Nepal is the locale of Mount Everest and the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Nepal is a unique and beautiful country, full of natural treasures. Nepal is home to some of the largest Hindu temples in the world as well as four of the holiest Buddhist sites on Earth. Its land area is 147,181 square kilometers, reaching from the heights of Mount Everest at 8848 meters to the jungle plains of the tropical Terai at about 100 meters.
In this diverse land is a population estimated at 30 million residents. Nepal relies heavily on the tourism industry, a field that represents about 80% of the country’s GDP. Approximately 80% of the population works in agriculture, which accounts for the country’s remaining 20% of income. Nepal is one of the 20 poorest countries in the world and the UN estimates that about 40% of Nepalese live in dire poverty with an income of about $1 USD per day.
Nepal is made up of over forty different races and tribes while its people follow several different religions; Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. Over fifty annual festivals and numerous forms of daily worship take place in Nepal. The festivals are celebrated with incredible enthusiasm and make for a very bright, colorful and exciting experience. The generous Nepali people and the rich cultural treasures they share often deeply touch the hearts of visitors, resulting in many returning year after year.