Here’s a look at Nepal, a mountainous country on the southern side of the Himalayas in South Asia. It shares Mt. Everest, the world’s highest mountain, with China.
(from the CIA World Factbook)
Area: 147,181 square kilometers (slightly larger than New York State)
Population: 30,666,598 (2022 est.)
Average age: 25.3 years
Ethnic groups: Chhettri 16.6%, Brahman-Hill 12.2%, Magar 7.1%, Tharu 6.6%, Tamang 5.8%, Newar 5%, Kami 4.8%, Muslim 4.4% , Yadav 4%, Rai 2.3%, Gurung 2%, Damai/Dholii 1.8%, Thakuri 1.6%, Limbu 1.5%, Sarki 1.4%, Teli 1.4%, Chamar/Harijan /Ram 1.3%, Koiri/Kushwaha 1.2%, other 19% (2011 est.)
Religion: Hindu 81.3%, Buddhist 9%, Muslim 4.4%, Kirant 3.1%, Christian 1.4%, other 0.5%, unspecified 0.2% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate: 3% (2017 est.)
Nepal is one of the least developed and poorest countries in the world. About a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.
Nepal is a former monarchy that is now a federal democratic republic with multiple political parties.
About three quarters of the terrain is mountainous.
Eight of the ten highest mountains in the world lie on the border with Nepal. The summit of Mt. Everest is 8,848 meters above sea level, making it the highest point on earth. Kanchenjunga, which straddles Nepal and India, is the third highest mountain in the world.
Nepal’s flag is the only one in the world that is neither square nor rectangular. The shape is formed from two connected pennants.
Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha, was born around the 6th century BC. in Lumbini, which today belongs to Nepal.
Nearly eight in 10 girls in a region of west-central Nepal sleep in dangerous outdoor “menstrual huts” during their periods, despite the practice being banned in 2018, a study has found. Known as “Chhaupadi,” the illegal practice dates back to a centuries-old Hindu taboo that considered women and girls unclean during menstruation.
Before 18th century – Nepal is divided into small kingdoms.
1768 – Gorkha ruler Prithvi Narayan Shah becomes ruler of the entire valley and unifies the kingdoms of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhadgaon. In 1769 the king declared Kathmandu the capital.
1814-1816 – Nepal and the British East India Company at war over lands in the Terai, or lowlands. Nepal signs the Treaty of Sagauli in 1816, ceding about a third of its territory.
1846 – Jang Bahadur staged a coup and became prime minister. He eventually establishes a dictatorship, turning the monarchy into a figurehead of government and establishing his family’s hereditary rule. The family, adopting the honorary title of Rana (monarch), rules for more than 100 years (until 1951), resulting in the isolation and economic underdevelopment of the country.
1857 – The Sepoy Rebellion against the British begins in India. Bahadur absorbs thousands of troops to support the British, helps quell the revolt and seals British support for his rule in Nepal, beginning a tradition of Gurkhas serving in the British army.
January 15, 1934 – A magnitude 8.1 earthquake strikes Nepal-Bihar, India, killing 10,700.
1948 – After India gains independence from Britain in 1947, Nepal’s leaders lose crucial support and come under pressure to enact reform. The prime minister promulgates Nepal’s first constitution, which provides for a bicameral state legislature, an independent Supreme Court and a prime minister with executive powers supported by a council of at least five ministers, but the constitution soon faces opposition from conservative Ranas.
November 1950 – The revolt against the Rana regime begins when the Nepali Congress Party Liberation Army deploys soldiers in the Terai.
February 1951 – The Rana era of rule comes to an end as King Tribhuvan regains the throne after the last Rana oligarch, Mohan Shamsher, agrees to hold elections.
May 29, 1953 – Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay of Nepal are the first to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.
December 14, 1955 – Nepal joins the United Nations.
February 18, 1959 – The first national elections are held and the Nepali Congress Party wins. BP Koirala later becomes Prime Minister.
December 1960 – King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Deva takes power, suspends Parliament and important parts of the constitution.
January 1972 – King Mahendra dies and is succeeded by Birendra.
