To the east are India and Bhutan. Nepal depends on India for goods transport facilities and access to the Indian Ocean , even for most goods imported from China. For a country of its size, Nepal has tremendous geographic diversity. In addition to the continuum from tropical warmth to cold comparable to polar regions, average annual precipitation varies from as little as millimetres 6. Forming south-to-north transects, Nepal can be divided into three belts: Terai, Pahad and Himal. Terai is a low land region containing some hill ranges. The Terai also spelled Tarai region begins at the Indian border and includes the southernmost part of the flat, intensively farmed Gangetic Plain called the Outer Terai. By the 19th century, timber and other resources were being exported to India. Industrialization based on agricultural products such as jute began in the s and infrastructure such as roadways, railways and electricity were extended across the border before it reached Nepal's Pahad region. Nepali is taught in schools and often spoken in government offices, however the local population mostly uses Maithali , Bhojpuri and Tharu languages. The Outer Terai ends at the base of the first range of foothills called the Siwaliks or Churia. This range has a densely forested skirt of coarse alluvium called the bhabhar. Below the bhabhar, finer, less permeable sediments force groundwater to the surface in a zone of springs and marshes. In Persian , terai refers to wet or marshy ground. Before the use of DDT this was dangerously malarial. Nepal's rulers used this for a defensive frontier called the char kose jhadi four kos forest, one kos equaling about three kilometers or two miles. This range is composed of poorly consolidated, coarse sediments that do not retain water or support soil development so there is virtually no agricultural potential and sparse population. These valleys have productive soil but were dangerously malarial except to indigenous Tharu people who had genetic resistance. In the mids DDT came into use to suppress mosquitos and the way was open to settlement from the land-poor hills, to the detriment of the Tharu. The Terai ends and the Pahad begin at a higher range of foothills called the Mahabharat Range. Hilly is a mountain region which does not generally contain snow. It is situated south of the Himal. This region begins at the Mahabharat Range lit. Great Indian, trad. These steep southern slopes are nearly uninhabited, thus an effective buffer between languages and culture in the Terai and Hilly. The increasingly urbanized Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys fall within the Hill region. Newars are an indigenous ethnic group with their own Tibeto-Burman language. The Newar were originally indigenous to the Kathmandu valley but have spread into Pokhara and other towns alongside urbanized Pahari. Temperate and subtropical fruits are grown as cash crops. Marijuana was grown and processed into Charas hashish until international pressure persuaded the government to outlaw it in Food deficits drive emigration out of the Pahad in search of employment. Himal is a mountain region containing snow. Unlike the Mahabharats, the Himalayas are not continuous across Nepal. Instead, there are some 20 subranges including the Kanchenjunga massif along the Sikkim border, Mahalangur Himal around Mount Everest. Langtang north of Kathmandu, Annapurna and Manaslu north of Pokhara, then Dhaulagiri further west with Kanjiroba north of Jumla and finally Gurans Himal in the far west.
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