Nepal Information in Brief
Land of Lake
Myth is that the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu was previously a huge lake full of floating lotuses. This fact has been scientifically proven to be true, meaning that Kathmandu is full of alluvial soil.
A landlocked country in South Asia, Nepal stands bordered by China in the north and India in the south, east and west.
Nepal was ruled by various dynasties Kirati, Lichhavi, Malla, and Shah since its inception till the beginning of 21st century.
Nepal was divided into various small states. However, it was reunited in the 18th century by the late King Prithvi Narayan Shah the Great.
Nepal was opened to the world in the 1950s after democracy was established. However, the democracy could not sustain and in 1960 Partyless Panchayat System, under which King was the supreme, was practiced which lasted till early 1990. But after the one-and-a-half-month long people’s widespread protests the democracy was restored in April 1990. Then with the introduction of new Constitution 1991 Nepal’s political course begun to journey under the constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy.
But in early 1996 a Maoist (Communist) insurgency began in Nepal which severely damaged the development and economy. However, after a decade of uprising a peace accord was signed between the government of Nepal and rebel groups in November 2006. Then again the political course has been diverted into a new direction. In April 2008 elections were held and a coalition government came to power. The country, which was initially a Monarchial head, has been turned into a Federal Democratic Republic from May 2008 with the abolishment of over two hundred forty years of monarchial rule.
Nepal is certainly one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world. Apart from the presence of majestic mountains, beautiful valleys and the fertile Terai, Nepal holds a number of other amazing facts to be proud.
A Unique Flag
Another Amazing Facts about Nepal is its Flag. Nepal is an amazing country in so many ways. But we’ll kick off our list with the flag of Nepal. Now technically speaking, every country’s flag is unique however Nepal wins the uniqueness award because of its shape. It’s the only non-quadrilateral flag in the world full of symbolism. The blue color on the border symbolizes the national unity of the country while the crimson red stands for the courage of the Nepalese people. In general, the sun and the moon are there to symbolize bravery and peacefulness. These two are also there to say how Nepal will exist as long as the sun and the moon exists.
Multi-Culture and Languages
A multicultural, multi-linguistic and multi-religious country, Nepal boasts of a varied landscape, ranging from flat area Terai plains in the south to mountainous Himalayas in the north.
Nepal has 123 local languages. The official language of Nepal is Nepali. This is actually a descendant of the ancient Sanskrit language and it now serves basically as the lingua franca of the whole region of Nepal. It’s spoken by almost all the people of the country. Then comes Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Sherpa, Gurung, Tamang and so on
But English is widely spoken all over the country. Thus, it can be said that Nepal is a linguistic gem of the world
With a population of nearly 29.2 million people, Nepalese are come from Indo-Aryan and Sino-Tibetan. There are many more ethnic groups but all of them identify as Nepali in general.
From the history to date, all the ethnic people are living harmoniously and no drop blood has ever been shed in the name of ethnicity or religion in this beautiful and peaceful country.
Since there are so many nationalities and ethnic groups in Nepal there are different customs and traditions. Nepalese people are in general quite friendly and they will greet foreigners with Nepalese greeting Namaste.
Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. This gesture is called Anjali Mudra the standing posture incorporating it is Pranamasana.
Namaste is a customary greeting of respect and thank you, with spiritual and symbol meaning. The word’s meaning is “I bow to the divine in you.” It is used both for greeting and leave-taking; this is a sign of great respect.
In Sanskrit it means “I bow to the divine in you.
Namaste may also be spoken without the gesture, or the gesture may be performed wordlessly. “Namaste” is the same as “Hello” in English. Though it has a very different meaning,
Nepal was never colonized. The country has managed to avoid all major military conflicts of the modern age. Nepal was at war with the British Empire called the Anglo Nepalese war of 1814 to 1816. The two countries were disputing over border issues and in the end, Nepal was forced to give 1/3 of its territory to the British. But the country was never conquered as a whole. The British had massive troops and they hit hard but Nepal’s rugged terrain served as a buffer zone and the British were powerless.
Large mountain chains repelled the British troops and Nepal was saved; it was much easier to sign a treaty with Nepal than to press on desperately. However, during the actual fighting, an interesting thing occurred: The British officers were so impressed with the Nepalese Gurkha troops that they wanted to see them fighting on their side. These were Nepalese people of Gurkha ethnic background as a result of their courage.
In combat, many soldiers from the ranks of the Gurkha were reunited into the British colonial army spreading the name and courage of the Nepalese people. As it has never been colonized till date Nepal does not celebrate Independence Day.
Despite Nepal’s Small Land Area, Nepal is home to more than 850 species of birds, 250 species of animals out of which 38 are endangered. Also we can find more than 5500 types of plants in Nepal.
Nepal is among the least developed countries in the world, with almost one-quarter of its population living below the poverty line but interestingly, the only country in the world whose national flag is not quadrilateral in shape.
Tourism is the largest industry in Nepal and its largest source of foreign exchange and revenue. Possessing eight of the ten highest mountains in the world, Nepal is a hotspot destination for mountaineers, rock climbers and people seeking adventure.
Nepal possesses eight of the 14 highest peaks above the 8,000 of meters snow-capped mountains. World’s highest peak with 8,848-meter-high which is also known as the Roof of the World Mt. Everest lies in Nepal.
Nepal has many amazing beautiful trekking routes that are rich in scenic splendor and cultural treasures with a strong historic tradition.
Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, is located in Nepal. Though Nepal is a Hinduism with a higher percentage following Buddhism are the two predominant religious groups. The small percent of the people followed Muslims, Jains and Christians. However, the Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian living in a harmony is another culturally important heritage of Nepal and its cool weather are also strong attractions.
Amazing fact is that Nepal is a land of Kumari– Living Goddess. Nepali word Kumari means virgin. Kumari is a prepubescent female who was selected from a specific group, the Newari community of the Shakya caste. This is the tradition of worshipping a divine female energy resting in the girl’s body. To qualify to be chosen the girl has to be in perfect health, has never been sick, she must possess all of her teeth and she must be a prepubescent virgin. But these qualifications are just to pass round one. After that other processes are tougher. Among others includes looking for signs of divinity in a girl such as the eyelashes of a cow or the thighs of a deer to name just a few.
The goddess hair must be black finally when a girl has chosen to assume the energy of the goddess. There comes the final test. She must spend a night in a ritual room that’s filled with the heads of many slaughtered animals but she cannot show any sign of fear. The girl will remain the reincarnation of the goddess until she gets her first period because at that moment it is assumed that the divine energy left her body.
Nepal’s Heritage is alive and dynamic. Shamanism, Pan-animism & Witch-craft are still practiced in remote regions. Temples, shrines, monuments and monasteries are extremely active with devotees burning butter-lamps, singing hymns, chiming temple bells and playing drums.
World Heritage Sites
Ten of which seven World Heritage Sites are situated within 20 km. of radius, in the Kathmandu Valley. Nepal has the world’s densest availability of World Heritage Sites. There are many places in Nepal for visiting and traveling. Some of the old, historical and famous places of Nepal have been identified as the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Nepal has four Kathmandu Valley, Lumbini,
Chitwan National Park and Sagarmatha National Park properties identified by UNESCO as world heritage sites; they are listed as two cultural and two natural sites.
Home to Endangered Species
Royal Bengal Tiger, One horned rhino, Snow leopard, Red Panda, Brown Bear, Assamese Macaque, Gangetic Dolphin, Wolf, Wild Elephant, Giant Hornbill, Swamp Deer, Wild Yak, Tibetan Antelope, Black Buck, Four Horned antelope, Musk Deer, Pygmy Hog, Hispid Hare, Pangolin, Gharial, Indian Bustard, Saras Crane, Impeyan Pheasant, Python etc.
Flora and Fauna
840 different species of wet-land, migratory and residential bird, 8% of the world’s population of birds.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for formulating and implementing Nepal’s foreign policy. Strengthening Nepal’s bilateral, regional and multilateral relations, projecting and promoting Nepal’s image in the international arena, promoting Nepal’s development diplomacy, protecting the rights and interests of Nepalese living abroad are the key tasks of the Ministry. It also provides passport and consular services and handles protocol matters. In fulfilling its responsibilities, the Ministry coordinates with all relevant government agencies, Nepali missions abroad as well as diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited to Nepal. It also consults private sector and non-governmental organizations on policy as well as implementation related matters within its jurisdiction.
Currently, there are 39 Nepali diplomatic missions abroad- 30 Embassies, 3 Permanent Missions and 7 Consulate General’s’ mission.
In Nepal there are 27 diplomatic residential missions including Delegation of the European Union to Nepal located. There are also the United Nations Organization’s office, its specialized agencies and SAARC Secretariat. There 51 Honorary Consul Generals of various countries in Nepal.
Tips To Remember
One of the unusual facts about Nepal is that public kissing is taken as vulgar and not accepted by the society. As Nepali society does not have the open culture like of Western countries, kissing in public places in Nepal is not encouraged.
Facts about Nepal
|Area||147,181 Sq. KM.|
|Latitude||26 12′ North to 30 27′ North.|
|Longitude||80 4′ East to 88 12′ East.|
|People||70 Ethnic Group with 123 Spoken Languages.|
|Political System||Federal Democratic Republic|
|Topography||From the world’s deepest gorge “Kaligandaki” to highest point on earth the “Mt. Everest”.|
|Vegetation||Nepal possesses some of the most outstanding bio-diversity in the world, ranging from sub- tropical rain forests to alpine deserts.|
|Weather||Climate ranges from tropical in the low lands to arctic in highest altitudes.|
|Seasons||Winter (Dec. – Feb.), Summer (March – May), Monsoon (June-Aug.), Autumn (Sep. – Nov.)|
|Time||Nepal, time is 5 hours 45 minutes ahead from GMT.|
|Religion||Secular State (But people believe in Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian|
|Monsoon||Mostly rains at nights, making the following days crispy clean and fresh. Most of the northern belt of the Trans-Himalayan Zone is rain-shadowed and ideal for trekking|