LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

BREAKING

Discover Nepal: A cultural and natural wonderland on 'the roof of the world'

FILE PHOTO: A drone view shows Mount Everest along with Khumbu Glacier and base camp in Nepal, April 30, 2024. Seven Summit Treks/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
Source: Handout

Often referred to as "The Roof of the World", Nepal is a treasure trove of cultural, natural, and religious heritage despite its relatively small size of 147,181 km² and a population of 31.07 million.

The country is renowned for its diverse landscapes, climates, and rich biodiversity. Geographically, Nepal stretches from the towering Himalayas, which include the world's highest peak, Mount Everest, to the lush Indo-Gangetic Plain. The nation's terrain allows for a remarkable range of altitudes, from 60 metres to the apex of Everest at 8,848 metres, resulting in a variety of climates from tropical to alpine.

It is a collage of over 125 ethnic groups speaking 123 languages, with Nepali as the official language. Hinduism predominates, with Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity also practised.

The country is dotted with natural wonders like Tilicho Lake, the world's highest lake at 4,919 metres, and is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the ancient city of Bhaktapur and the birthplace of Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, born in 563 BCE. The Kathmandu Valley and Chitwan National Park are also among its prized locations.

Cultural vibrancy is evident in Nepal's calendar as it is filled with over 50 festivals annually, including Tihar, Holi, and Dashain. Its cuisine is a delightful blend of Indian, Chinese, and Tibetan influences, featuring staples like dal bhat, momos, and sel roti.

Nepal's wealth of natural resources, including water, hydropower, and minerals, has been a cornerstone of its development. Despite challenges, the nation has seen substantial progress, with a growing GDP and enhanced access to education and healthcare.

The Asian Development Bank forecasts a 3.6% growth in Nepal's economy at market prices for the fiscal year 2024, an uptick from the 1.9% growth estimated for FY2023.

Nepal's storied past dates back to the 4th century BC, reaching a significant milestone in 1768 with the unification under Prithvi Narayan Shah. The Shah dynasty's rule concluded in 2008 with the monarchy's dissolution. Presently, Nepal operates as a federal parliamentary republic, with a president serving as the head of state and a prime minister as the head of government.

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