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INTRODUCING NEPAL
Local Name: नेपाल
Other Name(s): Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Surrounded by the greatest heights of the Himalaya, the kingdom of Nepal is a land of eternal attraction, a place where one visit is hardly ever enough. It's a land of colorful cultures, ancient history and people, superb scenery and some of the best walking on earth.

Nepal's history is closely related to its geographical location, separating the fertile plains of India from the desert-like plateau of Tibet. Its position between Indian and China meant the country was able at times to play the role of intermediary - a canny trader between two great powers - while at other times it faced the threat of invasion. Internally, its history was just as dynamic, with city-states in the hills vying with each other for power until one powerful king, Prithivi Narayan Shah, overran them all. That history is very visible today with the three great towns of the Kathmandu valley - Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur - still bearing witness to their days as fiercely competitive mediaeval mini-kingdoms. Indeed, in Nepal it's often possible to suspend belief and mentally roll the clock right back to the
mediaeval era.

Trekking is not the only activity which draws visitors, it also has some superb white-water rafting opportunities, mountain biking, which is become more and more popular, and down in the jungle, safaris on elephant-back into the Royal Chitwan National Park are another not-to-be-missed part of the Nepal experience.