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Coordinates: 28°10′N 84°15′E

Nepal
Nepal (/nəˈpɔːl/ ( listen);[12] Nepali: नेपाल Nepāl [neˈpal]), officially the
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal (Nepali: स ीय लोकता क गणत नेपाल
Saṅghīya Lokatāntrik Gaṇatantra Nepāl),[13] is a landlocked country in South स ीय लोकता क गणत नेपाल (Nepali)
Asia. It is located mainly in the Himalayas, but also includes parts of the Indo- Saṅghīya Lokatāntrik Gaṇatantra Nepāl
Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest
country by population and 93rd largest country by area.[8][14] It 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 has a diverse geography, including fertile plains,[15]
subalpine forested hills, and eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including
Emblem
Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and
Flag
largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language.
Motto: जननी ज मभूिम च वगादिप गरीयसी (Sanskrit)
The name "Nepal" is first recorded in texts from the Vedic period of the Indian Mother and Motherland are Greater than
subcontinent, the era in ancient India when Hinduism was founded, the Heaven (English)
predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE,
Anthem: सय थुँगा फूलका (Nepali)
Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in southern Made of Hundreds of Flowers (English)
Nepal. Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The
centrally located Kathmandu Valley is intertwined with the culture of Indo- 0:00 / 0:00
Aryans,[16] and was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal
Mandala. The Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the
valley's traders. The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional art and
architecture. By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of
Nepal. The Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and later formed an
alliance with the British Empire, under its Rajput Rana dynasty of premiers. The
country was never colonized but served as a buffer state between Imperial China
and British India.[17][18][19] Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but
was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs, in 1960 and 2005. The Nepalese Civil
War in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the proclamation of a secular republic
in 2008, ending the world's last Hindu monarchy.[20]

The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, establishes Nepal as a federal secular


parliamentary republic divided into seven provinces. 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.[21][22] Nepal hosts the permanent
secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), of
which it is a founding member. Nepal is also a member of the Non Aligned
Movement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative. 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.

Contents
Capital Kathmandu
Etymology and largest city 28°10′N 84°15′E
History
Official languages Nepali (at national level; in
Ancient
6 provinces)
Medieval Maithili and Bhojpuri (at
Kingdom of Nepal (1768–2008) national level; in 1
Republic of Nepal (2008–present) province)
English (de facto lingua
Geography franca; legal documents)
Climate
Recognised Awadhi · Bhojpuri · Bajjika
Geology national languages · Doteli · Gurung · Kiranti ·
Environment Limbu · Magar · Maithili ·
Politics
Newar · Rai · Tharu ·
Government
Urdu[1]
Administrative divisions Ethnic groups Ethnic demography
Foreign relations and military (2011) 16.6% Chhetri/ Khas
Economy 12.2% Bahun
Infrastructure 7.1% Magar
Energy 6.6% Tharu
Transport 5.8% Tamang
Telecommunications and mass media 5% Newar
Science and technology 4.8% Kami
Community forestry 4.4% Muslims
Crime and law enforcement 4% Yadav
Demographics
2.3% Rai
Languages 2% Gurung
Religion 1.8% Damai/Dholi
Education 1.6% Thakuri
Health 1.5% Limbu
Largest cities 1.4% Sarki
Culture 1.4% Teli
Holidays and festivals 1.3% Chamar/Harijan
Cuisine 1.2% Koiri/Kushwaha
Sports 19% Other
Units of measurement
Religion 81.3% Hinduism
See also 9% Buddhism
References 4.4% Islam
3% Kirant
Further reading 1.4% Christianity
External links 0.4% Animism
0.5% Irreligion[2][3]
Demonym(s) Nepalese
Etymology Government Federal parliamentary
republic
Local legends have it that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself in the
• President Bidhya Devi Bhandari
valley of Kathmandu in prehistoric times, and that the word "Nepal" came into
• Vice President Nanda Kishor Pun
existence as the place was protected ("pala" in Pali) by the sage "Nemi". It is
• Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli
mentioned in Vedic texts that this region was called Nepal centuries ago. According • Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JBR
to the Skanda Purana, a rishi called "Nemi" used to live in the Himalayas.[23] In • Assembly Chairman Ganesh Prasad Timilsina
the Pashupati Purana, he is mentioned as a saint and a protector.[24] He is said to • House Speaker Krishna Bahadur
have practiced meditation at the Bagmati and Kesavati rivers[25] and to have taught Mahara[4]
there.[26] Legislature Federal Parliament
• Upper house National Assembly
The name of the country is also identical in origin to the name of the Newar people. • Lower house House of Representatives
The terms "Nepāl", "Newār", "Newāl" and "Nepār" are phonetically different forms
Formation
of the same word, and instances of the various forms appear in texts in different
• Kingdom declared 25 September 1768[5]
times in history. Nepal is the learned Sanskrit form and Newar is the colloquial
• State declared 18 May 2006[6]
Prakrit form.[27] A Sanskrit inscription dated 512 CE found in Tistung, a valley to • Republic declared 29 May 2008
the west of Kathmandu, contains the phrase "greetings to the Nepals" indicating • Current constitution 20 September 2015
that the term "Nepal" was used to refer to both the country and the people.[28][29] Area
• Total 147,181 km2
It has been suggested that "Nepal" may be a Sanskritization of "Newar", or
(56,827 sq mi) (93rd)
"Newar" may be a later form of "Nepal".[30] According to another explanation, the • Water (%) 2.8
words "Newar" and "Newari" are vulgarisms arising from the mutation of P to V,
Population
and L to R.[31]
• 2016 estimate 28,982,771[7] (48th)
• 2011 census 26,494,504[8]
History • Density 180/km2 (466.2/sq mi)
(62nd)

Ancient GDP (PPP) 2018 estimate


• Total $84 billion[9]
Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living • Per capita $2,842[9]
in the Himalayan region for at least eleven thousand years.[32]
GDP (nominal) 2018 estimate
Nepal is first mentioned in the late Vedic Atharvaveda Pariśiṣṭa as a place • Total $27 billion[9]
exporting blankets, and in the post-Vedic Atharvashirsha Upanishad.[33] In • Per capita $919[9]
Samudragupta's Allahabad Pillar it is mentioned as a border country. The Skanda Gini (2010) 32.8[10]
Purana has a separate chapter, known as "Nepal Mahatmya", with more details. medium
Nepal is also mentioned in Hindu texts such as the Narayana Puja.[33] HDI (2017) 0.574[11]
medium · 149th
Legends and ancient texts that mention the region now known as Nepal reach back
Currency Nepalese rupee (NPR)
to the 30th century BC.[34] The Gopal Bansa were likely one of the earliest
inhabitants of Kathmandu valley. The earliest rulers of Nepal were the Kiratas Time zone UTC+05:45 (Nepal
Standard Time)
(Kirata Kingdom), peoples often mentioned in Hindu texts, who ruled Nepal for
DST not observed
many centuries.[34] Various sources mention up to 32 Kirati kings.[35]
Driving side left
Around 500 BCE, small kingdoms and confederations of clans arose in the southern
Calling code +977
regions of Nepal. 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 ISO 3166 code NP
known as Gautama Buddha (traditionally dated 563–483 BCE). Internet TLD .np · .नेपाल

By 250 BCE, the southern regions had come under the influence of the Maurya Empire of North India
and later became a vassal state under the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE.

There is a quite detailed description of the kingdom of Nepal in the account of the renowned Chinese
Buddhist pilgrim monk Xuanzang, dating from about 645 CE.[36][37] Stone inscriptions in the
Kathmandu Valley are important sources for the history of Nepal.

