Nepal is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. Nepal is the world's 93rd largest country by land mass and the 41st most populous country. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India. Specifically, the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Sikkim border Nepal, while across the Himalayas lies the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Nepal is separated from Bangladesh by the narrow Indian Siliguri corridor.
In the north you have Nepal’s eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains that includes Mount Everest which is the highest point on earth, called Mount Everest and known as Sagarmatha in Nepali. In the south you have the Terai region which is humid and fertile. Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha is also located in this region. Lumbini is considered one of the holiest places of the world’s greatest religions.
Data revealed in the latest consensus of 2011 that there are 123 languages which are the mother tongue. Nepali is the most common language, derived from Sanskrit and is also the official language of Nepal. Besides Nepali Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Tamang, Newari, Magar, Urdu, Awadhi, Bajjika, Limbu, Gurung etc are the other languages spoken in Nepal.
The National symbol of Nepal is Rhododendron Blossom. The National Bird is Impean Pheasant also fondly known as ‘Danfe’.
Nepal is the second richest country in water resources in the world. There are lots of big perennial rivers in Nepal and many tourists go for River rafting in Bhote Koshi, Trishuli, Gandaki etc. Nepal is called the land of forests, mountains and temples. Tourism is one of the main sources of income for the people of Nepal. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy.The climate of Nepal varies from topical monsoon climate to almost dry winters.Several high-valleys are located in the rain-shadow area where precipitation is partially blocked by mountains thus making the climate dry.
World heritage sites:
Kathmandu city (Kantipur): Capital of Nepal Kathmandu city has an exotic setting and is surrounded by green mountain walls above which tower the mighty snow capped peaks. The valley is situated at 1310 meters above sea level and spans over an area of 218 sq. miles.Kathmandu valley has fondly been described as an open air art gallery with thousands of sacred shrines in brick, metal, stone and wood scattered throughout it.
While browsing around Kathmandu Durbar Square you will visit Hanuman Dhoka, the historic palace of Kathmandu named after Monkey God, Hanuman. The Kings of Nepal were crowned and their coronations were held inside the court yard here. There is a statue of King Pratap Malla sitting on the stone pillar in the front and temple of Jagannath from mediaeval period .Within the walking distance you will find the tall temple of Taleju from 1549 AD, the large stone statue of Kal Bhairav, the God of destruction, the Big Bell and Big Drum, Lord Shiva of the Hindus with his consort Parvati peeping out from the window. The temple of Kumari is the residence of Living Goddess which is a must visit and in the vicinity of Kathmandu Durbar Square. Kumari means the virgin girl. The girl is selected from a Buddhist family. The residence building has profusely carved wooden balconies and window screen. Next to the temple of the living Goddess is a very interesting temple known as Kasthamandap which is believed to be built from a single tree trunk and the name Kathmandu is derived from this temple
This is a 2500 years old stupa situated on a hillock about 77 m above the ground level and it overlooks the Kathmandu valley. The painted eyes on four sides represents that the eyes of Buddha that are always watching over the people. This is a very religious shrine of the Buddhists. There are two Buddhist monasteries within the same premises and a temple of Haratimata where both the Buddhists and Hindus worship.
This is a temple of Lord Shiva – Pashupatinath with two tiered golden roof and four silver doors situated east of Kathmandu at the banks of Bagmati river. This being a holy place of pilgrimage attracts tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year in spring. At the banks of Bagmati river one can also observe the cremation taking place.
This stupa is 6 km to the east of Kathmandu and is said to have been built in the 5th century A.D. This ancient stupa is one of the biggest in the world and is ringed by Buddhist Lamas and monasteries. This is a very holy stupa for Tibetan Buddhists who come here in thousands in winter festival to pay their tributes.
Patan Durbar Square
The ancient city Patan is also known as Lalitpur, which means city of fine arts lies 5 km to the south of Kathmandu. The whole complex of Durbar Square consists of different sections of ancient palaces like Sundari Chowk (beautiful court yard) where exquisite windows and door carvings are seen. The Tushahity (Royal Bath) is a master piece of stone carvings, there is Mul Chowk (main court yard), Keshav Narayan Chowk. In front of the palace in the main square there is a statue of King Narendra Malla sitting on the stone pillar. Krishna Mandir temple(Shikhara architect) with 21 pinnacles built all in stone. There are also many other famous Buddhist temples like Hiranya Verna Maha Vihar (the Golden temple) and Maha Bouddha with ten thousand Buddha's images. Patan is also very famous in its art work. There are many fine craftsmen in Patan who produce bronze/brass art work in different images/statues of Hindu/Buddhist Gods and Goddesses, silver jewelleries, wood carvings.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
City of devotees lies little aloof from Katmandu and Patan to the east 12 km away. As soon as you enter the gate of Durbar Square of Bhaktapur the whole complex is impressive with beautiful Lion Gate, Golden Gate, palace of 55 windows, Batsala temple, barking Bell, the statue of King Bhupatendra Mall on a stone pillar, public bath and temple of Pashupatinath.The tallest temple of Nyatapola which means 5 tiers representing symbols of 5 basic elements of nature such as water, wind, fire, earth and sky. This is a highest pagoda temple of Nepal ever built with architectural perfection and artistic beauty in 1702 AD by the King Bhupatendra Malla. Next to Nyatapola is another giant temple of Bhairavnath, the God of Terror in three story built in 1718 AD. If you walk ahead for about 20 minutes you will come to another square of a Dattatraya temple built in 1427 AD from a trunk of single tree. Behind the temple there is a monastery where you will notice exquisitely carved door frame and windows.
Changu Narayan Temple:
This is the oldest temple of Vishnu built in early 5th century AD situated at the end of long ridge which runs well into the valley. This place is to the northeast 20 km from Katmandu through the countryside. It commands most magnificent views of Katmandu valley and Himalayas ranges on the back ground. This is also a most important historical, religious place where one can see largest number of finest stone sculptures dating back to 5th-9th century AD. This is also known as living monumental garden.
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