Nepal Destinations Travel Guide

Flag of Nepal

Language: Nepali
Currency: Rupee (NPR)
Calling Code: 977

Nepal, whose official name is the Democratic Federal Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. Geographically it is located in the Himalayas, surrounded on the north by the People's Republic of China and on the south by India. It is separated from Bhutan by the Hindu state of Sikkim, by the so-called Siliguri Corridor. It is a country of mountainous nature in whose territory there are, totally or partially, some of the highest peaks of the Earth, highlighting Mount Everest (8848 meters above sea level), as well as seven other so-called eight-thousanders.

The modern Nepalese nation is configured as such since the unification of the regions under the direction and influence of the Gurkha king Prithvi Narayan, on September 25, 1768. Until 2006 Nepal was the only state in the world with Hinduism as the official religion . Since the decline of the monarchy, the country has been transformed into a secular state. Its recent history has been marked by a bloody civil war that ended with the triumph of the Maoist rebels of the PCN-M, the establishment of a government of national unity and the convening of a Constituent Assembly. This last body proclaimed on May 28, 2008 the establishment of a democratic federal republic, which ended more than 240 years of monarchy.

Nepal is considered a multicultural, multilingual and secular state. Despite being a small state, compared to its huge neighbors, the country has a wide and diverse variety of territories, ranging from the humid wooded plains of the Terai, to the highest and iciest peaks of the earth. The Nepalese people are mainly Hindu, despite having an ancient and deep Buddhist tradition, centered in the town of Lumbini, birthplace of Siddharta Gautama. Much of the population is concentrated in the valley and the city of Kathmandu, which is the capital of the State. The official language is Nepalese, the official currency is the Nepalese rupee, and the flag has the peculiarity of being the only one of a State that has no rectangle or square shape.


Travel Destination in Nepal

Chitwan National Park is a nature reserve situated in a Chitean District of Nepal. It covers a total area of 932 sq km.

Mount Everest or Qomolangma (Holy Mother) is situated in Solukhumbu District. It is the tallest peak in the World reaching an elevation of 8,848 m.

Royal Bardia National Park is a nature reserve in Bardia District of Nepal.

Shivapuri National Park is a nature preserve in the districts of Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk in Nepal.


Getting here

Entry requirements
To enter the country, foreign nationals (except Indians) need a passport that is still valid for six months and a visa, which can be obtained on arrival at the border crossing points in Nepal or at Kathmandu Airport. The fees are graduated depending on the length of stay:
15 days: US$25
30 days: US$40
90 days: US$100

The visa can also be applied for at the Nepalese embassy in Berlin or the Nepalese honorary consulates (there +5 € extra) in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart. Here the fees are about the same as at the airport (25/40/100€ for 15/30/90 days).

Children up to the age of 16 need a children's passport with a photo.

Entry must be with a passport that is valid upon entry (a temporary document is also possible).

Visas can be extended up to 150 days. If you exceed the specified length of stay, you will be charged USD 2 per day if you exceed 30 days, USD 3 per day if you exceed 90 days, and USD 5 per day if you exceed 90 days. In addition, a fine may be due.

More information is available from the Nepalese Department of Immigration.

By plane
Kathmandu internet wikipediacommons Airport (IATA: KTM) in Nepal is served by Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Thai Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines and Air Arabia, among others. There are currently no direct flights from Germany. It is also possible to fly to Delhi and travel from there to Kathmandu by bus or flight. Note that Kathmandu Airport does not allow instrument flights. Due to poor visibility, there are sometimes considerable delays.

The second international airport, Gautam Buddha International Airport formerly Bhairahawa, is near Lumbini but has few international connections.

By train
The only existing rail connection to India runs from Khajuri in Nepal to Jaynagar in the Indian state of Bihar. This line is operated by the Nepal State Railways. There are no border controls, i. H. Third-country nationals are not allowed to cross the border by train.

By bus
It is possible to arrive by bus from India. Some services are offered from Delhi.

A border crossing is in the far west at Kakarbhitta. Buses from Kathmandu take 12-16 hours.

car / motorcycle / bicycle
Entry by car or motorbike is possible. Note that the driving behavior in Nepal takes more than getting used to. A Carnet de Passage (available from the automobile clubs in D/A/CH) is required. An international driver's license is also recommended.


Around the country

Mobility is always a problem. In the Kathmandu valley, traffic has increased enormously in the last ten years, so that one often gets stuck in traffic. It doesn't really matter whether you're traveling by tuk-tuk, bus or taxi, depending on your wallet and the desired proximity to other people.

From time to time, overland roads are closed for a while due to protests by the Maoists (so-called "Bandhs"). The vehicles of tour operators (cars and buses) marked as "tourist" or the tourist buses can usually pass. It is possible to get on by domestic flight, which is quite fast, but also significantly more expensive than by bus. It is best to clarify the current political situation on site. Military checks are to be expected on overland trips, especially in the west of the country but also before Kathmandu or Pokhare. However, the tourist vehicles can pass through them.

There are no railways. Travel within Nepal is almost always done by bus. Since only very narrow roads across high mountains connect the towns and villages, enormous delays must always be expected. Bridges and paths are often partially damaged by falling rocks and can only be used in one lane.

In addition to public buses, tourist buses operate on the main routes. In addition to a seat (in the bus and not on the roof, since they only take as many passengers as there are seats), the tourist buses offer greater safety and better comfort. The vehicles are in good condition and drivers are encouraged to drive passively, i.e. safely.



The official language is Nepali, but there is an unmanageable variety of other languages and dialects in the multi-ethnic state of Nepal. Especially when trekking, you should make sure that your guide speaks the language(s) spoken in the respective region.

As a tourist, you can usually get around the country easily with English, most Nepali know at least a few words to negotiate prices or to offer goods.



The electricity network is now well developed in the tourist centers - if there is electricity. You have to be prepared for hours of power outages in all areas of Nepal at all hours of the day and night. Higher-class hotels usually have their own generator, otherwise it makes sense to carry flashlights. Charge your batteries (photo, mobile phone) whenever possible.



"The kitchen" in Nepal does not exist. The food is Tibetan in the mountain regions, international in Kathmandu + Pokara and Indian in the south. On the famous trekking paths you will always find something delicious to eat in the lodges, whereby the regional and vegetarian cuisine (Dahl Bhat) is recommended with a view to hygiene and environmental protection. Otherwise, the food should always be cooked, fried or peeled. We do not recommend eating salads, as they are washed with tap water and can therefore contain germs.

The national dish is daal baat (daal = lentils; baat = rice). In Nepal there are usually two meals; in the morning (around 9-10 h) Daal Baat and in the evening Daal Baat. In Tibetan and Newari cuisine, momo are offered. Momo are dumplings filled with vegetables or meat (chicken, buffalo) and served steamed or fried.

Breakfast in the European sense is not known in Nepal. The hotels and inns offer an "American" breakfast of eggs (scrambled or omelets), toast, jam, cereal, and buffalo cheese.

Thanks to tourism, almost every dish is now available in the larger cities, pizza, burgers ... Despite everything, the Nepalese stick to the Daal Baat.

The main drink is milk tea / black tea or water. Water should always be bought in capped and sealed bottles! Fruit juices and lassis (yoghurt drinks) are generally discouraged because they are mixed with water.

To avoid misunderstandings: Daal Baat is Dahl Bhat (whereby the spelling follows the German pronunciation). There is more to a good daal baat than just lentils and rice, namely vegetable curry, potato curry, different types of meat, pickles (chutneys), yoghurt. Each is individually seasoned and the Nepalese spice blends are delicious. The rice is unseasoned, so it's not salted either, so you can eat it with all the other things. There is a lot of rice with the meal, much more than we are used to as a side dish.

The milk tea is also seasoned, i. H. Milk and black tea, possibly fresh ginger slices and cardamom are boiled together and finally sugar is added.


Rules of conduct when eating

Most restaurants have knives and forks, or at least spoons. In less touristy places people still eat by hand. Make sure you only use your "right" hand. The left hand is considered unclean and is only used for going to the toilet. Only pass food on with your right hand!

For Hindus, an object touched with the lips (glasses, bottles) is unclean.


Arts and Culture

Nepal stands for a fascinating juxtaposition of neighboring cultures from India and Tibet, e.g. T. also for their merger. In the southern lowlands, in the Terai, you almost feel like you are in India, which is only evident from the place names that sound Indian (such as Biratnagar or Janakpur). Many Terai residents speak the same language as across the border and resemble their Indian neighbors in appearance and dress. The religious sites, which are predominantly Hindu, also show Indian architectural influences.

In the sparsely populated mountainous region, on the other hand, the majority of people live who are close to the Tibetans in terms of language, religion, architecture or cuisine. Thus, most of the people living there speak Sino-Tibetan languages and adhere to Buddhism.

In the Kathmandu valley, on the other hand, a fusion of cultures can be observed, for example in relation to architecture and religion: the famous temples of Kathmandu and Lalitpur, although Hindu, have architectural elements that can also be found in Tibet, in addition to Hindu deities.



In Kathmandu there are some bars and restaurants that are open until late in the evening. The main nightlife area is Thamel, which has numerous pubs, restaurants and also many backpacker accommodations in its winding streets.



There is something for all budgets and desires in the larger cities. When trekking rather simple accommodation. One should be careful in cities, rather to sleep in the direction of the inner courtyard, as loud barking dogs often disturb the night's sleep on the streets at night. Incidentally, many monasteries also offer overnight accommodation.

Hotel Siddhartha, Surkhet Road, Karkandho, Nepalgunj. Price: From US$33.


Calendar and holidays

In Nepal, the most common calendar is the Bikram Sambat. It has 12 months, the length of which varies between 29 and 32 days, and the year has 365 days. The Nepalese celebrate their New Year mainly on Nawa Barsa, the 1st Baishak. According to this calendar, December 25, 2010 is the 10th Poush 2067. Some people groups have a different New Year's date and a different count of the years. The religious holidays are based on the lunar calendar and are postponed in a similar way to our Easter festival.

Dashain, the most important festival for the Hindus, is towards the end of September/beginning of October. It lasts about seven days and is roughly equivalent to a harvest festival.
Diwali is another important festival of the Hindus, the festival of lights has a similar status as our Christmas.
Teej is a three-day festival that women celebrate with fasting and prayer
In addition to the Hindu holidays, there are also Buddhist holidays that are celebrated in the same way, such as Buddha Jayanti, the anniversary of Buddha's birth, which is celebrated on the full moon of May/June.



The political situation in Nepal has eased, but travel to Nepal is still subject to particular imponderables. In particular, the conflict with the Maoists has not yet come to an end, despite an agreement. The Federal Foreign Office provides up-to-date information.



In a country where sewage treatment plants are special, more attention should be paid to hygiene. Everything that can be eaten should be boiled or peeled beforehand. (Cook it, peel it or leave it!) With the exception of the tourist strongholds of Kathmandu and Pokhara, where it is safe to feast, in the remote villages a certain amount of care is recommended when choosing food and dining place.

