|STATE STRUCTURE||Parliamentary republic|
|INTERNAL DIVISION||Nepal is divided into 14 zones and 75 districts grouped into five regions. Each district is governed by an official who supervises law and order and coordinates the activities of the local organs of the various ministries.|
|CLIMATE||There are 5 natural and climatic zones in Nepal, which replace each other for 241 km from south to north. The southern tropical belt is located at an altitude of up to 1200 m above sea level. The subtropical mountain belt is located at an altitude of 1200 to 1900 m, where the climate is predominantly monsoon. The mountain temperate zone is located at an altitude of 1900 to 2800 m. The moderately cold zone begins at an altitude of 3000 to 4000 m. Alpine meadows are located at an altitude of 4000 to 5200 m. At an altitude of 4500 m, eternal snow begins. The ice zone is located above 5200 m. Here the climate is cold at any time of the year and too harsh for life – in the highlands, frosts even in summer reach -25 ° C, in winter -40 ° C. Here the air humidity is low and hurricane-force winds prevail.|
|NATIONAL COMPOSITION||Ethnically, Nepal is a mixture of about a hundred nationalities and castes. The boundaries of castes, as a rule, are transparent, and belonging to one or another caste also depends on the accepted tradition of the observer. The people of Nepal speak seventy different languages and dialects. The most numerous ethnic groups and castes of Nepal: Nepalese – 46%, Chhetri – 12.8%, mountain Bahuns – 12.7%, Magars – 7.1%, Tharu – 6.8%, Tamangs – 5.6%, Newari – 5.5%.|
|TIMEZONE||UTC +5:45 / Moscow time +2:45|
The national flag of Nepal is one of three non-rectangular national flags and one of two non-rectangular flags of a sovereign entity (the other is the flag of Ohio, USA). The flag is a simplified combination of the pennants of the two branches of the Rana dynasty – the past rulers of the country.
The flag was adopted on December 16, 1962. By that time pennants had been used separately for two centuries. They have been used together since the 20th century.
The blue color of the border of the flag symbolizes peace, while the dark red is the national color of Nepal. The two royal symbols represent the hope that Nepal will last as long as the sun and moon. And the triangular transformations of the flag are a symbol of the southern and northern peaks of Mount Everest, or Jo-Mo-Rlung-Ma (Chomolungma).
The triangular shape of the flag is traditional in Indian culture. Some states in India also have triangular flags.
The coat of arms of Nepal was changed during the reconciliation period following the Nepalese Civil War.
The new coat of arms was introduced on December 30, 2006. The emblem contains the flag of Nepal, Mount Everest, green hills symbolically symbolizing the hilly regions of Nepal and yellow color symbolically symbolizing the fertile region, connected male and female hands symbolizing gender equality, and a garland of rhododendrons (national flower). Above this is a white silhouette in the shape of the geographic outlines of Nepal. At the bottom of the coat of arms, dark red (Nepal color) scroll with a national motto on Sanskrit: जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपी स्वर्गादपी (Jananī Janmabhūmiśca Svargādapi Garīyasī), which is translated as “Mother and Motherland more than heaven.” The text of the motto, often mistaken for a passage from the Ramayana, actually refers to the work Anandamat by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. This coat of arms is the first.
According to Franciscogardening.com, the South Asian state of Nepal is sacred to every Buddhist and Hindu. Here in the small town of Lumbini, which in Sanskrit means “Beloved”, Siddhartha Gautama was born, later called the Buddha – the Enlightened One. In 563 BC, he was given life by the Indian princess Maya.
Nepal’s neighbors are the two most populous countries in the world: India and China. Almost half of the country’s territory is located at an altitude of more than 3000 meters above sea level. In the north, the country is surrounded by the Great Himalayan Range. Eight of the world’s fourteen eight-thousander peaks are located in Nepal. Among them – the highest peak in the world Chomolungma, which is also called Sagarmatha and Everest. Its height is 8848 meters, the mountain is more than 60 million years old.
Chomolungma is a Tibetan name that can be translated as “Divine Mother of Life Force”. Mount Everest was named in honor of Sir George Everest, who in 1830-1843 was the head of the Survey of British India. And Sagarmatha is a Nepalese name, in Sanskrit meaning “Forehead of Heaven”.
Through Nepal, whose territory is small, there are several natural and climatic zones: southern tropical, mountainous subtropical, mountainous temperate, alpine meadows and an ice zone, which begins at an altitude of 5200 meters.
The flora of the country is the richest. There are 6500 species of trees, shrubs, herbs and flowers. There are more than 300 species of orchids in Nepal alone.
Interesting fact: The national symbol of Nepal is the rhododendron flower. The Nepalese call it “laaligurans”.
The fauna of the country is also diverse. It is home to 848 species of birds, 185 species of mammals, including elephant, Bengal tiger, leopard, wild cat, spotted deer, muntzhak (barking deer), Himalayan tahr, blue sheep. In Nepal, you can meet rare and protected animals – the markhorned antelope and the red panda, which, due to its “shyness”, is practically not shown to people.
Rare freshwater dolphins are found in the rivers of the country. But, probably, the main asset of the animal world of Nepal is the irbis – the snow leopard, which is listed in the world Red Book and is protected by the law of the country. For killing a snow leopard here you can end up in prison for 15 years. This tough measure has paid off – today there are about 400 snow leopards in Nepal.
On the territory of Nepal there are 10 national parks, 3 reserves, a game reserve, 6 specially protected areas and 11 buffer zones, which in total occupy more than 34 km².
The first people settled in the fruitful valley of Kathmandu in the 8th century BC. The convenient location between China and India allowed the ancient inhabitants of the country to become trading intermediaries, which had a positive effect on their development and prosperity.
Interesting fact: Kathmandu Valley was a high mountain lake in prehistoric times. Buddhist legend says that Buddha’s associate Manjushri cut the mountain with a magic sword, the water left – and a green valley appeared. Hindus believe that the waters of the lake left through the mountain gorge Chobhar, which was cut through by lightning god Krishna.
At the end of the 18th century, the Shah dynasty came to power in Nepal. As a result of successful wars, the territory of the kingdom expanded at the expense of northern India. For Britain, this was unacceptable, and in 1814 she declared war on Nepal. On December 2, 1816, the peace treaty of Segahul was signed, according to which Nepal gave up the territory between the Kali and Rapti rivers, and an English resident remained in its capital, Kathmandu. For almost a hundred years, the country was under the protectorate of Great Britain.
In 1846, as a result of a bloody palace coup, the Rana clan, led by Jang Bahadur Kunwar, came to power. For the country, almost a century of rule by this dynasty turned out to be a difficult test. Instead of the necessary schools, hospitals and roads, Jang Bahadur Kunwar erected chic palaces, for the construction of which he invited the best architects of Western Europe. His desire to imitate the Europeans in everything played a positive role – in 1920 he canceled the sati ritual in Nepal – the burning of the wife of a deceased husband along with him at a ritual fire.
Interesting fact: From Sanskrit, “sati” can be translated as “real”, “existing”, “honest”. Sati is another name for the Hindu goddess Dakshayani. Not wanting to put up with the humiliation to which her father Daksha subjected her beloved god Shiva, Sati sacrificed herself.
In 1950, the formal ruler of Nepal, Tribhuvan, fled to India – he was crowned at the age of 5 after the death of his father and was kept in the palace as a prisoner. A year later, the king returned as a legitimate ruler, with the support of his supporters, among whom was an emigrant from tsarist Russia, Boris Nikolaevich Lisanevich. King Tribhuvan introduced democratic reforms in the country, established contacts with many countries of the world.
An interesting fact: Boris Lisanevich (1905-1985) opened Nepal for tourism to the world. A hereditary nobleman, an Odessan, an emigrant and a ballet dancer of Sergei Diaghilev, he met the King of Nepal, Tribhuvana, in India. Returning with him to Nepal, Lisanevich fell in love with the Himalayas so much that he persuaded His Majesty to open the country’s first hotel for climbers. For his hotel, he received an entire wing of the royal palace and named it the Yak and Yeti Park Royal Hotel. A few years later, it was from Lisanevich’s hotel that the first climbing expedition left. In 1959, Life magazine named Boris Lisanevich the second landmark of Nepal after Everest.
Nepal is a multi-ethnic country in which almost a hundred nationalities live and the society is divided into castes – varnas. The caste system in Nepal is similar to that of India.
An interesting fact: The spiritual teacher Buddha Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, revered in India and Nepal, belonged to the Kshatriya caste – warriors, the second after the Brahmins – the clergy.
The local population speaks 70 languages and dialects belonging to the Sino-Tibetan and Indo-European language groups. About 80% of the population professes Hinduism, about 10% – Buddhism.
Nepalese social life revolves around the family, headed by the husband-father. A woman’s life depends on a man. Three out of four women in Nepal are illiterate.
There are public and private schools in the country, but most children fail to complete even primary school. From the age of 5-7 they are forced to work. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in South Asia, the average income of every fourth inhabitant here is 30 euros per month.
As in all countries of the region, in Nepal there is not only modern official medicine, but also traditional medicine, which is more than one thousand years old. But it is better for tourists to have a first aid kit with them, as well as international medical insurance. Vaccinations against diphtheria, poliomyelitis, hepatitis, meningitis, typhoid and rabies must be made in advance. Medical services in Nepal are paid. If necessary, it is better to seek help from clinics that work with the support of Western medical companies.
Since 1964, Nepalese athletes have been participating in the Olympic Games. Popular disciplines in the country are skiing, volleyball and football.
Local dishes are simple and rich in hot spices. As a rule, on the table of local residents you can see lentils, rice, beans, sometimes vegetables and meat. Very tasty momo, which resemble Russian dumplings, and dal-bat – rice with lentil soup and sauces.
As a souvenir from Nepal, you can bring jewelry and national clothes, which are of very high quality. Souvenirs are in demand – wooden masks, bronze bells, Tibetan singing bowls, figurines of Buddhist and Hindu gods.
You can move around the country using air transport (there are 44 airports), buses and fixed-route taxis. True, an ordinary intercity bus in Nepal looks like an overflowing box on wheels, in which local residents also carry small livestock or poultry.
Most Nepalese sights can be seen in the capital of the country. It is in Kathmandu that the center of ancient Darbar architecture is located. 12 kilometers from the city is the ancient Lalitpur – translated as the “City of Beauty” with many magnificent shrines, including a temple erected in honor of the 8 wives of King Malla, who took the rite of self-immolation after his death.
Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims from all over the world tend to visit the small town of Lumbini, which is located on the border of Nepal and India. The town is considered the birthplace of Buddha, therefore, each country where Buddhism is practiced has contributed to the creation of a local memorial park and many temples.
The towns of Nagarkokt and Pokhara are popular with tourists. It is here that the tourist routes to the Himalayas begin. Nepal is a climbers dream. There are 438 peaks, 326 of which are climbable.
An interesting fact: Nepalese are convinced that Mount Kanchendzhaga (8586 meters, the second after Chomolungma), which Nicholas Roerich often painted, is a woman. Therefore, she does not submit to women. Locals say that anthropoid yetis live in the foothills of Kanchenjaga and that there is an entrance to the mythical Shambhala.
All holidays of the country reflect Hindu and Buddhist traditions and are dedicated to the gods of these religions.