Nepal a mystical land located in South Asia with an area of 147,181 square km, a Himalayan kingdom renowned over the world as the home to the highest peak on earth Mt. Everest (Sagarmatha).
The land-locked country shares the border with China to the north and India to the south, east and west. Nepal is more than the Himalayas. Home to eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, the paradise offers an amazing variety of geographical landscapes, rich ancient heritage, exotic flora and fauna it indeed is a land of unparallel scenic beauty. Welcome to the heaven on earth and be ready to be smitten by the magical place.
The history of Nepal begins with the arrival of Gopal Dynasty followed by Mahispal Dynasty. Then followed Kiratis in the 7th or 8th century .During this period it is claimed that Buddha and his disciple Ananda visited the Kathmandu valley. The Kirats ruled from 300 BC followed by the Lichchhavis whose descendants today are believed to be the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley. The beautiful artisitic woodcarvings and sculptures existing till date all began during this particular era.
Malla kngs came to power in 1200 AD overthrowing the Lichchhavi. During this period beautiful rich sculptures and monuments were introduced which are admired till date. After almost 600 year of Malla rule, Prithvi Naraya Shah from Gorkha conquered Kathmandu and unified the country into one kingdom.
During the mid- 19 the century Jung Bahadur Rana modernized the state’s bureaucracy where the Shahi king remained figureheads. Nine rana rulers took the hereditary office of Prime Minister. The Rana rule came to an end in the democracy movement of the early 1950s.
In 1959 Kiing Mahendra introduced a “partyless” Pannchayat system which governed the country till 1989. After the People’s Movement King Birendra was forced to accept constitutional reforms and establish a multiparty parliament. On June 1 2001 a royal massacre took place killing King Birendra, Queen Aishwarya and seven other members of the royal family. Following the carnage, brother of King Birendra, King Gyannedra inherited the throne. The king dismissed the entire government and announced full executive powers. In response to the 2006 democracy movement the King agreed to renounce sovereign power to the people.
As of present Nepal has a federal parliamentary republic government.
With an area of 147,181 square kilometer, the Kingdom of Nepal is 800 km long and 200 km wide. The country is 93 rd largest countries in the world by area. At latitude 26 and 30 degree north and longitude 80 and 86 degree east the country is topographically divided into three regions: theHimalaya to the north, the Hills consisting of the Maharbharat range and the Churia hills and the lowland plain Terai to the south.
The southern lowland plain Terai covers 17 percent of the total land of the country. The region shares its border with India in the south and is formed by three major Himalayan rivers- the Koshi, the Narayani and the Karnali along with small rivers rising below the permanent snowline. The region has tropical to sub-tropical climate.
The Hill Region (Pahad) covers 68 percent of the total land of the country. This region has sub-tropical to alpine climate. Kathmandu, the capital of the country is located in this region.
The Mountain Region ( Himal) covers 15 percent of the total land of the country. The region makes up the northern part of the country and shares its borders with China to the north. The region is home to the highest elevations in the world altitudes ranging from 4,877m to 8,848m. the 8 peaks above the 8,000 meters name Mt. Everest (8,848m), Kanchanjunga (8,586m), Lhotse (8,516m), Makalu (8,463m), Cho Oyu ( 8,201m), Dhaulagiri ( 8,167m), Manaslu (8,163m) and Annapurna I (8,091m).
Culture and Religion
A country blessed with the richest culture of the world- Nepal. Nepal is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-ethnic country. Culture plays a vital role in the life of the Nepalese people setting it apart from the rest of the world. Having evolved over centuries the culture of Nepal is rich and unique rejuvenating spirituality.
Existing as a secular state, Hinduism is the main faith of the Nepalese population. Home to the Light of Asia- Lord Buddha, Buddhism is also commonly practiced in the country followed by a good number of Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism and Kirat religion. The religions are practiced with great enthusiasm keeping the culture intact and maintaining harmony with one another.
The country has about 125 different ethnic groups having its own customs and tradition. Known as a living cultural museum this country has so much to offer. The beauty of its tradition easily captivates one’s mind. The scared pilgrimage sites, historical monuments and memorials reflect the richness if the country’s diverse culture.
The country observes an extraordinary number of festivals. The festivals observed lasts from one to several days. The most popular festival Dashain and Tihar is observed during autumn. Goddess Durga and Kali are worshipped during Dashain. Tihar- the festival of lights is celebrated glorifying Goddess Laxmi.
The Buddhist celebrates Buddha Purima (the celebration of birth of Lord Budhha) with immense joy.
Other important festivals celebrated are Saraswati Puja, Holi, Maha Shivaratri, Ganesh Chaturthi. Christmas and Id are also celebrated.
The festivals in the country are observed with great enthusiasm. It is time for family members and friend to be together, sing and dance and enjoy the mouth –watering variety of delicacies prepared during such special occasion.