The Malla dynasty, which ruled from the 10th to 18th centuries, imposed a uniform Hindu legal and social code on Nepal. In the early 7th Century, Amshuvarma, the first Thakuri king took over the throne from his father-in-law who was a Lichhavi. To read about the background to these events, see History of Nepal. The current president is Ram Baran Yadav; former Maoist rebel leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal (aka Prachanda) is Prime Minister. The Mallas, weakened by familial dissension and widespread social and economic discontent, were no match for the great Gorkha ruler Prithvi Narayan Shah. Nepal was known to the Ancient Indians. kilometers (56,827 sq. Situated in the lap of Himalayas is a country with unbelievably diverse topography and culture. Most people live in the temperate hilly midlands. The central hill-lands, including the Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys, have a temperate climate and are also influenced by the monsoons. Everest. Under the Licchavis, Nepal's trade ties with Tibet and China expanded, leading to a cultural and intellectual renaissance. China and the United States are also trade partners of some significance. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In the nineteenth century, the Ranas, who were ministers to the kings, assumed real power, and the Shahs became puppet rulers. by travelworldplanet updated on July 20, 2018 July 13, 2018 Leave a Comment on Most Famous Historical Monuments of Nepal. Nepal exports garments, carpets, and hydroelectric power. Nepal’s rich prehistory consists mainly of the legendary traditions of the Newar, the indigenous community of Nepal Valley (now usually called Kathmandu Valley). Nepal's demographics are complicated not only by dozens of ethnic groups but by different castes, which also function as ethnic groups. King Yalambar (the first of their 29 kings) is mentioned in the Mahabharata, the Hindu epic, but little more is known about them. In the early 18th century one of the principalities—Gorkha (also spelled Gurkha), ruled by the Shah family—began to assert a predominant role in the hills and even to pose a challenge to Nepal Valley. There are usually both Buddhist and Brahmanic Hindu versions of these various legends. Nepal also marks the collision point between Hinduism and Buddhism, between the Tibeto-Burmese language group and the Indo-European, and between Central Asian culture and Indian culture. The total area comprises 147181 sq. It is a geographically diverse, land-locked country. Standing at 8,848 meters (29,028 feet), Everest is called Saragmatha or Chomolungma in Nepali and Tibetan. The population is primarily rural (Kathmandu, the largest city, has less than 1 million inhabitants). See more ideas about nepal, history, vintage. So, I would like to create this article to give you a brief introduction to Nepal’s history. Under this de facto alliance, Kathmandu permitted the recruitment of Nepalese for the highly valued Gurkha units in the British Indian Army and also accepted British “guidance” on foreign policy; in exchange, the British guaranteed the Rana regime against both foreign and domestic enemies and allowed it virtual autonomy in domestic affairs. The British conquest of India in the 19th century posed a serious threat to Nepal—which expected to be another victim—and left the country with no real alternative but to seek an accommodation with the British to preserve its independence. This was accomplished by the Rana family regime after 1860 on terms that were mutually acceptable, if occasionally irritating, to both. The position of the Shah dynasty was weakened by the fact that the two kings who ruled successively between 1777 and 1832 were minors when they ascended the throne. The civil war between Maoist rebels and the government, which began in 1996 and ended in 2007, severely reduced Nepal's tourism industry. Nepal is one of the oldest countries in the world. The first written records date back to the Kirati people, who lived in eastern Nepal, and the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley. Politically the first rulers of Nepal were the Kirats. The middle period in Nepalese history is usually considered coterminous with the rule of the Malla dynasty (10th–18th century) in Nepal Valley and surrounding areas. Gyanendra was forced to abdicate in 2007, and the Maoists won democratic elections in 2008. Kirats ruled Nepal for about 1000 years (800 BC to 300 AD). Overview History Of Nepal. According to Nepal's constitution, all of the national languages can be used as official languages. Geography & History of Nepal. This is a timeline of Nepalese