The kings of the Lichhavi dynasty have been found to have ruled Nepal after the Kirat monarchical
dynasty. The context that "Suryavansi Kshetriyas had established a new regime by defeating the
Kirats" can be found in some genealogies and Puranas.[35] It is not clear yet when the Lichhavi Lumbini, listed as the birthplace of
dynasty was established in Nepal. According to the opinion of Baburam Acharya, the prominent Gautama Buddha by the UNESCO
historian of Nepal, Lichhavies established their independent rule by abolishing the Kirati state that World Heritage Convention
prevailed in Nepal around 250 CE.[35]

The Licchavi dynasty went into decline in the late 8th century, and was followed by a Newar or Thakuri era. Thakuri kings ruled over the country up to
the middle of the 12th century CE; King Raghav Dev is said to have founded the ruling dynasty in October 869 CE.[38] King Raghav Dev also started
the Nepal Sambat.[39]

Medieval
In the early 12th century, leaders emerged in far western Nepal whose names ended with the Sanskrit suffix malla ("wrestler"). These kings
consolidated their power and ruled over the next 200 years, until the kingdom splintered into two dozen petty states. Another Malla dynasty beginning
with Jayasthiti emerged in the Kathmandu valley in the late 14th century, and much of central Nepal again came under a unified rule. In 1482, the
realm was divided into three kingdoms: Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur.

Kingdom of Nepal (1768–2008)


In the mid-18th century, Prithvi Narayan Shah, a Gorkha king, set out to put together what would become present-day Nepal. He embarked on his
mission by securing the neutrality of the bordering mountain kingdoms. After several bloody battles and sieges, notably the Battle of Kirtipur, he
managed to conquer the Kathmandu Valley in 1769. A detailed account of Prithvi Narayan Shah's victory was written by Father Giuseppe, an
eyewitness to the war.[40]
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. 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 and pay heavy reparations to Peking.

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). At first, the British
underestimated the Nepali and were soundly defeated until committing more military resources than
they had anticipated needing. Thus began the reputation of Gurkhas as fierce and ruthless soldiers. The
war ended in the Sugauli Treaty, under which Nepal ceded recently captured lands as well as the right
to recruit soldiers. Madhesis, having supported the East India Company during the war, had their lands
gifted to Nepal.[41]

Factionalism inside the royal family led to a period of instability. In 1846, a plot was discovered
revealing that the reigning queen had planned to overthrow Jung Bahadur Kunwar, a fast-rising
military leader. 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. Jung Bahadur Kunwar emerged victorious and founded the Rana dynasty, later known as
Tara, ca. 13th century, Nepal,
Jung Bahadur Rana. The king was made a titular figure, and the post of Prime Minister was made
Walters Art Museum
powerful and hereditary. The Ranas were staunchly pro-British and assisted them during the Indian
Rebellion of 1857 (and later in both World Wars). Some parts of the Terai region populated with non-
Nepali peoples 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. In 1923, the United Kingdom and Nepal formally
signed an agreement of friendship that superseded the Sugauli Treaty of 1816.[41]

Legalized slavery was abolished in Nepal in 1924.[42] Nevertheless, an estimated 234,600 people are
enslaved in modern-day Nepal, or 0.82% of the population.[43] Debt bondage even involving debtors'
children has been a persistent social problem in the Terai. Rana rule was marked by tyranny,
debauchery, economic exploitation and religious persecution.[44][45]
Basantpur royal complex
In the late 1940s, newly emerging pro-democracy movements and political parties in Nepal were
critical of the Rana autocracy. Meanwhile, with the invasion of Tibet by China in the 1950s, India
sought to counterbalance the perceived military threat from its northern neighbour by taking pre-
emptive steps to assert more influence in Nepal. India sponsored both King Tribhuvan (ruled 1911–55)
as Nepal's new ruler in 1951 and a new government, mostly comprising the Nepali Congress, thus
terminating Rana hegemony in the kingdom.[41]

After years of power wrangling between the king and the government, King Mahendra (ruled 1955–
72) scrapped the democratic experiment in 1959, and a "partyless" Panchayat system was made to
govern Nepal until 1989, when the "Jan Andolan" (People's Movement) forced King Birendra (ruled
1972–2001) to accept constitutional reforms and to establish a multiparty parliament that took seat in
May 1991.[46] In 1991–92, Bhutan expelled roughly 100,000 Bhutanese citizens of Nepali descent,
most of whom have been living in seven refugee camps in eastern Nepal ever since.[47]

In 1996, the Communist Party of Nepal started a violent bid to replace the royal parliamentary system
with a people's republic. This led to the long Nepali Civil War and more than 12,000 deaths.
A ceremonial crown of Nepalese
On 1 June 2001, there was a massacre in the royal palace. King Birendra, Queen Aishwarya and seven royalty
other members of the royal family were killed. The alleged perpetrator was Crown Prince Dipendra,
who allegedly committed suicide shortly thereafter. He was briefly declared as the king for three days
while he was in coma. This outburst was alleged to have been Dipendra's response to his parents' refusal to accept his choice of wife. Nevertheless,
there is speculation and doubts among Nepali citizens about who was responsible.

Following the carnage, King Birendra's brother Gyanendra inherited the throne. On 1 February 2005, King Gyanendra dismissed the elected
government and legislature,assuming full executive powers to quash the violent Maoist movement.[46] But this initiative was unsuccessful because a
stalemate had developed in which the Maoists were firmly entrenched in large expanses of countryside but could not yet dislodge the military from
numerous towns and the largest cities. In September 2005, the Maoists declared a three-month unilateral ceasefire to negotiate.
In response to the 2006 democracy movement, King Gyanendra agreed to relinquish sovereign power
to the people. On 24 April 2006 the dissolved House of Representatives was reinstated. Using its
newly acquired sovereign authority, on 18 May 2006 the House of Representatives unanimously voted
to curtail the power of the king and declared Nepal a secular state, ending its time-honoured official
status as a Hindu Kingdom. On 28 December 2007, a bill was passed in parliament to amend Article
159 of the constitution – replacing "Provisions regarding the King" by "Provisions of the Head of the
State" – declaring Nepal a federal republic, and thereby abolishing the monarchy.[48] The bill came
into force on 28 May 2008.[49] Sino-Nepalese War

Republic of Nepal (2008–present)


The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) won the largest number of seats in the Constituent
Assembly election held on 10 April 2008, and formed a coalition government, which included most of
the parties in the CA. Although acts of violence occurred during the pre-electoral period, election
observers noted that the elections themselves were markedly peaceful and "well-carried out".[50]

The newly elected Assembly met in Kathmandu on 28 May 2008, and, after a polling of 564
constituent Assembly members, 560 voted to form a new government,[49] with the monarchist
Rastriya Prajatantra Party, which had four members in the assembly, registering a dissenting note. At
King Tribhuvan giving an audience to
that point, it was declared that Nepal had become a secular and inclusive democratic republic,[51][52] British general Claude Auchinleck at
with the government announcing a three-day public holiday from 28–30 May. The king was thereafter the royal palace in Kathmandu, 1945
given 15 days to vacate Narayanhity Palace so it could reopen as a public museum.[53]

Nonetheless, political tensions and consequent power-sharing battles have continued in Nepal. In May
2009, the Maoist-led government was toppled and another coalition government with all major
political parties barring the Maoists was formed.[54] Madhav Kumar Nepal of the Communist Party of
Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) was made the Prime Minister of the coalition government.[55] In
February 2011 the Madhav Kumar Nepal Government was toppled and Jhala Nath Khanal of the
Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) was made the Prime Minister.[56] In August
2011 the Jhala Nath Khanal Government was toppled and Baburam Bhattarai of the Communist Party
of Nepal (Maoist) was made the Prime Minister.[57]

The political parties were unable to draft a constitution in the stipulated time.[58] This led to Elvis Presley with King Mahendra
and Queen Ratna of Nepal in 1960
dissolution of the Constituent Assembly to pave way for new elections to strive for a new political
mandate. In opposition to the theory of separation of powers, then Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi was
made the chairman of the caretaker government. Under Regmi, the nation saw peaceful elections for
the constituent assembly. The major forces in the earlier constituent assembly (namely CPN Maoists
and Madhesi parties) dropped to distant 3rd and even below.[59][60]

In February 2014, after consensus was reached between the two major parties in the constituent
assembly, Sushil Koirala was sworn in as the new prime minister of Nepal.[61][62]

On 25 April 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal.[63] Two weeks later, on 12 May, another
earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 hit Nepal, which left more than 8,500 people dead and about
21,000 injured.[64]

In 20 September 2015, a new constitution, the "Constitution of Nepal 2015" (Nepali: नेपालको संिवधान
२०७२), was announced by President Ram Baran Yadav in the constituent assembly. The constituent
assembly was transformed into a legislative parliament by the then-chairman of that assembly. The
new constitution of Nepal has changed Nepal practically into a federal democratic republic by making
7 unnamed provinces.

