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Nepal General Information

Nepal, located between the Tibet autonomous region of China and India, is potentially one of the best exotic destinations in the world. It contains eight of the world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest - the worlds tallest and is proudly the birth place of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Nepal has long been the ultimate destination for trekkers and mountaineers from all over the world. In addition, Nepal is a land of great diversity, its culture; religions, geography and wildlife fascinate and challenge one's imagination. Thus, thousands of tourists flock to the Himalayan kingdom each year to capture the scenic views and to explore the spirit of adventure trekking.

Nepal is a country of contrasts, with wild and snowy high mountain peaks and hot and humid lowland forests. The life of its people also varies from the chaos and bustle of Kathmandu to quiet and remote mountain villages and rural terraced farmland.

Nature
Nepal covers a span of 147,181 sq. kilometers ranging from altitude of 70 meters to 8,848 meters. Mountains, mid hills, valleys and plains dominate the geography of landlocked Nepal that extends from the Himalayan range in the north to the Indo-Gangetic lowlands in south. Mt. Everest, the highest point of the Himalayas is in Nepal.

Physical features also include green paddy terraces, wind-swept deserts, dense forests and marshy grasslands. The country is well endowed with perennial rivers, lakes and glacier lakes that originate in the Himalayas.

People and Culture
The population of Nepal was recorded to be about 25 million. Ninety percent of Nepalese follow Hinduism; while five percent follow Buddhism and three percent follow Islam. The population comprises various groups of different races which are further divided into different castes. The distinction in caste and ethnicity is understood more easily with a view of customary layout of the population. Nepali is the official language of the state, spoken and understood by 100 percent of the population. Multiple ethnic groups speak more than a dozen other languages in about 92 different dialects. English is spoken by many in government and business offices.

Religion
In Nepal, Hinduism and Buddhism are the two main religions. The two have co-existed down the ages and many Hindu temples share the same complex as, Buddhist shrines. Hindu and Buddhist worshippers may regard the same god with different names while performing religious rites. Nepal has been declared as a secular country by the Parliament on May 18, 2006. Religions like Hinduism Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Bon are practiced here. The religious biggest and most popular festivals are Dashain and Tihar (celebration of lights dedicated to Goddess Laxmi)

Nepal at a Glence
Area: - 147,181 sq km
Geography: - Situated between China in the North and India in the South
Capital: - Kathmandu
Language: - Nepali
Political System: - Multiparty Democracy.
Population: - 25 million
People: - Nepal has more than 101 ethnic groups and 92 spoken languages
Currency: - Nepali Rupee (Approximately US $ 1 equals Rs 74 as of January 2006)

Geography
Nepal is independent country is bounded in the north by the Tibetan autonomous Tibet and in the east, south and west by India. The country can be divided into 3 main geographical regions.

Himalayan Region: -
Snow cap region. It is lies 15 percent of the total land area. The altitude of this region ranges between 4877m to 8848 m. It includes 8 of the 14 highest peaks in the world.

Hill Region:-
This region lays 68 percent of the total land area. It is formed by the Mahabharata range that soars up to 4877m and the lower Churia range.

Tarai Region: -
The low land Tarai lays 17 percent of the total land area of the country.
Entry Procedures & Visa Rules

I. Tourist Visa
Visa Facility Duration Fee
Multiple entry 15 days US$ 25
Multiple entry 30 days US$ 40
Multiple entry 90 days US$ 100

ii. Gratis (Free) Visa
Gratis visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of SAARC countries. However, for extension of visa for SAARC nationals, the rule is same as that of other nationals.

Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal.

For Visa Extension:
Tourists can stay for a maximum of 150 days in a visa year (Jan 1 to Dec 31) extending the visa at the rate of 2 US $ per day. However, a minimum amount of 30 US$ has to be paid for a period of 15 days or less.

Access to Nepal
By Air: - Nepal Airlines is the National Flag carrier of Nepal with flights to from verities countries. Other international airlines operating from to verities countries. Please contact the respective airlines for detail information about flights.

By Land:- All visitors entering Nepal by land must use no other entry points other than 1) Kakadvitta 2) Birgunj 3) Belhiya,Bhairahawa 4) Nepalgunj 5)Dhangadi 6) Mahendranagar and 7) Kodari in Nepal- China border. The overland tourists entering Nepal with their vehicles must possess an international carnet or complete custom formalities.

Foreign Exchange: -
Foreign currencies must be exchanged only through the banks or authorized foreign exchange dealers. The receipts from such transaction are to be obtained and retained. Visitors can exchange money at the foreign exchange counter at the airport upon arrival also. Indian currency Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes are not accepted for transaction of any kind.

Custom Formalities: -
All baggage must be declared and cleared through the custom on arrival at the entry. A tourist may bring in dutiable goods, such as tobacco and liquors, within the prescribed quantity free of duty. Carrying narcotics, arms and ammunition are strictly prohibited. Visitors can export souvenirs to their respective countries. The export of antiques requires special certificates from the Department of Archaeology, National Archive building Kathmandu.

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