Nepal Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Nepal: population and cities


According to Countryaah website, Nepal has around 29.5 million residents.

Ethnic composition

About three quarters of the residents of Nepal are of Indo-Aryan and Indo-Nepalese origin. The rest of the population is made up of Tibetan-Nepalese groups (such as the Tamang, Gurung, Newar, Thakali, Magar, Sunwar, Rai, Limbu and Tharu) as well as a small minority of Tibetan groups (Sherpa, Tibetan refugees).


affiliation Hinduism is anchored in the Nepalese constitution as the state religion, which has earned the country the nickname “the only Hindu kingdom in the world”. Hinduism therefore enjoys special protection. According to a controversially discussed law, ” attempts to convert” Hindus to Islam, Christianity or other religions are punished with imprisonment (proselytizing). About 80% of the population are Hindus, 15% Buddhists, 3% Muslims and 2% Christians and others.

National language

Since the unification of Nepal in the 18th century, Nepali has been the official language, but there are around 50 minority languages and dialects.

Nepali comes from the ancient Indian Sanskrit, the so-called “language of the gods”. As a descendant of Sanskrit, it belongs to the Indo-Germanic language family, to which, with a few exceptions (such as Turkish, Finnish, Hungarian), all European languages also belong. So Nepali is basically related to German, which is of little use when learning the language! Nepali is written in the Devanagiri alphabet. It consists of 36 consonants, 12 vowels and 2 nasal signs. There are also around 30-40 combined consonants called ligatures.

Other languages belong to the Tibeto-Burmese language family and are also divided into various local dialects, so that many Nepalese would find it difficult to communicate with one another if it weren’t for the national language.

Capital and other cities


The capital of Nepal is Kathmandu with a population of around 1.2 million.  According to Abbreviation Finder, NPL stands for Nepal in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

Kathmandu Valley

In the Kathmandu Valley as the largest population center there are still the cities of Bhaktapur (about 180,000 residents) and the small cities of Madyapur-Timi and Kirtipur. The Kathmandu valley is largely sprawled and the complete, almost always unplanned use as settlement area is foreseeable. The Kathmandu area today has a population of around 1.5 million.

Pokhara Valley

The second largest population center in the mountains is the Pokhara Valley. The cities of Pokhara and Lekhnath have exceeded the 200,000 population limit.

Nepal: geography, map

The former kingdom and present-day Republic of Nepal is located in Asia and extends from the 26th to the 30th parallel north and from the 80th to 88th parallel east. It covers an area of 147,181 km², of which approximately 136,800 km² are land. Inland waters are found on the remaining 4,000 km². Nepal lies between the two most populous countries on earth: the Tibetan region of China in the north and India in the south, east and west. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Nepal.


Area and land use

Nepal covers a total area of 147,181 km². About 136,800 km² of this is land area, the remaining 4,000 km² are inland waters. The state of Nepal extends along the southern canopy of the Himalayas over a length of about 850 km and a width of about 150 to 250 km. The

landscape is divided into three regions, which run parallel to each other from northwest to southeast.

In the south, on the edge of the Ganges plain, the Terai plain extends, which is only up to about 100 m high.

To the north of it rise the Himalayan foothills: in the west the foothills of the Siwalik Mountains reaching from India and to the east the Mahabharat and Churia-Gati Mountains with an average height of 2,500 m.

This region is traversed by large longitudinal valleys over 500 to 1,000 m, including the Kathmandu valley. To the north of the foothills, the high Himalaya rises with an average height of 4,500 m. Seven of the ten highest mountains in the world – all over 8,000 m high – are in Nepal, among them Mount Everest (Qomolangma Feng), with 8,850 m the highest peak in the world.

