For a small landlocked country in the southeast of Asia, Nepal certainly has a lot of diversities that are rich and flourishing. From the smooth flat plane lands of the Terai to the rugged snowy Himalayan peaks in the north, Nepal possesses unique topographical features that make the country a cornucopia of distinct hallmarks. This attribute of the country has resulted in the development of various cultures and traditions among its population who are distributed unevenly across the land and have their own rituals, customs, practices and beliefs. Nepal’s geographical characteristic goes hand in hand with the country’s cultural prominence and this quality of the country has managed to make Nepal famous all across the globe. It’s amazing multiculturalism, development and persistence of traditional ethnic people and their practices, floral and faunal biodiversity and its tall Himalayan ranges make visiting Nepal quite an exotic affair. Among the ten tallest mountain peaks in the world, Nepal has eight of them, including the world’s tallest mountain peak- Mount Everest.
The mountainous landscape of the country is a blend of variety of terrestrial and atmospheric biomes that consist of their own unique climatic and vegetative features. Because of the Himalayan terrain and the virtues that come with that quality, Nepal is often a part of many bucket-lists of places to visit. It caters heavily to activities like trekking- the Everest Base Camp Trek being the most famous one, leisure holidays, cultural tours and adventure sports like rafting and peak climbing. Utilizing its naturally Himalayan and divergent geomorphologic traits, Nepal has managed to develop a secure tourism industry that is responsible for a large portion of the country’s revenue generation. But even apart from the commercialization of the tourism industry, Nepal has always managed to fascinate visitors with its mountains. After all, the country is one of the largest sovereign Himalayan states in Southeast Asia. Add one of the most distinct cultural protuberances to the mix, and you have yourself a Mecca for enthusiastic trekkers, travelers and mountaineers from all parts of the world.
There are many things to do in the country, and there is something for people of all demographics. Situated between two giant ancient civilizations, Nepal was always a bridge with connections that spanned across the two countries of India and China. Artistic and architectural influences were exchanged, but despite that- Nepal still managed to sprout its own individual identity and stood out among the rest. The population of the country, for a large majority, follows the Hindu religion, with other religious beliefs like various unique forms of Buddhism, Bön, Christianity and Islam among many others occupying the country and maintaining religious peace, harmony and tolerance. For the longest time in the span of history, Nepal was isolated from the rest of the outside world and this allowed the country to develop and maintain its century-old traditional roots till present day. Nepal is perhaps amongst one of the last places in the world that still has the perseverance of traditional cultures and traditions that span back to millennia. Hidden treasures like these, along with both man-made and natural elements, make Nepal one of the most ideal places for a visit.
Here are some fascinating facts and information about Nepal that will make you want to visit the country for your next vacation.
As mentioned, Nepal has eight of the ten tallest mountains in the world. The country is a home of more than 350 Himalayas that are spread across the country’s borders and situated within the mountain region. The Himalayas of the country are its national jewels and partly responsible for a large majority of trekking and peak climbing journeys. More than thousands of trekkers and travelers visit the country every year for trekking journeys in the country’s many destinations and locations. Varying from mere five days to lasting about more than half a month, trekking adventures are a colorful state of ventures and exceptional moments. Base Camp Treks and Classic Circuit Treks are among the most popular trekking journeys and are on top of the tier when it comes to things to do in Nepal. Not only is trekking an opportunity to really take in the Himalayan beauty of the country, it is also a great way to experience Nepal’s ethnic diversity. Regions famous for trekking include the Everest, the Annapurna region, Manaslu region, the Mustang region and the Langtang among many more. Each of the trekking regions harbor their own unique features and qualities that makes them unique and different from the rest in the country.
The Everest region is famous for its Mahalangur Himalayan range that contains peaks like Everest, Changtse, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu, the Ama Dablam, the Kongdi RI, the Gokyo RI, Thamserku, Cho Oyu, Gyachung Kang and the Nangpai Gosum. Furthermore, trekking in the Everest region is a primary journey that is chosen by many people, both novice trekkers as well as experienced mountaineers. The region consists of famous mountain villages like Lukla, Khumjung, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Phakding, Monjo and Dingboche. It is often the most sought-after region for Nepal trekking. The Everest region is also the main Sherpa community of the country and a great place to experience Sherpa culture and tradition. Trekking journeys in the Everest take place at all times of the year. The same goes for all of the other regions as well. Apart from the popular regions, Nepal also has many off-the-beaten-paths trekking regions and destinations.
The country’s many troves of treasures are scattered at all parts of the land, and trekking through the regions to reach the base camp of the tall mountains or just circumbulating around the villages and mountains is considered one of the best things to do in the country. The region of Mustang has the most amazing corroded rock formations in the world and the last unsullied Tibetan Buddhist culture persisting in the planet. The Annapurna region is named after its namesake- the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri Himalaya ranges that consist of mountain peaks like the row of Annapurna massif, the Dhaulagiri Himal massif, the Gangapurna Himal, the Churen Himal, the Hiunchuli Peak, the Tilicho Peak, Nilgiri, Machhapuchhre, Pisang Peak and Tharpu Chuli. Moreover, the Himalayan ranges are also accompanied by glaciers, lakes, moraines, gorges, low-lying woodlands and rivers. The trekking regions are rich and vibrant with contrasting colors and natural elements, a heaven-like setting for a perfect trekking journey.
