Nepal - is a corner where you can freely enjoy the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, and then descend into the very bowels of Tibet, to pay homage to the great Nepalese shrines. The capital of Nepal - amazing ancient city of Kathmandu, which arose at the intersection of trade routes from India to Tibet, certainly impress you a lot of beautiful monuments of Hinduism and Buddhism, wind pagodas, ancient monasteries and existing statues of deities.
Kingdom of Nepal lies between two major Asian countries - India and China. It is located on the southern slopes of the highest in the world of the Himalayan mountain range. Area of the country - 147.2 thousand. Sq. km. Capital: Kathmandu.
The main attraction of Nepal - the mountain. In Nepal, are wholly or partly eight highest peaks in the world, the famous Annapurna and Machapukchi arrays, as well as thousands of hiking mountain travel, passing through the most picturesque places. No less popular rafting on rafts, kayaks or other water facilities. But in addition to the usual image of the "Mecca of mountaineering", pay attention to the history and culture of Nepal - ancient and original country. Monasteries and temples, thousands of rites and ceremonies, rich history and mythology of the country, the unique coexistence of dozens of nationalities and religions, hundreds of festivals and religious ceremonies - that's another no less interesting image of the country.
Kathmandu Valley - the most densely populated part of the country. Here are the three main cities of the country, three of the capital - a modern Kathmandu, as well as two old - Lalitpur (Patan) and Bhaktapur (Bhadgaon).
Kathmandu - big enough city, but in spite of its capital functions, it has remained virtually the way and was a hundred years ago - narrow streets, many houses the most unusual architecture, hundreds of temples and stupas, everlasting fragrance of incense and incomprehensible alien rhythm of life. Place in a small valley is clearly not enough, so it is difficult to see where it ends and begins Kathmandu, for example, Lalitpur. And at the same time on the surrounding hills a lot of greens, and literally next door to break a small capital reserve Nagarzhun.
In the city of hundreds of attractions, among which the most interesting city gave its name to a wooden temple Kasthamandal (723), Jagannath Temple, Ashok Vinayak (Maru Ganesh, III in. BC. E.) Jaishi Deval (Shiva temple is famous for its erotic carvings content), Light Machchhendranat (janmady), the temple of the sky god Akash Bhairav, a huge temple of Taleju (1549, open only to Nepalese times a year), which lies on an island in the center of the pond Rani Pokhari (XVII century.), Kumari Ghar (temple goddess Kumari, which is home to a living embodiment of the deity), and many smaller places of worship, located often in the most unexpected places. Of special note are the famous stupa of the capital - a colossal Svayambunat (Swayambhu, "Temple of the Apes," was founded more than two thousand. Years ago) on a hill in the north-western part of the city (according to legend, it was here that of an abandoned Shiva lotus seed emerged land), Budnat (the large stupa in Nepal and recognized center of Buddhism) and a huge area of the monasteries in the north-eastern outskirts of the city, nearby monastery Copan on the same hill, the temple complex of Pashupati (Pashupatinath temple of Shiva) on the banks of the sacred Bagmati river, the famous two-tiered golden roof and silver doors Lumarhi temple (Bhadrakali) and others.
The city center is surrounded by about fifty churches Palace Square (Hanuman Dhoka) Nautalle the palace (now a museum dynasty, Numismatic Museum and Tribhuvan Museum), the "ideal city" Newari (one of the ethnic groups of Nepal) with thousands of miniature temples (in almost every yard is a stupa or a temple dedicated to any deity), grand Palace Singha Durbar (now here is the secretariat of the government) and a modern residence of the King of Nepal - Narayanhiti Palace Darbar with the legendary source Narayanhiti. The surrounding area is concentrated a huge amount of small markets and places of worship, so that you can wander for hours.
Also interesting area Taumadhi Toll Nyatapole with five-storied pagoda, "old town" with Tundikhel Dharahara tower (59 m., 1832) and fountains, the water which flows from the golden crane, a unique center of rare books and manuscripts - Kaiser Library, tourist quarter Thamel with a lot of tourist shops and the famous hotel Yak-n-Yeti (first hotel in the country, opened the Russian traveler B. Lisanevich), National History Museum at the foot of the hill Svayambunat, Ratna park, and so on. d.
