Nepal is a small country in one of the world’s biggest landscapes. Situated between the two most populous countries on the planet, India and China, it’s often considered the heart of the Himalayan Mountains and home of the world’s tallest peak, Mt. Everest.
Adventurers and trekkers have long known of Nepal’s wonders, and its capital, Kathmandu, evokes the very idea of exotic travel. Of course, Nepal is much more than mountains and incredible scenery. Along with its southern neighbor India and Bali in Indonesia, Nepal is one of only three places in the world where Hinduism is the dominant religion.
While the dramatic scenery has driven a robust tourism industry in Nepal, it also makes for a tough place to eke out a living. Earthquakes are a fact of life here and the rugged terrain is difficult to farm and build on.
To my mind, it seemed the people of Nepal were often upstaged by the country’s dramatic scenery and the trekking industry it spawned. For me, this meant tilting the scale a bit and training my lens on the Nepalese people.
The space between Hinduism and Buddhism here is a bit blurry and has led to some interesting cross-pollination between the two. One could spend a lifetime here exploring the relationship between the two religions and still be a bit confused.
Suffice it to say that Nepal is a complex and endlessly fascinating country where culture and geology have piled up to beguile and perplex.