Where is Nepal Located?
Geographical Location of Nepal
Nepal is a landlocked South Asian country. It is located between China and India. China forms the northern border of Nepal. India lies on the eastern, western and southern border of Nepal. Nepal is a Federal Democratic Republic country. The Himalayan mountain range lies on the northern borderline between Nepal and China. The latitudinal position of Nepal is between 26 degrees and 31 degrees north latitude. The longitudinal position of the country is between 80 degrees to 89 degrees east longitudinal.
The population of Nepal is 28 million. The total surface area of the country is 147,181 square kilometers. Nepal is the 48th most populous country in the world. It is the 93rd largest country in the world based upon surface area. Nepal has three geographical belts. The Himalayan belt lies in the northern part of the country and borders the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. Hilly belt is located in the middle part of the country. It is the largest among the three belts. The Terai belt is a stretch of plain fertile land in the southern part of the country.
You may also view the Location of Kathmandu.
Capital and Major Cities
The capital city of Nepal is Kathmandu. The city lies in the central part of Nepal. It is a valley created after the drainage of a prehistoric lake. Kathmandu is one of the oldest cities in the world. It has a rich history with many palaces, temples, monasteries, and artifacts from the different eras of the bygone days still present in the city. Kathmandu has strong Hindu and Buddhist influences. One of the most revered temples of the Hindus, Pashupatinath Temple, lies in Kathmandu. The Swayambhunath and Boudhanath Stupas also lie in Kathmandu. Swayambhunath is believed to be the oldest Buddhist stupa in the capital city. Boudhanath Stupa is the most revered shrine in Nepal for the Tibetan Buddhist community.
The other major cities of Nepal are Pokhara, Narayangarh, Biratnagar, Butwal and Nepalgunj. Pokhara is also known as the city of seven lakes. It is located in the western part of Nepal. Pokhara is also a valley like Kathmandu. It lies on the outskirts of the Annapurna Sanctuary. Pokhara is a famous tourist destination because of its picturesque lakes and vicinity to the Annapurna Range. Narayangarh lies on the south of Kathmandu. It is the busiest city in the southern plains of Nepal. It lies on the outskirts of the Chitwan National Park. The national park is one of the most renowned tigers and one-horned rhinoceros sanctuaries in the world. Biratnagar, Butwal, and Nepalgunj lie on the eastern, central and western plain of Nepal respectively.
Interested in Jungle Safari Tour in Chitwan National Park then please visit the link Chitwan National Park.
Climate of Nepal
Nepal lies in the subtropical range. The country lies a few degrees north of the equatorial line. However, the presence of the Himalayas varies the climate of Nepal to a large extent. There are five different climatic divisions in the country. These climatic zones vary with altitude. The tropical and subtropical climate is present in the southern plains of Nepal. This part of the country is the lowest altitude region. The temperate region lies in the immediate north of the Terai plains. The temperate climate is present in the altitude range of 1,000 m to 2,500 m. The capital city Kathmandu lies in the temperate belt.
The next climatic zone is the cold zone. It starts from 2,500 m in altitude and extends up to 3,600 m in altitude. This region remains steadily cold throughout the year. The zone also receives snowfall in winter. The subarctic climate is present above the altitude of 3,600 m and extends up to 4,400 m. This region receives snowfall throughout the year and forms the base of the gigantic Himalayan range. The region above 4,400 m is classified as an arctic zone. The region extends up to the peak of Mount Everest (8,848 m). This region is covered in thick sheets of ice and snow. Temperature falls significantly below zero and there is very little vegetation at this altitude.
Brief History of Nepal
The history of Nepal extends back to centuries ago. The capital city of Kathmandu was called Nepal in ancient times. However, the whole country started to call with the same name in later generations. There are many legends and myths about how the name Nepal came into existence. Kathmandu was a big center of the wool trade with Tibet in ancient times. ‘Ne’ means wool in Tibetan language and ‘Pal’ means home. Hence, many people believe that Tibetans started to call Kathmandu by the name of Nepal and the name stuck.
Another legend has that there was a famous sage called ‘Ne’ who lived in Kathmandu valley. Hence the name Nepal was given to the city. There are other stories too which are attributed to the name of the country. Nepal has been ruled by various dynasties in its elaborate history. The Gopal dynasty, the Kirat dynasty, the Lichhavi dynasty, the Malla dynasty, and the Shah dynasty ruled Nepal during various times. Nepal is now a Federal Democratic Republic after the Shah dynasty was stripped of its power following the people’s revolution of 2006 BS.
Economy of Nepal
Nepal is a semi-modern economy with an annual GDP of $29 billion as of 2018. Agriculture is the largest industry in the country. It accounts for about 40% of the total GDP. Agriculture employs 65 percent of the total workforce in the country. Most of the people in Nepal take part in subsistence agriculture. Large scale commercial farming is low and so is the use of technology in agriculture. It is the main region why agricultural yield in Nepal is low compared to global benchmarks. Some of the most common crops in Nepal are rice, millet, wheat, barley, vegetables, and fruits.
Tourism is the second largest industry in Nepal. It accounts for 8 percent of the national GDP. It is the largest source for generating foreign revenue in Nepal. The industry employs more than a million people. Other major industries in Nepal are foreign employment, manufacturing, and services sector. Nepal relies on a lot of international loans and donations to overcome its budget deficit. The economy has seen some signs of improvement after the country became a republic in 2006. The annual growth rate of the national economy is currently 6.5 percent.
People of Nepal
Nepal is a multicultural and multiethnic country. The earliest settlers of the country are Kirats, Newars, Tharus and Khas Pahadis. The Kirats were the indigenous settlers of the eastern part of Nepal. The Newars were the indigenous settlers of the Kathmandu Valley. Most of the cultural marvel of the capital Kathmandu is the work of various generations of Newar rulers and settlers. The tharus are prehistoric tribes who have settled the plains of Nepal since ancient times. The Khas Pahadis were mainly settled in the western part of Nepal during ancient times.
Other ethnic groups of Nepal are Sherpas, Magars, Gurungs, Bhojpuris, Awadhis and Tamangs. Hinduism and Buddhism are the two main religions of Nepal. 80 percent of the people are Hindus and 15 percent of people are Buddhists. Religions like Islam, Christianity, and Sikhism are also practiced by a large number of people. Nepal is a secular country with freedom of faith. The most widely spoken languages in the country are Nepali, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Nepal Bhasa, Tamang Bhasa, Urdu, Hindi, and English.
Mountains of Nepal
Mountains are the jewel of Nepal. The Himalayan range lies on the northern border of Nepal. The Tibetan plateau lies on the other side of the Himalayas. Some of the highest mountains in the world are situated in Nepal. This includes eight of the 14 mountains in the world which are over 8,000 m in altitude. Some of the highest peaks in the world like Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Manaslu, Lhotse, Dhaulagiri, and Annapurna are located in Nepal.
Most of the mountains are open for climbing. Trekking and mountaineering bring a lot of tourists to Nepal. It is one of the largest earners of foreign currency in the country. You will need government permission and the company of licensed guides to carry out these mountaineering ordeals. Most of the mountains and the region surrounding it are protected as national parks.