General Information

When to go Nepal | Why trekking in Nepal | Trekking Means | Avoiding the Crowd
History of trekking | Geography

Hemmed by People's Republic of China in the north and India in the south, east and west, Nepal has an area of 147181 sq. km.

22.2 Million people with more than 61 ethnic groups and more than 50 spoken languages.

Average Length: About 885 kms, Breadth 191 kms. Divided into Himalayan, Mountain and Terai regions, there is great variations in altitude.

The National language of Nepal is Nepali and written in Devanagari script. People in travel trade understand and speak English as well.

Multi-party Democracy with constitunal monarchy.

A valid passport is required for all the nationals.

All the nationals are required to obtain visa for the entry into the country. The visa can be obtained from Royal Nepal Embassy or Consulate or at the entry points in Nepal

Rs.770 per person for the passengers departing to SAARC countries and Rs.1100 per person for other countries. Domestic Airport Tax from major tourist destinations is Rs. 165.00 per person.

The Nepal Standard Time is 5 Hours 45 Minutes ahead of GMT. Government offices, Embassies and International Organizations are open from 9 AM to 5 PM; Banks are open from 10 AM to 3 PM Monday through Friday while most of the business houses are open from 9 AM to 5 PM Sunday through Friday.

Indian Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 rupees are not allowed to be brought into Nepal and it will not be accepted by banks, hotels or elsewhere. Import of Indian currency by any national except Indian is strictly prohibited. Any other currency either in traveler's cheques or cash can be brought in any quantity provided it is declared upon arrival. The money can be exchanged from a bank or an authorized foreign exchange dealer.

Nepalese currency unit is Rupees (locally pronounced Rupiah) and denoted by currency symbol Rs. One Rupees is subdivided into 100 paisa. 1 US $ = Rs. 77.30 ( as on Nov. 2002).

Major credit cards such as American Express, Visa and MasterCard are honoured and accepted at major hotels, restaurants, carpet and curio shops throughout the country.

The Nepal Police has a unit known as the Tourist Police trained specially to assist visitors regarding security and other travel related problems. Telephone 247041 and an English-speaking officer will take your call from 11 am - 5 pm.

220 Volts AC at 50 hertz throughout the country.

=======================<< TOP >>=======================

Trekking in Nepal is possible and can be pleasant at any time, with each season offering a specific attraction, just tailor your expectations and attitudes with these in mind.

However for Climbing and crossing hight passes the classic trekking time (October-December) is best, followed by March to May, During winter and the monsoon some areas are all but inaccessible and finding willing crew is difficult because of the greater risk in volved.

If you're a photographer every season brings its own reward. Fro stunningly clear views and bright blue skies the main October trekking season is best. During spring the rhododendrons bloom but the distant views are often hazy or obscured by cloud. It is the monsoon that provides the most variety: Staggering cloud formations and light effects. The vivid color of the local festivals that take place in this season adds to the interest.

There are mainly four seasons in Nepal.

1) Winter : December - February,
2) Spring : March - May,
3) Summer : June - August and
4) Autumn : September - November.

=======================<< TOP >>=======================

Just as new York is not representative of the USA, so Katmandu is not representative of Nepal. If you have the time and energy to trek, don't miss the opportunity to leave Katmandu and see the spectacular beauty and the unique culture of Nepal.

Fortunately for the visitor, there are still only a few roads extending deeply into the hills, so the only kingdom is in the slowest and most intimate manner- walking.

It requires more time and effort, but the rewards are also greater. Instead of zipping down a freeway, reaching to the next point of interest' each step provides new and intriguing viewpoints. You well perceive your day as an entity rather than a few highlights strung togetherby a ribbon of concrete. For the romanticist, each step follows the footsteps of Hillary, Tenzing, Herzog and other Himalayan explorers. If you have neither the patience nor the physical stamina to visit the hills of Nepal on foot a helicopter flight provides an expensive and unsatisfactory substitute.

Trekking in Nepal will take you through a country that has captured the imagination of mountaineers and explorers for more than 100 years. You will meet people in remote mountain villages whose lifestyle has not changed in generations.

Most people trust foreigners. Nepal is on of only a handful of countries that have never been ruled by a foreign power.

Many of the values associated with a hiking trip at home do not have the same importance during a trek in Nepal. Isolation is traditionally a crucial element of any wilderness experience, but in Nepal it is not possible to get completely away from people except for short times or at extremely high elevations.

Environmental concerns must include the effects of conservation measures on rural people and the economic effects of tourism on indigenous populations. Even traditional national park management must be adapted because there are significant population centres within Sagarmatha (Mt Everest) and langtang national parks.

=======================<< TOP >>=======================

While the ascent of a Himalayan peak may be a attraction for some, you need not have such a goal to enjoy a trek.