history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Nepal and its predecessor states. Siddharta Gautama, born on 563 B.C.E. He became known as the Buddha, or "the enlightened one.". Sketches from Nepal, Historical and Descriptive, 1880, 1974. ), of Lumbini, forswore his royal life and devoted himself to spirituality. The president of Nepal serves as chief of state, while the prime minister is head of government. Nepal was ruled by about total of 28 kings during Kirat regime. Monsoon rains drench the region from June to September, with 75-150 cm (30-60 inches) of rain. Both Brahmanic Hindu and Buddhist legends relate the tales of ancient rulers from Nepal. The Shah (or Sah) rulers faced tremendous and persistent problems in trying to centralize an area long characterized by extreme diversity and ethnic and regional parochialism. Although intrafamilial arrangements on such questions as the succession and the distribution of responsibilities and spoils were achieved, no effective national political institutions were created. The Lichavis are said to have migrated into Nepal from north India in around 250 A.D. and lived until 483 B.C.E. Nepal is a collision zone. Agriculture employs more than 75% of the population and produces 38% of GDP. Bhaktapur Durbar Square. The Licchavi dynastic chronicles, supplemented by numerous stone inscriptions, are particularly full from 500 to 700 ce; a powerful, unified kingdom also emerged in Tibet during this period, and the Himalayan passes to the north of the valley were opened. Published On 18th July 2017This video is about the origination of the word and the country Nepal. Despite its tourism and energy-production potential, Nepal remains one of the world's poorest countries. There is substantial archaeological evidence of an early Buddhist influence in Nepal, including a famous column inscribed by Ashoka (emperor of India, 3rd century bce) at Lumbini and several shrines in the valley. Although most of the Licchavi kings were devout Hindus, they did not impose Brahmanic social codes or values on their non-Hindu subjects. Unknown Monday, February 13, 2017 About Nepal, Facts of Nepal, History, History of Nepal, Nepal, Nepal Info History of Nepal can be divided into various periods as: 1. Each of the other 92 castes/ethnic groups make up less than 2%. 1482), divided his kingdom among his three sons, thus creating the independent principalities of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur (Bhadgaon) in the valley. The British withdrawal from India in 1947 deprived the Ranas of a vital external source of support and exposed the regime to new dangers. Nepal, however, was also careful to maintain a friendly relationship with China and Tibet, both for economic reasons and to counterbalance British predominance in South Asia. Small kingdoms and tribal confederations controlled various areas of the Tarai Region in the south. The regents and the nobility competed for political power, using the young rulers as puppets; both factions wanted a monopoly of political offices and power for their families, with their rivals exterminated, exiled to India, or placed in a subordinate status. miles), sandwiched between the People's Republic of China to the north and India to the west, south, and east. Lumbini, Gautama Buddha’s birthplace in southern Nepal, and Nepal Valley also figure prominently in Buddhist accounts. Nepal (English: / n ɪ ˈ p ɔː l /; Nepali: नेपाल), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a sovereign country in South Asia.It is mainly in the Himalayas, but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain.It is the 49th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. The primary crops are rice, wheat, maize, and sugarcane. Nepal has a unicameral legislature, the Constituent Assembly, with 601 seats. India and Nepal initiated their relationship with the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship and accompanying secret letters that defined security relations between the two countries, and an agreement governing both bilateral trade and trade transiting Indian territory. Others include Magar (7.1%), Tharu (6.8%), Tamang and Newar (5.5% each), Muslim (4.3%), Kami (3.9%), Rai (2.7%), Gurung (2.5%) and Damai (2.4%). It is a landlocked country located between India to the east, south, and west and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north. She has taught at the high school and university levels in the U.S. and South Korea. He conquered the valley in 1769 and moved his capital to Kathmandu shortly thereafter, providing the foundation for the modern state of Nepal. In the 3rd century BC the great Indian Emperor introduced Buddhism into