Nepali culture is an amalgamation of many different influences and overlapping traditions over the centuries. The culture of the country has an idiosyncratic quality to it that is hard to find anywhere else on Earth. From art, literature, architecture, dances, costumes, myths, dialect, songs, folklore and day-to-day life, Nepali culture is deeply rooted in the practices of the people and manifests itself on every aspect of life from occupation to matrimony. Culture is also seen unfolding on the country’s historical and religious sites and settings. The Kathmandu valley in Nepal has one of the most condensed amounts of World Heritage Sites, along with countless temples and idols and statues of deities and gods of the Hindu and Buddhist pantheon. Nepal is also revered as the birthplace of Lord Buddha- the Light of Asia. Places like Lumbini and the three old cities of the Kathmandu valley- Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur have many sites that are listed under World Heritage List by UNESCO. All aspects of art are integrated in the old buildings and temples found in the cities, from intricate wood carvings, amazing stone masonry and metal decorations to unique architectural ornamentation of the buildings. Different ethnic groups reside in the country, and their residents are shrouded in their traditions and practices.
Ethnicities like Newar, Tharu, Tamang, Magar, Brahmin, Chhetri, Gurung, Rai, Limbu, Sherpa and Thakali among many others occupy the various villages all over the land. Their take on cultural art can be seen on their houses, their costumes, their ornaments, paintings, festivals and celebrations. The Kathmandu valley is especially rich in Newa architecture- a trait that has been passed down since medieval times when the country was divided and ruled by individual monarchs. Cultural prominence of Nepal is like a melting pot of different ingredients that come together perfectly as anopulent delicacy. Sites like the Pashupatinath Temple, the Bouddhanath Temple, the Swayambhunath Stupa, the three Durbar Squares of the three old cities and Lumbini’ s old monasteries and artifacts are all the remnants of Nepal’s historical grandiosity. The heritage sites, along with the country’s countless large and small religious and historical shrines and temples, idols and statues and monuments and buildings make Nepal one of the best places to experience exotic cultures.
Biodiversity and Geomorphology
Nepal’s floral and faunal diversity is also one of its notable aspects. Because of the differences in the land and their climatic variations, Nepal has managed to develop a broad range of natural habitats for a wide myriad of animals, birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. Most of the people in Nepal are involved in agriculture; rice and vegetable plantations are a staple part of the Nepali landscape. The differences in the forests are also quite uncanny. From savannah-like grasslands, thick deciduous woods and wide open pasturelands to alpine trees and thick canopies of herbal and medicinal plants, Nepal’s jaded greenwood, Holts and hamlets are the country’s main riches that provide the livelihood of many people. The government of Nepal has taken numerous measures to protect its plant and wild life; the country has a network of more than 20 protected areas that are a combination of national parks, wildlife reserves, conservations areas, hunting reserves and Ramsar sites. Many of the national parks expand across vast areas of lands and include aspects like mountains, lakes and other natural wonders along with the region’s woods. From tropical climates in the Terai to navel and trans-Himalayan climates higher up at the elevations, Nepal has the encompassment of arctic and Malay eco-zones that change across the landscape. Nepal also ranks 10th in terms of the richest flowering plants diversity in the continent of Asia. Among the tem national parks, two of them are also listed under the UNESCO Natural World Heritage Sites- the Chitwan National Park and the Sagarmatha National Park. The wildlife of Nepal consists of many endangered species of animals like the Bengal Fox, Royal Bengal Tigers, One-Horned Rhinoceroses, Asiatic Elephants, Red Pandas, Snow Leopards, Tibetan Wolves and the Musk Deer. Many of the animals found in Nepal are globally threatened species and are in danger of extinction.
The topographical facets of Nepal also include famous lakes like Rara, Gosainkunda, Phewa, Phoksundo, Begnas, Tilicho, Rupa, Gokyo and many countless others all scattered across the various regions. The glacial rivers and river-tributaries also drain many parts of the country and are responsible for the land’s life source. Apart from hydroelectricity possibilities and important water source, the rivers and lakes are also great initiators for adventures like white-water rafting, boating and canoeing. The deep valleys of the country are also beautifully brimming with natural wonders like catchments of rivers, glacial basins and gorges. The aquatic fauna and flora have also managed to develop in the water bodies of the country and add more enhancements to the country’s biodiversity.
Nepal is truly an amazing heaven for visitors. It is cheap and affordable, and offers a good blend of unique features and qualities. It has a rich history and a fascinating mould of changes by modernization. Things like trekking in Nepal, cultural tours and adventure and leisure activities in the various destinations of the country are amazing aspects that contribute towards an ideal vacation or holiday click here.