Nepal

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This article is about the country. Nepal_sentence_0

For other uses, see Nepal (disambiguation). Nepal_sentence_1

Nepal_table_infobox_0

Federal Democratic Republic of NepalNepal_header_cell_0_0_0
Capital

and largest cityNepal_header_cell_0_1_0

KathmanduNepal_cell_0_1_1
Official languagesNepal_header_cell_0_2_0 NepaliNepal_cell_0_2_1
Recognised national languagesNepal_header_cell_0_3_0 All mother-tongues

(see Languages of Nepal)Nepal_cell_0_3_1

Ethnic groups (2011)Nepal_header_cell_0_4_0 Nepal_cell_0_4_1
Religion (2011)Nepal_header_cell_0_5_0 Nepal_cell_0_5_1
Demonym(s)Nepal_header_cell_0_6_0 Nepali,Nepal_cell_0_6_1
GovernmentNepal_header_cell_0_7_0 Federal parliamentary republicNepal_cell_0_7_1
PresidentNepal_header_cell_0_8_0 Bidhya Devi BhandariNepal_cell_0_8_1
Prime MinisterNepal_header_cell_0_9_0 Khadga Prasad Sharma OliNepal_cell_0_9_1
House SpeakerNepal_header_cell_0_10_0 Agni Prasad SapkotaNepal_cell_0_10_1
Chief JusticeNepal_header_cell_0_11_0 Cholendra Shumsher JB RanaNepal_cell_0_11_1
LegislatureNepal_header_cell_0_12_0 Federal ParliamentNepal_cell_0_12_1
Upper houseNepal_header_cell_0_13_0 National AssemblyNepal_cell_0_13_1
Lower houseNepal_header_cell_0_14_0 House of RepresentativesNepal_cell_0_14_1
FormationNepal_header_cell_0_15_0
KingdomNepal_header_cell_0_16_0 1768Nepal_cell_0_16_1
Treaty of SugauliNepal_header_cell_0_17_0 4 March 1816Nepal_cell_0_17_1
Nepal-Britain Treaty of 1923Nepal_header_cell_0_18_0 21 December 1923Nepal_cell_0_18_1
Federal RepublicNepal_header_cell_0_19_0 28 May 2008Nepal_cell_0_19_1
Current constitutionNepal_header_cell_0_20_0 20 September 2015Nepal_cell_0_20_1
Area Nepal_header_cell_0_21_0
TotalNepal_header_cell_0_22_0 147,516 km (56,956 sq mi) (93rd)Nepal_cell_0_22_1
Water (%)Nepal_header_cell_0_23_0 2.8Nepal_cell_0_23_1
PopulationNepal_header_cell_0_24_0
2018 estimateNepal_header_cell_0_25_0 28,095,714 (49th)Nepal_cell_0_25_1
2011 censusNepal_header_cell_0_26_0 26,494,504Nepal_cell_0_26_1
DensityNepal_header_cell_0_27_0 180/km (466.2/sq mi) (50th)Nepal_cell_0_27_1
GDP (PPP)Nepal_header_cell_0_28_0 2019 estimateNepal_cell_0_28_1
TotalNepal_header_cell_0_29_0 $94 billion (87th)Nepal_cell_0_29_1
Per capitaNepal_header_cell_0_30_0 $3,318 (155th)Nepal_cell_0_30_1
GDP (nominal)Nepal_header_cell_0_31_0 2019 estimateNepal_cell_0_31_1
TotalNepal_header_cell_0_32_0 $30 billion (101st)Nepal_cell_0_32_1
Per capitaNepal_header_cell_0_33_0 $1,048 (159th)Nepal_cell_0_33_1
Gini (2010)Nepal_header_cell_0_34_0 32.8

medium · 115thNepal_cell_0_34_1

HDI (2019)Nepal_header_cell_0_35_0 0.579

medium · 147thNepal_cell_0_35_1

CurrencyNepal_header_cell_0_36_0 Nepalese rupee (Rs, रू) (NPR)Nepal_cell_0_36_1
Time zoneNepal_header_cell_0_37_0 UTC+05:45 (Nepal Standard Time)Nepal_cell_0_37_1
Nepal_header_cell_0_38_0 DST not observedNepal_cell_0_38_1
Mains electricityNepal_header_cell_0_39_0 230 V–50 HzNepal_cell_0_39_1
Driving sideNepal_header_cell_0_40_0 leftNepal_cell_0_40_1
Calling codeNepal_header_cell_0_41_0 +977Nepal_cell_0_41_1
ISO 3166 codeNepal_header_cell_0_42_0 NPNepal_cell_0_42_1
Internet TLDNepal_header_cell_0_43_0 .npNepal_cell_0_43_1

Nepal (English: /nɪˈpɔːl/; Nepali: [neˈpal), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a sovereign country in South Asia. Nepal_sentence_2

It is mainly in the Himalayas, but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Nepal_sentence_3

It is the 49th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. Nepal_sentence_4

It is landlocked, and borders China in the north and India in the south, east and west, while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km (17 mi) of its southeastern tip and Bhutan is separated from it by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal_sentence_5

Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, and eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Nepal_sentence_6

Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city. Nepal_sentence_7

Nepal is a multiethnic country, with Nepali as the official language. Nepal_sentence_8

The name "Nepal" is first recorded in texts from the Vedic period of the Indian subcontinent, the era in ancient India when Hinduism was founded, the predominant religion of the country. Nepal_sentence_9

In the middle of the first millennium BCE, Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in southern Nepal. Nepal_sentence_10

Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. Nepal_sentence_11

The centrally located Kathmandu Valley is intertwined with the culture of Indo-Aryans, and was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala. Nepal_sentence_12

The Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley's traders. Nepal_sentence_13

The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional art and architecture. Nepal_sentence_14

By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of Nepal. Nepal_sentence_15

The Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and later formed an alliance with the British Empire, under its Rana dynasty of premiers. Nepal_sentence_16

The country was never colonized but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and British India. Nepal_sentence_17

Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs, in 1960 and 2005. Nepal_sentence_18

The Nepalese Civil War in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the establishment of a secular republic in 2008, ending the world's last Hindu monarchy. Nepal_sentence_19

The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, affirms Nepal as a secular federal parliamentary republic divided into seven provinces. Nepal_sentence_20

It remains the only multi-party, fully democratic nation in the world ruled by a communist party. Nepal_sentence_21

Nepal was admitted to the United Nations in 1955, and friendship treaties were signed with India in 1950 and the People's Republic of China in 1960. Nepal_sentence_22

Nepal hosts the permanent secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), of which it is a founding member. Nepal_sentence_23

Nepal is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative. Nepal_sentence_24

The military of Nepal is the fifth largest in South Asia; it is notable for its Gurkha history, particularly during the world wars, and has been a significant contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations. Nepal_sentence_25

Etymology Nepal_section_0

Before the unification of Nepal, the Kathmandu valley was known as Nepal. Nepal_sentence_26

The precise origin of the term Nepāl is uncertain. Nepal_sentence_27

Nepal appears in ancient Indian literary texts dated as far back as the fourth century BC. Nepal_sentence_28

However, an absolute chronology can not be established, as even the oldest texts may contain anonymous contributions dating as late as the early modern period. Nepal_sentence_29

Academic attempts to provide a plausible theory are hindered by the lack of a complete picture of history, and insufficient understanding of linguistics or relevant Indo-European and Tibeto-Burman languages. Nepal_sentence_30

According to Hindu mythology, Nepal derives its name from an ancient Hindu sage called Ne, referred to variously as Ne Muni or Nemi. Nepal_sentence_31

According to Pashupati Purāna, as a place protected by Ne, the country in the heart of the Himalayas came to be known as Nepāl. Nepal_sentence_32

According to Nepāl Mahātmya, Nemi was charged with protection of the country by Pashupati. Nepal_sentence_33

According to Buddhist mythology, Manjushri Bodhisattva drained a primordial lake of serpents to create the Nepal valley and proclaimed that Adi-Buddha Ne would take care of the community that would settle it. Nepal_sentence_34

As the cherished of Ne, the valley would be called Nepāl. Nepal_sentence_35

According to Gopalarājvamshāvali, the genealogy of ancient Gopala dynasty compiled circa 1380s, Nepal is named after Nepa the cowherd, the founder of the Nepali scion of the Abhiras. Nepal_sentence_36

In this account, the cow that issued milk to the spot, at which Nepa discovered the Jyotirlinga of Pashupatināth upon investigation, was also named Ne. Nepal_sentence_37

Norwegian indologist Christian Lassen had proposed that Nepāla was a compound of Nipa (foot of a mountain) and -ala (short suffix for alaya meaning abode), and so Nepāla meant "abode at the foot of the mountain". Nepal_sentence_38

He considered Ne Muni to be a fabrication. Nepal_sentence_39

Indologist Sylvain Levi found Lassen's theory untenable but had no theories of his own, only suggesting that either Newara is a vulgarism of sanskritic Nepala, or Nepala is Sanskritization of the local ethnic; his view has found some support though it does not answer the question of etymology. Nepal_sentence_40

It has also been proposed that Nepa is a Tibeto-Burman stem consisting of Ne (cattle) and Pa (keeper), reflecting the fact that early inhabitants of the valley were Gopalas (cowherds) and Mahispalas (buffalo-herds). Nepal_sentence_41

Suniti Kumar Chatterji believed Nepal originated from Tibeto-Burman roots — Ne, of uncertain meaning (as multiple possibilities exist), and pala or bal, whose meaning is lost entirely. Nepal_sentence_42

History Nepal_section_1

Main article: History of Nepal Nepal_sentence_43

Ancient Nepal Nepal_section_2

By 55,000 years ago, the first modern humans had arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa, where they had earlier evolved. Nepal_sentence_44

The earliest known modern human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nepal_sentence_45

The oldest discovered archaeological evidence of human settlements in Nepal dates to around the same time. Nepal_sentence_46

After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, and storage of agricultural surplus appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan. Nepal_sentence_47

These gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilization, the first urban culture in South Asia. Nepal_sentence_48

Prehistoric sites of palaeolithic, mesolithic and neolithic origins have been discovered in the Siwalik hills of Dang district. Nepal_sentence_49

The earliest inhabitants of modern Nepal and adjoining areas are believed to be people from the Indus Valley Civilization. Nepal_sentence_50

It is possible that the Dravidian people whose history predates the onset of the Bronze Age in the Indian subcontinent (around 6300 BCE) inhabited the area before the arrival of other ethnic groups like the Tibeto-Burmans and Indo-Aryans from across the border. Nepal_sentence_51

By 4000 BCE, the Tibeto-Burmese people had reached Nepal either directly across the Himalayas from Tibet or via Myanmar and north-east India or both. Nepal_sentence_52

Another possibility for the first people to have inhabited Nepal are the Kusunda people. Nepal_sentence_53

According to Hogdson (1847), the earliest inhabitants of Nepal were perhaps the Kusunda people, probably of proto-Australoid origin. Nepal_sentence_54

Stella Kramrisch (1964) mentions a substratum of a race of pre-Dravidians and Dravidians, who were in Nepal even before the Newars, who formed the majority of the ancient inhabitants of the valley of Kathmandu. Nepal_sentence_55

By the late Vedic period, Nepal was being mentioned in various Hindu texts, such as the late Vedic Atharvaveda Pariśiṣṭa and in the post-Vedic Atharvashirsha Upanishad. Nepal_sentence_56

