About Nepal

About Nepal

About Nepal

About Nepal  

Nepal (147,181 square kilometers) is rich and has unique cultural and natural diversity.  A landlocked country located in South Asia with China in the north and India in the south, east and wes. Geographically, Nepal is divided into three East-West ecological zones: The Northern Range – the Mountain, the Mid-Range – Hill and the Southern Range – Terai (flat land). The geographic boundary of Nepal starts from the southern flat plains in Terai Mukhiya Patti Musharniya of Dhanusha District at 59 M to the sky piercing peaks of the Himalayas within a breadth of 200 km in the north at 8848 m Mt. Sagarmatha. Sagarmatha is the highest point on Earth. 

The cultural heritage of Nepal has evolved over the centuries. This multi-dimensional heritage encompasses the diversities of Nepal’s ethnic, tribal, and social groups, and it manifests in music and dance; art and craft; folklore and folktales; languages and literature; philosophy and religion; festivals and celebration; foods and drinks. The 2011 Census listed the population of around 28 million belonging to 125 castes and more than 101 ethnic groups speaking 123 languages and dialects making Nepal one the highly culturally diversified countries.

 

From Tarai (59M to 305M) Further north, the Siwalik zone (700 – 1,500 M ) and the Mahabharat range (1,500 M - 2,700 M) give way to the Duns (valleys) known as Inner Terai, such as Trijuga, Sindhuli, Chitwan, Dang and Surkhet. The Midlands (600 – 3,500 m), north of the Mahabharat range are beautiful valleys of Kathmandu and Pokhara. The mountainous region starts at 3000 M leading up to the alpine pastures and temperate forests limited by the tree-line at 4,000 M and the snow line beginning at 5000 M. The inner Himalayan valley (above 3,600 M) such as Mustang and Dolpo are cold deserts sharing topographical characteristics with the Tibetan plateau.

 

This range in geography created Nepal rich in biodiversity and unique landscape.  From ancient times Indigenous communities lived in particular geographic harmony with nature with their own indigenous language and distinct cultural practices with close attachment to the ancestral territories and natural resources. 

Nepal is bestowed with abundant water resources. It is said there are over 6000 rivers and rivulets fed by snow or rain and thus the country is also referred to as the 'water towers' of South Asia.

  • Eight of the world's fourteen highest peaks above 8000 Meters are located in Nepal: Mount Sagarmatha, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Annapurna.
  • Lumbini is the Birthplace of Lord Buddha
  • Mt.Sagarmatha Forehead of Sky’ at Khumbu region in Nepal is the highest point on Earth
  • Dho Tarap 4,080 M at Dolpa Nepal is the highest human settlement in the world.
  • Eight of the world’s highest peaks (out of fourteen) that are above 8000m lie in Nepal:  Mount Everest (8,848 m), Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), Lhotse (8,516 m), Makalu (8,463 m), Cho Oyu (8,201m), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Manaslu (8,163 m) and Annapurna (8,091 m). 
  • Marijuana was grown and processed into Charas (Hashish) until international pressure persuaded the government to outlaw it in 1976. There is increasing reliance on animal husbandry.

Culture  & Society of Nepal

The culture of Nepal is rich and unique. The cultural heritage of Nepal has evolved over the centuries. This multi-dimensional heritage encompasses the diversities of Nepal’s ethnic, tribal, and social groups, and it manifests in music and dance; art and craft; folklore and folktales; languages and literature; philosophy and religion; festivals and celebration; foods and drinks. The 2011 Census listed the population of around 28 million belonging to 125 castes and more than 101 ethnic groups speaking 123 languages. Nepal’s linguistic heritage has evolved from three major language groups: Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman, and indigenous. The major languages of Nepal (percent spoken as mother tongue) are Nepali (44.6%), Maithili (11.7%), Bhojpuri (6%), Tharu (5.8%), Tamang (5.1%), Nepal Bhasa (3.2%), Magar (3%) and Bajjika (3%).

The distinction in caste and ethnicity brought together diversity in way of life, food and spoken language.

Religions and philosophy

The 2001 census identified 80.6% of the population being Hindu. Buddhism was practiced by about 11% of the population (although many people labelled Hindu or Buddhist often practice a syncretic blend of Hinduism, Buddhism, and/or animist traditions). About 3.2% practice Islam and 3.6% of the population follows the indigenous Kirant religion. Christianity is practiced by less than 0.5%.

