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9 Totally Weird And Interesting Facts about Nepal

By Edited Jul 31, 2016 9 26

You might have probably heard this for over a hundred times that Nepal is the country of Mount Everest, and it is the roof of the world, it is in the lap of Himalayas... and hundreds of what nots! But those are the real and normal facts about Nepal, but have you heard what's unique, interesting and weird about this beautiful country?

Let's get started with number 1 weird fact!

1. Everyone lives without electricity for half a day!

Loadshedding in Nepal
Credit: Pixabay

Candles, oil lamps and lanterns are common in Nepali household.

The demand of electricity is so much more than the production that the people of Nepal are forced to live without power for as much as 16 hours per day during the peak season. The country largely depends on hydroelectricity as the only source of power. When the water level falls during the winter season, the generation is less than fifty percent of what was being produced during summer and the monsoon. To add more insult to the injury, winter is the time when the power demand surges due to more heating and lighting requirements. Total insanity!

Currently, the "load shedding" is 8.28 hours per day on average. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), that regulates the distribution of electricity in the developing country of Nepal, revises the schedule on a semi-regular basis.

You're buying this fact, right? Because, yes - it IS a fact. No matter how rich or poor you are, you are only supplied power at designated times. Unless you have your own means of generating power (diesel generator, solar, wind), you are in total darkness! It might be until late 2016 that this problem will be solved when Upper Tamakoshi hydropower plant comes into operation[1].

Ask for current Nepal Loadshedding

The reason behind this?

  • More demand (obviously), but not being able to make a reservoir type hydro power plant is the main culprit. Nepal has only one reservoir type hydropower generation plant - The Kulekhani; and it has been bearing the enormous load of helping the country stand up in its feet. Thanks to the World Bank and the $26 million aid[7], without which we would have to leave in total darkness.
  • Electricity Theft. Welcome to Nepal, where people would rather steal the power directly from the poles than buying it at a reasonable price. Result: More blackouts and increase in costs for the end consumers. NEA (Nepal Electricity Authority) has already increased the price of electricity twice since 2012 - the first time it increased by just 20% while 30% was necessary to achieve break-even.[8] What's appalling is that this frequent leakage has already reached nearly a third of the total power produced. By definition, almost 34% (and may be more) revenue is lost.[9]

2. Nepal has over 6000 lakes and fresh water rivers

But...

Water Problem in Nepal
Credit: Public Domain

Yes, those are women lining and crowding up to fetch water. Some even brush their teeth, bathe and wash clothes near the well.

...but water supply is a joke! People will literally kill to have drinking water. Not weird enough? What if I tell you that the problem of water supply is more widespread in the most developed cities like the capital Kathmandu? The demand of water in Kathmandu valley is over 350 million liters in a single day while the supply is less than 180 million liters.

On average, water is supplied through the installed pipelines for only 4 days in a week (on average) and for just 2.4 hours[2] on those designated days too. It is common to find people using reserve tanks to store water for the perilous times. We have a 8,000 liters reserve underground tank which is enough for my family of five for a full month.

Attached below is a video that shows the burden Nepali women have to bear for fetching water.

Women are responsible for getting water

The condition of remote villages in Nepal is so miserable. They don't have pipeline and people are still unaware about gender equality, discrimination and domestic violence. Women are held responsible for everything.

3. Nepal is a top tourist destination, but Nepal Airlines doesn't have planes!

Despite being a popular tourist place, Nepal does not have enough of its own national aircrafts. The national carrier, Nepal Airlines, only has 2 long haul airplanes which are more than 30 years old. These two Boeing 757-200 aircrafts only serve Asian countries and on peak tourist routes like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Doha. However, Nepal Airlines does have over 95% punctuality[3] on its flights. Guess you've got to be punctual when you can't do enough shifts!

Airlines from other countries do connect Nepal, but the lack of a national carrier has led to significant expensive airfare for tourists visiting Nepal. Nepal is still not directly connected to the United States, Africa, Australia, South America and the western Europe. The farthest connection from Kathmandu on the east is Seoul (South Korea) and on the west is Istanbul (Turkey).

How far can you fly from Kathmandu?

Seoul and Istanbul

4. No hugging, no kissing, no PDA... nah uh!

No Kissing in Public in Nepal

Hugging each other is okay (but still strange). But publicly kissing and activities of public display of affection is not only frowned upon, but will land you in police custody. Even Valentine's Day is not an excuse! It is worth knowing essential safety tips for traveling Nepal.

Nepal is still a developing country, not just from the point of view of infrastructure and luxuries. People are traditional and conservative, with over 80% following the ancient religion of Hinduism. Don't get us wrong - we watch Hollywood movies with PDA (and not-so-PDA) scenes and we are okay with it. But we're quite not in the place where we're okay with seeing a couple kiss in public.