The Gopal Bansa was the oldest dynasty to be mentioned in various texts as the earliest rulers of the central Himalayan kingdom known by the name 'Nepal'. Nepal_sentence_57

The Gopalas were followed by Kiratas who ruled for over 16 centuries by some accounts. Nepal_sentence_58

According to the Mahabharata, the then Kirata king went to take part in the Battle of Kurukshetra. Nepal_sentence_59

In the south-eastern region, Janakpurdham was the capital of the prosperous kingdom of Videha or Mithila, that extended down to the Ganges, and home to King Janaka and his daughter, Sita. Nepal_sentence_60

Around 600 BCE, small kingdoms and confederations of clans arose in the southern regions of Nepal. Nepal_sentence_61

From one of these, the Shakya polity, arose a prince who later renounced his status to lead an ascetic life, founded Buddhism, and came to be known as Gautama Buddha (traditionally dated 563–483 BCE). Nepal_sentence_62

Nepal came to be established as a land of spirituality and refuge in the intervening centuries, played an important role in transmitting Buddhism to East Asia via Tibet, and helped preserve Hindu and Buddhist manuscripts. Nepal_sentence_63

By 250 BCE, the southern regions had come under the influence of the Maurya Empire. Nepal_sentence_64

Emperor Ashoka made a pilgrimage to Lumbini and erected a pillar at Buddha's birthplace, the inscriptions on which mark the starting point for properly recorded history of Nepal. Nepal_sentence_65

Ashoka also visited the Kathmandu valley and built monuments commemorating Gautam Buddha's visit there. Nepal_sentence_66

By the 4th century CE, much of Nepal was under the influence of the Gupta Empire. Nepal_sentence_67

In the Kathmandu valley, the Kiratas were pushed eastward by the Lichchhavis, and the Lichchhavi dynasty came into power c. 400 CE. Nepal_sentence_68

The Lichchhavis built monuments and left a series of inscriptions; Nepal's history of the period is pieced together almost entirely from them. Nepal_sentence_69

In 641, Songtsen Gampo of the Tibetan Empire sends Narendradeva back to Licchavi with an army and subjugates Nepal. Nepal_sentence_70

Parts of Nepal and Licchavi was later under the direct influences of the Tibetan empire. Nepal_sentence_71

The Licchavi dynasty went into decline in the late 8th century, and was followed by a Thakuri rule. Nepal_sentence_72

Thakuri kings ruled over the country up to the middle of the 11th century CE; not much is known of this period that is often called the dark period. Nepal_sentence_73

Medieval Nepal Nepal_section_3

In the 11th century, a powerful empire of Khas people emerged in western Nepal whose territory at its highest peak included much of western Nepal as well as parts of western Tibet and Uttarakhand of India. Nepal_sentence_74

By the 14th century, the empire had splintered into loosely associated Baise rajyas, literally 22 states as they were counted. Nepal_sentence_75

The rich culture and language of the Khas people spread throughout Nepal and as far as Indo-China in the intervening centuries; their language, later renamed Nepali language, became the lingua franca of Nepal as well as much of North-east India. Nepal_sentence_76

In south-eastern Nepal, Simraungarh annexed Mithila around 1100 CE, and the unified Tirhut stood as a powerful kingdom for more than 200 years, even ruling over Kathmandu for a time. Nepal_sentence_77

After another 300 years of Muslim rule, Tirhut came under the control of the Sens of Makawanpur. Nepal_sentence_78

In the eastern hills, a confederation of Kirat principalities ruled the area between Kathmandu and Bengal. Nepal_sentence_79

In the Kathmandu valley, the Mallas, who make several appearances in Nepalese history since ancient times, had established themselves in Kathmandu and Patan by middle of the 14th century. Nepal_sentence_80

The Mallas ruled the valley first under the suzerainty of Tirhut, but established independent reign by late 14th century as Tirhut went into decline. Nepal_sentence_81

In the late 14th century, Jayasthiti Malla introduced widespread socio-economic reforms, principal of which was the caste system. Nepal_sentence_82

By dividing the indigenous non-Aryan Buddhist population into castes modelled after the four Varna system of Hinduism, he provided an influential model for the Sanskritization and Hinduization of the indigenous non-Hindu tribal populations in all principalities throughout Nepal. Nepal_sentence_83

By the middle of the 15th century, Kathmandu had become a powerful empire which, according to Kirkpatrick, extended from Digarchi or Sigatse in Tibet to Tirhut and Gaya in India. Nepal_sentence_84

In the late 15th century, Malla princes divided their kingdom in four — Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur in the valley and Banepa to the east. Nepal_sentence_85

The competition for prestige among these brotherly kingdoms saw the flourishing of art and architecture in central Nepal, and the building of famous Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Squares; their division and mistrust led to their fall in the late 18th century, and ultimately, unification of Nepal into a modern state. Nepal_sentence_86

Apart from one destructive sacking of Kathmandu in the early 13th century, Nepal remain largely untouched by the Muslim invasion of India that began in the 11th century. Nepal_sentence_87

However, the Mughal period saw an influx of high-caste Hindus from India into Nepal. Nepal_sentence_88

They soon intermingled with the Khas people and by the 16th century, there were about 50 Rajput-ruled principalities in Nepal, including the 22 baisi states and, to their east in west-central Nepal, 24 Chaubisi states. Nepal_sentence_89

There emerged a view that Nepal remained the true bastion of unadulterated Hinduism at a time when Indian culture had been influenced by centuries of Mughal, followed by British rule. Nepal_sentence_90

Gorkha, one of the Baisi states, emerged as an influential and ambitious kingdom with a reputation for justice, after it codified the first Hinduism-based laws in the Nepalese hills. Nepal_sentence_91

Unification, expansion and consolidation Nepal_section_4

Main article: Kingdom of Nepal Nepal_sentence_92

In the mid-18th century, Prithvi Narayan Shah, a Gorkha king, set out to put together what would become present-day Nepal. Nepal_sentence_93

He embarked on his mission by securing the neutrality of the bordering mountain kingdoms. Nepal_sentence_94

After several bloody battles and sieges, notably the Battle of Kirtipur, he managed to conquer the Kathmandu Valley in 1769. Nepal_sentence_95

The Gorkha control reached its height when the North Indian territories of the Kumaon and Garhwal Kingdoms in the west to Sikkim in the east came under Nepalese control. Nepal_sentence_96

A dispute with Tibet over the control of mountain passes and inner Tingri valleys of Tibet forced the Qing Emperor of China to start the Sino-Nepali War compelling the Nepali to retreat to their own borders in the north. Nepal_sentence_97

Rivalry between the Kingdom of Nepal and the East India Company over the control of states bordering Nepal eventually led to the Anglo-Nepali War (1815–16). Nepal_sentence_98

At first, the British underestimated the Nepali and were soundly defeated until committing more military resources than they had anticipated needing. Nepal_sentence_99

Thus began the reputation of Gurkhas as fierce and ruthless soldiers. Nepal_sentence_100

The war ended in the Sugauli Treaty, under which Nepal ceded recently captured lands. Nepal_sentence_101

Factionalism inside the royal family led to a period of instability. Nepal_sentence_102

In 1846, a plot was discovered revealing that the reigning queen had planned to overthrow Jung Bahadur Kunwar, a fast-rising military leader. Nepal_sentence_103

This led to the Kot massacre; armed clashes between military personnel and administrators loyal to the queen led to the execution of several hundred princes and chieftains around the country. Nepal_sentence_104

Bir Narsingh Kunwar emerged victorious and founded the Rana dynasty, and came to be known as Jung Bahadur Rana. Nepal_sentence_105

The king was made a titular figure, and the post of Prime Minister was made powerful and hereditary. Nepal_sentence_106

The Ranas were staunchly pro-British and assisted them during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 (and later in both World Wars). Nepal_sentence_107

In 1860 some parts of the western Terai region were gifted to Nepal by the British as a friendly gesture because of her military help to sustain British control in India during the rebellion (known as Naya Muluk, new country). Nepal_sentence_108

In 1923, the United Kingdom and Nepal formally signed an agreement of friendship that superseded the Sugauli Treaty of 1816. Nepal_sentence_109

The Hindu practice of Sati, in which a widow sacrificed herself in the funeral pyre of her husband, was banned in 1919, and slavery was officially abolished in 1924. Nepal_sentence_110

Rana rule was marked by tyranny, , economic exploitation and religious persecution. Nepal_sentence_111

Nepal after 1950 Nepal_section_5

In the late 1940s, newly emerging pro-democracy movements and political parties in Nepal were critical of the Rana autocracy. Nepal_sentence_112

Following the success of Indian Independence Movement which Nepalese activists had taken part in, with India's support and cooperation of King Tribhuvan, Nepali Congress was successful in toppling the Rana regime, establishing a parliamentary democracy. Nepal_sentence_113

After a decade of power wrangling between the king and the government, King Mahendra (ruled 1955–1972) scrapped the democratic experiment in 1960, and a "partyless" Panchayat system was created to govern Nepal. Nepal_sentence_114

The political parties were banned and politicians imprisoned or exiled. Nepal_sentence_115

The Panchayat rule modernised the country, introducing reforms and developing infrastructure, but curtailed liberties and imposed heavy censorship. Nepal_sentence_116

In 1990, the People's Movement forced King Birendra (ruled 1972–2001) to accept constitutional reforms and to establish a multiparty democracy. Nepal_sentence_117

In 1996, the Maoist Party started a violent bid to replace the royal parliamentary system with a people's republic. Nepal_sentence_118

This led to the long Nepali Civil War and more than 16,000 deaths. Nepal_sentence_119

With the death of both the King and the Crown Prince in a massacre in the royal palace, King Birendra's brother Gyanendra inherited the throne in 2001 and subsequently assumed full executive powers aiming to quash the Maoist insurgency himself. Nepal_sentence_120

The Maoist Party joined mainstream politics following the success of the peaceful democratic revolution of 2006; Nepal became a secular state, and on 28 May 2008, it was declared a republic, ending its time-honoured status as the world's only Hindu Kingdom. Nepal_sentence_121

The country's new designation as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal was submitted to the United Nations on 4 August 2008, and later confirmed by the constitution. Nepal_sentence_122

After a decade of instability and internal strife which saw two constituent assembly elections, the new constitution was promulgated on 20 September 2015, making Nepal a federal democratic republic divided into seven provinces. Nepal_sentence_123

Geography Nepal_section_6

Main articles: Geography of Nepal and Geology of Nepal Nepal_sentence_124

Nepal is of roughly trapezoidal shape, about 800 kilometres (500 mi) long and 200 kilometres (120 mi) wide, with an area of 147,516 km (56,956 sq mi). Nepal_sentence_125

It lies between latitudes 26° and 31°N, and longitudes 80° and 89°E. Nepal_sentence_126

Nepal's defining geological processes began 75 million years ago when the Indian plate, then part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, began a north-eastward drift caused by seafloor spreading to its south-west, and later, south and south-east. Nepal_sentence_127

Simultaneously, the vast Tethyn oceanic crust, to its northeast, began to subduct under the Eurasian plate. Nepal_sentence_128

These dual processes, driven by convection in the Earth's mantle, both created the Indian Ocean and caused the Indian continental crust eventually to under-thrust Eurasia and to uplift the Himalayas. Nepal_sentence_129

The rising barriers blocked the paths of rivers creating large lakes, which only broke through as late as 100,000 years ago, creating fertile valleys in the middle hills like the Kathmandu Valley. Nepal_sentence_130