Trekking always refers to walking on trails. While trekking you will see the great diversity of Nepal.
Villages embrace many ethnic groups and clutters. The terrain changes from tropical jungle to high glaciated peaks the towering peaks of the Himalayan provide one of the highlights of a trek.
As your plane approaches Kathmandu these peaks appear to be small clouds on the horizon. The mountains become more definable and seem to reach impossible heights as you get closer and finally land at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan airport.

During a trekking Himalayan disappears behind Nepal's continual hill, but dominates the northern skyline at each pass. Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, Gauri shankar and Everest will become familiar names.

Finally, after weeks of walking, you will arrive at the foot of the mountains them selves- astonishing heights from which gigantic avalanches tumble earthwards in apparent slow motion, dwarfed by their surrounding.

Your conception of the Himalaya will alter as you turn from peaks famed only for their height to gaze on far more picturesque summit that you may never have heard of - kantega, Ama Dablam, Machhapurchhare and Khumbakarna.

The beauty and attraction of the Nepal Himalaya emanates not only from the mountains themselves, but also from there surroundings.

Nepal is a country of friendly people, picturesque villages and a great to exemplify many of the attributes we have lost in our headlong rush for development and progress in the west.

=======================<< TOP >>=======================

It's true, the hills of Nepal can be crowded with trekkers. But there are still many ways to avoid the crowds. There are three excellent times for trekking when you well often have camp sites or lodges to yourself and can usually rely on good weather. these secret trekking seasons are the first two weeks of December, the entire month of February, and the second half of september.

You can trek to many places in Nepal where no trekkers go, but you'll have to bring an entire support team, because there are no hotels in those places.

However, there is a little-used trek route where you can find excellent hotels every night and will often be the only westerner in a village.

Because many people now fly in and out from Lukla, the classic trek from jiri to Lukla has been almost totally abandoned there are some long, sleep hill, but this route has excellent lodges and passes through greed trekking country.

=======================<< TOP >>=======================

What is now Nepal was once a collection of feudal principalities sandwiched between Moghul India and Tibet.

You can see the palaces of these ancient rulers as you trek through Nepal at places such as Sinja near Jumla, Besi Sahar (lamjung) near Dumre,

Lo Manthang, Gorkha and, of course, the kathmandu Valley. Many of these small kindoms had little or no contact with kathmandu. The early history of the kathmandu Valley, with its Licchave dynasty from the 3rd to the 13th to the 18the century, had life effect on the remote hill regions.

In 1769 prithvi Narayan shah, the ruler of the house of Gorkha, unified these diverse kingdoms and established the general shape of the present borders of Nepal.

He also founded the Shah dynasty, defeated the newar kings of Katmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, and established the capital in Katmandu. King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev is a direct descendant of proithvi Narayan Shah.

In 1814 the British east India Company declared war on Nepal. After a fierce war with imperial India, Nepal conceded a large part of its territory, which now comprises the northern areas of the Indian states of Kashmir, Himachal pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Nepal also agreed to allow a british 'resident' in the country,

But he was not permitted to leave the Katmandu Valley. The old British residency is now the British Council bulding on Kantipath.

Rana prime Ministers
In 1864 the prime minister , Jung Bahadur Rana, conspired with the queen regent to gain control of the country.

He invited the top political and military leaders to a party and ambused them in what is known in Nepali hostory as the Kot Massacre. Then site of the massacre, the Kot, still stands near Hanuman Dhoka in Durbar Square. Following the massacre, Jung Bahadur decreed that the post of prime minister was to be hereditary, and took the precaution of ensuring that the title passed to a younger brother if the ruler had no qualified soon.

The Ranas adopted the title 'maharaja' and ruled the country for 104 yearsl Jung Bahadur visited England and France and was received with all the honours due a head of state.
Despite Jung Bahadur's refusal to adopt European practices which conflicted with his Hindu beliefs, he was fascinated with European architecture. The profusion of white stucco neoclassical palaces in Katmandu was inspired by this Journey. The largest of these, Singha Durbar, now houses the parliament and secretariat.

The first trekker in Nepal was Bill tilman, who somehow wrangled permission from the maharaja in 1949 to make several treks, including the Kali Gandaki, Helambu and Everest. His Exploits are described in Nepal Himalaya, a mountaineering classic that has been reprinted by the Seattle Mountaineers as part of a Tilman collection, the Seven Mountain-travel Books. Anothere early visitor was maurice Herzog, who led a French expedition to Annapurna in 1950.

During kin Tribhuvan's visits to India, the king met Boris Lissnnivich, a Russian ballet dancer who was running a club in Calcutta. Boris Convinced the king that people would like to visit Nepal and would actually pay for the experience. Soon a few well- heeled landies flew from patan to kathmandu's Gaucher ('cowfield') airport in an Indian Airlines Dakota. Boris accommodeted them in his new establishment, the Roal Hotel. The women were charmed by Boris and the exotic kingdom of Nepal. Thus Nepali toursm was born. The Royal Hotel and its yak & Yeti bar became the meeting place fro climbers from the 1950s until 1971, when the Royal Hotel was closed.