Nepal. The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, was born in Lumbini, in southern Nepal. By the 16th century virtually all these principalities were ruled by dynasties claiming high-caste Indian origin whose members had fled to the hills in the wake of Muslim invasions of northern India. Southern Nepal, however, is a tropical monsoonal lowland, called the Tarai Plain. Arriving from the east around the 7th or 8th century BC, these Mongoloid people are the first known rulers of the Kathmandu Valley. Enjoying Nepal tours, you perhaps, want to get an insight into the history of Nepal.However, it merely impossible as there will be lots of things you have to know like the story behind the attractions you visit. The Mallas perceived their responsibilities differently, however, and the great Malla ruler Jaya Sthiti (reigned c. 1382–95) introduced the first legal and social code strongly influenced by contemporary Hindu principles. This set a precedent for what became the normal pattern thereafter—Hindu kings claiming high-caste Indian origin ruling over a population much of which was neither Indo-Aryan nor Hindu. Until 1950 and to some extent thereafter, Nepalese politics was basically conspiratorial in character, with familial loyalty taking precedence over loyalty to the crown or nation. In the north, the high Himalayas are extremely cold and increasingly dry as the altitude rises. Attempts have been made to diversify trade through agreements with such countries as Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, the … One of the legacies of the Lichhavis is the Changu Narayan Temple near Bhaktapur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Culture), which dates back to the 5th Century. They established a centralized political system by absorbing dominant regional and local elites into the central administration at Kathmandu. The Sarbochha Adala (Supreme Court) is the highest court. The per capita income for 2007/2008 was just $470 US. Pigg, Stacy Leigh. The history of Sikkim, an area in present-day North-East India, began in 1642 as a kingdom established when India and Nepal were still many princely states with many rulers at that time and had not unified to the present Union of India and present country of Nepal. "Inventing Social Categories through Place: Social Representations and Development in Nepal." Very little is known about this period in the history of Nepal. The modern history of Nepal can be traced to the eighteenth century when the Gurkha Shah family assumed power and established its capital in Kathmandu. Under the pressure of inheritance fights and Muslim invasions from northern India, the Malla were weakened by the early 18th century. Nepalese Historical Personalities Find out more about the greatest Nepalese Historical Personalities, including Gyanendra of Nepal, Birendra of Nepal, Jung Bahadur Rana, Mahendra of Nepal and Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. Lichavi Dynasty . This action neutralized potentially disintegrative political forces and involved them in national politics, but it also severely limited the centre’s authority in outlying areas because local administration was based upon a compromise division of responsibilities between the local elites and the central administration. Nepal's Geography Nepal is a landlocked country lying between 800 4'- 800 12' east longitude and 260 22'- 300 4' north latitude. A pivotal moment in Nepal's history was the birth of Buddhism. The Shah dynasty proved weak. Ortner, Sherry B. The towering Himalaya Mountains attest to the colossal tectonic force of the Indian Subcontinent as it plows into mainland Asia. The history of Nepal is something that every Nepalese looks back at and feels proud. Jaya Sthiti’s successor, Yaksha Malla (reigned c. 1429–c. References to Nepal Valley and Nepal’s lower hill areas are found in the ancient Indian classics, suggesting that the Central Himalayan hills were closely related culturally and politically to the Gangetic Plain at least 2,500 years ago. Nepal was also in contact with China. It was mentioned in classical Indian literature. Each of these states controlled territory in the surrounding hill areas, with particular importance attached to the trade routes northward to Tibet and southward to India that were vital to the valley’s economy. A Maoist insurgency began in 1996, ending with a communist victory in 2007. A Cabinet or Council of Ministers fills out the executive branch. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. Nepal is bordered by the Tibet, an Autonomous Region of China, to the north and India in the east, south and west. But intermittent warfare between Tibet and China terminated this relationship, and, while there were briefly renewed contacts in subsequent centuries, these were reestablished on a continuing basis only in the late 18th century. In these periods, the Shah ruler was relegated to an honorary position without power, while effective authority was concentrated in the hands of the leading members of the dominant family. As of 2008, the former Kingdom of Nepal is a representative democracy. Nepal is primarily a Hindu country, with more than 80% of the population adhering to that faith. In the 6th century BC, Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born into the Sakya royal family of Kapilavastu, near Lumbini, later embarking on a path of meditation and thought that led him to enlighten… Extensive cultural, trade, and political relations developed across the Himalayas, transforming the valley from a relatively remote backwater into the major intellectual and commercial centre between South and Central Asia. Nepal is home to nearly 29,000,000 people. Like every other country Nepal too has its unique style of architecture. IT STILL IS A LEADING CINE … Smaller minority religions include Islam, with about 4%; the syncretic religion called Kirat Mundhum, which is a blend of animism, Buddhism, and Saivite Hinduism, at about 3.5%; and Christianity (0.5%). There were also numerous small principalities in the western and eastern hill areas, whose independence was sustained through a delicate balance of power based upon traditional interrelationships and, in some cases, common ancestral origins (or claims thereto) among the ruling families. Nepal's recorded history kicks off with the Hindu Kiratis. These Tibeto-Burmese peoples feature prominently in ancient Indian classics, suggesting that close ties bound the region almost 3,000 years ago. The Kingdom of Nepal, a small Hindu-majority nation wedged between India and China in the Himalayas, became a multiparty federal republic in 2008. It's little wonder, then, that this beautiful and diverse country has fascinated travelers and explorers for centuries. Prithvi Narayan Shah (reigned 1742–75) and his successors established a unified state in the central Himalayas and launched an ambitious and remarkably vigorous program of expansion, seeking to bring the entire hill area, from Bhutan to Kashmir, under their authority. Of course, Nepal is associated with the Himalayan Range, including the world's tallest mountain, Mt. They were ousted by the Kirantis around the 7th or 8th Century B.C. Netherlands - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education Nauru Nepal - History Background Prehistory and early history Nepal’s rich prehistory consists mainly of the legendary traditions of the Newar, the indigenous community of Nepal Valley (now usually called Kathmandu Valley). Over 1/3 of Nepalis live below the poverty line; in 2004, the unemployment rate was a shocking 42%. KANCHHI, SHARMILA MALLA ON COVER OF ‘KAMANA’ IN 1985. Background. 240 members are directly elected; 335 seats are awarded by proportional representation; 26 are appointed by the Cabinet. In fact, the Thapa family controlled Nepal 1806-37, while the Ranas took power 1846-1951. Aug 5, 2020 - History of Nepal. Birendra introduced limited democratization again in 1980, but public protests and strikes for further reform rocked the nation in 1990, resulting in the creation of a multiparty parliamentary monarchy. Nepal Bhasa is a Tibeto-Burman tongue, part of the Sino-Tibetan language family. The country might seem like a small piece of land, but it encloses varieties from all around the world. In total, there are 103 castes or ethnic groups. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Early History: Available evidence of Nepal’s distant past is scant, but the earliest inhabitants were likely of Tibeto-Burman ethnicity and lived in small settlements with little political centralization. Although the earlier Kirati dynasty had claimed the status of the Kshatriya caste of rulers and warriors, the Licchavis were probably the first ruling family in that area of plains Indian origin. From 1775 to 1951, Nepalese politics was characterized by confrontations between the royal family and several noble families. The first Lichavi king of historical importance was Manadeva 1. Nepal Democratic Congress In 1948, a new political party named the Nepal Democratic Congress was established in Calcutta. 