In October 2015, Bidhya Devi Bhandari was nominated as the first female president.[65]
Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-
Gurion and Prime Minister of Nepal
Geography B. P. Koirala
Nepal is of roughly trapezoidal shape, 800 kilometres (500 mi) long and 200 kilometres (120 mi)
wide, with an area of 147,181 km2 (56,827 sq mi). See List of territories by size for the comparative
size of Nepal. It lies between latitudes 26° and 31°N, and longitudes 80° and 89°E.

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

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

Pahad is a mountain region that does not generally contain


snow. The mountains vary from 800 to 4,000 metres
(2,600 to 13,100 ft) in altitude with progression from
subtropical climates below 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) to
alpine climates above 3,600 metres (11,800 ft). The Lower
Himalayan Range, reaching 1,500 to 3,000 metres (4,900
to 9,800 ft), is the southern limit of this region, with
subtropical river valleys and "hills" alternating to the
north of this range. Population density is high in valleys
but notably less above 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) and very
low above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft), where snow
occasionally falls in winter.

Himal is the mountain region containing snow and


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

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

Nepal experiences five seasons: summer, monsoon,


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

Nepal is popular for mountaineering, having some of the highest and most challenging mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. Technically,
the southeast ridge on the Nepali side of the mountain is easier to climb, so most climbers prefer to trek to Everest through Nepal.
Nepal’s highest mountains[66]
Mountain Height Section Location
Mount Everest Khumjung VDC, Solukhumbu District,
8,848 m 29,029 ft Khumbu Mahalangur
(Highest in world) Sagarmatha Zone (Nepal-China Border)
Kangchenjunga Lelep VDC / Yamphudin VDC, Taplejung District,
8,586 m 28,169 ft Northern Kanchenjunga
(3rd highest) Mechi Zone (Nepal-Sikkim Border)
Lhotse Khumjung VDC, Solukhumbu District,
8,516 m 27,940 ft Everest Group
(4th highest) Sagarmatha Zone (Nepal-China Border)
Makalu Makalu VDC, Sankhuwasabha District,
8,462 m 27,762 ft Makalu Mahalangur
(5th highest) Kosi Zone (Nepal-China Border)
Cho Oyu Khumjung VDC, Solukhumbu District,
8,201 m 26,906 ft Khumbu Mahalangur
(6th highest) Sagarmatha Zone (Nepal-China Border)
Dhaulagiri Mudi VDC / Kuinemangale VDC,
8,167 m 26,795 ft Dhaulagiri
(7th highest) Myagdi District, Dhawalagiri Zone
Manaslu Samagaun VDC, Gorkha District / Dharapani VDC,
8,156 m 26,759 ft Mansiri
(8th highest) Manang District, Gandaki Zone
Ghandruk VDC, Kaski District,
Annapurna
8,091 m 26,545 ft Annapurna Gandaki Zone / Narchyang VDC,
(10th highest)
Myagdi District, Dhawalagiri Zone

Köppen climate classification map of Nepal

Geology
The collision between the Indian subcontinent and Eurasia, which started in the Paleogene
period and continues today, produced the Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau. Nepal lies
completely within this collision zone, occupying the central sector of the Himalayan arc, nearly
one third of the 2,400 km (1,500 mi)-long Himalayas.[67][68][69][70][71][72]

The Indian plate continues to move north relative to Asia at about 50 mm (2.0 in) per year.[73]
This is about twice the speed at which human fingernails grow, which is very fast given the size
of the blocks of Earth's crust involved. As the strong Indian continental crust subducts beneath
the relatively weak Tibetan crust, it pushes up the Himalayan Mountains. This collision zone has Edmund Hillary (New Zealand) and
accommodated huge amounts of crustal shortening as the rock sequences slide one over another. Tenzing Norgay (Nepal) were the first to
reach the summit of Everest.
Based on a study published in 2014, of the Main Frontal Thrust, on average a great earthquake
occurs every 750 ± 140 and 870 ± 350 years in the east Nepal region.[74] A study from 2015
found a 700-year delay between earthquakes in the region. The study also suggests that because of tectonic stress transfer, the earthquake from 1934 in
Nepal and the 2015 earthquake are connected – following a historic earthquake pattern.[75]

Erosion of the Himalayas is a very important source of sediment, which flows to the Indian Ocean via several great rivers: the Indus, Ganges, and
Brahmaputra River systems.[76]

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

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

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

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

Politics
Nepal has seen rapid political changes during the last three decades. Up until 1990, Nepal was a
monarchy under executive control of the King. Faced with a communist movement against absolute
monarchy, King Birendra, in 1990, agreed to a large-scale political reform by creating a parliamentary
monarchy with the king as the head of state and a prime minister as the head of the government.

Nepal's legislature is bicameral, consisting of a House of Representatives called the Pratinidhi Sabha
and a National Council called the Rastriya Sabha. The House of Representatives consisted of 205
members directly elected by the people. The National Council had 60 members: ten nominated by the
king, 35 elected by the House of Representatives, and the remaining 15 elected by an electoral college
made up of chairs of villages and towns. The legislature had a five-year term but was dissolvable by
the king before its term could end. All Nepali citizens 18 years and older became eligible to vote.

The executive comprised the King and the Council of Ministers (the cabinet). The leader of the
coalition or party securing the maximum seats in an election was appointed as the Prime Minister. The
Cabinet was appointed by the king on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Governments in
Mount Everest, the highest peak on
Nepal tended to be highly unstable, falling either through internal collapse or parliamentary
earth, lies on the Nepal-China
dissolution by the monarch, on the recommendation of the prime minister, according to the border.
constitution; no government has survived for more than two years since 1991.

A popular democratic movement in April 2006 brought about a change in the nation's
Main office holders
governance: an interim constitution was promulgated, with the King giving up power, and
an interim House of Representatives was formed with Maoist members after the new
government held peace talks with the Maoist rebels. The number of parliamentary seats
was also increased to 330. In April 2007, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) joined
the interim government of Nepal.

In December 2007, the interim parliament passed a bill making Nepal a federal republic,
with a president as head of state. Elections for the constitutional assembly were held on 10
April 2008; the Maoist party led the results but did not achieve a simple majority of
Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Khadga Prasad Oli,
seats.[77] The new parliament adopted the 2007 bill at its first meeting by an overwhelming
President of Nepal since Prime Minister since
majority, and King Gyanendra was given 15 days to leave the Royal Palace in central 29 October 2015 15 February 2018
Kathmandu. He left on 11 June.[78]

On 26 June 2008, the prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who had served as Acting Head of State since January 2007, announced that he would
resign on the election of the country's first president by the Constituent Assembly. The first round of voting, on 19 July 2008, saw Parmanand Jha win
election as Nepali vice-president, but neither of the contenders for president received the required 298 votes and a second round was held two days
later. Ram Baran Yadav of the Nepali Congress party defeated Maoist-backed Ram Raja Prasad Singh with 308 of the 590 votes cast.[79] Koirala
submitted his resignation to the new president after Yadav's swearing-in ceremony on 23 July 2008.

