Nepal, the landlocked multiethnic, multilingual, multi-religious country, is situated north of India in the Himalayas, in the region where, about 40 to 50 million years ago, the Indian subcontinent has crashed into Asia. Because of that accident, Nepal has some of the world’s highest mountains including Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest, 8848m, which it shares with Tibet (by now a province of China). The highest mountain on Earth is towering above populated valleys and forested plains.
Somewhere here in the Kapilavastu district, there is a place called Lumbini where in about 500 B.C.E. Queen Mayadevi is said to have given birth to Siddhartha Gautama, better known as Buddha.
Nepal can be divided broadly into three ecological zones: the lowland, the midland and the highland.
The altitude of the Himalayan Region (the highland) ranges between 4877 m – 8848 m, It includes 8 of the highest 14 summits in the world, which exceed altitude of 8000 meters including Mount Everest.
The mountain region accounts for about 64 percent of total land area, which is formed by the Mahabharat range that soars up to 4877 m and the lower Churia range.
The lowland Terai, the flat river plain of the Ganges with a belt of marshy grasslands, savannas, and forests, occupies about 17 percent of the total land area of the country.
Border countries: China (Tibet Autonomous Region (Xizang), India
Other countries close to Nepal: Bhutan, Bangladesh
The nation-state of Nepal was the creation of King Prithvi Narayan Shah. The ruler of the small principality of Gorkha, campaigned to unite the various kingdoms that dotted the geographical area defined by modern Nepal. The conquest of Kathmandu Valley, which took a total of ten years of planning, siege and diplomacy, was the highlight of his conquests (1769). The work begun by King Prithvi Narayan was continued by his descendants. At the greatest extent the Nepali (then known as the Gorkhali) Empire covered an area that was at least a third more than its present confines.
Nepal, the nation-state of dismissed governments.
Nepal, the world’s only Hindu monarchy, was controlled by a hereditary prime ministership until 1951. The nation’s first election was held in 1959, but in 1960, King Mahendra dismissed the cabinet, dissolved parliament, and banned political parties.
A 1962 constitution created a nonparty panchayat (council) system of government.
After a 1980 referendum approved a modified version of the panchayat system, direct parliamentary elections were held in 1981.
A dispute with India led to India’s closing of most border crossings from March 1989 to July 1990, and the resultant economic crisis fueled demands for political reform. After months of violence, King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev dissolved parliament. The opposition formed an interim government in April 1990, and a new constitution creating a constitutional monarchy and a bicameral legislature became effective on 9 Nov. 1990. Multiparty legislative elections held in May 1991 were won by the centrist Nepali Congress party; the Communists became the leading opposition party.
Mid-term elections in November 1994, which were called after the government lost a parliamentary vote, resulted in a hung parliament and the communists, who emerged as the single largest party, formed a minority government.
In January 2005 Nepal’s King Gyanendra sacked Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, dismissed the country’s government, assumed power himself and declared a state of emergency.
King Gyanendra’s direct rule ended under public pressure in April 2006, the monarchy was abolished in May 2008 and a Maoist-dominated government took office in August
Nationality: noun: Nepalese (singular and plural), adjective: Nepalese or Nepali.
Population: 31 million (2016)
Refugee Population: Bhutanese (94 000), Tibetans (20 000 approx.)
Ethnic Groups: sixty ethnic groups, major groups are Sherpas, Kirats or Limbus, Rais, Magars, Newars, Tamangs, Gurungs, the Bahuns and Chhetries and the Tharus the inhabitants of the Tarai.
Religions: Hinduism (predominant 86%), Buddhism 8%, Tibetan Lamaism (Bon)
Languages: Nepali (official and lingua franca of the country), sixty ethnic groups, who speak seventy different dialects and eleven major languages like Tibeto-Burman, Lhotsamkha, Nepalbhasa, Tamang languages.
Local Time = UTC + 5:45h
Country Calling Code: +977
Capital City: Kathmandu (pop 1.5 million)
Biratnagar, Patan, Pokhara, Birganj, Dharan, Nepalganj.
Location: Southern Asia, between China and India
Area: 147,181 km² (56,826 sq.mi.)
Terrain: Tarai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south, central hill region, rugged Himalayas in north.
Climate: The climate in Nepal varies with elevation, tropical in the lower southern part Tarai, mid-hills alpine and the high mountains polar; elevation ranges from 90 to 8848 meters.
Natural resources: Quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore.
Agriculture products: Rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat.
Industries: Tourism, carpet, textile; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarette; cement and brick production.
Exports – commodities: clothing, pulses, carpets, textiles, juice, jute goods
Exports – partners: India 61.3%, USA 9.4% (2015)
Imports – commodities: petroleum products, machinery and equipment, gold, electrical goods, medicine
Imports – partners: India 61.5%, China 15.4% (2015)
Currency: Nepalese Rupee (NPR)