About Nepal


About Nepal

History Of Nepal
For centuries the kingdom of Nepal remained divided into many principalities. Kirats ruled in the east, the Newars in the Kathmandu Valley, While Gurungs and Magars occupied the mid-west. The Kirats ruled from 300 BC and during their reign, emperor Ashoka arrived from India to build a pillar at Lumbini in memory of Lord Buddha. The Lichchhavis whose descendants today are believed to be the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley followed the kirats. During this period, art thrived in Nepal and many of the beautiful woodcarving and sculptures that are found in the country belong to this era. With the end of the Lichchhavi dynasty, malla kings came to power in 1200 AD and they also contributed tremendously to Nepal's art and culture. However, after almost 600 years of rule, the kings were not united among themselves and during the late 18th century, Prithvi Narayan Shah, King of Gorkha, conquered Kathmandu and united Nepal into one kingdom. Recognizing the threat of the British Raj in India, he dismissed European missionaries from the country and for more than a century, Nepal remained in isolation. During the mid-19th century Jung Bahadur Rana became Nepal's first prime minister to wield absolute power. He set up and oligarchy and the Shah kings remained figureheads. The Ranas were overthrown in a democracy movement of the early 1950s. Today, Nepal enjoys a multiparty democratic system with a constitutional Monarch.

People Of Nepal
The population of Nepal is estimated at around 30 million. Nepal has an assortment of races and tribes, of varying colors and contrasts; living in different geographic regions; wearing various costumes and speaking different dialects. The peaceful co-existence of all ethnic groups altogether represents unity in diversity. The people live under quite diverse geographic conditions, from low land in the south, northwards through the middle hills and valleys to the high Himalayan alpine patches.

Economy Of Nepal
Nepal is developing county with an agricultural economy. In recent years, the country's efforts to expand into manufacturing industries and other technological sectors have achieved much progress. Farming is the main economic activity followed by manufacturing, trade and tourism. The chief sources of foreign currency earnings are marchandise export, services, tourism and Gurkha remittances. The annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about US$ 4.3 Billion. Agriculture : Eight out of 10 Nepalese are engaged in farming and it accounts for more than 40% of the GDP. Rolling fields and neat terraces can be seen all over the Terai flatlands and the hills of Nepal. Even in the highly urbanized Kathmandu Valley, large tracts of land outside the city areas are devoted to farming. Rice is the staple diet in Nepal and around three million tons are produced annually. Other major crops are maize, wheat, millet and barley. Besides food grains, Cash crops Like Sugarcane, oil seeds, tobacco, jute and tea are also cultivated in large quantities, Manufacturing : Manufacturing is still at the developmental stage and it represents less than 10% of the GDP. Major industries are woolen carpets, garments, textiles, leather products, paper and cement. Other products made in Nepal are steel utensils, cigarettes, beverages and sugar. There are many modern large-scale factories but the majority are cottage or small scale operations. Most of Nepal's industries are based in the Kathmandu Valley and a string of Small towns in the southern Terai Plains.

Trade :
Commerce has been a major occupation in Nepal since early times. Being situated at the crossroads of the ancient Trans-Himalayan trade route, trading is second nature to the Nepalese people. Foreign trade is characterized mainly by import of manufactured products and export of agricultural raw materials. Nepal imports manufactured goods and petroleum products worth about US$ 1 billion annually. The value of exports is about US$ 315 million. Woolen carpets are Nepal's largest export, earning the country over US$ 135 million per year. Garment exports account for more than US$ 74 million and handicraft goods bring in about US$ 1 million. Other important exports are pulses, hides and skins, jute and medicinal herbs. Tourism : In 1998, a total of 463,684 tourists visited Nepal, making tourism one of the largest industries in the Kingdom. This sector has been expanding rapidly since its inception in the 1950. Thanks to Nepal's natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and the diversity of sight-seeing and adventure opportunities available. At one time, tourism used to be the biggest foreign currency earner for the country. Nepal earned over US$ 152 million from tourism in 1998.

Nepal Time is 5 hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT and 15 minutes ahead of Indian standard time.

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