Nepal’s history and culture are strongly connected with the country’s specific geography. The landscape ranges from the lowland plains in the south, up to the world’s highest peaks in the north. Likewise, Far West Nepal is defined by distinct landscapes: the flatland of Terai, the Middle Hills and the high Himalayas. Each region is characterized by different climatic conditions and a variety at flora and fauna but also different peoples and their cultural traditions are living there.
The population in the Middle Hills is predominantly Hindu. Tibetans make up a small part of the population and yet have a significant influence on the region, through their trading.The Middle Hills of Far West Nepal are also known as the Doti region. Some people believe, the word originated of the word ‘Dovati’. This means ‘the land between two rivers’ and describes the region’s location between the rivers Karnali and Mahakali. Others claim that the name is originated from the word ‘Devatavi’. A composition of the Hindu words for god ‘dev’ and ‘aatavi’, means place of recreation. The fascinating history of Doti goes back to the 13th century when Niranjan Malldeo founded the Doti Kingdom following the Fall of Karyuris Kingdom. The Doti rulers called themselves Raaikas. Today it is possible to visit the ruins of Raaika Palace which shows the ancient time of Doti Kingdom.
In the south, bordering India, there is a flat landscape covered of forest and farmland, this region is called Terai. It used to be a covered, dense jungle inhabited only by the Tharu people. In the north plain of the Terai are rising majestic hills up. They are cut by deep valleys and wild rivers that flowing down from the Himalayas. The fertile land of the Terai was cultivated by the inhabitants. Attracted by the fertile landscapes, they came down from the northern regions to the south to settle there from then on.
For a long time, the Himalayan region of Nepal was barely accessible and remained untouched until the 1950s. Routes through the Himalaya of the Far West served the Trans-Himalayan trade and were a gateway to the holy mountain Kailash as well as the mystical lake Manasarovar in Tibet. The Far West Himalayan route is crowned with the peaks of Mount Api (7132 m) and Mount Saipal (7031 m).