In the vicinity of the city is also a huge number of places of interest - the famous statue of Vishnu reclining on a bed of snakes in the center of the pond - Budhanilkantha (V c.), Water garden Balaji (XVIII cent., 5 km. Northwest of Kathmandu) with a cascade of 22 fountains Gokarnatsky temple, temple complexes and Guheshvara Vishvarut, magnificent stupa (III c. BC. e.) and Chandra Vinayak temple in Chabahile with extensive "sculpture park" around the picturesque town of Kirtipur, Dakshinkali temple, National Museum, with a good history and weapons collection (located 2.5 km. west of the capital), gorge Chobhar with magnificent temple of Adinath, the mountain resort of Nagarkot (35 km. east of Kathmandu) and the Royal reserve Gokarna (Gokarna Safari park) with pagoda Gokarneshvar Mahadev.
Across the river Bagmati begins satellite town Kathmandu - Lalitpur or Patan ("city beautiful"), which was previously the capital of Nepal 1768 (founded in 229 g). It is interesting to four Ashoka stupa (III c. BC. Oe), the unique terracotta Temple of a Thousand Buddhas, five-story Kumbeshvar Shikhar (1392, is the oldest temple of the city), the temple of Krishna Mandir (1723), a Buddhist monastery Rudravarna Mahabihar in which crowned the Nepalese kings, temple Akshesvor Mahabihar (XVII century.) surrounded by stupas central Darbar Square and the Royal Palace, the Temple of Dzhagannarayya, decorated with sculptures of Ganesha and Krishna city gates, Hiranya Varna Mashavishar sanctuary, Mahabodhi Temple (copy of the temple in Bodhyaga in India, where Buddha attained enlightenment), the temple Visankhu Narayan, the only zoo in the country, as well as numerous jewelry and art workshops (the city has long been famous for its smiths and chasers). 10 km. south-east of Patan is Mount Pulchouk (2758 m.) on top of which is a Buddhist monastery, and at the foot - Royal Botanic Gardens, Godavari.
Bhaktapur (Bhadgaon, "the city of the faithful") - another ancient capital of Nepal (XIV-XVI centuries.), Inhabited mainly by Hindus, which is clearly reflected in the local landmarks. Now this is the third major city of the Kathmandu Valley, although its dimensions are small. In Bhaktapur there are more than a dozen temples of Vishnu (Narayana), and the famous Golden Lion Gate, unique palace Malla dynasty (VII c.), Some sacred ponds, the famous temple of Lord Shiva-Parvati with bas-reliefs of animals copulating, Devi temple Batsala with the "bell of barking dogs" (1737), National Gallery of Art and others.
Pokhara - the second largest city of Nepal and one of the most popular resorts in the country, located on the shores of beautiful Lake Phewa Tal (the second largest in Nepal) at an altitude of 827 m. Called often the "gateway of Annapurna", the city is well suited to serve tourists - along the coast of the lake is the area of countless hotels, restaurants and shops Lakeside, on an island in the middle of the lake is a Hindu temple on the opposite side - a great stupa and monastery Shanti Shanti Bishva, and around the city - many monasteries, the "sacred" cave Mahendra Gufa or Rupa lake Venas-Tulsa and unique waterfall Davis-Fall. But the main reason why tourists come to Pokhara - a magnificent panorama of the Annapurna massif understated peaks and trekking in the surrounding mountains.
In the south is the town of Lumbini - a place that is considered the birthplace of the Buddha. In memory of this event presented a pond where the mother of Siddhartha Gautama bathed before giving birth, a temple in her honor, a lot of Buddhist temples built in different architectural styles of the countries on whose territory the Buddhist. Temples are scattered throughout the vast park that surrounds it is a sacred place for every Buddhist. Interesting and Martha (2600 m.) - Place of residence of the Tibetans, famous for its apple orchards, apple cider and pies, as well as an active church. After the annexation of Tibet by China in the country have settled a lot of refugees brought with them their traditions and customs. Monasteries Tyangpoche, Pangpoche Devuche and is a recognized center of the Tibetan form of Buddhism and Lamaism.
