About Nepal/Oman

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Geography of Nepal

Nepal is located in South Asia between China in the north and India in the south, east and west. While the total land area is 147,181 sq. km including water area of the country that is 3,830 sq. km. The geographical coordinates are 28°00′N 84°00′E. Nepal falls in the temperate zone north of the Tropic of Cancer.Nepal’s ecological zones run east to west about 800 km along its Himalayan axis, 150 to 250 km north to south, and is vertically intersected by the river systems. The country can be divided into three main geographical regions: Himalayan region, mid hill region and Terai region. The highest point in the country is Mt. Everest (8,848 m) while the lowest point is in the Terai plains of Kechana Kalan in Jhapa (60 m).

The Terai region, with width of ranging 26 to 32 km and altitude ranging from 60 -305 m, occupies about 17 percent of total land area of the country. Kechana Kalan, the lowest point of the country with an altitude of 60 m, lies in Jhapa district of the eastern Terai.The southern lowland Terai continues to the Bhabar belt covered with the Char Kose Jhadi forests known for rich wildlife. Further north, the Siwalik zone (700 – 1,500 m) and the Mahabharat range (1,500 – 2,700 m) give way to the Duns (valleys), such as Trijuga, Sindhuli, Chitwan, Dang and Surkhet. The Midlands (600 – 3,500 m), north of the Mahabharat range is where the two beautiful valleys of Kathmandu and Pokhara lie covered in terraced rice fields, and surrounded by forested watersheds.

The Himalayas (above 3,000 m) comprises mountains, alpine pastures and temperate forests limited by the tree-line (4,000 m) and snow line (5,500 m). Eight of the 14 eight-thousanders of the world lie in Nepal: Sagarmatha or Mount Everest (8,848 m), Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), Lhotse (8,516 m), Makalu (8,463 m), Cho Oyu (8,201m), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Manaslu (8,163 m) and Annapurna (8,091 m). The inner Himalayan valley (above 3,600 m) such as Mustang and Dolpa are cold deserts sharing topographical characteristics with the Tibetan plateau.Nepal holds the so called “waters towers of South Asia” with its 6,000 rivers which are snow-fed or dependent on rain. The perennial rivers include Mahakali, Karnali, Narayani and Koshi rivers originating in the Himalayas. Medium-sized rivers like Babai, West Rapti, Bagmati, Kamla, Kankai and Mechi originate in the Midlands and Mahabharat range. A large number of seasonal streams, mostly originating in Siwaliks, flow across the Terai.

Of 163 wetlands documented, the nine globally recognized Ramsar sites are: Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Beeshazarital (Chitwan), Jagdishpur Reservoir (Kapilvastu) Ghodaghodi Tal (Kailali) in the Terai, and Gokyo (Solukhumbu), Phoksundo (Dolpa), Rara (Mugu) and Mai Pokhari (Ilam) in the mountain region.There are more than 30 natural caves in the country out of which only a few are accessible by road. Maratika Cave (also known as Haleshi) is a pilgrimage site associated with Buddhism and Hinduism. Siddha Cave is near Bimalnagar along the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway. Pokhara is also known for caves namely Bats’ shed, Batulechar, Gupteswar, Patale Chhango. The numerous caves around Lo Manthang in Mustang include Luri and Tashi Kabum which house ancient murals and chhortens dating back to the 13th century.

Flag of Nepal :

Nepal (नेपाल) has its flag red with a blue border around the unique shape of two overlapping right triangles. The smaller, upper triangle has a white stylized moon and the larger and lower triangle displays a white 12-pointed sun. The color red represents the rhododendron (the National flower of Nepal) and the color red is sign of victory and bravery. The blue border signifies peace and harmony; the two right triangles are a combination of two single pennons (pennants) that originally symbolized the Himalaya Mountains.  The moon represents the serenity of the Nepalese people and the shade and cool weather in the Himalayas, while the sun depicts the heat and higher temperatures of the lower parts of Nepal. The moon and the sun are also said to express the strong belief that the Nepal will be there in the earth as long as Sun and Moon are in the sky.

Nepal is the only country in the world with triangular flag.


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Geography of Oman

Oman is a 1,000-mile-long (1,700 km) coastal plain at the southeast tip of the Arabian Peninsula lying on the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. The country is the size of Kansas.

Government

Absolute monarchy.

History

Arabs migrated to Oman from the 9th century BC onward, and conversion to Islam occurred in the 7th century AD Muscat, the capital of the geographical area known as Oman, was occupied by the Portuguese from 1508 to 1648. Then it fell to Ottoman Turks, but in 1741, Ahmad ibn Sa’id forced them out, and the descendants of Sultan Ahmad rule Oman today.

Ahmad expanded his empire to East Africa, and for a time the Omani capital was in Zanzibar. After 1861, however, Zanzibar fell from Omani control.

The sultans and imams of Oman clashed continuously throughout the 20th century until 1959, when the last Ibadi imam was evicted from the country. In a palace coup on July 23, 1970, the sultan, Sa’id bin Taimur, who had ruled since 1932, was overthrown by his son, Qabus ibn Sa’id, who promised to establish a modern government and use newfound oil wealth to aid the people of this very isolated state. Oman joined the Arab League and the United Nations in 1971.

A long border dispute with Yemen was resolved in Oct. 1992; in 1997, the countries agreed to new maps defining the border.

In 1997, Sultan Qabus granted women the right to be elected to the country’s consultative body, the Shura Council (Majlis al-Shura). In 2003, the sultan extended voting rights to everyone over 21; previously, voters were selected from among the elite, and only about a quarter of the population was allowed to vote.