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Physical Features of Nepal

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Physical Features of Nepal

Source: The Kathmandu Post

Nepal is a small and beautiful country. It lies between two developed and big countries, India and China. It has south, east and west borders with India and north with China. Due to the covering of these two countries, Nepal has become a landlocked country. The nearest sea from Nepal lies 1170 km far which is the Indian Ocean.
The total area of Nepal is 147,181 sq. km. It is divided into 3 divisions. The upper 15% part is Himalayan region, the middle 68% part is Hilly region and the lower 17% part is Terai region. All regions have different land topographies.



Physical Division of Nepal

The geography of Nepal can be divided into three physical regions from north to south.

  1. Himalayan Region
  2. Hilly Region
  3. Terai region
  • Himalayan Region
    Himalayan Region
    Himalayan Region

    Himalayan region lies in the northern part of Nepal. It covers an area of 22,081 sq. km making about 15% of the total area of the country. It is very cold region because we can find almost all mountains in this region. The highest peak of the world Mt. Everest and the deepest Arun valley of the world lie in this region. People of this region mainly follow Buddhism and Tibetan religions. Sherpas and Thakalis are the main inhabitants of this region. Potatoes, wheat, buckwheat are the main crops grown in this region. People wear thick clothes and drink the milk of yak which consists of lots of fat.

  • Hilly Region
    Hilly Region
    Hilly Region

    Hilly region lies between the Himalayan and Terai region. It covers an area of 100,080 sq. km making about 68% of the country. It has neither hot nor cold but moderate climate. The land in this region is not much fertile but still has some fertile land valleys in it, where agriculture is possible. Rai, Limbu, Magar, Tamang, Gurung and Chepang including various other mangoloid groups live in this region. People living in Hilly region follow Hinduism along with other religions. Their main festivals are Dashain, Tihar, Lhosar etc.

  • Terai Region
    Terai Region
    Terai Region

    Terai region lies in the southern part of Nepal. It covers an area of 25,020 sq. km making about 17% of the total area of the country. It is called the ‘Granary of Nepal’ because it has plain, fertile land with alluvial soil and plenty of water for irrigation and agriculture. Due to heavy rain, we can found dense forests with tall trees. Brahmin, Kshetri, Tharu, Yadav, Jha including other Madhesi people live here. Hinduism and Islam are major religion of Terai people. They celebrate Dashain, Tihar, Chhat and Holi as major festivals. They wear thin cotton clothes called ‘Dhoti’.

Economic Activities

Economic Activities
Economic Activities

Nepal is an agricultural country. Around 76% of people are engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. Agriculture is the main source of income and base of people to adjust to the society as well as to the world. People living in town and city areas are involved in offices, tourism, industries, hospitalities and other modern sectors. The following table depicts the main economics activities of the people categorised under the physical geography.

Geographical Region

Economic Activities

Himalayan Region

Tourism, Animal husbandry, Trekking, Mountaineering etc.

Hilly Region

Animal husbandry, Agriculture, Foreign jobs, Businesses, Tourism etc.

Terai Region

Agriculture, Animal husbandry, Pottery, Services etc.


The Riverine Divisions

Nepal is the second richest country in water resources because of having more than 6,000 rivers and rivulets including small and big rivers, ponds and lakes. Almost all rivers flow from the Himalayan region by melting of the snows of the mountains and flow downward to hills, valleys, and plains based on drainage area. There are three principal riverine divisions from east to west:

  1. Koshi Basin in the East
  2. Gandaki Basin in the Center
  3. Karnali Basin in the West

Climatic Divisions

The average temperature or weather of a certain place is called climate. All types of the climatic conditions of the world can be found in Nepal. Varieties of flora and fauna are found in a small geographical area. Nepal's climate can be divided into three distinct zones, which are as follows:

  • Hot and Humid Climatic Zone:
    This zone lies between 200 feet to 2000 feet above the sea level. Terai, Chure range and Inner Terai from east to west are the areas with this kind of climate. This region receives heavy rainfall throughout the year.

  • Temperate Climatic Zones:
    This zone lies above 10,000 feet above the sea level. Hilly region of Nepal has these types of climatic zones. It has a moderate temperate climate which is neither hot nor cold.

  • Cold and Alpine Climatic Zone:
    This zone lies above 10,000 feet above the sea level. Himalayan region of Nepal has this type of climatic zones. It receives snowfall and scanty rainfall in the winter season. It has cold climate throughout the year.





  • Our country, Nepal is locked by land from all sides.
  • It is surrounded by India in the south, east and west and China in the north.
  • On the basis of physiographical features, Nepal is divided into three distinct regions; Himalayan, Hilly, and Terai regions.

Questions and Answers

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers

The scientific study of the structure of place, design and shape of the earth's surface by mapping is known as geography.

The main inhabitants of the Terai region are Brahmin, Kshetri, Rajput, Tharu, Danuwar, Majhi, Darai, Rajbansi, Satar, Dhimal, Thangar, Singh, Jha, Yadav etc.

Terai region is called ‘Granary of Nepal’ because it has plain, fertile land with alluvial soil and plenty of rainfall for irrigation and agriculture.

The main sources of income of the people living in Himalayan region are tourism, animal husbandry, trekking, mountaineering etc.

Cold and Alpine climate is found in the Himalayan region.

The Hilly region covers 68% of the total area of the country.

The geography of Nepal can be divided into three physical regions from south to north which are as follows:

  • Terai region
  • Hilly region
  • Himalayan region

  •  The Terai region covers an  area of ___________.

    25,020 sq. km
    3,2502 sq. km
    none of them
    23,032 sq. km
  • The Hilly region covers ______________ of the total area of the country.

  • About ________ of people in Nepal are engaged in agriculture.

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