Nepal, officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is bordered by China in the North and India in the South, East and West. Spread across an area of 1,47,181 sq. km, Nepal is ranked as the 93rd largest country in the world in terms of land mass. It is also the 41st most populous country, with a population of approximately 30 million.Offic
Nepal, officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is bordered by China in the North and India in the South, East and West. Spread across an area of 1,47,181 sq. km, Nepal is ranked as the 93rd largest country in the world in terms of land mass. It is also the 41st most populous country, with a population of approximately 30 million.
Officially, the country of Nepal is divided into 14 administrative zones and 75 districts, which are clubbed into five development regions. On the basis of elevation however, Nepal is divided into Himalayas, Kathmandu Valley, Middle Hills, Western Terai and Eastern Terai from North to South. The capital of Nepal is Kathmandu, which is also the largest metropolis of the country.
Nepal is home to eight of the world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest (8848 metres). Tallest in the world, Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepali), stands on the Nepal-Tibet border. Also in Nepal is Lumbini, which is considered to be the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Kathmandu, the capital of the nation, is declared as the cultural centre of Nepal.
Habitation in Nepal, earlier only in Kathmandu Valley, dates back to at least 9,000 years when Kirata settled here and stayed for about 2,500 years. Later, in around 500 BCE, small kingdoms and confederations of clans like Shakya community arose in the Southern regions of Nepal. However, the Southern regions came under the influence of the Mauryan Empire of Northern India by 250 BCE.
In the 4th Century BCE, Nepal came under the Gupta Empire. The Gupta period was followed by the rule of Licchavis from the beginning of the 3rd Century till the late 8th Century. After the Tibetan dominance, Nepal was ruled by the Newari or Thakuri for an uncertain period of time. From the early 12th Century, Nepal was taken over by Mallas, who ruled the kingdom over the next 200 years.
With the emergence of another Malla dynasty in the late 14th Century, much of central Nepal came under a unified rule. By 1482, the territory was divided into three kingdoms, namely Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. In 1768, the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding territory was again unified and conquered by a Gorkha king. This event is considered to mark the birth of the modern nation of Nepal.
In the following years, the kingdom of Nepal stretched from the Tista River in the East, to Kangara, across the Sutlej River in the West. The Terai Plains in the South and North of the Himalayas were also included in the nation of Nepal. However, the Nepalese later retreated during the dispute with Tibet. The Anglo-Nepalese War (1815-16) was also fought by Nepal with the British East India Company.
With the end of the war, some parts of the Terai Region were given back to Nepal by the British as a friendly gesture. Nepal formally signed an agreement of friendship with United Kingdom in 1923 for recognising their independence. In 1924, slavery was abolished in Nepal, followed by the emergence of democracy movements and political parties till 1950. The Nepali Congress Party was formed in 1951.
With so many dynasties having ruled over Nepal, the country has a rich cultural heritage. Blessed by Mother Nature, Nepal is a popular tourist destination with beautiful landscapes and activities like trekking and mountaineering.
Tourists also visit the country for its Hindu as well as Buddhist pilgrimage sites, along with other cultural and heritage attractions. The most visited cities of Nepal are Kathmandu, Pokhara, Patan, Bhaktapur and Lumbini. The peak season to visit Nepal is from October to November and February to April.
Coordinates: Latitude: 28° 00’ N, Longitude: 84°00’ E
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