In the western region, rivers which were too strong to be hampered, cut some of the world's deepest gorges. Nepal_sentence_131

Immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast trough that rapidly filled with river-borne sediment and now constitutes the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Nepal_sentence_132

Nepal lies almost 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, with a small strip of southernmost Nepal stretching into the Indo-Gangetic plain and two districts in the northwest stretching up to the Tibetan plateau. Nepal_sentence_133

Nepal is divided into three principal physiographic belts known as Himal-Pahad-Terai. Nepal_sentence_134

Himal is the mountain region containing snow and situated in the Great Himalayan Range; it makes up the northern part of Nepal. Nepal_sentence_135

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. Nepal_sentence_136

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. Nepal_sentence_137

Pahad is the mountain region that does not generally contain snow. Nepal_sentence_138

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). Nepal_sentence_139

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. Nepal_sentence_140

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. Nepal_sentence_141

The southern lowland plains or Terai bordering India are part of the northern rim of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Nepal_sentence_142

Terai is the lowland region containing some hill ranges. Nepal_sentence_143

The plains were formed and are fed by three major Himalayan rivers: the Koshi, the Narayani, and the Karnali as well as smaller rivers rising below the permanent snowline. Nepal_sentence_144

This region has subtropical to tropical climate. Nepal_sentence_145

The outermost range of the foothills called Sivalik Hills or Churia Range, cresting at 700 to 1,000 metres (2,300 to 3,280 ft), marks the limits of the Gangetic Plain; however broad, low valleys called Inner Terai Valleys (Bhitri Tarai Upatyaka) lie north of these foothills in several places. Nepal_sentence_146

The Indian plate continues to move north relative to Asia at about 50 mm (2.0 in) per year. Nepal_sentence_147

This makes Nepal an earthquake prone zone, and periodic earthquakes that have devastating consequences present a significant hurdle to development. Nepal_sentence_148

Erosion of the Himalayas is a very important source of sediment, which flows to the Indian Ocean. Nepal_sentence_149

Saptakoshi, in particular, carries huge amount of silt out of Nepal but sees extreme drop in Gradient in Bihar, causing severe floods and course changes, and is therefore, known as the sorrow of Bihar. Nepal_sentence_150

Severe flooding and landslides cause deaths and disease, destroy farmlands and cripple the transport infrastructure of the country, during the monsoon season each year. Nepal_sentence_151

Nepal has five climatic zones, broadly corresponding to the altitudes. Nepal_sentence_152

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_sentence_153

Nepal experiences five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. Nepal_sentence_154

The Himalayas block cold winds from Central Asia in the winter and form the northern limits of the monsoon wind patterns. Nepal_sentence_155

Biodiversity Nepal_section_7

Main article: Wildlife of Nepal Nepal_sentence_156

See also: Protected areas of Nepal and Community forestry in Nepal Nepal_sentence_157

Nepal contains a disproportionately large diversity of plants and animals, relative to its size. Nepal_sentence_158

Nepal, in its entirety, forms the western portion of the eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, with notable biocultural diversity. Nepal_sentence_159

The dramatic differences in elevation found in Nepal (60 m from sea level in the Terai plains, to 8,848 m Mount Everest) result in a variety of biomes. Nepal_sentence_160

Eastern half of Nepal is richer in biodiversity as it receives more rain, compared to western parts, where arctic desert-type conditions are more common at higher elevations. Nepal_sentence_161

Nepal is a habitat for 4.0% of all mammal species, 8.9% of bird species, 1.0% of reptile species, 2.5% of amphibian species, 1.9% of fish species, 3.7% of butterfly species, 0.5% of moth species and 0.4% of spider species. Nepal_sentence_162

In its 35 forest-types and 118 ecosystems, Nepal harbours 2% of the flowering plant species, 3% of pteridophytes and 6% of bryophytes. Nepal_sentence_163

Nepal's forest cover is 59,624 km (23,021 sq mi), 40.36% of the country's total land area, with an additional 4.38% of scrubland, for a total forested area of 44.74%, an increase of 5% since the turn of the millennium. Nepal_sentence_164

In the southern plains, Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands ecoregion contains some of the world's tallest grasses as well as Sal forests, tropical evergreen forests and tropical riverine deciduous forests. Nepal_sentence_165

In the lower hills (700 m – 2,000 m), subtropical and temperate deciduous mixed forests containing mostly Sal (in the lower altitudes), Chilaune and Katus, as well as subtropical pine forest dominated by Chir pine are common. Nepal_sentence_166

The middle hills (2,000 m – 3,000 m) are dominated by Oak and Rhododendron. Nepal_sentence_167

Subalpine coniferous forests cover the 3,000 m to 3,500 m range, dominated by Oak (particularly in the west), Eastern Himalayan fir, Himalayan pine and Himalayan hemlock; Rhododendron is common as well. Nepal_sentence_168

Above 3,500 m in the west and 4,000 m in the east, coniferous trees give way to Rhododendron-dominated alpine shrubs and meadows. Nepal_sentence_169

Among the notable trees, are the astringent Azadirachta indica, or neem, which is widely used in traditional herbal medicine, and the luxuriant Ficus religiosa, or peepal, which is displayed on the ancient seals of Mohenjo-daro, and under which Gautam Buddha is recorded in the Pali canon to have sought enlightenment. Nepal_sentence_170

Most of the subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest of the lower himalayan region is descended from the tethyan tertiary flora. Nepal_sentence_171

As the Indian plate collided with Eurasia forming and raising the Himalayas, the arid and semi-arid mediterranean flora was pushed up and adapted to the more alpine climate over the next 40–50 million years. Nepal_sentence_172

The Himalayan biodiversity hotspot was the site of mass exchange and intermingling of the Indian and Eurasian species in the neogene. Nepal_sentence_173

One mammal species (Himalayan field mouse), two each of bird and reptile species, nine amphibian, eight fish and 29 butterfly species are endemic to Nepal. Nepal_sentence_174

Nepal contains 107 IUCN-designated threatened species, 88 of them animal species, 18 plant species and one species of "fungi or protist" group. Nepal_sentence_175

These include the endangered Bengal tiger, the Red panda, the Asiatic elephant, the Himalayan musk deer, the Wild water buffalo and the South Asian river dolphin, as well as the critically endangered Gharial, the Bengal florican, and the White-rumped Vulture, which has become nearly extinct by having ingested the carrion of diclofenac-treated cattle. Nepal_sentence_176

The pervasive and ecologically devastating human encroachment of recent decades has critically endangered Nepali wildlife. Nepal_sentence_177

In response, the system of national parks and protected areas, first established in 1973 with the enactment of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973, was substantially expanded. Nepal_sentence_178

Vulture restaurants coupled with a ban on veterinary usage of diclofenac has seen a rise in the number of white-rumped vultures. Nepal_sentence_179

The community forestry program which has seen a third of the country's population directly participate in managing a quarter of the total forested area, has helped the local economies while reducing human-wildlife conflict. Nepal_sentence_180

The breeding programmes coupled with community-assisted military patrols, and a crackdown on poaching and smuggling, has seen poaching of critically endangered tigers and elephants as well as vulnerable rhinos, among others, go down to effectively zero, and their numbers have steadily increased. Nepal_sentence_181

Nepal has ten national parks, three wildlife reserves, one hunting reserve, three conservation areas and eleven buffer zones, covering a total area of 28,959.67 km (11,181.39 sq mi), or 19.67% of the total land area, while ten wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention. Nepal_sentence_182

Politics and government Nepal_section_8

Politics Nepal_section_9

Nepal_table_general_1

Nepal_cell_1_0_0 Nepal_cell_1_0_1
Bidhya Devi Bhandari

PresidentNepal_cell_1_1_0

KP Sharma Oli

Prime MinisterNepal_cell_1_1_1

Main article: Politics of Nepal Nepal_sentence_183

Nepal is a parliamentary republic with a multi-party system. Nepal_sentence_184

It has three political parties recognised in the federal parliament: Nepal Communist Party (NCP), Nepali Congress (NC), and Janata Samajbadi Party, Nepal (JSPN). Nepal_sentence_185

Of the two major parties both of which officially espouse democratic socialism, NCP is considered leftist while Nepali Congress is considered centrist. Nepal_sentence_186

During most of the brief periods of democratic exercise in the 1950s and the 1990s, Nepali Congress held majority of seats in parliament; CPN (UML) was its competitor in the 1990s. Nepal_sentence_187

After the Maoists entered the political process in 2006, they emerged as the third largest party. Nepal_sentence_188

In the aftermath of the 2017 elections, the first one according to the new constitution, NCP, formed by the merger of CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist Centre) has become the ruling party at the federal level and in six out of seven provinces. Nepal_sentence_189

The Madhesi coalition, comprising Samajbadi Party, Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party, Nepal, which later merged to form JSPN, formed the provincial government in Province No. Nepal_sentence_190

2, though it has negligible presence in the rest of the country. Nepal_sentence_191

Though Nepali Congress has a significantly reduced representation, it is the only major opposition to the ruling communist party in all levels of government. Nepal_sentence_192

In the 1930s, a vibrant underground political movement rose in the capital, birthing Nepal Praja Parishad in 1936, which was dissolved seven years later, following the execution of the four great martyrs. Nepal_sentence_193

Around the same time, Nepalis involved in the Indian Independence Movement started organizing into political parties, leading to the birth of Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal. Nepal_sentence_194

As communism was trying to find its footing, Nepali Congress was successful in overthrowing the Rana regime in 1951 and enjoyed overwhelming support of the electorate. Nepal_sentence_195

In the partyless Panchayat system initiated in 1962 by King Mahendra, monarchy loyalists took turns leading the government; political leaders remained underground, exiled or in prison. Nepal_sentence_196

A communist insurgency was crushed in its cradle in the 1970s, which led to the eventual coalescence of hitherto scattered communist factions under the United Left Front. Nepal_sentence_197

After the joint civil resistance launched by the United Left Front and Nepali Congress overthrew the Panchayat in 1990, the Front became CPN (UML), adopted multi-party democracy, and in the brief period it was in government, introduced welfare programs that remain popular. Nepal_sentence_198

After the Maoist Party joined mainstream politics, in the aftermath of the peaceful revolution of 2006, it also adopted multi-party democracy as its official line. Nepal_sentence_199

The transition period between 2006 and 2015 saw sustained protests from the newly formed ethnocentric nationalist movements, principal among them the Madhes Movement. Nepal_sentence_200

RJPN and SPN advocating equal rights and self-governance for the Madhesi people became major political parties in the Terai, Province No. Nepal_sentence_201

2 in particular. Nepal_sentence_202

Government Nepal_section_10

Main articles: Government of Nepal and Constitution of Nepal Nepal_sentence_203

Nepal is governed according to the Constitution of Nepal. Nepal_sentence_204

It defines Nepal as having multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural characteristics with common aspirations of people living in diverse geographical regions, and being committed to and united by a bond of allegiance to the national independence, territorial integrity, national interest, and prosperity of Nepal. Nepal_sentence_205

The Government of Nepal has three branches: Nepal_sentence_206

Nepal_unordered_list_0

  • Executive: The form of governance is a multi-party, competitive, federal democratic republican parliamentary system based on plurality. The President appoints the parliamentary party leader of the political party with the majority in the House of Representatives as Prime Minister, who forms the Council of ministers that exercises the executive power.Nepal_item_0_0
  • Legislature: The Legislature of Nepal, called the Federal Parliament, consists of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly. The House of Representatives consists of 275 members elected through a mixed electoral system, and has a term of five years. The National Assembly, consisting of 59 members elected by provincial electoral colleges, is a permanent house; a third of its members are elected every two years for a six-year term.Nepal_item_0_1
  • Judiciary: Nepal has a unitary three-tier independent judiciary that comprises the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, headed by the Chief Justice, seven High Courts, one in each province, the highest court at the provincial level, and 77 district courts, one in each district. The municipal councils can convene local judicial bodies to resolve disputes and render non-binding verdicts in cases not involving actionable crime. The actions and proceedings of the local judicial bodies may be guided and countermanded by the district courts.Nepal_item_0_2

Administrative divisions Nepal_section_11

Main article: Administrative divisions of Nepal Nepal_sentence_207

Nepal_table_general_2

ProvinceNepal_header_cell_2_0_0 CapitalNepal_header_cell_2_0_1 GovernorNepal_header_cell_2_0_2 Chief MinisterNepal_header_cell_2_0_3 DistrictsNepal_header_cell_2_0_4 Area

(km)Nepal_header_cell_2_0_5

Population

(2011)Nepal_header_cell_2_0_6

Density

(people/km)Nepal_header_cell_2_0_7

Human Development IndexNepal_header_cell_2_0_8 MapNepal_header_cell_2_0_9
Province No. 1Nepal_cell_2_1_0 BiratnagarNepal_cell_2_1_1 Somnath AdhikariNepal_cell_2_1_2 Sher Dhan RaiNepal_cell_2_1_3 14Nepal_cell_2_1_4 25,905 kmNepal_cell_2_1_5 4,534,943Nepal_cell_2_1_6 175Nepal_cell_2_1_7 0.553Nepal_cell_2_1_8 Nepal_cell_2_1_9
Province No. 2Nepal_cell_2_2_0 JanakpurNepal_cell_2_2_1 Tilak PariyarNepal_cell_2_2_2 Mohammad Lalbabu RautNepal_cell_2_2_3 8Nepal_cell_2_2_4 9,661 kmNepal_cell_2_2_5 5,404,145Nepal_cell_2_2_6 559Nepal_cell_2_2_7 0.485Nepal_cell_2_2_8 Nepal_cell_2_2_9
Bagmati ProvinceNepal_cell_2_3_0 HetaudaNepal_cell_2_3_1 Bishnu Prasad PrasainNepal_cell_2_3_2 Dormani PoudelNepal_cell_2_3_3 13Nepal_cell_2_3_4 20,300 kmNepal_cell_2_3_5 5,529,452Nepal_cell_2_3_6 272Nepal_cell_2_3_7 0.560Nepal_cell_2_3_8 Nepal_cell_2_3_9
Gandaki ProvinceNepal_cell_2_4_0 PokharaNepal_cell_2_4_1 Amik SherchanNepal_cell_2_4_2 Prithvi Subba GurungNepal_cell_2_4_3 11Nepal_cell_2_4_4 21,504 kmNepal_cell_2_4_5 2,403,757Nepal_cell_2_4_6 112Nepal_cell_2_4_7 0.567Nepal_cell_2_4_8 Nepal_cell_2_4_9
Lumbini ProvinceNepal_cell_2_5_0 DeukhuriNepal_cell_2_5_1 Dharmanath YadavNepal_cell_2_5_2 Shankar PokharelNepal_cell_2_5_3 12Nepal_cell_2_5_4 22,288 kmNepal_cell_2_5_5 4,499,272Nepal_cell_2_5_6 219Nepal_cell_2_5_7 0.519Nepal_cell_2_5_8 Nepal_cell_2_5_9
Karnali ProvinceNepal_cell_2_6_0 BirendranagarNepal_cell_2_6_1 Govinda Prasad KalauniNepal_cell_2_6_2 Mahendra Bahadur ShahiNepal_cell_2_6_3 10Nepal_cell_2_6_4 27,984 kmNepal_cell_2_6_5 1,570,418Nepal_cell_2_6_6 41Nepal_cell_2_6_7 0.469Nepal_cell_2_6_8 Nepal_cell_2_6_9
Sudurpashchim ProvinceNepal_cell_2_7_0 GodawariNepal_cell_2_7_1 Sharmila Kumari PantaNepal_cell_2_7_2 Trilochan BhattaNepal_cell_2_7_3 9Nepal_cell_2_7_4 19,915 kmNepal_cell_2_7_5 2,552,517Nepal_cell_2_7_6 130Nepal_cell_2_7_7 0.478Nepal_cell_2_7_8 Nepal_cell_2_7_9
NepalNepal_header_cell_2_8_0 KathmanduNepal_header_cell_2_8_1 President

Bidhya Devi BhandariNepal_header_cell_2_8_2

Prime Minister

Khadga Prasad Sharma OliNepal_header_cell_2_8_3

77Nepal_header_cell_2_8_4 147,557 kmNepal_header_cell_2_8_5 26,494,504Nepal_header_cell_2_8_6 180Nepal_header_cell_2_8_7 0.579Nepal_header_cell_2_8_8 Nepal_header_cell_2_8_9

Nepal is a federal republic comprising 7 provinces. Nepal_sentence_208

Each province is composed of 8 to 14 districts. Nepal_sentence_209

The districts, in turn, comprise local units known as urban and rural municipalities. Nepal_sentence_210

There is a total of 753 local units which includes 6 metropolitan municipalities, 11 sub-metropolitan municipalities and 276 municipalities for a total of 293 urban municipalities, and 460 rural municipalities. Nepal_sentence_211

Each local unit is composed of wards. Nepal_sentence_212

There are 6,743 wards in total. Nepal_sentence_213

The local governments enjoy executive and legislative as well as limited judicial powers in their local jurisdiction. Nepal_sentence_214

The provinces have unicameral parliamentary Westminster system of governance. Nepal_sentence_215

The local and provincial governments exercise some absolute powers and some powers shared with provincial and/or federal government. Nepal_sentence_216

The district coordination committee, a committee composed of all elected officials from the local governments in the district, has a very limited role. Nepal_sentence_217

Largest cities Nepal_section_12

Laws and law enforcement Nepal_section_13

Main article: Law enforcement in Nepal Nepal_sentence_218

The Constitution of Nepal is the supreme law of the land, and any other laws contradicting it are automatically invalid to the extent of the contradiction. Nepal_sentence_219

The specific legal provisions are codified as Civil Code and Criminal Code, accompanied by Civil Procedure Code and Criminal Procedure Code respectively. Nepal_sentence_220

The Supreme Court is the highest authority in the interpretation of laws and it can direct the parliament to amend or enact new laws as required. Nepal_sentence_221

Nepali laws are considered generally more progressive compared to other developing countries, and in some instances, many developed ones. Nepal_sentence_222

Death penalty has been abolished. Nepal_sentence_223

Nepal also has made progress in LGBT rights and gender equality. Nepal_sentence_224

It recognises marital rape and supports abortion rights; however, owing to a rise in sex-selective abortion, constraints have been introduced. Nepal_sentence_225

Nepal is a signatory to the Geneva Convention, Conventions/Treaties on the prohibition of Biological, Chemical and Nuclear weapons, International Labour Organization Fundamental Conventions, Treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the Paris climate accord. Nepal_sentence_226

Some legal provisions, guided by socio-economic, cultural and religious sensibilities, remain discriminatory. Nepal_sentence_227

There is gender-based discrimination against foreign nationals married to Nepali citizens. Nepal_sentence_228

Paternal lineage of a person is valued and required in legal documents. Nepal_sentence_229

Many laws remain unenforced in practice. Nepal_sentence_230

Nepal Police is the primary law enforcement agency. Nepal_sentence_231

It is an independent organization under the command of the Inspector General, who is appointed by and reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs. Nepal_sentence_232

In addition to maintaining law and order, it is responsible for management of road traffic, which is undertaken by Nepal Traffic Police. Nepal_sentence_233

Nepal Armed Police Force, a separate paramilitary police organization, works in cooperation with Nepal police in routine security matters; it is intended for crowd control, counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism actions, and other internal matters where use of force may be necessary. Nepal_sentence_234

The Crime Investigation Department of Nepal Police specializes in criminal investigation and forensic analysis. Nepal_sentence_235

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority is an independent investigative agency that investigates and prosecutes cases related to corruption, bribery and abuses of authority. Nepal_sentence_236

At 2.16 per 100,000 in 2016, Nepal's intentional homicide rate is much lower than average; police data indicates a steady increase in the crime rate in recent years. Nepal_sentence_237

Nepal was ranked 76 out of 163 countries in the Global Peace Index (GPI) in 2019. Nepal_sentence_238

Foreign relations Nepal_section_14

Main article: Foreign relations of Nepal Nepal_sentence_239

Nepal depends on diplomacy for national defence. Nepal_sentence_240

It maintains a policy of neutrality between its neighbours, has amicable relations with other countries in the region, and has a policy of non-alignment at the global stage. Nepal_sentence_241

Nepal is a member of SAARC, UN, WTO, BIMSTEC and ACD, among others. Nepal_sentence_242

It has bilateral diplomatic relations with 167 countries and the EU, has embassies in 30 countries and six consulates, while 25 countries maintain embassies in Nepal, and more than 80 others maintain non-residential diplomatic missions. Nepal_sentence_243

Nepal is one of the major contributors to the UN peacekeeping missions, having contributed more than 119,000 personnel to 42 missions since 1958. Nepal_sentence_244

Nepali people have a reputation for honesty, loyalty and bravery, which has led to them serving as legendary Gurkha warriors in the Indian and British armies for the last 200 years, with service in both world wars, India-Pakistan wars as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, though Nepal was not directly involved in any of those conflicts, and winning the highest military awards, including the Victoria Cross and the Param Vir Chakra. Nepal_sentence_245

Nepal pursues a policy of "balanced relations" with the two giant immediate neighbours, India and China; the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship with India provides for a much closer relationship. Nepal_sentence_246

Nepal and India share an open border with free movement of people, religious, cultural and marital ties. Nepal_sentence_247

India is Nepal's largest trading partner, which it depends upon for all of its oil and gas, and a number of essential goods. Nepal_sentence_248

Nepalis can own property in India, while Indians are free to live and work in Nepal. Nepal_sentence_249

Relations between India and Nepal, though very close, is "fraught with difficulties stemming from geography, economics, the problems inherent in big power-small power relations, and common ethnic, linguistic and cultural identities that overlap the two countries' borders". Nepal_sentence_250

Nepal established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China on 1 August 1955, and signed the Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1960; relations since have been based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Nepal_sentence_251

Nepal maintains neutrality in conflicts between China and India. Nepal_sentence_252

It remains firmly committed to the One China Policy, and is known to curb anti-China activities from the Tibetan refugees in Nepal. Nepal_sentence_253

Citizens of both countries can cross the border and travel as far as 30 km without a visa. Nepal_sentence_254

China is viewed favourably in Nepal owing to the absence of any border disputes or serious interference in internal politics, coupled with its assistance in infrastructure development and aid during emergencies; favourability has increased since China helped Nepal during the 2015 economic blockade imposed by India. Nepal_sentence_255

Subsequently, China granted Nepal access to its ports for third-country trade, and Nepal joined China's Belt and Road Initiative. Nepal_sentence_256

Nepal emphasises greater cooperation in South Asia and actively pushed for the establishment of SAARC, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the permanent secretariat of which, is hosted in Kathmandu. Nepal_sentence_257

