Nepal, situated between China and India is an important part of south Asia. The long-standing constitutional monarchy in the country was ended in June 2008. It was in June 2008 when King Gyanendra stepped down. The following month the country’s first president was chosen by the parliament.
Nepal is a famous tourist center. Most locals reside in the central region around Kahmandu Valley and the southern plain of Terai. The country is famous for its pristine beauty and is home to one of the most famous mountain range in the world. Named after British surveyor Sir George Everest, Mt. Everest is the highest peak at 29, 035 feet.
Sherpas make their living out of tourism and mountaineering. Tourists are happy to get a glimpse of Sherpa culture.
Nepal is popularly known as the Land of Everest. It is the only Hindu country in the world. Ancient temples, walking trails and beautiful monuments adorn the country. Although the GDP is not very high but the country is steeped in rich heritage and nature’s bliss and bounty.
People of Nepal
There are a lot of varying ethnic groups and castes in Nepal. It is estimated that there are about 103 different ethnic groups. The diversity has resulted over years of intermingling between two main groups – Mongolians of the north and Indo-Aryans of south and west regions. The main religion is Hinduism. Some people also follow Buddhism.
From east to west there are three main culture zones – High Himalayas, middle hills and Terai.
Each group has its own unique way of living. With varying lifestyle and different farming practices these groups are an example of unity in diversity. Experts say that a total of somewhere between 24 and100 different languages are spoken between these cultural groups. Nepalese is the unifying language between all these dialects.
English is widely spoken in most parts of Nepal, especially in Kathmadu Valley and Pokhara. But it is always good if you know a few basic words of Nepalese. You could also pick up the language while travelling in the country. The language is quite close to Hindi. The easiest word to pick up is Namaste. It is a form of greeting, or a way to say ‘see you soon’ that should be done with your hands folded together in prayer like position.
Nepalese is the national language, but there are many dialects and other languages spoken in different parts. The Newars of the Kathmandu Valley speak Newari. In Terai region Hindi and Maithali is commonly spoken.
Myriad cultures, varying ethnic groups and isolating geography has made Nepal a unique amalgamation. One cannot generalize the culture or people of the country. One of the most dominating cultural concepts of the country is caste system. It is strictly followed in the society. A person’s caste determines their hierarchy and status in the society. Joint family culture is still popular where the entire family stays together. In certain villages extended families make up the entire village itself.
Getting a visa for Nepal is not at all troublesome. Visas are easily issued to people from all across the world at Nepal Embassies or Consulates. One can also obtain visa while entering Nepal at the immigration office. You’d need a valid passport and 2 passport size photographs. The fee chart is given below.
Indian nationals do not require visa to enter Nepal.
One can also obtain tourist visa from the immigration offices mentioned below –
|Multiple entry||15 days||US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency|
|Multiple entry||30 days||US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency|
|Multiple entry||90 days||US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency|
Tourist Visa Extension
Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day
Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January – December).
Gratis visa for 30 days is available only for tourists of SAARC countries.