Nestled between two-giant nations--India and China, Nepal is a tiny country in terms of its geography covering merely 147,181 sq. km. but extremely rich in terms of biodiversity, unique in its geographical positions and altitudinal variation. The elevation ranges from 700 meters above sea level in the southern plains of Tarai to the highest point of the earth--Mt. Everest (8,848 m) and hosts of majestic mountains on the northern part of the country stretching from east to the west of country. Geographically Nepal is small, as it covers merely 0.1 percent of the total landmass of the earth, although it is small, it is home to over 876 species of birds that stands 8 percent of the world population of birds. Similarly, it is also the home to over 6,500 species of flowering plants that stands nearly 2 percent of the world?s flowering plants, nearly about 208 mammals species--4 percent of the mammals in the earth, over 651 species of butterfly (nearly about 11, of the world 15-families of butterflies), over 118 amphibians, 78 reptile species, 187 fish, over 600 indigenous plants families, 319 species of exotic orchids and so forth. This is a glimpse that how diverse and rich Nepal is.
Nepal is diverse in terms of its biodiversity, religion, culture, language, rituals, and what not. Of the total 14 mountains across world above 8,000 meters, Nepal is home of the eight world?s highest mountains. Those world highest mountains are--Mt. Everest (8,848 m), Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), Mt. Lhotse (8,516 m), Mt. Makalu (8,463 m.), Mt. Cho Oyu (8.201 m), Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Mt. Manaslu (8,163 m) Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m). Besides these, there are over 1,300 peaks above 6,000 m. Out of them the government has so far opened to nearly 400 peaks including the world?s highest mountains for organizing varied range of adventure activities including mountaineering, expedition, peak climbing, trekking and so forth. It is not just the spectacular mountains alone that a visitor is enchanted with when s/he arrives in Nepal for the first time. The traveler is confronted with multitude of impressions-- the dramatic monsoon skies, dazzling landscapes, terraced farm field, the beautiful architecture of ancient buildings of Kathmandu valley, or perhaps it is the people who make the greatest impression. You will be amazed and excited at seeing so many different and remarkable faces, while walking to any part of Nepal, or in Kathmandu thronged with people is still an adventure. According to latest Census, there are as many as 125 castes/ethnic groups, who speak more than 123 languages and follow as many as 10 different religions. Thus while visiting in Nepal, you will be amazed seeing unity in a diversity. Nepal is undoubted a laboratory to study the ethnicity, you will be amazed seeing non-stop fiestas and festivities, distinct culture, rituals and lifestyle. It is therefore why Nepal is known to be multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic country. You will hardly find anywhere in the world having such a diversity or pluralism in a tiny land. Aforementioned features show that Nepal has something to offer to everyone coming to Nepal from natural wonders to variety of culture, flora and fauna, exotic culture, incredible landscapes, majestic mountains, rushing rivers, glacial lakes, and forests full of wild animals.
Admiring hosts of impressions, world?s renowned traveler writers have given a number of titles to Nepal, like--living cultural museum, Shangri-La, roof of the world, birth place of the apostle of peace, country of living goddess, Himalayan pilgrimage, the land of mysticism and exoticism, and of non-stop festival. All these features are explicit enough what Nepal has to offer you and and, all these features are explicit enough why Nepal has been one of the ultimate destinations in the world.
History of Nepal
The history of Nepal begins from 9th century BC. The Kirats were the first rulers of this country. For many centuries, Nepal remained divided into many principalities Kirats ruled in the east, the Newars in Kathmandu valley, while Gurungs and Magars occupied the mid-west.
Lichchhavis had conquered Kirats in first century AD and then ruled until 9th century AD. During this period, art thrived in Nepal and many beautiful woodcarvings and sculptures that are found in the country is associated to this era.
Subsequently, Thakuris conquered Lichchhavis in 9th century AD and ruled until 13th century.
Afterward, in 1200 AD, the Malla again conquered Lichchavis, who also said to have contributed a lot to the art and culture of Nepal. The Mallas mainly focused in Kathmandu valley.
Afterward, Shah dynasty had reigned over Mallas and then conquered them, as Prithvi Narayan Shah, the king of Gorkha had conquered Malla rulers in Kathmandu valley along with other small principalities and recognizing the threat of British Raj in India he unified all the principalities into one kingdom.
During the mid-19th century, exercising the absolute power Jung Bahadur Rana had become the first Prime Minster of Nepal and continuously, the Rana families had ruled the country over one century. The Ranas were overthrown in a democracy movement of the early 1950s and Nepal enjoyed a multiparty democracy for about 10 years and again it went through one party (Panchyat) system and it enjoyed a multiparty democracy since 1990.
Nepal now is a Federal Democratic Republic state, since it was declared to be federal republic on May 28, 2008 in the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly.
Nepal in brief
World Heritage sites (Cultural)
World heritage sites (Natural)
Tiger, Rhino, Snow leopard, Clouded leopard, Red panda, Brown bear, Asamese macaque, Gangetic dophin, Wolf, wild elephant, Giant horn-bill, swamp deer, wild yak, Nayan, Tebetan antelope, Black buck, four horned antelope, musk deer pigmy hog, Haspid harem Pangolin, Gharial, Indian bustard Saras crane, Impean pheasant, Python, these are some of the endangered species of the country.
Nepal harbors one of the world’s best habitants for one horned rhino, royal Bengal tiger, snow leopard, clouded-leopard, Red panda, blue-sheep and long snouted fish eating Gharial. Other wildlife includes wild elephant, buffaloes, bisons, blue bull, brown bear, sloth bear, leopard, crocodiles and many varies of cat, dog, deer and antelope families, and 840 different species of wet land, migratory and residential birds.
A living cultural Heritage
The heritages in Nepal are alive and dynamic. Shmanism, Pananimism and witch craft are still practiced in remote regions. Temples, shrines, monuments and monasteries with devotees burning butter-lamps, singling hymns, chiming temple bells and playing drums are spotted everywhere as a living cultural heritage.