Chitwan National Park - a traditional hunting ground in the past aristocrats and relatively modern leisure center. Here, in the past Himalayan rainforest preserve the unique flora and fauna, typical of ancient Asia - rhinos, elephants, spotted deer, leopards, crocodiles and other amazing forest dwellers, as well as unique freshwater dolphins. You can take a walk along the river Rapti canoe and enjoy the beautiful lake Twenty-Thousand Lake, visit the elephant farm or take a safari on elephants (preference should be given to use of the state firms, whose elephants allowed passage directly to the park).
In the range of the tropical belt in the south, to the Arctic in the highlands. Cool and dry season: December-March, the average temperature - 21-22 degrees C. The hot and humid May - September, the average temperature of 29 degrees C. The hot and dry: October - November, the average temperature of 28 degrees C.
Ahead of Eastern Standard Time is 2 hours 45 minutes (with daylight saving time in Russia is 1 hour 45 minutes).
The state language of the Kingdom of Nepal - Nepal, but in the main tourist centers distributed in English.
The monetary unit of Nepal is Nepalese Rupee in one rupee contains 100 paise. Banknotes issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 paise, as well as 1, 2, 5 and 10 rupees.
Currency can be exchanged at the currency exchange at the airport, as well as a number of banks and exchange offices in the city. Currency exchange should be carried out only through the official exchange points. Import and export of Indian currency is allowed only to citizens of India. Currency exchange rate set by the State Bank of Nepal and is published daily in the press.
To visit the country to Russian citizens need a visa. Visa to Nepal is made either through the Embassy of Nepal in Moscow or on arrival at the airport in Kathmandu Tribuvan. This requires photo 3x4 cm., Valid passport and $ 30. The minimum term of registration - for two days. To obtain a visa at the airport are filled with the appropriate paper in English. While in the country, it is possible to extend the visa to the Immigration Department. On departure of Nepal need to pay the airport tax at the rate of 400 rupees.
Public holidays: State and many other offices are open six days a week. Saturday - the official day off. Nepal is famous for constantly replacing each other holidays. It is said that the Nepalese holidays as days in the year.
Nepal - the only country in the world, professing Hinduism as the state religion (Hindus make up about 90% of the population). Buddhists also live (up to 5%), Muslims (3%), and others.
Nepal has only recently opened its borders to tourists, so many kinds of clothing familiar to us and behaviors are perceived differently, and tourists should try to respect local traditions:
• Do not step over people sitting on the ground;
• Take items from the locals and send items they need only the right hand supported by the left;
• Hindu temples closed to the public;
• Buddhist temples and monasteries are open to all;
• Do not give money to beggars on the streets (they appeared in Nepal only because of the "generous" tourists);
• All the temples and gompa in Nepal have to be unlocked only clockwise and never vice versa;
• It is often wash their hands, can not eat unwashed fruit.
Nepalis are very friendly and quite simple-minded people. Long-term isolation of the country has helped to keep the best features of the local ethnic group intact. However, the massive invasion of tourists and climbers in the late XX century, as well as the emigration of a large number of Tibetans from Tibet China stock, brought with them a variety of elements not seen before, starting with the "achievements of civilization," and ending with the appearance of a broad class of traders. The system behavior and social relationships in the Nepalese society has changed quite weak, and the local etiquette is still markedly different from most of the neighboring countries. A characteristic feature of the Nepalese is their remarkable modesty in all situations. At the same time they are very curious and love to talk - so that's a dangerous mix. Therefore, to talk a local will have no difficulty, many of them understand English well, but to achieve the required information will not be easy. Ideally, any conversation with a local should begin with a long introductory exchange of courtesies, and to speak, or rather to ask, it will be first Nepali, and his questions will relate to family, work and country companion. And for the most part, if it does not apply to some services and money, these issues will be a little naive, but interest in the other person - sincere. At the same attitude towards tourists several condescending, but always friendly.
