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5 Things you Didn’t Know About Nepalese Rupees

- Published on 6th November 2023

Mixed current Nepalese Rupee banknotes

This blog is celebrating one of the most interesting currencies that we collect and exchange here at Leftover Currency – the Nepalese Rupee.

The official currency of Nepal, the Nepalese Rupees, falls under the currency code NPR and has been used by Nepalese locals and travellers since the introduction of the currency in 1932. 

Prior to the launch of Nepal’s own currency, which was first termed the Nepalese Mohar, the country relied on Indian Rupees as the local currency. 

The exchange rate of Indian Rupees, in comparison to the exchange rate of Nepalese Rupees, sits at 1.60 NPR to 1 INR. 

The currency is issued by the central bank of Nepal, which makes it challenging to find in the UK. 

Leftover Currency is one of the few service providers who exchange Nepalese Rupees from travellers, honouring the best exchange rate at the time of purchase.

Of course, we promised you more than just an introduction. Let’s delve into the history of Nepal’s currency and discover some lesser-known facts about the Rupee. 

Nepalese Rupee banknotes are among the most interesting in design and looks. These notes blend together a range of different colours and images, while the coins are etched with visuals that mimic life in Nepal. 

As we share more about these uniquely interesting coins and notes throughout this blog, you’ll see impressive structures and notable wildlife from across Nepal illustrated on the currency. These include Mount Everest, the Harati Temple and other peaks across the Himalayas, as well as tigers and elephants. 

The face of a five hundred Nepalese Rupees Bank Note.
The reverse of a five hundred Nepalese Rupees Bank Note.

Without further ado, here are 5 things you didn’t know about Nepalese Rupees.

1. The Nepalese Rupee has been the currency of Nepal since 1932

Before the introduction of the Nepalese Rupee in 1932, the Nepalese Mohar was the official currency of the country. Even earlier, before establishing its own currency, Nepal used the Indian Rupee – a currency still in use today to track the value and exchange rate of Nepalese Rupees. 

When it was first released, the value of the Rupee was set at 2:1 of the former Mohar, with two Mohar equating to a single Rupee.

Similarly, when the Nepalese Rupee was first introduced, it matched the Indian Rupee on a like-for-like basis; however, the rate now sits at 1.60 Nepalese Rupee for every 1 Indian Rupee.

Where can I get Nepalese Rupees in the UK?

As the Nepalese Rupee is a closed currency, there are very few places where you can exchange Rupees for pounds outside of the country itself.

Here at Leftover Currency, we are one of the only service providers who can arrange this exchange on your behalf with ease and convenience – while also honouring online-leading exchange rates.

The exchange rate from pound to Nepalese Rupees is £1.00 = 161.44 NPR. 

Looking at this conversion the other way, the exchange rate from Nepalese Rupees to British pounds is 1.00 NPR = £0.00619. 

2. You can get a 1000 Rupee banknote

If you were wondering what the highest denomination of the Nepalese Rupee is, then this one’s for you – and trust us when we say you certainly wouldn’t want this note to fall through a hole in your pocket or bag! 

Can you imagine finding a £1000 GBP note in an abandoned winter coat or between the cushions of your sofa? Here in the UK, the highest banknote produced is for a value of £50 – making the 1000 Nepalese Rupee note a real eye-opener.

The note, which boasts an exchange rate from Nepalese Rupees to pounds of £6.16, displays several images. On one side, it shows Mount Everest, the Harati Temple and the Monkey Temple. The reverse depicts an elephant and text explaining how much the note is for. 

Interestingly, the note was initially issued with the image of the King before being replaced with the flower of Nepal (more on this later in the blog!)

The face of a thousand Nepalese Rupees Bank Note.
The reverse of a thousand Nepalese Rupees Bank Note.

3. Nepalese Rupees include braille in the design of their coins

if you have recently visited the stunning nation of Nepal, you may have noticed that many coins have distinct bumps on one side. These are designed to help those who are visually impaired to identify the value of the coin in their possession – for example, the 2 Rupee coin has two bumps on it.

The front ( heads ) of the two Nepalese Rupee coin.
The reverse ( tails ) of the two Nepalese Rupee coin.

4. The coin with the lowest value is the simplest in design

Perhaps the most interesting thing to note about the Nepalese Rupee is that the higher the value of the coin or note, the more elaborate the design appears to be.

The lowest-value coin in the currency is worth just 5 Paisa, which is the equivalent of £0.00009 in British pounds. The design on the coin is incredibly simple, depicting a mountain range on one side and a cow on the other.  

5 paisa coin Nepal.. Nepalese Rupees.

While we’re on the topic of design, you can have this fun fact for free: Before the political shift from a kingdom to a republic, all Nepalese currency featured the King. 

In 2008, when Nepal became a republic, the notes also reflected this change. Images depicting the King were replaced by landmarks such as Mount Everest and Nepal’s national flower, the Rhododendron.

5. There is a “Nepal Bullet Paisa”, which was minted for one year only

This is one for the coin enthusiasts and collectors amongst you. Back in 1955, a total of four Paisa coins were minted, made directly from cartridge cases from WW2 guns.

A Paisa in Nepal is the equivalent of 1/100 Rupee, making it similar to a 1p coin in British pounds (though with a much lower value thanks to the exchange rate from pound to Nepalese Rupee).

These special-edition coins commemorate the bravery of Nepalese soldiers who fought against the Imperial Japanese. Only a select number of coins were made from the limited cartridge cases found after the war. These coins remain a sought-after collectable today!

Where can I get Nepalese Rupees in the UK?

With Nepalese Rupees carefully controlled by Nepal, generally only available for physical exchange in the country itself, the best way to exchange Nepalese Rupees in the UK is with Leftover Currency.

Our online service provides users access to multiple currencies, with online leading exchange rates from Nepalese Rupee to the pound.

Have you come across any currencies that we don’t offer at Leftover Currency?

Here at Leftover Currency, we are proud to offer an extensive and ever-growing selection of currencies for conversion and exchange.

If you come across a currency we don’t exchange on our site, let us know, and we’ll explore adding it to our growing collection!


Mario Van Poppel

Mario Van Poppel is the founder and director of Leftover Currency. What started as a hobby, collecting world banknotes, evolved into a fulltime job, running a successful online bureau de change. Mario is still a collector of pre-Euro banknotes and a member of the IBNS.