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Nepal History

Nepal (Natural Geography)Nepal (Natural Geography)

Nepal can be divided into three natural geographical zones. At the border with India lies a narrow zone of fertile lowlands, the Terai, which is the northernmost part of the Ganges Plain. The area is Nepal's granary, intensively cultivated and very densely populated; almost half of the country's population lives here. Here is also a large part of the industry, especially based on agricultural production. Originally, Terai was dense jungle, which pretty much only the national parks testify to today. The best known is Chitwan National Park. Here are still Bengal tigers, rhinos and elephants. In Terai are some major cities; the most important are Nepalganj to the west, Birganj on the main road from Kathmandu to India and to the east Nepal's second largest city, Biratnagar. However, the majority of the population lives in villages. Terai has recently experienced a large influx from the rest of Nepal; the area is characterized by proximity to India and many Indians live here.

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The middle zone, the hill zone, is made up of the Himalayan foothills, Siwalik or Churia Range and Mahabharat Range with heights up to 3000 m. The mountains and the intermediate valleys make up the majority of the country and house the majority of the population. Large areas are intensively cultivated. In the steep terrain, extensive deforestation together with the heavy monsoon rains has led to massive erosion problems. Culturally and historically, this part is Nepal's core area with the Kathmandu Valley as the cultural and political center for 1500 years. The valley is the largest and most densely populated in the country; here, in addition to the capital Kathmandu, are the cities of Patan and Bhaktapur. To the west, at Pokharaand below the mighty Annapurna Mountains lies Nepal's second major valley. The Pokhara Valley is the starting point for the much-used trekking route Annapurna Circuit and is visited by many tourists. Between Kathmandu and Pokhara lies Gorkha, the original home of the well-known gurkhas who have served in British armies for over 100 years. This is also the origin of the Shah dynasty, which sat on the throne of Nepal from 1768 to 2008. In general, the villages in this zone are not very large, and the settlements are scattered with the mountain slopes shaped into cultivation terraces.

Nepal History

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The third zone is the high-lying, very sparsely populated mountain areas with a number of the world's highest peaks, Mount Everest. The climate allows only limited cultivation partly due to cold, partly because large parts of the area are in rain shelter. Even during the summer monsoon, there is very little rainfall, many valleys are actually deserts, and settlement is completely dependent on irrigation. Access to the area is difficult, in winter due to snowfall and in summer due to the monsoon rains. The crops are barley, buckwheat and potatoes, often supplemented with apples. Goats, sheep and yaks are of great importance as suppliers of milk, meat and wool and as pack animals. In this zone, the settlements are concentrated in dense villages, often with completely adjoining houses.

Nepal (Economy and Business)

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. It has no access to the sea, has few available mineral resources and very difficult transport conditions. The dependence on India is great.

The cost of constructing and maintaining roads is enormous. In the hill zone, there are few roads beyond the connections to Kathmandu and Pokhara, although the road network is spreading to more remote areas in the mountains. In the lowlands, there is a road along the entire length of the country from east to west, but only a few side roads lead into the valleys of the foothills. A number of roads to India have been built over time, but only one goes through the mountains, from the Kathmandu Valley to Tibet. Apart from a narrow gauge stretch from the Indian border to the city of Janakpur in Teraithere are no railways in Nepal. There are airports scattered around the country, but air traffic in no way has the capacity to transport larger volumes of goods and serves primarily to bind the country together administratively.

Agriculture employs the vast majority of the population. Due to the dependence on irrigation and cultivation terraces, it requires a lot of labor; most farms are family-run small farms. The difficult conditions for the transport of goods in the hills and mountains mean that these zones have to be largely self-sufficient in food, while Kathmandu imports a number of agricultural products from India in particular. The main crops are rice, barley, wheat, corn, sugar, vegetables and tea. Livestock are primarily goats, sheep, cattle and water buffalo. The industry is weakly developed and mainly processes food.

Tourism. The mountains are the main destination for tourism to Nepal. Annapurna, Langtang (north of Kathmandu) and Sagarmatha National Park with Mount Everest are intensive tourist areas in the high seasons of spring and autumn, and the dense traffic of mountain hikers has radically changed the business structure. Where the most popular trekking routes pass, the villages have assumed the character of service centers with numerous small hotels. The Kathmandu Valley is also an important tourist destination. Here is the country's only international airport, and the towns in the valley have rich historical memories, magnificent temples and views of the peaks of the Himalayas.

Nepal (Peoples)

Country approximately 28 mio. residents are divided into many castes and ethnic groups, each with their own culture.

In the southern belt there are especially Indian peoples; they are predominantly Hindu, though with a significant minority of Muslims. In addition, there are a number of local peoples, including tharu.

In the middle area north of the Mahabharat Range, but south of the Himalayas, the majority of the population is located. The Indo-European peoples are made up of the high-caste groups Brahmin, Chetri and Thakuri, who are also the dominant politicians; moreover, the area is home to a number of low-caste groups and casteless people of various origins, who are often artisans. Ethnic groups where Mongoloid traits are increasingly prevalent include the groups newar, sunwar, rai, limbu, magar, gurung, thakali and tamang. Among these, the religion is a mixture of Buddhism and Hinduism. This applies not least to Newar, who since 500 AD. and until 1769 ruled the Kathmandu Valley. They are often merchants and have from ancient times been famous for their fine craftsmanship and architecture.

In the Himalayan region towards the border with Tibet, sherpa and bhotia, which are of Tibetan origin, dominate. The closure of the border with Tibet around 1960 and the growing Indian influence throughout Nepal have led to a cultural and political influence from the south. The strong population growth (2.4% per year) has resulted in widespread environmental problems, especially in the densely populated Kathmandu Valley, which holds over 1 million. farmers.

Nepal - language

The official language is Nepali, which belongs to the Indo-European language group and is spoken by more than half of the population. This group also includes Maithili (about 2.8 million) and Bhojpuri (about 1.7 million). In addition, there are over 100 other languages, most of which belong to the Tibeto-Burmese language group; among the largest are tharu (about 1.2 million) and tamang (about 1.1 million) and the Indo-European languages maithili (about 2.3 million) and bhojpuri (about 1.4 million of religious reasons play Tibetan(about 60,000) a significant role. Pga. immigration is also spoken in various languages ​​that otherwise only belong in India.

Nepal (Religion)

About 87% of the population are Hindus, and until 2006 Hinduism was the state religion. A religiously active minority group is the Buddhists (8%). There are about 4% Muslims and a small group of Christians. Furthermore, traditional religion thrives with ancestral worship and shamanistic traits among several ethnic groups.

For centuries, Buddhism and Hinduism have lived side by side under mutual influence, while both religions have incorporated folk religious elements into their rituals. The large predominance of Hindus in Nepal today is due to a systematic Hinduization of the country from the mid-1700's. It has meant that the caste system also plays a significant role in Buddhist circles. Similarly, following their Hindu model, Buddhists have included in their rituals ceremonies that mark important events in a person's life from birth to death.

When Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal do not appear as two strongly separate religious systems, it is partly due to the fact that both religions have deep roots in tantrism (see tantra). Several gods are worshiped by both Hindus and Buddhists, such as the red Matsyendranatha, the patron god of the Kathmandu Valley; Buddhists perceive the god as the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, and Hindus see an aspect of Vishnu or Shiva in him. In art, Buddhist and Hindu deities and goddesses often have common iconographic features.

 

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