Nepal in brief

Official name Nepal
Capital city Kathmandu
Location South Asia; landlocked (sandwiched between India and China)
Surface area 147,181 sq km (56,827 sq mi); just larger than Greece; (94th in world ranking)
Water % 2.8
Calling code +977
Population 26.6 million (40th in world ranking)
Population growth 2.2%
Population density 199.3/sq km
518.1/sq mi (62nd in world ranking)
Infant mortality rate 64 deaths per 1,000 live births (4 in Germany)
Life expectancy 59.8 years (male 60.9 years, female 59.5 years)
Average age 20 years
Literacy rate 53.74% (male 68.51%, female 42.49%)
Currency Rupees (NPR) (Euro 1 = Rs 105, US$ 1 = Rs 76)
Per capita income US$562
Religion Hinduism 80.6%
Buddhism 10.7%
Muslim 4.2%
Mundhum 3.6%
Christianity 0.5%
Other or none 2%
Language Nepalese (more than 92 different tribal languages are spoken)
Government Multiparty democracy
Urbanization Rural 85%
Urban 15%
Human development index 136, out of 177 countries
Doctors per 100,000 people 5 (606 in Italy)
Live less than US$ 2 per day 82% of total population


Some interesting facts and features

  • Mt Everest (8848m; tallest peak in the world)
  • 8 out of 10 tallest peaks in the world
  • Lumbini (birthplace of Lord Buddha)
  • Yeti (abominable snowman)
  • Kumari (the living goddess)
  • 3 different kings in 3 consecutive days
  • Was Hindu kingdom till 2009 (Only one in the world)
  • Sherpa (himalaya people famous for climbing mountains without oxygen backing)
  • Never occupied by any other country
  • 2nd richest in water resources (Brazil is first)
  • One horn rhino
  • Gurkha (famous people from Gorkha district in foreign regiment)
  • Yarcha Gumba (popular fauna; partly-insect, partly-plant; found only in high himalayan alpine; used for sexual invigoration; also known as Himalayan Viagra)
  • World Cup Elephant Polo (every year played just in Kasara, Chitwan, Nepal)
  • Ghadiyal (docile alligator of crocodile family)

World heritage

Lumbini, Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur, Chitwan (scores of ancient temples, monasteries and palaces in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan; birth place of Lord Buddha, Royal Chitawn National Park)

Coverage: 0.1% of world area which is home to

  • 2% of all the flowering plants in the world
  • 8% of the world’s population of birds (more than 848 species)
  • 4% of mammals on earth
  • 11 of the world’s 15 families of butterflies (more than 500 species)
  • 600 indigenous plant families
  • 319 species of exotic orchids


100,00 BC Kathmandu valley formed
C 563 – 483 BC Life of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha
C 250 Ashoka (ruled 268 – 231 BC) visited Lumbini
57 BC Nepal’s official Vikram calendar starts
AD 464 Nepal’s earliest surviving inscription is carved into the beautiful Changu Narayan Temple in the Kathmandu valley
879 Start of Newari calendar
1349  Muslim armies of Sultan Shams-ud-Din plunder the Kathmandu Valley, looting Swayambhunath
1428-82 Rule of Yaksha Malla, high point of Malla Kings
1480 Kathmandu splits into the three kingdoms of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur
1531-34 Sherpas settle in the Solu Khumbu region from Eastern Tibet
1719 20,000 die of plague in Kathmandu Valley
1768/69 Nepal unified under Prithbi Narayan Shah (1723 – 1775) to form the Shah dynasty – Kathmandu becomes the capital
1814-16 Anglo-Nepalese war, Nepal’s modern boundaries established
1846 Kot Massacre ushers in the Rana era (1846 – 1951)
1934 Massive earthquake destroys much of the Kathmandu Valley, killing 7000
1951-55 Rule of King Tribhuvan
1953 Everest summited by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norkay on the 29 May
1955-72 Rule of King Mahendra
1959 Nepal’s first general elections
1972-2001  Rule of King Birendra
2001 Royal massacre, June 1
2006 King Gyanendra’s powers drastically curtailed by parliament, May
2008 Constitutional assembly election, Maoist has been turned out to be the largest party, and Dr Ram Baran Yadav elected as the first president of Republic Nepal.


* 2011 record.