Nepal is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. With an area of 147,181 square KM (56,827 sq mi) and a population of approximately 27 million, it is the world's 93rd largest country by land mass and the 41st most populous country. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and largest metropolis.
Nepal is roughly trapezoidal in shape, 497 mi long and 124 mi wide, stretching from east to west. The 56,827 sq mi area is divided into three different regions - Mountain, Hill and the Terai, paralleled to each other and stretching from east to west. They are vertically intersected by Nepal's major, north to south flowing river systems.
The country is situated in the lap of the mighty snow-clad Himalayas famous all over the world. The snowy Himalayas lie to the North and contain the highest elevations in the world including 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) height Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepali). Seven other of the world's eight thousand meter peaks are also in Nepal or on its border with China.
The Hill Region adjoin the mountains and varies from 800 to 4,000 meters in altitude with progression from subtropical climates below 1,200 meters to alpine climates above 3,600 meters. The Mahabharat Range reaching 1,500 to 3,000 meters is the southern limit of this region, with subtropical river valleys and "hills" alternating to the north of this range. Population density is high in valleys but notably less above 2,000 meters and very low above 2,500 meters where snow occasionally falls in winter.
The southern lowland plains or Terai bordering India are part of the northern rim of the Indo-Gangetic plains. They were formed and are fed by three major Himalayan rivers: the Kosi, the Narayani, and the Karnali as well as smaller rivers rising below the permanent snowline. This region has a subtropical to tropical climate.
Nepal has five climatic zones, broadly corresponding to the altitudes. The tropical and subtropical zones lie below 1,200 meters, the temperate zone 1,200 to 2,400 meters, the cold zone 2,400 to 3,600 meters, the subarctic zone 3,600 to 4,400 meters, and the Arctic zone above 4,400 meters.
The country experiences five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. Spring is colorful (March-May), Heat gradually builds up after April end until relief in the form of the monsoon arrives in June/July. During summer - the monsoon; moisture-laden wind, gathers in the Bay of Bengal and sweep up across India to spend its force on the Himalayan mountain chain. Autumn (September-November) is renowned for clear skies and pleasant temperature. By winter (December-February) the high hills take dry brown shades and the mountains are occasionally dusted with fresh snow.
Nepal is popular for mountaineering, containing some of the highest and most challenging mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. The south-east ridge on the Nepali side of the mountain is easier to climb; so, most climbers prefer to trek to Everest through Nepal.