Nepal is situated between two countries India and China, adorned by diversity of language, religion, culture, caste and many other exotic and heart touching features. Despite its smaller size in comparison to its neighboring countries, it contains the far remote mountains as well as the plains of Terai region. It has eight top peaks among the fourteen including the highest Mt. Everest in the world. Moreover, the only lake in the uppermost place in the world too lies in Nepal. Nepal is characterized by its abundant water resources, endangered, disappearing and rare animals and plants, natural, cultural and religious diversities etc. There is a variety in plants, fowls and animals due to its various climatic and geo-graphical situations.
Nepal has a total area of 1, 47,181 km and its population according to the census of 2058V.S. is around 2.75 corers. The length from eastern border, Mechi to western border Mahakali River is 885km whereas the width is disjunctive. The width in west is more bloated in comparison to the east while the mid part is shrunken. Thus the tentative width of Nepal from south to north is 193km. 23% of its total area is covered by hilly and mountain region and the rest is a plain of Terai. Most of the mountains stretch from North to southern part and Mt. Everest (8848m), the highest peak in the world too lies in one among these ranges. On geographical basis, Nepal can be divided into mountain (Himalaya), hilly and Terai region.
A) Mountain/ Himalayan Region: This region covers the area stretching above four thousand to 8848 m to the southern border of Tibet and has 15% of Nepal’s total area. This region contains Kanchanjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Choyu, Dhawalagiri, Manaslu, Himalaya ranges including Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest). Life in this area faces trouble due to the ever snowing and a chilling wind blowing. Generally the people of Mutal Sherpa, Thakali, Manange, Bhote etc. castes dwell in this region.
B) Hilly region: Its southern part is covered by the Rocky Mountains and hills in around the height of 600m from the sea level. It has got 68% of land and has lapped RaRa, Phewa Lakes, inner hills, Mahabharata hill and Shivalik mountains. Deepest Arun valley, Koshi, Gandaki, Trishuli, Sunkoshi, Karnali Rivers and the valleys and plains as their products are other attractions of this region. It is a shelter of the people from Brahmin, Chetri, Kirat, Magar, Gurung, Newar, Tamang, etc castes.
C) Terai Region: The plain area stretched from east to west is Terai region. It lies in 200 to 300 meter’s height from the sea level and covers 17% of the land. It is made fertile by the productive soil carried and deposited here by the rivers with Himalayan origin. People from Maithili, Bhojpuri speaking communities are the inhabitants of this region.
Nepal is enriched by the numerous big and smaller rivers carrying the potentiality and possibility of generating 83,000 megawatt electricity. These rivers can roughly be divided or classified into three classes: Gandaki, Karnali and Koshi. There are other minor rivers beside these three major and Mechi, Kankai, Triyuga, Kamala, Bagmatii, Indrawatu, Tamakoshi, Bhotekoshi, Trishuli etc. are few examples.
The climatic and geographical diversity of Nepal causes the plenty of variety of plants and animals. Simply the area above five thousand meter lacks lives since it is ever- snowing and capped by chilling snow. Only the creatures and plants capable of enduring such climate can exist over here. Some small undergrowth plants and pastures with Yarchagumba like grass are found in the height of three to four thousand meter whereas cedar, conifer, juniper, pine like plants, antelope, musk-deer, yak, cow, sheep etc in animals and sophomores, partridge like birds are found at 2000 to 2500 meter’s height. At the lower part there are pine like plants, animals like tiger, bear, leopard, deer, cow, buffalo, sheep, goat, and birds like crow, crane, grouse, sparrow etc. in the existence.
Terai has a hot temperature; therefore there are evergreen forests with silk-cotton, Sal, catechu, etc. snakes, boas, bear, tiger, and rhino like wild animals, sheep, goat, buffalo, cow like cattle and various kinds of fowls are available in this part of Nepal.
Nepal is rich in its culture and is capable in ranking itself among the countries to have ancient civilization. Although it underwent sometimes unitary and sometimes in fragments of twenty- twenty four states, it never fell in the claws of colonizers, it was never a colony of any empire. Nepal had mentionable progress in social, political, economic, religious, art, epistemology, and science sectors during Lichhibi and Malla rules. Lichhibis developed an Aryan culture whereas Hindus who entered during eleventh and twelfth century played a vital role to bind people in a single religion and culture.
The historical inscriptions of Nepal suggest the Gopal Vanshis to be the first to establish Nepal state. After them, the Ahir ( Mahispal) Vanshis ruled over it. Kiratis hold the rule after Ahir whose first king was Yalamber and the last was Dasti. They founded a base of socio-eco-politic development of Nepal. Lichhibis and Malls began snatching the Kirat rule in Nepal (Kathmandu Valley) along with their strengthened rule in Terai region. King Mandev was the first Lichhibi king. Mallas got a victory over Lichhibi since they were clever enough to recognize the diminishing power of Lichhibi dynasty. However, towards the sixteenth century, Malla themselves had the same destiny of a fall. His Majesty the king Prithivi Narayan Shah of Gorkha took a right decision of attacking the weakening Malla rule due to their internal conflict during the time of dividing Kathmaddu valley into Lalitpur , Bhaktapur and Kathamdandu. Rana ruled it for 104 years and king Tribhuvan, Mahendra, Beerendra, Deependra and Gyanendra got to run a royal rule after the fall of Rana rule in 2007 VS. Similarly the Peoples’ Second Movement of 2063 VS. put full stop to 250 years long royal rule and established Nepal as a Democratic Republic. Dr. Ram Baran Yadav is the first president of Nepal.
Major views about the origin of word Nepal:
In Kirat language, ‘Ne’ stands for middle and ‘pa’ means wool. Nepal has been producing and exporting wool and its products in a large amount to its neighboring countries since ancient time onwards. It is named as Nepal (storehouse of wool) because of ample production of wool.
Newars used to call Nepal as “Nepa” which later took a form of Nepal
According to Nepal narration- because of saint named ‘Ne’ reared the people of this place, it was named as Nepal.
Nepal is rich by the multi linguistic, multi caste and inters- caste systems. Along with geographical diversity, it has a variety in language, caste, religion and community.
Nepali Religion and Culture:
Different caste, religion, profession, norms values and beliefs are in existence in Nepal from an ancient time onwards. People are of different religion, community and status. Even though there are various languages in use from a very past, Nepali is an official language here. Since Nepal is a meeting point of people of different languages, it naturally has different festivals, rituals, jatras, and ceremonies to celebrate by various communities of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians etc.
Economy and economic development of Nepal is not satisfactory because of different reasons. Among them are the remoter and difficult geography, limited resources, great dependency in agriculture, conventional agricultural system, ineffective administration, infrastructure less villages, unclear political visions, unemployment, labor drain etc. Nepal’s international trade is in loss whereas the foreign debt is increasing every year. Limited and cheap agricultural products are exported but expensive and luxurious products are imported in turn. Agriculture even being a main pillar to shoulder the economy has not been modernized yet. Tourism amidst this pessimistic ambience can be a great scaffold if beautiful and diverse geographic and cultural aspects of Nepal are identified in a right way.