30 Interesting Facts About Nepal

  1. Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia. It shares borders with China and India.
  2. More than 75% terrain of Nepal consists of the Himalayan Mountains. The remaining consists of forests and flat, fertile land.
  3. There are 14 eight-thousanders (mountain peaks taller than 8,000 meters) in the world. Mt. Everest and seven other peaks among the top ten are present entirely or partially in Nepal.
  4. The Kali Gandaki valley in Nepal is the deepest gorge in the world. It is a popular trekking route due to easy accessibility and the availability of better services. (Source)
  5. Lumbini in southern Nepal is the birthplace of Gautama Buddha. Due to its cultural significance, Lumbini became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1997.
  6. Chandra Bahadur Dangi, a Nepalese citizen, is the shortest male ever measured. He was 21.5 in. (54.6 cm) tall in 2012 at 72 years. (Source)
  7. Nepal has the world’s highest percentage of women compared to men. Nearly 54.2% of the Nepalese population consists of females. The reasons behind this higher female-to-male ratio are the higher life expectancy of women and the migration of men to other countries in search of better financial opportunities. (Source)
  8. Lukla Airport in Nepal is known as one of the most dangerous airports due to its short runway, strong winds, and mountainous terrain. Foreigners visiting Everest need to use this airport. 
    A plane at Lukla Airport, Nepal
    Lukla Airport in Nepal is one of the most dangerous in the world

  9. Due to poor air safety, 27 planes have crashed in Nepal in the last three decades. Consequently, the European Commission (EC) banned all Nepali airlines in 2013. The EC wants the separation of the service provider and regulatory responsibilities of CAAN (Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal) before uplifting the ban. (Source)
  10. Nepal is the only country with Saturday as the only weekend. The country experimented with a two-day holiday twice but returned to its previous position shortly. (Source)
  11. Nepal became a unified kingdom in 1768. The first king was the Gorkha ruler Prithvi Narayan Shah.
  12. After unification, the Gorkha rulers ambitiously tried to expand their kingdom to all hilly areas from Bhutan to Kashmir. However, their failures in wars against China, Tibet, the Sikh Kingdom, and British India between 1788 and 1856 forced them to limit their rule to current boundaries.
  13. Nepal signed an agreement with the British after 1860. Under this agreement, the British guaranteed the autonomy of Nepal. In exchange, Nepal allowed the inclusion of military-valued Gorkhas (or Gurkhas) in the British Indian Army.
  14. The Rana family remained the de facto rulers of Nepal from 1846 to 1951. Despite the presence of a monarchy, they controlled the country as powerful hereditary chief ministers. Their significance diminished in 1951 when anti-Rana forces took control of the parliament and restored the authority of the monarch with assistance from India.
  15. Nepal became a constitutional monarchy in 1959 after adopting a new constitution. However, the relations between the king and the parliament deteriorated soon. The monarchy suspended parliament and constitution in 1960 and imprisoned political leaders. Nepal came under an authoritarian monarchy after a new constitution in 1962.
  16. The Communist Party of Nepal started the Nepalese Civil War in 1996. The war resulted in the deaths of thousands of fighters (from both sides) and civilians. It ended in 2006 with a peace accord. The country became a republic in 2008.
  17. In 2001, the Nepalese crown prince killed nine people, including his father, King Birendra, and committed suicide due to a love affair. This Nepalese royal massacre discredited the royal family and played a part in the fall of the monarchy in 2008. (Source)
  18. Gurkha soldiers from Nepal have been a part of the British Army for nearly 200 years. More than 200,000 fought in the two world wars, and 43,000 died. They also participated in other global conflicts involving the UK and received 13 Victoria Crosses. There were 112,000 Gurkhas in the British military during World War II, and now they number 3,500. The selection process of Gurkhas from the hills of Nepal is one of the toughest in the world. (Source)
  19. Sherpas are mountain-dwelling people of the Himalayas, primarily in Nepal. They are famous for their mountaineering and trekking skills, which they use to assist mountaineers during their summit of the Himalayan Mountains.
  20. Prithvi highway links the Nepali capital Kathmandu to Annapurna (the 10th highest mountain peak) by road. It is one of the most dangerous roads due to partial pavement, landslides, and muddy conditions during rains.
  21. The Nepalese national flag consists of two triangular shapes. It is the only national flag not having a rectangular shape.
  22. Nepal was a haven for “hippies” before banning marijuana in the late 1970s. However, the country is now moving towards legalizing this drug for medicinal purposes. (Source)
  23. Nepal uses biomass for more than 80% of its energy production. It is the highest percentage of biomass energy in Asia and one of the highest in the world. Nepal uses this cheap but harmful energy in transportation, industry, and agriculture. (Source
    Traditional use of biomass
    Nepal has the Asia's highest percentage of biomass energy

  24. Elephant polo is an internationally recognized sport that originated in Nepal in 1982. Teams from various countries participate in the World Elephant Polo Tournament in Nepal. (Source)
  25. The cow is the national animal of Nepal. Slaughtering a cow is prohibited in Nepal due to its national and religious (Hindu) significance.
  26. There are four UNESCO world heritage sites in Nepal. These include two cultural and two natural properties. (Source)
  27. More than 80% of Nepalese follow Hinduism. Others follow BuddhismIslam, local beliefs, and Christianity.
  28. Nepal depends heavily on agricultural products for its exports. These include soybean oil, knotted carpets, yarn, and nutmeg. (Source)
  29. Nepal produces around 25% of global mustard seeds, the highest in the world. However, it is not among the top exporters due to the significant local consumption of these seeds.
  30. Nepali is the official language of the country. Nepal has multiple ethnicities that speak individual languages.

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