On 15 August 2008, Maoist leader Prachanda (Pushpa Kamal Dahal) was elected Prime Minister of
Nepal, the first since the country's transition from a monarchy to a republic. On 4 May 2009, Dahal
resigned over on-going conflicts with regard to the sacking of the Army chief. Since Dahal's
resignation, the country has been in a serious political deadlock with one of the big issues being the
proposed integration of the former Maoist combatants, also known as the People's Liberation Army,
into the national security forces.[80] After Dahal, Jhala Nath Khanal of CPN (UML) was elected the
Prime Minister. Khanal was forced to step down as he could not succeed in carrying forward the Peace
Process and the constitution writing. On August 2011, Maoist Babu Ram Bhattarai became third Prime
Minister after the election of constituent assembly.[81] On 24 May 2012, Nepals's Deputy PM Krishna Prachanda speaking at a rally in
Sitaula resigned.[82] On 27 May 2012, the country's Constituent Assembly failed to meet the deadline Pokhara.
for writing a new constitution for the country. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai announced that new
elections would be held thar later year. "We have no other option but to go back to the people and elect
a new assembly to write the constitution," he said in a nationally televised speech. One of the main obstacles has been disagreement over whether the
provinces that will be created will be based on ethnicity.[83] This election was delayed by the Election Commission for a year, eventually occurring in
late 2013 and electing the country's Second Constituent Assembly. This assembly promulgated the extant Constitution of Nepal in 2015.
Nepal is one of the few countries in Asia to abolish the death penalty.[84] Nepal is the only Asian country where the possibility of same-sex marriage
has been proposed in the high court and in the legislature although same-sex marriage currently does not exist in Nepal (see also LGBT rights in Nepal
and Same-sex marriage in Nepal). The decision was based on a seven-person government committee study, and enacted through Supreme Court's
ruling November 2008. The ruling granted full rights for LGBT individuals, including the right to marry,[85] and Nepalese now can get citizenship as a
third gender rather than male or female as authorized by Nepal's Supreme Court in 2007.[86]

Government
Nepal is governed according to the Constitution of Nepal, which came into effect on 20 September 2015, replacing the Interim Constitution of 2007.
The Constitution was drafted by the Second Constituent Assembly following the failure of the First Constituent Assembly to produce a constitution in
its mandated period. The constitution is the fundamental law of Nepal. 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. All Nepali people collectively constitute the
nation.

The Constitution of Nepal has defined three organs of the government.[87]

Executive: The form of governance of Nepal is a multi-party, competitive,


federal democratic republican parliamentary system based on plurality.
The executive power of Nepal rests with the Council of Ministers in
accordance with the Constitution and Nepali law. The President appoints
the parliamentary party leader of the political party with the majority in the
House of Representatives as a Prime Minister, and a Council of Ministers
is formed in his/her chairmanship. The executive power of the provinces,
pursuant to the Constitution and laws, is vested in the Council of Ministers
of the province. The executive power of the province shall be exercised by
the province Head in case of absence of the province Executive in a State
of Emergency or enforcement of Federal rule. Every province has a
ceremonial Head as the representative of the Federal government. The Entrance to Singha Durbar, the seat of the Nepali
President appoints a Governor for every province. The Governor exercises government in Kathmandu
the rights and duties as specified in the constitution or laws. The Governor
appoints the leader of the parliamentary party with the majority in the
Provincial Assembly as the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers are
formed under the chairpersonship of the Chief Minister.
Legislative: The Legislature of Nepal, called Federal Parliament, consisting of two Houses, namely the House of Representatives
and the National Assembly. Except when dissolved earlier, the term of House of Representatives is five years. The House of
Representatives consist of 275 members: 165 members elected through the first-past-the-post electoral system consisting of one
member from each of the one hundred and sixty five electoral constituencies formed by dividing Nepal into 165 constituencies based
on geography and population; 110 elected from proportional representation electoral system where voters vote for parties, while
treating the whole country as a single electoral constituency. The National Assembly is a permanent house. The tenure of members
of National Assembly is six years. The National Assembly consists of 59 members: 56 members elected from an Electoral College,
comprising members of provincial Assembly and chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of Village councils and Mayors and Deputy
Mayors of Municipal councils, with different weights of votes for each, with eight members from each province, including at least
three women, one Dalit, and one person with a disability or a member of a minority. 3 members, including at least one woman, are to
be nominated by the President on the recommendation of the Government of Nepal. A Pradesh Sabha or Provincial Assembly is the
unicameral legislative assembly for a federated province.[88] The term for the Provincial Assembly is five years, except when
dissolved earlier.
Judicial: Powers relating to justice in Nepal are exercised by courts and other judicial institutions in accordance with the provisions of
this Constitution, other laws, and recognised principles of justice. Nepal has a unitary three-tier independent judiciary that comprises
the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of Nepal, 7 High Courts, and a large number of trial courts.

Administrative divisions
As of 3 April 2018, Nepal is divided into 7 provinces and 77 districts. It has 753 local units. There are 6 metropolises, 11 sub-metropolises, 276
municipal councils, and 460 village councils for official works. The constitution grants 22 absolute powers to the local units while they share 15 more
powers with the central and provincial governments.[89]
Sudurpashchim
Karnali

Gandaki

Province 5
Province 3

Province 1
Province 2

Area Population Density


No. Provinces Capital Districts
(km2) (2011) (people/km2)

1 Province No. 1 Biratnagar 14 25,905 km2 4,534,943 175

2 Province No. 2 Janakpur 8 9,661 km2 5,404,145 559

3 Province No. 3 Hetauda 13 20,300 km2 5,529,452 272

4 Gandaki Pradesh Pokhara 11 21,504 km2 2,413,907 112

5 Province No. 5 Butwal 12 22,288 km2 4,891,025 219

6 Karnali Pradesh Birendranagar 10 27,984 km2 1,168,515 41

7 Sudurpashchim Pradesh Godavari 9 19,539 km2 2,552,517 130

Total Nepal Kathmandu 77 147,181 km2 26,494,504 180

Foreign relations and military


Nepal has close ties with both of its neighbours, India and China. In accordance with a long-standing treaty, Indian and Nepali citizens may travel to
each other's countries without a passport or visa. Nepali citizens may work in India without legal restriction. The Indian Army maintains seven Gorkha
regiments consisting of Gorkha troops recruited mostly from Nepal.

However, in the years since the Government of Nepal has been communized and dominated by socialists, and India's government has been controlled
by more right-wing parties, India has been remilitarizing the "porous" Indo-Nepali border to stifle the flow of Islamist groups.[90]

Nepal established relations with the People's Republic of China on 1 August 1955, and relations since have been based on the Five Principles of
Peaceful Coexistence. Nepal has aided China in the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and China has provided economic assistance for Nepali
infrastructure. Both countries have cooperated to host the 2008 Summer Olympics summit of Mt. Everest.[91] Nepal has assisted in curbing anti-China
protests from the Tibetan diaspora.[92]
Nepal's military consists of the Nepali Army, which includes the Nepali Army Air Service. The Nepali Police
Force is the civilian police and the Armed Police Force Nepal[93] is the paramilitary force. Service is voluntary
and the minimum age for enlistment is 18 years. Nepal spends $99.2 million (2004) on its military—1.5% of its
GDP. Much of the equipment and arms are imported from India. Consequently, the US provided M16s, M4s,
and other Colt weapons to combat communist (Maoist) insurgents. The standard-issue battle rifle of the Nepali
army is the Colt M16.[94]

In the new regulations by Nepali Army, female soldiers have been barred from participating in combat
situations and fighting in the frontlines of war. However, they are allowed to be a part of the army in sections
like intelligence, headquarters, signals, and operations.[95]

Economy
Nepal's gross domestic product (GDP) for 2018/19 was estimated at over $34.64 billion (adjusted to nominal
GDP).[9] In 2018/19, agriculture accounted for 27.59%, services comprised 57.81%, and industry 14.6% of Embassy of Nepal in
Nepal's GDP.[96] While agriculture and industry are contracting, the contribution by the service sector is Washington, D.C.
increasing.[97][98]

Agriculture employs 76% of the workforce, services 18% and manufacturing and craft-based industry 6%.
Agricultural produce – mostly grown in the Terai region bordering India – includes tea, rice, corn, wheat,
sugarcane, root crops, milk, and water buffalo meat. Industry mainly involves the processing of agricultural
produce, including jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain. Its workforce of about 10 million suffers from a severe
shortage of skilled labour.

