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    NEPAL is situated on the north-eastern frontier of India, lying between 8o° 15' and 88° 10' E., and 26° 20' and 3o° 10' N.; area, 54,000 sq. m. Its extreme length is about 525 m., and its breadth varies from 90 to 14o m. It is bounded on the N. by Tibet; on the E. by Sikkim; on the S. by Bengal and the United Provinces; and on the W. by Kumaon, from which it is separated by the Kali river. Its population is estimated by the natives at about 5,200,000, the common phrase used by the rulers in speaking of popular opinion being, " but what will the Bawan (i.e. fifty-two) Lakh say to this." Nepal consists physically of two distinct territories: (I) the tarai, or strip of level, cultivated and forest land lying along the southern border; and (2) the great mountainous tract stretching northwards to Tibet. Along the northern frontier stand many of the highest peaks of the Himalayan range, such as Dhaulagiri (26,837 ft.), Mutsiputra, Gaurishankar and Yasa (24,000), Gosain Than (26,313), Mount Everest (29,002 according to the survey value), Kinchinjunga (28,146), and numerous peaks varying from 20,000 to 24,000 ft. In clear weather this magnificent snowy range may be seen in an almost continuous line from the top of some of the lower ranges near Katmandu. South of these are numerous parallel lower ranges, varying from 16,000 to 6000 ft. in height, which are broken up at intervals by cross ranges, thus forming a series of glens with a few hill-girt valleys interspersed. These mountain ranges determine the course of the rivers, which are divided by the cross ranges into four groups. The first of these extends from Kumaon eastward as far as Dhaulagiri, and consists of the affluents of the Kali (Sarda), Sarju, Kurnali, Eastern Sarju, and Rapti, all of which ultimately form the Gogra or Gogari, and flow into the Ganges. The second group, known to the Nepalese as the Sapt Gandaki, rises from the peaks between Dhaulagiri and Gosain Than, and unite at Trebeni Ghat to form the Gandak. The third is a group of smaller rivers draining the great valley of Nepal, the valleys of Chitlong, Benepa, and Panoutl, and portions of the tarai around the Churiaghati range of hills. These are the various branches of the Bara Gandak, the lesser Rapti, the Bagmati and Kumla. East of this again is the fourth group, known to the Nepalese as the Sapt Kosi, rising from the peaks between Gosain Than and Kinchinjunga, and uniting to form the Soon Kosi, which falls into the Ganges. There is thus a natural division of the country into four portions. The most western is the country of the Baisi (or twenty-two) rajas, and contains the towns of Jumla, Doti and Sulliana. The second is the country of the Chaubisi (or twenty-four) rajas, and contains the towns of Malebum, Palpa, Gurkha and Noakote. The third is the district containing Nepal proper, with the capital and many large towns to be mentioned afterwards. The fourth is the eastern portion of Nepal, comprising the country of the Kiratis, and many small towns, such as Dhankota, Ilam and Bijapur. Route into Nepal—The portion of Nepal, exclusive of the tarai, vultures and eagles, pheasants. (Gallophasis), chukor, hill partridges, which is open to Europeans is the valley of Nepal," containing the capital of the country, and a few adjacent smaller valleys. There is only one means of access open to Europeans, and this indeed is in general resorted to by the natives, as the other routes to the capital are longer and far more difficult. The road runs nearly north from Segauli, passing through the tarai and sal forests, to Bhichhkhori; then through the beds of mountain streams, through a pass in the Churiyaghati range, and through another sal forest, to Hetoura; thence by a wide and good road to Bhimphedi at the foot of the Sisaghari range of hills. So far the route is practicable for carts and baggage animals, but from this point the road is a mere rugged footpath over the Sisaghari Pass, through the Chitlong valley and over the Chandragiri range. The distance from Segauli to Katmandu is 90 M. The valley in extreme length from east to west is about 26 m., and in breadth from north to south about 15. The surrounding hills vary in height from 600o to 9720 ft., the level of the valley itself being about 4500 ft. above the sea. Tradition has it that Nepal was once a lake, and appearances are in favour of this view. It is crossed from east to west by a low limestone range, through which the waters have gradually forced a passage, and in like manner the collected rivers have escaped at the south-east corner of the valley. There are three principal streams, the Bagmati, Vishnumati, and Manohora, besides many small tributaries of these. All the rivers rise within the valley, except the Bagmati, which springs from the northern side of the Shiupuri peak, and enters the valley through a ravine at the north-east corner. They all unite and pass through a long narrow gorge in the limestone range, already mentioned, at Chobhar, and ultimately escape from the valley at Kotwaldar. Climate.—In and around the Nepal valley, as in India, the year may be divided into the rainy, cold and hot seasons. The rains begin in June and last till October, but the fall is not so heavy or continuous as in the plains of Hindustan. The cold season extends from the middle of October to the middle of April. During these months the climate is delicious. Hoar-frost and thin ice are common in the mornings, and the thermometer sometimes falls as low as 25° Fahr., but the days are bright and warm. From Christmas to the end of February there are occasional showers of rain; and snow falls on the surrounding low ranges, but is very rarely seen in the valley itself. From April to the beginning of the rains is the hot 'season, but the thermometer seldom reaches 85° in the shade. The result of observations extending over many years gives an average mean temperature of 60° Fahr., and an annual rainfall of about 6o in. Violent thunderstorms are not uncommon, and occasionally severe earthquakes occur, as in 1833 and 1866. Flora and Fauna.—In a country possessing such a range of altitudes the flora and fauna are of course very varied. For descriptive purposes, Nepal may again be divided into three zones. These are—(1) the tarai and lower ranges of hills up to 4000 ft. in height; (2) the central ranges and high-lying valleys, up to lo,000 ft.; and (3) the alpine region, from io,000 to 29,000 ft. in height. These zones are not, however, sharply defined, as the climate varies according to the latitude, the height of intermediate ranges, and the depth of the valleys; so that tropical plants and animals are some-times found far in the interior, and the more northern species descend along the loftier spurs into the southern zones. The low alluvial land of the tarai is well adapted for cultivation, and is, so to speak, the granary of Nepal; but owing to scantiness of population and other causes the greater portion of it consists of swamps, jungles and forests. Considerable stretches of land are, however, being reclaimed from year to year. The productions here are those of British India--cotton, rice, wheat, pulse, sugar-cane, tobacco, opium, indigo, and the fruits and vegetables familiar in the plains of India. The forests yield a magnificent supply of sal, sisu, and other valuable forest trees; and the jungles abound with acacias, mimosas, cotton tree (Bombax), dak (Butea frondosa), large bamboos, rattans, palms, and numerous ferns and orchids. On the Churiaghati range the common Pinus longifolia grows freely. Tea can be grown at a height of from 2000 to 4000 ft. The middle zone supplies rice, wheat, maize, barley, oats, ginger, turmeric, chillies, potatoes, Cucurbitaceae, pineapples, and many varieties of European fruits, vegetables and flowers. The forests contain tree rhododendrons, Pinus longifolia, oaks, horse-chestnuts, walnuts, maples, hill bamboos, wild cherry, pear, allies of the tea plant, paper plants (Daphne), roses, and many other inhabitants of temperate climes, with various orchids, ferns and wild flowers. In the alpine zone exist Coniferae of many kinds, junipers, yew, box, hollies, birch, dwarf rhododendrons and the usual alpine flora. The wild animals follow a similar distribution, and the following typical species may be mentioned. In the lowest zone are found the tiger, leopard, wolf, hyena and jackal, the elephant and rhinoceros, the gaur (Gavaeus gaurus), gayal (Gavaeus frontalis), wild buffalo or arna, many species of deer, and the black bear (Ursus labiatus). Among the birds are found the pea-fowl, francolins, wild jungle fowl, and the smaller vultures, &c. In the middle zone there are the leopard, the Himalayan black bear (Ursus tibetanus), the wild dog, cats of many sorts, squirrels, hares, porcupines, the pangolin, and some species df deer and antelope. Among the birds are the larger &c. In the alpine zone are found the true bear (Ursus isabellinus, or brown bear), the yak, musk deer, wild goats and sheep, marmots, &c. Among the birds are the eagle-vulture (Gypaetus), the blood heasant (Ithaginis cruentus), snow pheasant (Tetraogallus hima-Fayensis), snow partridge (Lerwa nivicola), the horned pheasant (Ceriornis saiyra), crested pheasant (Catrens wallichi). &c. Geese, ducks, waders of all sorts, and other migratory birds are found in abundance in the two lower zones. Minerals.—The lowest zone in some directions abounds in fossils; and deposits of lignite, and even of true coal, are met with, the latter notably at a spot south of Palpa. The middle zone is rich in limestone and marbles, and abounds with minerals, such as iron, copper, zinc, lead and sulphur. Copper is found near the surface in many places, and there are remains of mines both at Markhu and in the great valley of Nepal. Mineral springs, both hot and cold, are numerous. Traces of silver, and also of gold, have been found in the alpine zone. People.—The races occupying Nepal are of mixed Mongol origin. To the north, inhabiting the higher mountains and valleys, dwell the Bhutias or Tibetans. To the west lie the Gurungs and Magars. The Murmis, Gurkhalis and Newars occupy the central parts; and the Kiratis, Limbus and Lepchas occupy the eastern districts. There are also Brahmans and Chhatris in the hills. Besides these there are many small tribes residing in the tarai and some other malarious districts, known as Kumhas, Tharus, Manjis, &c., but generally classed together by the Nepalese as Aoulias, or dwellers in the malarious or aoul districts. These are probable descendants of immigrants from the lower castes of Hindus, occupying the borderlands of the tarai. Among the forests of the lower eastern region are also to be found some small savage tribes, known as Chepangs and Kusundas. All the races except the Aoulias are of a decidedly Mongolian appearance, being generally short and robust, and having flat faces, oblique eyes, yellow complexions, straight black hair, and comparatively hairless faces. The Newars, according to the Vamcdvali or native history, trace their descent from the races of southern India, but this is rendered more than doubtful by both their appearance and language. The Gurkhalis (Gurkhas or Ghurkhas) are descendants of the Brahmans and Rajputs who were driven out of Hindostan by the Moslems, and took refuge in the western hilly lands, where they ultimately became dominant, and where they have become much mixed with the other races by intermarriage. Religions.—The Bhutias, Newars, Limbus, Keratis, and Lepchas are all Buddhists, but their religion has become so mixed up with Hinduism that it is now hardly recognizable. The Newars have entirely abandoned the monastic institutions of Buddhism, and have in great measure adopted the rules of caste, though even these sit but lightly upon them. They burn their dead, eat the flesh of buffaloes, goats, sheep, ducks, and' fowls, and drink beer and spirits.

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