Glance of Nepal
Nepal enjoys the distinction of being the only Hindu Kingdom in the world. However , there is a harmonious blending of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Sandwiched between two Asian giants--China and India--Nepal traditionally has been characterized as "a yam caught between two rocks." Noted for its majestic Himalayas, which in Sanskrit means the abode of snow, Nepal is very mountainous and hilly. Its shape is roughly rectangular, about 800 kilometers long and about 100 to 200 kilometers wide, and comprises a total of 147,181 square kilometers of land. It is slightly larger than Bangladesh or the state of Arkansas. Nepal is a landlocked country, surrounded by India on three sides and by China's Xizang Autonomous Region (Tibet) to the north. It is separated from Bangladesh by an approximately 15 kilometer wide strip of India's state of West Bengal, and from Bhutan by the 88 kilometer wide Sikkim, also an Indian state. Such a confined geographical position is hardly enviable. Nepal is almost totally dependent on India for transit facilities and access to the sea--that is, the Bay of Bengal--even for most of the goods coming from China.
The History of Nepal is characterized by its isolated position in the Himalayas and its two dominant neighbors, India and China. Even though it was independent through most of its history, it was split in three from the 15th to 18th century. It was united as a monarchy, and experienced a failed struggle for democracy in the 20th century. Since the 1990s, the country has been in civil strife.
Nepali culture is very similar to the cultures of neighbouring Tibet and India. There are similarities in clothing, language and food. A typical Nepali meal is dal-bhat - boiled dal served with rice, vegetables and spicy relish. This is consumed twice daily, once in the morning and again after sunset. Between these main meals, snacks such as chiura (beaten rice) and tea are consumed. Meat, eggs, and fish are considered a treat. In the mountainous region the staple diet is based on wheat, maize, millet and potatoes. Millet-based alcoholic drinks known as Tongba and other cereal based alcohol are popular, including chhaang and the distilled rakshi. Traditional Nepali folklore retains a strong influence in society and its stories are widely acted out in dance and music. The culture of different ethnic groups is rich in their own ways. The Newari culture is the original and most distinguished culture of Kathmandu. Most of the festivals observed in the country are Newari. The Newar community enjoys its own special cuisine and the Newar people are well known for masked dance that tell stories of the gods and heroes. The associated music is percussion-based, sometimes with flutes or shawm accompanying the intense, nasal vocal lines. The sarangi, a four-stringed, hand-carved instrument is usually played by wandering minstrels. Popular musical styles are a variety of pop, religious and folk music, among other styles. A recent exponent of Nepali pop music is Pradip Neupane, who now resides near London. Since the sixties, Nepali rock or rock music, sung to Nepali lyrics, has become popular among youth. Also catching on quickly is Nepali rap and Nepali reggae which has blossomed with the advent of the music video industry. There are also many heavy metal bands. Musical genres from Tibet and India have had a strong influence on traditional Nepali music. Women, even of the musician castes, are less likely than men to play music, except in specific situations such as traditional all-female wedding parties. Houses in rural parts of Nepal are made up of stones and clay. Houses in rural parts of Nepal are made up of stones and clay. Football is the most popular sport, followed by cricket and kabaddi. The Martyrs Memorial Football League is the national football championship.
Tropical and temperate depending on the altitude and time of the year. The cold season starts from October to March and is also the best time to visit the country. The night temperature drops to freezing point while the day temperature has a comfortable average 25-28 0 C. The sky is generally very clear and bright; air is dry and warm. In April, May and early June, the weather, becomes hot and stuffy, with occasional evening thunder-`storms. Nature is in full bloom though the landscapes are hidden in heat mist with temperature between 30-38 0 C. By end of June the monsoon arrives and lasts almost 3 months.
Time: 5hrs. 45min. Ahead of GMT.
For treks going above 3500m we are very careful with acclimatization to altitude. Our trekking schedules have been carefully designed to minimize the effects. We ascend slowly and ensure an adequate number of rest days to enable safe acclimatization. It is still possible for mountain sickness to occur, so a close watch is kept on each group member by the sardar, who is trained in recognizing early symptoms of acute mountain sickness. These Symptoms include, nausea, lethargy and in extreme cases ataxia or loss of co-ordination and serves breathless- ness on rest. A mild headache and breathless- ness are not uncommon at altitude but in combination with any of these symptoms could be dangerous. So, please make sure that you inform the sardar immediately. It is essential at altitude that you fluid intake up and it is important that you drink at lest 4 liters o liquid per day.
Your Sarder can advice you more thoroughly regarding altitude problems. If you wish to know that more about acute mountain sickness a pamphlet is available free from the Himalayan Rescue Association in Kathmandu or refer to any of the trekking books in our Recommended Reading list.
EARLY AUTUMN (September 15-15 Oct):
The monsoon ends with very bright sky. The countryside is fresh and lush green. Khumbu, Rolwaling, Hongu Valley, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna Regions are best at this time of the year.
(15 Oct- 20 Nov), The very best season for treks to all parts of Nepal. Perhaps little crowded due to high season. But the weather is climatic factor makes it the best time to visit Nepal.
(Nov-Feb) Winter arrives in Kathmandu by mid Nov. Low –level treks within elevation of 3500m.are best at this time of the year due to good sunny weather and very little rain. But one should avoid crossing high passes after first week of Dec. due to snow. Khumbu, north of Kathamndu (both Helambu and Langtang), Pokhara valleys Trek, Ghorepani Circuit are all good trips to be considered at this time of the year.
spring arrives when we reach the month of March. Little early for crossing high passes, but excellent time for Helambu, (not crossing Gosaikkunda Pass) Langtang Khumbu, Pokhara Valley and Ghorepani area.
2nd HALF SPRING (April):
Excellent time to trek to Milk Danda and Makalu base camp for rhododendron and varieties of wild flowers in full bloom. The temperature starts getting warm and afternoon clouds and shower in most places. Low elevation of Pokhara starts getting hotter and quite hazy day by day, Khumhu offers excellent area for the hikes. It would be better to fly to Lukla as the walk from Jiri can be disappointing due to haze.
PRE-MONSOON(May & June):
The two pre-monsoon months are heavy with heat and haze at lower elevation. The trek at this time of the year should be at higher altitude to avoid the heat. The areas that are recommendable at this time of the year would be Khumbu (both way fly in and fly out) Rolwaling, Hongu, Langtang with Ganja La Pass and Annapurna Circuit.