Nepal: 28°00 N 84°00 E
Area: 147,181 sq km
Land Boundary: 2926 km
Population: 28,287,147 (2006)
Capital: Kathmandu
Political System: Parliamentary Democracy - Constitutional Monarchy



flag of nepalFlag:
The double-triangle Nepali flag is the only non-rectangular flag in the world. It features a pair of overlapping red right triangles with blue borders. The flag’s red color is a traditional national holy color while the blue represents Nepal’s peaceful nature. These two triangles represent the mountains and also the two main Nepali religions (Hinduism and Buddhism). There is a white half moon on the smaller top triangle and the bottom triangle reveals a white 12-rayed sun emblem. Both of these symbols represent a desire for long life.

Description:
Nepal is a small, landlocked Country in South Asia. To the north, Nepal is bordered by China and Tibet and to the south it is bordered by India. Nepal, “The Land of the Himalayas”, is a poor country. However, what Nepal lacks in wealth it makes up for in spectacular scenery, exotic cultures, and hospitable people of various ethnic groups and castes. On top of that, Nepal 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. Many travelers return to Nepal again and again to enjoy the beauty this wonderful Country has to offer.

Geography:
Nepal is divided into 3 physiographic areas: Terai, Mountain and Himalayan.

1. Terai Region: The lowland Terai Region has a width of about 26 to 32 km, a maximum altitude of 305m, and occupies about 17% of Nepal’s land area. Kechanakawal, the lowest point of the country with an altitude of 70m, lies in the eastern Jhapa district of the Terai Region.

2. Mountain Region: The Mountain region, which extends to about 64% of the total landmass of Nepal, is formed by the Mahabharat range, which exceeds up to 4877m. To the south of this region, by the lower Churia range you have heights from 610m to 1524m.

3. Himalayan Region: The altitude of this region ranges between 4877m and 8848m with the snow line varying around 4848m. This region includes 8 of only 14 summits in the world, which all exceed 8000m.

These summits include:
(1) Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) – 8848m
(2) Kanchenjunga – 8586m
(3) Lhotse – 816m
(4) Makalu – 8463m
(5) Cho Oyo- 8201m
(6) Dhaulagiri – 8167m
(7) Manaslu – 8163m
(8) Annapurna - 8091m

 

map of nepal
click to enlarge map

 

Climates in Nepal:
Nepal has 5 different climatic zones:
1) Tropical: below 1200m
2) Temperate: 1200m to 2400m
3) Cold: 2400m to 3600 m
4) Subarctic: 3600m to 4400m
5) Arctic: 4400m to 8848m

     
Religion:
Nepal is officially the only Hindu nation on this planet. However, Hinduism and Buddhism are Nepal’s two main religions. These religions have co-existed throughout the ages and many Hindu Temples share the same complex with Buddhist Shrines. Of course, other religions co-exist, these faiths include Islamic, Christianity, Kirant (ancestor worship), Bon and Animism.
  Religious Statistics:
Hindu 80.6%
Buddhist 10.7%
Islam 4.2%
Kirant 3.6%
Other 0.9%
     

Languages:
In Nepal more than 90 languages and dialects are spoken due to the isolated country’s ethnic and cultural diversity’s. The northern Himalayan region of Nepal settles by Tibetan-speaking groups with many different dialects. These groups are Manangis, Dolpas, Lopas, Baragaonlis, Langtang and Helambu (Hyolmo).

The Sherpa people, found in the eastern region of Nepal in the Solukhumbu district or Everest region, are believed to have entered Nepal from the east of Tibet. However, the Sherpa language is only slightly different from its Tibetan neighbor. In the Tibetan language, Sherpa means Eastern People.

Sherpa’s have become famous mountaineers since Tenzing Norgay first climbed Mt. Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary. However, these days many other ethnic groups provide mountain trekking and guiding services throughout Nepal.

  National language and caste details:
Spoken Languages: Castes:
Nepali 47.8% Brahmin, Chettries
Maithili 12.0% Maithili low land Terai people
Bhojpuri 7.4% Bhojpuri low land Terrai people
Tharu 5.8% Tharu people Terrai People
Tamang 5.1% Hilly region people
Newar 3.6% Especially in Kathmandu valley
Magar 3.3% Mid. Hill people
Other 10.0%
Unspecified 2.5%


The Tamang People:
The Tamang people are believed to have come from Tibet around 3000 years ago and are Nepal's largest ethnic group. Their religion is traditionally Bon Lamaism; a fusion of Shamanism and Buddhism. Predominantly living in the foothills of the Himalya they have made their living by hill farming and more recently in the trekking business. A peaceful people who are virtually unknown outside their own country, they are finding the onslaught of modernization a strain on their culture.