Nepal, formally the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked South Asian nation with a population of 26.4 million. It is a multiethnic country whose official language is Nepali. Kathmandu is the capital and biggest city of Nepal. Nepal is a secular parliamentary democracy.
Nepal is bounded on the north by China and on the south, east, and west by India. It has a short Indian corridor with Bangladesh and is separated from Bhutan by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal is situated in the Himalayas and is home to eight of the world’s ten highest peaks, including Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak. Its Madhesh area in the south is rich and humid. The nation has an area of 147,181 square kilometers (56,827 square miles), ranking it 93rd in terms of land area. Additionally, it is the world’s 41st most populated nation.
Nepal is endowed with a rich historic cultural legacy. Nepal is initially mentioned in Vedic literature, the period that gave birth to Hinduism, the country’s main religion. Nepal was the last Hindu kingdom in the world. Siddharta Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was born in the southern Nepalese town of Lumbini. Tibetan Buddhists, Muslims, Kiratans, and Christians are the major minorities. Nepalese are also referred to as Gurkhas. They are renowned for their valor throughout World Wars I and II.
The early modern Kingdom of Nepal was founded in the 18th century by the Shah dynasty, after Prithvi Narayan Shah’s unification of many kingdoms in the area. Nepal is one of the few nations in Asia that has never been colonized. Nepal became a British Empire ally after the Anglo-Nepalese War and the Treaty of Sugauli in 1816. Between 1951 and 1960, when King Mahendra implemented the panchayat system, a multiparty democracy developed. King Birendra reinstated parliamentary governance in 1990. Nepal was afflicted by a decade-long Maoist insurgency and huge demonstrations against autocratic King Gyanendra in 2005, which resulted in the monarchy’s overthrow in 2008. In 2015, the country’s second constituent assembly adopted a new constitution. In contemporary Nepal, the major political parties are communists, social democrats, and Hindu nationalists.
Nepal’s government is a representative democracy comprised of seven constituent provinces. Nepal is a developing country, coming in at 145th on the 2014 Human Development Index (HDI). The nation is undergoing a difficult transition from monarchy to republic. Additionally, it has a high rate of hunger and poverty. Despite these obstacles, Nepal is making steady progress, with the government pledging to lift the country out of the least developed country category by 2022.
Nepal has pacts of friendship with India and the United Kingdom. It is a founding member of SAARC and hosts the organization’s permanent secretariat. Additionally, it is a United Nations and BIMSTEC member. Nepal is strategically significant owing to its proximity to Asia’s two superpowers, China and India. Additionally, it is significant for its hydropower potential.