  • ForestAround 30% of the country is forested. In the Terai lowlands there are extensive tropical hardwood and bamboo forests and swamps that provide a habitat for tigers, leopards, monkeys, elephants and other animals. Mixed forests with deciduous and evergreen trees such as oak, maple, magnolias, pines and rhododendrons grow on lower slopes. In the higher elevations, the mixed forest gives way to fir forests and undergrowth. Beyond the tree line at 3,600 m, there is only sparse alpine vegetation. There, in the high Himalayas, yak herds are led to the high alpine pastures by their shepherds during the short summer months.
  • SteppeOn parts of the border with Tibet stretches over 400 kilometers – from the Ganesh Himal to the north-west of the country – the northern Himalayan dry zone, whose rugged wasteland is reminiscent of the Tibetan plateau. Because of its hostile conditions, the region is sparsely populated, arable farming is only practiced in the river plains.
  • Arable land and fieldsAround 38% of the land is used as arable land or fields. In the Terai lowlands, the land is cultivated especially for the commercial cultivation of rice, wheat, sugar cane, jute and tobacco. In the higher mountain regions, agriculture has created an old cultural landscape. People grow rice, maize, wheat, potatoes and millet in the valleys and on the densely terraced mountain slopes.
  • MountainsAccording to the country’s reputation, Nepal is an extremely mountainous country. Around 64% of the area is over 1,000 meters high, 28% of which are over 3,000 meters and 10% even over 5,000 m. These latter regions are covered by permanent snow. The Shiwaliks or Churia Mountains form the northern end of the Terai plain directly adjacent to India. This strip, which extends through the whole country, cannot be used for agriculture due to the nature of the soil and is accordingly sparsely populated. Uncontrolled deforestation has also led to severe soil erosion, and the masses of water flowing into the Terai during the monsoons have caused many a flood disaster. North of the Shiwaliks, the Mahabharat chain stretches with peaks between 2,000 and 3,000 meters. This ridge is an old Nepalese settlement area. Since the river valleys were narrow and unsuitable for settlement, the population settled on the valley slopes and created terraced farmland.
  • Mountains and valleys around KathmanduTo the north of the Mahabharat chain is the mountain range that surrounds the valleys of Kathmandu and Pokhara. Lush rainfall and the moderate climate make this region the main settlement area. The region is now suffering from overpopulation, soil erosion and soil degradation. The arable land is cultivated on terraces that have been wrestled from the mountains in laborious work. Wet rice is grown up to an altitude of 2,000 m, maize up to 2,500 m and wheat even up to an altitude of 2,800 m.Himalayan massif. The Himalayan massif rises from the mountains, the peaks of which are covered with eternal snow. Translated from Sanskrit, Himalaya means “place of snow”. Within the mountain range is the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. However, this region hardly plays a role as a settlement area. The settlement boundary is around 2,500 m, some summer settlements are built up to an altitude of 4,400 m.

    The 400 km long north Himalayan dry zone stretches from the Ganesh Himal to the north-west of the country, with its rugged desert reminiscent of the Tibetan plateaus. The region is only sparsely populated because of its hostile conditions.

National borders

Nepal has a common border with the following two countries.

China (Tibet) with a length of 1,236 km

India with a length of 1,690 km.

Longitude and latitude

Nepal extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from around 26 ° to 30 ° north latitude Δλ = from around 080 ° to 088 ° east longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

For Nepal, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time without summer time. A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δ t (CET) = + 4 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

The highest point of the sun in Kathmandu

Kathmandu lies at a northern latitude of around φ = 28 °.

If the sun, or its image point, is at the northern tropic, i.e. at δ = 23.5 °, summer begins in Kathmandu, this is June 21. Then, for the highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see position of the sun):

28 ° = (90 ° – h) + 23.5 °


H = 85.5 °

At 85.5 °, the sun in Kathmandu has the highest level of the entire year above the horizon (more precisely: above the horizon).

Mountains, eight-thousanders

Mount Everest

The highest mountain in the country is Mount Everest with a height of 8,846 m. It is located in the north of the country on the border with China. The mountain was climbed on May 29, 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and the local Sherpa Tensing. It is interesting that China has so far given the height of the mountain at 8,844.3 m. Only in April 2010 did China accept the “Nepalese” altitude specification of 8,848 m.

The other eight-thousanders located wholly or partly in Nepal are:

Surname Height location First ascent First climber
Kangchenjunga(Kantsch) 8,586 m Nepal/India May 25, 1955 George Band and Joe Brown (GB)
Lhotse 8,516 m Nepal/China May 18, 1956 Fritz Luchsinger and Ernst Reiss (Switzerland)
Makalu 8,463 m Nepal/China May 15-17, 1955 J.Couzy, L.Terray, J.Franco, G.Magnone, J.Bouvier, S.Coupé, P.Leroux, A.Vialatte and G.Norbu (France)
Cho Oyu 8,201 m Nepal October 19, 1954 Herbert Tichy, Sepp Jöchler (Austria) and Sirdar Pasang Dawa Lama
Dhaulagiri 8,167 m Nepal May 13, 1960 Kurt Diemberger, Peter Diener, Ernst Forrer, Albin Schelbert (Austria) and the Sherpas Nawang Dorje and Nyima Dorje (Nepal)
Manaslu 8,163 m Nepal May 9, 1956 Toshio Imanishi, Kiishiro Kato, Minoru Higeta and Sherpa Gyalazen Norbu (Nepal)
Annapurna I 8,091 m Nepal June 3, 1950 Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal (France)

Other high mountains:

  • Annapurna IIwith an altitude of 7,937 m
  • Annapurna IIIwith an altitude of 7,582 m
  • Gangchempowith an altitude of 6,400 m



The longest river in the country is the Kaligandaki from the Gandaki River System.

Other rivers in the country are:

The Koshi and the Karnali


The country includes numerous smaller and larger lakes.

Rara Lake

The largest lake in the country is Rara Lake, which is located in the west of the country and covers an area of around 9.8 km².

Phewa Lake

Phewa in the Pokhara District covers an area of around 5 km², making it the second largest lake in the country


The Phoksundo in the Dolpa district covers an area of around 4.95 km²


The Rupatal in the Pokhara district covers an area of around 1.35 km²

Nepal Population