Nepal was one of the first countries to recognise an independent Bangladesh, and the two countries seek to enhance greater cooperation, on trade and water management; seaports in Bangladesh, being closer, are seen as viable alternatives to India's monopoly on Nepal's third-country trade. Nepal_sentence_258

Nepal was the first South Asian country to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, and the countries enjoy a strong relationship; it recognises the rights of the Palestinians, having voted in favour of its recognition at the UN and against the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Nepal_sentence_259

Countries that Nepal maintains a close relationship with, include the most generous donors and development partners—the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Japan and Norway, among others. Nepal_sentence_260

Military and intelligence Nepal_section_15

Main article: Nepalese Army Nepal_sentence_261

The President is the supreme commander of the Nepalese Army; its routine management is handled by the Ministry of Defence. Nepal_sentence_262

The military expenditure for 2018 was $398.5 million, around 1.4% of GDP. Nepal_sentence_263

An almost exclusively ground infantry force, Nepal Army numbers at less than one hundred thousand; recruitment is voluntary. Nepal_sentence_264

It has few aircraft, mainly helicopters, primarily used for transport, patrol, and search and rescue. Nepal_sentence_265

Directorate of Military Intelligence under Nepal Army serves as the military intelligence agency; National Investigation Department tasked with national and international intelligence gathering, is independent. Nepal_sentence_266

Nepal Army is primarily used for routine security of critical assets, anti-poaching patrol of national parks, counterinsurgency, and search and rescue during natural disasters; it also undertakes major construction projects. Nepal_sentence_267

There are no discriminatory policies on recruitment into the army, but it is dominated by men from elite Pahari warrior castes. Nepal_sentence_268

Economy Nepal_section_16

Main article: Economy of Nepal Nepal_sentence_269

Nepal's gross domestic product (GDP) for 2018 was estimated at $28.8 billion. Nepal_sentence_270

With an annual growth rate calculated at 6.3% in 2018, and expected to reach 7.1% in 2019, Nepal is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Nepal_sentence_271

However, the country ranks 165th in the world in nominal GDP per capita and 162nd in GDP per capita at PPP. Nepal_sentence_272

Nepal has been a member of WTO since 23 April 2004. Nepal_sentence_273

The 16.8-million-worker Nepali labour force is the 37th largest in the world. Nepal_sentence_274

The primary sector makes up 27.59% of GDP, the secondary sector 14.6%, and the tertiary sector 57.81%. Nepal_sentence_275

Nepal's foreign exchange remittances of US$8.1 billion in 2018, the 19th largest in the world and constituting 28.0% of GDP, were contributed to its economy by millions of workers primarily in India, the middle east and East Asia, almost all of them unskilled labourers. Nepal_sentence_276

Major agricultural products include cereals (barley, maize, millet, paddy and wheat), oilseed, potato, pulses, sugarcane, jute, tobacco, milk and water buffalo meat. Nepal_sentence_277

Major industries include tourism, carpets, textiles, cigarettes, cement, brick, as well as small rice, jute, sugar and oilseed mills. Nepal_sentence_278

Nepal's international trade greatly expanded in 1951 with the establishment of democracy; liberalization began in 1985 and picked up pace after 1990. Nepal_sentence_279

By the fiscal year 2016/17, Nepal's foreign trade amounted Rs 1.06 trillion, a twenty-three folds increase from Rs 45.6 billion in 1990/91. Nepal_sentence_280

More than 60% of Nepal's trade is with India. Nepal_sentence_281

Major exports include readymade garment, carpet, pulses, handicrafts, leather, medicinal herbs, and paper products, which account for 90% of the total. Nepal_sentence_282

Major imports include various finished and semi-finished goods, raw materials, machinery and equipment, chemical fertilizers, electrical and electronic devices, petroleum products, gold, and readymade garments. Nepal_sentence_283

Inflation was at 4.5% in 2019. Nepal_sentence_284

Foreign exchange reserves were at US$9.5 billion in July 2019, equivalent to 7.8 months of imports. Nepal_sentence_285

Nepal has made significant progress in poverty reduction bringing the population below the international poverty line (US$1.90 per person per day) from 15% in 2010 to just 9.3% in 2018, although vulnerability remains extremely high, with almost 32% of the population living on between US$1.90 and US$3.20 per person per day. Nepal_sentence_286

Nepal has made improvement in sectors like nutrition, child mortality, electricity, improved flooring and assets. Nepal_sentence_287

Under the current trend, Nepal is expected to eradicate poverty within 20 years. Nepal_sentence_288

The agriculture sector is particularly vulnerable as it is highly dependent on the monsoon rains, with just 28% of the arable land being irrigated, As of 2014. Nepal_sentence_289

Agriculture employs 76% of the workforce, services 18%, and manufacturing and craft-based industry 6%. Nepal_sentence_290

Private investment, consumption, tourism and agriculture are the principal contributors to economic growth. Nepal_sentence_291

The government's budget is about $13.71 billion (FY 2019/20); expenditure of infrastructure development budget, most of it contributed by foreign aid, usually fails to meet the target. Nepal_sentence_292

The country receives foreign aid from the UK, India, Japan, the US, the EU, China, Switzerland, and Scandinavian countries. Nepal_sentence_293

The Nepali rupee has been tied to the Indian rupee at an exchange rate of 1.6 for many years. Nepal_sentence_294

Per capita income is $1,004. Nepal_sentence_295

The distribution of wealth among the Nepalis is consistent with that in many developed and developing countries: the highest 10% of households control 39.1% of the national wealth and the lowest 10% control only 2.6%. Nepal_sentence_296

European Union (EU) (46.13%), the US (17.4%), and Germany (7.1%) are its main export partners; they mainly buy Nepali ready-made garments (RMG). Nepal_sentence_297

Nepal's import partners include India (47.5%), the United Arab Emirates (11.2%), China (10.7%), Saudi Arabia (4.9%), and Singapore (4%). Nepal_sentence_298

Besides having landlocked, rugged geography, few tangible natural resources and poor infrastructure, the ineffective post-1950 government and the long-running civil war are also factors in stunting the country's economic growth and development. Nepal_sentence_299

Debt bondage even involving debtors' children has been a persistent social problem in the western hills and the Terai, with an estimated 234,600 people or 0.82% of the population considered as enslaved, by The Global Slavery Index in 2016. Nepal_sentence_300

Tourism Nepal_section_17

Main article: Tourism in Nepal Nepal_sentence_301

Tourism is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in Nepal, employing more than a million people and contributing 7.9% of the total GDP. Nepal_sentence_302

The number of international visitors crossed one million in 2018 for the first time (not counting Indian tourists arriving by land). Nepal_sentence_303

Nepal's share of visitors to South Asia is about 6%, and they spend much less on average, with Nepal sharing 1.7% of the earnings. Nepal_sentence_304

Premier destinations include Pokhara, the Annapurna trekking circuit and the four UNESCO world heritage sites—Lumbini, Sagarmatha National Park (home to Mount Everest), seven sites in the Kathmandu Valley collectively listed as one, and Chitwan National Park. Nepal_sentence_305

Most of Nepal's mountaineering earning comes from Mount Everest, which is more accessible from the Nepalese side. Nepal_sentence_306

Nepal, officially opened to westerners in 1951, became a popular destination at the end of the hippie trail, during the 1960s and 1970s. Nepal_sentence_307

The industry, disrupted by the civil war in the 1990s, has since recovered but faces challenges to growth, owing to a lack of proper facilities for high-end tourism termed the "infrastructure bottleneck", the flag carrier in shambles, and a handful of destinations properly developed and marketed. Nepal_sentence_308

The home-stay tourism, in which cultural and eco-tourists stay as paying guests in the homes of indigenous people, has seen some success. Nepal_sentence_309

Foreign employment Nepal_section_18

The rate of unemployment and underemployment exceeds half of the working-age population, driving millions to seek employment abroad, mainly in India, the Gulf, and East Asia. Nepal_sentence_310

Mostly unskilled, uneducated, and indebted to loan sharks, these workers are swindled by the manpower companies and sent to exploitative employers or war-ridden countries under fraudulent contracts. Nepal_sentence_311

They have their passports seized, to be returned when the employer grants them leave or terminates their contracts. Nepal_sentence_312

Most do not get paid minimum wage, and many are forced to forfeit all or part of the wages. Nepal_sentence_313

Many Nepalis work in extremely unsafe conditions; an average of two workers die each day. Nepal_sentence_314

Due to restrictions placed on women, many depend on traffickers to get out of the country, and end up victims of violence and abuse. Nepal_sentence_315

Many Nepalese are believed to be working under slavery-like conditions, and Nepal spends billions of rupees rescuing stranded workers, on remuneration to the indebted families of the dead, and in legal costs for those arrested in foreign countries. Nepal_sentence_316

Though millions have raised themselves out of poverty, due to a lack of entrepreneurial skills, the remittance is largely spent on real estate and consumption. Nepal_sentence_317

Infrastructure Nepal_section_19

Energy Nepal_section_20

The bulk of energy in Nepal comes from biomass (80%) and imported fossil fuels (16%). Nepal_sentence_318

Most of the final energy consumption goes to the residential sector (84%) followed by transport (7%) and industry (6%); the transport and industry sectors have been expanding rapidly in recent years. Nepal_sentence_319

Except for some lignite deposits, Nepal has no known oil, gas or coal deposits. Nepal_sentence_320

All commercial fossil fuels (mainly oil, LPG and coal) are imported, spending 129% of the country's total export revenue. Nepal_sentence_321

Only about 1% of the energy need is fulfilled by electricity. Nepal_sentence_322

The perennial nature of Nepali rivers and the steep gradient of the country's topography provide ideal conditions for the development of hydroelectric projects. Nepal_sentence_323

Estimates put Nepal's economically feasible hydro-power potential at approximately 42,000 MW. Nepal_sentence_324

However, Nepal has been able to exploit only about 1,100 MW. Nepal_sentence_325

As most of it is generated from run-of-river (ROR) plants, the actual power produced is much lower in the dry winter months when peak demand can reach as high as 1,200 MW, and Nepal needs to import as much as 650 MW from India to meet the demands. Nepal_sentence_326

Major hydro-power projects suffer delays and setbacks. Nepal_sentence_327

Nepal's electrification rate (76%) is comparable to that of other countries in the region but there is significant disparity between the rural (72%) and urban (97%) areas. Nepal_sentence_328

The position of the power sector remains unsatisfactory because of high tariffs, high system losses, high generation costs, high overheads, over staffing, and lower domestic demand. Nepal_sentence_329

Transportation Nepal_section_21

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 sizeable traffic. Nepal_sentence_330

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. Nepal_sentence_331

As of 2016, there were just over 11,890 km (7,388 mi) of paved roads, 16,100 km (10,004 mi) of unpaved roads, and just 59 km (37 mi) of railway line in the south. Nepal_sentence_332

As of 2018, all district headquarters (except Simikot) had been connected to the road network. Nepal_sentence_333

Most of the rural roads are not operable during the rainy season; even national highways regularly become inoperable. Nepal_sentence_334

Nepal depends almost entirely on assistance from countries like China, India and Japan, for building, maintenance and expansion of the road network. Nepal_sentence_335

The only practical seaport of entry for goods bound for Kathmandu is Kolkata in India. Nepal_sentence_336

The national carrier, Nepal Airlines, is in poor shape due to mismanagement and corruption, and has been blacklisted by the EU. Nepal_sentence_337

Internally, the poor state of development of the road system makes access to markets, schools, and health clinics a challenge. Nepal_sentence_338

