General Information

Area : 147,181 sq km (56,827 sq miles).
Population : 22,367,048 (official estimate 1999).
Population Density : 152.0 per sq km.
Capital : Kathmandu.
Population :
535,000 (1993).

GEOGRAPHY : Nepal is a landlocked kingdom sharing borders with Tibet to the north and northwest, and India to the west, south and east. The country can be divided into five zones: the Terai, the Siwaliks, the Mahabharat Lekh, the Midlands or Pahar and the Himalayas. The greater part of the country lies on the southern slope of the Himalayas, extending down from the highest peaks through hill country to the upper edge of the Ganges Plain. The hilly central area is crossed by the Lower Himalayas where there are eight of the highest peaks in the world, leading up to Mount Everest. Wildlife in Nepal includes tigers, leopards, gaur, elephants, buffalo, deer and rhinos.

Government : Constitutional monarchy.
Head of State :
King Maharajadhira Gyanendra since 2001.
Head of Government :
Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa since 2003.

Language : The official language is Nepali. There are many other languages, including Maithili and Bhojpuri. English is spoken in business circles and by people involved in the travel trade.

Religion : Mainly Hindu and Buddhist with a small Muslim minority.
Time : GMT + 5.45.
Electricity : 220 volts AC, 50Hz. There are frequent power cuts.

Communications :

Telephone : IDD is available to all major cities. Country code: 977. Outgoing international code : 00. The Telecommunication Office, Tripureshwar, deals with telephone calls and cables. The International Telephone Office is open Mon-Thurs 0900-1400 and Fri 0900-1330. Hotels and private communication centres provide long-distance telephone services (ISD, STD).

Mobile telephone : The Nepalese mobile network uses PDC (Personal Digital Cellular System) technology, which is not compatible with GSM or other mobile services.

Fax : Services are available in most hotels, travel agencies and communications centres. The Nepal Telecommunications Corporation booth at the airport has fax facilities.

Telegram : The Central Telegraph Office offers a 24-hour international telephone and telegram service seven days a week.

Internet :
ISPs include World Link (website: There are Internet cafes in Kathmandu, Patan and Pokhara. Internet services are also provided by hotels.

Post : Postal services are available in most centres. Make sure that letters are hand-cancelled at the post office (post boxes should not be used for important communications). The general post office in Kathmandu (near the Dharahara Tower) is open Sun-Fri 1000-1700. Poste restante services are available from 1000-1600. Express post services are also available. Main hotels will also handle post.

Press : English-language dailies available in Nepal are The Kathmandu Post and Rising Nepal. The Independent, The Telegraph and Nepal Chronicle are published weekly in English. The International Herald Tribune, Time and Newsweek can all be found in Kathmandu. Himal is a magazine published monthly, devoted to issues throughout the South Asian region. At certain times of day, there are radio and television news broadcasts in English.

Radio :
BBC World Service (website : and Voice of America (website : can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.

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Information provided by Nepal Tourism Board.


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