Fun Facts About Nepal That You Probably Did Not Know

posted in: Life in Nepal | 2

The enigmatic country of Nepal boasts its diverse ethnicity, rich culture and awe-inspiring natural beauty. Nepal is truly a god’s playground with stunning majestic mountains, dramatic landscapes and mesmerizing lakes.

With a wide variety of flora and fauna, Nepal holds some of the rarest species wildlife such as the one-horned Rhino, Bengal tiger, Red Panda and the national flower Rhododendron.

We are listing some of the most interesting fun facts about Nepal. The most baffling fact about Nepal is that all of the following remarkable things happens within the area of 147,181 sq. km (56,827 sq. mi).

Table of Content

1. Map of Nepal and Portugal is similar
2. Unique Nepali Calendar
3. Slaughter cows is illegal
4. Nepal – Amazon of Asia
5. Kathmandu – Living Cultural Museum
6. Mt. Everest
7. Birthplace of Lord Buddha
8. Triangular Flag
9. Independent Nation
10. Living Goddess – Kumari
11. Last Hindu Country
12. Namaste – I salute the God in you
13. Yeti Resides in Nepal
14. Altitude Variation

1. Map of Nepal and Portugal is similar

Nepal and Portugal are alike in the world Map. They both have similar rectangular territory.. If the map of Nepal is turned 90 degrees clockwise, it looks very similar to the map of Portugal.
Map of Nepal
Map of Nepal

Map of Portugal
Map of Portugal

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2. Unique Nepali Calendar
Planning Contingency day for trekking in Nepal
Photo Courtesy: Imgarcade

The Nepali calendar called Bikram Sambhat is approximately 67 years and 8.5 months ahead of Gregorian calendar.

The Nepali New Year is celebrated in mid-April.
3. Slaughter cows is illegal
Cows in the street of Kathmandu, Nepal
Cows in the street of Kathmandu, Nepal

As a national animal of the country, slaughtering of cows is illegal in Nepal. Although, you can enjoy beef at different restaurants and eateries.

It is not uncommon to see cows wandering around the streets of Kathmandu.
4. Nepal – Amazon of Asia
Rhino in Nepal

In terms of biodiversity, Nepal is one of the richest countries in the world. It is rightfully called Amazon of Asia as it is a home for the variety of unique species of Flora and Fauna.

Nepal has more than 900 species of birds, which accounts to 8.9% of the total species of birds all around the world. It has 4.2 % of the world’s butterfly species and 3.96 percent of the world’s mammal species.
5. Kathmandu – Living Cultural Museum
Durbar Squares in Kathmandu
Durbar Squares in Kathmandu

Nepal is culturally rich country. There are dozens of World Heritage Sites categorized as Natural and Cultural World Heritage Sites.

Kathmandu valley alone has seven UNESCO’s World Heritage Cultural sites within a radius of 15 kilometers. No wonder! Kathmandu is known to be the living cultural museum of the world.
6. Mt. Everest
Mount Everest Nepal facts
Photo Courtesy: Snowbrains

Nepal has 8 out of 10 of the world’s highest mountains, including the world’s highest Mount Everest standing 8,848 meters high. Mount Everest is called Sagarmatha in Nepali and Chomolungma by the local Sherpas and Tibetans.

Thousands of trekkers visit to Everest Base Camp and hike to Kala Patthar to catch a glimpse of Mt. Everest closely.
7. Birthplace of Lord Buddha
Buddha’s Birthplace Lumbini, Nepal
Photo Courtesy: Glocalkhabar

Nepal is the birthplace of the Light of Asia- Buddha. Siddhartha Gautam (Buddha) was born in 623 B.C. in Kapilvastu, Lumbini, which lies in Nepal. Lumbini is now a sacred place of pilgrimage for Buddhists all over the world.

There are different relics around Maya Devi Temple which dates back to the time during Buddha’s birth.
8. Triangular Flag
Nepalese flag
Courtesy: Prem Guragain

Nepal is the only country in the world with a non-rectangular flag. Nepal’s flag is maroon colored with two triangular shapes stacked on one another with dark blue border. The upper triangle consists of moon and the lower triangle consists of the sun.

The current flag has been in place since 1962, although the basic design has been used for over 2,000 years in Nepal.
9. Independent Nation

Independent Nepal- Ghorkha

The famous warriors in the world- “Gurkhas” are from Nepal. Having been protected by the bravest warriors of the world, Nepal does not have an independent day as it was never colonized by any superpowers of the world.
10. Living Goddess – Kumari
Living Goddess Kumari From Nepal
Photo Courtesy: Nepalnews

Nepal has the only living Goddess in the world called Kumari. Kumari literally means virgin in Nepali. There are three different Kumari in three main cities of Kathmandu valley.

The word Kumari originates from the Sanskrit word Kaumarya. It means virgin referring to the culture of worshiping the virgins.

Kumari is also the childhood name of Lord Durga, one of the main Gods of the Hindu religion.

