General Information of Nepal, Nepal Information by Ace Travel
Nepal in Brief
HISTORY OF NEPAL
Although Nepal emerged in history in the first millennium BC, it was only in the 18th century that Nepal developed as a country of the present size. Archaeological remains suggest that areas of Nepal have been inhabited for more than 10,000 years.Nepal's recorded history began with the Kiratis, who arrived in the 7th or 8th century BC from the east. Little is known about them, other than their deftness as sheep farmers and fondness for carrying long knives. It was during this period that Buddhism first came to the country; indeed it is claimed that Buddha and his disciple Ananda visited the Kathmandu Valley and stayed for a time in Patan. By 200 AD, Buddhism had waned, and was replaced by Hinduism, brought by the Licchavis, who invaded from northern India and overthrew the last Kirati king. The Hindus also introduced the caste system (which still continues today) and ushered in a classical age of Nepalese art and architecture. The Vamshavalis or chronicles, the oldest of which was written during the 14th century, are the only fairly reliable basis for Nepal's ancient history. The Vamshavalis mention the rule of several dynasties the Gopalas, the Abhiras and the Kiratas -- over a stretch of centuries. However, no extant historical evidence has yet authenticated the rule of these legendary dynasties. The documented history of Nepal begins with the Changu Narayan temple inscription of King Manadeva I (C 464-505 A.D.) of the Lichavi dynasty.
The Himalayas of Nepal cover three fourths of the land in Nepal. Nepal himalayas contain nine of the world's fourteen highest mountain peaks, Nepal is a true Himalayan kingdom. It is home to some of the highest, remotest, most rugged and most difficult terrain in the world. The Himalayas or "abode of snow" is in fact the youngest and highest mountain system in the world. It extends over 2,400kms as a vast south-facing area between the Indus and Brahmaputra rivers with Nanga Parbat (8,125m) and Namcha Barwa (7,755m) as its terminal high points. Fully a third of 800kms of its central section traverses Nepal and is known as the Nepal Himalayas, Here congregate more than 250 peaks that exceed 6,000m in height-a unique concentration of lofty dazzling summits. Containing nine of the world's fourteen highest mountain peaks, Nepal is a true Himalayan kingdom. Of the thirty one Himalayan peaks over 7,600m, twenty-two like in Nepal The loftiest peak in the world -- Mount Everest -- and other high peaks like Lhotse, Nuptse, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu, plus the presence of some exquisitely beautiful trekking routes, attract hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world to this lovely Himalayan destination.
Flora and furna of nepal can be seggarate into four regions. Ranging from the subtropical forests of the Terai to the great peaks of the Himalayas in the north, Nepal abounds with some of the most spectacular sceneries in the whole of Asia, with a variety of fauna and flora also unparalleled elsewhere in the region. Between NepalĂ•s geographical extremes, one may find every vegetational type, from the treeless steppes of the Trans-Himalayan region in the extreme north and the birch, silver fir, larch and hemlock of the higher valleys to the oak, pine and rhododendron of the intermediate altitudes and the great sal and sissau forests of the south.
The rolling densely forested hills and broad Dun valleys of the Terai along with other parts of the country, were formerly, renowned for their abundance and variety o wildlife. Though somewhat depleted as a result of agricultural settlements, deforestation, poaching and other causes, Nepal can still boast richer and more varied flora and fauna than any other area in Asia.
In Nepal, religion is not just a set of beliefs and accompanying rituals handed down from generation to generation; rather religion in nepal is a complex intermingling of traditions, festivals, faiths and doctrines that have permeated every strata of Nepalese Society in such a way as to become the very heartbeat of the nation.
Nepal is famous, as the world's only Hindu Kingdom. However, it is an intricate and beautiful tapestry formed by the interweaving of Hinduism, Buddhism and other beliefs. Religious tolerance and harmony such as is found in Nepal, is perhaps a unique example to the world.
Nepal is also famous for its Buddhist pilgrimage places. Most of the pilgrim from buddhist come to Nepal for pilgrimage tour. Being Nepal as the birth place of Siddhartha Gautam. Shiddartha Gautam led the world on the path to enlightenment and became Lord Buddha two thousand five hundred years ago. There are four most holy places associated with the Lord Buddha and is Buddhist pilgrimage.
There are three kinds of Hindu Pilgrimage places in Nepal for 1. Lord Shiva 2. Lord Vishnu , and 3. Ma Shakti . According to Purans Himalaya is home of Lord Shiva and Parbati. Hence there are many Pilgrimage sites related to Lord Shiva in Nepal. Pashupati Nath Temple is the Holiest pilgrimage of Lord Shiva. Mt. Kailash is the mountain of Lord Shiva and it is considered holiest of all holy mountains. Mt. Kailash is in Tibet near Nepal Tibet border. A mountain with a Temple on its top is also considered Holy Mountain. There are several Shakti-peeths related to Durga Ma throughout Nepal. Dakhinkali and Guheswori are most famous Shakti-peeths of Kathmandu valley. Other important Shakti-peeths are Pathibhara, Shaileswori, Vindyavashini, Mankamana, Jogeshwori, etc. Such Shakti-peeths are usually situated on the top of a mountain. The confluence of rivers, particularly when they are major tributaries of the Ganges, is always regarded as religiously significant by Hindus, as it is believed a third spiritual river also joins. Such confluence is called Triveni.
Nepal has established seven National Parks and three conservationa area for the protection of the endangered species. There is onlyone hunting reserve in Nepal.These national parks comes under the administration of the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Department of the government of Nepal. The total area covered by these parks and reserves is 11,001 square kilometers (4,247 square miles). This represents 8% of the total area of Nepal. Nepal is also famous for its national parks most of the tourist come to Nepal to visit these National parks. List of National Parks found in Nepal.
Nepal has a population of more than 26 million people, made up of over 40 different races and tribes. The country offers such diversity that the visitor may experience any lifestyle from the stone age, in far west and high hills, to the jet age of Kathmandu.
Nepalese society was ethnically diverse and complex in the early 1990s, ranging in phenotype (physical characteristics) and culture from the Indian to the Tibetan. Except for the sizable population of those of Indian birth or ancestry concentrated in the Tarai bordering India, the varied ethnic groups had evolved into distinct patterns over time. The two major groups in Nepalese society are Tibeto-Burmans, or Mongoloids from the north, and Indo-Aryans from the south. Many customs are inherited from both sides and have been developed by the influences of the land, climate and available resources. The varied ethnic groups of nepal had evolved into distinct patterns over time.
The first group, comprising those who live in temprate (middle hill and valley) zone. The second major group consisted of communities occupying the alpine higher hills from the west to the east. The third group like in sub tropical region inhabited the more fertile lower hills, river valleys, and Tarai plains.
Nepal's heritage is alive and dynamic. Shamanism, animism & Witch craft are still practiced in remote regions Temples, shrines monuments and monasteries are extremely active with devotees burning butter-lamps, singing hymns, chiming temple bells and playing drums. World Heritage Sites (Natural):
1. Everest National Park (1148 Sq. Kms.)
2. Royal Chitawan National Park (923 Sq. Kms.) World Heritage Site (Cultural):
6. Kathmandu Durbar Square
7. Patan Durbar Square
Arts of Nepal are traditional and religious in nature. Nepali art has been deeply influenced by religion since very early times. Nepalese arts are dominated by Hindu and Buddhist imagenery. Nepali art and sculpture primarily depicts figures of deities. Although painting in Nepal is also generally religious in content, many paintings integrate historical events, portraiture, cosmological diagrams, and astrological charts as well. Deities are depicted according to instructions contained in dhyana texts, so that worshipers and artists are able to visualize them more accurately. The cult of Bhairava, which is devoted to the worship of Shiva, has influenced much of the imagery in Nepali art. Achitecture in Nepal is noted for its palaces, although the wood and brick composition of many structures in the Himalayan valley has left few pre-16th-century buildings extant. An important early Vishnu Temple is at Changu Narayan.