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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

from Sanskrit Nepala, said to be from nipat "to fly down" (from ni "down" + pat "to fly") + alaya "abode, house." If this is right, the reference would be to villages in mountain vales. Related: Nepalese.


Nepal (; ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia with a population of 26.4 million. It is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and largest city. Modern Nepal is a secular parliamentary republic, with the fifth-largest economy among South Asian nations.

Nepal is bordered by China to the north and India to the south, east, and west. It is separated from Bangladesh by a narrow Indian corridor and from Bhutan by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal is located in the Himalayas and is home to eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Its southern Madhesh region is fertile and humid. The country has an area of , making it the world's 93rd largest country by area. It is also the 41st most populous country.

Nepal is first recorded in texts from the Vedic Age, the era that founded Hinduism, the country's predominant religion. Nepal was the world's last Hindu monarchy. Siddharta Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in the country's Rupandehi District. Buddhism is the country's second largest religion, with Tibetan Buddhism being the chief sect. The country also has minorities of Muslims, Kiratans and Christians.

Established in the 18th century, the early modern Kingdom of Nepal was led by the Shah dynasty, after Prithvi Narayan Shah unified many principalities in the region. Nepal contributed Gurkha forces to the British Empire since the 19th century. The Rana dynasty administered Nepal's government as hereditary Prime Ministers until 1951. A multiparty democracy evolved until King Mahendra enacted the panchayat system in 1960. In 1990, a parliamentary government was permitted by King Birendra. Nepal faced a decade-long Communist Maoist insurgency and mass protests against the authoritarian King Gyanendra in 2005, which led to the abolition of the monarchy in 2008. Its 2nd constituent assembly promulgated a new constitution in 2015. The main political blocs in Nepal are communists, social democrats and Hindu nationalists.

The Nepalese government works in the framework of a representative democracy with seven federal provinces. Nepal is a developing nation, ranking 145th on the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2014. The country struggles with the transition from a monarchy to a republic. It also suffers from high levels of hunger and poverty. Despite these challenges, Nepal is making steady progress, with the government declaring its commitment to elevate the nation from least developed country status in 2022.

Nepal has friendship treaties with India and the United Kingdom. It is a founding member and hosts the permanent secretariat of SAARC. It is also a member of the United Nations and BIMSTEC. Nepal is strategically important due to its location between Asia's great powers, China and India.

Nepal (band)

Nepal was an Argentine thrash metal band from Buenos Aires, originally assembled in 1984.

Nepal (disambiguation)

Nepal is a republic in Asia. The word may also refer to:

  • Kingdom of Nepal, kingdom in Asia from 1768 to 2008
  • Greater Nepal, an idea extending Nepal into Indian territory occupied between 1791 and 1816
  • Madhav Kumar Nepal, Prime Minister of Nepal from May 2009 to February 2011
  • Nepal, an Argentine thrash metal band
Nepal (magazine)

Nepal is national weekly magazine of Nepal.

Nepal (surname)

'Nepal' is a surname used by Khas Brahmin people of Nepal.

Usage examples of "nepal".

Nepal and Thibet to the east of China and Formosa, and through Assam and Cachar south-eastward to Tenasserim and Siam.

On the south from Burma to Kashmir, where the political border joins India, Bhutan and Nepal, there are still populations speaking Tibetan and following one or other of the Lamaist sects.

Nepal was searched, as was Bhutan, Sikkim, and even both sides of the Di-Chu, Ghost River, on the border of Tibet and China.

First to Tibet, then to a valley in east Nepal or west Bhutan, a valley called Khembalung.

Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and so on.

Tibet of Newar craftsmen from Nepal where copper statuary has long been traditional particularly because copper gives a better surface for fire-gilding.

Lost wax casting is still practised in Nepal, where it was probably brought from India, and is traditional among certain classes of Newar craftsmen.

I twist the attenuated powder between my fingertips, smelling it for clues to its origins, religious etiology commingling with the legend of a Buddhist electrician, the Nikola Tesla of Nepal.

In Nepal the conservatism which prolonged the life of Indian statuary styles long after they had disappeared from their country of origin exercised a profound influence on Tibet which depended greatly on Nepalese inspiration and craftsmen until modern times.

Nor should I have come to the Nepal of fantasy, what is in reality a raw assemblage of abominable filths and petty dirts, painful squalor overlooked by tourists.

The last time I saw you, you'd given up the Abominable Snowman business and were hiding out from Guido Scarducci's friends and relations in Nepal.

Actually we lost by one (1) vote, but five of our absentee ballots didn't get here in time -- primarily because they were mailed (to places like Mexico and Nepal and Guatemala) five days before the election.

Consultant to the EPA, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Defense, the government of Nepal, God knows who else.