Nepal's economic growth continues to be adversely affected by the political uncertainty. Nevertheless, real GDP
growth was estimated to increase to almost 5 percent for 2011–2012. This is an improvement from the 3.5
percent GDP growth in 2010–2011 and would be the second-highest growth rate in the post-conflict era.[99]
Sources of growth include agriculture, construction, financial and other services. The contribution of growth by
consumption fuelled by remittances has declined since 2010/2011. While remittance growth slowed to 11
percent (in Nepali Rupee terms) in 2010/2011, it has since increased to 37 percent. Remittances are estimated to
Gurkha Memorial, London
be equivalent to 25–30 percent of GDP. Inflation has been reduced to a three-year low of 7 percent.[99]

The proportion of poor people has declined substantially since 2003. The
percentage of people living below the international poverty line (people
earning less than US$1.25 per day) has halved in seven years.[99] At this
measure of poverty the percentage of poor people declined from 53.1% in
2003/2004 to 24.8% in 2010/2011.[99] With a higher poverty line of US$2
per-capita per day, poverty declined by one-quarter to 57.3%.[99] However,
the income distribution remains grossly uneven.[100]

In a recent survey, Nepal has performed extremely well in reducing poverty


along with Rwanda and Bangladesh as the percentage of poor dropped to
44.2 percent of the population in 2011 from 64.7 percent in 2006—4.1
percentage points per year, which means that Nepal has made improvement
in sectors like nutrition, child mortality, electricity, improved flooring and
assets. If the progress of reducing poverty continues at this rate, then it is
predicted that Nepal will halve the current poverty rate and eradicate it within A proportional representation of Nepal's exports.
the next 20 years.[101][102]

The spectacular landscape and diverse, exotic cultures of Nepal represent considerable potential for tourism, but growth in the industry has been stifled
by political instability and poor infrastructure. Despite these problems, in 2012 the number of international tourists visiting Nepal was 598,204, a 10%
increase on the previous year.[103] The tourism sector contributed nearly 3% of national GDP in 2012 and is the second-biggest foreign income earner
after remittances.[104]

The rate of unemployment and underemployment approaches half of the working-age population. Thus many Nepali citizens move to other countries in
search of work. Destinations include India, Qatar, the United States, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Brunei Darussalam,
Australia, and Canada.[105][106] Nepal receives $50 million a year through the Gurkha soldiers who serve in the Indian and British armies and are
highly esteemed for their skill and bravery. As of 2010, the total remittance value is around $3.5
billion.[106] In 2009 alone, the remittance contributed to 22.9% of the nation's GDP.[106]

A long-standing economic agreement underpins a close relationship with India. The country receives
foreign aid from the UK,[107][108] India, Japan, the US, the EU, China, Switzerland, and Scandinavian
countries. Poverty is acute; per-capita income is around $1,000.[109] The distribution of wealth among
the Nepali 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%.

The government's budget is about $1.153 billion, with an expenditure of $1.789 billion (FY The Mountain Museum in Pokhara,
20005/06). The Nepali rupee has been tied to the Indian rupee at an exchange rate of 1.6 for many the country's second largest city and
a hub of tourism in Nepal
years. Since the loosening of exchange rate controls in the early 1990s, the black market for foreign
exchange has all but disappeared. The inflation rate has dropped to 2.9% after a period of higher
inflation during the 1990s.

Nepal's exports of mainly carpets, clothing, hemp, leather goods, jute goods and grain total $822
million. Import commodities of mainly gold, machinery and equipment, petroleum products and
fertilizer total US$2 billion. European Union (EU) (46.13%), the US (17.4%), and Germany (7.1%)
are its main export partners. The European Union has emerged the largest buyer of Nepali ready-made
garments (RMG). Exports to the EU accounted for "46.13 percent of the country's total garment
exports".[110] Nepal's import partners include India (47.5%), the United Arab Emirates (11.2%), China
(10.7%), Saudi Arabia (4.9%), and Singapore (4%). Terraced rice farming in Nepal

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
nation's economic growth and development.[111][112][113]

Infrastructure

Energy
The bulk of the energy in Nepal comes from fuel wood (68%), agricultural waste (15%), animal dung
(8%), and imported fossil fuels (8%).[114][115] Except for some lignite deposits, Nepal has no known Nepalese silver currency, 1695

oil, gas or coal deposits. All commercial fossil fuels (mainly oil and coal) are either imported from
India or from international markets routed through India and China. Fuel imports absorb over one-
fourth of Nepal's foreign exchange earnings.[115]

Only about 1% energy need is fulfilled by electricity. The perennial nature of Nepali rivers and the
steep gradient of the country's topography provide ideal conditions for the development of some of the
world's largest hydroelectric projects. Current estimates put Nepal's economically feasible hydropower
potential to be approximately 83,000 MW from 66 hydropower project sites.[115][116] However,
currently Nepal has been able to exploit only about 600 MW from 20 medium to large hydropower
plants and a number of small and micro hydropower plants.[114] There are 9 major hydropower plants
Nepalese Chamber of Commerce,
under construction, and additional 27 sites considered for potential development.[114] Only about 40% Lhasa, 1955
of Nepal's population has access to electricity.[114] There is a great disparity between urban and rural
areas. The electrification rate in urban areas is 90%, whereas the rate for rural areas is only 5%.[115]
The peak electricity demand is almost the double the capability or dependable capacity in winter
season.[117] 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.[115]

Transport
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;[118] flights are Kathmandu street vendors
frequent and support a sizeable traffic. The hilly and mountainous terrain in the northern two-thirds of
the country has made the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive. In 2007
there were just over 10,142 km (6,302 mi) of paved roads, and 7,140 km (4,437 mi) of unpaved road,
and one 59 km (37 mi) railway line in the south.[118]

More than one-third of its people live at least a two hours walk from the nearest all-season road. Only
recently all district headquarters (except for Simikot and Dunai) became reachable by road from
Kathmandu. In addition, around 60% of the road network and most rural roads are not operable during
the rainy season.[119] The only practical seaport of entry for goods bound for Kathmandu is Kolkata in
West Bengal state of India. Internally, the poor state of development of the road system makes access
to markets, schools, and health clinics a challenge.[111]

Telecommunications and mass media


According to the Nepal Telecommunication Authority MIS May 2012 report,[120] there are seven
operators and the total voice telephony subscribers including fixed and mobile are 16,350,946, which
gives a penetration rate of 61.42%. The fixed telephone service account for 9.37%, mobile for 64.63%,
and other services (LM, GMPCS) for 3.76% of the total penetration rate. Similarly, the numbers of
subscribers to data/internet services are 4,667,536, which represents 17.53% penetration rate. Most of Middle Marshyandi Hydroelectricity
the data service is accounted by GPRS users. Twelve months earlier the data/internet penetration was Dam. Nepal has significant potential
to generate hydropower, which it
10.05%, thus this represents a growth rate of 74.77%.[120]
plans to export across South Asia
Not only has there been strong subscriber growth, especially in the mobile sector, but there was
evidence of a clear vision in the sector, including putting a reform process in place and planning for
the building of necessary telecommunications infrastructure. Most importantly, the Ministry of
Information and Communications (MoIC) and the telecom regulator, the National
Telecommunications Authority (NTA), have both been very active in the performance of their
respective roles.[121]

Despite all the effort, there remained a significant disparity between the high coverage levels in the
cities and the coverage available in the underdeveloped rural regions. Progress on providing some
minimum access had been good. Of a total of 3,914 village development committees across the
country, 306 were unserved by December 2009.[121] In order to meet future demand, it was estimated Means of transport in mountainous
that Nepal needed to invest around US$135 million annually in its telecom sector.[121] In 2009, the area
telecommunication sector alone contributed to 1% of the nation's GDP.[122] As of 30 September 2012,
Nepal has 1,828,700 Facebook users.[123]

As of 2007, the state operates two television stations as well as national and regional radio stations. There are roughly 30 independent TV channels
registered, with only about half in regular operation. Nearly 400 FM radio stations are licensed with roughly 300 operational.[118] According to the
2011 census, the percentage of households possessing radio was 50.82%, television 36.45%, cable TV 19.33%, computer 7.23%.[8] According to the
Press Council Nepal, as of 2012 there are 2,038 registered newspapers in Nepal, among which 514 are in publication.[124] In 2013, Reporters Without
Borders ranked Nepal at 118th place in the world in terms of press freedom.[125][126]

