Nepal is a place of jaw-dropping scenery, inspiring temples, and some of the best hiking and trekking on earth amongst its highest mountains. A culturally rich and spiritual destination, it's an inspiring place that lingers long in your dreams, continually drawing travellers back to Nepal. By visiting Nepal and staying in an authentic Nepal hotel you will directly experience the culture and way of life of the friendly and welcoming Nepalese people.
The kingdom of Nepal is a magical land that has long exerted a pull on travellers.
Apart from a rich cultural heritage, Nepal offers the tourist a lot to see and do. The highest mountain in the world, Sagarmatha or Mount Everest, exotic wildlife and scenic beauty are just some of them. Walkers and trekkers have many century old trails to choose from. Many of these trails link the quaint hamlets and picturesque villages, and you are likely to discover some ancient temple or stupa on the way! Taking a tour in Nepal is the perfect way to see the sights and experience the local culture.
Located in South Asia, it is locked by land on all sides. China lies to its north and India envelopes it on the south, west and east. The Himalaya mountain range stretches along the northern and the western regions of Nepal. Of the ten highest mountains of the world, eight are found in Nepal, including Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world.
Nepal is often referred to as the abode of Gods. It was for many decades a kingdom shrouded in legend and lore, largely unknown and unexplored till the nineteen fifties when it was called upon to make a quantum leap from the eleventh century to the twentieth century. Initially, it was the trekkers and the mountaineers who came to Nepal, followed by the hippies of the flower generation. In 1989, the country opened up even more, when areas that were barred to tourists were thrown open. Today, Nepal is a country on the fast track, with good quality Nepal hotels and many environmentally aware Nepalese tour operators who value the countries unique and rich heritage.
Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is also its largest city and has the widest range of Nepal hotels and tours in Nepal. The official language of Nepal is Nepali and its currency is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). Nepal has the distinction of being the only country in the world to have a non quadrilateral flag. It is believed that Lord Shiva handed the flag, with the moon and the sun as emblems, to Lord Vishnu, who got the people of Nepal together and then gave them the flag. Another version of the Hindu Purana states that Lord Shiva passed on the flag to Lord Vishnu who then gave it to Lord Indra in order to wage a battle against the demons.
Nepal as we know it today was created in 1768, when King Prithvi Narayan Shah combined the various small principalities under him into one single entity. Since then Nepal has always been under hereditary rule. It also began functioning as the buffer between the British Empire and the regions that were situated to its north. The British Empire's interests were safeguarded by a Prime Minister who was always a member of the Rana clan. In 1923, Nepal became independent, but only in theory. It was only in 1947, when the British withdrew from India, that they vacated Nepal as well and the kingdom became truly independent. Today, Nepal is a Federal Democratic Republic, after nearly a decade of intense Civil War between the Maoist guerrillas belonging to the Communist Party of Nepal and the government.
The higher regions of the Himalayas are inhabited by the Managis, the Baragaonlis, the Lopas, the Dolpas and the Sherpas, each having their own settlements. The Sherpas are settled in the Kumbhu and Solu region in the east. The Lopas and the Baragaonlis inhabit the Lower and Upper Mustang region that lies in the rain shadow zone of the Tibetan plateau. The Manang district is the home of the Managis and the Dolpas live in the Dolpa district of Western Nepal at a height of more than 4000 metres. The Dolpa settlement is said to be the highest settlement in the world.
The Chepangs, Thakalis, Newars, Sunuwars, Tamangs, Gurungs and Magars and many other small ethnic factions inhabit the valleys and hills that lie midway. The Chetris and the Brahmans, who have all along dominated the religious, social and political life of Nepal, also stay in the same region. Nepal also has castes established on the basis of occupation, like the Sarki (Cobbler), Kami (Blacksmith), Damai (Tailor) and Sunar (Goldsmith). Each of the various minorities have their own dialects, but they all speak Nepali, which ensures a certain unity.
The Nepalese government has allocated over 35% of the total land area for use exclusively as natural reserves. The Terai region in the south is the most fertile habitat of Nepal. In all, Nepal has three wildlife reserves and nine national parks in the tropical plains and the mountain regions where you can take a local Nepal tour to view the abundant wildlife.
Though the country has tremendous potential for tourism, it ranks among the poorest nations of the world. This situation has been rendered grimmer by the Maoist rebellion in which over 100,000 have been displaced and over 12,000 have lost their lives. However, it is still a fascinating country to visit and the perfect destination for those looking for an intrepid and culturally rich destination. With its good value Nepal hotels and wide range of Nepal tours it is well set up for toursim and has a lot to offer those who travel there.