Nepal, a little landlocked country sandwiched between two giant neighbors- China and India, is a country blessed with many wonders. It is like a treasure box, best of things handpicked by the goddess herself and enclosed within its borders. Not only nature, but the manmade structures and beliefs and tradition of people here also make for something amusing. Following are some of those interesting facts about Nepal.
- Feet are ‘low’, a degrading position. Therefore, it is offensive to step on or over anything considered sacred which includes people and stationery. There is god in every human and books, pens, notebook and other things of education are considered instruments of Saraswati (goddess of knowledge and wisdom). Thus, touching them with feet is wrong.
- Within the area of 147,181km2, Nepal houses more than 80 different ethnic groups who speak 123 different languages according to the census of 2011.
- 8 of the 10 highest mountains in the world are in Nepal, including the highest of them all- Mount Everest.
- Both 3G and 4G internet services are available in the Everest, at the height of 5,200m above sea level.
- Chandra Bahadur Dangi (54.6cm), the shortest human adult in history, was from Dang district of Nepal. He died in 3rd September 2015 at the age of 75 in American Samoa.
- Cows are sacred in Nepal. Killing them is illegal. Most Nepalese do not eat beef. This comes from the Hindu belief system that makes most of the population. The country itself is secular and is recognized for its religious harmony.
- Nepal’s is the only national flag that is not quadrilateral in shape. Instead, it is a stack of two triangles, one over the other and is the most mathematical flag. There are quite a few interpretations to its color and shape. According to one of them, the triangles represent Himalayas, the moon in the upper triangle represents calm and tranquil nature of Nepalese while the sun on the lower half represents fierce resolve. The moon and sun is also said to stand for the coolness of the Himalayas and the heat in the Terai region of Nepal.
- 10 of Nepal’s heritages are enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 7 of them are all inside a single valley, Kathmandu, within 15km radius.
- Nepal used to be a Kingdom until 2008. The palace the last royal family lived in, Narayanhiti Palace, is now a museum open to public.
- Only in Nepal is a pre-pubescent girl worshiped as an earthly manifestation of the Goddess. She is known as Kumari. There are three Kumaris in the three capitals of ancient Nepal and in some other major villages of that time. Only the Kumari of Kathmandu, the current capital, still lives in the Kumari Chen (House designated for the living goddess) and follows rules most strictly.
- Everest Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Circuit Trek of Nepal are two of the most popular trekking destinations in the world. But do you know you cannot see the peak of Everest from its base camp in Nepal?
- There is only one zip line in Nepal. This one and only zip flyer was voted the most extreme. It is 1.8km long and is set at an angle of 56 degree. The speed can reach up to 140km per hour. It is also very scenic.
- Nepalese do not have an independent day to celebrate. Nepal was never conquered by any other country in its history.
- Nepal is the oldest country in South Asia.
- Nepal was once called the weed capital of the world. Selling hash was legal and there were numerous shops in Kathmandu where one could get the finest specimen. It all changed when in 1974, hashish was outlawed. Even then, you can find cannabis plants growing everywhere. This does not mean you can smoke weed though and trying to smuggle it out of the country is a serious offence. If found in possession of even a little amount of hashish, you could get up to 5 years of jail time.
This tiny little country holds many other records that make for a few more fun facts. They are: Lake Tilicho, the highest lake on earth, is in Nepal. The deepest gorge Kali Gandaki is in Nepal. The deepest lake in the world, Lake Shey Phoksundo, is in Nepal and the highest valley, Arun Valley, is also in Nepal.