Another problem is the catastrophically bad air in Kathmandu (Bangkok is nothing short of a climatic health resort!). Here it often helps to live on the edge of the valley (e.g. in Boudha) or even to move to the adjacent mountains. Measures to improve the air quality are always on the political agenda, but little has really been done in recent years.

altitude sickness
Drink a lot (2 liters + 1 liter per 1,000m altitude), slowly gain altitude (preferably no more than 400 meters in altitude per day from an altitude of around 3,000m) and, if in doubt, come down again(!). A lot has already been done with that.


Post and telecommunications

There are Internet cafes in all larger villages and tourist areas, some of which have very good speeds. In Kathmandu in particular, many Internet cafes have broadband connections and it is also possible to make phone calls over the Internet. Cell phone reception is only available in larger cities.



There are several versions of the origin of the toponym "Nepal". According to one of them, the toponym comes from the Sanskrit bases -nipa (“at the foot of the mountains”) and -alai (“dwelling”, “inhabited place”), that is, “dwelling at the foot of the mountain”, which corresponds to the geographical conditions of the country. According to another version, the word "Nepal" comes from the Tibetan "niampal" ("holy land"), which may be due to the fact that Siddhartha Gautama, who became known as the Buddha, was born in Nepal more than 2500 years ago.




Nepal is located in South Asia and extends approximately from latitude 26 to 30 north and longitude 80 to 88 east. Nepal covers an area of 147,516 square kilometers, of which approximately 143,000 square kilometers are land and the remaining 4,000 square kilometers are inland waters. The east-west extent is 885 kilometers and the maximum north-south extent, which is reached in western Nepal, is around 241 kilometers. Nepal lies between the Tibet region in the north and India in the south. Nepal borders (from west to east) the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and the former Kingdom of Sikkim, which joined the Indian Union.

In the north and east lies a large part of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest, whose summit at 8,848 meters is the highest point on earth. Seven of the other ten highest mountains in the world are also in Nepal. The deepest point, however, is 70 meters near Kencha Kalan (Kechana Kawal in Jhapa district) in the extreme southeast of Nepal. Over 40 percent of the country's surface is above 3,000 meters. This makes Nepal the highest average state in the world, while the Tibetan plateau reaches an average altitude of 4,500 meters.



In terms of geological history, the Himalayas are a relatively young folded mountain range at around 45 million years old, so they are less rounded and smoothed by erosion than other mountains. The rivers do not all flow into the Ganges, but the largest arise north of the main Himalayan range and have carved out through valleys during the mountain uplift. At around 6,000 meters - measured against the eight-thousanders Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) and Annapurna (8,091 m) that face each other - the Kali Gandaki is the deepest valley on earth.

This entire area is sparsely populated and is a popular destination for trekkers and mountaineers. From 1950 to 2005, 832 mountaineers had fatal accidents in the Nepalese Himalayas, around one in every hundred expedition participants on mountains above 6,000 meters high.

Structure of the country
In terms of natural space, Nepal can be divided into three main regions, the southern Terai, the central plateau and the high mountain region. Socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic aspects are also associated with this structure.

The Terai
The Terai forms the Nepalese part of the Ganges Plain. Over the past 50 years it has developed into an important economic and settlement area. Although the Terai only accounts for 14% of the country's area, 47% of the population lives there. Fertile soils with little risk of erosion and a frost-free climate all year round as well as good irrigation options make the Terai the most agriculturally valuable region.

Almost all industrial settlements outside the Kathmandu Valley are also located in this plain. The Mahendra Highway runs through the Terai as the only road that enables an east-west connection. Nine domestic airports are located in the Terai and offer direct flight connections with Kathmandu.

The Mittelland
The Siwaliks and the Mahabharata Range form the transition from the Terai to the midland, which reaches heights of up to around 3000 meters. The Mittelland has a very strongly structured relief. Factors such as microclimate, soils and geomorphology vary over a small area in the Central Plateau, meaning that the conditions for settlement and agriculture also vary greatly. Nevertheless, the Central Plateau represents the long-populated heartland of Nepal. 45% of the population live in the Central Plateau, covering 30% of the country's area.

Due to the high relief energy, the Mittelland is highly inhospitable to traffic. For a long time only the Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys had road connections, with Kathmandu only receiving road connections in the 1950s and Pokhara in the 1970s, Tribhuvan Rajmarg and Prithvi Rajmar g. The Mahendra Rajmarg, the first national longitudinal connection from Mechinagar to Bhim Datta, was built gradually in the Terai from the 1960s and was only completed in 1996 over a length of over 1000 km. Other parts of the country's central plateau were accessed from this road via cul-de-sacs, of which the Mechi Rajmarg (Ilam), the Dharan-Dhankuta-Rajmarg, the Ratna Rajmarg (Birendranagar) and the Mahakali Rajmarg (Amargadhi) are the most important. Numerous other cul-de-sacs followed and the existing ones are constantly being extended to the north at high speed. A longitudinal connection is currently being built through the Mittelland, which has been completed in numerous sections, but not yet throughout.

For a long time, Kathmandu had the country's only international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport. Two more, the Gautam Buddha International Airport in Siddharthanagar and the Pokhara International Airport, opened in 2022 and 2023.


The high mountain region

Almost all settlements in the high mountain region are concentrated in the valley areas. Summer settlements with pasture farming reach up to 5000 meters. The extremely high relief energy and high monsoon rainfall (over 5000 millimeters) on the southern slopes contribute to soil erosion and make agriculture difficult.