A common form of greeting in Nepal - cupped palm, carried to a person (usually the forehead - in the case of extreme respect, or to the chin - in everyday life). Accompanied by a gesture of the word "namaste" or, in the case of appeal to the distinguished man, "namaskar". Men usually shake hands with women is common to use "namaste." Primarily made to greet the most respected or senior person. When referring to someone else, should be added to the name of a polite ending "-dzhi" or generic term polite attention "hadzhur." It is not recommended to show surprise and rapidly express emotions, a public display of courtesies between men and women is also not accepted (between persons of the same sex is not completely forbidden).
Nepalis used to call brothers and sisters of almost all members of the community, so the same applies to friends and even strangers, in whose number and get the aliens. So often, instead of greeting, you can hear the appeal such as "brother" or "sister", and in relation to the elderly or simply distinguished people - the "father" or "mother." This is a common norm, so do not be surprised when you hear such an appeal with respect to the tourist, although it is possible that this will be followed petty begging ("I will pray for you, Krishna"), stalking and offer their "services."
System gestures in Nepal also quite unique - the agreement is expressed with a nod and a shrug. "No" is denoted by rocking his head to the side, often with Nepalese lowered look. To summon a servant or waiter, reaching out with his hand and fingers down. Nod means "yes." But some European gestures, like protruding thumb up with a clenched fist, may often seem obscene. As an innocent gesture to touch your hands or body of the offended person and then touching his hand to his head.
Traditional cuisine Nepal
Nepalese cuisine is diverse. Traditional recipes are simple enough that the local environment is not surprising - for centuries Nepalis living in a tough deficit of food resources (no more than 6% of the country is suitable for agriculture).
The main product - rice in all possible combinations, with vegetables, a variety of sauces (preferred, of course, the burning "curry"), sometimes with butter or pieces of yak meat, goat meat or poultry (cow - a sacred animal to eat its meat for food is considered a sacrilege) . The traditional Nepalese dish "given" ("dhay Bhat tarakari") is a steamed rice with lentils and vegetable curry, and fresh or marinated soy. In mountainous areas, typical food are boiled and baked potatoes, wheat and millet porridge with yak butter or buffalo ("ghiu").
In a lot of dairy products used in the first place - cottage cheese and sour "Dahi", which is often mixed with crushed rice ("Dahi-Chiuri"), or wheat, and a variety of wild grasses. Drinks are served thin pancakes made from rice, corn or wheat flour of a rough grinding enough. Influence of neighboring India and China significantly in a variety of recipes cooking vegetables and sauces, the increasing spread of noodles and bean crops.
The national drink - black tea, is used as a "pure" and with milk or cream (in mountainous areas are often added oil). Of alcoholic beverages consumed local brew "Lesser" alcoholic beverage made from barley "chang" (a local variety of home-brewed beer), rice or millet beer "Raksha" rum "kukri", as well as all kinds of imported drinks (very expensive). In Nepal and produce decent beer varieties, "San Miguel", "Carlsberg", "Tuborg", "Star", "Tiger" and "Iceberg".
Additional charges Nepal
When departing from the country in the Tribhuvan International Airport charged tourist tax NRs.565 (including VAT, approximately $ 7.5), which is introduced to replace pre-existing two-percent tax on all kinds of tourist activities. Also charged on departure airport tax in the amount of NRs.791 (about $ 10) when flying to Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, or NRs.1130 (about $ 15) when flying to other countries. Fees will be paid at the airport, in a window of the bank NABIL.
Political system Nepal
Nepal - a constitutional monarchy. The head of state - the king. The Legislature - bicameral Parliament (temporarily disbanded May 22, 2002), consisting of the National Council ("Rashtriya Sabha", 60 seats, 35 of which are appointed by the House of Representatives, 10 - and 15 King - elected by an electoral college) and the House of Representatives ("Pratiniti Sabha ", 205 seats, members elected for five-year terms). The government appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Administratively, the country is divided into 14 zones ("Ancha"), which in turn are made up of 75 districts ("District").
