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General Information

LOCATION: It borders with the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China in the North and India in the East, South and West respectively.

AREA: 147,181 sq. kilometers.

ALTITUDE: Varies from 70 meters to 8848 meters.

CAPITAL: Kathmandu. Kathmandu is a valley surrounded by four hills – Fulchowki, Chandragiri, Shivapuri and Nagarjun. Situated at the altitude of 4500 feet above sea level, Kathmandu is home to seven UNESCO world heritage sites.

POPULATION: 26,494,504

LANGUAGE: Nepali is the national language of Nepal. Educated people understand and speak English as well.

TIME: Nepal Time is 5 hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT and 15 minutes ahead of Indian standard time.

MONEY/ ATM: Nepalese currency is  Nepali Rupee (abbr. NPR) which is divided into paisa. Bank notes come in denominations of 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 rupees. Exchange rate is approximately US$ 1=NPR 100.00, EUR 1= NPR 134.30  (September 2013). You are kindly requested check rates here.

Major banks, hotels, and the exchange counters at Tribhuvan Airport provide services for exchanging foreign currency.

VISA and MASTERCARD are accepted in the cities, mostly Kathmandu and Pokhara. Bigger hotels and restaurants accept them but smaller hotels and restaurants will not accept them. There are ATMS in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other big cities in Nepal that accept VISA and MASTERCARD.

WEATHER : Nepal has two major seasons – the dry season (from October to May) and the monsoon season (from June to September). Early spring (March to April) and late autumn (October and November) are the best times to visit Nepal, and this period also offers the clearest mountain views and good weather for trekking. From December to February, there is snow on the mountains with freezing temperatures at high altitudes, while the summer months of June to August can be very hot for general travel.

RELIGION : Nepal is a secular state with a pre-dominance of Hindus and Buddhist Population.

SHOPPING: Shopping can be very rewarding and exciting in Kathmandu. There are numerous tourist shops on the main streets and in the hotel arcades brimming with tempting jewelry, statues, and typical Nepalese handicraft. Thangka is one of the best buys in Nepal. Each place has its specialty product, which is unique. Bhaktapur, for instance, is the place to buy pottery. The Traditional Craftsman’s Colony in Patan is a famous center for Nepalese handicraft. You may get carved wooden items while at Patan. As for jewelry, buyers can opt for loose gems or custom-made items.