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NEPAL AT A GLANCE

Nepal is home to some of the highest mountains in the world including Mount Everest (8848 m) and eight more from the top ten highest in the world. The breathtaking landscapes, the various cultures and traditions and the most welcoming people in the whole world makes Nepal a wonderful travel destination. Nepal is popular for mountaineering, trekking, bird watching, many adventures like rafting, jungle safari, paragliding and cultural tours. Geographically, Nepal lies in south east asia in between India and China with plain Terai region towards south in India and the high himalayas towards northern Chinese border. In the middle lies the mountain region with biggest valleys and cities in Nepal including Kathmandu and Pokhara.

The dramatic differences in elevation found in Nepal (200 m to 8848 m South-North) result in a variety of biomes, from tropical savannas along the Indian border, to subtropical broadleaf and coniferous forests in the Hill Region, to temperate broadleaf and coniferous forests on the slopes of the Himalaya, to montane grasslands and shrublands and rock and ice at the highest elevations. Because of the huge variety in vegetation and climate in such small country, Nepal is home to many of the world’s endangered flora and fauna.Nepal includes a total of about 900 species of birds among which 2 are endemic and 32 are globally threatened. Bird watching is also a popular thing to do in Nepal for bird enthusiasts. Nepal has established numerous National Parks and reserves in order to protect its diverse fauna. Most of the trekking regions lie in the Conservation Areas.

Nepal is a multicultural and multiethnic country. 123 different languages are spoken as mother language all over the country by different ethnic communities. Nepal was declared a secular country by the Parliament on May 18, 2006. Religions practiced in Nepal are: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism, Bon, ancestor worship and animism. The majority of Nepalis are either Hinduism or Buddhism. The two have co-existed in harmony through centuries.

Nepal does not have a distinct cooking style. However, food habits differ depending on the region. Nepali food has been influenced by Indian and Tibetan styles of cooking. Authentic Nepali taste is found in Newari and Thakai cuisines. Most Nepalis do not use cutlery but eat with their right hand.The regular Nepali meal is dal (lentil soup), bhat (boiled rice) and tarkari (curried vegetables), often accompanied by achar (pickle). Curried meat is very popular, but is saved for special occasions, as it is relatively more expensive. Momos (steamed or fried dumplings) deserve a mention as one of the most popular snack among Nepalis. Rotis (flat bread) and dhedo (boiled flour) also make meals in some homes.

For all those seeking nature and lifestyle in its best form, Nepal is a must visit destination!!