May 1991 – GP Koirala, brother of Nepal’s first elected Prime Minister (1959), is appointed Prime Minister after the Nepalese Congress wins a majority (110 out of 205 seats) in Parliament in general elections. The moderate Communist Party of Nepal ends in a strong opposition position with 69 seats.
1994 – The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is formed and party leader Manmohan Adhhikari is elected to power after Prime Minister GP Koirala resigns and recommends new general elections to the king.
1995 – Prime Minister Manmohan Adhhikari resigns after being accused of favoring his party members. The communist government is dissolved by parliament.
1996 – A Maoist insurgency sparks a 10-year civil war, and in 2000 nearly two-thirds of the country is engulfed in unrest.
June 1, 2001 – Crown Prince Dipendra commits an alcohol- and drug-fueled killing spree during a party at the palace, killing nine people including his father and mother, the king and queen. Dipendra dies three days later from self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
2006 – A UN-brokered peace agreement is signed by the government of Nepal and the Maoists. According to the International Red Cross, about 15,000 people have died and 1,300 are missing as a result of the 10-year civil war.
May 2008 – The monarchy comes to an end as the new assembly votes to declare Nepal a democratic republic.
July 21, 2008 – The country’s first president, Ram Baran Yadav, is elected.
August 2008 – Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, commonly known as Prachanda, is elected prime minister and forms a coalition government.
May 2009 – Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigns after the President overruled his decision to sack a senior military official. The communist leader Madhav Kumar Nepal is appointed as the new prime minister.
June 2010 – Madhav Kumar Nepal resigns as Prime Minister under political pressure. He agrees to serve as caretaker until a new prime minister is elected.
February 2011 – Parliament elects Communist Party leader Jhalanath Khanal as the new prime minister.
August 2011 – Khanal resigns as prime minister, admitting he was unable to form a national consensus government and integrate former Maoist rebels. Baburam Bhattarai, 57, vice chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), will become the fourth prime minister since Nepal became a republic in 2008.
May 2012 – Baburam Bhattarai resigns as Prime Minister but remains as caretaker.
March 2013 – Chief Justice Khilraj Regmi is appointed Prime Minister pending the election of a new Constituent Assembly.
November 2013 – Constituent Assembly elections resulting in Sushil Koirala, a cousin of BP Koirala, of the Nepalese Congress Party, becoming Prime Minister in February 2014.
October 2014 – At least 39 people from around the world die after exceptionally heavy snowfalls in the mountains, one of the deadliest such tragedies in Nepal’s history.
April 25, 2015 – A 7.8 magnitude earthquake strikes less than 50 miles from Kathmandu. A magnitude 6.7 aftershock on April 26 adds to the damage. The death toll is over 8,000 and the number injured is more than 17,000, according to the National Emergency Operations Center.
October 28, 2015 – Nepal’s parliament elects Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the country’s first female president.
August 2017 – Massive flooding and landslides in Nepal destroy 65,000 homes and kill at least 143 people.
May 21, 2019 – A Sherpa breaks his own record by climbing Mount Everest 24 times, reaching the summit at 6:38 a.m., less than a week after climbing the world’s highest mountain for the 23rd time on May 15 would have.
August 2, 2019 – After torrential monsoon rains triggered floods and landslides in Nepal and parts of South Asia last month, the UN released a situation report saying more than 100 people died, dozens more were missing or injured and at least 410,000 people were injured have been affected.
December 20, 2020 – Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli dissolves parliament and calls for snap elections. Oli says internal squabbles and his party’s lack of cooperation have paralyzed decision-making, forcing him to seek a new people’s mandate. In February 2021, the Supreme Court of Nepal rules that Parliament must be reinstated.
May 10, 2021 – Oli is forced to resign after losing a vote of confidence. On May 22, President Bhandari dissolves parliament. In July, the Nepalese Supreme Court orders the appointment of Sher Bahadur Deuba as Prime Minister and the restoration of Parliament.
October 2021 – At least 104 people die in Nepal from floods and landslides caused by heavy rains.