go Nepal | Why trekking
in Nepal | Trekking
Means | Avoiding the
History of trekking
Hemmed by People's Republic of China in
the north and India in the south, east
and west, Nepal has an area of 147181
PEOPLE / RELIGION.
22.2 Million people with more than 61
ethnic groups and more than 50 spoken
Average Length: About 885 kms, Breadth
191 kms. Divided into Himalayan, Mountain
and Terai regions, there is great variations
The National language of Nepal is Nepali
and written in Devanagari script. People
in travel trade understand and speak English
POLITICAL SYSTEM :
Multi-party Democracy with constitunal
A valid passport is required for all the
NEPAL ENTRY VISA
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
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.
TIME DIFFERENCE & HOLIDAYS
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
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
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
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
WHEN TO GO NEPAL
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
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
There are mainly four seasons in Nepal.
WHY TREK IN NEPAL?
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-
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.
TREKKING DOES NOT
MEAN MOUNTAIN CLIMBING
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
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
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
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.
AVOIDING THE CROWDS
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.
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)
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
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
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.
HISTORY OF TREKKING
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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 HILL
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
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.