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Nepal, is a landlocked Himalayan country in South Asia, bordered by China (Tibet) to the north and by India to the south, east and west. Nepal is a kingdom of various geographical features,and is culturally rich.More than 80% of Nepalese follow Hinduism, which is higher than the percentage of Indian Hindus, making it the single most Hinduic nation in the world. For a small territory, the Nepali landscape is uncommonly diverse, ranging from the humid Terai in the south to the lofty Himalayas in the north. Nepal boasts eight of the world's fourteen highest mountains, including Mount Everest on the border with China. Kathmandu is the capital and largest city. The other main cities include Bharatpur, Biratnagar, Bhairahawa, Birgunj, Janakpur, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, and Mahendranagar. The origin of the name Nepal is uncertain, but the most popular understanding is that it derived from Ne (holy) and pal (cave). After a long and rich history, during which the region splintered and coalesced under a variety of absolute rulers, Nepal became a constitutional monarchy in 1990. However, the monarchy retained many important and ill-defined powers. This arrangement was marked by increasing instability, both in the parliament and, since 1996, in large swathes of the country that have been fought over by Maoist insurgents. The Maoists, alienated from mainstream political parties, went underground and started a guerilla war against both monarchy and mainstream political parties. They have sought to overthrow feudal institutions, including the monarchy, and establish a republic. This has led to the ongoing Nepalese Civil War in which more than 13,000 people have died. On the pretext of quashing the insurgents, who now control about 60% of the country, the king closed down the parliament and sacked the elected prime minister in 2002 and started ruling through prime ministers appointed by him. He then unilaterally declared a state of emergency early in 2005, and assumed all executive powers. Following the Loktantra Andolan, the king agreed to relinquish the sovereign power back to the people and reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives on April 24, 2006. Using its newly acquired sovereign authority, on May 19, 2006, the newly resumed House of Representatives unanimously passed a motion to curtail the power of the king and declared Nepal a secular state. As of September, 2006, a complete rewrite of the country's constitution was still expected to happen in the near future.

Nepal is of roughly rectangular shape, 650 kilometres (400 mi) wide and 200 kilometres (125 mi) broad, with an area of 147,181 square kilometres (56,827 sq mi). Nepal is commonly divided into three physiographic areas: the Mountain, Hill, and Terai Regions. These ecological belts run east-west and are bisected by Nepal's major river systems.

The Terai Plains bordering India are part of the northern rim of the Indo-Gangetic plains. They were formed and are fed by three major rivers: the Kosi, the Narayani (India's Gandak River), and the Karnali. This region has a hot, humid climate.

The Hill Region (Pahar in Nepali) abuts the mountains and varies from 1,000 to 4,000 metres (3,300-13,125 ft) in altitude. Two low mountain ranges, the Mahabharat Lekh and Shiwalik Range (also called the Churia Range) dominate the region. The hilly belt includes the Kathmandu Valley, the country's most fertile and urbanised area. Despite its geographical isolation and limited economic potential, the region always has been the political and cultural centre of Nepal. Unlike the valleys, elevations above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) are sparsely populated.

The Mountain Region contains the highest region in the world. The world's highest mountain, Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepali) at 8,850 metres (29,035 ft) is located on the border with China. Eight of the world's fourteen highest mountains are located in Nepal. Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest peak, is also located in Nepal. Deforestation is a major problem in all regions, with resulting erosion and degradation of ecosystems.

Nepal has five climatic zones, broadly corresponding to altitude. The tropical and subtropical zones lie below 1,200 metres (3,940 ft), the temperate zone 1,200 to 2,400 metres (3,900-7,875 ft), the cold zone 2,400 to 3,600 metres (7,875-11,800 ft), the subarctic zone 3,600 to 4,400 metres (11,800-14,400 ft), and the arctic zone above 4,400 metres (14,400 ft). Nepal experiences five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. The Himalaya blocks cold winds from Central Asia in winter, and forms the northern limit of the monsoon wind patterns.

Although Nepal shares no boundary with Bangladesh, the two countries are separated by a narrow strip of land about 21 kilometre (13 mi) wide, called the Chicken's Neck. Efforts are underway to make this area a free-trade zone.

Information provided by Wikipedia

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