Science and technology


Historical kingdoms that existed in the Kathmandu valley are found to have made use of some clever technologies in numerous areas such as
architecture, agriculture, civil engineering, water management, etc. The Gopals and Abhirs, who ruled the valley up until c. 1000 BC, used temporary
materials for construction such as bamboo, hay, timber, etc. The Kirat period (700 BC – 110 AD) employed the technology of brick firing as well as
produced quality woolen shawls. Similarly, stupas, idols, canals, self-recharging ponds, reservoirs, etc. constructed during the Lichhavi era (110–879
AD) are intact to this day, which manifests the ingenuity of traditional architecture. Moreover, the Malla period (1200–1768 AD) saw an impressive
growth in architecture, on par with its advanced contemporaries. An archetypal example of Malla architecture is Nyatapola, a five-storied, 30-metre tall
temple in Bhaktapur, which has strangely survived at least four major earthquakes, including the April 2015 Nepal earthquake.[127]

Nepal was a late entrant into the modern world of science and technology. Nepal's first institution of higher education, Tri-Chandra College, was
established by Chandra Shumsher in 1918. The college introduced science at the Intermediate level a year later, marking the genesis of formal science
education in the country.[127] However, the college was not accessible to the general public, but only to a handful of members of the Rana regime.
Throughout the Rana regime that lasted for well over a century, Nepal was effectively isolated from the rest of the world. Owing to this isolation, Nepal
was relatively untouched by and unfamiliar of social transformations brought about by the British invasion in India and the Industrial Revolution in the
West.[128] However, after the advent of democracy and abolition of Rana regime in 1951, Nepal broke
free from the shackles of self-imposed isolation and opened up to the outside world. This opening
marked the initiation of S&T activities in the country.[129]

An underdeveloped country, Nepal is plagued with problems such as poverty, illiteracy,


unemployment, and the like. Consequently, science and technology have invariably lagged behind in
the priority list of the government. On the other hand, citing poor university education at home, tens of
thousands of Nepali students leave the country every year, with half of them never returning.[130][131]
These factors have been huge deterrents to the development of science and technology in Nepal.

Community forestry
The Community Forestry Program in Nepal is a participatory environmental governance that
encompasses well-defined policies, institutions, and practices. The program addresses the twin goals
of forest conservation and poverty reduction. As more than 70 percent of Nepal's population depends
on agriculture for their livelihood, community management of forests has been a critically important Erected by King Bhupatindra Malla in
intervention. Through legislative developments and operational innovations over three decades, the 1702, Nyatapola is an important
program has evolved from a protection-oriented, conservation-focused agenda to a much more broad- tourist attraction in the historical city
of Bhaktapur.
based strategy for forest use, enterprise development, and livelihood improvement. By April 2009,
one-third of Nepal's population was participating in the program, directly managing more than one-
fourth of Nepal's forest area.[132][133]

The immediate livelihood benefits derived by rural households bolster strong collective action wherein local communities actively and sustainably
manage forest resources. Community forests also became the source of diversified investment capital and raw material for new market-oriented
livelihoods. Community forestry shows traits of political, financial, and ecological sustainability, including an emergence of a strong legal and
regulatory framework, and robust civil society institutions and networks. However, a continuing challenge is to ensure equitable distribution of benefits
to women and marginalized groups. Lessons for replication emphasise experiential learning, establishment of a strong civil society network, flexible
regulation to encourage diverse institutional modalities, and responsiveness of government and policymakers to a multistakeholder collaborative
learning process.[134][135]

Crime and law enforcement


Law enforcement in Nepal is primarily the responsibility of the Nepali Police Force, which is the national police of Nepal.[136] It is independent of the
Nepali Army. In the days of its establishment, Nepal Police personnel were mainly drawn from the armed forces of the Nepali Congress Party that
fought against the feudal Rana autocracy in Nepal. The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) and National Investigation Department of Nepal (NID) are
the investigation agencies of Nepal. They have offices in all 75 administrative districts, including regional offices in five regions and zonal offices in 14
zones. Numbers vary from three to five members at each district level in rural districts, and numbers can be higher in urban districts. They have both
Domestic and International surveillance units, which mainly deals with cross border terrorists, drug trafficking and money
laundering.[137][138][139][140]

A 2010 survey estimated about 46,000 hard drug users in the country, with 70% of the users to be within the age group of 15 to 29.[141] The same
survey also reported that 19% of the users had been introduced to hard drugs when they were less than 15 years old; and 14.4% of drug users were
attending school or college.[141] Only 12 of the 17 municipalities studied had any type of rehabilitation centre.[141][142] There has been a sharp
increase in the seizure of drugs such as hashish, heroin and opium in the past few years; and there are indications that drug traffickers are trying to
establish Nepal as a transit point.[143]

Human trafficking and child labour are major problems in Nepal.[144][145][146] Nepali victims are trafficked within Nepal, to India, the Middle East,
and other areas such as Malaysia and forced to become prostitutes, domestic servants, beggars, factory workers, mine workers, circus performers, child
soldiers, and others. Sex trafficking is particularly rampant within Nepal and to India, with as many as 5,000 to 10,000 women and girls trafficked to
India alone each year.[147][148][149]

Capital punishment was abolished in Nepal in 1997.[150] In 2008, the Nepali government abolished the Haliya system of forced labour, freeing about
20,000 people.[151] However, the effectiveness of this has been questioned by the Asian Legal Resource Centre.[152]

Demographics
According to the 2011 census, Nepal's population grew from 9 million people in 1950
to 26.5 million. From 2001 to 2011, the average family size declined from 5.44 to 4.9.
The census also noted some 1.9 million absentee people, over a million more than in
2001; most are male labourers employed overseas, predominantly in South Asia and
the Middle East. This correlated with the drop in sex ratio from 94.41 as compared to
99.80 for 2001. The annual population growth rate is 1.35%.[8]

The citizens of Nepal are known as Nepali or Nepalese. The country is home to people
of many different national origins. As a result, Nepalese do not equate their nationality
with ethnicity, but with citizenship and allegiance. Although citizens make up the
majority of Nepalese, non-citizen residents, dual citizens, and expatriates may also
Nepalese women dancing for Teej
claim a Nepalese identity. Nepal is multicultural and multiethnic country because it
became a country by occupying several small kingdoms such as Mustang, Videha
(Mithila), Madhesh, and Limbuwan in the 18th century. The oldest settlements in Mithila and
Tharuhat are Maithil. Northern Nepal is historically inhabited by Kirants Mongoloid, Rai and Limbu
people. The mountainous region is sparsely populated above 3,000 m (9,800 ft), but in central and
western Nepal ethnic Sherpa and Lamapeople inhabit even higher semi-arid valleys north of the
Himalaya. The Nepali speaking Khas people mostly inhabit central and southern regions. Kathmandu
Valley, in the middle hill region, constitutes a small fraction of the nation's area but is the most densely
populated, with almost 5 percent of the nation's population. The Nepali are descendants of three major
migrations from India, Tibet, and North Burma and the Chinese province of Yunnan via Assam. Population density map of Nepal
Among the earliest inhabitants were the Kirat of east mid-region, Newars of the Kathmandu Valley,
aboriginal Tharus of Tharuhat,

Despite the migration of a significant section of the population to the Madhesh (southern plains) in
recent years, the majority of Nepalese still live in the central highlands; the northern mountains are
sparsely populated. Kathmandu, with a population of over 2.6 million (metropolitan area: 5 million), is
the largest city in the country and the cultural and economic heart.

According to the World Refugee Survey 2008, published by the US Committee for Refugees and
Immigrants, Nepal hosted a population of refugees and asylum seekers in 2007 numbering
approximately 130,000. Of this population, approximately 109,200 persons were from Bhutan and
20,500 from People's Republic of China.[153][154] The government of Nepal restricted Bhutanese
refugees to seven camps in the Jhapa and Morang districts, and refugees were not permitted to work in
most professions.[153] At present, the United States is working towards resettling more than 60,000 of
these refugees in the US.[47]

Comparison Of Nepal Population

Population pyramid 2016


Population Structure
Data Size
Population 26,494,504 (2011)
Growth rate 1.35%
Population below 14 Years old 34.19%
Population of age 15 to 59 54.15%
Population above 60 8.13%
Median age (average) 20.07
Median age (male) 19.91
Median age (females) 20.24
Ratio (male:female) 100:94.16

Life expectancy (average) (reference:[155]) 66.16 Years

Life expectancy (male) 64.94


Life expectancy (female) 67.44
Literacy rate (average) 65.9%
Literacy rate (male) 75.1%
Literacy rate (female) 57.4%

Languages
Nepal's diverse linguistic heritage stems from three major language groups: Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman, and
various indigenous language isolates. 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 is home to at least four indigenous sign languages.

Derived from Sanskrit, Nepali is written in Devanagari script. Nepali is the official language and serves as
lingua franca among Nepali of different ethnolinguistic groups. The regional languages Maithili, Awadhi,
Bhojpuri and rarely Urdu of Nepali Muslims are spoken in the southern Madhesh region. Many Nepali in
government and business speak Maithili as the main language and Nepali as their de facto lingua franca.
Varieties of Tibetan are spoken in and north of the higher Himalaya where standard literary Tibetan is widely
understood by those with religious education. Local dialects in the Terai and hills are mostly unwritten with A Nepalese Tibetan monk
efforts underway to develop systems for writing many in Devanagari or the Roman alphabet.

Religion
The significant majority of the Nepalese population follows Hinduism. Shiva is regarded
Religion in Nepal (2011)[2]
as the guardian deity of the country.[156] Nepal is home to the famous Lord Shiva temple, religion percent
the Pashupatinath Temple, where Hindus from all over the world come for pilgrimage. Hindu 81.3%
According to Hindu mythology, the goddess Sita of the epic Ramayana, was born in the Buddhist 9.0%
Mithila Kingdom of King Janaka Raja. Muslim 4.4%
Folk 3.0%
Lumbini is a Buddhist pilgrimage site and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Christian 1.42%
Other 0.9%
Kapilavastu district. Traditionally it is held to be the birthplace in about 563 B.C. of
Siddhartha Gautama, a Kshatriya caste prince of the Sakya clan, who as the Buddha
Gautama, founded Buddhism.

The holy site of Lumbini is bordered by a large monastic zone, in which only monasteries can be built. All three main branches of Buddhism exist in
Nepal and the Newa people have their own branch of the faith.[157] Buddhism is also the dominant religion of the thinly populated northern areas,
which are mostly inhabited by Tibetan-related peoples, such as the Sherpa.
The Buddha, born as a Hindu, is also said to be a descendant of Vedic Sage Angirasa in many
Buddhist texts.[158] The Buddha's family surname is associated with Gautama Maharishi.[159]
Differences between Hindus and Buddhists have been minimal in Nepal due to the cultural and
historical intermingling of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. Moreover, traditionally Buddhism and
Hinduism were never two distinct religions in the western sense of the word. In Nepal, the faiths share
common temples and worship common deities. Among other natives of Nepal, those more influenced
by Hinduism were the Magar, Sunwar, Limbu and Rai and the Gurkhas.[160] Hindu influence is less
prominent among the Gurung, Bhutia, and Thakali groups who employ Buddhist monks for their
Sadhus in Pashupatinath Temple
religious ceremonies.[160] Most of the festivals in Nepal are Hindu.[161] The Machendrajatra festival,
dedicated to Hindu Shaiva Siddha, is celebrated by many Buddhists in Nepal as a main festival.[162]
As it is believed that Ne Muni established Nepal,[163] some important priests in Nepal are called "Tirthaguru Nemuni". Islam is a minority religion in
Nepal, with 4.2% of the population being Muslim according to a 2006 Nepali census.[164] Mundhum, Christianity and Jainism are other minority
faiths.[165]

Education
The overall literacy rate (for population age 5 years and above) increased from 54.1% in 2001 to 65.9% in 2011. The male literacy rate was 75.1%
compared to the female literacy rate of 57.4%. The highest literacy rate was reported in Kathmandu district (86.3%) and lowest in Rautahat (41.7%).[8]
While the net primary enrolment rate was 74% in 2005;[166] in 2009, that enrolment rate was 90%.[167]

However, increasing access to secondary education (grade 9–12) remains a major challenge, as evidenced by the low net enrolment rate of 24% at this
level. More than half of primary students do not enter secondary schools, and only one-half of them complete secondary schooling. In addition, fewer
girls than boys join secondary schools and, among those who do, fewer complete the 10th grade.[168]

Nepal has seven universities: Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University, Pokhara University, Purbanchal University, Mahendra Sanskrit University,
Far-western University, and Agriculture and Forestry University.[169] Some newly proposed universities are Lumbini Bouddha University, and Mid-
Western University. Some fine scholarship has emerged in the post-1990 era.[170]

Health
Public health and health care services in Nepal are provided by both the public and private sectors and
fare poorly by international standards. According to 2011 census, more than one-third (38.17%) of the
total households do not have a toilet.[8] Tap water is the main source of drinking water for 47.78% of
households, tube well/hand pump is the main source of drinking water for about 35% of households,
while spout, uncovered well/kuwa, and covered well/kuwa are the main source for 5.74%, 4.71%, and
2.45% respectively.[8] Based on 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) data, Nepal ranked 139th in
life expectancy in 2010 with the average Nepali living to 65.8 years.[171][172]

Diseases are more prevalent in Nepal than in other South Asian countries, especially in rural areas.
Leading sicknesses include gastrointestinal diseases (especially diarrhea and intestinal parasites),
goiter, leprosy, visceral leishmaniasis and tuberculosis.[173] About 4 out of 1,000 adults aged 15 to 49
had human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and the HIV prevalence rate was 0.5%.[174][175]
Malnutrition also remains very high: about 47% of children under five are stunted, 15 percent wasted,
and 36 percent underweight, although there has been a declining trend for these rates over the past five
years, they remain alarmingly high.[176] In spite of these figures, improvements in health care have
been made, most notably in maternal-child health. In 2012, the under-five infant mortality was Kunde Hospital in remote Himalayan
region
estimated to be 41 out of every 1000 children.[177][178] Overall Nepal's Human Development Index
(HDI) for health was 0.77 in 2011, ranking Nepal 126 out of 194 countries, up from 0.444 in
1980.[179][180]

Largest cities
As Nepal is one of the developing countries, its cities, like other aspects, are growing. More than 20% of the population live in urban areas. The capital,
Kathmandu, is the largest city and is called the "City of Temples" for its numerous temples of Hindu and Buddhist gods and goddess. One of the oldest
cities of South Asia, Katmandu has five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, palaces and historically important sites such as Singha Durbar. The other large
cities of Nepal are Pokhara, Biratnagar, Lalitpur, Bharatpur, Birgunj, Dharan, Hetauda and Nepalgunj.
Culture
Folklore is an integral part of Nepali society. Traditional stories are rooted in the reality of day-to-day life, tales
of love, affection and battles as well as demons and ghosts and thus reflect local lifestyles, culture, and beliefs.
Many Nepali folktales are enacted through the medium of dance and music.

