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One of the earliest inhabitants of the region of Nepal were the Kiratis of Mongolia in the 7th century BCE. In 300 CE, the Licchavis from northern India overthrew the Kiratis and established settlements in many parts of Nepal. The Licchavis people were the ones who brought Hinduism to Nepal, establishing it as the main religion and imposing the caste system. They ruled the region of Nepal up until 879 CE, when their domination ended.
Nepal as a nation was created by the Shah Dynasty, unifying Nepal's many kingdoms in 1768. They ruled the region until 1846, when the Rana Dynasty took over, staying in power until 1953.
Nepal's first multiparty constitution was held in 1959 but power was taken back by the monarchy in 1960. Over the next several years, a series of conflicts and reforms occurred, leading to the dissolution of the monarchy in 2008, where Nepal became a federal democratic republic.
Nepal is a landlocked country located in South Asia, its borders are China to its north and India to its south, east, and west. Nepal is also separated from Bangladesh through the Siliguri Corridor.
Located in the Himalayas, Nepal is home to the world's highest point, which is Mount Everest. Eight of the 10 tallest mountains are also located in Nepal.
Nepal's region can be described into 3 areas: the Mountain, the Hill, and the Terai. The Mountain area consists of the great Himalayan range to the north of Nepal, while the Hill area is described by its populated valleys, and the Terai is characterized by southern lowland plains that border India.
Nepal is a republic with a multi-party system. The President acts as Head of State while the Prime Minister is Head of Government. Executive power is exercised by both the Prime Minister and the cabinet, while legislative power is exercised by the Constituent Assembly.
Nepal used to be a constitutional monarchy up until 2008, when the Assembly changed the constitution to make the country a republic.
Nepal is most famous for the Himalayan ranges where trekking is the number one tourist activity. Among the attractions Nepal is also famous for are its ancient historic structures and the country's abundance of cultural heritage sites.
The Himalayas are called The Roof of the World where 8 of the 10 tallest mountains in the world can be found. Here, you can find Mount Everest, Annapurna, the Great Himalayan Trail, and the Langtang National Park. Popular activities include trekking, camping, sightseeing, and a range of adventure sports.
Bhaktapur is considered as Nepal's cultural gem. Here, tourists can find a large number of colorful festivals throughout the year, arts and culture events, and the home of traditional dances. It is also the place in Nepal where tourists can witness the indigenous lifestyle of the local community. It is also the center of the country's pottery making art. No motorized vehicles are allowed here, making walking the only form of getting around.
Pokhara is fast becoming Nepal's most favorite travel destination for international tourists. The 3rd largest city in Nepal, Pokhara is the gateway to the Annapurna. It boasts of 3 lakes, a number of waterfalls, and the place for excellent restaurants, yoga retreats, bars, and plenty of cultural festivals throughout the year.
Other popular attractions include the Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world, the Tilicho Lake in the Annapurna range, and Lumbini - the birthplace of Gautama Buddha and a famous pilgrimage site.
Adult literacy rate in Nepal is at 75.1% for males and 57.4% for females. The country faces a lot of challenges in terms of making education accessible to its population. Hindrances include the caste system, poverty, and the general social exclusion of women in the country.
More than half of children who attend primary school do not continue on to enroll in secondary school. And for those who do attend secondary schooling, only half of the students actually finish.
Nepal is served by 6 universities: Kathmandu University, Pokhara University, Purbanchal University, Tribhuvan University, Mahendra Sanskrit University, Koirala Institute of Health Sciences.
- The Nepalese national flag is the only one in the world that is not quadrilateral.
- Greetings in Nepal involve putting the palms together, bowing the head, and saying, "Namaste."
- Nepal produced Lord Gautama Buddha, where his birthplace Lumbini is considered a national sacred site.
- Blackouts in the country are very common, with the average household having only 9-12 hours of electricity per day.
- Nepal holds some of the rarest species on earth, such as the Bengal tiger and the one-horned rhino.
Last Updated : November 25, 2014
Major ReligionHinduismism (81.3%) Buddhism (9.0%) Islam (4.4%) Yumaism (3.0%) Christianity (1.4%) Other (0.9%)
PresidentRam Baran Yadav
Vice PresidentParmanand Jha
Prime MinisterSushil Koirala
Currencyepalese rupee (NPR) - 'N'
GDP$41.22billion 2012 estimate
Time ZoneNPT (UTC+5:45)