The Kingdom of Nepal is a landlocked country in the Himalayas. It is part of four major landscapes. The High Himalayas with eight eight-thousanders, the Front Himalayas, the foothills of the Himalayas and the flat alluvial plain of the Terai form the extraordinarily differentiated landscape of Nepal.
The climatic differences, especially those of the temperatures, between the high mountain region, the low mountain range and the flat lowlands are very large. The high Himalayas are a climatic divide between the more heavily rained southern part and the considerably drier northern part on the monsoon-shielded lee side. The southwest monsoon brings 80 to 90% of the annual precipitation in summer.
Due to its poverty of raw materials, its high population growth and its isolated location, Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. The opening of the country to tourism increased the foreign exchange income, but brought the country increasing ecological damage and high environmental pollution.
Short for NP on ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG, the Kingdom of Nepal is located on the southern roof of the central Himalayas and stretches over a width of between 140 and 300 km and a length of about 800 km.
In the north it borders on Tibet, which belongs to China, in the west, south and east on India. Framed and also beset by its two neighbors, Nepal is a strategically favorable buffer state thanks to its proximity to the mountains . The high mountain ranges on the one hand have a protective function for the country, but also mean isolation and narrowing of the living space.
Important data about the country
|Surface:||147 181 km²|
|Population density:||175 residents / km²|
|Growth of population:||2.2% / year|
|Life expectancy:||60 years|
|Form of government:||Constitutional monarchy|
|Languages:||Nepali, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tibetan Burman languages|
|Religions:||Hindus (86%), Buddhists (7%), Muslims (4%)|
|Climate:||All transitional forms between high mountain climates, extra-tropical, monsoon climates and tropical hot monsoon climates|
|Land use:||Arable land 17.0%, forest 66.0%, pasture land 0%|
(share of employees):
|Agriculture 76.1%, industry 9.8%, services 14%|
|Export goods:||Carpets, textiles, clothing, jute jute products, handicrafts|
|Gross domestic product:||US $ 5,851 million (2003)|
|Gross National Product:||US $ 240 / residents (2003)|
Nepal is a country in the Himalayas and the area of its foothills. This is a young fold mountain. The theory of global tectonics, also known as plate tectonics, explains the origin of the Himalayas in the Tertiary. If two continental plates such as the Eurasian and Indian plates are moved towards each other, it is not possible for one to submerge under the other due to their thickness. The pressure creates fold mountains like the Himalayas. The southern edge of Asia was raised. Height measurements show that these processes continue (Fig. 2). The natural area of Nepal is strongly structured by mountain ranges and basin landscapes.
The highest peaks on earth are in the High Himalayas. It is a glaciated high mountain range with steep, steep mountain walls and deeply cut river valleys. The average altitude of 6000 m above sea level is towered by eight-thousanders: Mount Everest (8,848 m), Kanchenchunga (8,586 m), Lhotse I (8,501 m), Makalu (8,475 m), Dhaulagiri (8,172 m), Annapurna (8 091 m).
The Front Himalayas – up to over 4,000 m high – connects to the south. Most of the country’s settlements and thus its core economic zone are located in its high valleys. The capital Kathmandu is located at a height of approx. 1,300 m in a huge cauldron-like clearance zone – also known as the Kathmandu valley – within the Upper Himalayas. Here fertile clay soil has developed.
The foothills of the Himalayas are known as the Siwalik chains. They form a foothill zone of the Himalayas with a height of around 1,500 to 2,000 m and rise steeply and ruggedly above the lowland edge lying south in front of them.
The alluvial plain of the Terai is only 30 to 40 km narrow. It is about 70 m above sea level and the northern edge of the Ganges plain. So Nepal is by no means a country that is exclusively located at high mountain level, as one might assume from small-scale atlas maps.
A multitude of rivers have their source in the High Himalayas and cross Nepal from north to south. Their sometimes enormous water masses have created deep and steep valleys. Only the larger of them could develop into bottom valleys. Most are tributaries of the Ganges.
Climate and vegetation
The temperature differences are very large due to the great differences in altitude. The temperature difference between heights of well over 8,000 m and the lowland edge is 40-50 °C on an annual average. In all parts of the country and at all altitudes, the seasons are clearly defined with short summers and long winters. There are all transitional forms from the climate with tropical hot summers in the Terai to the bitterly cold high mountain winter in the High Himalayas. With its extra-tropical climate, the Kathmandu valley in the Upper Himalayas is a densely populated and arable area (Fig. 4).
The rainfall is determined by the monsoon winds. The northeast monsoon brings cool and dry air in winter. The southwest monsoon, on the other hand, brings in humid air masses in summer. Its precipitation corresponds to 80 to 90% of the annual precipitation. The average rainfall in Nepal is high, it is almost 1400 mm per year. The High Himalayas are a climatic divide. It separates a more heavily rained southern part from a considerably drier northern part on the monsoon-shielded lee side. In the Terai there is 2,500 mm of precipitation, in the High Himalayas only 250 mm. The snow line rises in the Himalayas to an altitude of 5,800 to 6,000 m.
The Terai’s evergreen monsoon forests have been almost completely cut down. In the higher elevations they turn into deciduous forests. Above 3,000 m, pines, birches and rhododendrons determine the vegetation. The tree line is between 3 700 and 4 200 m. Moist alpine bushes and mats, crippled plants, lichens and mosses thrive at heights of over 5,000 m. The High Himalaya is an ice desert with almost no vegetation.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries on earth. The low level of economic development has three reasons. The country is largely isolated as a high mountain region, has hardly any natural resources and the population is growing rapidly. Over 90% of the employed work mostly as smallholders in agriculture .About a third of the country’s area can be used for agriculture. The most important growing areas are in the Terai. Here 85% of the rice harvest of Nepal is obtained. The cultivation possibilities for rice are also fully exploited in the Upper Himalayas through terrace cultivation. Water buffalo are bred as draft animals, milk and meat suppliers. Buckwheat, potatoes and barley can be grown up to an altitude of 4,000 m in the mountain regions. Bamboo and bananas can be found up to 3,000 m. In small businesses, agricultural products are processed industrially into carpets, textiles and jute products.
Problems of economic use
By shifting cultivation and uncontrolled firewood forest resources of Nepal is more a victim than half. Serious erosion damage occurred, which in turn led to floods in India and Bangladesh, as the water storage capacity of the soil was reduced. The amounts of meltwater made the great Himalayan rivers swell.
Since the country was opened to tourism in 1951, around 365,000 tourists have come to the country every year. As a source of foreign currency, they are extremely important for Nepal’s economy. The rapidly increasing trekking tourism, however, leads to extensive environmental pollution. The felling of firewood for trekking supplies has now been severely restricted, and the reforestation of the forest has begun.
1482: The country is divided into the kingdoms of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur.
1768: Conquest by the Gurkha and unification into one empire.
1816: Nepal becomes the area of influence of British India.
1951: introduction of the constitutional monarchy
Since 1951: Introduction of democratization under the ruling royal family.
Ending the isolation of the country and opening it up to tourism. To this day, constant conflicts between the aristocracy and the democracy movement.