The northern sides of the main chain, which are in the rain shadow, receive very little rainfall (less than 200 millimeters), so agriculture is hardly possible. Forestry and forestry are important pillars of rural subsistence farming in the mountains. Overall, the high mountain region is a food deficit area. The most important external source of income is tourism. So far there is only one cul-de-sac from the south, namely to Jomsom and Muktinath, although it has not yet been developed. The only road that crosses the high mountains in Nepal and therefore the only land connection from Nepal to China is the Arniko Rajmarg from Kathmandu to Tibet; However, it has been difficult to pass for years due to numerous landslides on the Tibetan side. The numerous airstrips and airfields spread across the region represent an important transport connection with the rest of the country; the most important of these are Jomsom, Jimikot, Dolpa and Lukla.

As a result, walking is still an important form of transport, as it is in the Central Plateau. The high mountain regions tend to be less developed than the rest of the country. Particularly in the western parts of the high mountain regions, the human development index is significantly lower than the national average. It deviates from average by 15%.



Nepal mainly belongs to three catchment areas of approximately equal size, namely the Karnali (upper reaches of the Ghaghara in India), the Narayani and the Koshi. The Karnali drains most of western Nepal, the Narayani the central part of Nepal and the Koshi the east of the country. The only one not included in these catchment areas is the Mahakali, the border river in the west, which largely drains the Mahakali zone. All major rivers in the country flow directly or indirectly into one of the first three rivers: Seti, Bheri, western Rapti, Tila, Thuli Bheri, Humla Karnali, Mugu Karnali into the Karnali, Kali Gandaki, Seti Gandaki, Madi Khola, Marsyangdi, Budhigandaki, Trishuli, Bagmati and Eastern Rapti in the Narayani and Indrawati, Sunkoshi, Tamakoshi, Likhu Khola, Dudh Koshi, Arun and Tamor in the Koshi.



To this day, the population of Nepal is largely rural and agricultural. In 2021, 21 percent of Nepal's residents lived in cities,[11] making the country a very low proportion of urban residents compared to the rest of the world. However, urbanization has increased sharply in recent years, with growth rates in this area at 3.5% per year and higher.

Until the early 1990s, Nepal was centrally governed down to the local level. As part of democratization and decentralization, municipalities were given independence in several waves. The “city rights” titled “Nagarpalika”, “Up-Maha-Nagarpalika” and “Maha-Nagarpalika” are thus granted by the government.

With the exception of Kathmandu, all cities lack resources to a greater or lesser extent and self-government is therefore difficult to implement. In addition, there are still strong centralistic structures in the state administration that contradict the desired local self-government.

Depending on the size and financial strength of the municipality, there are three different levels of self-government. The Maha-Nagarpalika receives the most competences; there is only one city in this category in Nepal: Kathmandu. The next stage is the Up-Maha-Nagarpalika, such as Lalitpur or Pokhara; There are four of them in total. The lowest of the three stages is the Nagarpalika.

In many cases, other conditions for independence, such as certain infrastructural facilities or road connections, are not met, at least all year round. There are regional planning and political reasons why these municipalities were granted independence. Viewed in this light, Nepal's statistical urban population can safely be reduced by about half a million to get an idea of the country's true level of urbanization.

The three largest cities are in the mountains, but the majority of municipalities are in the Terai. The other municipalities in the mountains are often the smallest mountain towns, which, through the addition of surrounding villages, have a population of almost 20,000. The fact that a number of them are not urban centers is also shown by their comparatively low growth rate.

In addition to the high rural exodus rate, Nepal is experiencing a shift in population focus from the mountains to the Terai. More than half of the country's population already lives in this lowland strip along the border with India, and this is where most of the new cities are currently being built.

The largest population center was and still is the Kathmandu Valley with the twin city of Kathmandu/Lalitpur (Patan), the smaller neighboring city of Bhaktapur and a few small towns such as Madhyapur Thimi and Kirtipur. This metropolitan area also includes a few smaller towns near the valley, namely Banepa, Dhulikhel and Panauti. The Kathmandu Valley is largely urban sprawl and complete, almost always unplanned, absorption as settlement area is foreseeable. The area around Kathmandu today has a population of just over 1.5 million.

The second major population center in the mountains, which also has above-average growth rates, is the Pokhara Valley with the cities of Pokhara and Lekhnath, whose population has already exceeded 200,000 inhabitants. Otherwise there are only a few smaller towns worth mentioning scattered throughout the mountainous regions (from east to west):
Gorkha (formerly Prithvinarayan)
Ghorahi (formerly Tribhuvannagar)
Dipayal Silgadhi

In addition, the rest of the country's major cities are located in the Terai (from east to west):
Siddhartha Nagar
Bhim Datta (formerly Mahendranagar)

The recent name changes of some cities are due to the local authority receiving a new name upon incorporation. Prominent examples of this are the better-known town of Gorkha; the commune was officially called Prithivinarayan until 2009, but was then renamed after the core town of Gorkha. The old royal city of Patan near Kathmandu is now officially called Lalitpur. However, the old names are still in use.


Natural areas

The territory of Nepal, according to its natural and geographical features, is divided into altitudinal belts, stretching from west to east along the Himalayas.

Southern tropical belt up to 1900 m above sea level (Terai, Sivalik and the lower slopes of the Mahabharata). The average temperature in July is +27…+30°C, in January +15…+17°C. In summer - frequent floods, in winter - droughts. The Terai used to be covered with tropical jungle, but today many of the forests have been reduced to nothing, replaced by cultivated fields. The jungle has been preserved at the foot and on the slopes of Sivalik, especially in its eastern part.
Subtropical mountain belt (1200-1900 m). It is covered with broad-leaved forests (oak, chestnut, maple, hornbeam, elm, as well as magnolias, rhododendrons, camphor and laurel trees, banyan, mountain bamboo, orchids).
Mountain temperate belt (1900-2800 m). Deciduous forests.
Moderately cold belt (3000-4000 m). Deciduous trees are gradually being replaced by conifers (silver spruce, blue pine, larch, juniper tree, Himalayan cedar, fir above).
Alpine meadows (4000-5200 m).
Ice zone (above 5200 m).


