Nepal facts for kids

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लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल
Loktāntrik Ganatantra Nepāl
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी (language?)
"Mother and Motherland are Greater than Heaven"
Anthem: Sayaun Thunga Phulka
Made of Hundreds of Flowers
Capital
and largest city
Kathmandu (Nepali: काठमाडौं)
Official languages Nepali
Demonym Nepali, Nepalese
Government Republic
 -  President Bidhya Devi Bhandari
 -  Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal
 -  Chairman of the Interim Election Government Pushpa Kamal Dahal
Unification
 -  Kingdom declared 21 December 1768 
 -  State declared 15 January 2007 
 -  Republic declared 28 May 2008 
Area
 -  Total 147,181 km2 (95th)
56,827 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 2.8
Population
 -  2011 census 26,494,504
 -  Density 180/km2 (62nd)
518/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2012 estimate
 -  Total $40 billion
 -  Per capita $1,400
GDP (nominal) 2012 estimate
 -  Total $19.921 billion
Gini (2013) 32.8
medium
HDI (2013) Increase 0.463
low · 157th
Currency Nepalese rupee (NPR)
Time zone NPT (UTC+5:45)
DST not observed
Drives on the left
Calling code +977
Internet TLD .np
ACAP Upper Mustang Tangyejpg
'Chörtens galore in Tangye, Mustang

Nepal (Nepali: नेपाल) is a country in South Asia bordering the Republic of India and the People's Republic of China. Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, is found there, as well as the Himalaya Mountains. 12 of the world's 18 highest mountain peaks are in Nepal. It is also the birthplace of Buddha. It has recently become a secular country, but it used to be the only Hindu nation in the world. Nepal is a very important pilgrimage place for both Hindus and Buddhists. The population of Nepal in 2007 was almost 29 million people. Nepali is the official language, and there are many other regional languages. English and Hindi are widely understood. The capital city of Nepal is Kathmandu which has a population of over two million people. The second largest city is Pokhara. Pokhara is a major tourist attraction of Nepal. It is rich in Natural Beauty. Pokhara includes many lakes, Phewa Tal is one of them.

History

Capture of Xiebulu
Sino-Nepalese War

The history of Nepal is intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent and the surrounding regions, comprising the areas of South Asia and East Asia.

It is a multi-ethnic, multiracial, multicultural, multi-religious, and multilingual country. The most spoken language of Nepal is Nepali followed by several other ethnic languages.

Nepal experienced a struggle for democracy at times in the 20th century and early 21st century. During the 1990s and until 2008, the country was in a civil strife. A peace treaty was signed in 2006 and elections were held in the same year. In a historical vote for the election of the constituent assembly, Nepalese parliament voted to oust the monarchy in June 2006. Nepal became a federal republic and was formally renamed the 'Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal' ending the 200 year old Shah dynasty.

Geography

Un-nepal
A map of Nepal.
Nepal topo en
A topographic map of Nepal.

Nepal is of roughly trapezoidal shape, 800 kilometres (500 mi) long and 200 kilometres (120 mi) wide, with an area of 147,181 km2 (56,827 sq mi). See [[List of political and geographic subdivisions by total area from 100,000 to 1,000,000 km2|List of territories by size]] for the comparative size of Nepal. It lies between latitudes 26° and 31°N, and longitudes 80° and 89°E.

Nepal is commonly divided into three physiographic areas: Himal, Pahad and Terai. These ecological belts run east–west and are vertically intersected by Nepal's major, north to south flowing river systems.

The southern lowland plains or Terai bordering India are part of the northern rim of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Terai is a lowland region containing some hill ranges. The plains were formed and are fed by three major Himalayan rivers: the Kosi, the Narayani, and the Karnali as well as smaller rivers rising below the permanent snowline. This region has a subtropical to tropical climate. The outermost range of foothills called Sivalik Hills or Churia Range, cresting at 700 to 1,000 metres (2,300 to 3,280 ft), marks the limit of the Gangetic Plain; however broad, low valleys called Inner Tarai Valleys (Bhitri Tarai Uptyaka) lie north of these foothills in several places.