Nepalese believe Kumari as the manifestation of Lord Durga (Taleju Bhawani) in the body of a pure prepubescent girl. She is worth worshiping until she suffers some kind of injury or illness or until her first periods.

History records that the tradition of worshiping a  virgin girl started during the regime of the last Malla king Jaya Prakash Malla.

He had a  dream where Goddess Taleju ordered him to select and worship a virgin girl from a Shakya or Bajracharya family as the manifestation of herself.

Hence, he ordered his men the task of building Kumari Bahal (home of Kumari in the Basantpur area) and also started the festival of drawing the chariot of goddess Kumari along with the chariots of Lord Ganesh and Bhairav.

Besides, belonging to the Shakya family, the girls selected to be a Kumari must possess specific characteristics. For this, the physical requirements include black eyes, hair, and eyelashes like a cow. Plus, twenty unbroken teeth and body like a banyan tree.

Primarily the girl should be a virgin without any disfigurements. She should have the 32 noble virtues of Hindu culture. And her horoscope should match with that of the present King.

The major selection criteria is the special event on Kalratri or ‘black night’.  On that day the selected young girl has to spend the night alone in a courtyard with the severed heads of animals. And, if she shows courage and fearfulness during such frightening times, then she becomes eligible to be the next Kumari of Nepal. After Kalratri different processions take place to cleanse her past sins.

Once she passes all criteria, she starts residing in the Kumari Bahal, Basantapur.  Clad in elegant clothes and special make-over of a Kumari Goddess she lives an isolated life. She leaves her family and relatives as she has to let go of everything from her past life.

From this day on, she will be completely treated as a Goddess. She will not set foot on the ground outside the Bahal. Her caretakers will always carry her on a chariot during pujas and processions. Also, during special occasions of various festivals in Nepal, her caretakers travel her outside of Kumari Bahal.

There are many Kumaris in Nepal (almost every Newari village has its own). However, the Kumari of Kathmandu is the Royal Kumari of Nepal. And she is worshiped by the king and many political leaders as well.

Other devotees can also pay a visit to the Kumari Bahal. They can meet her, offer various offerings and receive blessings from the Goddess.

People have a belief that she relieves people from their troubles, physical, and financial problems. And bless her devotes with good fortune.

Kumari lives a unique life than other normal girls. She stands as a faith for many and gets royal treatment by the nation. As long as she is Kumari, she is not allowed to have direct contact with the rest of the world.

So, the transition from being a powerful deity to a normal child is troublesome to her. She finds difficulty to fit into the family she left behind years ago and follow the rules and obligations.

But to help them adjust in the society after their reign, special teachers and coach give them school education and other basic training. They prepare them to socialize with the outer world.

Another hindrance to her normal life is a long- believed myth. This stereotypical belief confines her from getting married. People believe that a Kumari should never get married or else the groom will die within six months of the wedding ceremony.

Despite these myths, few of the Kumaris are happily married. They are living normal lives with kids and family.

Kumari culture is not only the process of worshiping the divinity on certain occasions. Or, surfing her around during processions. But Kumari culture has a very significant religious, historic and cultural value to the Nepali people.

This is a special culture of the Newar community. The living Goddess of Nepal, Kumari, represents the Nepalese identity and culture.

It is a century-old tradition to worship a divine power. The power that blesses the Nepali people with harmony, faith, and strength in difficult times.

11. Last Hindu Country
Hindus in Nepal
Photo Cpurtesy: Readthespirit

Nepal was the last Hindu Country in the world when it was declared secular by the parliament in the year 2006. Although many religion harmoniously co-exist in the country, 81.3 percent of the population in the country follows Hinduism.

Nepal still has the highest proportion of Hindus in the world.
12. Namaste – I salute the God in you
Namaste Nepal
Photo Courtesy: edgeofseven

Handshake is quite uncommon in Nepal. People of Nepal put their palms together and bow their forehead and say Namaste or Tashidele (in the Sherpa Communities). Namaste is directly translated as ‘I salute the God in you’.
13. Yeti Resides in Nepal
Mysterious Yeti From Nepal
Photo Courtesy: Imnepal

The mysterious creature of the Himalayas called Yeti is said to be spotted in the Nepalese Himalayas by many who have trodden the secluded path in the Himalayas.

Sir Edmund Hillary even led an expedition to find the Yeti in 1958.
14. Altitude Variation
Beautiful landscape of Nepal

Nepal is the only country with altitudinal variation that ranges from 59 meters to 8848 meters. Nepal holds some of the most extreme places on the earth such as the highest lake on the earth (Tilicho 4800 meters), the highest valley on earth (Arun valley), the deepest gorges (1200 meter) in Kaligandaki and the tallest grassland in the world in Chitwan.

What do you think about our list of interesting and fun facts about Nepal? Let us know by commenting below.

2 Responses

  1. Arunkumar

    I like traveling after seeing your thought of view I like very much travelling.

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