Geography of Nepal

Geography of Nepal

Overview Geography Of Nepal

Known for its extravagant landforms in such small geographic area, Nepal is a landlocked country located in the southern region of Asia. Surrounded by two countries, India and China on all sides, the geography of Nepal is an excellent exploration in itself.

China surrounds the northern border of Nepal while the eastern, western and the southern borders link to the Indian Territory. Covering an area of 147,181 square kilometres and stretching at about 850 kilometres from east to west while only covering 145 to 241 kilometres from north to south. The small country covers up only 0.1% of the total area of the Earth while also being the home to one of the most diverse landforms and geography. Talking about the topography on Nepal, the country is divided into three different topographic regions, The Himalayan Region, The Hill region and the Terai region. The towering Himalayan Mountains attest to the Indian Subcontinent's immense tectonic strength as it ploughs through continental Asia. This unusual landform with almost 75% of the geography covered by the glorious Himalayas and the rugged hills has undoubtedly become a subject of attraction for study, travellers and explorers. To the south of these perpetual mountain ranges and ridges lies the tropical region of Terai with a vast array of water systems coming all the ways from the melting mountain ranges draining south towards the Indian lands. The geography of Nepal speaks for itself for the mysteries it holds waiting to be unfolded.

nepal geography map

Below I have described in detail the three topographic regions with entirely different things to offer for a better understanding of the Geography of Nepal.

Let's Dive Deep Into The Marvellous Geography Of Nepal

1. The Mountain Region

nepal himalayan region

Associated with the breath-taking Himalayan ranges, the Mountain region might be the most talked-about region of Nepal and the major tourist attraction. This region covers only 16% of the total landform of the country. The mountain region is home to some of the highest peaks of the world, including, of course, the top of the world, Mt. Everest that stands at 29,035 ft. (8848 m). This region has an altitude range of 4877 meters to 8848 meters. The area of the Himalayas (north) includes 202 peaks rising to over 19,685 ft. (6,000 m) and 13 mountains rising to over 26,246 ft. (8,000 m). This consists of the highest peak in the world and of course, the prodigious Annapurna massif. The mountain region is one of the major attractions in the geography of Nepal, and yet most of it remained unexplored and unoccupied due to extreme landforms or climates. This region is blessed with the most unusual and precious flora and fauna and is home to some of the most beautiful and rare animals in the world. The most talked-about animals in this region would be the Snow Leopard and the Danphe bird, although being pretty unique. The Sherpa communities are the dominant inhabitants of the area and are rich and authentic in their culture.

Some Interesting Facts About The Himalayas Region:

  • Nepal is home to over 200 hundred peaks that stand over 6000 meters.
  • The Himalayan range consists nine of Earth's ten most towering peaks, including Mount Everest at 8,848 meters (29,035 feet) above sea level.
  • The Himalayas are regarded to be one of the youngest mountain ranges (about 50 million years ancient), caused by a continental collision between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plains, leading to the formation of the Himalayan mountains.
  • The Himalayas inhabit some of the world's most exotic wildlife such as Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Tibetan Sheep, Wild Goat and Red Panda etc. Other noteworthy exotic birds are grey bush chat, brown rock chat, Himalayan flycatcher, prevalent hill partridge, and black-rumped flame back.
  • Hundreds of lakes dot the Himalayan area. Most lakes are discovered at elevations below 5,000 meters (16,404 feet), the size of the lakes decreases with altitude. Nepal's Tilicho Lake in the Annapurna massif is one of the world's largest lakes.
  • The Mount Everest's upper part (above 5,500 km (18,045 feet)) is said to be caped in the snow that never melts.
  • The Himalayan Region of Nepal is also home to the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world.
  • The Nepalese name for the highest peak in the world is Sagarmatha. This translates to 'Forehead of the Sky' which makes for a perfect description of the top of the world.