Pahad is a mountain region that does not generally contain snow. The mountains vary from 800 to 4,000 metres (2,600 to 13,100 ft) in altitude with progression from subtropical climates below 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) to alpine climates above 3,600 metres (11,800 ft). The Lower Himalayan Range, reaching 1,500 to 3,000 metres (4,900 to 9,800 ft), is the southern limit of this region, with subtropical river valleys and "hills" alternating to the north of this range. Population density is high in valleys but notably less above 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) and very low above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft), where snow occasionally falls in winter.

Himal is the mountain region containing snow and situated in the Great Himalayan Range; it makes up the northern part of Nepal. It contains the highest elevations in the world including 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) height Mount Everest (Sagarmāthā in Nepali) on the border with China. Seven other of the world's "eight-thousanders" are in Nepal or on its border with China: Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Kangchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu.

Climate

Nepal has five climatic zones, broadly corresponding to the altitudes. The tropical and subtropical zones lie below 1,200 metres (3,900 ft), the temperate zone 1,200 to 2,400 metres (3,900 to 7,900 ft), the cold zone 2,400 to 3,600 metres (7,900 to 11,800 ft), the subarctic zone 3,600 to 4,400 metres (11,800 to 14,400 ft), and the Arctic zone above 4,400 metres (14,400 ft).

Nepal experiences five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. The Himalaya blocks cold winds from Central Asia in the winter and forms the northern limit of the monsoon wind patterns. In a land once thickly forested, deforestation is a major problem in all regions, with resulting erosion and degradation of ecosystems.

Nepal is popular for mountaineering, having some of the highest and most challenging mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. Technically, the southeast ridge on the Nepali side of the mountain is easier to climb, so most climbers prefer to trek to Everest through Nepal.

Geology

Hillary and tenzing
Edmund Hillary (New Zealand) and Tenzing Norgay (Nepal) were the first to reach the summit of Everest.

The collision between the Indian subcontinent and Eurasia, which started in the Paleogene period and continues today, produced the Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau. Nepal lies completely within this collision zone, occupying the central sector of the Himalayan arc, nearly one third of the 2,400 km (1,500 mi)-long Himalayas.

The Indian plate continues to move north relative to Asia at about 50 mm (2.0 in) per year. This is about twice the speed at which human fingernails grow, which is very fast given the size of the blocks of Earth's crust involved. As the strong Indian continental crust subducts beneath the relatively weak Tibetan crust, it pushes up the Himalayan Mountains. This collision zone has accommodated huge amounts of crustal shortening as the rock sequences slide one over another.

Based on a study published in 2014, of the Main Frontal Thrust, on average a great earthquake occurs every 750 ± 140 and 870 ± 350 years in the east Nepal region. A study from 2015 found a 700-year delay between earthquakes in the region. The study also suggests that because of tectonic stress transfer, the earthquake from 1934 in Nepal and the 2015 earthquake are connected – following a historic earthquake pattern.

Erosion of the Himalayas is a very important source of sediment, which flows to the Indian Ocean via several great rivers: the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra River systems.

Environment

NASA Landsat 7 Nepal
NASA Landsat-7 Image of Nepal. Nepal shares its boundaries with India and China

The dramatic differences in elevation found in Nepal result in a variety of biomes, from tropical savannas along the Indian border, to subtropical broadleaf and coniferous forests in the Hill Region, to temperate broadleaf and coniferous forests on the slopes of the Himalaya, to montane grasslands and shrublands and rock and ice at the highest elevations.

At the lowest elevations is the Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands ecoregion. These form a mosaic with the Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests, which occur from 500 to 1,000 metres (1,600 to 3,300 ft) and include the Inner Terai Valleys. Himalayan subtropical pine forests occur between 1,000 and 2,000 metres (3,300 and 6,600 ft).

Above these elevations, the biogeography of Nepal is generally divided from east to west by the Gandaki River. Ecoregions to the east tend to receive more precipitation and to be more species-rich. Those to the west are drier with fewer species.

From 1,500 to 3,000 metres (4,900 to 9,800 ft), are temperate broadleaf forests: the eastern and western Himalayan broadleaf forests. From 3,000 to 4,000 metres (9,800 to 13,100 ft) are the eastern and western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests. To 5,500 metres (18,000 ft) are the eastern and western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows.

