History of Nepal
With the passing of every new century, Nepal witnessed many rulers and dynasties play contributing roles in moulding Nepal to present day’s Modern Nepal. Kirantis ruled Nepal from 9th century B.C. to 1st century A.D. Later Licchavis took over Kirantis from 3rd to 13th century and then were followed by Thakuris belonging to Malla dynasty. Then Shah Dynasty held the reign. King Prithvi Narayan Shah is solely responsible for today’s modern day Nepal for he is the one who united different kingdoms into one single nation in 1769. In 1846, the Kot massacre led by Jung Bahadur Rana backseated the power of monarchy and made Rana regime more powerful.
In 1950 King Tribhuvan with the support from India restored monarchy. A coalition government comprising the Nepali congress party and the Ranas was thereafter installed with the promise of free elections in 1952. In1960, King Mahendra, son of King Tribhuvan tactically established Panchayat system, meaning ‘five councils system’, by engineering a coup, declaring a new constitution, imprisoning all the leaders of the then government and enforcing a ban on all political activities. People’s movement of 1990 opened up a new chapter for a decade of democracy in Nepal which led to multiparty democracy with constitutional monarchy. Democracy came with heavy price leading to incompetent political leaders, political conflicts, Maoist insurgency, corruptions and downfall in national economy. Royal family massacre in 2001 left whole world in complete shock. King Gynendra was crowned Nepal’s king after his brother, King Birendra’s assassination. With the advent of 2006 all major political parties committed to reform their past mistakes and Maoist rebels came together with the support from Nepali people and jointly went on several days strikes to restore democracy.
Finally, King Gynendra handed over the political power to Nepali people and democracy was once again restored in Nepal.
Geography, flora & fauna of Nepal
Stretched across diverse picturesque landscape, Nepal lies geographically sandwiched between China and India. Nepal encompasses total surface area of 147,181 sq. km from the Himalayan range in the North to the Indo-Gangetic lowlands in the South at the latitude 26°12′ to 30°27′ North and the longitude 80°4′ to 88°12′. Topographically, Nepal has lowland Terai Region in the south, central lower mountains and hills in the middle and Mountain Region in the north. On the basis of diverse ecological settings, regions have been divided into Terai, Siwalik, Middle Mountain, High Mountain and High Himalaya. Terai lies in the northern part of Indo-Gangetic plain extending nearly 800 km from east to west and about 30-40 km from north to south occupying 17% of the total land area with average elevation below 750 m including Terai region, Bhavar Terai and Inner Terai. Siwalik is also called Churia Hills and has elevation ranging from 700 to 1,500 m. Middle Mountain is also referred as Mahabharat range which stretched on 65% of the total land area with elevation ranging from 1,500 to 2,700 m. Kosi, Gandaki, Karnali and Mahakali river meet the middle mountain at many junctions. High Mountains range from 2,200 to 4,000 m and are naturally resourced with phyllite, schists and quartzite. The soil found here being shallow resist weathering. Where as High Himalayas occupy 16% of the total land area of Nepal with elevation ranging from 4,000 to above 8,000 m. This region accommodates the eight of the highest peaks in the world; Mt. Everest [(8848m], Kanchanjunga [8586m], Lhotse [8516m], Cho Oyu [8201m], Dhaulagiri [8167m], Mt. Makalu [8463m], Manaslu [8163m] and Annapurna I [8091m].
People and custom of Nepal
Ethnic diversity and custom of Nepal make Nepal the most fascinating tourist destination in the world. Official statistics indicates that Nepali population of around 23 millions includes more than 60 ethnic groups speaking 70 different languages and dialects. Northern Himalayan People, Middle Hills and Valley People and Terai People make up the total populations of the nation. Sherpas, Dolpas, Lopas, Baragaonlis and Manangis come under Northern Himalayan People. Magars, Gurungs, Tamangs, Sunuwars, Newars, Thakalis, Chepangs and majority of Brahmans and Chhetris are regarded as Middle Hills and Valley People. The Terai People are Tharus, Darai, Kumhal, Majhi and migrants from India. Nepali society is culturally influenced by caste hierarchy. Caste system comprises of Brahmin, Chettri, Vaisya and Shudra. Nepali is the official language. Nepal is a secular country. Hinduism and Buddhism are the two main religions. Official statistics shows that 89.5% of the population is Hindu, 5.3% Buddhist, 2.7% Muslim, 2.4% Shamanist and Animist, 0.1%Jain and 0.04% Christian. Regardless of ethnic background or religion, Nepali people are the most hospitable and friendly people you could ever wish to meet. Nepalese revere their guests as gods. Visit to Nepal can surely be an experience of a lifetime.