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Nepal Overview
Nepal Land of Himalayas

Draped along the greatest heights of the Himalaya, Nepal is where the ice-cold of the mountains meets the steamy heat of the Indian plains. It's a land of yaks and yetis, stupas and Sherpas and some of the best trekking on earth. The Himalaya's most sophisticated urban cultures took shape here, in the three great mini kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley - Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur - home to a world-class artistic and architectural heritage.Draped along the greatest heights of the Himalaya, Nepal is where the ice-cold of the mountains meets the steamy heat of the Indian plains. It's a land of yaks and yetis, stupas and Sherpas and some of the best trekking on earth. The Himalaya's most sophisticated urban cultures took shape here, in the three great minikingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley - Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur - home to a world-class artistic and architectural heritage.escent who fled violence in Bhutan in the early 1990s.

It’s not just mountaineers with their hearts set on conquering Everest who fall in love with the Himalayan country of Nepal. With stunning scenery, fringed by the highest peaks on the planet, leading down to steamy jungle packed with wildlife, there’s something for everyone. The country became independent in 1923, but it was not until 1947 (the year of Indian independence) and total withdrawal of the British before Nepal achieved complete autonomy. In May 2008, the monarchy was abolished making Nepal the world’s newest republic. Nepal, situated in the Central Himalaya, has diverse physiographic zones, climatic contrasts and altitudinal variations, which provide habitats for biological species of both Indo-Malayan and Palaeoarctic realms, including endemic Himalayan flora and fauna. A total of 118 ecosystems with 75 vegetation types and 35 forest types have been identified in these realms.

Hindu Groups

Hindu castes migrated from India to Nepal after 11th century due to Muslim invasion of northern India. The traditional Hindu caste system is based on the four Varna Vyawastha "the class system" of Brahman (Bahun) priests, scholars and advisors; Kshatriya (Chhetri) rulers and warriors, Vaishya (merchants); Shudra (farmers and menial occupations not considered polluting). Below the Shudra Dalit perform 'polluting' work such as tanning and cleaning latrines.

Newar

The indigenous people of the Kathmandu valley -- follow both Hinduism and Buddhism. According to the 2001 census they can be classified into 40 distinct cultural groups, but all speak a common language called Nepal bhasa (Newa bhaaya).

Nepal’s natural resources include quartz, water, timber, and hydropower potential, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt and iron ore. Nepal’s industries include tourism, carpet manufacturing, textile manufacturing, small rice growers, jute, sugar and oilseed mills, cigarette production as well as cement and brick production. Nepal is one of the world’s poorest countries and least developed. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy and many of the industrial activities involve the processing of agricultural products. Production of textiles and carpets has expanded recently.

Language

Nepali is the national language of Nepal. Yet the average people whom travelers have to deal with will speak and understand English and various other foreign languages.

People and Religion

Nepalese people are mainly divided into two distinct groups the Indo-Aryans and the Mangoloids. Kathmandu valley which is also the capital city of Nepal, is the spiritual and cultural meeting point of all these groups.

Nepal is the only Hindu Kingdom in the world. Hindu Temples and Buddhist shrines are scattered all over the Kingdom. Nepal is the birth-place of Lord Buddha - the Light of Asia.

Indigenous peoples

The ethnic groups of the hills, Terai and mountain areas are grouped as Janajati. According to the National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities (NFDIN), ethnic groups are those “who have their own mother tongue and traditional customs, a distinct cultural identity, a distinct social structure and written or oral history all of their own" (NFDIN, 2003). A total of 61 Adibasi Janajatis have been recognised by the Nepal Government, 5 are from the mountain regions, 20 from the Hills, 7 from inner Terai and 11 from the Terai region.

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