Nepal’s history and culture are strongly connected to the country’s specific geography. The landscape ranges from the lowland plains in the South, the Middle Hills in the region’s center, up to the world’s highest peaks in the North. Each region is characterized by different climatic conditions, with a variety of flora and fauna. There are also many different people and cultural traditions.
The population in the Middle Hills is predominantly Hindu. Tibetans make up a small part of the population. Yet, they have a significant influence on the region, because of their trading. The Middle Hills of Far West Nepal are also known as the Doti region. Some people believe the word originated from the word ‘Dovati’, which means ‘the land between two rivers’. It describes the region’s location between the rivers Karnali and Mahakali. Others claim that the name originated from the word ‘Devatavi’, which is a composition of the Hindu words for god ‘dev’ and ‘aatavi’, meaning ‘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 show the ancient time of Doti Kingdom.
In the South, bordering India, there is a flat landscape covered by forest and farmland. This region is called Terai. It used to be a covered by dense jungle, inhabited only by the Tharu people. In the North plain of the Terai, majestic hills rise up. They are cut by deep valleys and wild rivers that flow 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 settle there.
For a long time, the Himalayan region of Nepal was barely accessible and remained untouched until the 1950s. Routes through the Himalayas of the Far West served as the Trans-Himalayan trade. These routes 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).