Wondering where Nepal is? Nepal is the country synonymous to the mighty Himalayan ranges with towering snow-capped peaks. Nepal is the land where the highest mountain in the world is standing tall. Nepal is the land where Buddha was born. Nepal is a metaphor to cultural riches. Nepal is a land of diversity. Nepal is an amazing land with various beautiful things and wonderful people in South Asia.
Geographical Location: Nepal is a small, land locked Himalayan country situated between two Asian giants, China and India. This beautiful country of the Himalayas spreads in the area of 147,181 Sq. km in between 80° 4ˈ and 88° 12ˈ east longitude and 26° 12ˈ and 30° 27ˈ north latitude. With an array of diverse features, Nepal boasts an amazingly incredible topography, from the high snowcapped Himalayas in the north to the plain low lands in the south keeping the hills in the middle. Almost like a rectangle, Nepal stretches from East to West in the average length of 885 km and 193 km of North to South width. A total of 28 million people from 125 different ethnicities inhabit the country where they speak 92 different dialects. Bustling city of Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal.
As a multi religious and multi ethnic country, Nepal practices and observes a diverse range of cultural customs. The richness in the culture is an amazing feature of Nepal which has given this land of various cultural ethnicities an incredible distinction. The humble and friendly nature of ever smiling Nepalese has nurtured in them the best sense of hospitality. While they observe many cultural traditions based on their ethnicities and on the national level, all Nepalese have a very common culture of respecting guests as gods with unparalleled hospitality.
Religion: Although majority of Nepalese follow Hinduism, Nepal is a secular country when it comes to religion and practices multiple religion. 80 percent Hindu population is followed by 10 percent Buddhists and 4 percent of Christians and Muslims each. There are several other small groups of people following different other religions as well. Despite different multiple religions, Nepal has maintained an extremely praiseworthy religious harmony since the ancient times.
People: An incredible mixture of 125 different ethnic groups, people of Nepal are lovely and friendly creatures to deal and live with. Be it the mountain climbing tribe of Sherpas of Everest and eastern mountain region or brave Gurkha communities of Gurungs in Annapurna region or Thakalis of Mustang, all of them are characterized by one very common characteristic feature of friendly and hospitable nature. Brahmins and Chhetris of mid hills, Newars of Kathmandu, Tamangs of Langtang and Manaslu region, Tharus of Southern plains of Chitwan and Bardiya region and several other ethnicities spread throughout the country share the quality of friendliness and hospitality though differ hugely in their ethnic cultural practices.
As a multi-religious and multi-cultural country, Nepal observes many festivals throughout the year. Festivals celebrated in Nepal are of great social, cultural and religious importance. They have been much helpful in keeping the people of diverse culture and nature united together. As a very important occasion of socialization, these festivals also give people the opportunity to relax and have fun but more important is their deep rooted respect to the culture and religion.
For the cultural enthusiasts from around the world, Nepal can be the best destination to observe the diverse culture and festivals. The festivals vary from community to community but the only same thing they give out to people is the rich cultural experience of the community. Be the part of the festivals celebrated in Nepal and experience the local culture and feel yourself like a local for a while. Be the part of the beautiful celebrations which you will cherish for your whole life.
Find out some of our extraordinary festival tour packages and join us for the extraordinarily amazing cultural experience.
Buddha Jayanti: As the sacred birth land of Lord Buddha, Nepal observes the Buddha Jayanti, the day when Buddha was born, enlightened and achieved Nirvana, in the grandest way possible. This full moon day is a very important day in the life of all Buddhists. People visit the sacred Buddhist shrines and worship, pray with Buddha for the peace and harmony to prevail in their life and in the world. The Swoyambhunath Temple, famously known as monkey temple, is the main center of attraction on this day. Thousands of people make pilgrimage to this site on this day.
Be a part of the Buddhist festival and observe and experience yourself the Buddhist way of life. Watch monks performing the rituals, people making their offerings and praying to the God. Feel spiritually uplifted and make your way to Nirvana.