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. Anti-Rana forces, composed mainly of Nepalese residents in India who had served their political apprenticeship in the Indian nationalist movement, formed an alliance with the Nepalese royal family, led by King Tribhuvan (reigned 1911–55), and launched a revolution in November 1950. The southern Tarai Plain is tropical/subtropical, with hot summers and warm winters. Dr. Kallie Szczepanski is a history teacher specializing in Asian history and culture. The two largest are Indo-Aryan: Chetri (15.8% of the population) and Bahun (12.7%). For geographic and historical reasons, most of Nepal’s trade is with India. :: Background of Nepal :: It is believed that the first settlers of Nepal were the Kirata people and they were also the rulers of the area from almost 2,500 years before its southern regions came under the influence of the Mauryan Empire of Northern India in 250 B.C.E. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Nepal covers 147,181 sq. Major Cities: Pokhara, population 200,000, Patan, population 190,000, Biratnagar, population 167,000, Bhaktapur, population 78,000. History. The excluded noble families had only two alternatives—to accept inferior posts in the administration and army or to conspire for the overthrow of the dominant family. See also the list of monarchs of Nepal. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, A Brief History of the African Country of Liberia, Ancient India and the Indian Subcontinent, List of Indian States and Union Territories, J.D., University of Washington School of Law, B.A., History, Western Washington University. Nepal - Nepal - Animal life: The forested areas of the Tarai are the home of tigers and leopards, gaurs (wild ox), occasional elephants and buffalo, and many deer; the deer include chital, or axis, deer (which have white-spotted bodies), sambar (a large Asiatic deer with coarse hair on the throat and strong antlers), and swamp deer. In fact, many Nepalese people combine Hindu and Buddhist practice; many temples and shrines are shared between the two faiths, and some deities are worshiped by both Hindus and Buddhists. It was in this region that Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born c. 563 B.C. Gopal Dynasty (Ancient Period) Prince Siddharta Gautama (563-483 B.C. Roughly 1 million people in Nepal speak this language. In 1950, the push for democratic reforms began. Nepal lies at roughly the same latitude as Saudi Arabia or Florida. Nepal's history dates back to the time of the Gopalas and Mahishapalas who are believed to have been the earliest rulers of the valley with their capital at Matatirtha, the south-west corner of Kathmandu Valley. He promulgated a new constitution, which returned most of the power to him. A new constitution was finally ratified in 1959, and a national assembly elected. Its territory extends roughly 500 miles (800 kilometres) from east to west and 90 to 150 miles from north to south. The Durbar Square is a public area containing centuries-old royal palaces … Nepali is one of the Indo-Aryan languages, related to European languages. 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. Background of experiment with democracy 1950 movement for democratization With strong diplomatic support from New Delhi, the rebels accepted a settlement with the Ranas under which the sovereignty of the crown was restored and the revolutionary forces, led by the Nepali Congress (NC) party, gained an ascendant position in the administration. The ruler of the small principality of Gorkha, campaigned to unite the various kingdoms … The most commonly used are Nepali (also called Gurkhali or Khaskura), spoken by nearly 60 percent of the population, and Nepal Bhasa (Newari). km. Most Famous Historical Monuments of Nepal. This was one of the most important parties in Nepal’s political history. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. The Gurkhas, led by the Shah dynasty, soon challenged the Mallas. Archaeological evidence shows that Neolithic humans moved into the Himalayas at least 9,000 years ago. In 1962, though, King Mahendra (r. 1955-72) disbanded the Congress and jailed most of the government. Temperatures reach 40°C in April and May. There are over 100 recognized languages in Nepal. Nepal’s contacts with China began in the mid-7th century with the exchange of several missions. There are usually both Buddhist and Brahmanic Hindu versions of these various legends. Other common languages in Nepal include Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Gurung, Tamang, Awadhi, Kiranti, Magar, and Sherpa. Nepal, country of Asia, lying along the southern slopes of the Himalayan mountain ranges. The lowest point is Kanchan Kalan, at just 70 meters (679 feet). In 1769, Prithvi Narayan Shah defeated the Mallas and conquered Kathmandu. Established in Calcutta close ties bound the region from June to September with. 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