Home to the tallest mountain in the world, Nepal is a magical destination that fills visitors with a sense of adventure, humility and spirituality – all at the same time. You may have heard a lot about Nepal’s natural beauty, but can you answer this question – where is Nepal located?
Humble in size and international stature, Nepal holds a special place on this planet for being the dream location for mountaineers. It is important to know where this country is located because its religious history and lifestyle is influenced by that factor.
Where is Nepal Situated?
Nepal is located in the Indian subcontinent. Part of South Asia, this country is landlocked by China to its north and India on other sides. Previously a kingdom, Nepal currently follows a federal parliamentary republic style of government.
The geographical coordinates of this Asian nation is 28 degrees 10 minutes North (in terms of latitude) and 84 degrees 15 minutes East (in terms of longitude). Nepal is spread over 1,47,516 square kilometres or 56,956 square miles, placing it in the 93rd position in the globe in the rank of nations by size.
Sitting in the Himalayan Range of Mountains, Nepal follows the Nepal Standard Time (NPT) which is 5 hours and 45 minutes ahead of the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+05:45).
Nepal Map from India
Nepal is a neighbour of India. Located adjacent to the north and east Indian states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim, the country shares a large part of The Himalayas with India.
India also shares some of the Indo-Gangetic Plain or the North Indian River Plain with Nepal. Geography aside, this country has a shared religious past with India as well. Over 80% of the local population of Nepal follow Hinduism, which is followed by Buddhism at 9%.
Shaped like a trapezoid, the country shares almost 1,770 kilometres or 1,100 miles of land borders with India. Width-wise, Nepal measures 200 kilometres or 120 miles while lengthwise, it measures 800 kilometres or 500 miles.
How to Reach Nepal from India
It is possible to travel from India to Nepal by air and land. There are three international airports in the country – Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu – the capital of Nepal, Pokhara Regional International Airport and Gautam Buddha International Airport in Lumbini.
Non-stop flights are available to Kathmandu from New Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Bangalore. It takes as little as 1 hour and 30 minutes to fly from the capital of India to Nepal’s capital city. A single journey airfare on economy class costs at least INR 14,000 per head.
Airlines that operate direct flights between the two countries are IndiGo, Royal Nepal Airlines – the flag carrier of Nepal, Air India – the national carrier of India and Vistara. If you do not mind the layovers, you can also fly via other airlines such as Malaysia Airlines, Emirates, Biman and Singapore Airlines.
While Nepal and India are connected by road, there are no trains that run between the two countries. For this reason, you must hire a car managed by a professional tour operator. Indian driver’s license and the IDP (International Driving Permit) are not valid in Nepal. They insist on a local Nepalese license for the right to drive.
India to Nepal Tour Packages
Nepal vacation packages from India make use of the 6 border crossings that the country shares with India. The Bhairawa-Sanauli crossing is the most popular one especially if you travel from Varanasi or New Delhi.
One factor that makes Nepal a popular holiday option for Indians is their visa-free entry for this nationality. Not only can Indians visit Nepal without a visa, but they can also visit without a passport! However, in that case, you will need your voting ID (election) card to prove your nationality. Other IDs such as Aadhaar card, driving license or PAN card are not accepted.
The Indian currency is also widely accepted in Nepal, so you need not exchange your notes to the Nepalese rupee. However, remember that most debit credit cards issued in India are not valid in Nepal. For this reason, cash is the most convenient way to carry money during your Nepal trip.
The Best Time to Visit Nepal from India
Nepal sees some of its best weather days in the autumn season. This is why September to November happen to be a highly recommended period for travel to this nation in the Indian subcontinent. December is not too bad either.
However, starting in January, the winter season picks up its pace and the country becomes too chilly for comfort. If you cannot withstand extremely low temperatures, it is best to avoid the months of January and February when planning a vacation to Nepal.
To enjoy some warmth, you may visit in the warmest month of June. However, this is also a very rainy month. To skip the rains, you may avoid the months of June to August. Nepal’s weather remains dry until April, if you are looking for drier months to plan your holiday.
Autumn is a preferable time for many also because these months host a variety of local festivals. You will never run out of activities to do in Nepal in this season as the traditional festivals always bring with them interactions with the native Nepalese, a chance to taste their festive food and photograph a myriad of rituals.
In terms of affordability, you can always find low-cost homestays and hostels all around the country, no matter the time you visit. On the other end of the spectrum, high-end luxurious hotels are also available for tourists who like their vacations to be ultra-comfortable.
Activities and Things to do in Nepal
The Everest Base Camp trek may sound challenging, but it is often termed as an easier feat than the Annapurna trek. Another advantage of this trek is that you need not summit to the very top of Everest. You can do this trek for as long as your body permits and soak in as much of the beautiful views of the glaciers and lakes.
Apart from climbing a certain Himalayan peak, you can indulge in various other activities in Nepal such as visiting Buddhist and Hindu temples or exploring the Chitwan National Park. Many Nepal tour packages also expose you to mountain biking, birding and paragliding.
For still more adrenaline-powered action, you can try bungee jumping or white water rafting in the Upper Seti River. If you are looking for something that is slightly relaxed, try boating in one of the numerous lakes around this country.
Is Nepal Good for Honeymoon?
Nepal is famous for Mount Everest – the tallest mountain peak in the entire world. While this is not a very common honeymoon destination, it certainly can be. If you are an adventurous couple who like the outdoors, you should definitely put this tiny country on your list!
For a really romantic experience, try hot air ballooning over the breathtaking mountains of this region. Animal lovers can go on safaris to spot one-horned rhinos or the Bengal tiger, both of which are not easily found in the Indian subcontinent.
Nepal vacation packages in the neighbourhood of Thamel will also give you the chance to get a feel of its nightlife. You will not lack anything here, whether it is high-octane music at a nightclub or the thrill of playing at a casino.
A must in Nepal is indulging in a spa therapy. Whether you have booked a spa resort or not, you will not regret spending on foot reflexology, pedicure or a full-body massage. After all, those long treks in the cold can make your muscles sore. A de-stressing therapy is one of the best ways to rejuvenate.
Round out your Nepal holiday with a taste of its local cuisine. Nepalese staples are steamed rice, dal (cooked lentils) and vegetable preparations. You might even be served some piquant pickle or omelette with your meal. If you drink alcohol, you should not shy away from home-brewed raksi or chhyang.
If you have a palate for traditional recipes, eat some gundruk, which is a mix of fermented green leafy vegetables. Another mountain staple is thukpa – which comes from Tibetan cuisine. Basically a noodle soup, this dish is often loaded with meat.
One cannot forget about the delectable momos, which are one of the most popular snacks among tourists. These steamed dumplings are stuffed with lamb, vegetable or chicken, and usually served with a spicy chutney.
Another snackable item is the bara, which is a part of Newari cuisine. Also known as Wo, these deep-fried battered pancakes are made of lentils. A dessert snack you can try is sel roti, which is a deep-fried ring made of rice flour. Often served with yogurt as a dip, this can be found at most street-side food stalls.
When you know how close Nepal is to India, you should not delay in planning a holiday to this enigmatic country. From its ethnic architecture and ancient history to hiking trails and mountain cuisine, the nation will delight you in many ways when you explore it at your own pace.