Nepal (नेपाल) is a landlocked country in South Asia located mainly in the Himalayas but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. The officially name is  Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal (Nepali: सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल Sanghiya Loktāntrik Ganatantra Nepāl).

It borders China in the north and India in the south, east, and west while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km (17 mi) of its south-eastern tip and Bhutan is separated from it by the Indian state of Sikkim. A Himalayan state, Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains,subalpine forested hills, and eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is the nation’s capital and largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language.

The name “Nepal” is first recorded in texts from the Vedic Age, the era which founded Hinduism, the predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE, “Gautama Buddha”, the founder of Buddhism, was born in southern Nepal. Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The centrally located Kathmandu Valley was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala. The Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley’s traders. The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional art and architecture. By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of Nepal. The Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and later formed an alliance with the British Empire, under its Rana dynasty of premiers. The country was never colonised but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and Colonial India. Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs in 1960 and 2005. The Nepalese Civil War in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the proclamation of a secular republic in 2008, ending the reign of the world’s last Hindu monarchy.

 

Nepal’s highest mountains
Mountain Height Section Location
Mount Everest
(Highest in world)
  8,848 m   29,029 ft Khumbu Mahalangur     Khumjung VDC, Solukhumbu District,
Sagarmatha Zone (Nepal-China Border)
Kangchenjunga
(3rd highest)
8,586 m 28,169 ft   Northern Kanchenjunga     Lelep VDC / Yamphudin VDC, Taplejung District,
Mechi Zone (Nepal-Sikkim Border)
Lhotse
(4th highest)
8,516 m 27,940 ft Everest Group     Khumjung VDC, Solukhumbu District,
Sagarmatha Zone (Nepal-China Border)
Makalu
(5th highest)
8,462 m 27,762 ft Makalu Mahalangur     Makalu VDC, Sankhuwasabha District,
Kosi Zone (Nepal-China Border)
Cho Oyu
(6th highest)
8,201 m 26,906 ft Khumbu Mahalangur     Khumjung VDC, Solukhumbu District,
Sagarmatha Zone (Nepal-China Border)
Dhaulagiri
(7th highest)
8,167 m 26,795 ft Dhaulagiri     Mudi VDC / Kuinemangale VDC,
Myagdi DistrictDhawalagiri Zone
Manaslu
(8th highest)
8,156 m 26,759 ft Mansiri     Samagaun VDC, Gorkha District / Dharapani VDC,
Manang DistrictGandaki Zone
Annapurna
(10th highest)
8,091 m 26,545 ft Annapurna     Ghandruk VDC, Kaski District,
Gandaki Zone / Narchyang VDC,
Myagdi DistrictDhawalagiri Zone

 

 

As of 3 April 2018, Nepal is divided into 7 provinces and 77 districts. It has 753 local units. There are 6 metropolises, 11 sub-metropolises, 276 municipal councils, and 460 village councils for official works. The constitution grants 22 absolute powers to the local units while they share 15 more powers with the central and state governments.

 

No. Provinces Capital Districts Area
(km
2)
Population
(2011)
Density
(people/km
2)
1 Province No. 1 Biratnagar 14 25,905 km2 4,534,943 175
2 Province No. 2 Janakpur 8 9,661 km2 5,404,145 559
3 Province No. 3 Hetauda 13 20,300 km2 5,529,452 272
4 Province No. 4 Pokhara 11 21,504 km2 2,413,907 112
5 Province No. 5 Butwal 12 22,288 km2 4,891,025 219
6 Karnali Birendranagar 10 27,984 km2 1,168,515 41
7 Province No. 7 Dhangadhi 9 19,539 km2 2,552,517 130
Total Nepal Kathmandu 77 147,181 km2 26,494,504 180

 

 

 

Largest cities or towns in Nepal
Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration
Rank Name District Pop. Rank Name District Pop.  
  1 Kathmandu Kathmandu 975,453 11 Tulsipur Dang 141,528  
2 Pokhara Lekhnath Kaski 414,141 12 Itahari Sunsari 140,517  
3 Lalitpur Lalitpur 284,922 13 Nepalgunj Banke 138,951  
4 Bharatpur Chitwan 280,502 14 Butwal Rupandehi 138,741  
5 Birgunj Parsa 240,922 15 Dharan Sunsari 137,705  
6 Biratnagar Morang 214,662 16 Kalaiya Bara 123,659  
7 Janakpur Dhanusha 159,468 17 Jitpur Simara Bara 117,496  
8 Ghorahi Dang 156,164 18 Mechinagar Jhapa 111,797  
9 Hetauda Makwanpur 152,875 19 Budhanilkantha Kathmandu 107,918  
10 Dhangadhi Kailali 147,741 20 Gokarneshwar Kathmandu 107,351