Nepal (GPS: 28 00 N, 84 00 E) is located in Southern Asia, between China and India. The country’s area measurements are total: 147,181 sq km; land: 143,351 sq km, water: 3,830 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly larger than Arkansas. The total irrigated land is 13,320 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Nepal: Landlocked (enclosed or nearly enclosed by land). Strategic location between China and India. Contains eight of the world’s ten highest peaks, including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga – the world’s tallest and third tallest mountains – on the borders with China and India, respectively.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Kathmandu’s GPS coordinates are 27 43 N 85 19 E. Kathmandu’s local time is 10.75 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+5.75.
During the late 18th-early 19th century, Gorkha’s principality united many of the other principalities and states of the sub-Himalayan region into the Nepali Kingdom. Nepal retained its independence following the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-16, and the subsequent peace treaty laid the foundations for two centuries of amicable relations between Britain and Nepal. (The Brigade of Gurkhas continues to serve in the British Army to the present day.) In 1951, the Nepali monarch ended the century-old system of rule by hereditary premiers and instituted a cabinet system that brought political parties into the government. That arrangement lasted until 1960 when political parties were again banned but were reinstated in 1990 to establish a multiparty democracy within the framework of a constitutional monarchy.
An insurgency led by Maoists broke out in 1996. During the ensuing 10-year civil war between Maoist and government forces, the monarchy dissolved the cabinet and parliament and re-assumed absolute power in 2002, after the crown prince massacred the royal family in 2001. A peace accord in 2006 led to the promulgation of an interim constitution in 2007. Following a nationwide Constituent Assembly (CA) election in 2008, the newly formed CA declared Nepal a federal democratic republic, abolished the monarchy, and elected its first president. After the CA failed to draft a constitution by a 2012 deadline set by the Supreme Court, then-Prime Minister Baburam BHATTARAI dissolved the CA. Months of negotiations ensued until 2013 when the major political parties agreed to create an interim government headed by then-Chief Justice Khil Raj REGMI with a mandate to hold elections for a new CA.
Elections were held in 2013, in which the Nepali Congress (NC) won the largest share of seats in the CA and, in 2014, formed a coalition government with the second-place Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) with NC President Sushil KOIRALA serving as prime minister. Nepal’s new constitution came into effect in 2015, at which point the CA became the Parliament. Khagda Prasad Sharma OLI served as the first post-constitution prime minister from 2015 to 2016. OLI resigned ahead of a no-confidence motion against him, and Parliament elected the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) leader Pushpa Kamal DAHAL (aka “Prachanda”) prime minister.
The constitution provided for a transitional period during which three sets of elections – local, provincial, and national – needed to occur. The first local elections in 20 years occurred in three phases between May and September 2017, and state and federal elections proceeded in two phases in November and December 2017. The parties headed by OLI and DAHAL ran in the coalition. They swept the parliamentary elections, and OLI, who led the two parties’ larger, was sworn in as a prime minister in February 2018. In May 2018, OLI and DAHAL announced the merger of their parties – the UML and CPN-M – to establish the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), which is now the ruling party in Parliament.
Nepal’s names conventional long form: the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, traditional short form: Nepal, local long form: Sanghiya Loktantrik Ganatantra Nepal, local temporary state: Nepal, etymology: the Newar people of the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding areas gave their name to the country; the terms “Nepal,” “Newar,” “Nepar,” and “Newal” are phonetically different forms of the same word. The Newar people of the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding areas gave their name to the country; The terms “Nepal,” “Newar,” “Nepar,” and “Newal” are phonetically different forms of the same word.
Nepal’s terrain is typically Tarai or flat river plain of the Ganges in the south; central hill region with the rugged Himalayas in the north. The country’s mean elevation: 2,565 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Kanchan Kalan 70 m, highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m.
The general climate in the country; varies from cool summers and severe winters in the north to subtropical summers and mild winters in the south.
The total number of border countries is 2, China 1,389 km, India 1,770 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Nepal’s coastline is 0 km (landlocked country), while its marital claims are: none. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 28.8%; arable land 15.1%; permanent crops 1.2%; permanent pasture 12.5%; forest: 25.4%; other: 45.8% (2011 estimate).
The population in Nepal 29,717,587 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 18.6% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: KATHMANDU (capital) 1.183 million (2015), while Nepal has N/A. Their spoken languages are: Nepali (official language) 44.6%, Maithali 11.7%, Bhojpuri 6%, Tharu 5.8%, Tamang 5.1%, Newar 3.2%, Magar 3%, Bajjika 3%, Urdu 2.6%, Avadhi 1.9%, Limbu 1.3%, Gurung 1.2%, other 10.4%, unspecified 0.2%. Note: 123 languages reported as mother tongue in 2011 national census; many in government and business also speak English (2011 estimate). Main religions in Nepal are Hindu 81.3%, Buddhist 9%, Muslim 4.4%, Kirant 3.1%, Christian 1.4%, other 0.5%, unspecified 0.2% (2011 estimate). The nation uses English common law and Hindu legal concepts. It is a(n) federal parliamentary republic, National holiday(s) Republic Day, 28 May (2008), the abdication of Gyanendra SHAH, last Nepalese monarch, and the establishment of a federal republic.
Economic overview for the country: Nepal is among the least developed countries globally, with about one-quarter of its population living below the poverty line. Nepal is heavily dependent on remittances, which amount to as much as 30% of GDP. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for almost two-thirds of the population but accounting for less than a third of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves processing agricultural products, including pulses, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain. Nepal has considerable scope for exploiting its potential in hydropower, with an estimated 42,000 MW of commercially feasible capacity.
Nepal has signed trade and investment agreements with India, China, and other countries, but political uncertainty and a challenging business climate have hampered foreign investment. The United States and Nepal signed a $500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact in September 2017, which will expand Nepal’s electricity infrastructure and help maintain transportation infrastructure.
Massive earthquakes struck Nepal in early 2015, which damaged or destroyed infrastructure and homes and set back economic development. Although political gridlock and lack of capacity have hindered post-earthquake recovery, government-led reconstruction efforts have progressively picked up speed. However, many hard-hit areas still have seen little assistance. Additional challenges to Nepal’s growth include its landlocked geographic location, inconsistent electricity supply, and underdeveloped transportation infrastructure.
Natural resources of Nepal: quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore.
Main export partners for Nepal, Asia are India 61.3%, US 9.4% (2015) for clothing, pulses, carpets, textiles, juice, jute goods, while the main import partners for the country are: India 61.5%, China 15.4% (2015) for petroleum products, machinery and equipment, gold, electrical goods, medicine.
When you visit this country in Asia, consider the natural hazards in Nepal: Severe thunderstorms, flooding, landslides, drought, and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons, while infectious diseases are a degree of risk: high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever vectorborne disease: Japanese encephalitis, malaria, and dengue fever (2016).
Also, note that Nepal faces the following environmental issues: Deforestation (overuse of wood for fuel and lack of alternatives), Forest degradation, Soil erosion, Contaminated water (with human and animal wastes, agricultural runoff, and industrial effluents), unmanaged solid-waste, wildlife conservation, Vehicular emissions.
You may also be interested in the countries next to Nepal around its total: 3,159 km border, like China, India.