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

Nepal's flag is the only national flag in the world that is not rectangular in shape.[181] The constitution of Nepal
contains instructions for a geometric construction of the flag.[182] According to its official description, the red in
the flag stands for victory in war or courage, and is also the colour of the rhododendron, the national flower of
Nepal. Red also stands for aggression. The flag's blue border signifies peace. The curved moon on the flag is a
symbol of the peaceful and calm nature of Nepali, while the sun represents the aggressiveness of Nepali
The Nepalese actress and
warriors.
UN Goodwill Ambassador
Manisha Koirala

Holidays and festivals


With 15 days a year, Nepal is the country that enjoys the least number of public holidays in the world.[183] The Nepali year begins in 1st of Baisakh in
official Hindu Calendar of the country, the Bikram Sambat, which falls in mid-April and is divided into 12 months. Saturday is the official weekly
holiday. Main annual holidays include the Martyr's Day (18 February), and a mix of Hindu and Buddhist festivals such as Dashain in autumn, Tihar in
mid-autumn and Chhath in late autumn. During Swanti, the Newars perform the Mha Puja ceremony to celebrate New Year's Day of the lunar calendar
Nepal Sambat. Being a Secular country Nepal has holiday on main festivals of minority religions in the nation too.[161]

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

Sports
Association football is the most popular sport in Nepal[184] and was first played during the Rana dynasty in 1921.[185] The one and only international
stadium in the country is the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium where the national team plays its home matches.[186]

Cricket has been gaining popularity since the last decade. Since the establishment of the national team, Nepal has played its home matches on the
Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground.[187] The national team has since won the 2012 ICC World Cricket League Division Four and the
2013 ICC World Cricket League Division Three[188] simultaneously, hence qualifying for 2014 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. They also qualified for
the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh,[189] and this qualification has been the farthest the team have ever made in an ICC event. On 28 June
2014, the ICC awarded T20I status to Nepal, who took part and performed exceptionally well in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20.[190][191] Nepal had
already played three T20I matches before gaining the status, as ICC had earlier announced that all matches at the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 would
have T20I status.[192] Nepal won the 2014 ICC World Cricket League Division Three held in Malaysia and qualified for the 2015 ICC World Cricket
League Division Two.[193] Nepal finished fourth in the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two in Namibia[194] and qualified for the 2015–17
ICC World Cricket League Championship.[195] But Nepal failed to secure promotion to Division One and qualification to 2015–17 ICC
Intercontinental Cup after finishing third in the round-robin stage.[196][197] Basanta Regmi became the first bowler to take 100 wickets in the World
Cricket League. He achieved this feat after taking 2 wickets against Netherlands in the tournament.[198] After finishing 2018 ICC World Cricket
League Division Two at second place Nepal claims the place in 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. On 15 March 2018 Nepal claimed One Day
International (ODI) status for the first time with their win over Papua New Guinea in the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier play off
encounter.[199][200] Recent Nepal government has changed the national game of Nepal from dandi biyo to volleyball.

Units of measurement
Although the country has adopted the metric system as its official standard since 1968,[201] traditional units of measurement are still commonplace.
The customary units of area employed in the Terai region – such as katha, bigha, etc. – sound similar to those used elsewhere in South Asia. However,
they vary markedly in size, as they seem to have been standardized to different measures of area. For instance, a katha in Nepal is arbitrarily set at
338.63 m2, while a katha in Bangladesh means about 67 m2 of land area. In addition to native ones, imperial units pertaining to length (specifically
inch and foot) and metric units such as kilogram and litre are also fairly common in everyday trade and commerce.

See also
Outline of Nepal

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Further reading
Shaha, Rishikesh (1992). Ancient and Medieval Nepal. New Delhi: Manohar Publications. ISBN 978-81-85425-69-6.
Tiwari, Sudarshan Raj (2002). The Brick and the Bull: An account of Handigaun, the Ancient Capital of Nepal. Himal Books.
ISBN 978-99933-43-52-3.
"India Nepal Open Border" (https://web.archive.org/web/20051018202001/http://www.nepaldemocracy.org/documents/treaties_agree
ments/nep_india_open_border.htm). Nepal Democracy. Archived from the original (http://www.nepaldemocracy.org/documents/treati
es_agreements/nep_india_open_border.htm) on 18 October 2005. Retrieved 23 September 2005.
"Football at the heart of the Himalaya" (https://web.archive.org/web/20050909093135/http://www.fifa.com/en/regulations/magazine/in
dex/0%2C1569%2C102162%2C00.html?articleid=102162). FIFA. Archived from the original (https://www.fifa.com/en/regulations/ma
gazine/index/0,1569,102162,00.html?articleid=102162) on 9 September 2005. Retrieved 23 September 2005.
"Nepal: Information Portal" (http://www.explorenepal.com). Explore Nepal. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
Haven, Cynthia (24 August 2010). "The Best Memoir You Never Heard Of: "Shadow Over Shangri-La" " (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bi
n/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/11/12/RVGJ6M4RGA1.DTL). San Francisco Chronicle.
"Nepal: A state under siege" (https://web.archive.org/web/20041231180826/http://www.thesouthasian.org/archives/000155.html).
The South Asian: Featured Articles. Archived from the original (http://www.thesouthasian.org/archives/000155.html) on 31 December
2004. Retrieved 23 September 2005.
"Nepal: Basic Fact Sheet" (https://web.archive.org/web/20050524001847/http://www.nepalhomepage.com/general/glance.html).
Nepal homepage. Archived from the original (http://www.nepalhomepage.com/general/glance.html) on 24 May 2005. Retrieved
23 September 2005.
Sharma, Sushil (29 August 2005). "Jailed ex-PM in Nepal court plea" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4194160.stm). BBC
News. Retrieved 29 September 2005.
"Nepal's new emblem" (https://web.archive.org/web/20070209095759/http://www.cjnepal.org/story/547/nepals-new-emblem). Citizen
Journalism Nepal. Archived from the original (http://www.cjnepal.org/story/547/nepals-new-emblem) on 9 February 2007. Retrieved
7 February 2007.
Hagmuller, Gotz (2003). Patan Museum: The Transformation of a Royal Palace in Nepal. London: Serindia. ISBN 978-0-906026-58-
8.
Dixit, Kunda (2006). A people war: Images of the Nepal conflict 1996–2006. Kathmandu: nepa-laya.
Crossette, Barbara (1995). So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas. New York: Vintage. ISBN 978-
0-679-74363-7.
Bista, Dor Bahadur (1967). People of Nepal. Department of Publicity, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of
Nepal. ISBN 978-99933-0-418-0.
Whelpton, John (2005). A History of Nepal. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-80470-7.
Michael Hutt, ed., Himalayan 'people's war' : Nepal's Maoist rebellion, London: C. Hurst, 2004
Matthiessen, Peter (1993). The Snow Leopard. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-00-272025-0.
Simpson, Joe (1997). Storms of Silence. Mountaineers Books. ISBN 978-0-89886-512-7.
Upadhyay, Samrat (2001). Arresting God in Kathmandu. Mariner Books. ISBN 978-0-618-04371-2.
Joseph R. Pietri (2001). The King of Nepal. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Creative Arts. ISBN 978-0-615-11928-1.
Herzog, Maurice (1951). Annapurna. The Lyons Press. ISBN 978-1-55821-549-8.
Murphy, Dervla (1968). The Waiting Land: A Spell in Nepal. Transatlantic Arts. ISBN 978-0-7195-1745-7.
Rishikesh Shaha (2001). Modern Nepal: A Political History. Manohar Publishers and Distributors. ISBN 978-81-7304-403-8.
Jane Wilson-Howarth (2012). A Glimpse of Eternal Snows: a family's journey of love and loss in Nepal. Bradt Travel Guides, UK.
p. 390. ISBN 978-1-84162-435-8.
Glacial Lakes and Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in Nepal. – International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu,
March 2011 (http://ice.tsu.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=406)

External links
Government

Official website (http://www.nepal.gov.np) of the Government of Nepal


Official Site of Nepal Tourism Board (http://www.welcomenepal.com/)
General information

Nepal (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-12511455) from the BBC News


"Nepal" (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/np.html). The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
Nepal (https://web.archive.org/web/20090518023657/http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/govpubs/for/nepal.htm) from UCB Libraries
GovPubs
Nepal (https://curlie.org/Regional/Asia/Nepal) at Curlie
Nepal (https://www.britannica.com/place/Nepal) Encyclopædia Britannica entry
Wikimedia Atlas of Nepal
Geographic data related to Nepal (https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/184633) at OpenStreetMap
Key Development Forecasts for Nepal (http://www.ifs.du.edu/ifs/frm_CountryProfile.aspx?Country=NP) from International Futures

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