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The Geography, Wildlife, Forest and National Park of Nepal

General information about Nepal, Some Basic knowledge, Cottage industry, caste & culture of Nepal climate, mammals & species, visit Nepal

The River, Geography, wildlife and National Park of Nepal

The History and geography of Nepal

Nepal, the great historic place and famous tourist place in the world. Nepal is situated in the Arm of Himalayas. The area of Nepal is 147181 sq.km. The capital of Nepal is Kathmandu. Previously Nepal is divided into 3 regions, 5 development regions, 14 zones, 75 districts, 58 municipality and 3915 villages. But Now, Nepal is divided in to 7 states with 77 districts.

The Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal is situated along the southern slopes of the Himalayas, bordering India in the south-east and in the west, and the autonomous region of Tibet in china in north. This small country of 147,181 sq. km. extends roughly 885 km miles from east to west and 145 to 193 km from north to south. More than 75 percent of the total land mass is occupied by mountains extending from east to west across the country. Topographically, the Kingdom of Nepal can be divided into five zones.

The 3 regions are:-

  • Mountains region
  • Hilly region
  • Terai region

1. The Terai

The flatland nearby the Indian border forms the extension of the Genetic plain and varies in width form less than sixteen to more than twenty miles. In Terai zone altitude varies only form sea level to a few hundred feet. About three decades ago, this whole belt of the Terai consisted of vast, impenetrable tropical forest, known as "char kose jhari" (literally "a continuous stretch of the belt of four mile forest along the country"). The entire Terai belt was originally a main source of timber: at present , most of verdant Terai forest have disappeared and their place is taken by fertile agricultural land through there are still a few isolated pockets of Terai forest which are now struggling hard for their existence against tremendous human pressure. Still vast segment of Terai consists mainly of deciduous to evergreen broad leaf species and is the home of many tropical faunal and floral species. The Terai region harbors spectacular wildlife such as Tiger, leopard, bear, bison, wild buffalo, and many varieties of dear and antelope. Similarly, unique fresh water river wildlife such as the genetic dolphin, Gharial crocodile, mugger crocodile and many species of game fish such as mahseer abound in the rivers and lakes of the Terai. Well over 800 species of bird life ranging from small brown birds to the most colorful pheasant, live and breed in the thickets of tropical jungle.

2. The Inner Terai

The zone consists of many basins and valleys surrounded by the lower churia hills in the south and the rugged Mahabharata range in the north. The landscape lies between 2,000 to 3,000 feet altitude. The flora and fauna is as rich as the Terai zone.

3. The Midland

The mountain zone, which is a labyrinth network of the Mahabharata mountain range, covers about fifty miles in width with an altitude varying from four thousand to fourteen thousand feet on the foot-hills. Generally the tidges and spurs of this middle land mountain area present steep slopes towards the south and relatively well drained gentle slopes in the north. Within midland zone, some great valleys such as Kathmandu and Pokhara are flat agricultural croplands. The midland mountain region is a meeting place of sub-tropical and mountain forest: so is the wildlife distribution. The broad leaf species shore Robusta or "Sal" forest is replaced by lower coniferous forest in the lower hills, extending to a distribution of coniferous trees, maple and rhododendron forest. Amongst the mammalian wildlife typical species such as tiger, rhino, bison, wild buffalo, etc. are replaced by leopard, Himalayan black, sorrow, Himalayan Thar, red panda, etc.

4. The Great Himalayan Highlands

The extreme northern region, the great Himalayan highlands: display its massive fangs from the east to the far west of the country. Within Nepalese frontiers are found thirteen of the world's highest peaks, including Sagarmatha (Mount Everest). Except for scattered human settlements in high mountain valleys, most of the glaciated valleys in this area are barren, above 14,000 feet. In the lower Himalayan foothills between 8,000 and 14,000 feet are to be found many indicator alpine types of vegetation. The Vegetation in this region varies greatly because of Micro-climate factors, exposure, and rainfall and wind velocity.

5 Trans-Himalayan zones

The trans- Himalayan zone is often rain-shadowed, since the monsoons cannot traverse the Himalayas. Hence, climatically, a dry alpine barren land has developed. This zone consists of far-flung areas such as Mustang, Manang, and Dolpa, most of which are still closed to foreigners. These highlands are very close culturally and ecologically Tibetan plateau; however, the vast thick meadows, bushes and alpine scrub harbor the varied beautiful wild flowers, and in these vast stretches live magnificent mammals such as snow leopard, blue sheep, and Thar. Many high Himalayan species such as Tibetan sheep, Tibetan stag, Tibetan gazelle, Tibetan antelope, as well as wild yak are much heard of, but are yet to have their occurrences and distributions confirmed scientifically.

Nepal has rich flora and fauna created to many different zoo-geographical and climatic regions. Especially in the Terai, every acre of land was formerly covered by dense forest. It was difficult for sunlight to filter through the dense top canopy of the major forest systems "Shorea" and "Terminalia" to the thick ground over. Once, the stretch of 4 miles forest(char kose jhadi) was impenetrable, not only because of a dense growth of vegetation and of the danger of encountering ferocious wildlife, but also because the door to this green world was shut tight by nature itself, guarded by mosquitoes, which acted as a vector of malaria.

The 5 development regions are:-

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  • Eastern development region
  • Central development region
  • western development region
  • Mid- western development region
  • Far-western development region

The 14 Zones are:-

  • Mechi
  • Koshi
  • Sagarmatha
  • Janakpur
  • Bagmati
  • Narayani
  • Gandaki
  • lumbini
  • Dhaulagiri
  • Rapti
  • Bheri
  • Seti
  • Karnali
  • Mahakali

The 75 districts are:-
Taplejung, Panchthar, Ilalm, Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Dhankuta, Tehrathum, Sankhuwasabha, Bhojpur, Solukhumbu, Okhaldhunga, Khotang, Udaipur, Saptari, Sirha, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Sindhuli, Ramechhap, Dolkha, Sindhupalchowk, Kavre palanchowk, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Nuwakot, Raswa, Dhading, Makwanpur, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Chitwan, Gorkha, Lamjung, Tanhu, Syangja, Kaski, Manang, Mustang, Myagdi, Parvat, Baglung, Gulmi, Palpa, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Arghakhanchi, Puthan, Rolpa, Rukum, Salyan, Dang, Bardiya, Surkhet, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Banke, Bhajang, Aacham, Doti, Kailali, Kanchanpur, Dadeldhura, Baitadi, Dracula


The Biggest development region is Central development region, The biggest zone is Karnali, The biggest district is Dolpa (7889 sq.km) and the smallest development region is Far western development region, The smallest zone is Mahakali, The smallest district is Bhaktapur (119 sq.km) Out of 14 zone, ten zone is named upon River, two zone is named upon religious place and two zone is named upon religious place. Nepal is also known as land locked country because no sea is in Nepal. The nearest sea point of Nepal is Bengal khadi (India). Nepal is surrounded by India by three sides and one side is china (North). India is 22 times and china is 65 times bigger than Nepal. The Nepalese time is 5hr 45min fast with green witch time. Nepal has taken 0.03% of world and 0.3% of Asia continent. The length from east to west of Nepal is 885 km and the width of Nepal form north to south is minimum 145 and maximum 241 km. The longest National Highway is Mahendra rajmarg. It is 1034 km long. The longest river of Nepal is Karnali, the deepest river of Nepal is Narayani, and the biggest river of Nepal is Koshi.

Rivers and ponds of Nepal

Nepal is the gift of Nature, land of fighters, the one and only free kingdom in World. Nepal is rich in culture heritage, rich in Natural resources and rich in water. Nepal is second richest country in water, Brazil is in No.1 position. In Nepal there are more than 6 thousands rivers and ponds. Among them thousand rivers are more than 11km long. More than 100 rivers are long than 160 km. The total length of all rivers is 45,000 km and the storage capacity of rivers is more than 2 Million two thousand million cubic mtr. Among them big three rivers (Oshkosh, Gandaki, Karnali) Storage capacity is one million forty eight thousand cubic mtr. In fact the 74% of total storage. If you see with electricity and irrigation eyes than we can say it white gold. The total capacity of electricity production is more than 83, ooo mega watt. The Rivers are divided into 3 parts they are

  • First Class
  • Second Class
  • Third Class

First class rivers: - First Class Rivers are flowing from Himalayas and they are continuing flowing. They never dry up. These kings of rivers are used for electricity production and irrigation purpose. The first class of rivers is KOSHI, GANDAKI and KARNALI. In Brief they are given below.

a) Koshi River: - The River which appear from east Kanchenjunga Himalayas to west langtang Himalayas they all help to flow Koshi River with the help of seven big rivers Koshi River is flowing. It is also known as 'saptakoshi'. The seven helping river are Sunkoshi, Dudh Koshi, Indrāvati, tamakoshi, Arun, Tamor and likhu. Arun is the big and likhu is the small helping river for Koshi. It also believes that in ancient with the name of kaushik rishi it is known as Koshi. Koshi is the biggest river of Nepal. Its length is 720 km. The average speed of Koshi water is 1564 cubic per second. After entering in India it is known as Damodar River. The Indians also know Koshi as 'sorrow of Bihar’.

b) Gandaki (Sapta Gandaki):- The center part of Lang tang Himalayas to west Dhaulagiri Himalayas is befitted by Gandaki Himalayas. After the name of Gandaki rishi, the name has been kept Gandaki. This river is 338 km long. Gandaki river also have seven helping river they are Kali Gandaki, Buddha Gandaki, seti Gandaki, madi, Marsyangdi, Daraundi and Trishuli. The average water speed of Gandaki is 1713 cubic mtr. Per second. This river has the capacity of 21,000 mega watt electricity producing and this river is helping 26,000 sq.km. In this river only you can get the ‘shalimar stone’.

c) Karnali river (Sapta Karnali):- Karnali River has covered the east Dhaulagiri Himalayas to west byas rishi Himalaya’s area. It has also seven helping river they are Humla karnali, Mugu karnali, Big bheri, small bheri, Tila, Buddhi Ganga and seti. The average water speed is 1316 cubic mtr per second. This river has the capacity of 32,000 megawatt electricity producing. This is also known as the longest river flow in Nepal. The total length of this river is 507 km. In Nepal this is only river where you can get dolphin fish. This river is helping 49,000 sq km land to irrigate. Gandaki is known as Ghagra River when it enters in India.

2) Second class river: - The river which origin from Mountains are known as second class river. These kinds of rivers are flowing continuously but in cold seasons the water levels go down. The rivers name of this category is Mahakali, Babai, Rapti, Tinau, Bagmati, Kamala, Kankai, Mechi etc. These kinds of river help in irrigation but in rainy seasons these kinds of rivers make huge amount of destruction.

3) Third class River: - This Kind of rivers flow from chure range, this kind of rivers flow for small area, helps in irrigation, fishing. These kinds of rivers are active in rainy seasons only and in other time these kinds of rivers are remaining dries. They are Lakhandei, Jhim, Manusmara, etc.

Transportation of Nepal

Nepal has 17,982 km. length road at present completed. Out of 75 districts 63 has connected with road

Main highways of Nepal

1. Mahendra Rajmarg

Mahendra Rajmarg is the main highway of Nepal. Which joints Nepal from East to West? It is 1027.67 km long. It was started to build on Friday 13 Apr. 1962A.D. (२०१९ बैशाख १ गते) it was built by the help of several countries the detail are as follows:-

a. Mechi-Dhalkebar part India

b. Dhalkebar-Pathlaiya→Rush

c. Hetauda-Narayanghat Part→Asian development Bank

d. Narayanghat -Butwal part→Belayat

e. Butwal-KohalpurNÜIndia

Mahendra rajmarg does not touch to Parsa district.

2. Tribhuvan Rajpath path

This Highway is the oldest Highway of Nepal. It was built on 1956 A.D. (2013B.S.) it is 191 K.M. long. It begins from Raxaul (India) and goes via Hetauda-Bhaise-Sim bhanjyang- to Kathmandu. Sim bhanjyang is the highest point of this highway. This is also known as "Bypass road". Now days it is being used when Prithvi rajmarg is closed due to Natural disaster.

Wild life in Nepal

Thought Nepal is a relatively small country, the population of wildlife it harbors is fantastically, large. With only 0.1% of the world’s total area, Nepal is home to over 4% of this planets mammal and 8% of its bird species including many which are globally endangered. To date, 181 mammal, 43 amphibian, 100 reptile, 185 fish, 844 bird, and 635 butterfly and moth species have been documented in Nepal. The spine babbler and “Janakpur” have yet to be found anywhere else in the world. Similarly, the atlas moth and a crack species recorded here are by far the largest of all their counterparts ever to be found.

Diversity in landforms breeds diversity in life, and Nepal is rich in both. Past His Majesty’s Government of Nepal had established within its territory 14 protected zones in corpora-ting 14% of its total surface area. These include the royal Chitwan national park, The Royal Bardiya National park, The Annapurna conservation area, and the Sagarmatha shey phoksundo, and langtang National park. From tropical creature like the hyena, to alpine animals like the snow leopard, beasts of all shapes and sizes have found this land suitable to their living. The one-horned Rhinoceros is one of most adamant survivors of this planet. The great one horned rhinoceros found in Nepal weighs, around 2100 kg. Looking and can reach 180cm. at the shoulders when fully grown. It has poor eyesight but its sense of smell and hearing are formidable.

Up to until the 60s, the number of rhinos in Nepal was only between 80 and 100. Now with the establishment of the protected areas, it has risen to more than 450. The royal Bengal Tiger often termed as the “king of the Jungle”, the tiger is one of the world’s most magnificent animals. The Royal Chitwan National park is the place which harbors most of Nepal’s 250 tigers. Other protected areas where they can be sighted are Royal Suklaphanta wildlife reserve, Royal Bardiya National park and Parsa wildlife reserve. The snow leopard has its dwelling in the snow covered Himalaya. In Nepal, their habitat extends for 36640 sq. km in the high altitudes among rocks and cliffs above the tree line more than 3,500 m above the sea-level. The Gangetic dolphin, so named for their habitation in the Gangetic waters, is a recent discovery in Nepal. The female species are larger than the males and they can reach up to 260 cm in length. They are non-gregarious by nature. The Gangetic dolphins abound mostly in the Koshi, Narayani, Gandaki and Karnali rivers.

The gharial crocodile is one of the most prominent reptile varieties so far found in Nepal. In Nepal, they abound mostly in the Royal Chitwan National park. In this they can even observe reproduction of gharials in breeding farm. The wild boar is distinctive for its sharp tusks, sparse coat and flute crest or mane of black bristle reaching from the nape down the black. A full grown male stands 90 cm and its weight may well exceed 230 kg.

These tusked animals abound mostly in the Royal Chitwan National Park, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Royal Bardiya National park and Parsa wild life reserve.

National Parks and wildlife Reserves in Nepal

About 225 species of mammals occur in Nepal. Nepalese mammals are found in all habitat types, from snowy mountain of Himalaya to hot steaming forest of Terai plain and show variety of adaptation e.g. flying, digging, tree living, aquatic etc. Some species breeding fast have outnumbered their carrying capacity and have become pest and put great strain to agroforestry. Some act as vector of human and livestock diseases. Hence control of their population becomes a present necessity. Many other species, however verging extinction due to loss of habitat and become so rare that they exist no more if proper asylum in natural forest is not given. For providing better habitat and chance of multiplication Government of Nepal has set up National parks and wildlife reserve in a country wide basis to preserve mammals and other forms of life in Trans-Himalayan, Himalayan, alpine, tropical bio climate belts.

The National Parks of Nepal are as follows:-

· ROYAL CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK

· KHUMBU NATIONAL PARK

· LANGTANG NATIONAL PARK

· RARA NATIONAL PARK

· ROYAL BARDIA NATIONAL PARK

· SHEY PHOKSUNDO NATIONAL PARK

· LUSAKA BARUN NATIONAL PARK and WILDLIFE RESERVE

· KHAPTAD NATIONAL PARK

· KOSHI-TAPPU WILDLIFE RESERVE

· ROYAL SUKLAPHANTA WILDLIFE RESERVE

· PARSA WILDLIFE RESERVE

· SIVAPURI CONSERVATION AREA AND WILDLIFE RESERVE

· TRIJUGA WILDLIFE RESERVE

· DHORPATAN HUNTING RESERVE

· ANNAPURNA CONSERVATION AREA

Royal Chitwan National Park

This park was first established in the year 1965 as a Royal Hunting Reserve. At present it is well known by its new name Royal Chitwan Park. This extensive Park covers an area of 932 sq km. it lies in the Terai belt of southern Nepal. Physio graphical it contains lowland valley of Sal dominated forest, riverine grasslands and swamplands it is one of the scientifically managed National Park of Nepal. The main purpose of its establishment was to protect the great one-horned rhino, elephant and tiger, as well as the peripheral wildlife occurring in the vast and varied ecological niches of Nepal Terai.

Royal Chitwan National Park covers a broad spectrum of wildlife of Terai. The principle wildlife includes rhino somber, Nilgai, Gaur, four-horned antelope, Chital, Brown bear, elephant, Otter, Gharial, ad gangetic dolphin. Among the noteworthy avifauna represented in this park are Bengal florican and demoiselle crane. Besides these a host of wetland birds and wild fowls are found in the Narayani watershed. Among the reptilian fauna, marsh crocodile also occur in the river swamps. The Narayani Saptagandaki bank and Rapti river bank provide canoeing opportunity to the visitors in this park.

Khumbu National Park

The Everest Park is approximately triangular in shape and covers an area of 1148 sq.km. It includes the highest point of exosphere at 8,848m. And deeply cut valleys situated approximately at 3,750m. The Dudh Koshi is the major snow fed river which joins Imja Khola near Phortse village. Khumbu area consists mostly of steep ragged terrain broken by deep ravines and glacial valley.

Khubu National park lies in lap of Himalayas. It occupies the in north eastern region of Nepal in Solukhumbu district as Sagarmatha zone.

Langtang National Park

This park is gazette in 1976. The second big Himalayan Park covers an area of 1710 sq.km. And lies on the northern frontier of the country. Its main feature includes densely forested Himalayan Mountains, alpine pastures, snowy crags, glacier and rivers. The vegetation of the park is dominated by juniper-rhododendron scrub, blue pine, and cushion plants. This park was established for its intrinsic scenic value as well as for the protection of trans- Himalayan biota. The major scenic places of this area include holy Gosaikunda Lake, massive rolling hills of Langtang.