Demographics

Teej
Nepalese women dancing for Teej

According to the 2011 census, Nepal's population grew from 9 million people in 1950 to 26.5 million. From 2001 to 2011, the average family size declined from 5.44 to 4.9. The census also noted some 1.9 million absentee people, over a million more than in 2001; most are male labourers employed overseas, predominantly in South Asia and the Middle East. This correlated with the drop in sex ratio from 94.41 as compared to 99.80 for 2001. The annual population growth rate is 1.35%.

The citizens of Nepal are known as Nepali or Nepalese. The country is home to people of many different national origins. As a result, Nepalese do not equate their nationality with ethnicity, but with citizenship and allegiance. Although citizens make up the majority of Nepalese, non-citizen residents, dual citizens, and expatriates may also claim a Nepalese identity.

Nepal is multicultural and multiethnic country because it became a country by occupying several small kingdoms such as Mustang, Videha (Mithila), Madhesh, and Limbuwan in the 18th century. The oldest settlements in Mithila and Tharuhat are Maithil. Northern Nepal is historically inhabited by Kirants Mongoloid, Rai and Limbu people. The mountainous region is sparsely populated above 3,000 m (9,800 ft), but in central and western Nepal ethnic Sherpa and Lamapeople inhabit even higher semi-arid valleys north of the Himalaya. The Nepali speaking Khas people mostly inhabit central and southern regions. Kathmandu Valley, in the middle hill region, constitutes a small fraction of the nation's area but is the most densely populated, with almost 5 percent of the nation's population.

The Nepali are descendants of three major migrations from India, Tibet, and North Burma and the Chinese state of Yunnan via Assam. Among the earliest inhabitants were the Kirat of east mid-region, Newars of the Kathmandu Valley, aboriginal Tharus of Tharuhat.

Economy

Mountain Museum Pokhara Front
The Mountain Museum in Pokhara, the country's second largest city and a hub of tourism in Nepal
Terraces, south of Ghara (4525876548)
Terraced rice farming in Nepal

Nepal used to be an agricultural country till 1950. Since 1951 it entered the modern era and has made progress. Agriculture, however is a major economic activity, employing 80% of the population and providing 37% of GDP. Only about 20% of the total area is cultivable; another 33% is forested; most of the rest is mountainous. Rice and wheat are the main food crops. The lowland Terai region produces an agricultural surplus, part of which supplies the food-deficient hill areas.

Even though China is the 2nd largest exporter to Nepal, yet unlike India which is the largest buyer of Nepal's goods, China's imports from Nepal are zero, thus burdening Nepal's monetary stability and monetary balance. The annual monsoon rain, or lack of it, strongly influences economic growth. From 1996 to 1999, real GDP growth averaged less than 4%. The growth rate recovered in 1999, rising to 6% before slipping slightly in 2001 to 5.5%.

Education

Students of Janata Primary School, northern Tistung
Carrying a national flag of Nepal

Modern education in Nepal began with the establishment of the first school in 1853. This school was only for the members of the ruling families and their courtiers. Schooling for the general people began only after 1951 when a popular movement ended the autocratic Rana family regime and initiated a democratic system.

In the past 50 years, there has been a dramatic expansion of education facilities in the country. As a result, adult literacy (age 15+) of the country was reported to be 48.2% (female: 34.6%, male: 62.2%) in the Population Census, 2001, up from about 5% in 1952–54.

Beginning from about 300 schools and two colleges with about 10,000 students in 1951, there now are 26,000 schools (including higher secondary), 415 colleges, five universities, and two academies of higher studies. Altogether 5.5 million students are enrolled in those schools and colleges who are served by more than 150,000 teachers.

Administrative subdivisions

Nepal zones
Administrative subdivisions of Nepal

Nepal is divided into 14 zones and 75 districts, grouped into five development regions. Each district is headed by a permanent chief district officer. The five regions and 14 zones are:

Largest cities

Kathmandu street
Kathmandu street vendors

As Nepal is one of the developing or so called under developed country, like other things its cities or urban areas are also increasing day by day. More than 20% people lives in the urban area or simply in cities. Kathmandu is the largest city of Nepal. People of Kathmandu are lucky enough to travel in Aeroplane before any land transport. It is also called as the City of Temple as it has numerous temples of Hindus god and goddess and that's of Buddhism. It also have 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is one of the oldest city of South Asia. It is also the capital city of Nepal. It also have many palace and historically important sites such as Singha Durbar.