Communication Nepal_section_22

According to the Nepal Telecommunication Authority MIS August 2019 report, voice telephony subscription rate was at 2.70% of total population for fixed phones and 138.59% for mobile; 98% of all voice telephony was through mobile phones. Nepal_sentence_339

Similarly, while an estimated 14.52% had access to fixed broadband, an additional 52.71% were accessing the internet using their mobile data subscriptions; almost 15 million of them with 3G or better. Nepal_sentence_340

The mobile voice telephony and broadband market was dominated by two telecommunications companies, the state-owned Nepal Telecom (55%) and the private multinational, Ncell (40%). Nepal_sentence_341

Of the 21% market share enjoyed by fixed broadband, around 25% was again shared by Nepal Telecom, with the rest going to the private Internet Service Providers. Nepal_sentence_342

Although there is high disparity in penetration rate between the rural and urban areas, mobile service has reached 75 districts of the country covering 90% of land area, and broadband access is expected to reach 90% of the population by 2020. Nepal_sentence_343

Media Nepal_section_23

As of 2019, the state operates three television stations as well as national and regional radio stations. Nepal_sentence_344

There are 117 private TV channels and 736 FM radio stations licensed for operation, at least 314 of them, community radio stations. Nepal_sentence_345

According to the 2011 census, the percentage of households possessing radio was 50.82%, television 36.45%, cable TV 19.33%, and computer 7.28%. Nepal_sentence_346

According to the Press Council Nepal classification, as of 2017 of the 833 publications producing original content, ten national dailies and weeklies are rated A+ class. Nepal_sentence_347

In 2019, Reporters Without Borders ranked Nepal at 106th in the world in terms of press freedom. Nepal_sentence_348

Demographics Nepal_section_24

Main article: Demographics of Nepal Nepal_sentence_349

The citizens of Nepal are known as Nepali or Nepalese. Nepal_sentence_350

The Nepali are descendants of three major migrations from India, Tibet and North Burma, and the Chinese province of Yunnan via Assam. Nepal_sentence_351

Among the earliest inhabitants were the Kirat of the eastern region, Newars of the Kathmandu Valley, aboriginal Tharus of the Terai plains and the Khas Pahari people of the far-western hills. Nepal_sentence_352

Despite the migration of a significant section of the population to the Terai in recent years, the majority of Nepalese still live in the central highlands, and the northern mountains are sparsely populated. Nepal_sentence_353

Nepal is a multicultural and multiethnic country, home to 125 distinct ethnic groups, speaking 123 different mother tongues and following a number of indigenous and folk religions in addition to Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. Nepal_sentence_354

According to the 2011 census, Nepal's population was 26.5 million, almost a threefold increase from nine million in 1950. Nepal_sentence_355

From 2001 to 2011, the average family size declined from 5.44 to 4.9. Nepal_sentence_356

The census also noted some 1.9 million absentee people, over a million more than in 2001; most are male labourers employed overseas. Nepal_sentence_357

This correlated with the drop in sex ratio to 94.2 from 99.8 for 2001. Nepal_sentence_358

The annual population growth rate was 1.35% between 2001 and 2011, compared to an average of 2.25% between 1961 and 2001; also attributed to the absentee population. Nepal_sentence_359

Nepal is one of the ten least urbanized, and the ten fastest urbanizing countries in the world. Nepal_sentence_360

As of 2014, an estimated 18.3% of the population lived in urban areas. Nepal_sentence_361

Urbanization rate is high in the Terai, doon valleys of the inner Terai and valleys of the middle hills, but low in the high Himalayas. Nepal_sentence_362

Similarly, the rate is higher in central and eastern Nepal compared to further west. Nepal_sentence_363

The capital, Kathmandu, nicknamed the "City of temples", is the largest city in the country and the cultural and economic heart. Nepal_sentence_364

Other large cities in Nepal include Pokhara, Biratnagar, Lalitpur, Bharatpur, Birgunj, Dharan, Hetauda and Nepalgunj. Nepal_sentence_365

Congestion, pollution and drinking water shortage are some of the major problems facing the rapidly growing cities, most prominently the Kathmandu Valley. Nepal_sentence_366

Language Nepal_section_25

Main article: Languages of Nepal Nepal_sentence_367

Nepal's diverse linguistic heritage stems from three major language groups: Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman, and various indigenous language isolates. Nepal_sentence_368

The major languages of Nepal (percent spoken as native language) according to the 2011 census are Nepali (44.6%), Maithili (11.7%), Bhojpuri (6.0%), Tharu (5.8%), Tamang (5.1%), Nepal Bhasa (3.2%), Bajjika (3%) and Magar (3.0%), Doteli (3.0%), Urdu (2.6%), Awadhi (1.89%), and Sunwar. Nepal_sentence_369

Nepal is home to at least four indigenous sign languages. Nepal_sentence_370

Descendent of Sanskrit, Nepali is written in Devanagari script. Nepal_sentence_371

It is the official language and serves as lingua franca among Nepali of different ethnolinguistic groups. Nepal_sentence_372

The regional languages Maithili, Awadhi and Bhojpuri are spoken in the southern Terai region; Urdu is common among Nepali Muslims. Nepal_sentence_373

Varieties of Tibetan are spoken in and north of the higher Himalaya where standard literary Tibetan is widely understood by those with religious education. Nepal_sentence_374

Local dialects in the Terai and hills are mostly unwritten with efforts underway to develop systems for writing many in Devanagari or the Roman alphabet. Nepal_sentence_375

Religion Nepal_section_26

Main article: Religion in Nepal Nepal_sentence_376

Nepal is a secular country, as declared by the Constitution of Nepal 2072 (Part 1, Article 4), where secularism 'means religious, cultural freedom, along with the protection of religion, culture handed down from time immemorial(सनातन)'.The 2011 census reported that the religion with the largest number of followers in Nepal was Hinduism (81.3% of the population), followed by Buddhism (9%); the remaining were Islam (4.4%), Kirant (3.1%), Christianity (1.4%) and Prakriti or nature worship (0.5%). Nepal_sentence_377

By percentage of population, Nepal has the largest population of Hindus in the world. Nepal_sentence_378

Nepal was officially a Hindu Kingdom until recently, and Shiva was considered the guardian deity of the country. Nepal_sentence_379

Although many government policies throughout history have disregarded or marginalized minority religions, Nepalese societies generally enjoy religious tolerance and harmony among all religions, with only isolated incidents of religiously-motivated violence. Nepal_sentence_380

Nepal's constitution doesn't give anyone the right to convert any person to another religion. Nepal_sentence_381

Nepal also passed more stringent Anti conversion law on 2018. Nepal_sentence_382

Nepal has the second-largest number of Hindus in the world after India. Nepal_sentence_383

Education Nepal_section_27

Main article: Education in Nepal Nepal_sentence_384

Nepal entered modernity in 1951 with a literacy rate of 5% and about 10,000 students enrolled in 300 schools. Nepal_sentence_385

By 2017, there were more than seven million students enrolled in 35,601 schools. Nepal_sentence_386

The overall literacy rate (for population age 5 years and above) increased from 54.1% in 2001 to 65.9% in 2011. Nepal_sentence_387

The net primary enrolment rate reached 97% by 2017, however, enrolment was less than 60% at the secondary level (grades 9 –12), and around 12% at the tertiary level. Nepal_sentence_388

Though there is significant gender disparity in overall literacy rate, girls have overtaken boys in enrolment to all levels of education. Nepal_sentence_389

Nepal has eleven universities and four independent science academies. Nepal_sentence_390

Lack of proper infrastructures and teaching materials, and a high student-to-teacher ratio, as well as politicization of school management committees and partisan unionization among both students and teachers, present a hurdle to progress. Nepal_sentence_391

Free basic education is guaranteed in the constitution but the programme lacks funding for effective implementation. Nepal_sentence_392

Government has scholarship programmes for girls and disabled students as well as the children of martyrs, marginalized communities and the poor. Nepal_sentence_393

Tens of thousands of Nepali students leave the country every year in search of better education and work, with half of them never returning. Nepal_sentence_394

Health Nepal_section_28

Main article: Health in Nepal Nepal_sentence_395

Health care services in Nepal are provided by both the public and private sectors. Nepal_sentence_396

Life expectancy at birth is estimated at 71 years as of 2017, 153rd highest in the world, up from 54 years in the 1990s. Nepal_sentence_397

Two-thirds of all deaths are due to non-communicable diseases; heart disease is the leading cause of death. Nepal_sentence_398

While sedentary lifestyle, imbalanced diet and consumption of tobacco and alcohol has contributed in the rise of non-communicable diseases, many lose their life to communicable and treatable diseases caused by poor sanitation and malnutrition due to a lack of education, awareness and access to healthcare services. Nepal_sentence_399

Nepal has made great progress in maternal and child health. Nepal_sentence_400

95% of children have access to iodized salt, and 86% of children aged 6 – 59 months receive Vitamin A prophylaxis. Nepal_sentence_401

Stunting, underweight and wasting has been reduced significantly; malnutrition, at 43% among children under five, is extremely high. Nepal_sentence_402

Anaemia in women and children increased between 2011 and 2016, reaching 41% and 53% respectively. Nepal_sentence_403

Low birth weight is at 27% while breastfeeding is at 65%. Nepal_sentence_404

Nepal has reduced maternal mortality rate to 229, from 901 in 1990; infant mortality is down to 32.2 per thousand live births compared to 139.8 in 1990. Nepal_sentence_405

Contraceptive prevalence rate is 53% but the disparity rate between rural and urban areas is high due to a lack of awareness and easy access. Nepal_sentence_406

Progress in health is driven by strong government initiative in cooperation with NGOs and INGOs. Nepal_sentence_407

Public health centres provide 72 essential medicines free of cost. Nepal_sentence_408

In addition, the public health insurance plan initiated in 2016 which covers health treatments of up to Rs 50,000 for five members of a family, for a premium of Rs 2500 per year, has seen limited success, and is expected to expand. Nepal_sentence_409

By paying stipends for four antenatal visits to health centers and hospitalized delivery, Nepal decreased home-births from 81% in 2006 to 41% in 2016. Nepal_sentence_410

School meal programs have improved education as well as nutrition metrics among children. Nepal_sentence_411

Toilet building subsidies under the ambitious "one household-one toilet" program has seen toilet prevalence rate reach 99% in 2019, from just 6% in 1990. Nepal_sentence_412

Immigrants and refugees Nepal_section_29

Nepal has a long tradition of accepting immigrants and refugees. Nepal_sentence_413

In modern times, Tibetans and Bhutanese have constituted a majority of refugees in Nepal. Nepal_sentence_414

Tibetan refugees began arriving in 1959, and many more cross into Nepal every year. Nepal_sentence_415

The Bhutanese Lhotsampa refugees began arriving in the 1980s and numbered more than 110,000 by the 2000s. Nepal_sentence_416

Most of them have been resettled in third countries. Nepal_sentence_417

In late 2018, Nepal had a total of 20,800 confirmed refugees, 64% of them Tibetan and 31% Bhutanese. Nepal_sentence_418

Economic immigrants, and refugees fleeing persecution or war, from neighbouring countries, Africa and the Middle East, termed "urban refugees" because they live in apartments in the cities instead of refugee camps, lack official recognition; the government facilitates their resettlement in third countries. Nepal_sentence_419

Around 2,000 immigrants, half of them Chinese, applied for a work permit in 2018/19. Nepal_sentence_420

