We learned that Nepal has several different areas geographically, due to the dramatic variances in elevation levels, from tropical savannas along the Indian border, to subtropical forests in the Hill Region, to temperate forests on the slopes of the Himalaya, to grasslands and shrub-lands and then rock and ice at the highest elevations.. The mountainous north of Nepal has eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including the highest point on earth, Mount Everest.
"Even in such places, where life appears to be a constant battle against the elements, trekking in Nepal is made a pleasure by the warmth and good humor of the people as much as by the stunning landscapes." -World Food Cafe, Chris and Caryoln Caldicott
The southern lowland plains or Terai bordering India are fertile and humid, and this is where Nepal's tea, rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops and water buffalo are raised. The Terai was formed and is fed by three major Himalayan rivers as well as smaller rivers.
Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Gautama Buddha and therefore one of the holiest places of the Buddhist religion, is located in this region. Even though Buddhism is linked historically with Nepal, Hinduism is practiced by most of Nepalis, making it the country with the highest percentage (about 82%) of Hindus. And so, we learned about Buddhism.
A typical Nepalese meal is Dal bhat. Dal is a spicy lentil soup, served over bhat (boiled rice), served with tarkari (curried vegetables) together with achar (pickles) orchutni (spicy condiment).
"In village homes, the meal is always eaten by mixing a little dal and vegetable or pickle with some rice and scooping it up with the right hand." -World Food Cafe, Chris and Caryoln Caldicott