Nepal History & Geography
The first civilizations in Nepal, which flourished around the 6th century B.C. were confined to the fertile Kathmandu Valley where the present-day capital of the same name is located. It was in this region that Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born c. 563 B.C. Gautama achieved enlightenment as Buddha and spawned Buddhism.
Nepali rulers' early patronage of Buddhism largely gave way to Hinduism, reflecting the increased influence of India, around the 12th century. Though the successive dynasties of the Gopalas, the Kiratis, and the Licchavis expanded their rule, it was not until the reign of the Malla kings from 1200–1769 that Nepal assumed the approximate dimensions of the modern state. Nepal was ruled by the Shah dynasty of kings from 1768, when Prithvi Narayan Shah unified its many small kingdoms, until 2008 a decade-long Civil War involving the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (Now known as the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)) and several weeks of mass protests by all major political parties led to the 12-point agreement of 22 November 2005. The ensuing elections for the constituent assembly on 28 May 2008 overwhelmingly favored the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a federal multiparty representative democratic republic.
Nepal is of roughly trapezoidal shape, 800 kilometres (497 mi) long and 200 kilometres (124 mi) wide, with an area of 147,181 km2 (56,827 sq mi). In total which covers 0.3 percent of Asia and 0.03 percent area of the Earth See List of territories by size for the comparative size of Nepal. It lies between latitudes 26° and 31°N, and longitudes 80°and 89°E. Nepal is commonly divided into three physiographic areas: Mountain, Hill and Terai. These ecological belts run east-west and are vertically intersected by Nepal's major north to south flowing river systems. The country is small only about 880 km. long from East to West and breadth varies from 145 to 241 km from north to South.
Geographically, Nepal can be dividing into three regions:
Himalayan Region: situated in the Great Himalayan Range, makes up the northern part of Nepal. The Himalayan region covers 15 percent of total land area which lies in the northern side of country lying horizontally in the altitude of 4700m and above. It contains the highest elevations in the world including 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) height Mount Everest on the border with China. Seven other of the world's eight thousand metre peaks are in Nepal or on its border with China: Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Kanchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manas and also several national parks, and wild life reserves with Sagarmatha National Park, which is known as a world heritage site. In this region settlement of only Sherpa can be found.
Hilly (Mountain): the Hilly region covers 68 percent of total land area. It is formed by the Mahabharat range that soars to touch mountain regions in the altitude of 600 m to 4700 m height. Population density is high in valleys but notably less above 2,000 metres (6,562 ft) and very low above 2,500 metres (8,202 ft) where snow occasionally falls in winter. Tilicho Lake in the Manang District which is known as the highest lake in the world is situated at 5180m on the bottom of Tilicho peak. This region is formed by beautiful valleys like Kathmandu and Pokhara which is now famous for its fascinating lakes in Pokhara Fewa, Begnas and Rupa.
Terai (plain) Region: The Terai region covers 17 percent of total land area. This region has a subtropical to tropical climate. The outermost range of foothills called Shiwalik or Churia Range cresting at 700 to 1,000 metres . It is the bordering India are part of the northern rim of the Indo-Gangetic plains. They were formed and are fed by three major Himalayan rivers: the Koshi, the Narayani, and the Karnali as well as smaller rivers rising below the permanent snowline. This region is home to religious places, national parks and wild life reserves. The famous religious places are Janakpur, Lumbini and Barahachhetra. There are four national parks and wild life reserves in this region.