Colonel James OM Roberts was the first person to realise that trekking would appeal to tourists.
Jimmy Roberts had spent years in Nepal attached to the British residency and accompanied Tilman on his first trek. In 1965 he took a group of ladies up the kali Gandaki and founded Mountain Travel, the first of Nepal's trekking companies and the inspiration for the adventure travel industry.

=======================<< TOP >>=======================

Nepal is a small, landlocked country, 800 km long and 200 km whide. In the longitudinal 200 km, the terrain changes from glaciers along the Tibetan border to the flat Jungles of the Terai, Barely 150m above sea level.

The contry does not ascend gradually from the plains. Rather, it rises in several chains of hills that lie in an east-west direction, finally teraminating in the highest hills in the world-the Himalaya. Beyond the Himalaya is the 5000m high plateau of Tibet. Despite the hight of the Himalaya, the peaks do not form a countinental divide. Though most river flow southward from the glaciers of the Nepal Himalaya to Join the Ganges in India, several rivers do flow from Tibet through deep gorges in the main Himalayan frange. These rivers have scarred the country with great gorges in both north-south and east-west directions and created a countinual series of hills, some of which are incredibly steep.
From east to west the geographic division of the kingdom is less clearly defined,

Though there are clear political divisions. Nepal is divided into 14 zones, several of which extend across the country from the Terai to the Tibetan border. The primary difference between eastern and western Nepal is that the influence of the monsoon is less in the west. In the east the climate is damp and ideal for tea growing, The conditions being similar to those in Darjeeling in India. In the far west the climate is quite dry, even during the monsoon season.

Another influence on the east-west division is the large rivers that flow southward in dep canyons. These rivers often limit east-west travel as they wash away bridges during the moonsoon. For this reason the major trade route are from south to north, from indian border towns to hill villages in Nepal and then across high mountain passes to Tibet.

Despite the steepness of the country, there is extensive farming on thouusands of ancient terrace carved into the hills. Pressure from the increasing population is forcing people to bring even the most marginal land into cultivation. This has resulted in erosion, Flooding and landslides.

Extensive systems of trenches and canals provide the irrigation necessary for food production.
Houses are near family fields, and a typical Nepal village extends over a large area. The hilly terrain often creates an elevation deferential of several hundred meters or more between the highest andlowest homes in a village.

Geographers divider the country into three main physiographic regions, or natural zones; the Terai, the Middle Hills and the Himalaya.

The Terai the terai is the southern most region of Nepal and is an extension of the Ganagetic plains of india. Until 1950 this was a malarial Jungle inhabited primarily by rhinoceros, tiget, leopard, wild boar and dear.

Now, with malaria controlled, farming and industrial communities cover the terai. The region supports about 47% of Nepal's population and encompasses the majority of the country's cultivable land. The Terai includes the big cities of Nepalgunj, Birganj, Janakpur, Bhairawa and Biratnagar, but most of the region is dotted with small villages clusters of 40 or 50 houses in the centre of a large area of cultivated fields.

Just north of the Terai is the first major ease-west chain of hills, the Siwlik (or churia) Hills, and then comes the Mahabharat Rang. In some parts of Nepal only farmers live in these hills, but in other parts, they are the sites of large and well-developed villages such as Ilam, Dhankuta and Surkhet.

The Middle hills, a band only 60 km wide, are home to about 45% of the population. This is the home of the ancient ethnic groups of Nepal. Katmandu, patan, Bhadgaon, Pokhara, Gorkha, and Jumla are all in the Middle Hills. Kathmandu lies in the largest valley of the kingdom, and according to legend the valley was once a huge lake. Other than the kathmandu and Pokhara valleys, the Middle Hills region is all steep Hillsides.

The Himalaya The Himalaya and its foothills make up only a small portion of the kingdom along the northen border.

This inhospitable region is the least inhabited part of Nepal. Less than 8& of the population lives here. Most of the villages sit between 3000m and 4000m elevation, allthough there are summer settlements as high as 5000m. winters are cold, but the warm sun makes most days comfortable. Because of the short growing season, crops are few and usually small, consisting mostly of potatoes, barley and a few vegetables. The primary means of support are tranding and the herding of sheep, cattle and yaks.

The part of this region known as Solu Khumbu is the home of the Sherpas, Mountaineering Expeditions and trekking have a large influence on the economy of this area. In the west the Himalayan region is an area of Tibetan in fluence and parts of this region are on the north side of the main Himalayan range. This is the trans-Himalaya, a hight desert region similar to the Tibetan plateau.

This area encompasses the arid valleys of Mustang, manang, Dolpo and Limi, as well as the Tibetan marginals (the fourth range of mountains that sweep from central to notth western Nepal, averaging bellow 6000m in height).

The trans-Himalaya is in the rain shadow of the main Himalayan range and receives significantly less precipitation then the southern slopes. Unroded crage, spires, and formations like crumbling fortresses are typical of this stark lanscape.

=======================<< TOP >>=======================