Nepal is known for its mountains and temples, but there is so much more to discover!
Nepal is a small but incredibly diverse country situated in Asia between India and China. With a population of around 30 million people and terrain that varies between Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) and the Himalayas to the Nnorth and the tropical Terai in the south, Nepal contains many surprises.
According to Country Studies, “For a small country, Nepal has great physical diversity, ranging from the Tarai Plain–the northern rim of the Gangetic Plain situated at about 300 meters above sea level in the south–to the almost 8,800-meter-high Mount Everest, locally known as Sagarmatha (its Nepali name), in the north. From the lowland Tarai belt, landforms rise in successive hill and mountain ranges, including the stupendous rampart of the towering Himalayas, ultimately reaching the Tibetan Plateau beyond the Inner Himalayas. This rise in elevation is punctuated by valleys situated between mountain ranges. Within this maze of mountains, hills, ridges, and low valleys, elevational (altitudinal) changes resulted in ecological variations.”
Although the official language is Nepali, there are another 121 native languages spoken there, and a similar number of distinct ethnic groups!
Nepali artistic contributions include the development of Thanka painting, a form of Buddhist religious art and (debatably), the origin of pagoda architecture.
Geology: Famous for the Himalayas, Nepal is actually divided into three key areas, the high mountains, the central valleys, and the Terai, a set of lowlands that are home to tigers and other large fauna.
Nepal is the world’s second-youngest democracy (shout out to Barbados), having moved away from monarchy to a representative constitution in 2015.
With the new constitution, Nepal is officially a secular nation. The people of Nepal tend to identify as Hindu and Buddhist. Nepal hosts major temples and religious sites of both faiths.