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Tibet general information

General information on the kingdom:

Location

Between India & the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.

Area

147,181 Sq. Kms.

Population

Approximately 21 Million

Latitude

26° 12' and 30° 27' North.

Longitude

80° 4' and 88° 12' East.

Capital

Kathmandu

People

Over 40 Ethnic Groups & 70 Spoken Languages.

Political-System

Multiparty Democracy with Constitutional Monarchy.

Topography

From the world's deepest gorge 'Kali-Gandaki' to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest at 8848m

Vegetation

Nepal possesses some of the most outstanding bio-diversity in the world, ranging from sub-tropical Rain-forests to Alpine deserts

Climate

Climate ranges from sub-tropical in the low lands to Arctic in higher altitudes.

Seasons

Winter (December-February),

Summer (March-May),

Monsoon(June-Aug),

Autumn(Sept-Nov)

National Bird

Impean Pheasant (Danfe).

National Flower

Rhododendron Arboreum (Lali Gurans).

World Heritage Sites

Ten (of which seven World Heritage Sites are situated within 20 kms. of radius, in the Kathmandu Valley).

Flora and Fauna

840 different species of wet-land, migratory and residential birds. 8% of the world's population of birds.

11 of the 15 butterfly families in the world.

2% of the flowering plants.

4% of mammals on earth.

Home to Endangered Species like

Royal Bengal tiger, One horned rhino, Snow - leopard, Red panda, Brown bear, Assamese macaque, Gangetic dolphin, wolf, wild elephant , giant horn-bill, swamp deer, wild yak, Tibetan antelope, Black buck, four horned antelope, Musk deer, Pigmy hog, Haspid hare, Pangolin, Gharial, Indian bustard, Saras crane, Impean pheasant, Python, etc

A Living Cultural Heritage

Nepal's heritage is alive and dynamic. Shamanism, Pan-animism & Witch-craft are still practised in remote regions. Temples, shrines, monuments and monasteries are extremely active with devotees burning butter-lamps, singing hymns, chiming templebells and playing drums. The only country that has living goddess "Kumari".

ECONOMY

Nepal is a developing country with an agricultural economy. In recent years, the country's efforts to expand into manufacturing industries and other technological sectors have achieved much progress. Farming is the main economic activity followed by manufacturing, trade and tourism. The chief sources of foreign currency earnings are merchandise export, services, tourism and Gurkha remittances. The annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about US$ 4.3 billion.

Agriculture

Eight out of 10 Nepalese are engaged in farming and it accounts for more than 40% of the GDP. Rolling fields and neat terraces can be seen all over the Terai flatlands and the hills of Nepal. Even in the highly urbanized Kathmandu Valley, large tracts of land outside the city areas are devoted to farming. Rice is the staple diet in Nepal and around three million tons are produced annually. Other major crops are maize, wheat, millet and barley. Besides food grains, cash crops like sugarcane, oil seeds, tobacco, jute and tea are also cultivated in large quantities.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing is still at the developmental stage and it represents less than 10% of the GDP Major industries are woollen carpets, garments, textiles, leather products, paper and cement. Other products made in Nepal are steel utensils, cigarettes, beverages and sugar. There are many modern large-scale factories but the majority are cottage or small scale operations. Most of Nepal's industries are based in the Kathmandu Valley and a string of small towns in the southern Terai plains.

Trade

Commerce has been a major occupation in Nepal since early times. Being situated at the crossroads of the ancient trans-Himalayan trade route, trading is second nature to the Nepalese people. Foreign trade is characterized mainly by import of manufactured products and export of agricultural raw materials. Nepal imports manufactured goods and petroleum products worth about US$ 1 billion annually. The value of exports is about US$ 315 million. Woollen carpets are Nepal's largest export, earning the country over US$ 135 million per year Garment exports account for more than US$ 74 million and handicraft goods bring in about US$ 1 million. Other important exports are pulses, hides and skins, jute and medicinal herbs.

Tourism

In 1999, a total of 491,504 tourists visited Nepal, making tourism one of the largest industries in the Kingdom. This sector has been expanding rapidly since its inception in the 1950. Thanks to Nepal's natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and the diversity of sight-seeing and adventure opportunities available. At one time, tourism used to be the biggest foreign currency earner for the country. Nepal earned over US$ 152 million from tourism in 1998.

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