Nepal, located in the terrain of the Himalayas, is truly a land of paradise blessed with absolutely stunning landscapes. The Himalayan tiny state is well-known for the diversity of its cultures, climates and Himalayan peaks. There are many awe-inspiring facts about this peace loving country. The land locked country is bordered by China on its north and India on its south, east and west. Nepal, though a poor country is very blessed in flora and fauna. Nepal is home to one of the few places on earth where you can see both the Bengal tiger and the one-horned rhinoceros. It is a must see place for all. Nepal opened its borders to the world in the 1950s and celebrated Nepal Tourism Year in 2011.
Take a look at the 11 wondrous facts about Nepal presented below.
- The tallest mountain in the world, the Mount Everest is in Nepal. Everest in the Nepali language is Sagarmatha which means goddess of the sky and it stands at a staggering 8,848 meters above sea level. In Nepal there are 8 of the world’s 14 highest mountains above 8000 meters including Mt. Everest. The peaks are – Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga (3rd highest), Mount Lhotse, Mount Makalu, Mount Cho Oyu (fourth, fifth and sixth respectively), Mount Dhaulagiri I, Mount Manaslu and Mount Annapurna (seventh, eighth and tenth tallest respectively). There are over 240 peaks above the height of 20,000 feet in Nepal’s mountain ranges.
- Nepal has all the conditions for qualifying as the best adventure tourism destination in the world. For people interested in trekking, rafting and hiking, Nepal is like heaven. The innumerable mountains make it a trekker’s paradise. Annapurna region of Nepal and Everest base camp trek are voted as the top ten trekking trails in the world. Nepal is the most preferred eco-tourism destination in the world too. Nepal is a four season travel destination.
- Nepal is the birth place of Lord Buddha- the messenger of peace and is also the only country where people worship the Living Goddess (Kumari). Lumbini is a pilgrimage site for many devout Buddhists.
- Nepal is a secular country, but Hinduism is the religion that dominates Nepal. Over 80% of the population in Nepal practices Hindu traditions and rituals. Buddhism is also a major religion here. Majority of the Nepalese are vegetarians. Goat is preferred as meat. Dal Bhat, a bland lentil soup, and rice are eaten every day by the local people, usually for every meal.
- People in Nepal do not greet one another with a handshake, but rather put their palms together and bow their forehead and say Namaste. Nepalese value their traditions, and respect their customs and traditions above anything else. Touching anything with your feet is considered offensive in Nepal.
- Nepali is the official language of Nepal. The prominent regional languages of Nepal are, Nepal Bhasa, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Limbu, Gurung, and Sherpa. Apart from that there are more than 100 indigenous languages spoken in Nepal, making it a linguistically blessed country. Saturday is the only official weekend day, but sometimes people are off for a half day on Fridays. Sunday is a normal work day.
- Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, also has many temples and palaces from the medieval era. The Kathmandu Durbar Square has been declared a world heritage site by the UNESCO, for the richness of the structures there. Kathmandu was once known as Kantipur, which means the “City of Glory.” There are also innumerable structures like Stupas and temples in Nepal, making the country a revered place for devotees. Nepal has the densest concentration of World Heritage Sites. Kathmandu valley alone has 7 World Heritage Cultural sites.
- The Sherpas are an ethnic group from mostly the eastern mountainous part of Nepal. Many are employed as porters for mountain expeditions. Many trekking groups refer to their porters as Sherpas.
- Nepal is the only country with altitudinal variation that ranges from 70 meters to 8848 meters. Nepal holds the wonderful highest lake on the earth (Tilicho 4800 meters). The deepest lake (145 meter) She Phoksundo at the highest elevation (3600 meters) is in Nepal. The deepest Kaligandaki gorge (1200 meter) and Arun valley– the highest valley on earth are too in Nepal.
- The flag of Nepal is the only flag in the world that is not rectangular or not quadrilateral in shape. The crimson red color of the flag signifies the color of its national flower, rhododendron. The color also stands for victory in war and the braveness of the Nepalese. The blue border of the flag symbolizes peace. The shape of the flag has two triangles which stand for the mountains of Nepal. The shape of the sun and the moon on the flag represents the aggressiveness of the warriors and calm and peace loving nature of the people.
- Nepal is the home land of world recognized Gurkhas. World history still remembers the glory of Gurkhas.