Teej: A festival for Hindu women, Teej is one of the important celebrations in Nepal. Hindu women worship lord Shiva, the destroyer in Hinduism, praying for the all prosperities and wellbeing of their husbands or future husbands. Women donned in red clothes and gold jewelries gather together, sing and dance as the part of celebration. It is also the perfect time for Nepali women to express their dissatisfaction in the form of songs. Women gather at every nook and corner of the neighborhood and enjoy their good time from almost two weeks before the main festival day. On the main festival day, Shiva temples around country are crowded with the devotees. They take fasting on this day praying all good things to their men. The festival falls in August – September.
Bisket Jatra (Chariot Festival of Lord Bhairav): This cultural festival takes place in the Nepali New Year which falls at the end of second week of April. This festival takes place in the heritage town of Bhaktapur where they pull a chariot on which the idol of god Bhairavnaath is kept and it is taken around the town. People from two different neighborhoods take part in the chariot pulling and whoever wins the tug-of-war, they are regarded as the blessed ones and become the in-charge of taking care of the god for next whole year. A nine days long traditional festival which is believed to have started in the 5th century A.D., is also famous because of a traditional tongue piercing ritual.
Indrajatra (Chariot Festival of Living Goddess of Kathmandu): Named after the king of gods, Indra, Indrajatra is one of the important festival celebrations in Kathmandu valley. An eight day festival, Indra Jatra is celebrated and observed by thousands of people where they witness different classical dance performances and also the chariot festival of the Living Goddess – Kumari of Kathmandu. During the celebration, the Living Goddess is taken around the city on a chariot as part a deep rooted tradition. The festival falls on early September.
Dashain: The biggest festival of Hindus, Dashain is celebrated for fifteen days worshipping Navadurgas – Nine goddesses. As the biggest celebration in the country, this festival is observed by people with great enthusiasm. This is also the time of family reunion for Nepalese working away from home. Lots of rituals and practices are performed in the temples of goddesses throughout the country. This festival is celebrated to mark the victory of the good over the evils. This festival falls in between the end of September to the first week of October.
Tihar: Tihar is the festival of lights which is observed in Nepal with great importance. This festival is symbolic to the sacred relation and love between brothers and sisters. There are lots of celebrations with singing and dancing in different places. All the houses are decorated with beautiful and colorful lights and the atmosphere is really in festive mood for five days. This festival falls at the end of October or sometimes in early November.
This is the festival of colors and is celebrated to mark the day of end of evil. People celebrate it in jolly mood splashing different colors on each other. Holi falls in March.
Tiji Festival is celebrated in Lo Manthang of Upper Mustang in Nepal. This unique and ethnic Buddhist festival falls in the month of May and is celebrated for three days. Trekking to Upper Mustang during Tiji festival is a popular activity to do in Nepal. You will observe a beautiful cultural celebration of tradition and legendary stories about how the good conquered the evil.
Mani Rimdu Festival
Mani Rimdu festival is celebrated in Everest region of Nepal. Tengobche Monastery in Tengboche along the Everest base camp trekking route observes this festival. This three day Sherpa cultural affair takes place in October/November. A wonderful Buddhist and Sherpa cultural and spiritual tradition can be observed in this festival. Mani Rimdu Festival trekking is another popular festival trekking activity in Nepal.
Things To Do
As the country of high Himalayas to the incredible culture, Nepal offers varieties of activities to travellers of different taste. If you are an avid adventurer and like to do it in the pristine mountain regions, Nepal is for you. From mountaineering expeditions to Himalayan trekking, from Himalayan white water rafting to adventure sports like paragliding, bungee jumping and many other activities, Nepal does not leave any stone unturned to quench the adventure thirst of adventurers. Nepal is paradise for adventures like trekking, rafting, kayaking, canyoning, mountain biking, zip lining etc.
You don’t want any extreme hardcore adventure? No worries. Nepal has some amazing cultural stuffs to offer to you to suit your taste. From exploring the historical, cultural heritage sites in Kathmandu to experiencing wild life and ethnic cultural wonders and high spirituality, Nepal still amazes you with unparalleled historical and cultural marvels.
