About Nepal

Geography

Nepal is located in South Asia between China in the North & India in the south, east & west. While the total land area is 147,181 Sq. Km including water area of the country that is 3,830 Sq. Km. the geographical co-ordinates are 28 ° 00’ N 84 °00’E. Nepal falls in the temperate zone north of the Tropic of Cancer. Nepal’s ecological zones run east to west about 800Km along its Himalayan axis, 150 to 250 Km north to south, and are vertically intersected by the river systems. The country can be divided into three main geographical regions:


Nepal is commonly divided into three physiographic areas: Mountain, Hill and Terai. These ecological belts run east-west and are vertically intersected by Nepal’s major, north to south flowing river systems.The southern lowland plains or Terai bordering India are part of the northern rim of the Indo-Gangetic plains. They were formed and are fed by three major Himalayan rivers: the Kosi, the Narayani, and the Karnali as well as smaller rivers rising below the permanent snowline. This region has a subtropical to tropical climate. The outermost range of foothills called Shiwalik or Churia Range cresting at 700 to 1,000 metres (2,297 to 3,281 ft) marks the limit of the Gangetic Plain, however broad, low valleys called Inner Tarai (Bhitri Tarai Uptyaka) lie north of these foothills in several places.


The Terai (also Tarai) or Madhesh region begins at the Indian border and includes the southernmost part of the flat, intensively farmed Gangetic Plain called the Outer Terai. By the 19th century, timber and other resources were being exported to India. Industrialization based on agricultural products such as jute began in the 1930s and infrastructure such roadways, railways and electricity were extended across the border before it reached Nepal’s hill regions.

The Outer Terai is culturally more similar to adjacent parts of India’s Bihar and Uttar Pradesh than to the hill region of Nepal, although government offices are largely staffed by Paharis. Nepali is taught in schools and often spoken in government offices; however the local population mostly uses the languages spoken across the border in Bihar and U.P.The Outer Terai ends at the base of the first range of foothills called the Siwaliks or Churia. This range has a densely forested skirt of coarse alluvium called the bhabhar. Below the bhabhar, finer, less permeable sediments force groundwater to the surface in a zone of springs and marshes. In Persian, terai refers to wet or marshy ground. Before the use of DDT this was dangerously malarial. Nepal’s rulers used this for a defensive frontier called the char kose jhadi (four kos forest, one kos equalling about three kilometers or two miles).Above the bhabhar belt, the Siwaliks rise to about 700 metres (2,297 ft) with peaks as high as 1,000 metres (3,281 ft), steeper on their southern flanks because of faults known as the Main Frontal Thrust. This range is composed of poorly consolidated, coarse sediments that do not retain water or support soil development so there is virtually no agricultural potential and sparse population.In several places beyond the Siwaliks there are dūn valleys called Inner Terai These valleys have productive soil but were dangerously malarial except to indigenous Tharu people who had genetic resistance. In the mid-1950s DDT came into use to suppress mosquitos and the way was open to settlement from the land-poor hills, to the detriment of the Tharu.The Terai ends and the Hills begin at a higher range of foothills called the Mahabharat Range.

Situated south of the Mountain Region, the Hill Region (Pahar in Nepali) is mostly between 700 and 3,000 metres (2,000 and 10,000 ft) altitude. This region begins at the Mahabharat Range (Lesser Himalaya) where a fault system called the Main Boundary Thrust creates an escarpment 1,000 to 1,500 metres (3,000 to 5,000 ft) high, to a crest between 1,500 and 2,700 metres (5,000 and 9,000 ft).These steep southern slopes are nearly uninhabited, thus an effective buffer between languages and culture in the Terai and Hill regions. Hindu Paharis mainly populate river and stream bottoms that enable rice cultivation and are warm enough for winter/spring crops of wheat and potato. The increasingly urbanized Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys fall within the Hill region. Newars are an indigenous ethnic group with their own Tibeto-Burman language. The Newar were originally indigenous to the Kathmandu valley but have spread into Pokhara and other towns alongside urbanized Pahari.

Other indigenous janajati ethnic groups -— natively speaking highly localized Tibeto-Burman languages and dialects -— populate hillsides up to about 2,500 metres (8,000 ft). This group includes Magar and Kham Magar west of Pokhara, Gurung south of the Annapurnas, Tamang around the periphery of Kathmandu Valley and Rai, Koinch Sunuwar and Limbu further east. Temperate and subtropical fruits are grown as cash crops. Marijuana was grown and processed into Charas (hashish) until international pressure persuaded the government to outlaw it in 1976. There is increasing reliance on animal husbandry with elevation, using land above 2,000 metres (7,000 ft) for summer grazing and moving herds to lower elevations in winter. Grain production has not kept pace with population growth at elevations above 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) where colder temperatures inhibit double cropping. Food deficits drive emigration out of the hills in search of employment.The Hill region ends where ridges begin substantially rising out of the Temperate climate zone into subalpine climate above 3,000 metres (10,000 ft).

The Mountain Region or Parbat begins where high ridges (Nepali: लेख​; lekh) begin substantially rising above 3,000 metres (10,000 ft) into the subalpine and alpine zone which are mainly used for seasonal pasturage. A few tens kilometers further north the high Himalaya abruptly rise along the Main Central Thrust fault zone above the snow line at 5,000 to 5,500 metres (16,400 to 18,000 ft). Some 90 of Nepal’s peaks exceed 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) and eight exceed 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) including Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) and Kanchenjunga at 8,598 metres (28,209 ft)Unlike the Mahabharats, the Himalaya are not continuous across Nepal. Instead there are some 20 subranges including the Kanchenjunga massif along the Sikkim border, Mahalangur Himal around Mt. Everest. Langtang north of Kathmandu, Annapurna and Manaslu north of Pokhara, then Dhaulagiri further west with Kanjiroba north of Jumla and finally Gurans Himal in the far west.

The Mountain Region or Parbat begins where high ridges begin substantiallyRising above 3,000 metres (10,000 ft) into the subalpine and alpine zone which are mainly used for seasonal pasturage. A few tens kilometers further north the high Himalaya abruptly rise along the Main Central Thrust fault zone above the snow line at 5,000 to 5,500 metres (16,400 to 18,000 ft). Some 90 of Nepal’s peaks exceed 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) and eight exceed 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) including Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) and Kanchenjunga at 8,598 metres (28,209 ft).Unlike the Mahabharats, the Himalaya are not continuous across Nepal. Instead there are some 20 subranges including the Kanchenjunga massif along the Sikkim border, Mahalangur Himal around Mt. Everest. Langtang north of Kathmandu, Annapurna and Manaslu north of Pokhara, then Dhaulagiri further west with Kanjiroba north of Jumla and finally Gurans Himal in the far west.Himalayan Region