Enchantment is everywhere, be it on the shoulders of high mountains, terraced ridges ascending like stairways to sky, on quiet or rushing rivers, or in forests full of wildlife, flowers and birdsong.

Nepal is a country of amazing extremes. Imagine a rectangle, 500 by 150 miles (800 by 240km), divided lengthwise into three strips. The northernmost strip is the Himalayas; Meaning “abode of snow,” and includes eight of ten highest mountains in the world. The southernmost region, called the Terai, is an extension of the Gangetic plain of northern India, containing, jungles with elephants, rhinoceroses and tigers. These inhabitants contrast markedly with the yaks and snow leopard less than 100 miles (160 km) to the north.

Enchantment is everywhere, be it on the shoulders of high mountains, terraced ridges ascending like stairways to sky, on quiet or rushing rivers, or in forests full of wildlife, flowers and birdsong.

Nepal closed to foreigners and foreign influence until 1951 is one of the major tourist destinations in the South Asia now. It is a round-the-year destination with a difference, be it summer, monsoon, autumn or winter. One finds an unsurpassed splendor in all the seasons depending upon one’s mood and choice. Mother nature has gifted this country with bountiful beauty in all the seasons-the balmy and moderate summer of the valleys provides with the opportunity of strolling around the temples, monuments and shrines in a leisurely manners; the monsoon provides the vies of the soothing green lush valleys and an occasional opening up of the snow-capped peaks all along the northern border. Summer or winter, during the both extremes of the weather the climate is surprisingly moderate and soothing.


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 26o22′ and 30o27′ north latitude and 80o4′ and 80o12′ east longitude.

Total land area is 147,181 square kilometers, and its borders are contiguous with the Indian border in the west, south and east and with Tibetan autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China in the north.

Nepal’s boundary limits are as follows:
In the east, the Mechi River and Singallia ridge separate the country from Sikkim and West Bengal.

In the south, the boundary pillars and about nine meters of no-man’s land on either side demarcate the Nepalese territory from the Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

In the west Mahakali River is the natural border separating the Kingdom from Uttar Pradesh.

Nepal’s northern boundary merges with the Tibet Autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China. Nepal is a land-locked country, the nearest seacoast being 1,127 kilometers away in India.

The major part of the country is of high mountains and rolling hills. It accounts for about 83% of the total land and the plain of Terai occupies the remaining 17%. Altitude varies from 152 meters above the sea level in the Terai in the south to 8848 meters in the north Himalayas.

Climate and Rainfall

Nepal has four distinct seasons. Spring, from March to May is warm and dusty with rain showers. Summer, from June to August, is the monsoon season when the hills turn lush and green. Autumn, from September to November, is cool with clear skies, and is the most popular trekking season. In winter from December to February, it is cold at night and can be foggy in the early morning but afternoons are usually clear and pleasant, though there is occasional snow in the mountains.

Weather condition in Nepal varies from region to region. Summer and late spring temperatures range from more than 40 Degrees Celsius in the Terai to about 28 Degrees Celsius in the hilly region of the country. In winter, average maximum and minimum temperatures in the Terai range from a mild 23 Degrees Celsius to a brisk 7 Degrees Celsius while the central valleys experience a chilly 12 Degrees Celsius maximum temperature and a minimum temperature often falling below freezing point.

Much colder temperatures prevail at higher elevations. The Katmandu Valley situated at an altitude of 1310m, has a seasonable but equable climate with average summer and winter temperatures of 27 Degrees Celsius to 19 Degrees Celsius and 20 Degrees Celsius to 2 Degrees Celsius respectively. The annual rainfall in Katmandu generally exceeds 1300mm. The mean annual precipitation ranges from more than 6000mm along the southern slopes of the Annapurna range in central Nepal to less than the 250mm in the north central portion near the Tibetan plateau. Amounts varying between 1500 and 2500mm predominate over most of the country. On an average, about 80% of the precipitation is confined to the monsoon period (June-September).

Flora and Fauna

Nepal’s flora and fauna can be divided into four regions:-

1. Tropical Deciduous Monsoon Forest:

2. Subtropical Mixed Evergreen Forest:

3. Temperate Evergreen Forest:

4. Sub alpine and Alpine Zone:

Ranging from the subtropical forests of the Terai to the great peaks of the Himalayas in the north, Nepal abounds with some of the most spectacular sceneries in the whole of Asia, with a variety of fauna and flora also unparalleled elsewhere in the region. Between NepalÕs geographical extremes, one may find every vegetational type, from the treeless steppes of the Trans-Himalayan region in the extreme north and the birch, silver fir, larch and hemlock of the higher valleys to the oak, pine and rhododendron of the intermediate altitudes and the great sal and sissau forests of the south.

