NepalCopyright:  Daniel Prudek 123rf.com

Nepal

Capital: Kathmandu
Currency: Nepalese rupee (NPR)
Language: Nepalii
Listen to the national anthem

To say there was human habitation in prehistory is not possible as no records have survived. This could be due to the fact that the region has seen enormous geological shifts over time. In Kathmandu Valley there are a series of stone inscriptions that date to 1173 AD and are the only source of historical reference in the region. The region is being continuously forced upwards as the Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian Plate collide. at a rate of 5 mm per year. The Himalayas are the youngest rage of mountains in the world and are also the highest with Everest being the highest point at 8,848 m (29,000 ft)! Everest in Nepalese is Sagarmatha.

The accepted religion of Nepal is Hinduism with Shiva being the deity. It is believed that as many as 80% of the countries population follow Hinduism. It is strange then that there is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in Lumbini which is said to be the birthplace of Siddartha Gautama in 563 BC who went on to form the Buddhist faith. The site today is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Nepalese cuisine is not well suited to people who do not like spicy food or if you are a vegetarian. Typical foods is dahl which is a very spicy lentil based soup. MomoCopyright:  jackethead 123rf.com Another popular dish is called Momo which is like a dumpling but filled with meat, preferably a very fatty meat. It is believed that the Momo came from travelling merchants. The ingredients were changed to suit the availability of water buffalo which replaced beef or lamb. The 'dumplings' are traditionally steamed over a soup. The Momo can be served either as a round 'parcel' or in a crescent moon shape. Another popular filling is just mashed potato.

The one thing that Nepal is probably most well known for is Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth which got its name from the Royal Geographical Society in 1865. There were a number of attempts to climb the mountain. The first recorder European was George Malllory and Guy Bullock who reached 7,005 m (22,982 ft) in 1921. The following year George Flinch ascended to 8,320 m (27, 296 ft). 1924 recorded the first casualties. On 8th June 1924, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine never returned. Mallory's body was found in 1999 at 8,155 m (26,755 ft). It was not until 1953 that the summit was finally reached by Edmund Hillary and Tenzin Norgay at 11.30 am on 29th May.

Infrastructure issues have resulted in a poor growth rate and the shortage of electricity makes it an unattractive place to set up a business that requires 24 hours of electricity. It is not a case of a shortage of resources as the many rivers could prove a source for power generation. There are just 20 hydro-electric power stations producing about 600 MW but studies have proven that it is possible to produce some 83,000 MW! It is estimated that just 40% of the population have electricity.

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