Nepal: The Most Beautiful Country in the World
The official name of Nepal (नेपाल) is the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. It is a small and beautiful country located on the lap of the hug Himalayas in southern Asia. It is surrounded by two giant countries i.e. India and China. India's five states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Sikkim) surround Nepal from east, south, and west and Tibet Autonomous Region of China from the Northern sides. Nepal covers an area of 147,516 sq. km and lies between the latitudes 26°22'N to 30°27'N and longitude 80°4' E to 88°12'E.
Nepalese history is prepared by collecting and analyzing various historical facts written in the temples, buildings, forts, stupas, statues, religious scriptures, government documents, and many others. The first book written about Nepalese History was "An Account of the Kingdom of Nepal" written by William Kirkpatrick in 1793 AD. Similarly, Baburam Acharya, Ambika Prasad Upadhyaya, Hem Raj Pandey, etc. are some of the national historians who contributed to finding out the fact and figures about the different periods of Nepalese History.
Nepal has tremendous geographical diversity within a short distance where the altitude varies from 60 meters above the sea level in the Terai to the world's highest peak (Mt. Everest). This diversity has created great diversity in terms of climate, vegetation, wildlife, culture, etc. About 80% of its total area is covered by mountains and hills. Based on physical features, Nepal is divided into three geographical regions: Mountain, Hilly, and Terai.
- The Mountain Region: The mountain region lies in the northern part of Nepal ranging from 3,300 meters to 8,848.48 meters. It occupies about 15% of the total area of Nepal and is further divided into three parts: Outer Himalayas, Bhot basin, and Main Himalayas.
- The Hilly Region: The Hilly Region is situated between the Terai and Mountain Region with an altitude ranging from 600 meters to 3300 meters above sea level. It occupies about 68% of the total area of Nepal. Hilly region also has three divisions Chure range, Mid-Hills, and Mahabharat range. The hilly range towards the south of Inner Terai is the Chure range and the hilly range towards North of Terai is the Mahabharat range.
- The Terai Region: The Terai region lies in the southern part of Nepal with an altitude ranging from 60 meters to 600 meters above sea level. The Terai region has three distinct divisions: Terai, Bhavar, and Inner Terai. Most of the food crops and cash crops are produced in the Terai region because of the alluvial soil deposited by the river flowing from the Hilly region, so it is known as the "Granary of Nepal". Major cities of this region are Dang, Chitwan, Janakpur, Udayapur, Biratnagar, etc.
National Symbol of Nepal represents the culture, religions, traditions, and nature of Nepalese people.
All languages spoken as the mother tongues in Nepal are the languages of the nation. The Nepali language in the Devnagari script shall be the official language of Nepal.
The National flag of Nepal is the world's only non-quadrilateral national flag. It is made with the combination of two single pennons with a crimson red in the background and deep blue borders. There is a real meaning behind the flag of Nepal. The Crimson red indicates the brave spirit of the Nepalese people and the symbol of victory. The blue border symbolizes peace and harmony. The Moon and the Sun symbolize that Nepal will last as long as the Sun and the Moon are there. A renowned architect, Shankar Nath Rimal designed the modern flag of Nepal.
The Scientific name of Laligurans is Rhododendron. Laligurans is the national flower of Nepal found at an altitude of 1,300 meters to 5,600 meters above sea level. There are about 1000 species of Laligurans where more than 30 species available in Nepal. Lali Gurans seems to be blooming in the month of March and April. Laligurans are found in red, pink, white color of different sizes. During the blooming period, flowers enhance the beauty of the forest.
According to the Constitution of Nepal 2072, Crimson (सिम्रिक) is the national color of Nepal. It indicates the blood of an ancestor who dies to protect the nation. Similarly, it is widely used in Hindus rituals.
The Cow is the national animal of Nepal. For Hindus and Buddhists, Cow is a sacred animal. The cow is considered the mother of all the creatures of the world. It is believed that various deities have resided in the body of the cow. The cow is worshipped by Hindus as Lakshmi during the Hindu festival.
The Danfe (Lophophorus) is the national bird of Nepal. It is listed as a rare and endangered species. It is a colorful and attractive bird known by Naurangi Chari (नौरंगी चरी). Danfe covers the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-cultural aspects of Nepal so it is considered the national birds of Nepal.
National Personalities have given significant, unique, and praiseworthy contributions to the nation. The Government of Nepal has declared such great people as the Rashtriya Vibhuti.
King Janak was an ascetic King of Mithila (present Janakpur) during Treta Yuga. His real name King Seeradhwaj. He was a follower of Lord Bramha and used to give more importance to the soul than the body and spread this message all over his Kingdom. He used to discuss with great intellectuals like Maitreyi, Gargi, Yagyavalkya, etc. about the importance of religion in his palace. For this reason, he was known as Videha and Rajarshi. He developed Mithila as the center of intellectual discourses. Similarly, he made the cultural and religious value of Mithila popular in the world.
King Janak's daughter Sita or Janaki or Dhartiputri is worshipped as a goddess by Hindus as an incarnation of Goddess Laxmi. She was married to Ram Chandra, the King of Ayodhya. She was an idealistic, wise, and praiseworthy lady. Sita is always remembered for her ideal as a devout and faithful woman. She is an inspiring example for Nepalese women.
Gautam Buddha(Siddhartha Gautam) was born in 563 BC in Lumbini, Nepal. In the searching of the mystery of the world's sorrow and suffering, he left his royal palaces, wife, and a young son. After long meditation and hardship, he concluded that the truth of life is peace, justice, and non-violence and taught to people all over the world. His teachings later tool in the form of Buddhism, one among the world's major religions. He is called the "Light of Asia". He preached the world with the message of Panchasheel that "Do not steal, Do not lie, Do not hurt by arms, Do not practice sexual misbehavior".
Amshuverma was a famous King of the Lichchhavi period. He was a learned person with excellent knowledge of Sanskrit. Amshuverma had written a book entitled 'Sabda Vidhya' which made him popular even outside the country. He built a 7-storied palace Kailashut Bhawan which is an example of contemporary art and architecture. He maintained good relations with the neighboring country like India, China, and Tibet and made all-around development in Nepal during his rule so, the Lichchhavi period is called the golden age in the history of Nepal.
Ram Shah was a famous King of the Gorkha Kingdom. He was best known for the reforms he introduced in his state in socio-economic, legal, and religious fields. A new system of measurements was introduced to improve the trade in the nation. He developed Mana, Pathi, Dhak, Taraju, etc. for measurement and famous for his good governance and justice. He managed such an efficient system of justice that the saying 'Nyaya Napaya Gorkha Janu' (if you are deprived of justice, go to Gorkha).
Prithvi Narayan Shah was the King of Gorkha and founder of Modern Nepal. During his rule, Nepal was fragmented into small Kingdoms called Baise and Chaubise Rajyaich which were likely to go into the hand of the British East India Company. Prithvi Narayan Shah started to unify the small Kingdoms and extended Nepal's Eastern border to the Mechi River and made Nepal a strong country. He was a successful and far-sighted leader, founder of non-aligned foreign policy, and protector of traditional culture. He is also famous for his Divine Counsels(Divyupadesh).
Araniko was a great architect of Nepal. He was given the name 'Balabahu'. On the demand of Chinese emperor Kublai Khan, a group of 80 artists was sent to Tibet under the leadership of Araniko. He constructed several pagoda-style monasteries in Tibet and Beijing. Dozens of sculptures and chaitya like Sliver Chaitya, Golden Chaitya made by him are still there in China and Tibet. He was honored with the title of 'Minghori' (great talent) after his death by the Chinese government. He spread Nepalese art and culture to Tibet and China and proved Nepal to be the home of brilliant artists and creators.
Amar Singh Thapa, loyal and patriotic in nature fought bravely with the British East India Company of India during the 1814-1816 AD war. He extended the boundary of Western Nepal up to Kangada and the Ravi River. Amar Singh Thapa had fought during the unification of the Baise and Chaubise states. When Nepal chode to sign the Sungauli Treaty, he became highly distressed and went to Gosainkunda where he lived until his death.
Bhimsen Thapa was the first Prime Minister of Nepal. He was a good administrator, a brave warrior, and a clever diplomat and continued the unification of Nepal and extended the Western border to Sutlaj. He was truly patriotic and against British imperialism and brought many reforms in his regime in the social, economic, and military fields, and ruled for 31 years as the Prime Minister. Modern Nepal exists because of his good vision, patriotism, and purity. Once, King Rana Bahadur had said, 'The country will not sink if I die, but will sink if Bhimsen dies'.
Balbhadra Kunwar was a great warrior of Nepal. During the Anglo Nepal war, he took the entire defense of Nalapani fort. An 80 years old commander, Balbhadra Kunwar fought bravely though less equipped against the strong British forces. During the war, he had only 600 troops including women and children whereas the British had 3,500 soldiers with modern weapons like guns and cannons. Even then the British could not defeat Balbhadra Kunwar. Highly impressed by his courageous defense, the British force erected memorial stone and carvel words of honor on it. As a tribute of respect for our gallant adversary BULBUDDER, commander of the fort, and HIS BRAVE GOORKAS.
Bhanu Bhakta Acharaya translated a Hindu epic, Ramayan into simple common Nepali language in a poetry form. He started to write poems in the Nepali language and proved that poems could be written in the Nepali language also. He has a great contribution in the field of Nepali literature. His several books in the Nepali Language like Bhaktamala, Badhu Shiksha, Prashnottari, etc made Nepalese literature-rich and prosperous. He unified Nepalese people in terms of language. Thus, he became the first poet of Nepal and is known as Aadikabi.
Motiram Bhatta is known as Yubakabi. He introduced Bhanubhakta to Nepalese society. He collected the poems written by Bhanubhakta and published them. Motiram Bhatta has written many poems and Gajals in the Nepali Language. He was a singer also. He printed the Ramayan translated by Bhanubhakta and made them available to the common people. Motiram Bhatta died at the young age of 30.
King Tribhuwan played a key role in the movement launched in Nepal for democracy in 2007 BS. He joined the people's revolt against the tyrannical regime of Ranas and left his palace at the risk of life. He is considered a national hero as he contributed to make the democratic movement a success. Because of his support in the Anti-Rana Movement, democracy was introduced on 7th Falgun, 2007 BS in Nepal.
Shankhadhar Sakhwa was the founder of Nepal Sambat. He freed the locals of Kathmandu from their debt. In 936 BS he started the Nepal Sambat to commemorate the incident. Shankhadhar Sakhwa was included in the list of national heroes on 2nd Mangsir 2056 BS.
Pasang Lhamu Sherpa is the first Nepali woman to climb the summit of Mt. Everest. She climbed Mt. Everest on 10th Baishakh 2050 BS. Unfortunately, she was buried in an avalanche while coming back from the summit and lost her life. She is a source of inspiration for all Nepali women for their courage to rise from their level and perform adventurous activities to glorify the nation. Her name was included in the list of national heroes on 9th Baishakh, 2059 BS.
Falgunanda was born of Limbu parents on 25th Kartik, 1942 BS in Illam. He is well-known as Mahaguru, especially among the Limbhu community. He is remembered for his outstanding socio-cultural and religious messages in the Limbhu community. His messages were related to nonviolence and religion. He had issued a ten-point ' Sharma Muchulka' for the ethnic, economic, social, and religious forms in his community. In his preaching, he has advised avoiding bad practices like gambling, smoking, taking alcohol, jealousy, anger, murder, telling lies, etc. Falgunanda has advised to respect father, mother, and teacher, study hard, serve the people, etc. He implemented rules and policies such as establishing a temple and school in every village, educating Kirant Community, treating sons and daughters equally. He was declared as a 16th national hero on 16th Mangsir, 2066 BS.
The cultural, geographical, ethnic, and bio-diversities of the country allure international visitors to Nepal time and again, which truly substantiates the spirits of Nepal tourism brand "Naturally Nepal, Once is not Enough". Every year about 2 Million tourists visit Nepal for the purpose of Pilgrimage, Trekking and Mountaineering, Entertainment, and Pleasure. The average length of tourist stay is 12.7 days and spends $48 per day per person.
Mt. Everest is also known as Sagarmatha. It is located in the Sagarmatha National Park. Sagarmatha National Park located in Solukhumbhu district and covers an area of 1,148 sq. km. Nepali sherpa Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Edmund Hillary made the first successful ascent on Everest in 1953 AD. Besides, Lotse, Choyu, Nuptse, Pumori, etc. are the other major peak located in this National Park.
Chitwan National Park is one of the most important tourist destinations of Nepal located in the Chitwan district about 120 km. south-west of Kathmandu. It covers an area of 932 sq. km. and famous for the one-horned rhino, which is rarely found in the world. Royal Bengal Tiger is another important wildlife found in this National Park. Besides this, elephants, crocodiles, peacocks, etc. are the other important wild lives and varieties of birds found here. It was enlisted in the World Heritage Sites in 1984 AD.
Lumbini is the most sacred place for Buddhists located in the Rupandehi district of Nepal. Siddhartha Gautam was born in 563 BC. He achieved enlightenment and founded Buddhism. He is known as "Light of Asia". UNESCO enlisted Lumbini as the World Heritage Site in 1997 AD. The Ashoka Pillar built by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BC is located here. Puskarini Pond and Maya Devi Temple are also important places for Buddhists. Many countries like China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Myanmar, Japan, France, Germany, etc have constructed many monasteries, stupas, libraries, museums, research centers, etc. About 173 thousand tourists visit Lumbini in 2019.