The government lacks data on Indian immigrants as they do not require permits to live and work in Nepal; Government of India puts the number of non-resident Indians in the country at 600,000. Nepal_sentence_421

Culture Nepal_section_30

Main article: Culture of Nepal Nepal_sentence_422

Society Nepal_section_31

Traditional Nepali society is sometimes defined by social hierarchy. Nepal_sentence_423

The Nepali caste system embodies much of the social stratification and many of the social restrictions found in South Asia. Nepal_sentence_424

Social classes are defined by more than a hundred endogamous hereditary groups, often termed as jātis, or "castes". Nepal_sentence_425

Nepal declared untouchability to be illegal in 1963 and has since enacted other anti-discriminatory laws and social welfare initiatives. Nepal_sentence_426

At the workplace and educational institutions in urban Nepal, caste-related identification has pretty much lost its importance. Nepal_sentence_427

Family values are important in the Nepali tradition, and multi-generational patriarchal joint families have been the norm in Nepal, though nuclear families are becoming common in urban areas. Nepal_sentence_428

An overwhelming majority of Nepalis, with or without their consent, have their marriages arranged by their parents or other family elders. Nepal_sentence_429

Marriage is thought to be for life, and the divorce rate is extremely low, with less than one in a thousand marriages ending in divorce. Nepal_sentence_430

Child marriages are common, especially in rural areas; many women wed before reaching 18. Nepal_sentence_431

Many Nepali festivals are religious in origin. Nepal_sentence_432

The best known include: Dashain, Tihar, Teej, Chhath, Maghi, Sakela, Holi, Eid ul-Fitr, Christmas, and the Nepali new year. Nepal_sentence_433

Symbols Nepal_section_32

Nepal_table_infobox_3

National symbolsNepal_table_caption_3
FlagNepal_header_cell_3_0_0 Flag of NepalNepal_cell_3_0_1
EmblemNepal_header_cell_3_1_0 Emblem of NepalNepal_cell_3_1_1
AnthemNepal_header_cell_3_2_0 Sayaun Thunga PhulkaNepal_cell_3_2_1
LanguageNepal_header_cell_3_3_0 All mother-tongues of NepalNepal_cell_3_3_1
CurrencyNepal_header_cell_3_4_0 रू (Nepalese rupee)Nepal_cell_3_4_1
MammalNepal_header_cell_3_5_0 CowNepal_cell_3_5_1
BirdNepal_header_cell_3_6_0 Himalayan monalNepal_cell_3_6_1
FlowerNepal_header_cell_3_7_0 Rhododendron arboreumNepal_cell_3_7_1
SportNepal_header_cell_3_8_0 VolleyballNepal_cell_3_8_1
ColourNepal_header_cell_3_9_0 CrimsonNepal_cell_3_9_1

The emblem of Nepal depicts the snowy Himalayas, the forested hills, and the fertile Terai, supported by a wreath of rhododendrons, with the national flag at the crest and in the foreground, a plain white map of Nepal below it, and a man's and woman's right hands joined to signify gender equality. Nepal_sentence_434

At the bottom is the national motto, a Sanskrit quote of patriotism attributed in Nepali folklore to Lord Rama, written in Devanagari script—"Mother and motherland are greater than heaven". Nepal_sentence_435

Nepal's flag is the only national flag in the world that is not rectangular in shape. Nepal_sentence_436

The constitution contains instructions for a geometric construction of the double-pennant flag. Nepal_sentence_437

According to its official description, the crimson in the flag stands for victory in war or courage, and is also the colour of the rhododendron. Nepal_sentence_438

The flag's blue border signifies Nepali people's desire for peace. Nepal_sentence_439

The moon on the flag is a symbol of the peaceful and calm nature of Nepalis, while the sun represents the aggressiveness of Nepali warriors. Nepal_sentence_440

The president is the symbol of national unity. Nepal_sentence_441

The martyrs are the symbols of patriotism. Nepal_sentence_442

Commanders of the Anglo-Nepalese war, Amar Singh Thapa, Bhakti Thapa, and Balbhadra Kunwar are considered war heroes. Nepal_sentence_443

A special designation of "National hero" has been conferred to 16 people from Nepal's history for their exceptional contributions to the prestige of Nepal. Nepal_sentence_444

Prithvi Narayan Shah, the founder of modern Nepal, is held in high regard and considered "Father of the Nation" by many. Nepal_sentence_445

Art and architecture Nepal_section_33

Main article: Architecture of Nepal Nepal_sentence_446

The oldest known examples of architecture in Nepal are stupas of early Buddhist constructions in and around Kapilvastu in south-western Nepal, and those constructed by Ashoka in the Kathmandu Valley c. 250 BCE. Nepal_sentence_447

The characteristic architecture associated exclusively with Nepal was developed and refined by Newa artisans of the Kathmandu Valley starting no later than the Lichchhavi period. Nepal_sentence_448

A Tang dynasty Chinese travel book, probably based on records from c. 650 CE, describes contemporary Nepali architecture, predominantly built with wood, as rich in artistry, as well as wood and metal sculpture. Nepal_sentence_449

It describes a magnificent seven-storied pagoda in the middle of a palace, with copper-tiled roofs, its balustrade, grills, columns and beams set about with fine and precious stones, and four golden sculptures of Makaras in the four corners of the base spouting water from their mouths like a fountain, supplied by copper pipes connected to the runnels at the top of the tower. Nepal_sentence_450

Later Chinese chronicles describe Nepal's king's palace as an immense structure with many roofs, suggesting that Chinese were not yet familiar with the pagoda architecture, which has now become one of the chief characteristic of Chinese architecture. Nepal_sentence_451

A typical pagoda temple is built with wood, every piece of it finely carved with geometrical patterns or images of gods, goddesses, mythical beings and beasts. Nepal_sentence_452

The roofs usually tiled with clay, and sometimes gold plated, diminish in proportion successively until the topmost roof is reached which is itself ensigned by a golden finial. Nepal_sentence_453

The base is usually composed of rectangular terraces of finely carved stone; the entrance is usually guarded by stone sculptures of conventional figures. Nepal_sentence_454

Bronze and copper craftsmanship observable in the sculpture of deities and beasts, decorations of doors and windows and the finials of buildings, as well as items of every day use is found to be of equal splendour. Nepal_sentence_455

The most well-developed of Nepali painting traditions is the thanka or paubha painting tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, practised in Nepal by the Buddhist monks and Newar artisans. Nepal_sentence_456

Changu Narayan Temple, built c. 4th century CE has probably the finest of Nepali woodcraft; the Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Squares are the culmination of Nepali art and architecture, showcasing Nepali wood, metal and stone craftsmanship refined over two millennia. Nepal_sentence_457

The "ankhijhyal" window, that allow a one-way view of the outside world, is an example of unique Nepali woodcraft, found in building structures, domestic and public alike, ancient and modern. Nepal_sentence_458

Many cultures paint the walls of their homes with regular patterns, figures of gods and beasts and religious symbols; others paint their walls plain, often with clay or chernozem contrasted with yellow soil or limestone. Nepal_sentence_459

The roofs of religious as well as domestic structures project considerably, presumably to provide protection from the sun and the rain. Nepal_sentence_460

The timber of domestic structures are finely carved as with their religious counterparts. Nepal_sentence_461

Literature and the performing arts Nepal_section_34

Main articles: Nepalese literature, Music of Nepal, and Cinema of Nepal Nepal_sentence_462

Nepal's literature was closely intertwined with that of the rest of South Asia until its unification into a modern kingdom. Nepal_sentence_463

Literary works, which were written in Sanskrit by Brahmin priests educated and sometimes also based in Varanasi, included religious texts and other fantasies involving kings, gods and demons. Nepal_sentence_464

The oldest extant Nepali language text is dated to the 13th century but except for the epigraphic material, Nepali language literature older than the 17th century haven't been found. Nepal_sentence_465

However, Newar literature dates back almost 500 years. Nepal_sentence_466

The modern history of Nepali literature begins with Bhanubhakta Acharya (1814-1868), who for the first time composed major and influential works in Nepali, the language accessible to the masses, most prominently, the Bhanubhakta Ramayana, a translation of the ancient Hindu epic. Nepal_sentence_467

By the end of the nineteenth century, Motiram Bhatta had published print editions of the works of Acharya, and through his efforts, single-handedly popularised and propelled Nepali language literature into modernity. Nepal_sentence_468

By the mid-twentieth century, Nepali literature was no longer limited to the Hindu literary traditions. Nepal_sentence_469

Influenced by western literary traditions, writers in this period started producing literary works addressing the contemporary social problems, while many others continued to enrich Nepali poetic traditions with authentic Nepali poetry. Nepal_sentence_470

Newar literature also emerged as a premier literary tradition. Nepal_sentence_471

After the advent of democracy in 1951, Nepali literature flourished. Nepal_sentence_472

Literary works in many other languages began to be produced. Nepal_sentence_473

Nepali literature continued to modernise, and in recent years, has been strongly influenced by the post civil-war Nepali experience as well as global literary traditions. Nepal_sentence_474

Maruni, Lakhey, Sakela, Kauda and Tamang Selo are some examples of the traditional Nepali music and dance in the hilly regions of Nepal. Nepal_sentence_475

Nepali film industry is known as "Kollywood". Nepal_sentence_476

Nepal Academy is the foremost institution for the promotion of arts and culture in Nepal, established in 1957. Nepal_sentence_477

Clothing Nepal_section_35

The most widely worn traditional dress in Nepal, for both women and men, from ancient times until the advent of modern times, was draped. Nepal_sentence_478

For women, it eventually took the form of a sari, a single long piece of cloth, famously six yards long, and of width spanning the lower body. Nepal_sentence_479

The sari is tied around the waist and knotted at one end, wrapped around the lower body, and then over the shoulder. Nepal_sentence_480

In its more modern form, it has been used to cover the head, and sometimes the face, as a veil, particularly in the Terai. Nepal_sentence_481

It has been combined with an underskirt, or the petticoat, and tucked in the waistband for more secure fastening. Nepal_sentence_482

It is worn with a blouse, or cholo, which serves as the primary upper-body garment, the sari's end, passing over the shoulder, now serving to obscure the upper body's contours, and to cover the midriff. Nepal_sentence_483

Cholo-sari has become the attire of choice for formal occasions, official environs and festive gatherings. Nepal_sentence_484

In its more traditional form, as part of traditional dresses and as worn in daily life while performing household chores or labour, it takes the form of a fariya or gunyu, usually shorter than a sari in length as well as breadth, and all of it wrapped around the lower body. Nepal_sentence_485

For men, a similar but shorter length of cloth, the dhoti, has served as a lower-body garment. Nepal_sentence_486

It too is tied around the waist and wrapped. Nepal_sentence_487

Among the Aryans, it is also wrapped once around each leg before being brought up through the legs to be tucked in at the back. Nepal_sentence_488

Dhoti or its variants, usually worn over a langauti, constitute the lower-body garment in the traditional clothing of Tharus, Gurungs and Magars as well as the Madhesi people, among others. Nepal_sentence_489

Other forms of traditional apparel that involve no stitching or tailoring are the Patukas (a length of cloth wrapped tightly over the waist by both sexes as a waistband, a part of most traditional Nepali costumes, usually with a Khukuri tucked into it when worn by men), scarves like Pachhyauras and majetros and shawls like the Newar Ga and Tibetan khata, Ghumtos (the wedding veils) and various kinds of turbans (scarves worn around the head as a part of a tradition, or to keep off the sun or the cold, called a Pheta, Pagri or Sirpau). Nepal_sentence_490

