Cities in NEPAL
Geography and Landscape
The landscape of Nepal is defined by mountain regions, the Siwalik Mountains, the central part of the Himalayas and the Mahabharat Lekh, and a swampy plain, the Terai.
Its area is 147,000 square kilometers. The maximum length is approximately 800 kilometers and the width between 90 and 230 kilometers. The difference in height is huge from 100 meters above sea level in the Terai to the highest mountain on earth, Mount Everest in the Himalayas (8848 m.) In total there are ten peaks above 8000 meters. The main rivers are the Kali, Gandaki, Kosi and Karnali.
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The climate varies depending on the altitude: a hot, subtropical climate in the lowlands, a subtropical climate on the slopes and an alpine climate high up in the mountains. The rainy season is in the months of June - October. This rainy period is known as the monsoon. Humidity is then high and heavy showers fall daily. In summer, temperatures in Kathmandu can reach over 30 degrees Celsius. March and April and October and November have little rainfall and are attractive baskets also in terms of temperature to visit Nepal.
Plants and Animals
In total there are more than 6,500 types of flowers, plants, shrubs and trees in Nepal. The vegetation in Nepal is mainly determined by the height differences. The swampy plain is largely covered with jungles.
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Originally, the Himalayan promontory was covered with mixed forests, but most of this has been cleared for agriculture and fuel. Common plants and trees here are the Cypress, Larch and the Rhododendron, which is also the national plant of Nepal.
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Above a height of 2700 meters mainly conifers grow, above a height of 4050 meters there is an alpine vegetation.
Due to the rich variation in the landscape, the fauna is also very varied.
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Nepal is best known for the wide variety of birds. About 10% of the bird species known to us come for this. These include storks, pheasants, various prey birds (including eagles, falcons and vultures), cuckoos and owls.
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Mammals such as elephants, leopards, rhinoceroses, tigers, monkeys, deer live in Nepal. At higher altitudes, the fauna also becomes more and more alpine, including wild sheep, goats, yaks and bears.
Reptiles and insects are also present in Nepal, such as crocodiles, snakes, butterflies, mosquitoes and bees.
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In 2002, it was announced Nepal is concerned about losing its rare river dolphins. Due to environmental pollution and increasing population growth, the animals, which occur in only four rivers in the country, are at risk of extinction. A few years ago, 250 swam in Nepalese waters, now there are only a hundred. The rare dolphins live in the Kailali district, almost 500 kilometers west of the capital Kathmandu.
The Gupta and Ahir are Nepal's oldest dynasties. Nepal is experiencing a prosperous time under the Kirats (from 700 BC). Prince Siddharta was born in Lumbine around 500 BC. He was the later Buddha. Around 250 BC. Prince Ashoka ruled. Various Licchavi royal houses of Indian origin ruled from circa 450 AD. A thriving civilization arose in Nepal
The Malla Dynasties ruled between about 1200 and 1768. During this period, trade and prosperity increased and many temples and palaces were built. Towards the end of the reign of the Malla monarchs, the country fell apart. Nepal was divided into many small states at that time.
Prithivi Narayan Shah came to power in 1768 and managed to restore unity. Nepal was at war with England from 1814 to 1816. After the peace was signed, a British resident was allowed to stay in Kathmandu. A number of families continued to fight for supremacy, the royal family was only assigned a decorative function.
Ranas, Gurkha soldiers and the panchayat system
The Rana family wielded power between 1849 and 1951. The Ranas built huge palaces and divided the land among relatives and friends. Education was not for the people but only for the elite. The Ranas supported British rule. They provided the famous Gurkha soldiers.
In 1951 King Tribhuvan took power. He did this with the help of India and by threatening civil war. He introduced a political party system. However, this system proved impractical, so the next ruler (King Mahendra) introduced the panchayat system. This system was derived from the traditional Nepalese village council. It was based on decentralization of power and no political parties were allowed. In this way the king retained an important position of power.
King Birendavan of Nepal has been in power since 1972. He too used the panchayat system. However, there was more and more protest against this. In April 1990 the ban on political parties was lifted. A new constitution came into effect in November 1990. This ended the absolute power of the king.
Democracy and Civil War
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After elections in May 1991, the first democratically elected parliament was formed. Girija Prasad Koirala, member of the Nepal Congress Party, became head of government. The November 1994 elections were won by the communist UCPN. A minority government was formed, of which Man Mohan Adhikari became prime minister. Various reforms were carried out, corruption was greatly reduced. In June 1995 this government resigned because the opposition wanted to table a motion of no confidence. The Supreme Court also declared the results of the elections invalid. A center-right coalition government was formed. This government implemented privatization of water, roads and communications, as well as tax relief. In addition, the land reforms were reversed. In recent years there have been no less than six different governments of different backgrounds. The situation can best be described as chaotic.
In June 2001, King Birenda, his wife and several family members were murdered. According to eyewitnesses, the king's son, Dipendra, knowingly shot his parents and six other relatives and then committed suicide. The king's brother, Gyanendra, was crowned king. This to the anger of the people, who saw him as the brain behind the carnage.
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On February 1, 2005, King Gyanendra declared a state of emergency and assumed power in a palace coup, sidelining political parties and democracy. Politicians, including the fired Prime Minister Deuba, were placed under house arrest or arrested. Strict censorship was imposed on the media and all internal and international communications, including internet connections, were cut off for seven days. On February 2, 2005, the King announced the new government appointed by him. Most of the ministers were also ministers under the old Panchayat system. King Gyanendra declared that he would restore democracy in three years. The state of emergency was lifted on April 29, 2005.
In early May 2005, seven political parties signed a joint document demanding the restoration of the parliament that was dissolved in 2002 and the restoration of democracy. To bolster their demands, the parties launched a series of protests against the king and for democracy on May 22.
On September 3, 2005, the Maoists unilaterally declared a ceasefire for a period of three months. After a one-month extension in December, the Maoists - in the absence of a response from the king - canceled the ceasefire in early January 2006.
In early December 2005, a third realignment of the Nepalese government took place since the king took power. The full council of ministers (including state ministers and assistant ministers) was expanded from 24 to 36 members; some ministers were fired or transferred to new posts, while a total of 20 new persons were appointed. Most of these have a Panchayat background.
On February 1, 2006, the king delivered a commemoration speech in connection with the first anniversary of his coup. This did not seem to indicate any oncoming attitude on his part. The king keeps appearing as if the situation is under control and there is no reason to change his course. The municipal elections held on February 8 showed a 20% turnout.
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The Maoist-proclaimed strike, calls by Maoists and political parties to boycott elections and the Maoists' threat of violent reprisals against those who would vote have contributed to this low turnout. In addition, there was a lack of confidence in the king among the population and a lack of candidates.
In mid-March 2006, the seven-party Alliance for Democracy and the CPN (Maoists) agreed on a second Memorandum of Understanding that follows on from a 12-point program agreed in November 2005 to restore democracy in Nepal. The basic principle is to mobilize broad support among the population against the Palace.
In early April 2007, five former Maoist insurgents were officially sworn in as ministers in Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's Nepalese interim government and sworn in in the Nepalese parliament. Their accession marked a definitive end to the years of civil war that ravaged the country and claimed the lives of more than 13,000 Nepalese.
Federal Democratic Republic
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On July 21, 2008, Nepal got a new president: Ram Baran Yadav of the Indian National Congress defeated Maoist-backed candidate Ramraja Prasad Singh. He received 308 votes, ten more than the required 298.
A few days earlier, the Nepalese parliament held a first round of voting, but then none of the candidates received the majority of the votes. The new president has a primarily ceremonial function, but plays a big role in the composition of the government. Among other things, he must appoint the new prime minister. In August 2008, a coalition led by Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda takes office.
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In May 2009, he resigned in protest against President Yadav's decision to block the military chief's resignation. The leader of the communists Madhav Kumar Nepal becomes the new prime minister. In June 2010 Madhav Kumar Nepal resigns under pressure from the Maoists. In February 2011, after a seven-month stalemate, Jhalnath Khanal becomes prime minister, but he has to leave the field again in August. His successor is the Maoist Baburam Bhattari. In May 2012 Bhattari dissolves parliament and announces elections. In the November 2013 elections, the Nepal Congress Party won the most seats. On February 11, 2014, Sushil Koirala will become the new Prime Minister. In September 2015, the parliament approved a new constitution, where Nepal is portrayed as a secular country. In October, K.S Prasat will become Prime Minister under the new constitution. In August 2016, the Maoist Prachanda becomes prime minister for the second time. In June 2017, the prime minister will change by appointment, Sher Bahadur Deuba will be the prime minister until February 2018, when elections will be held again.
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The parties led by Oli and Dahal formed a coalition and won the parliamentary elections and OLI, which led the larger of the two parties, will be sworn in as prime minister in February 2018. In May 2018, Oli and Dahal announced the merger of their parties - the UML and CPN-M - to create the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), which is now the ruling party in parliament.
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Nepal has a population of an estimated 29,384,297 million people (2017). This population has a very heterogeneous background. About 75% of the population is of Indo-Nepalese and Indian descent, the Pahari being the largest group. About 25% belong to Old Nepalese groups. Examples include the Gurung, Sherpa, Newari, Magar, Tharu, Tamang and Bhotia. Due to mixing and migration, this picture is getting more and more complicated. Recently many refugees from Tibet have also come to Nepal.
The population has grown by an average of almost 2% in recent years. and in 1917 with 1.16%. Life expectancy is 71 years (2017). Two thirds of the population lives in the hills and mountain regions in the east, 20% lives in the cities.
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Nepali is the official national language. This language is spoken by approximately 52% of the population. Nepali is related to Hindi and belongs to the Indo-European language group. Bihari is spoken by approximately 18% of the population. Other important languages are Newari, Bhojpuri, Maithili and various Tibetan dialects. In total, according to the 2011 census, 123 different languages and dialects are spoken.
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Nepal religion is inseparable from everyday life. Everywhere you see large or small temples. Nepal is officially a Hindu country. But nowhere is there such a mix between the different faiths. About 90% of the population is Hindu, 5% Buddhist and 3.5% Muslim. The king is considered a reincarnation of Vishnu, the Hindu god. Traditionally, people are tolerant of other religions. Missionary or missionary work is officially prohibited, but church services can be attended freely. There is also a small percentage of Christians in Nepal.
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Nepal has been a kingdom since 1768, and a constitutional monarchy since 1951. The panchayat system was abolished with the 1990 constitution. Political parties were prohibited within this system, and most of the power rested with the king. The 1990 constitution recognized fundamental human rights, freedom of expression and freedom of the press. In addition, this law also recognized a multi-party system, a parliament, a constitutional monarchy and an independent jurisdiction. Executive power rests with the king and the Council of Ministers. Parliament has legislative power. Nepal is divided into more than 3,200 municipalities, provinces and 14 zones
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Since 2008, the monarchy has been abolished and Nepal is a federal democratic republic. The new Federal Parliament consists of two chambers:
The National Assembly (59 seats; 56 members, including at least 3 women, 1 Dalit, 1 member with disabilities or 1 minority indirectly elected by an electoral college of state and municipal government leaders, and 3 members, including 1 woman, nominated by the president of Nepal on the recommendation of the government; members serve a term of 6 years with renewal of one third of the membership every 2 years)
The House of Representatives (275 seats; 165 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority and 110 members elected directly in a national constituency based on votes of proportional representation on the party list; members serve 5-year terms)
The United Nepal Communist Party (UNCP) and The Nepali Congress Party (NCP) were the two main political parties in Nepal, but were merged in 2018 into the communist party Nepal (NCP), the current ruling party. For the current political situation see chapter history.
Nepal has been a member of the United Nations since 1955. Nepal is also active within the organization of non-aligned countries. In September 2015, the parliament approved a new constitution, which places Nepal as a secular country.
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The fact that Nepal is completely landlocked and has poor internal connections has made it difficult for Nepal's economy to develop. In addition, the country often has to deal with floods, drought and crop failures. There is also too little industry to cope with growing unemployment. 27% of the gross national product comes from the agricultural sector, 13.5% from industry and 59.5% from the service sector (2017).
Agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishing
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Agriculture, forestry and fishing provide income to 69% of the population. However, there is too little agricultural land. The main agricultural products are rice, maize, wheat, millet and barley. The main trade products are sugar cane, potatoes, oilseeds, jute and tobacco. Complex tenancy systems hinder agricultural reforms. The livestock sector mainly uses cows, yaks, buffalos, sheep and goats.
Because wood is the main energy source of Nepal, the forests are being exploited. This in turn results in erosion. Expansion of hydropower is considered very important.
Industry and Trade
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The industry has so far mainly focused on agricultural products. The sugar, tea, jute, matchstick, cigarette and textile factories are mainly located in southeastern Nepal. Breweries, shoe factories, carpet weavers, textile companies, cement companies, brickyards and an agricultural machinery factory are mainly located in Central Nepal.
Nepal has good trade relations with India, China, Bangladesh, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Japan and Tibet. The exports mainly include carpets, cotton clothing, jute and jute products, rice, spices, wood, tea, and handmade (artistic) objects. The total value of the exports was $ 819 million (2017). Imports include petroleum and petroleum products, means of transport, communication goods, consumer goods, textiles and pharmaceuticals. The total value of the imports was $ 10 billion (2017).
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The structure of the country makes it difficult to build a good road and rail network. In the mountains, animals are often used as a means of transport. Aircraft are important means of transport for Nepal. The country has more than 40 regional airports and an international airport at Kathmandu.
Holidays and Sightseeing
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Tourism is an increasingly important source of income for Nepal. Lovers of both nature and culture will get their money's worth in Nepal. Tourism began to pick up in the 1950s, when the country opened up to foreigners and mountaineers were the first to visit Nepal. The hippies followed in the 1960s. Nowadays the majority of the visitors consists of fanatic hikers (trekking) and other nature and culture lovers.
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However, due to the increasing number of charter flights and scheduled services to Kathmandu, there is a threat of mass tourism. The people of Nepal are attached to their values and norms and fear Western influences. Environmental aspects also play a role. Nepal is facing serious consequences of deforestation, which is why the government officially promotes environmentally friendly tourism.
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Kathmandu is the capital and largest city in Nepal. Tourists can see Kathmandu on foot, but they can also use public buses for longer trips, or rent a rickshaw in the tourist center of Thamel. There are famous landmarks in Kathmandu that tourists should not miss. The Kathmandu Swayambhu is a large stupa (Buddhist temple) highly revered in Nepal, and one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the country. The Stupa offers a great view of the city. Pashupatinath is an important Hindu temple for Shiva in the form of Lord of Animals. You see monkeys and a sacred cave. Morning is a great time to go. In the Garden of Dreams you can relax, it is a beautiful and quiet walled garden close to Thamal and the former Royal Palace. Read more on the Kathmandu page of Landenweb
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Finlay, H / Nepal
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