Nepal, a country rich in beauty and serenity. Nepal is a must visit for people who want to see a country rich in natural beauty, ethnicity, hospitality and enchanting culture. Nepal is gifted with breathtaking and captivating locations with countless beautiful places to visit from Terai to hills to mountains.
Nepal is popularly symbolized across the globe, by the highest mountain in the world; Mount Everest. This small South Asian country is home to the world’s highest snowy mountains and an array of ethnic groups with vibrant cultures, religions, ancient history and languages. Nepal, a landlocked nation, situated between India and China, is one of a few countries in the world where such immense climatic and topographic diversity features so dramatically and is crammed into such a small geographical area.
The north is covered by enormous, snow-capped mountains with a cold alpine climate, the middle region is scattered with hills and has a mild climate, and the southern region is made up of the flat Terai with a very warm, humid and tropical climate. The Himalayan and hilly landscape have attracted adventure-seeking travellers for years, they come for mountaineering, climbing, trekking, hiking, mountain biking, helicopter sightseeing, paragliding, hang gliding and rafting. Nearly one-third of the total length of the Himalayas and eight of the world’s highest peaks are situated in Nepal.
The population of Nepal consists of numerous racial, cultural, and linguistic groups that often are divided into three broad categories: Indo-Nepalese, Tibeto-Nepalese, and indigenous Nepalese. The Indo-Nepalese migrated from India over several centuries; they practice Hinduism, have Caucasian features, and speak Indo-Aryan languages. They have settled primarily in the lower hills and river valleys and the Terai. The Tibeto-Nepalese have distinctively Mongolian features and speak Tibeto-Burmese languages; these groups occupy the higher hills and mountainous areas. Different groups within this category practice Buddhism, animism, or Hinduism. There are scattered tribes of indigenous Nepalis, whose origins probably predate the arrival of Indo- and Tibeto-Nepalese peoples.
People & Language
Nepalese people are kind and welcoming. They are gifted with the art of welcoming their visitors and making them feel comfortable and cozy. Rich in different dialects, Nepali is the mother tongue of Nepalese people. Apart from Nepali, Newari, Tamang, Magar, Limbu, Bhojpuri, Mathili, etc. are other languages spoken in Nepal. English language is widely spoken and understood in various parts of the country.
When to go to Nepal
Most recommended seasons for trekking are autumn (Sept, Oct, Nov) and spring (March, April, May). In these seasons you will be rewarded by good weather, sunny and warm with clear sky and outstanding views. During monsoon (June, July, Aug) although there will be no problem for trekking, the issue could be of less visibility and rain. But, for a keen botanist, monsoon is blessing as the higher valleys, mountains and meadows blossom with flowers and abundant vegetation. You can trek in winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) also, only the issue is cold weather with snow-fall at higher elevations. The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during monsoon and winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature.
Festivals & Religions
Nepal is a country where festivals are celebrated in the grand way. People belonging to different religions celebrate different festivals. Some of the most prominent festivals of Nepal are Dashain, Tihar, Shivratri, Lhosar etc. to name a few. Talking about religion majority of people are Hindus, followed by Buddhists, Islam, Christians, Sikhsand so on.
- The form of greeting in Nepal is "NAMASTE" and is performed by joining the palms together
- Before entering a Nepalese home, temple, and stupa remember to remove your shoes.
- Be careful not to use your spoon, fork or a hand being used for your eating to touch other's food, plate, cooking utensil or the serving dish. Do not eat from other people's plate and do not drink from other people's bottle or glass. It is considered impure by the Nepalese.
- Never touch anything with your feet. This is considered an offence among Nepalese.
- While traveling dress appropriately. Women should specially avoid dressing in skimpy outfits.
- Seek permission first before entering a Hindu temple. Many Hindu temples do not allow non-Hindus to enter.
