Nepal in Brief
Official Name: Sanghiya Loktāntrik Ganatantra Nepāl/Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Time: Local Time = UTC + 5:45h
Nepal is 9 hours and 45 minutes ahead of Washington, DC, USA,
8:00 PM Monday, in Nepal is 10:15 AM Monday, in Washington, DC, USA
Country Calling Code: +977
Major Cities: Kathmandu (Capital) (Population 1.5 million), Biratnagar, Pokhara, Birganj, Dharan, Nepalganj.
Location: Southern Asia, between China and India, Area: 147,181 km² (56,826 sq.mi.)
Terrain: Terai (Plain), Hills and High Mountains (Himalaya)
Climate: Climate varies according geographical elevation, tropical in the lower southern part Tarai, mid-hills alpine and the high mountains polar; elevation ranges from 90 to 8848 meters.
Nationality: Nepalese or Nepali.
Population: 30,986,975 (July 2014 est.)
Ethnic Groups: sixty ethnic groups, Sherpas, Limbus, Rais, Magars, Newars, Tamangs, Gurungs, Bahuns and Chhetries and the Tharus the inhabitants of the Tarai. Nepal host refugees from Tibet and Bhutan.
Religions: Dominantly Hindu, Buddhism, Muslim, Christians comes in fourth with around 2%.
Languages: Nepali (official), sixty ethnic groups, who speak seventy different dialects and eleven major languages.
Nepal Traditionally a monarchy, Nepal is now a representative democracy. Its economy depends on tourism, handicrafts, garments, carpets, tea, coffee, IT services, banking, and hydropower.
Nepal is bordered by China to the north and India to the south, east, and west. Nepal is located in the Himalayas and has eight of the world's tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. The country has an area of 147,181 square kilometers (56,827 sq mi).
The early modern Kingdom of Nepal was led by the Shah dynasty, after Prithvi Narayan Shah unified many small traditional kingdoms. The aristocratic Rana dynasty administered Nepal's government as hereditary Prime Ministers until 1951. A multiparty democracy evolved until 1960, when King Mahendra enacted the panchayat system. In 1990, a parliamentary government was permitted by King Birendra. Nepal faced a decade-long Communist Maoist insurgency and mass protests against the authoritarian King Gyanendra in 2005, which led to the abolition of the monarchy in 2008. Its 2nd constituent assembly promulgated a new constitution in 2015.
The Nepalese government works in the framework of a representative democracy with seven federal provinces. Nepal is a developing nation, ranking 145th on the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2014. The country struggles with the transition from a monarchy to a republic. Despite these challenges, Nepal is making steady progress, with government commitment to elevate the nation from least developed country status by 2022.
The 2001 Nepalese royal massacre, which saw the death of King Birendra and his family, was a major turning point in modern Nepal's history (Photo here) Kingdom of Nepal 1768-2008).
Resources: Quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore. Agriculture products are Rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops; milk, Water. Industries: Tourism, carpet, textile; rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarette; cement and brick production.
Currency: Nepalese Rupee (NPR) Eq: to 107 NPR for 1US$. (as of 2016 July 18)
Nepal is the landlocked multiethnic, multilingual, multi-religious country. Nepal has some of the world's highest mountains including Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest, 8848m).
History of the Kings in Nepal
The nation-state of Nepal was the creation of King Prithvi Narayan Shah. The ruler of the small principality of Gorkha, campaigned to unite the various kingdoms that dotted the geographical area defined by modern Nepal. The conquest of Kathmandu Valley, which took a total of ten years of planning, siege and diplomacy, was the highlight of his conquests (1769). The work begun by King Prithvi Narayan was continued by his descendants. At the greatest extent the Nepali (then known as the Gorkhali) Empire covered an area that was at least a third more than its present confines.
In the mid-18th century, Prithvi Narayan Shah, a king from Gorkha, 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 link here, an eyewitness to the war.
The Gorkha dominion reached its height when the North Indian territories of the Kumaon and Garhwal Kingdoms in the west to Sikkim in the east came under Nepal rule. At its maximum extent, Greater Nepal extended from the Teesta River in the east, to Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, across the Sutlej in the west as well as further south into the Terai plains and north of the Himalayas than at present.
Rivalry between Kingdom of Nepal and the East India Company over the annexation of minor 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. They were greatly impressed by the valor and competence of their adversaries. Thus began the reputation of Gurkhas as fierce and brave soldiers. The war ended in the Sugauli Treaty, under which Nepal ceded recently captured portions of Sikkim and lands in Terai as well as the right to recruit soldiers.
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 Jung Bahadur Rana. The king was made a titular figure, and the post of Prime Minister was made 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.
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 neighbor 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.
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 (who ruled 1972–2001) to accept constitutional reforms and to establish a multiparty parliament that took seat in May 1991. 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. Since repatriation processed failed, most of them has been relocated to different countries around the world.
In 1996, the Communist Party of Nepal started a bid to replace the royal parliamentary system with a people's republic by violent means. This led to the long Nepali Civil War and more than 12,000 deaths.
On June 1, 2001, there was a massacre in the royal palace. King Birendra, Queen Aishwarya and seven other members of the royal family were killed. The perpetrator was Crown Prince Dipendra, who committed suicide (he died three days later) shortly thereafter. 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 February 1, 2005, King Gyanendra dismissed the entire government and assumed full executive powers to quash the violent Maoist movement 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-honored 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. The bill came into force on 28 May 2008.
Journey of Republic (2008)
The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) won the largest number of seats in the Constituent Assembly election held on April 10, 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".
The newly elected Assembly met in Kathmandu on May 28, 2008, and, after a polling of 564 constituent Assembly members, 560 voted to form a new government, with the monarchist Rastriya Prajatantra Party, which had four members in the assembly, registering a dissenting note. At that point, it was declared that Nepal had become a secular and inclusive democratic republic, with the government announcing a three-day public holiday from May 28–30. The king was thereafter given 15 days to vacate Narayanhity Palace so it could reopen as a public museum.
On April 25, 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal. Two weeks later, on May 12, another earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 hit Nepal, killing more than 150 people in Nepal and more than 200 people in total.
Collected from various sources