 0 December 1.9 20.7 1



Kathmandu Valley The Valley is situated at an altitude of 1,336 m above sea level and covers an area of 218 sq. miles. The rich tapestry of the cultural heritage of Nepal is synthesized in the Kathmandu Valley, the home of the ancient and sophisticated Newari culture. The Newars are the indigenous inhabitants of the Valley and the creators of the splendid civilization of its three cities - Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. The skillfully-built temples and palaces, delicately-engraved stone and metal images, carved wooden columns and pillars, and the history laden shrines and chaityas of these three historical cities stand testimony to the Newar's artistic achievements.



Machchendranath Temple: The temple of Sweta Machchhendranath is situated at Machchhendra Bahal between Indra Chowk and Asan. It is a pagoda of considerable artistic beauty. The deity is also called Janmadyo or Machchhendra. Akash Bhairav Temple: A three-story temple in the main market avenue, called Indra Chowk, the image of Akash Bhairav is displayed outside for a week during Indra Jatra, the festival of Indra, the God of Rain.

Hanumandhoka (Kathmandu Durbar Square): It is the historic seat of royalty. The Durbar Square, with its old temples and palaces, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the people. It is here that kings of Nepal are crowned and their coronations solemnized. Interesting things to see here are: Taleju Temple built by King Mahendra Malla in 1549 AD, the temple of Kal Bhairav, the God of destruction, Nautalle Durbar, Coronation Nasal Chowk, the Gaddi Baithak, the statue of King Pratap Malla, the Big Drum and the Jagannath Temple. It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List in 1979. On the right hand corner, a large wooden lattice screen hides an enormous gilded face of Sweta Bhairav. The screen is removed only during the Indra Jatra festival.8

There are also the Numismatic Museum and Tribhuvan Museum inside the Hanuman Dhoka Palace building. Photography is prohibited inside the museums. Both the museums remain closed on Tuesdays and government holidays. Temple of Kumari (Kumari Ghar): Kumari (Vestal Virgin), or the Living Goddess, who represents a very ancient Hindu deity of Nepal locally known as Taleju, is Buddhist by birth. The temple of Kumari is situated in the vicinity of Hanuman Dhoka Palace. The building has intricately carved wooden balconies and window screens. The Kumari acknowledges greetings from her balcony window. Once a year, during Indra Jatra festival, the King of Nepal seeks the Kumari's blessing. Kasthamandap: Located near the temple of Kumari, it is said to have been built by King Laxmi Narsingha Malla in the beginning of the sixteenth century. It is said to be constructed from the wood of a single tree. The city of Kathmandu derives its name from this temple. Ashok Vinayak: The small but very important temple of Ashok Vinayak is situated behind the Kasthamandap. It is also known as Kathmandu Ganesh or Maru Ganesh. Jaishi Dewal: A five-minute walk from Kasthmandap is the Shiva Temple of Jaishi Dewal which is famous for its erotic carvings. It is still one of the main routes of the chariot festival of Indra Jatra and other festivals. Tundikhel: A huge green field known as Tundikhel flanks one entire side of the old city. Some of the important landmarks of the Kathmandu Valley are located in the periphery of this area. At the south-western end of Tundikhel is a 59.29m. tower built by Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa in 1832 A. D. known as Dharahara or Bhimsen Stambha. The Sundhara fountains with golden water spouts, situated at the foot of this great tower, also belong to the same period.


Martyr's Memorial (Sahid) Gate: It is located between Bhimsen Stambha and Bhadrakali temple. The memorial arch contains the statue of the late King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah Dev and the busts of four martyrs. Bhadrakali Temple: At the eastern edge of the Tundikhel, near Shahid Gate, stands the temple of goddess Bhadrakali. This temple is also known as Lumarhi temple and is one of the main "Shakta" temples of Kathmandu city. Singha Durbar: A grand imposing palace built in the neo-classical style, Singha Durbar was the private residence of a Rana Prime Minister. Now it is the Secretariat of His Majesty's Government of Nepal.

Narayanhity Durbar: It is the present Royal Palace. A famous histo


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