National parks

Sagarmatha National Park is located in the northeast of the capital Kathmandu. The status of the National Park was granted in July 1976. The territory covers 1148 km² of the ecological zone of the Himalayas. The park is UNESCO World Heritage Site No. 120. Sagarmatha is the local name for Mount Everest, which lies on the northern border of the national park. The easiest way to get to the park is by flying from Kathmandu to Lukla. To stay in the park, you must pay a fee of $10. From the top of Kalapatar, a panorama of Everest opens up.
Annapurna National Park is located in the central part of Nepal, 180 km west of Kathmandu. On the territory of the park are the highest peaks - Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, separated by the deepest Kali Gandaki valley on the planet. The valley itself is geologically older than the Himalayas, and shellfish fossils can be found at its bottom. In the Kali Gandaki valley, Jomsom apples are grown, highly valued for their taste. These apples are exported to England for the Queen.
The Royal Chitwan National Park is located 200 km from the capital Kathmandu. The park, UNESCO World Heritage Site No. 284, was the hunting grounds of kings until the 1970s and was carefully guarded, and therefore avoided the destruction of the fauna by poachers. The park is interesting because Asian rhinos (almost completely exterminated in neighboring India), Bengal tigers, crocodiles (mashmaga is the local name for a crocodile), caimans and other interesting animals live on its territory. An elephant safari is organized in Chitwan (this word today in Nepal means not hunting, but just a trip) on elephants. This makes it possible to enter the impenetrable jungle and approach the rhinos at a distance of less than 10 m.



Population statistics from 1911 to 2020
Population - 30,430,267 people (2014 estimate)
Annual increase - 1.4% (fertility - 2.5 births per woman)
Average life expectancy - 64.6 years for men, 67 years for women
HIV infection - 0.5% (2007 estimate)
Urban population - 17%
Literacy - 62.7% of men, 34.9% of women (according to the 2001 census)

In cultural and ethnic terms, Nepal is a mixture of about a hundred nationalities and castes. Caste boundaries, as a rule, are transparent, and belonging to one or another caste also depends on the accepted tradition of the observer. The people of Nepal speak seventy different languages ​​and dialects.

Nepalese, Nepali:
the name of all citizens of Nepal.
self-name spread among the peoples of Nepal

The peoples of Nepal are predominantly speakers of the languages ​​of the Sino-Tibetan (Tibeto-Burmese group) and Indo-European language families.

Many nationalities are refugees, conquerors or settlers. Thus, the Bahuna people fled to Nepal from the south from the Muslim invasion around 1300, and the Sherpa people fled from the north from the Mongols about 500 years ago.

The origin of some ethnic groups is unclear, such as the Newari or the Tharu.

In addition, mention should be made of such nationalities as the Gurungs, Sherpas, Limbu and Rai.

For 49% of the population (according to the 2001 census), their mother tongue is Nepali. Other spoken languages: Maithili (12.4%), Bhojpuri (7.6%), Tharu (5.9%), Tamang (5.2%), Newari (3.6%) and Magars (3.4%).



According to official figures, 80.6% of the population professes Hinduism. According to independent estimates, the actual number of adherents of Hinduism is only 70%, or even less. This discrepancy is due to the fact that there are many peoples who, although formally declare their belonging to Hinduism, in reality practice animism or Buddhism. It is often difficult to draw a clear boundary, so it is impossible to speak about the accuracy of estimates. But anyway, Hinduism is the dominant religion in Nepal.

Approximately 10.7% of the population identify themselves as Buddhists, especially in the Kingdom of Mustang. There are also minorities who practice Islam, Kirant Kirant (mandham - an ancient belief of the Kirat people) and Dainism and belong to separate animistic beliefs.



The Nepalese caste system developed in parallel with the Indian one. It is known that the historical Buddha Gautama Siddharta (born 563 BC) belonged to the Kshatriya varna, the warrior varna. Indian influence especially increased in Nepal during the Gupta dynasty (320-500); Nepal then had the status of a "neighboring kingdom", but subordinate to Samudragupta.

Later, from the 10th century, many Hindus (as well as numerous Brahmins) migrated from India to Nepal, mainly to escape the Arab invasion and the introduction of Islam, especially from northeastern India. At the same time, the refugees sought to preserve the original culture and rituals.

To understand Nepalese caste relations, let us consider schematically the various caste systems.



ancient period
Once the valley of Kathmandu lay at the bottom of a huge mountain lake. After the earthquake, the water of the lake came down (according to the legend, the Bodhisattva Manjushri cut the water with a magic sword, according to another legend, it was Krishna, who, with the help of a staff, formed the Chobar Gorge, through which the water left), and the valley was inhabited by numerous people from the surrounding regions, who formed the Newari people. The valley was distinguished by high fertility, and the population - by great talents in art and crafts, and became famous throughout East Asia.

Nepal has gone through periods of prosperity and decline. Even before our era, Buddhism came to Nepal, and Nepal was a stronghold of Buddhism throughout the Himalayan region, as well as an important transit point on trade routes between India, Tibet and China.

Kingdom of Nepal
The heyday of Nepal occurred during the Newar Malla dynasty in the 13th-17th centuries, which left the most noticeable mark on the history of Nepal with an abundance of magnificent architectural monuments that have survived to this day, which largely shaped the face of the country in the eyes of the rest of the world. It is not for nothing that the era of Mull's reign is called the "Golden Era".

In 1768, King Prithvi Narayan Shah of Gorkha conquered the Kathmandu valley and moved his capital to the city of Kathmandu. Thus was the beginning of the reign of the Shah dynasty in Nepal. Although in the traditional Russian translation the title of the rulers of Nepal has always been translated as “king”, in the original it sounds like “shah-in-shah” (a shah among shahs) - similarly to the traditional title of the rulers of Iran and other countries of the East.

1814-1816 - Anglo-Nepalese war. The peace treaty basically defined the modern borders of Nepal, and made the state dependent on the British crown.

On September 15, 1846, conspirators led by Jang Bahadur, a young, ambitious and cruel aristocrat from the Chhetri caste in western Nepal, carried out a bloody palace coup, called the “Kot Massacre”.

For more than a century, the Rana dynasty of prime ministers ruled the country, and although this time is characterized by the isolation of the country and stagnation in almost all areas of life, Nepal managed to maintain its independence, falling into the position of a semi-colony of the British Empire. On January 1, 1923, a treaty of "friendship" was concluded with Great Britain, the country received formal independence.

At the end of 1950, King Tribhuvan left his palace, taking refuge in the Indian Embassy, ​​from where he then fled to India. At this time, supporters of the newly created political party, the Nepalese National Congress (NNC), seized power in most of the Terai and formed an Interim Government in the Indian border town of Birganj. In Nepal, clashes began between the supporters of the NNK and the Rana dynasty, during which not a single force achieved a decisive advantage. Then India intervened, and the proposed settlement plan was accepted by both sides. In accordance with this plan, King Tribhuvan returned to the capital in 1951 and formed a new government, including both Ran supporters and representatives of the NNC. The centuries-old isolation of the country was over: Nepal established relations with many states of the world.

In 1955, King Tribhuvan died (in particular, the capital's airport is named after him), and his son Mahendra took the throne. He proclaimed a new constitution that established a parliamentary system in Nepal in 1959. However, 3 years later, in 1962, King Mahendra recognized this "experiment" as a failure and dissolved the parliament. On May 16, 1962, a new constitution appeared, according to which Nepal again passed to an absolute monarchy. As a result, the prime minister and members of parliament were arrested and subjected to repression, and absolute monarchy was maintained in Nepal for the next 18 years.

In 1972, King Mahendra died, and his son Birendra succeeded to the throne, having received an excellent education at Eton and Harvard. Pro-democracy movements among the students pushed the new king to decide to hold a referendum in May 1980, which would ask about the nature of the future Nepalese government. The Nepalese were offered 2 options: the preservation of the absolute monarchy while carrying out democratic reforms and the transition to a multi-party system. Then the monarchy won the referendum, but the advantage was small.

At the same time, the population, which for the most part expected an immediate improvement in life after the introduction of democracy, quickly became disillusioned with the ruling party, riots began again in the country, and the government was forced to call early elections in 1994. This election was won by the United Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) under the leadership of Man Mohan Adhikari. A unique political situation was created: a government formed by the communists under a theocratic monarchy (Nepal is one of the few countries in which Hinduism is proclaimed the state religion). However, this situation did not last long: already in September 1995, the communist government received a vote of no confidence and was forced to resign, and a three-party coalition of the NNC, the right-wing Rastriya Prajatantra party and the pro-Indian Nepal Sabdhavana party came to power.

Fall of the monarchy
On February 13, 1996, the "People's Nepalese Army" (in fact, extremely few and poorly armed guerrillas), the armed wing of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists), launched the so-called "prolonged People's War" (a specific Maoist term). However, the Maoists received the support of local peasants, who began to join the partisan detachments by the hundreds. The rebel movement expanded, capturing more and more territories.

Political instability in the country has especially intensified since June 2001, when Crown Prince Dipendra shot his entire family and shot himself, killing King Birendra and almost all members of the royal family. The reason for the tragedy was that Dipendra had been in a love affair with Devyani Rana since 1990, whom he met while studying in London. Traditionally, the family of Nepalese aristocrats, Rana, until 1951 gave hereditary prime ministers of the country and was a rival of the royal family for power in Nepal, and the royal family was categorically against this marriage. The brother of the murdered king Gyanendra, who was very unpopular in the country, took the throne. Rumors spread throughout the country that it was he who allegedly was involved in the tragedy. Immediately after the change of power, mass riots began in the country, exacerbating an already difficult situation.

In an attempt to stabilize it, Gyanendra resorted to a series of unpopular measures, including the banning of political parties and the dissolution of the government, interspersing active military action against the Maoists with negotiations. Meanwhile, the Maoists took control of a significant part of the territory of Nepal, while government troops firmly held the Kathmandu valley, the outskirts of Pokhara, the most populated part of the Terai and areas of the main tourist routes in the vicinity of Everest and Annapurna.

In 2005, the king effectively dissolved parliament.

In connection with the intensification of hostilities, the tourist flow began to decline and by 2005 it had fallen five times, which hit the economy of Nepal. At the same time, the Maoists emphasized that they were not waging war against tourists. For all the time of hostilities, not a single foreign tourist was killed. Moreover, the Maoists encouraged foreign tourism in the territories they controlled. At the entrance, tourists paid a "revolutionary tax", approximately two dollars a day per person, they were given a receipt. In the event of a hike delay when leaving the territory, they paid the difference for additional days in excess of the dates noted on the receipt.

Opposing the king's authoritarian measures, the leading political parties formed an alliance with Nepal's Maoists.

In April 2006, a general strike began in the country.

On July 11, 2006, the Nepalese parliament stripped King Gyanendra of his right to veto laws and bills. A month before, the deputies unanimously took away the post of supreme commander of the army from the king, deprived him of immunity (it became possible to put him on trial), and also ordered him to pay taxes. Thus, the parliament completely excluded him from the political system of the country. In addition, the deputies decided from now on to consider Nepal a secular state, thus taking away the title of "the incarnation of the god Vishnu" from Gyanendra. A coalition government was formed.

On November 21, 2006, the seven-party government made peace with the Maoists, announcing the end of the civil war. Under the terms of this deal, the Maoists agreed to lay down their arms in exchange for their integration into the ranks of the regular army and government administration. For this, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who became the main figure in the country in May 2006, promised to give the Maoists 73 out of 330 seats in the new parliament.

Republic period
On January 14, 2007, the parliament adopted an interim constitution, according to which the king lost his head of state status and power functions were transferred to the prime minister. At the same time, the Maoists achieved an increase in representation in parliament to 83 seats, became the largest opposition party and received seats in the cabinet. The Nepalese National Congress, led by the Prime Minister, won 85 seats.


Elections to the Constitutional Assembly were scheduled for June 20, 2007 in the country. The Nepalese Congress Party - supporters of Prime Minister Koirala - believed that Nepal should be a constitutional monarchy, and the king should be placed under indefinite house arrest for suppressing popular demonstrations. At the same time, in the north of Nepal, the armed groups of the Maoists handed over their weapons to special storage facilities, which were controlled by international observers. The acceptance of weapons was carried out by a special commission, which is made up of UN employees and veterans of the British special forces from the Gurkhas.

The elections were rescheduled for November 22, 2007. At the first meeting, the deputies of the Constitutional Assembly would have to decide the fate of the monarchy in Nepal. Although an amendment was adopted in the interim constitution in April 2007, allowing it to be done directly by parliament before the elections to the Constituent Assembly, in case the king interferes with their holding. After that, the deputies of the Constitutional Assembly had to develop the text of the new fundamental law of the country. The Maoists insisted on the final transformation of Nepal into a parliamentary republic. In September, the Maoists put forward a demand for the proclamation of a republic and the replacement of the mixed voting system with a proportional one at an extraordinary session of the interim parliament on October 11, 2007. On October 5, elections to the Constitutional Assembly were once again postponed for an indefinite period. Voting on the issue of declaring a republic and replacing the electoral system due to the intervention of pro-monarchist forces (the Nepalese Congress, the United Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Nepal) was postponed three times: first to October 14, then to October 16 and the last time to October 29, 2007. On November 4, the extraordinary session ended. By a majority vote, it was decided to instruct the government to develop a draft amendment to the constitution that would allow proclaiming Nepal a republic, as well as change the electoral system from a mixed (50% + 50%) to a proportional one, for consideration at the regular session of parliament, which opened on November 19, 2007, but through 11 minutes after the opening, the next meeting was adjourned until 29 November.

Despite the adoption at the congress on September 22-23, 2007 by the Nepalese Congress party of the decision to vote in the Constitutional Assembly for the establishment of a republic, this party, led by Prime Minister Girija Koirala, was an obstacle to the establishment of a republican system in the country. Some members of the party have openly stated that they will ignore the decisions of the November 4, 2007 extraordinary session of parliament on the development of legislation to proclaim a republic in the current session of parliament. The Maoists, on the other hand, put the issue of a republic and a proportional electoral system at the forefront - as long as the "Nepalese Congress" will prevent the proclamation of a republic and change the electoral system, the Maoists will prevent the issue of calling elections to the Constituent Assembly.

On December 28, 2007, the interim parliament proclaimed Nepal a democratic federal republic. The decision was subject to approval by the Constitutional Assembly. Until then, the king of Nepal, Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, deprived of real power, continued to live in the royal palace.

On April 10, 2008, elections were held to the Constituent Assembly, which, being a provisional body of power (parliament), was supposed to prepare a Constitution in two years, on the basis of which it was planned to hold subsequent elections. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) won 220 out of 601 seats, and its leader Pushpa Kamal Dahala (better known as "Comrade Prachanda") led a government that included the Maoist Communist Party, the Communist Party (United Marxist-Leninist) and deputies from " Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum".

On May 28, 2008 at 23:26 local time, the Constituent Assembly of Nepal by 560 votes to 4 (members of the monarchical Rashtriya Prajantra Party) proclaimed Nepal a federal democratic republic. It was established that the prime minister would head the executive branch. The former royal palace is now a museum.

Soon, Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigned, the reason for which was the violation of the peace agreements by the commander-in-chief of the Nepalese armed forces, General Rukmangud Katawala - he refused to integrate the former Maoist guerrillas into the army.

The new coalition government was formed by the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist), which had the third largest faction in Parliament (103 seats out of 601), and it, in turn, resigned in June 2010. However, for a long time, the parliament failed to elect a new prime minister, and the government continued to function as "acting". On February 10, 2014, Sushil Koirala was elected as the new Prime Minister.


In May 2010, a 2-year period expired, for which it was planned to prepare the Constitution, which was not done. Therefore, the term of office of the Constitutional Assembly was extended. In June 2015, political leaders reached an agreement on a new constitution for Nepal.

Distribution of seats in Parliament (Constituent Assembly/Constitutional Assembly) as of 2013.

In 2015, an earthquake occurred in the country, which caused numerous destructions.

In the fall of 2015, representatives of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) took over the key posts of President and Prime Minister. In August 2016, the Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), Pushpa Kamal Dahal, took over the government.

In the parliamentary elections in November-December 2017 to the House of Representatives and February 2018 to the National Assembly, the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) won. After the February 15 elections, the Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli led the government.

On July 14, 2021, Sher Bahadur Deuba, chairman of the Nepalese Congress, took over the government.


State structure

According to the interim constitution of 2007, Nepal is a parliamentary republic.

According to the Constitution of 2015, Nepal is proclaimed a state focused on the construction of socialism.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the country in 2018 was classified on the Democracy Index as a hybrid regime.

House of Representatives
Nepalese Communist Party -ML 95
Nepalese Congress 63
Nepalese Communist Party -MC 49
Nepalese Communist Party -O 25
People's Socialist Party 21
Independent 5

National Assembly
Nepalese Communist Party -ML 18
Nepalese Congress 10
Nepalese Communist Party -MC 16
Nepalese Communist Party -O 9
Independent 5

Executive branch (as of 2015)
President and Vice President
The head of state is the president. The current president, Bidhya Devi Bhandari, who served as vice chairman of the ruling Communist Party, was elected in October 2015 by the Nepalese parliament with 327 votes, her rival Kul Bahadur Gurung received 214 votes.

Under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Chairman of the Constituent Assembly, and Vice Chairman are elected on the basis of "political understanding". During the 2008 presidential election, the parties failed to agree on candidates for the position of vice president, but the elections were declared valid. Parmanand Jha of the Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum was elected Vice President with the support of the Nepalese Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist).

The head of government is the prime minister. On February 10, 2014, Sushil Koirala was elected as the new Prime Minister. The election of Koirala became possible as a result of an agreement reached between the Nepalese Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist), which agreed to support the candidacy of the leader of the centrists. As Koirala said, “Nepal's main task now is to adopt a constitution. We will try to complete it within a year." Koirala's candidacy was approved by 405 out of 575 deputies of the 2nd Constituent Assembly. Since February 15, 2018, the new Prime Minister Oli, Khadga Prasad Sharma. The government includes representatives of communists and socialists.

Judicial branch
In accordance with Article 101 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal, the following courts operate in the country:
Supreme Court;
appellate courts;
district courts.

In addition to the above, special courts, judicial institutions or tribunals may also be established to deal with special categories of cases, but no court, judicial institution or tribunal shall be established to deal with specific cases.

The highest judicial body in Nepal is the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is appointed by the President of the country on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. The Chief Justice, in turn, on the recommendation of the Judicial Council, appoints other judges of the Supreme Court, which cannot be more than 14. If this number of judges is not enough, ad hoc judges may be appointed for a certain period.


Foreign policy

Nepal is landlocked and lies between its two major neighbors, the People's Republic of China and India. In the north of the country, the Himalayas form a natural and almost impassable border with China. In the south, east and west, Nepal is surrounded by India. Having no access to the sea, Nepal became dependent on India due to the transit of goods through its territory. During the existence of British India (1858-1947), Nepal followed a policy of isolationism. Such a policy was formed due to the fact that the country partially avoided colonization expansions and retained its independence. Since the middle of the 19th century, when the British Empire finally conquered India, and the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) in China was in decline, Nepal managed to conclude contractual relations with London on the best terms for itself. By maintaining autonomy in domestic politics, Nepal received a guarantee that the British Empire would protect it in the event of external aggression. In return, London received units of Gurkha soldiers from Nepal, who came to play a vital role in maintaining order in British India.



Nepal is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. GDP per capita (in 2009) - 1.2 thousand dollars (159th place in the world according to the IMF). The unemployment rate is 46% (in 2008).

The main branch of the economy is agriculture (76% of employees, 35% of GDP) - rice, corn, cereals, sugar cane, jute, root crops. Meat and dairy farming - buffaloes.

Industry (6% of employees, 16% of GDP) - processing of agricultural products (jute, sugar, tobacco, grain), carpet production, brick production.

Service sector - 18% of employees, 49% of GDP.

The main source of foreign exchange earnings is foreign tourism.

International trade
Foreign trade is almost completely focused on India, and Kathmandu's dependence on New Delhi only grew in the 2000s: if in 2005 India accounted for 53.7% of Nepal's exports and 47.7% of the imports of the Himalayan country, then in 2011 these the figures were 66.4% and 65.2%, respectively. Export - 804 million dollars (in 2017) - textile and weaving goods, including clothes - 317 million dollars, food products, including fruit juices - 138 million dollars, agricultural raw materials (tea, nuts, spices, etc.) .) - 95 million dollars, metal products - approx. $70 million

The main buyers are India (54%), USA (11%), Turkey (6.7%), Germany (4.1%).

Imports - $9.56 billion (2017) - petroleum products, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, vehicles, semi-finished metal products, gold, electronics, medicines.

The main suppliers are India (63%), China (12%), Germany (2%).



Nepal remains quite isolated from the world's main transport routes. At the same time, air communication within the country is quite developed: there are 47 airports, 11 of which are concrete-paved, the frequency of flights corresponds to the needs. The northern two-thirds of the country is mountainous, making road construction and maintenance difficult and costly. In 2007, the length of asphalt roads was 10142 km, unpaved roads - 7140 km. In 2018, there were two railway lines in the south of the country with a total length of 34 km.

More than a third of Nepal's population lives within two hours' walk of any all-weather road. Only recently roads connected all the administrative centers with the capital Kathmandu. In 2009, about 60% of the roads were country roads and impassable during the rainy season. Maritime communication with Kathmandu is carried out through the port of Indian Calcutta. Due to the poor condition of the roads, Nepaleses have difficulty accessing markets, schools and hospitals.


Mass media

The state television company, Nepal Television, includes the TV channel of the same name, the state radio company Radio Nepal includes the radio station of the same name.