Geography of Nepal

Nepal lies between China in the north and India in the south. It is spread over an area of 147,181 sq. km and geographically, divided into three regions: the Himalayan, Hilly, and Terai, with altitudes varying from 70 to 8,848 meters. The Himalayan region occupies 15 percent of the total area of the country. The northernmost region of the country is divided into 16 districts. Covered with snow-capped mountains in the northern part, the altitude of the region ranges from 3500 m to 8,848 m. Some of Nepal's most beautiful animals and plants are found in this region, although vegetation is sparse and almost nonexistent at higher altitudes. People depend on trade with Tibet and income from work as laborers, guides, and porters for survival. Sherpas and Tamangs are the dominant inhabitants of this region.

The hilly region falls between the Himalayan and the Terai regions. Constituting mainly the Mahabharat, Siwalik, and Chure ranges, the region is divided into 39 districts and spreads over 68 percent of the total landmass. The altitude ranges from 600 to 3500 meters. Because of the ideal temperature and climate, the region sees a large concentration of flora and is home to many exotic animals, including spotted leopards, barking deer, Himalayan black bears, and many other species. Brahmin, Chhetri, Newar, Rai, Limbu, Gurung, and many other ethnic groups reside in the region.

The Terai, or plains, cover 17 percent of the area of Nepal and are the most populated region. It is the industrial and agricultural center of the country. Because of the fertile lands, many people are engaged in agriculture. Terai is known as the granary store of Nepal due to its plain terrace. Tourism is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in Nepal.