General information on the kingdom:
Between India & the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.
147,181 Sq. Kms.
Approximately 21 Million
26° 12' and 30° 27' North.
80° 4' and 88° 12' East.
Over 40 Ethnic Groups & 70 Spoken Languages.
Multiparty Democracy with Constitutional Monarchy.
From the world's deepest gorge 'Kali-Gandaki' to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest at 8848m
Nepal possesses some of the most outstanding bio-diversity in the world, ranging from sub-tropical Rain-forests to Alpine deserts
The climate ranges from sub-tropical in the low lands to the Arctic in higher altitudes.
Impean Pheasant (Danfe).
Rhododendron arboreum (Lali Gurans).
World Heritage Sites
Ten (of which seven World Heritage Sites are situated within 20 km. of radius, in the Kathmandu Valley).
Flora and Fauna
840 different species of wet-land, migratory and residential birds. 8% of the world's population of birds.
11 of the 15 butterfly families in the world.
2% of the flowering plants.
4% of mammals on earth.
Home to Endangered Species like
Royal Bengal tiger, One-horned rhino, Snow - leopard, Red panda, Brown bear, Assamese macaque, Gangetic dolphin, wolf, wild elephant , giant hornbill, swamp deer, wild yak, Tibetan antelope, Blackbuck, four horned antelope, Musk deer, Pigmy hog, Haspid hare, Pangolin, Gharial, Indian bustard, Saras crane, Impian pheasant, Python, etc
A Living Cultural Heritage
Nepal's heritage is alive and dynamic. Shamanism, Pan-animism & Witch-craft are still practiced in remote regions. Temples, shrines, monuments, and monasteries are extremely active with devotees burning butter-lamps, singing hymns, chiming temple bells and playing drums. The only country that has a living goddess "Kumari".
Nepal is a developing country with an agricultural economy. In recent years, the country's efforts to expand into manufacturing industries and other technological sectors have achieved much progress. Farming is the main economic activity followed by manufacturing, trade, and tourism. The chief sources of foreign currency earnings are merchandise export, services, tourism, and Gurkha remittances. The annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about US$ 4.3 billion.
Eight out of 10 Nepalese are engaged in farming and it accounts for more than 40% of the GDP. Rolling fields and neat terraces can be seen all over the Terai flatlands and the hills of Nepal. Even in the highly urbanized Kathmandu Valley, large tracts of land outside the city areas are devoted to farming. Rice is the staple diet in Nepal and around three million tons are produced annually. Other major crops are maize, wheat, millet, and barley. Besides food grains, cash crops like sugarcane, oilseeds, tobacco, jute, and tea are also cultivated in large quantities.
Manufacturing is still at the developmental stage and it represents less than 10% of the GDP Major industries are woolen carpets, garments, textiles, leather products, paper, and cement. Other products made in Nepal are steel utensils, cigarettes, beverages, and sugar. There are many modern large-scale factories but the majority are cottage or small scale operations. Most of Nepal's industries are based in the Kathmandu Valley and a string of small towns in the southern Terai plains.
Commerce has been a major occupation in Nepal since early times. Being situated at the crossroads of the ancient trans-Himalayan trade route, trading is second nature to the Nepalese people. Foreign trade is characterized mainly by the import of manufactured products and export of agricultural raw materials. Nepal imports manufactured goods and petroleum products worth about US$ 1 billion annually. The value of exports is about US$ 315 million. Woolen carpets are Nepal's largest export, earning the country over US$ 135 million per year Garment exports account for more than US$ 74 million and handicraft goods bring in about US$ 1 million. Other important exports are pulses, hides and skins, jute and medicinal herbs.
In 1999, a total of 491,504 tourists visited Nepal, making tourism one of the largest industries in the Kingdom. This sector has been expanding rapidly since its inception in 1950. Thanks to Nepal's natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and the diversity of sight-seeing and adventure opportunities available. At one time, tourism used to be the biggest foreign currency earner for the country. Nepal earned over US$ 152 million from tourism in 1998.
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