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Features

Nepal Identifies Five More Peaks Above 8,000 Meters

With eight mountain peaks above 8,000 meters, Nepal is one of the most popular destinations in the world for mountain climbing. Recently an additional five peaks in Nepal were reportedly identified by the Nepal Mountaineering Association as meeting the 8,000-meter benchmark, and should the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA – Union Internationale de Associations d'Alpinisme) give its approval, this exotic mountainous country will soon boast 13 of the world's tallest peaks, hopefully bringing to the attention of mountain climbers everywhere that Nepal is definitely a destination worth exploring.

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Features

Asan: Kathmandu's Historic Square

With six streets leading onto it, the historic square of Asan in the city of Kathmandu is always bustling with activity. Serving as a marketplace and venue for ceremonial festivities, Asan is considered to be one of the finest examples of a Newari bazaar, with the majority of the population living in the area being members of the Shrestha, Tuladhar, Shakya and Bajracharya castes of the Newari tribe. Lying on one of Kathmandu's India-Tibet trade routes running from Kathmandu Durbar Square to the northeast, Asan has been a trading hub since ancient times and continues to be so. Serving an essential role in the day to day lives of the people who live there, Asan is also a popular tourist destination where shoppers can buy anything from foodstuffs to textiles, and bullion to electronics. In addition to the market aspect of the square, Asan is home to some of Kathmandu's most outstanding architectural and cultural treasures.

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Features

Nepal's Endemic Spiny Babbler

As a species of the Leiothrichidae (laughingthrush) family, the Spiny Babbler (Turdoides nipalensis) is Nepal's only endemic bird, and is found mainly in the lush undergrowth on the slopes of Phulchoki Mountain, just sixteen kilometers from the bustling city of Kathmandu. Although it favors a restricted habitat range, the Spiny Babbler's conservation status is considered to be of 'least concern' by the IUCN, with populations being monitored by local groups, such as Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN), to ensure its survival.

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Features

ICIMOD: Conserving Nepal's Natural Resources

In an effort to conserve the unique biodiversity of the region known as the Hindu Kush Himalayas, the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) was formed in December 1983 with its headquarters based in Kathmandu. The organization works along with regional programs in the eight member countries it represents, with its stated mission being "To enable sustainable and resilient mountain development for improved and equitable livelihoods through knowledge and regional cooperation."

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Features

Circus Kathmandu – A Circus With a Difference

Using the Nepali word for "dreams" or "aspirations" as its name, Sapana Social Circus Project offers marginalized children and youths the opportunity to develop performing skills in a safe and supportive environment. The need for such an organization came about when private organizations fighting against human trafficking rescued a number of Nepali children from circuses in India where they had been forced to perform after being kidnapped or sold into slavery. Although these children had been taught skills to entertain audiences, they lacked many basic rights, such as education, proper nutrition and a nurturing environment. Today, through the hard work and dedication of volunteers who care about them, these children are learning to use their skills to develop a positive and rewarding career.

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Features

Tattoo Art in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is once again the host city for the International Nepal Tattoo Convention – a gathering of more than seventy tattoo artists from around the world who will compete under a number of categories to be judged Best of the Day and Best of the Show. Taking place on 26-28 April 2013, this will be the third edition of the International Nepal Tattoo Convention, and based on the success of previous events, organizers are confident the event will be even better than before.

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Features

Herbs and Aromatic Plants of Nepal

The varied landscapes, altitudes and weather patterns in Nepal support a wide range of indigenous herbs and aromatic plants which have been used for their therapeutic properties for centuries among local people. With a growing interest worldwide in alternatives to conventional medicine, the demand for herbal remedies continues to grow, and this presents rural communities in Nepal with the opportunity to earn a living from growing herbs and aromatic plants.

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Features

Migratory Birds Visit Nepal

As Nepal heads into its summer months, birding enthusiasts will no doubt be on the lookout for migratory species that travel to the country to breed. Up to thirty-four species visit Nepal each year, with Chitwan National Park and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve being among the favored spots for birds to spend the summer, joining the more than 860 bird species that are permanent residents in the country. As a Ramsar site, Koshi Tappu offers wetland habitat for waterfowl, while Chitwan is renowned for its abundance of forest-loving birds. Some birds migrate to escape the cold conditions of their native habitats, while others visit Nepal in search of abundant food supplies and to escape competition for resources in their country of origin.

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