The customary greeting is to press one's palms together in front of the chest and saynamaste("I greet the god within you"). Men in urban areas have adopted the custom of shaking hands. In the mainstream culture, physical contact between the sexes is not appropriate in public. Although men may be openly affectionate with men and women with women, even married couples do not demonstrate physical affection in public. Some ethnic groups permit more open contact between the sexes. Hospitality is essential. Guests are always offered food and are not permitted to help with food preparation or cleaning after a meal. It is polite to eat with only the right hand; the hand used to eat food must not touch anything else until it has been thoroughly washed, for saliva is considered defiling. When drinking from a common water vessel, people do not touch the rim to their lips. It is insulting to hit someone with a shoe or sandal, point the soles of one's feet at someone, and step over a person.
Clothing: In the hot Indian summers we recommend light cotton tops, shorts and trousers. If you are travelling to any of Nepal’s national parks, remember to pack some long-sleeved cotton tops for game drives. Practical colors to wear are khaki, beige and white. In the cold winter months temperatures may drop dramatically, so some warm clothing is essential. When visiting religious monuments and shrines you may need to cover up, so both men and women should pack some long skirts and pants. For women it is a good idea to throw in a scarf or shawl that you can use to cover your head and shoulders if required.
Climate, 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 tropical and winters are mild. Nepal has namely five major seasons: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter. An average temperature drop of 6°C occurs for every 1,000 m gain in altitude. In the Terai, summer temperatures exceed 37° C and higher in some areas, winter temperatures range from 7°C to 23°C in the Terai.
Money: The Nepali currency is the Nepali Rupee, which is made of 100 paisa. Major currencies such as US dollars, British pounds and Euros are easy to exchange throughout Nepal. The international and domestic airports throughout the country will have money exchange counters, as should the larger hotels and resorts.
- Small backpack or tote bag for transporting items such as camera
- Calculator for currency conversions
- Combination locks for luggage—TSA approved if you plan to use them on international flights
- Camera and equipment: sufficient film, memory sticks or data cards, extra batteries, lens cleaner and all chargers
- Batteries for appliances and cameras, and a power surge cable to protect your laptop from voltage fluctuations
- Prescription medications—consider two sets, packed into different bags. Prescription medications should never be placed in checked luggage on international flights
- Remedies for headache, heartburn, diarrhea, colds and allergies; eye drops, disinfectants, antibiotic and antihistamine creams (Familiar brands may not be available locally.)
- Contact lens solution and extra set of disposable lenses
- Chapstick and moisturizing lotion
The average service worker in Nepal may not expect a tip, partly to be polite and partly due to the desire to save face. That being said, wages can be very low and many employees work seven long days a week to make ends meet. If service was excellent, you can tip 10% just to show gratitude. The tipping in Nepal is still not entirely customary and may even cause embarrassment in some instances, tips should be given in a discreet manner. Don’t showboat your generosity; instead, put your gift into an envelope or discreetly take the recipient aside. You may find that they simply stuff the envelope or gratuity into a pocket without counting or acknowledging it in front of you.
Tipping for meals: In Nepal, some hotels/restaurants already include service charges in the final bill. Therefore, it is not necessary to tip. If a service charge is not included in the total, 10% of the bill is perfectly acceptable for a tip. If a tipping box is available, it is best to use this so tips can be divided between all members of the hotel staff.
Visa can be obtained on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, at border entry points in Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachowki on Nepal-India border and Kodari on Nepal-China border. Visa can also be obtained at the nearest Nepal Embassy or Diplomatic Mission. Visa can also be obtained (renewal purposes) at Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu.A valid passport and one passport -size photo with a light background is required. Immigration Department has not specified the size of the passport-size photo.
|Multiple entry||15 days||US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency|
|Multiple entry||30 days||US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency|
|Multiple entry||90 days||US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency|
For first visit in one visa year (January to December), gratis visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. However, visa can be extended from the Immigration Department on payment of visa fee as specified above.
Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal.