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GeographyKnow Nepal

Geography of Nepal

Records mention the Gopalas and Mahishapalas believed to have been the earliest rulers with their capital at Matatirtha, the south-west corner of the Kathmandu Valley. From the 7th or 8th Century B.C. the Kirantis are said to have ruled the valley. Their famous King Yalumber is even mentioned in the epic, ‘Mahabharat’.

Story Highlights
  • Nepal, country of Asia, lying along the southern slopes of the Himalayan mountain ranges. It is a landlocked country located between India to the east, south, and west and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north.
  • In 1923, Britain recognized the absolute independence of Nepal. Between 1846 and 1951, the country was ruled by the Rana family, which always held the office of prime minister. In 1951, however, the king took over all power and proclaimed a constitutional monarchy. Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah became king in 1955.
  • The history of Nepal has been influenced by its position in the Himalaya and its two neighbours, modern day India and Tibet. It is a multiethnic, multiracial, multicultural, multi religious, and multilingual country.
  • Nepal is a sovereign independent kingdom situated on the southern slopes of the mid-Himalayas, the formidable range of eternal shows. It is located between 28.3949° N, 84.1240° E.

Nepal lies between China in the north and India to the south. It is spread over an area of 147,181 sq. kms and geographically divided into three regions. Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located mainly in the Himalayas, but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population; it is the 93rd largest country by area.

Nepal is a landlocked country located in South Asia with China in the north and India in the south, east and west. The country occupies 147,181 sq. km of land and lies between coordinates approximately 28°N and 84°E. Nepal falls in the temperate zone north of the Tropic of Cancer. The entire distance from east to west is about 800 km while from north to south is only 150 to 250 km. Nepal has vast water systems which drain south into India. The country can be divided into three main geographical regions: Himalayan region, mid hill region and the Tarai region. The highest point in the country is Mt. Everest (8,848 m) while the lowest point is in the Tarai plains of Kechana Kalan in Jhapa (60 m).

1. The Mountain Region

The mountainous region begins at 3000m leading up to the alpine pastures and temperate forests limited by the tree-line at 4,000 m and the snow line beginning at 5000 m. Eight of the world’s highest peaks (out of fourteen) that are above 8000m lie in Nepal: Mount Everest (8,848 m), Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), Lhotse (8,516 m), Makalu (8,463 m), Cho Oyu (8,201m), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Manaslu (8,163 m) and Annapurna (8,091 m). The inner Himalayan valley (above 3,600 m) such as Mustang and Dolpo are cold deserts sharing topographical characteristics with the Tibetan plateau. Nepal holds the so called “waters towers of South Asia” with its 6,000 rivers which are either snow-fed or dependent on rain. The perennial rivers include Mahakali, Karnali, Narayani and Koshi rivers originating in the Himalayas. Medium-sized rivers like Babai, West Rapti, Bagmati, Kamla, Kankai and Mechi originate in the Midlands and Mahabharat range.

2. The Hilly Region

Accounting from 64% of the total land of Nepal, the Hill region stands to be the region covering the most land area of the country and inhabits about 43% of the total population of the country. Between the elevation ranges of 610 meters to 4877 meters, the Hill region has some of the most amazing natural landscapes and well as the most diverse culture in Nepal. With a great deal offer the inhabitants as well as visitors, this area has certainly attracted a lot of attention among the varied geography of Nepal. The Hill region is home to many valleys including the Kathmandu valley, and the Pokhara valley is the most popular in the region along with being some of the most populated areas in the geographic area. While some of the major cities of Nepal lie in this region, the hillsides and rural areas still face many challenges making the population scarce in those areas. The Hill region has an even more extensive diversity with mountains, hills, deep valleys, and flatlands all in a small geographic area.

3. The Tarai Region

The Tarai region has a width ranging from 26km to 32 km and varies in altitude from 60m to 305 m. It occupies about 17 percent of total land area of the country. Further north, the Siwalik zone (700 – 1,500 m) and the Mahabharat range (1,500m – 2,700m) give way to the Duns (valleys), such as Trijuga, Sindhuli, Chitwan, Dang and Surkhet. The Midlands (600 – 3,500 m), north of the Mahabharat range is where the two beautiful valleys of Kathmandu and Pokhara lie.


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Kulendra Baral

Kulendra Baral is a travel and tourism specialist in Nepal. In 2004, Nepal Visitors was established and promoting the Nepal Tourism. Nepal Visitors is a travel information provider side where Nepalese travel related agencies are affiliated

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