On the Top of the World…
Nepal in brief
Nepal is an ancient culture that despite two bulky neighbouring as India and China, has always maintained its own cultural and political autonomy. Nepal is a legendary place, lost between the arrival of the Hippie in the 70s and an ancient culture made of Buddhist and Hindu rites and beliefs that form a penetration of only two religions in the world. Nepal has within itself some of the highest mountains in the world (Everest, Annapurna, the legendary Kangchenjunga and many more ) and is composed, despite being a small country, from many different microclimates. The capital is Kathmandu which has the only international airport in Nepal. Nepal has many UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the temples and the Valley of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur ( where Bernardo Bertolucci shot the Little Buddha ), Patan, the Stoupa of Boudhanat, Lumbini ( the birthplace of the lord Buddha), the National Park Chitwan and more.
The best time to go
Nepal is subject to the activities of the monsoons. The best time to visit Nepal in its entirety goes from October/November to February, to avoid the summer monsoon, but also the heat of the plains that is felt from March to October. To visit Kathmandu and especially for trekking in the mountains you may prefer the shoulder season, especially from March to April, and from mid-October to mid-November, the periods in which you can avoid both the cold winter and the mud due to the summer rains. The second period is autumn, the best ever, because it is the driest one and the sky look particularly clear, that allows you to see the snowy Himalayas mountains at great distances.
Typically expeditions to the Everest and the others highest peaks are organized in two periods, from May 20 to June 5 and from the first to October 20, when the temperature on the summit of Everest is around -25 / -27 degrees, and exploit the only two “windows” of time Clement between moisture and snowfall summer and winter wind-storms. However, in the high mountains the weather can vary greatly depending on the situation, so we need to see the forecast for the following days and rely on experienced guides.
Size: 147,181 km²
Total population: about 30 million (29,959,364)
Official Language: Nepalese, various tribal languages
Religion: Hindus (80%), Buddhists (10%)
Ethnic origin: In Nepal they are counted more ‘than 100 ethnic groups. Most ‘are numerous: Newari, Chhetri, Bahun, Magar.
Form of State: Federal Parliamentary Republic (since 2008)
Development level: low-income country and development
The main economic resources of Nepal are made from ‘ agriculture and by tourism . International economic aid constitute a significant proportion of the national budget while reaching the target only in low percentages given bureaucracy cumbersome.
The history of Nepal
The History of Nepal gets lost in the ancient myth. The first inhabitants of the documented Kathmandu Valley were the Lichhavi ( VIII century BC ), which was followed by the Thakuri ( IX – XII century AD) and Malla ( XIII – the eighteenth century ). The unification of the country took place in 1768 to work Prithvi Narayan Shah , the founder of the last ruling dynasty. In the course of Nineteenth century Nepal clashed both with China and the ‘ British India, managing to retain autonomy in exchange for tributes and territorial concessions. In 1846 the general Jang Bahadur Rana plotted a coup which allowed his family to hold the reins of government of Nepal for over a century, confining the dynasty Shah on the margins of national politics.
In the years between the 1947 and 1951 the democratic movement overthrew the Rana family with the support of ‘ India , allowing the King Tribhuvan to return from exile. To these succeeded by his son Mahendra that in 1962 banned political parties and established the system of government panchayat (“Tips of the five”). The next monarch, Birendra, continued his father’s policy after finding himself forced popular protests (Jana Andolan, popular movement) of 1990 to concede the election. He was murdered by his son Dipendra in 2001 along with other members of the royal family. On that occasion, Gyanendra , Birendra’s younger brother, was among the few survivors and came to the throne a few days later.
In 2005 Gyanendra sacked the government and assumed directly executive power, which gave for the following year a new wave of popular discontent (Loktantra Andolan, democratic movement). From these events sprang the decision to deal with the revolutionary movement of inspiration Maoist . In 2006 the Maoists and the Nepalese government reached an agreement for a temporary constitution, paving the way for the government and the Parliament even to the rebels. The Legislature Interim led to the election of a constituent assembly within which it was discussed whether the state form that the form of government that Nepal should adopt. In 2007 was approved by the parliament a constitutional amendment that has constituted its first step in the transformation of Nepal into a Federal Republic . The last elections took place in 2008 sanctioning, with 220 seats out of 601, the clear victory of the Maoist party. After 240 years of monarchy, May 28 2008 in Nepal was proclaimed the Republic.
Religious Beliefs of Nepal
Nepal was up to 2006 the only state in the world to adopt the ‘ Hinduism as official religion. It was later proclaimed secular state with parliamentary resolution. Former sovereign still considered by some traditionalists a manifestation of God Vishnu . Although the majority of the population professes the ‘ Hinduism , has spread the Buddhism, in particular the current Tibetan Vajrayana. In some rural areas they will also practice Bön (Form of shamanism ) and the ‘ animism (the religion of Kiranti).
How to obtain a visa for Nepal
You ‘can get the visa at the entrance in the country at the land border or at the airport in Kathmandu submitting your passport (valid for at least six months on arrival) and two passport photos.
Rates to be paid locally for visa:
Validity 15 days: 25 Dollars
Validity 30 days: 40 Dollars
Validity 90 days: 100 US Dollars
If you travel to Nepal with a flight in transit to India, it may want to obtain a transit visa request from the Indian consular authorities in Italy. In the absence of a visa you can not leave the airport area (eg. In case of delays in coincidences). It is not allowed to do work or volunteer with a tourist visa.
The Nepalese Government has authorized the “Trekking Agency Association of Nepal” (TAAN) and “Nepal Tourism Board” (NTB) to adopt a registration system for foreign tourists called “Trekkers’ Information Management System” (TIMS). If you go to make a trek in Nepal, including those who are not part of an organized group, they must be in possession of a card issued by agencies TIMS TAAN or NTB. In an emergency, this system will help local authorities to identify the tourists.
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