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Thursday 24th August
Nepal Information - Page 1
Geography
The Kingdom of Nepal is a landlocked country in Southern Asia, between India and China.

Kathmandu is the capital. Other cities are Biratnagar, Birganj, Dharan, Nepalganj, Patan and Pokhara.

The terrain consists of river plain (Ganges), hill region, and Himalayas. River systems include the Karnali and the Narayani.

The climate is subtropical in the south with severe winters in the north.

Environment
Sagarmatha National Park and Royal Chitwan National Park are on the World Heritage List.

Sagarmatha National Park is dominated by Mount Everest, the world's highest peak (8,848m).

Royal Chitwan National Park, at the foot of the Himalayas, is home to the endangered single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros.

Other animals found in the Parks are Bengal tigers, elephants, leopards and wild boar.

Architecture
Kathmandu Valley was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. Buildings and monuments include the Durbar Squares of Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu), Patan and Bhaktapur, the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhu and Bauddhanath, and the Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan. In 2003 the site was added to the List of World Heritage in Danger, due to urbanization, but was removed four years later.

Lumbini, the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, is also on the World Heritage List. A commemorative pillar was erected in the gardens by the Indian Emperor Ashoka who converted to Buddhism in 262 BC.

Population
The population of Nepal was estimated at 29,519,114 in 2008.

Languages
Nepali is the official language. A number of Tibetan and Indian languages are also spoken. Many government officials and business people speak English.

Religion
Nepal is an official Hindu state. Other religions followed include Buddhism and Islam.

Food
Nepalese cuisine is varied according to region.

Religion also has a major impact on food. For example, many Hindus are strict vegetarians.

Rice is a staple food, often eaten with lentil soup and vegetables. Breads include chapatis and rotis.

Vegetables available are aubergines, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, onions, peas, spinach and tomatoes. Fruits include apples, bananas, grapes, mangoes, oranges, papayas, pineapples, strawberries, and watermelons.

Tea is often served with milk, sugar and spices; in the mountains it is salted with butter. Beer and spirits are produced locally.

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