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Nepal:

Officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, 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 gigantic plain of alluvial soil and consists 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 26.5 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 its’ pride as being an independent sovereign state.

Geographically, the country is divided in three regions; Mountain region, Hilly region and Terai region. There are 5 development regions and 75 administrative districts. Districts are further divided into smaller units, called Village Development committee (VDC) and Municipality.

Population

The beauty of Nepal does not only emanate from the mountains themselves but also by discovering the generous population of people from a multitude of ethnic groups. Newars, Magars, Tamangs, Sherpas, Gurungs, and Tharus, are a few of the groups whose lifestyle has not changed for generations. The ethnicities are dispersed throughout the country. The population of Nepal is divided into two large groups: the “Tibeto-Nepalese” who are located in the mountains and the “Indo-Nepalese” who occupy the plains and the Terai valley. The official language is Nepali but more than 36 different dialects exist.

Religion

Hinduism is the largest religious group in Nepal believing that happiness lies in the identification of Brahman (the universal heart) and Atman (the individual heart). The heart is immortal and is reincarnated according to the merits of previous lives. Human beings are reincarnated to a higher or lower caste according to their behavior. Three principal gods are worshipped: Vishnu, who symbolizes knowledge, and the preservation and protection of life; Shiva, the god of destruction and regeneration; and Brahman: the venerated creator of all things.

Buddhism is the second largest religious group in Nepal. It was founded by Siddhartha Gautama who was born in Lumbini, Nepal. After several years, the Buddha became enlightened and is known as the Awakened One. Buddhism seeks to escape the cycle of suffering and rebirth through following the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path.

Nepali Dress

Daura-Suruwal, typically termed as ‘Labeda-Suruwal’ is the traditional Nepali dress. The dress has several religious beliefs identifying its designs and has therefore remained the same from the years. The Daura has eight strings that serve to tie itself up around the body. Eight is the lucky number in Nepali mythology. Also, the Daura has five pleats or Kallis, signifying Pancha Buddha or Pancha Ratna. And the closed neck of the Daura signifies the snake around the Lord Shiva’s neck. The Nepali dress for women is a cotton sari (Guniu) that is gaining great popularity in the fashion world.

Rituals

The main rituals followed in Nepal are naming ceremony, rice-feeding ceremony, tonsure ceremony, ceremony of giving Nepali Sari (Guniu), and marriage ceremony and funeral rite. The rituals are still prevailing in society and are performed with zeal. Different ritual experts have different roles in these rituals.

Cultural Sites

Astonishing enough, seven out of the ten world heritage sites in Nepal are termed cultural by UNESCO. Thus, the stupas, monasteries, temples and architecture are all representatives of the rich cultural heritage of Nepal. The following are the cultural world heritage sites of Nepal.

  • Kathmandu Durbar Square
  • Patan Durbar Square
  • Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  • Changunarayan Temple
  • Swayambhunath Stupa
  • Pashupatinath Temple
  • Lumbini
  • Bouddhanath Stupa

Apart form the world heritage sites there are other pilgrimage sites in Nepal that hold great cultural importance. A tour to these places will make you familiar with the rich Nepali culture. These are some of the well known cultural sites in Nepal:

  • Barah Chhetra
  • Halesi Mahadev
  • Janakpur
  • Pathibhara
  • Tengboche
  • Manakamana
  • Gorkha
  • Muktinath
  • Gosainkunda
  • Tansen
  • Swargadwari
  • Khaptad Ashram

Nepal Visa Information

A visa is necessary to enter Nepal (except for Indians) and can be obtained for the following duration from any Nepali Embassy or Consulate or at the entry points in Nepal. (You could easily obtain Nepali visa at your arrival in Tribhuwan International airport –TIA)

Following types of tourist visas may be obtained

Type of Visa Visa Valid For Visa Fee
Multiple Entry 15 Days US$ 25
Multiple Entry 30 Days US$ 40
Multiple Entry 90 Days US$ 100

Important Information

1. Once the visa is issued, it will not be amended, revalidated and visa fees will not be refunded.

2. Personal cheques and credit cards are not accepted for visa fees.

3. Visitors may also obtain tourist visa at major arrival points in Nepal including Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA), Kathmandu. Requirements at arrival: 2 PP size photos, complete prescribed visa form available at entry point.

4. Visa fees effective from 12 February 2009

5. Children under the age of 10 shall be issued visit visa free of cost.

6. A visa year covers a period from 1 January to 31 December each year.

Entry validity:

Six months from the date of issue. The validity of visa dates is counted from the date of arrival in Nepal.

Visa Extension:

A tourist visa can be extended from the Department of Immigration Kathmandu and Pokhara Immigration Office for a total of 120 days. An additional 30 days visa may be granted on reasonable grounds from the department. Over the course of a visa year, a tourist cannot stay in Nepal more than cumulative 150 days. You have to pay US$ 2 per day to extend your visa.

Passport

A passport valid for at least 6 more months is required. Make a photocopy of your passport and keep it with you, leaving your passport in Kathmandu.

Money

The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese rupee. In Kathmandu there are many places to exchange your money. Exchange your currency for small denominations before leaving for trekking / tours.

Welcome to Nepal

Upon your arrival in Nepal, you will be welcomed by one of our representatives carrying a sign for KATHMANDU HERITAGE TOUR