A little FYI: PDA means "Public Displays of Affection"

FYI means "For Your Information" 

Laughing

5. Nepalese have ONE national food

Dal Bhat Tarkari of Nepal

Contents of Dal-bhat-tarkari (clockwise from left): Green salad (cucumber and carrot), Rice, Mustard greens, Potatoes, Ghee, Chicken gravy, Mutton curry, Black lentils

Photo by: Shoestring via Wikimedia Commons

And the day gets weird if we skip it. The food is dal-bhat-tarkari, which means dal (lentils), rice (bhat) and a vegetable (tarkari). I have never met a Nepali family that doesn't consume dal-bhat-tarkari without missing a day. Some families never miss a meal too and they have it two times daily as lunch and dinner.

Nepalese generally eat vegetable curry like gundruk, but it can be any veggie or even meat curry and gravy. Mustard greens, leafy greens like spinach, kale, gardencress and cauliflower is more common than any other vegetable, with radish pickle and tomato chutney (sauce) on the side.

6. Nepal is only slightly larger than Alabama and Arkansas.

But it is much smaller than Georgia and Florida. However, almost 13,225 people live in a tightly packed square kilometer in the metropolitan city of Kathmandu. What's more interesting is that in a western district Manang, only 4 people live per square kilometer![4]

Manang Valley

This beautiful Manang valley has no roads worth driving!

Photo by: tcy3282 on Flickr

Despite being a small country, Nepal has much more to offer than several large countries. There are beautiful sceneries that will melt your heart. There are the highest points on earth and also the deepest valleys. There are over 120 Hindu temples in Kathmandu alone and over 300,000 small and big temples, monasteries and stupas. It is the only place in the world where the UNESCO World Heritage Sites are just within 15 km. That's why, Kathmandu is also called the city of temples.

7. Nepal and Portugal are twins!

 

Map of Portugal

Portugal

 

Map of Nepal

Nepal

Pictures taken from Google Maps

If the map of Nepal is turned 90 degrees clockwise, it is literally the same as map of Portugal. This can be a very interesting question in pop quizzes and is asked frequently in general quiz contests in schools.

More Weird

Arresting God in Kathmandu
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Jul 31, 2016)
Do you think arranged marriages are weird? Do you believe in love before marriage or marriage, then love? In Nepal, what happens is you are at the mercy of the society and people around you for getting privacy.

This collection of 9 short stories perfectly shows the changing viewpoint of a "traditional Nepali" as he battles through his relationship. A must read.

Rating: 4.5 stars

8. Nepal is not only the land of Everest, but the land of 8 highest mountains!

Mount Everest from Mountain Flight Nepal
Credit: shrimpo1967 on Flickr/ Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Mount Everest,  with its sister mountains Lhotse and Nuptse. As seen from a mountain flight to the Himalayas.

Out of the top 10 highest mountains in the entire world, 8 are in Nepal. What's more? All of them are more than 8,000 meters high. The tenth highest mountain in the world is the Annapurna I, which stands 26,545 feet tall.[5]

Lake Tilicho (at 4,919 m) in the Annapurna range, is one of the highest glacial lakes in the world. It is a very popular point in the popular Annapurna Circuit trekking route and also holds the record for one of the highest altitude scuba diving sites[6].

9. An 8-year old kid directs mainstream movies!

Saugat Bista, 8, is all set to place himself and Nepal in the Guiness Book of World Records. It might sound unbelievable, but it's actually true. He has directed a 2014 movie called "Love You Baba" (which means, Love you Dad) - all from scratch - just him.[10]

The movie stars his own father and his own sister, and is the story of love between a father and a child without her mother. The story, as put by the pop culture websites, is a family drama with ups and downs in the relationship between a father who is doing everything to fulfill the wish of his motherless daughter.

What it feels like to work with a child director (video)

The actors share their experiences working with an eight year old child director.

"He notices even the small details we professional actors tend to miss. He is a very talented director in the set, but outside - he turns himself into this one innocent typical 8-year old kid." - Basanta Bhatta, Actor

Do you happen to know a weird fact not mentioned here? Have something to say? Drop them in the comments!

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Comments

Oct 16, 2014 1:41am
looz_kid
here's another facts,
1.if you are caught having sex with any prostitute in any hotels,you'll be in police custody...
2.if you are tatted and if guys have dreadlocks or long hair,you get caught by police...
basically nepal police acts as a parents to us... lmao
Oct 27, 2014 8:36am
WinterWolf
Haha, yup!
Nov 2, 2014 6:07pm
WinterWolf
At least they have loosened up a bit lately. It was almost impossible to walk around with a long cool hair few months back.
Oct 16, 2014 4:00pm
Prabin
Got 7 of the 8 right. Nepalese have many different traditional foods given its ethnic diversity. Not everyone eat dal-bhat-tarkari every day twice a day. In the south, they eat roti, in the hills, they eat dhido, Newars have many festivals when they eat samaybaji, feast with beaten rice.
Oct 16, 2014 5:56pm
WinterWolf
Thank you for your comment, Prabin. May be I should change it to national food. I will look into it.
Nov 2, 2014 4:44am
vicdillinger
Fascinating read. Thumbin'!
Nov 2, 2014 6:26am
WinterWolf
I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by!
Nov 2, 2014 12:47pm
Info_Man
Stunning pictures of a beautiful country! I was surprised to learn of the water shortage when there are so many lakes and rivers in Nepal. Surely the government could do more to solve the problem. How do the hotels supply water for tourists who come to see the Himalayas?
Nov 2, 2014 5:00pm
WinterWolf
Thanks! The hotels have contact with local water supply firms that deliver water from nearby lakes or rivers in water tankers. It's far too expensive and the water is not pure. That's why hotels have their own purification system. Also, big star hotels have their own bores and wells constructed. In a nutshell, you either have to be freaking rich or near a water source to have constant water.
We have an underground tank that reserves water when it's supplied by the water supply corporation. It overflows in rainy and early winter but rarely gets filled even a third in winter and spring.
Nov 2, 2014 1:46pm
christianokoye
Beautiful country
Nov 2, 2014 6:05pm
WinterWolf
Yes. Of course! thanks for stopping here. ;)
Nov 2, 2014 11:23pm
JadeDragon
Well deserved place in the top 100 articles. Really enjoyed reading it.
Nov 3, 2014 12:42am
WinterWolf
Thank you, Jade!
Nov 3, 2014 3:28am
maria52gr
This is very, very interesting. Nepal sounds like a really fascinating country!
Nov 3, 2014 5:55am
WinterWolf
Thanks Maria!
Nov 3, 2014 4:01am
StefanCollins
Surprised you didn't mention about the shape of flag.
Nov 3, 2014 5:58am
WinterWolf
I knew someone would mention this and I'm glad you did. Yes, it is different and unique. But I have read so many articles mentioning this as a unique "asset" that it has completely set me off. I have reached this point where having a triangular flag feels less weird than Nepalese people being proud of in a country with oddly shaped flag. LOL! And I just wanted to stand out because I thought everyone would have read that already somewhere.

Thanks for stopping by! ;)
Nov 3, 2014 4:19am
StefanCollins
Surprised you didn't mention the oddly shaped flag.
Nov 3, 2014 9:10am
kellapat
This article deserves to be in the Top 100!
Nov 3, 2014 9:20am
WinterWolf
Thank you, Mary.
Nov 8, 2014 8:26am
Indraraj
Good one.
Nov 8, 2014 7:37pm
WinterWolf
Thank you.
Nov 12, 2014 11:01pm
rainykua
Wow, I didn't know any of these!
Nov 13, 2014 7:18pm
WinterWolf
You do now. ;)
Thanks for stopping by.
Mar 25, 2015 5:13am
AdventureNepal
Mostly right but don't really agree with the no PDA. I'm a westerner married to a Nepali and have never had an issue with hand holding or small kisses. I think if you are really going at it maybe but I have never even seen anyone bat an eye, even the police, at couple's both foreign and Nepali. And I've learned some Nepali's are big huggers!
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Bibliography

  1. "Salient Features." Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited. 28/09/2014 <Web >
  2. "Summary of Findings - Drinking Water Survey." Central Bureau of Statistics, Nepal. 28/09/2014 <Web >
  3. Nepal Airlines Corporation "Aakash Bhairab - In House Journal." Flight Performance Report for the month of Baisakh and Jestha 2071. 33 17/09/2014.
  4. "District_Profile_Manang." Central Bureau of Statistics. 10/10/2014 <Web >
  5. "List of highest mountains." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 25/September/2014. 11/10/2014 <Web >
  6. Carl Drews "The Highest Lake in the World." The Highest Lake. 11/10/2014 <Web >
  7. "Kulekhani Hydroelectric Project." The World Bank Projects. 11/11/2014 <Web >
  8. "Govt all set to hike power tariff by 20 pc." ktm2day.com. 10/03/2012. 11/11/2014 <Web >
  9. "Feature: Power theft triggers frequent blackout in Nepal." Global Energy Network Institute. 4/12/2013. 11/11/2014 <Web >
  10. "Love you Baba (2014)." Reel Nepal. 15/12/2014 <Web >

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