Until the beginning of the first millennium CE, the ordinary dress of people in South Asia was entirely unstitched. Nepal_sentence_491

The arrival of the Kushans from Central Asia, circa 48 CE, popularised cut and sewn garments in the style of Central Asia. Nepal_sentence_492

The simplest form of sewn clothing, Bhoto (a rudimentary vest), is a universal unisex clothing for children, and traditionally the only clothing children wear until they come of age and are given adult garb, sometimes in a ceremonial rite of passage, such as the gunyu-choli ceremony for Hindu girls. Nepal_sentence_493

Men continue to wear bhoto through adulthood. Nepal_sentence_494

Upper body garment for men is usually a vest such as the bhoto, or a shirt similar to the Kurta, such as Daura, a closed-necked double-breasted long shirt with five pleats and eight strings that serve to tie it around the body. Nepal_sentence_495

Suruwal, simply translated as a pair of trousers, is an alternative to and, more recently, replacement for dhoti, kachhad (Magars) or Lungi (Tharus); it is traditionally much wider above the knees but tapers below, to fit tightly at the ankles, and is tied to the waist with a drawstring. Nepal_sentence_496

Modern cholos worn with sarees are usually half-sleeved and single-breasted, and do not cover the midriff. Nepal_sentence_497

The traditional one called the chaubandi cholo, like the daura, is full-sleeved, double-breasted with pleats and strings, and extends down to the patuka, covering the midriff. Nepal_sentence_498

Daura-Suruwal and Gunyu-Cholo were the national dresses for men and women respectively until 2011 when they were removed to eliminate favouritism. Nepal_sentence_499

Traditional dresses of many pahari ethnic groups are Daura-Suruwal or similar, with patuka, a dhaka topi and a coat for men, and Gunyu-cholo or similar, with patuka and sometimes a scarf for women. Nepal_sentence_500

For many other groups, men's traditional dresses consist of a shirt or a vest, paired with a dhoti, kachhad or lungi. Nepal_sentence_501

In the high himalayas, the traditional dresses are largely influenced by Tibetan culture. Nepal_sentence_502

Sherpa women wear the chuba with the pangi apron, while Sherpa men wear shirts with stiff high collar and long sleeves called tetung under the chuba. Nepal_sentence_503

Tibetan Xamo Gyaise hats of the Sherpas, dhaka topi of pahari men and tamang round caps are among the more distinctive headwears. Nepal_sentence_504

Married Hindu women wear tika, sindur, pote and red bangles. Nepal_sentence_505

Jewellery of gold and silver, and sometimes precious stones, are common. Nepal_sentence_506

Gold jewellery includes Mangalsutras and tilaharis worn with the pote by the Hindus, Samyafung (a huge gold flower worn on the head) and Nessey (huge flattened gold earrings) worn by the Limbus, and Sirphuli, Sirbandhi and Chandra worn by the Magars. Nepal_sentence_507

Tharu women can wear as much as six kilograms of silver in jewellery, which includes Mangiya worn on the head, tikuli the forehead, and kanseri and tikahamala around the neck. Nepal_sentence_508

In the last 50 years, fashions have changed a great deal in Nepal. Nepal_sentence_509

Increasingly, in urban settings, the sari is no longer the apparel of everyday wear, transformed instead into one for formal occasions. Nepal_sentence_510

The traditional kurta suruwal is rarely worn by younger women, who increasingly favour jeans. Nepal_sentence_511

The dhoti has largely been reduced to the liturgical vestment of shamans and Hindu priests. Nepal_sentence_512

Cuisine Nepal_section_36

Main article: Nepalese cuisine Nepal_sentence_513

Nepali cuisine consists of a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines. Nepal_sentence_514

Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substantially from each other, using locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruit. Nepal_sentence_515

The Columbian exchange had brought the potato, the tomato, maize, peanuts, cashew nuts, pineapples, guavas, and most notably, chilli peppers, to South Asia. Nepal_sentence_516

Each became staples of use. Nepal_sentence_517

The cereals grown in Nepal, their choice, times, and regions of planting, correspond strongly to the timing of Nepal's monsoons, and the variations in altitude. Nepal_sentence_518

Rice and wheat are mostly cultivated in the terai plains and well-irrigated valleys, and maize, millet, barley and buckwheat in the lesser fertile and drier hills. Nepal_sentence_519

The foundation of a typical Nepali meal is a cereal cooked in plain fashion, and complemented with flavourful savoury dishes. Nepal_sentence_520

The latter includes lentils, pulses and vegetables spiced commonly with ginger and garlic, but also more discerningly with a combination of spices that may include coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamon, jimbu and others as informed by culinary conventions. Nepal_sentence_521

In an actual meal, this mental representation takes the form of a platter, or thali, with a central place for the cooked cereal, peripheral ones, often in small bowls, for the flavourful accompaniments, and the simultaneous, rather than piecemeal, ingestion of the two in each act of eating, whether by actual mixing—for example of rice and lentils—or in the folding of one—such as bread—around the other, such as cooked vegetables. Nepal_sentence_522

Dal-bhat, centred around steamed rice is the most common example. Nepal_sentence_523

as well as dairy and sometimes meat, is the most common and prominent example. Nepal_sentence_524

The unleavened flat bread made from wheat flour called chapati occasionally replaces the steamed rice, particularly in the Terai, while Dhindo, prepared by boiling corn, millet or buckwheat flour in water, continuously stirring and adding flour until thick, almost solid consistency is reached, is the main substitute in the hills and mountains. Nepal_sentence_525

Tsampa, flour made from roasted barley or naked barley, is the main staple in the high himalayas. Nepal_sentence_526

Throughout Nepal, fermented, then sun-dried, leafy greens called Gundruk, are both a delicacy and a vital substitute for fresh vegetables in the winter. Nepal_sentence_527

A notable feature of Nepali food is the existence of a number of distinctive vegetarian cuisines, each a feature of the geographical and cultural histories of its adherents. Nepal_sentence_528

The appearance of ahimsa, or the avoidance of violence toward all forms of life in many religious orders early in South Asian history, especially Upanishadic Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, is thought to have been a notable factor in the prevalence of vegetarianism among a segment of Nepal's Hindu and Buddhist populations, as well as among Jains. Nepal_sentence_529

Among these groups, strong discomfort is felt at thoughts of eating meat. Nepal_sentence_530

Though per capita meat consumption is low in Nepal, the proportion of vegetarianism is not high as in India, due to the prevalence of Shaktism, of which animal sacrifice is a prominent feature. Nepal_sentence_531

Nepali cuisines possess their own distinctive qualities to distinguish these hybrid cuisines from both their northern and southern neighbours. Nepal_sentence_532

Nepali cuisines, with generally tomato-based, leaner curries, are lighter than their cream-based Indian counterparts, and Nepali momo dumplings are heavily spiced compared to their northern counterparts. Nepal_sentence_533

Newar cuisine, one of the richest and most influential in Nepal, is more elaborate and diverse than most, as Newar culture developed in the highly fertile and prosperous Kathmandu valley. Nepal_sentence_534

A typical Newar cuisine can comprise more than a dozen dishes of cereals, meat, vegetable curries, chutneys and pickles. Nepal_sentence_535

Kwanti (sprouted beans soup), chhwela (ground beef), chatamari, (rice flour crepe), bara (fried lentil cake), kachila (marinated raw minced beef), samaybaji (centred around flattened rice), lakhaamari and yomuri are among the more widely recognised. Nepal_sentence_536

Juju dhau, a sweet yoghurt originating in Bhaktapur, is also famous. Nepal_sentence_537

Thakali cuisine is another well-known food tradition which seamlessly melds the Tibetan and the Indian with variety in ingredients, especially the herbs and spices. Nepal_sentence_538

In the Terai, Bagiya is a rice flour dumpling with sweets inside, popular among the Tharu and Maithil people. Nepal_sentence_539

Various communities in the Terai make sidhara (sun-dried small fish mixed with taro leaves) and biriya (lentil paste mixed with taro leaves) to stock for the monsoon floods. Nepal_sentence_540

Selroti, kasaar, fini and chaku are among the sweet delicacies. Nepal_sentence_541

Rice pulau or sweet rice porridge called kheer are usually the main dish in feasts. Nepal_sentence_542

Tea and buttermilk (fermented milk leftover from churning butter from yoghurt) are common non-alcoholic drinks. Nepal_sentence_543

Almost all janajati communities have their own traditional methods of brewing alcohol. Nepal_sentence_544

Raksi (traditional distilled alcohol), jaand (rice beer), tongba (millet beer) and chyaang are the most well-known. Nepal_sentence_545

Sports and recreation Nepal_section_37

Main article: Sports in Nepal Nepal_sentence_546

Nepali indigenous sports, like dandi biyo and kabaddi which were considered the unofficial national sports until recently, are still popular in rural areas. Nepal_sentence_547

Despite efforts, standardization and development of dandi biyo has not been achieved, while Kabaddi, as a professional sport, is still in its infancy in Nepal. Nepal_sentence_548

Bagh-chal, an ancient board game that's thought to have originated in Nepal, can be played on chalk-drawn boards, with pebbles, and is still popular today. Nepal_sentence_549

Ludo, snakes and ladders and carrom are popular pastimes. Nepal_sentence_550

Chess is also played. Nepal_sentence_551

Volleyball was declared as the national sport of Nepal in 2017. Nepal_sentence_552

Popular children's games include versions of tag, knucklebones, hopscotch, Duck, duck, goose and lagori, while marbles, top, hoop rolling and gully cricket are also popular among boys. Nepal_sentence_553

Rubber bands, or ranger bands cut from tubes in bike tyres, make a multi-purpose sporting equipment for Nepali children, which may be bunched or chained together, and used to play dodgeball, cat's cradle, jianzi and a variety of skipping rope games. Nepal_sentence_554

Football and cricket are popular professional sports. Nepal_sentence_555

Nepal is competitive in football in the South Asia region but has never won the SAFF championships, the regional tournament. Nepal_sentence_556

It usually ranks in the bottom quarter in the FIFA world rankings. Nepal_sentence_557

Nepal has had success in cricket and holds the elite ODI status, consistently ranking in the Top 20 in the ICC ODI and T20I rankings. Nepal_sentence_558

Nepal has had some success in athletics and martial arts, having won many medals at the South Asian Games and some at the Asian games. Nepal_sentence_559

Nepal has never won an olympic medal. Nepal_sentence_560

Sports like basketball, volleyball, futsal, wrestling, competitive bodybuilding and badminton are also gaining in popularity. Nepal_sentence_561

Women in football, cricket, athletics, martial arts, badminton and swimming have found some success. Nepal_sentence_562

Nepal also fields players and national teams in several tournaments for the differently abled, most notably in men's as well as women's blind cricket. Nepal_sentence_563

The only international stadium in the country is the multi-purpose Dasarath Stadium where the men and women national football teams play their home matches. Nepal_sentence_564

Since the formation of the national team, Nepal has played its home matches of cricket at Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground. Nepal_sentence_565

Nepal police, Armed police force and Nepal army are the most prolific producers of national players, and aspiring players are known to join armed forces, for the better sporting opportunities they can provide. Nepal_sentence_566

Nepali sports is hindered by a lack of infrastructure, funding, corruption, nepotism and political interference. Nepal_sentence_567

Very few players are able to make a living as professional sportspeople. Nepal_sentence_568

See also Nepal_section_38

Nepal_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepal.