Nepal (Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal) (27º42ºN85º19ºE)
Nepal lies between China and India in South Asia. The country ended its long-standing constitutional monarchy in June 2008 when King Gyanendra, who’d come to power in 2001 after the tragic murder of the previous king, abdicated the throne. Nepal’s first president was chosen by parliament the following month. This precipitous government transformation came after nearly 20 years of political turmoil, including an often violent Maoist insurgency from 1996 until 2005.
Most Nepalese live in the central, hilly region, which embraces the Kathmandu Valley, and in the southern plain known as the Terai. The cutting of trees for fuel—increased by demands of a booming tourist industry—causes erosion. Rivers that spring from the Himalaya generate electricity for local use and potential for export. Nepal possesses the greatest altitude variation on the Earth, from the lowlands near sea level to Mount Everest at 8,850 meters (29,035 feet). Everest, named after British surveyor Sir George Everest, is known as Chomolungma by the local Sherpa’s, meaning “Goddess Mother of the World”—related to this is the Chinese name Qomolangma. The Nepali word for Everest, Sagarmatha, is often translated as “Forehead of the Sky.” Sherpa’s benefit from the mountaineering boom and tourism in the Everest region, owning much of the lodging and transportation. They teach visitors about Sherpa culture and Buddhism’s love of the land.
Nepal–occupying only 0.1 percent of the total landmass of the earth – is home to:
2% of all the flowering plants in the world;
8% of the world’s population of birds (more than 848 species);
4% of mammals on earth;
11 of the world’s 15 families of butterflies (more than 500 species);
600 indigenous plant families;
319 species of exotic orchids.
Area total: 147,181 km (56,827 sq.mil)
Population total: 30 million.
Country Capital: Kathmandu
Time Zone: NPT(UTC(+5.45)
Calling Code: +977
Official Languages: Nepali
Official Currency: Nepalese Rupees
Recognized Languages: Nepali Bhasa.
Kingdom Declared: 21 December 1768
State Declared: 15 December 2007
Republic Declared: 28 May 2008
Regional Languages: Newari, Gurung, Sherpa, Maithili, Tamang, Tharu, Bhojpuri, Magar, Kirant, Limbu and other 1o3 different Indigenous Languages.
A monarchy throughout most of its history, Nepal was ruled by the Shah dynasty of kings from 1768, when Prithvi Narayan Shah unified its many small kingdoms. In 2006, however, a decade-long People’s Revolution by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) along with several weeks of mass protests by all major political parties of Nepal culminated in a peace accord, and the ensuing elections for the constituent assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of the abdication of the last Nepali monarch Gyanendra Shah and the establishment of a federal democratic republic in 28 May 2008. The first President of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav, was on oath in on 23 July 2008.