Hindu and Buddhist traditions in Nepal go back more than two millennia. In Lumbini, Buddha was born, and Pashupatinath temple, Kathmandu, is an old and famous Shiva temple of Hindus. Nepal has several other temples and Buddhist monasteries, as well as places of worship of other religious groups. Traditionally, Nepalese philosophical thoughts are ingrained with the Hindu and Buddhist philosophical ethos and traditions, which include elements of Kashmir Shaivism, Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, works of Karmacharyas of Bhaktapur, and tantric traditions. Tantric traditions are deep-rooted in Nepal, including the practice of animal sacrifices. Five types of animals, always male, are considered acceptable for sacrifice: water buffalo, goats, sheep, chickens, and ducks. Cows are very sacred animals and are never considered acceptable for sacrifice.

Dance and music

Legends state that dances in the Indian subcontinent originated in the abode of Lord Shiva — the Himalayas and the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal — where he performed the tandava dance. This indicates that the dance traditions of Nepal are very ancient. With altitudes and ethnicity, the dances of Nepal slightly change in style as well as in the costumes. The Dishka, a dance performed at weddings, includes intricate footwork and arm movements. Accompanying music and musical instruments change in tune with the themes, which revolve around topics like harvesting of crops, marriage rites, war stories, a lonely girl’s yearning for her love, and several other themes and stories from everyday life in the villages.

Languages and literature

Nepali, written in Devanagari script, is the official national language and serves as lingua franca among Nepalese ethnolinguistic groups. Maithili language that originated in the Mithila region of Nepal is the de facto official language of Nepal and Madhesh as a whole. Maithili is spoken in Nepal as a second language. Extinct languages of Nepal include Kusunda, Madhesiya, and Waling.

Festivals and celebrations

In Nepal, there are 365 days of festivals and celebrations. Several of the festivals of Nepal last from one to several days. Dashain is the longest festival in Nepal. The Newars celebrate the festival as Mohani Nakha. Tihar or Swanti and Chhath are other important festivals of Nepal. New Year’s Day of the lunar calendar Nepal Sambat occurs at this time.

Other important festivals include Buddha Jayanti (the celebration of the birth of Lord Buddha)Maha Shivaratri (a festival of Lord Shiva) and Maha Shivaratri festivities, some people consume excessive drinks and smoke charas. Sherpas, mostly located at higher altitudes and in the Mount Everest region, celebrate Mani Rimdu, for the good of the world.

In Kathmandu Living goddess Kumari is worshipped there are Jatras of different kinds celebrated mainly Indra Jatra( Adobe of heaven) Bhudyo’ Karunamaya’ Jatra god of rain and prosperity is the longest Jatra of Kathmandu valley, Bika Jatra in Bhaktapur is celebrated during the New year time.

Most festivals include dancing and music, and a variety of foods are consumed during festivals and on special occasions.

The Sagan ceremony is the ritualized presentation of five food items (boiled egg, smoked fish, meat, lentil cake, and rice wine) to a person which is done to bring good fortune as per Tantric tradition.

Buddha is widely worshipped by both Buddhists and Hindus of Nepal. The five Dhyani Buddhas; Vairochana, Akshobhaya, Rathasambhava, Amitabha, and Amoghasiddhi represent the five basic elements: earth, fire, water, air, and ether.

Flora and Fauna

Nepal is home to diverse floral and faunal species, and natural ecosystems, ranging from the lowland Terai region to the high Himalayas. The diverse climatic and topographic conditions have favored a maximum diversity of flora and fauna in Nepal. The country occupies about 0.1 percent of the global area but harbors 3.2 percent and 1.1 percent of the world’s known flora and fauna, respectively. Nepal is considered 11th richest in Asia and 25th rich in the world in terms of biodiversity.

 

Ecosystem diversity by area

 

Area

No. of ecosystems

Terai

23

Hill

52

Mountain

38

Others

5

Total

118

 

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In 2013 Faces of Nepal is established to promote Nepal as an educational, outdoor learning, research, spiritual, personal and family tours. Nepal will fascinate you! Make Nepal your learning destination. You will feel at Peace, Recharged, and Wise boarding your Flight Home.