The rolling densely forested hills and broad Dun valleys of the Terai along with other parts of the country, were formerly, renowned for their abundance and variety o wildlife. Though somewhat depleted as a result of agricultural settlements, deforestation, poaching and other causes, Nepal can still boast richer and more varied flora and fauna than any other area in Asia. For practical purposes, NepalÕs flora and fauna can be divided into four regions:-

1. Tropical Deciduous Monsoon Forest:

This includes the Terai plains and the broad flat valleys or Duns found between successive hill ranges. The dominant tree species of this area are Sal (Shorea Robusta), sometimes associated with Semal (Bombax malabricum), Asna (Terminalia termentosa), Dalbergia spp and other species, and Pinus rosburghi occurring on the higher ridges of the Churia hills, which in places reach an altitude of 1800m. Tall coarse two-meter high elephant grass originally covered much of the Dun valleys but has now been largely replaced by agricultural settlements. The pipal (ficus religiosa) and the ÔbanyanÕ (ficus bengalensis) are to be noticed with their specific natural characteristics. This tropical zone is NepalÕs richest area for wildlife, with gaurs, buffaloes, four species of deer, tigers, leopards and other animals found in the forest areas rhinoceros, swamp deer and hot deer found in the valley grasslands and two species of crocodile and the Gangetic dolphin inhabiting the rivers. The principal birds are the peacock, jungle fowl and black partridge, while migratory duck and geese swarm on the ponds and lakes and big rivers of Terai. Terai forests are full of jasmin, minosa, accecia reeds and bamboo.

2. Subtropical Mixed Evergreen Forest:

This includes the Mahabharat Lekh, which rises to a height of about 2400m and comprises the outer wall of the Himalayan range. Great rivers such as the Karnali, Narayani, and Sapta Koshi flow through this area into the broad plains of the Terai. This zone also includes the so-called Ômiddle hillsÕ which extend northwards in a somewhat confused maze of ridges and valleys to the foot of the great Himalayas. Among the tree species characteristic of this region are Castenopsis indica in association with Schima wallichii, and other species such as Alnus nepalensis, Acer oblongum and various species of oak and rhododendron which cover the higher slopes where deforestation has not yet taken place. Orchids clothe the stems of trees and gigantic climbers smother their heads. The variety and abundance of the flora and fauna increase progressively with decreasing altitude and increasing luxurance of the vegetation. This zone is generally poor in wildlife. The only mammals, which are at all widely distributed, are wild boar, barking deer, serow, ghoral and bears. Different varieties of birds are also found in this zone. Different varieties of birds are also found in this zone.

3. Temperate Evergreen Forest:

Northward, on the lower slopes and spurs of the great Himalayas, oaks and pines are the dominant species up to an altitude of about 2400m above which are found dense conifer forests including Picea, Tusga, Larix and Abies spp. The latter is usually confined to higher elevations with Betula typically marking the upper limit of the tree line. At about 3600 to 3900m, rhododendron, bamboo and maples are commonly associated with the coniferous zone. Composition of he forest varies considerably with coniferous predominating in the west and eracaceous in the east. The wildlife of this region includes the Himalayan bear, serow, ghoral, barking deer and wildboar, with Himalayan tahr sometimes being seen on steep rocky faces above 2400m. The red panda is among the more interesting of the mammals found in this zone; it appears to be fairly distributed in suitable areas of the forest above 1800m. The rich and varied avifauna of this region includes several spectacular and beautiful pheasants, including the Danfe pheasant, NepalÕs national bird.

4. Subalpine and Alpine Zone:

Above the tree line, rhododendron, juniper scrub and other procumbent woody vegetation may extend to about 4200m where it is then succeeded by t a tundra-like association of short grasses, sedge mosses and alpine plants wherever there is sufficient soil. This continues up to the lower limit of perpetual snow and ice at about 5100m. The mammalian faun is sparse and unlikely to include any species other than Himalayan marmots, mouse hare, tahr, musk deer, snow leopard and occasionally blue sheep. In former times, the wild Yak and great Tibetan sheep could also be sighted in this region and it is possible that a few may still be surviving in areas such as Dolpa and Humla. The bird life such as lammergeyer, snowcock, snowpatridge, choughs and bunting, with redstarts and dippers often are seen along the streams and rivulets. Yaks are the only livestock, which thrive at high altitude. They serve both back and draught animals. The cheeses prepared out of the milk are edible for months. The female Yak provides milk to the Sherpas.

Of the wonderful flora and fauna must suffice to indicate what a paradise Nepal is to the lovers of wild animal and bird life, to the naturalists and to the foresters.