• With a land area of 147,000 square kilometres, Nepal is about the size of England and Wales combined. Useable land, however, is in short supply due to the precipitous terrain and a growing population of 27 million or more, over a third of which is less than 15 years old.
• Eight of the world’s ten highest mountains are found in Nepal, including Everest, the tallest of them all.
• Prior to 1951, only a handful of Westerners had ever been allowed into Nepal. Today, the country receives as many as 500,000 tourists annually; increasingly they are coming from neighbouring India and China.
• Despite the fame of its Tibetan and Sherpa Buddhist communities, Nepal was long the world’s only Hindu kingdom, and Hindus still officially make up some eighty percent of the population. In truth, many Nepalis combine worship of Hindu gods with shamanic and animist practices.
• The decade-long Maoist insurgency ended in 2006, along with the career of the notorious King Gyanendra. Nepal‘s politics are now noisily turbulent but peaceful.
• With an average per-capita annual income of US$470, Nepal ranked 157th out of 186 countries in the UN’s 2011 Human Development Index. Half the population survives on little more than a dollar a day.
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The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.
Stunning documentary on Nepal shows restoration of the country's sites
"The only thing you could focus on was the fact that the earth was moving from side to side by about eight to ten metres." These are the words of Kathmandu resi…07 Jun 2016 • Lottie Gross videocam Video
Painting the town red, pink, green and yellow: Holi Festival 2016 in pictures
Every year, Hindus around the world celebrate Holi Festival: the festival of colours. The event attracts many non-Hindus to take part, too, with hundreds of p…24 Mar 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
Going it alone on the Annapurna Base Camp trek
Rough Guides writer Helen Abramson discovers the ups and downs of the Annapurna Base Camp trek in Nepal – all without the help of a porter or guide. Someth…13 Mar 2015 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article