Having read this information, is Nepal your type of country to travel? If yes, you are most welcome to do trekking in Nepal, tours in Nepal and other adventure and cultural trips to Nepal.
Weather in Nepal is as diverse as other things. Weather in Nepal is characterized by the hot and wet summer (June-August), cool autumn (September- November), dry and cold winter (December – February) and warm spring (March – May) in general. But the weather varies from place to place as the climatic zone is so diverse in such a small country. The southern plain experiences very tropical climatic condition whereas the hilly region has temperate climate and the northern mountain region has alpine climate.
Looking at the weather and climatic condition of Nepal, autumn (September – November) is considered the best time to travel to Nepal followed by spring (March – May). Autumn season in Nepal is the nicest of all given the weather and climatic situation. Towering snow-capped peaks over the crystalline sky is a common scene almost every day and the weather outside is lovely. Spring season brings beautiful blossoms around to make everything look even more beautiful and only a little trouble could be increasing heat to welcome the summer.
Summer (June – August) and winter (December – February) are slow seasons in terms of the flow of tourists as summer receives heavy rainfall with high temperature and winter is too cold. But the activities still go on to lure and amaze the travellers.
Best Time To Travel
Although Nepal offers touring and trekking activities throughout the year, there are certain months in a year that you will see the best of this beautiful country. The autumn season (Sep – Nov) is considered the best time to travel to Nepal. This season has the best weather conditions – nice and cool temperatures, clear skies and mountains, refreshing air etc. Weather it is trekking or sightseeing tours, you will discover the most in this season. The spring season (Mar – May) is another good time to travel to Nepal. Although this season has temperature on the rise, days are generally beautiful. The greenery of Nepal can be observed at its best during this season. Beautiful flowers including rhododendrons will be in bloom.
Even though these two seasons are considered best time to travel to Nepal, you can travel to Nepal throughout the year to experience diversity of the activities and experiences here.
Visa & Permit Information
How To Reach There
Nepal is a small country in south Asia perched between India and China. Travelling to this beautiful country has two options – by air or overland. If you choose to travel by air, you can fly
only and only to Kathmandu by multiple airlines like Turkish air, Jet airways, Etihad, Thai airways, Qatar airways, Malaysian air, Silk air, Fly Dubai, Dragon air, China Southern, China Eastern, Air Asia, Malindo air etc. You can choose convenient transit for you like Doha, Kualalumpur, Honkong, Singapore, Delhi, Istanbul etc.
If you want to get into Nepal overland, there are certain ports of entry.
You can enter Nepal from India via Kakarbhitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Dhangadhi and Kanchanpur.
If you want to enter Nepal overland from Tibet, you can use Kodari and Rasuwagadhi ports of entry.
Nepal has a few cities that are connected by air and overland. While in the cities, you can commute by hiring a car or by taxi. Public transportation in cities are overcrowded and not reliable in taking you somewhere on time. While commuting from one city to another, you can choose either to fly or to drive. If you choose to fly, you will spend 20 minutes to 1 hour in the air depending on where you are flying. Small planes fly in the domestic air network of Nepal. There are tourist bus services to the cities like Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini from Kathmandu and vice versa. These places have interconnected tourist bus services.
While you are in the mountains, you have to rely on your foot as this is the region where trekking activities take place.
Cuisines in Nepal are very simple yet delicious and hygienic. Rice with vegetables and lentil soup is the staple diet to most of the Nepalese people. As Nepal grows plenty of rice, corn, wheat and millet, food prepared with these crops is the main food for people. Nepali staple diet famously known as “Dal Bhat” is a must try when you are visiting Nepal.
A Tibetan cuisine called MOMO has received a typical Nepali flavor and become the most preferred food to choose while eating out in restaurants. MOMO is a dumpling stuffed with meat or vegetable which is steamed in a steamer and is eaten dipping in spicy or mild sauce made of tomato, peanuts, sesame or like of spices. It is also a must try whilst you are in Nepal.
Other foods like chowmein (steam fried noodles), thukpa (noodle soup), sel roti (Nepali doughnut) and many other ethnic foods in different areas are popular
Apart from local foods, restaurants serve all kinds of foods of your choice.
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