About 23 million people.. The population of Nepal is a surprising mix of ethnic groups, as on this earth met two civilizations - Indian and Chinese, the two races - mongoloid and Caucasian. On the streets of the kingdom can see representatives of many nations: Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Greeks, Arabs, and even Hispanics. Traditional way of life of many people of Nepal permits polygamy (polygyny), and in the northern parts of polyandry occurs (polyandry). According to the opinion of the Nepalis, polygamy is a consequence of the absence of children from his first marriage, polyandry - the need to preserve the property in the family.
There are no restrictions on the import and export of foreign currency is not (the declaration of large sums required). Nepalese rupee can not be imported and exported from Nepal, currency can be exchanged in Nepal, it can be done only if the departure from Kathmandu International Airport and only in the amount of not more than 15% of that mentioned in the bank records for an exchange. At land border crossings reverse exchange is not possible, have a certificate or not.
At the point of entry into the country all the baggage is subject to careful examination. Duty-free import up to 100 cigarettes or 25 cigars, up to 1.5 liters. alcoholic beverages or 12 cans of beer, up to 15 reels of film and personal belongings. 1 separately drawn film and video camera, 1 radio, 1 tape recorder, 1 bike, wrist watches, 1 set of self-recording pens, up to 15 audio tapes and electronic goods - import of these items is possible only if they are declaring and re-exported from the country. Strictly prohibits the importation of drugs, weapons and military equipment. Banned the export of gold, silver, precious stones, wild animals, their hides and horns, drugs and raw materials for their production. Tourists can export souvenirs (with special certificates you can take out and antiques at the age of not more than 100 years). Removal of any metal statues, icons and paintings depicting gods, allowed only with the permission of the Department of Archaeology of Nepal.
Medical aid Nepal
For entry into Nepal does not require any certificates of vaccination. For a long stay in the country recommends vaccinations against diphtheria, polio, hepatitis B, typhoid, meningitis A and C, as well as rabies. Insurance is recommended.
Local medical fee, but relatively poorly developed. Hospitals are often overcrowded, are available only in big cities, the most skilled care clinics run by the support of Western medical companies. The choice of drugs in pharmacies is large enough, but in the interior there is a certain shortage of drugs, so first-aid kit is not superfluous.
Working hours Nepal
Banks are open from 10.00 to 14.30 from Sunday to Thursday and from 10.00 to 12.30 on Fridays. Closed on Saturday and public holidays.
Railways: 101 km.
Highways: total 13,223 km, without a proper cover 9,150 km (1999)
Airports: 45, in Vol. H. With runways 5; The only international airport in Nepal - Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu. Airport tax for international flights - US $ 15.
Kathmandu is not so much the normal wide streets. Buses are usually crowded and very complicated routes. There are regular taxis, rickshaws and auto rickshaws. The most practical form of transport - a three-wheeled scooter. Although he makes a terrible roar, throws a lot of emissions, but very neat way along narrow paths and thus brings to the goal faster than a taxi. Overall yield on rental bikes. You can not rent a car for self-drive. Walking distance remains the most reliable method of travel. In most places in Nepal, hiking in general is the only way to move.
Popular land routes between Nepal and India. Buses - the fastest and lightest form of transport between India and Nepal. There are three main border crossing point: Sunauli-Bhairawa, Birganj-Raxaul Bazar and Kakarbhitta-Siliguri. Crossing the border between Nepal and Tibet at Kodari is only open for groups of travelers.
Royal Nepal Airlines and various private companies offer domestic air services, but such flights are quite expensive and there may be delays or cancellation of flights due to bad weather. It is advisable to book domestic flights per week and give confirmation of the ticket to make sure that you are not removed from the list of passengers if the plane is full. There are many bus services between Kathmandu and Pokhara-oriented tourists.
Potable water Nepal
You can not drink tap water, almost always sold bottled water, you can drink it.
Voltage - 220 volts, 50 Hz.
Tipping tour guides, taxi drivers and restaurants.
Women should walk in clothes with closed legs.
Helpful information Nepal
In order to make life easier for foreign tourists in Nepal operates a special police unit. His phone: 2-20-18. In case of any problems, you can call the Department of Tourism and by phone 24-70-41.