The other largest cities of Nepal are Pokhara, Biratnagar, Lalitpur, Bharatpur, Birgunj, Dharan, Hetauda and Nepalgunj.

Culture

Manisha Koirala still2
The Nepalese actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador Manisha Koirala

Folklore is an integral part of Nepali society. Traditional stories are rooted in the reality of day-to-day life, tales of love, affection and battles as well as demons and ghosts and thus reflect local lifestyles, culture, and beliefs. Many Nepali folktales are enacted through the medium of dance and music.

Most houses in the rural lowlands of Nepal are made up of a tight bamboo framework and walls of a mud and cow-dung mix. These dwellings remain cool in summer and retain warmth in winter. Houses in the hills are usually made of unbaked bricks with thatch or tile roofing. At high elevations construction changes to stone masonry and slate may be used on roofs.

Nepal's flag is the only national flag in the world that is not rectangular in shape. The constitution of Nepal contains instructions for a geometric construction of the flag. According to its official description, the red in the flag stands for victory in war or courage, and is also the colour of the rhododendron, the national flower of Nepal. Red also stands for aggression. The flag's blue border signifies peace. The curved moon on the flag is a symbol of the peaceful and calm nature of Nepali, while the sun represents the aggressiveness of Nepali warriors.

Holidays and festivals

Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square.
Holi festival celebrations in Nepal

With 36 days a year, Nepal is the country that enjoys the most number of public holidays in the world. The Nepali year begins in 1st of Baisakh in official Hindu Calendar of the country, the Bikram Sambat, which falls in mid-April and is divided into 12 months. Saturday is the official weekly holiday. Main annual holidays include the Martyr's Day (18 February), and a mix of Hindu and Buddhist festivals such as Dashain in autumn, Tihar in mid-autumn and Chhath in late autumn. During Swanti, the Newars perform the Mha Puja ceremony to celebrate New Year's Day of the lunar calendar Nepal Sambat. Being a Secular country Nepal has holiday on main festivals of minority religions in the nation too.

Cuisine

Culinária tradicional do Nepal
Urban Newari cuisine
Plateful of Momo in Nepal
Tibetan momos in Nepal

The national cuisine of Nepal is Dhindo and Gundruk.The staple Nepali meal is dal bhat. Dal is a lentil soup, and is served over bhat (boiled rice), with tarkari (curried vegetables) together with achar (pickles) or chutni (spicy condiment made from fresh ingredients). It consists of non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian items. Mustard oil is a common cooking medium and a host of spices, including cumin, coriander, black pepper, sesame seeds, turmeric, garlic, ginger, methi (fenugreek), bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, chilies and mustard seeds are used in cooking. Momo is a type of steamed dumpling with meat or vegetable fillings, and is a popular fast food in many regions of Nepal.

Transport

Yak Nepal
Means of transport in mountain area

Nepal remains isolated from the world's major land, air and sea transport routes although, within the country, aviation is in a better state, with 47 airports, 11 of them with paved runways; flights are frequent and support a sizable traffic. The hilly and mountainous terrain in the northern two-thirds of the country has made the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive. In 2007 there were just over 10,142 km (6,302 mi) of paved roads, and 7,140 km (4,437 mi) of unpaved road, and one 59 km (37 mi) railway line in the south.

More than one-third of its people live at least a two hours walk from the nearest all-season road. Only recently all district headquarters (except for Simikot and Dunai) became reachable by road from Kathmandu. In addition, around 60% of the road network and most rural roads are not operable during the rainy season. The only practical seaport of entry for goods bound for Kathmandu is Kolkata in West Bengal state of India. Internally, the poor state of development of the road system makes access to markets, schools, and health clinics a challenge.

National symbols of Nepal

The national symbols of Nepal, according to the Interim Constitution, are:

Related pages

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