It is a famous, holy Hindu temple located on the banks of the Bagmati River, Kathmandu. It is built in Pagoda style where roofs are of copper with gold plate and have a golden pinnacle. The Pashupati area includes the Pashupatinath Temple, Arayaghat Deupatan, Jaya Bageshori, Gaurighat, Kutumbahal, Gaushala, Pingalasthan, and Sleshmantak forest. There are about 492 temples, 144 stupas, and about 1000 ShivaLingas in the area. According to the Nepal Tourism Board, about 180 thousand tourists visit Pashupatinath in 2019 A.D. excluding Indians.
Janaki Temple is one of the holiest places for Hindus. It is the birthplace of Sita. In ancient times Janakpur was a part of Mithila and also ruled by ascetic King Janak. It is constructed in the Mughal style. It is also called Naulakha Mandir because it cost 9 Lakh to construct the temple.
It is located in the heart of Kathmandu City. The Malla Kings ruled over Kathmandu from this palace. After Prithvi Narayan Shah started to rule from here and it became the capital of Unified Nepal. It was named Hanumandhoka after King Pratap Malla erected the statue of Hanuman in the palaces. Basantapur Palace, Taleju temple, Museum, House of Kumari, Kasthamanda, etc are the ancient heritage located here.
Bouddhanath Mahachaitya, the biggest stupa in Nepal, lies about 7 km. east of the capital. It is believed that this stupa was constructed around the 5th century. It is very famous for religious and cultural tourism. There are many other Buddhist monasteries in this area.
It was the palace of Malla Kings during medieval Nepal. It is located in the Lalitpur district. Krishna temple with 21 golden pinnacles (Gajur) is the masterpiece of Malla art and architecture. There are many famous temples like Kumbheshor Mahadev, Bhimsen temple, Bishwanath temple, a statue of Yog Narendra Malla, Mahabauddha, Jagat Narayan Temple, the temple of Rato Machhindranath, etc.
Bhaktapur Durbar was the palace of Malla Kings. It is located in the Bhaktapur district. Famous heritages like Pachapanna Jhyale Durbar, Nyathapole temple, a statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, museum, art gallery, golden gate, various bells, Datatraya temples, etc. are the mind-blowing artistic features found here.
Changunarayan Temple is the oldest temple in Kathmandu Valley. It is located in the Bhaktapur district and built during the time of Lichchhavi King Mandev in the 5th century. The temple is built in Pagoda style. There are several high-class models of stone inscriptions, stones, wood, and metallic arts. It is one of the four Narayan Believed to be in Kathmandu Valley.
The Stupa of Swayambhunath, situated on the top of a hill in Kathmandu, is one of the most popular holy places and instantly recognizable symbols of Nepal. This temple is regarded as the symbol of religious tolerance as there is the temple of Hindu Goddess Saraswati.
Nepal is a multi-lingual country. According to the census of 2011 AD, 123 languages have been identified as mother tongue. The Nepali language is the official language of Nepal. According to Article 6 of the Constitution of Nepal 2015, the Nepali language and other languages are spoken in Nepal as mother tongue are considered the languages of the nation. Mathili, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Tamang, Newari, Magar, Gurung, Sherpa, Limbu, etc are the most popular language of the nation.
Nepal is a country of religious diversity. People following different religions live together with unity, participate in each other's religious and cultural activities, and are positive to each other. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Kirant, Christianity, etc. are the religious classes having a large population in Nepal. About 81.343% of people follow Hinduism. Similarly, 9.044 %, 4.387%, 3.047%, 1.418%, 0.460%, 0.012%, 0.005%, 0.002% follows Buddhism, Islam, Kirant, Christian, Nature, Bon, Jain, Bahai and Sikh respectively.
Nepal is known as a country of cultural diversity. There are many ethnic groups having their own cultural identity and traditions living in the different geographical regions. The people of Nepal, their behavior, traditions, history, activities, languages, and perception, are arguably as famous as the high peaks, lush valleys, and green forests of the country.
Agriculture is primarily economic activity in Nepal which provides almost 70% employment to the total population of Nepal. It contributes about 27.6% to the national GDP of Nepal which decreases continuously per year. Rice, Wheat, Potato, and Sugarcane is the major Cereals and Cash crops of Nepal respectively.
Livestock plays a significant role in the national economy, contributing 11% to the National Gross Domestic Product. It is one of the important sources of income of farming households who fulfill their cash through the sale of products from livestock such as egg, meat, milk, wool, etc.
Tea, Ginger, and Soya beans oil are the major export agricultural products of the country.