2. The Hilly Region

nepal hilly region

Accounting from 64% of the total land of Nepal, the Hill region stands to be the region covering the most land area of the country and inhabits about 43% of the total population of the country. Between the elevation ranges of 610 meters to 4877 meters, the Hill region has some of the most amazing natural landscapes and well as the most diverse culture in Nepal. With a great deal offer the inhabitants as well as visitors, this area has certainly attracted a lot of attention among the varied geography of Nepal. The Hill region is home to many valleys including the Kathmandu valley, and the Pokhara valley is the most popular in the region along with being some of the most populated areas in the geographic area. While some of the major cities of Nepal lie in this region, the hillsides and rural areas still face many challenges making the population scarce in those areas. The Hill region has an even more extensive diversity with mountains, hills, deep valleys, and flatlands all in a small geographic area.

Some Interesting Facts About The Hilly Region:

  • The Capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, is located in the Hill Region.
  • The majority of the income of the people in the Hilly region is based on agriculture.
  • The hills and the forests of the hilly region are the abode of over four hundred indigenous species of birds, wild animals such as spotted leopard, barking deer and black bear from the Himalayas and such.
  • The Hill Region of Nepal is home to the only Living Goddess "Kumari", worshipped in the world by the Newar community.
  • Seven of the UNESCO world heritage sites fall inside the Kathmandu valley of the Hill region among the ten heritage sites in Nepal.

3. The Terai Region

nepal terai region

With an elevation as low as 70 m to 610 m, the Terai region is the tropical land area of Nepal in the Southern part of Nepal. While covering only 17% of the total land in the country, the Terai region is the most populated area among the various geographic regions of Nepal. About 48% of the total population of Nepal lives in this geographic region. The primary reason for this is the high prospects for agriculture and industries helping in generating a more significant income. This region is full of different rivers and rivets that mainly originate from the Himalayan region. The area consists of plains and fertile lands, giving room for agriculture and industries. The sub-tropical forests in this region are home to a wide range of rare plants and animals. Terai region is one of the most important as well as a fascinating area when we look at the Geography of Nepal.

Some Interesting Facts About Terai Region:

  • The Terai region is also known as 'The Granary of Nepal'.
  • It has two of the most famous National Parks of Nepal, The Chitwan National Park and the Bardiya National park, and several Wildlife Reserves which inhabit a high number of rare wild animals and other organisms.
  • The Terai region itself is divided into three different areas:

    • Southern Terai Region
    • Bhabar Pradesh Region
    • Inner Terai Region
  • The birthplace of the Light of Asia and the apostle of peace, Lord Buddha, is located in the Terai Region of Nepal in Lumbini.
  • Animals inhabit the forests of the Terai region, like the Royal Bengal tiger, leopard, wild boar, several species of deer, one-horned rhino, wild elephant and gharial and mugger crocodiles and various rare species of flora and fauna.

In conclusion, Nepal has a wide range of landforms and topographical features, which makes the geography of Nepal a fascinating topic. Within just a range of 150 kilometres, you can find every ecosystem there is except for marine and xerophytes. Generally speaking, Nepal can be divided into five different climatic zones: tropical and subtropical zone below 1200 m, cool-temperate zone above 1200 m to 2400 m, cold zone above 2400 m to 3600 m, sub-arctic climatic zone or sub-alpine zone above 3600 m to 4400 m and alpine or arctic zone above 4400 m. The main reason for this wide range of climates and geographical differences is mostly the altitudinal difference. Considering all the wide variations of landforms in Nepal, we can say that the geography of Nepal is truly remarkable.

Some More Facts About Geography Of Nepal

  • Of the 163 documented wetlands, the nine worldwide known Ramsar sites in Nepal are: Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Beeshazarital (Chitwan), Jagdishpur (Kapilvastu) Ghodaghodi Tal (Kailali) in Tarai, and Gokyo (Solukhumbu), Phoksundo (Dolpa), Rara (Mugu) and Mai Pokhari (Ilam) in the mountainous region.
  • The nation has over 30 natural caves out of which only a few can be reached by road.
  • 2% of the total species of flowers are found in Nepal.
  • 8% of the species of birds in the world are found in Nepal.
  • Nepal inhabits 4% of the species of mammals in the world.
  • You can find 500 species of butterflies and 600 indigenous plant families in the lands of Nepal.
  • Nepal is the only country with such vast altitude variations ranging from 60 m to 8848m.
  • Nepal is a four-season destination.
  • Studies prove that Nepal has every quality of being the best adventure tourism destination in the world.

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