Nepal is one of the smallest countries of the world. Nepal covers only 0.3 % of the total land area of Asia and 0.03% of the total land area of the world. It is the landlocked country that lies in the lap of two giant nations; India in the East, West & South and China in the North. This country is on the developing phase. Though being a small country in the world Nepal is full of natural beauty, unique features and cultural diversity. Rhododendron is the national flower and cow is regarded as the national animal. Similarly, Lophophorus (Himalayan Monal) is the national bird of Nepal. Previously, Dhaka Topi and Daura Suruwal for men used to be the national dress of Nepal. But, nowadays cultural dresses of all the ethnic groups are considered as the national dress of Nepal. Nepal used to be the only kingdom in the world. But, after dethroning King Gyanendra Nepal has become the secular state.
In this small country there are about 125 ethnic groups and all of them are leaving respecting each other. Similarly, there is religious tolerance in Nepal. Even a single drop of blood has not been shed in Nepal for the sake of religion. Nepal is culturally rich country. In Nepal, majority of people follow Hinduism. According to the 2011 census report of Nepal, 84.2% of the Nepalese follow Hinduism, 9.0% people follow Buddhism, 4.4% people follow Muslim, 3.0% people follow Kirat, 1.42% follow Christianity, and 0.9% follow other religions like Jainism, Vaisnavism etc.
Similarly, if we talk about land features of Nepal, Nepal is the only country having extreme topographic variation ranging from 70 meter to 8848 meter from the sea level. Nepal has the world's highest peak Mt. Everest at an altitude of 8,848 meter from sea level. Similarly, Nepal has been distributed into three ecological regions; Himalayan, Hilly and Terai. Himalayan region covers 20% of total land area, Hilly region covers 63% of the total land area, and 17% of the total land area is covered by Terai. Terai region is known as the granary of Nepal. According to census report of 2011, 73.9% of people are fully depended on agriculture. Though, 73.9% percent Nepalese are fully dependent on agriculture only 28.7% of Nepal's land area is arable. Nepal has more than 6000 rivers and tributaries. Nepal is the second largest country in terms of water resource.
Nepal is dependent on other countries mostly due its landlocked features. Nepal is a country which has been exporting raw materials and importing finished goods. Hence, Nepal is bearing trade deficit since long time. Nepal is very rich country in terms of resources. But, the resources have not been used in its full extent. Research have shown that Nepal has the potentiality to produce 83,000 Megawatt electricity from the fast flowing rivers but unfortunately due to lack of huge investment in these sector Nepal has been able to produce only 1% of its total potential capacity. To be a developed country in the world, firstly Nepal must not depend on other countries in terms of hydropower.
As Nepal is the country full of natural attractions, Nepal can be the suitable tourism destination for the nature lover tourists. In Nepal, the tourists can go for a bush walk, jungle safari, elephant ride, hunting, white water rafting, honey hunting, bird watching, etc. Similarly, Nepal is also the suitable tourism destination for adventure lover tourists as well as culture lovers. Nepal is very in culture and traditions. Within this small area Nepal is a settlement of more than 120 ethnic groups. Some of the ethnic groups are on the verge of extinction; Kusunda is one of them. Raute, Chepang, etc are the other ethnic groups that are in the context of losing their identity. In Nepal still there are ethnic groups that are living in the primitive ages. Nepali people have been protecting their culture for commercial purpose too. Protecting the culture has been an income source for Tharu community people. They have been earning handsome amount for showing their cultural dances and serving their local cuisine for the tourists. Most of the tourists visiting Chitwan often don't miss watching Tharu cultural shows and eating Tharu cuisine.
Nepal is the country having great historical importance. Nepal is the country of "Gurkhas". Nepal is the only independent country in the world. Though Gurkha soldiers lacked modern arms and ammunitions, they protected Nepal's territory from British colonization by showing their bravery and courage. Nepali people feel proud to talk about their history.
Three of the world heritage sites in Kathmandu valley; Kathmandu durbar square, Bhaktapur durbar square and Patan durbar square highlight the historical significance of Nepal. These durbars were built by the Malla Kings. History lover tourists can visit these areas to know about the Nepalese history. In Nepal tourists can learn about the history related with Lichchhivi, Malla and Shah Dynasty. They can also watch the historical monuments, inscriptions, etc.
Nepal is also the important tourist destination for the religious tourists. Nepal is the birth place of Gautam Buddha. Gautam Buddha was born in Nepal in 6th century BC in Lumbini. Similarly, there is a belief among the Hindus that various gods and deities lived in Nepal. It is also the birthplace of Sita (wife of Lord Ram). Pashupatinath is one of the most popular Hindu temples all over the world. Around 1 million people visit Pashupatinath on the day of Shivaratri (believed to be the day Lord Shiva was born). Mostly the pilgrims coming to Nepal are Hindus and Buddhists. India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, China, Thailand, and many other Asian tourists visit Nepal for pilgrimage purpose. The only Living Goddess of the world Kumari is found in Nepal. Muktinath is the temple that is worshipped by both Hindu and Buddhists.
Nepal is also unique for vegetation. Nepal is the habitat for various endangered wild species of birds and animals.
Some famous religious temples and stupas in Nepal are:
6. Baraha Chhetra
11. Pathibhara Devi
12. Palanchok Bhagwati
13. Dolakha Bhimsen, etc.
Some famous places to visit in Nepal are:
1. Khaptad National Park
2. Sagarmatha National Park
3. Chitwan National Park
4. Annapurna Conservation Area
5. Kathmandu Durbar Square
6. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
7. Patan Durbar Square
8. Kumari Temple
9. Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
13. Rara National park
14. Shey Phoksundo National Park
15. Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve
16. Upper & Lower Dolpo
17. Upper & Lower Mustang
18. Bardia National Park, etc.
Some famous trekking routes are:
1. Annapurna region
2. Everest Base Camp
3. Upper Dolpo and Lower Dolpo
4. The Great Himalayan Trial
5. Upper Mustang & Lower Mustang
6. Langtang region
7. Rara Lake Trek, etc.
Some major mountain peaks in Nepal are:
1. Mt. Everest
2. Mt. Lhotse
3. Mt Cho oyu
4. Mt. Kanchenjunga
5. Mt. Makalu
6. Mt. Manaslu
7. Mt. Dhaulagiri
8. Mt. Annapurna, etc.
Unique features of Nepal:
1. Nepal is the country where Lord Buddha was born.
2. Nepal is the Land of Himalayas. More than one third Himalayan ranges of the world lies in Nepal.
3. Nepal is the home of world's highest peak Mt. Everest.
4. Nepal is the country with unique flag. Flag off Nepal is non-rectangular in shape.
5. Nepal is the only country where one horned rhino is found.
6. Spiny Babbler is the bird found only in Nepal.
7. Nepal is the only country with the Living Goddess "Kumari"
8. Nepal is the only country that has 7 World heritage sites within the distance of 15 km
9. Kaligandaki gorge is the world's deepest gorge (1200 meters)
10. Tilicho Lake in Nepal is the lake located at the highest altitude (4800 meters)
11. Everest View Hotel in Nepal is the hotel situated at highest altitude. (3962 meters)
12. Arun Valley is the valley located at an highest altitude.
13. Nepal is the only country with the extreme altitude variations ranging from 70 meters to the world's highest 8848 meters.
14. Though 81.3 % of the people in Nepal are Hindu, Nepal is a secular state.