Nepal is a favorite tourist destination with majestic Himalayan mountains, the essence of Buddhism, and serene, yet spellbinding sceneries. Check out these amazing geographical facts about Nepal.
Numbers and data
SURFACE: 147,200 square kilometers.
POPULATION: 28.109.000 inhabitants (IMF 2014 estimates)
CAPITAL: Kathmandu, with 10.8 million inhabitants.
Nepal is a small country. It measures 800 kilometers along its Himalayan axis and is about 150 to 250 kilometers wide.
It has 9 peaks over 7,000 meters high, including the highest mountain in the world.
The Mount Everest is 8,848 meters in height.
Its land elevation is less than 100 meters in the Terai region.
The Terai or Madhesh region begins at Nepal’s border with India and falls in the south of Nepal and extends east to west. This region falls in the Ganges basin and is heavily cultivated. This region is also where a cultural mix exists, with people speaking languages like Hindi, Awadhi, and Bhojpuri instead of Nepalese.
Above the Terai region, lies the Shivalik mountain range, or Churia Mountain Range. This is a mountainous regions with mountain altitude ranging from 1500 – 2000 meters. In the local population, this region might also be referred to as “Pahad”. As we proceed north, the mountains become taller reaching the elevation of 3000 meters, leading to the taller mountains of “Himal”.
The alpine valleys are semi-arid and include Humla, Jumla, Dolpo, Mustang, Manang and Khumbu areas of the Himalayas.
The mountains of this region are covered with snow. A fault zone acts a border between the taller peaks and the peaks below 3,000 meter. The mountain elevation abruptly rises. To the north, the Himalayas increase reaching the snow line between 5,000 and 5,500 meters, reaching more than 90 peaks over 7,000 meters and 8 peaks that exceed 8,000 meters in height.
This is where the highest mountains of the world are. The highest mountains in this region are:
Mount Everest: 8,848 meters
Kanchenjunga (the Five Treasure of the snow): 8,586 meters
Lhotse (The Mountain Wall of Legends): 8,516 meters
Mount Makalu (The Himalayan Pyramid): 8,481 meters
Mount Cho Oyu (The Turquoise Goddess): 8,188 meters
Dhaulagiri I (The Shining White Mountain): 8,167 meters
Mount Manaslu (The Mountain of Spirits): 8,156 meters
Annapurna I (The Goddess of the Harvest): 8,091 meters
Gyachung Kang: 7,957 meters
Annapurna II: 7,937 meters
Nepal has rainy season from June to September (since the warm summer winds in the interior of Asia create a zone of low pressure that attracts the high pressure moist winds from the Indian Ocean) and a dry season from October to June (since the cold temperatures in the vast interior creates a zone of high pressures causing a dry air that flows outwards).
There are tremendous variations in climate throughout Nepal. The Terai region has a tropical climate that extends to regions with an elevation of 500 – 1200 meters.
In the Shivalik region with peaks of 1,200 and 2,400 meters in altitude has a warm and temperate climate where the snowfall during winter.
Weather is arctic like as we cross the peaks with an elevation of 4400 meters.
Nepal gets annual showers during monsoon in June – July. The precipitation is lesser as we further our way to the north or move farther from the Bay of Bengal.
January is the coldest month, while April to May months are the driest months since the temperatures in the plains of Terai region can reach up to 40 degree Celsius further aiding the evaporation of water.
Staple crops include rice, corn, millet, barley, and potatoes. Marijuana is also cultivated in the form of Charas, however, its production is lower due to international pressure to cut it down. Livestock is an essential part. Animals can found grazing on regions with altitudes more than 3,000 meters.
The higher altitudes suffer from food shortage, and hence, also have less population.
Being majorly occupied by the Himalayas, Nepal is susceptible to damage by earthquakes.
On 25 of April of 2015, a devastating earthquake of magnitude 7.8 occurred with the epicenter in Lamjung district of Nepal. It was followed by at least 50 aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 4.6 to 5.1 on Richter scale.
This earthquake also moved Mount Everest by 3 centimeters.