Nepal Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Nepal?

Overview:

Nepal’s geography is perhaps the most varied and dramatic of any nation in the world. From the lowlands of the south (about 150 feet above sea level), the terrain rises in a mere 100 miles to the dramatic heights of the world's highest mountain range, the Himalayas, including Mount Everest (Sagarmatha) at 29,028 feet, 10 other mountains above 24,000 feet, and more than 200 peaks over 21,000 feet.

Geographically, the country is divided into three roughly parallel strips, running east and west. The Terai Region, the southernmost strip about 15 miles wide, covers about 20% of the total land area. An extension of the Gangetic Plain of north India, once noted for its heavy jungle and still popular for big game—including tiger, rhinoceros, elephant, wild boar, crocodile, and river dolphin. The flat open country of the Terai Region blends into forested hills. Bird watching is a popular pastime in this area. The central region, sometimes called the "hill area," is about 60 miles wide. It ranges from about 3,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level, covering about 60% of the land area, and includes the Valley of Kathmandu with its encircling hills up to 9,000 feet. The northern region consists of the high mountain area, 12,000 to 29,000 feet, forming the majestic panorama of the perpetually snow-covered Himalayan Range. The region is about 25 miles wide and accounts for the remaining 20% of the total land area.

Geography - note:

landlocked; strategic location between China and India; contains eight of world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga - the world's tallest and third tallest - on the borders with China and India respectively

Climate:

Kathmandu’s climate is pleasant. During the fall to winter season (October-March), temperatures range from 30°F to 75°F. This season is characterized by morning fog, sunny days, and cold nights. It may rain occasionally, but Kathmandu has had no snow since 1939.

A temperature range from 40°F to 90°F, with intermittent rain, warm days, and usually comfortable nights, marks the spring season (March-May). Near the end of the spring season and before the rainy season begins, dust gathers heavily throughout the Kathmandu Valley, causing a haze that obscures the mountains.

The monsoon season begins in June and continues until late September. Temperatures in the rainy season range from 55°F to 90°F, and rainfall is from 30 to 60 inches. Rain showers occur almost daily.

Nepal Use of Natural Resources

Nepal Environment

Climate:

Kathmandu’s climate is pleasant. During the fall to winter season (October-March), temperatures range from 30°F to 75°F. This season is characterized by morning fog, sunny days, and cold nights. It may rain occasionally, but Kathmandu has had no snow since 1939.

A temperature range from 40°F to 90°F, with intermittent rain, warm days, and usually comfortable nights, marks the spring season (March-May). Near the end of the spring season and before the rainy season begins, dust gathers heavily throughout the Kathmandu Valley, causing a haze that obscures the mountains.

The monsoon season begins in June and continues until late September. Temperatures in the rainy season range from 55°F to 90°F, and rainfall is from 30 to 60 inches. Rain showers occur almost daily.

Terrain:

Terai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south, central hill region, rugged Himalayas in north

Natural Resources:

quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore

Natural Hazards:

severe thunderstorms, flooding, landslides, drought, and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons

Irrigated Land:

4,510 Square Miles
11,680 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

deforestation (overuse of wood for fuel and lack of alternatives); contaminated water (with human and animal wastes, agricultural runoff, and industrial effluents); wildlife conservation; vehicular emissions

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Nepal Geography

Geographic Location Asia
Total Area 56,827 Square Miles
147,181 Square Kilometers
Land Area 55,348 Square Miles
143,351 Square Kilometers
Water Area 1,479 Square Miles
3,830 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,818 Miles
2,926 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 4,510 Square Miles
11,680 Square Kilometers
Border Countries China 1,236 km, India 1,690 km
Geographic Coordinates 28 00 N, 84 00 E
Terrain Terai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south, central hill region, rugged Himalayas in north
Highest Point 8,850 Meters
Highest Point Location Mount Everest 8,850 m (1999)
Lowest Point 70 Meters
Lowest Point Location Kanchan Kalan 70 m
Natural Resources quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore
Time Zone UTC+5.75 (10.75 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
All Countries
Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Sudan, South Suriname Svalbard Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States (US) Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe