Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, and India to the south, east and west. The Himalaya mountain range runs across Nepal's northern and western parts, and eight of the world's ten highest mountains, including Mount Everest, are within its territory. The total area of Nepal is 147181 sq. Km with an East to West length of about 800Km. and a North to South width of about 90-230Km. Nepal is located 26° 26’ north – 30° 26’ north latitude & 80° 03’ east – 88° 15’ west longitude. The elevation of Nepal starts at 70m above sea level and ends with Mt. Everest at 8848m.
Nepal has a population of about 27 million people. Education is not compulsory here so only 57% of the population is literate. The primary religions in Nepal are Hinduism & Buddhism. There are also some Muslims, Kirats, Jains, Christians and others. There are more than 60 different ethnic groups in Nepal, each having their own dialect culture.
The climate of Nepal
The climate is Tropical and sub-tropical in the plains, temperate in the hills and Alpine in the Mountains There are four seasons in Nepal. March-May, June – August, September – November, and December – February for spring, summer, autumn, and winter respectively. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant seasons in Nepal. The weather and climate are controlled by the altitude and the seasonal alternation of the monsoon winds. The main rainy season in Nepal is from late June to September.
Natural Resources of Nepal
Nepal does not have plenty of natural resoures in terms of valuable minerals and petroleum. Though there are some indications of iron, copper, gold, zinc, limestone, slate, oil and gas, coal, sulfur, quartz, cobalt etc, yet they are not substantially excavated. Nepal is rich in scenic beauty, water resources, and forest. The north part consists of a beautiful range of mountains always covered with snow.
Land Use in Nepal
Nepal’s mountainous terrain constraints land use options, and nearly one-third of the land area is unfit for agriculture or forestry. According to government figures for 2002, approximately 18 percent of the total land area was used for agriculture, of which 88.8 percent was categorized as arable land, 4.4 percent as land under permanent crops, and the remainder as pastures, woodlands, and other categories. The most agricultural land is in the Hill and Tarai regions. From 1962 to 2002, the total area of arable land increased (from 1.6 million to 2.5 million hectares) but declined as a proportion of land for agriculture (from 94.5 to 88.8 percent) because of the increase in land used for grazing and permanent crops, particularly fruit. Permanent crop cultivation also has reduced the proportion of land used for woodland and forest harvesting.