Nepal - The gateway to the Himalayas
Ja'nani Jan'mabhumis'hchaa Svar'gadapei Gariyo'shi
Sanskrit: "The motherland is worth more than the kingdom of heaven".
And the motherland Nepal is a country that must cast a spell on every
visitor. A land of a thousand mountains, gods and legends. The highest mountains
in the world make Nepal a natural wonder of the world and the diverse, largely
unchanged culture also gets its money's worth for travelers who do not want to
enrich their vacation with daring trekking tours that go to the limit. In 1952,
Nepal opened its gates to foreign visitors, a decade later tourism began
hesitantly, which to this day brings numerous tourists to the country every
A severe earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck the
country on April 26, 2015. The epicenter of the quake was around 80 km northwest
of Kathmandu at a depth of 15 km.
The quake destroyed parts of Kathmandu, including the local UNESCO World
Heritage Sites. In some smaller towns, almost no house was left standing. A
total of around 150,000 houses were destroyed.
The quake killed around 8,600 people and injured numerous people.
On May 29, 2008, the country's constituent assembly proclaimed the republic
and declared the 240-year-old monarchy abolished.
|Name of the country
||since May 29, 2008 Republic of Nepal
|Form of government
||Between the 26th and 30th latitude north
and the 80th and 88th longitude east.
||29.5 million (Credit:
||Over 100 different ethnic groups are native to Nepal.
The numerically largest ethnic groups are the
The remaining 2% consisted of Jains, Christians,
and followers of natural religions and others.
||Nepali is the official language.
||Mount Everest (8,850 m)
|International license plate
||Nepalese rupee = 100 paisas
|Time difference to CET
||+ 4 h
|International phone code
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)
Nepal's earliest history is interwoven with legends that tell of gods and
miraculous events. Truth and myth mix together to form an inexhaustible fund of
traditions that contribute significantly to the country's charm.
Until around the year 1000
Abbreviationfinder website, in the early days, the valley in which today's Kathmandu lies was a large
mountain lake. Drained by an earthquake, numerous people immigrated to this area
from the surrounding areas and united to form the so-called Newar. The valley
was extremely fertile and suitable for agricultural cultivation. This
agricultural advantage led to the development of handicraft skills of the
population, which became known in the East Asian region (for example the pagoda
architectural style). In the 7th century Buddhism began to spread in Nepal, but
could never prevail over Hinduism.
From around the 8th century, the kings of the Gopola and Ahir dynasties may
have been the first rulers of the Kathmandu Valley. The Gopola dynasty chose a
holy place near Thankot as their seat, which is now the Mata Tirtha or the
"Mother Shrine". According to tradition, the dynasty lasted 521 years and was
then ousted from what is now eastern Nepal by the Kiranti.
The Kirantie dynasty came to an end around 200 AD when Somabansi kings
invaded the country from northern India. They chose the foot of Pulchowki
Mountain on the southern edge of the Kathamndu Valley as their residence. These
rulers were instrumental in anchoring the Hindu caste system in society. Around
300 the North Indian Licchavi invaded the valley and replaced the Somabansi
dynasty. From this point on, historically secured facts can be found.
In the years 464-897 the Licchavi ruled over the Kathmandu Valley. Art, craft
and architecture flourished, from which numerous temples and art treasures are
still preserved today. Improved trade routes between Tibet and the Kathmandu
Valley ensured cultural exchange. After the death of King Jayadeva II, the
Licchavi period came to an end and an era of different warring dynasties began.
The so-called Thakuri period (897 - 1182) was founded by King Ragavadeva
Lakshmi. Rulers from various Indian princely houses, primarily from the Rajput
warrior caste, took over power.
From the year 1000 to the 17th century
After the Thakuri period, the Malla dynasty (until 1768) took control of the
country around 1200. More wars and natural disasters ravaged the country in the
following centuries, claiming human sacrifices and destroying temples and other
shrines. With the coronation of Jayastitis in 1382, the third generation of the
Malla dynasty, considered to be the most important, began. The king broke the
gangs that had made the valley unsafe since the middle of the century and built
an orderly state. The duties of the various castes and their differentiation by
clothing and residential area were laid down in a kind of codex.
In 1428 Yakshya Malla became king and expanded the Mallas' sphere of
influence beyond the boundaries of the Kathmandu Valley. He proved to be a
generous patron of the arts and religious promoter and in this regard set
standards that later rulers should follow. In 1482 Yakshya Malla died and his
kingdom was divided among his four children. These ruled from then on separately
over Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Patan and Banepa and formed the first generation of
separate dynasties. In the period that followed, these four dynasties were
permanently at war with one another. As the rivalry spread to handicrafts,
magnificent secular buildings were built.
The empires weakened by the constant conflicts became points of attack by
rulers from the hinterland. Dravya Shah conquered the fortress of Gorkha, which
would lead to the unification of Nepal two centuries later. Siddhi Narasinha
Malla ruled Patan from 1618 to 1658 and proved to be a tireless builder of
temples. Also in the Kathmandu Valley, ruled by Pratap Malla (1641 - 1674),
numerous architectural monuments were built, which shape the today's cityscape
of Kathmandu. In 1685 the ruling house of Gorkha intervened in the events of the
Kathmadu valley and signed a pact with Kathmandu and Bhaktapur against Patan.
Nepal in the 18th and 19th centuries
In 1719 the plague in the Kathmandu Valley claimed over 20,000 victims. In
1734 the last Malla regent ascended the throne in Kathamndu. In 1768, Prithvi
Narayan Shah's troops marched into Kathmandu for the Indrajatra festival. The
population is too drunk to fight back. In 1769, Prihvi Narayan attacked Shah
Bhaktapur after Patan had already surrendered and became the unrestricted ruler
of the entire valley. He made Kathmandu the capital and founded the Shah
dynasty, which continues to this day. In 1774 the "father of the nation" Prithvi
Narayan Shah died.
In the years 1787 to 1792 the Gorkha armies invaded Sikkim and Tibet in the
course of a desired territorial expansion and thus provoked a war with China in
which they were defeated. Because of this defeat, Nepal turned to the British
East India Company and signed a trade agreement with them. In 1795, Nepalese
troops attacked and annexed Kumaon and Garhwal in the western Himalayas. In the
years 1814 to 1816 attacks by the Nepalese armies on British territory led to
war with the English colonial power. The British won, but were so impressed by
the fighting power of the Nepalese that they started recruiting into their army
from now on. The legendary Gurkha regiments, which achieved numerous British
battle victories, were born.
In 1846, the officer Jung Bahadur Kawar took the ongoing quarrels at the
royal court as an opportunity to kill all personalities and political opponents
present at a crisis meeting (Kot massacre, translated: fortress massacre). He
made the young Crown Prince Surendra Vikram Shah king, but filled all other
important positions with family members. The Rana dynasty was to rule Nepal for
over a century. After a state visit to England in 1852, Jung Bahadur Rana
introduced legislation based on the English model and a European dress code at
court. Palace buildings from that time clearly had European features.
On the occasion of the Indian uprising from 1857 to 1858 against the colonial
power, Jung Bahadur sent troops to support the English. In return, he received
part of the western Terai, with which the country Nepal reached its present-day
extent. Jung Bahadur died in 1877, his successor Uddip Rana was able to put down
an attempt by the Shahs to take power. In 1885, Uddip Rana was murdered by Bir
Shamsher Rana. This rose to be the all-powerful Prime Minister and excluded Jung
Bahadur's branch of the family from power.
20th century until today
From 1914 to 1918 Chandra Shamsher Rana, the most important ruler of the Rana
series, sent Gurkhas to fight alongside the British in World War I. In 1923,
Great Britain recognized Nepal as an independent state.
In 1934, a huge earthquake leveled most of the structures in the Kathmandu
Valley, killing thousands of residents. In World War II, more than 250,000
Gurkhas fought under the British flag or in the Nepalese army. India's
independence in 1947 sparked a desire to end the repressive Rana regime. In the
years that followed, the powerless but popular king Tribhuvan sided with his
After King Tribhuvan returned from exile in India, the Ranas, under Indian
pressure, agreed to a coalition government in which representatives of the royal
family, members of the Nepali Congress Party and the Ranas participated. From
this point on, Nepal opened up to the outside world.
In 1953, the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa Tensing Norgay were
the first to conquer Mount Everest and were therefore the vanguard for numerous
mountaineers who followed and still do.
In 1962, King Mahendra, crowned in 1955, introduced the Panchayat system
nationwide and banned all political parties. Panchayat, translated "councils of
five", were usually village councils responsible for local matters. Since the
king appointed a large part of the members of the Supreme Panchayat himself, he
was guaranteed direct access to power. In 1972 King Mahendra died and was
succeeded by his son Birendra Bikram Bir Shah.
In a referendum in 1980 around 55% of the electorate voted in favor of
maintaining the Panchayat system instead of changing to a democratic form of
government. Bloody riots by pro-democracy demonstrators had caused this
referendum. In 1981 an election took place for the first time. However, only
candidates who committed to the Panchayat system were admitted. Man Singh
Shreshta emerged from the elections as head of government. Nevertheless, all
power remained with the king, who was exposed to increasing criticism.
Due to Nepalese arms deals with China, the trade and transit agreements were
terminated by India. There was a shortage of food and petrol and price
increases. Out of this emergency situation, the opposition united and called for
a departure from the Panchayat system. There were also massive allegations of
corruption and enrichment against the ruling Panchayat members and the royal
family. Likewise, the upheavals in Europe, especially in Eastern Europe, did not
leave Nepal unaffected. In 1990 a wave of demonstrations and strikes swept
across the country. The bloody climax was a massacre of a few hundred
demonstrators who wanted to storm the royal palace and were bullets from the
Under the increasing pressure of the people, King Birendra agreed to a
multi-party system and contented himself with the role of a constitutional
monarch. He instructed the opposition politician Ganesh Man Singh to form a
transitional government. From the first elections in a democratic multi-party
system, the Nepali Congress Party emerged victorious in 1991 with 213
parliamentary seats and provided Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala.
The communists received 69 seats nationwide. In May 1993, the leader of the
Communist Party and another party member were killed in an accident. Violent
demonstrations demanded an exact investigation of the accident, in addition,
there was pressure for the resignation of Prime Minister Koiralas, who had to
face the accusation of nepotism and was held responsible for the ruinous
economic policy. Unrest and protests killed up to 30 people. In the same year,
the country was hit by the greatest environmental disaster. Torrential rains
triggered floods, numerous villages were washed away, roads and bridges were
impassable. According to government information, 2,000 people died in the
floods, but unofficial sources put the casualties at around 12,000.
By May 2002, the parliamentary democracy that had been won in 1990/1991 came
to an end. Only King Gyanendra, the government he set up and proponents of a
direct royal system have spoken of the continued existence of democracy and the
constitutional monarchy. The reality is different: for years the elected party
politicians had abused the constitution, nepotism and corruption flourished. In
many areas of the country, the state has not been present since the Maoist
uprising in 1996. Since May 2002 there are no more elected representatives at
national level. Local representatives have been deposed across the country since
July 2002, and since October 2003 the deployed officials have also been replaced
by party officials selected by the government. Executive power and sovereignty
had been in the hands of the king since October 2002. Parliament has been
dissolved since May 2002. The Raj Parishad royal council has been given powers
not provided for in the constitution. The peace process with the Maoists that
began in early 2003 collapsed in August 2003.
After the king had seized all power, there were particularly strong public
demonstrations for a return to democracy in March/April 2000, with a number of
dead and injured. Due to the public demonstrations, which were affecting ever
larger parts of the population, the king had to give in: On April 28, 2006, the
parliament, which had been dissolved almost 4 years ago, met again for a first
On April 10, 2008, elections to a constituent assembly took place with the
participation of the Maoists under their leader and former guerrilla leader
Pushpa Kamal Dahal (called Prachandra). The goal was the abolition of the more
than 240 years old Hindu monarchy in Nepal. According to international
observers, the election was relatively correct and largely non-violent. Of the
601 seats in the constituent assembly, the Maoists won 220 seats, making it the
On May 29, 2008, the assembly abolished the monarchy in Nepal by 560 votes to
4. The resolution of the assembly said that in the future Nepal would be an
indivisible, sovereign, secular and all minority democratic republic. May 29 was
also declared Republic Day. The palace of the previous king Gyanendra in
Kathmandu has been converted into a museum.