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Nepal

Nepal: Political System

Since 1990 Nepal has been a constitutional monarchy with the king as head of state in an officially democratic multi-party system. However, King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Sha Dev had overturned his government in 2005 and ruled a country in a state of emergency with emergency laws until 2006. Two-thirds of the state, however, was controlled by Maoists who pursued the abolition of the monarchy as their goal. At the beginning of April they tried to suppress the royal authority with an eleven-day general strike. They successfully blocked all access roads to the capital, driving up food prices in Kathmandu. Hundreds of people lost their lives in clashes with the army.

Nepal: Political System

The country's politics then took a dramatic turn with the elections on April 10, 2008, in which the Maoists, under their leader Prachandra, whose "civil" name was Pushpa Kamal Dahal, took part. The goal of the assembly to be elected was then nothing less than the abolition of the approximately 240 year old royalty. That happened on May 29, 2008. Of the delegates, 560 voted for the abolition of the monarchy and only four against. The largest group in the constituent assembly were the Maoists, who won 220 seats in the 601-member assembly.

According to Digopaul.com, the official name of the country is:

Republic of Nepal

National anthem

The national anthem of Nepal from 2007 reads in the English translation

We are hundreds of flowers, a garland - Nepali

sovereign, it extends from Mechi to Mahakali.

It accumulates all natural resources.

With the blood of heroes it is independent and unshakable.

Land of knowledge, land of peace, Terai, hills, mountains

This beloved motherland Nepal is indivisible.

The different races, languages, religions and cultures are so vast.

Our progressive nation, long live long live Nepal.

National flag

Based on flag descriptions by Countryaah.com, today's national flag of Nepal was officially introduced on December 16, 1962. It shows two carmine red triangles with a dark blue border. In the upper triangle there is a crescent moon lying on its back, from which eight rays emanate. The lower triangle shows a sun with twelve rays.

The color on the edge blue stands for peace and carmine red is the Nepalese national color. The crescent moon and star symbolize the hope that the nation will last as long as the heavenly bodies. The tips of the two triangles symbolize the mountain peaks of the Himalayas.

Nepal flag and coat of arms

Note

The flag is the only one in the world that has more than four corners.

Nepal: Known People

Sherpa Jamling Tensing Norgay (1914 - 1986)

and Sir Edmund Hillary (born 1919 in Auckland/NZ - 2008) were the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953.

Siddharta Gautama Buddha (the enlightened) was born in Lumbini in 566 or 563. He is the namesake of the religion we know as Buddhism, to which an estimated 500 million people worldwide profess.

Dalai Lama (Mongolian: Ocean of Knowledge) is considered the highest secular and high religious authority in Buddhist Tibet. The current 14th Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, born on July 6, 1935 in Takster, whose maiden name is Lhamo Dhondrub.

Nepal: animals

Mammals

Deer are most common in Nepal, especially axis deer and pig deer. Axis deer are also native to India and Sri Lanka. The approximately 80 cm tall animals have a spotted red-brown fur and a white belly and legs. They prefer open terrain and avoid dense forests. They were introduced in Croatia, the south of the USA, Hawaii, South America and the Andamans in Asia.

Other species of deer are swamp and sambar deer. Different antelope species are also represented in Bardia and Koshi Tappu. These include the deer goat antelope and the Nilgau antelope.

In these areas one can also encounter domesticated wild buffalo, as well as gaurs in the dry lower foothills. The latter is the largest of all wild cattle with a length of 3 m and a height of almost 2 m. It has a dark brown to black fur and feeds on grass and bamboo shoots, among other things. In the domesticated form, the Gaur is called Gayal. Wild boars are not uncommon, as are monkeys. Rhesus monkeys in the Annapurna area can be quite a nuisance in the temple areas, while the silver-colored langur monkeys with their black faces and long, rope-like tails are rather shy and inconspicuous.

The yak is without question one of the farm animals. In addition to milk and meat, it also supplies leather and wool. The dried manure is used as fuel. They are also extremely useful riding and pack animals.

The musk deer lives secluded in the birch forests of the highlands. Male animals are hunted for the secretion from their musk gland, which is very popular in traditional Asian medicine. That is the main reason for the decline in populations and for the fact that the animals are largely protected. Both sexes are easy to recognize by their long canine teeth, which can be up to ten centimeters long in males.

In regions around 2500 - 4400 m, the Himalayan tahr is the most common mammal, but the serow, a relative of the goats, is occasionally found in remote gorges. A tahr is an Asiatic genus of goat-like and is the main prey of the snow leopard. You are most likely to meet him in the morning or in the evening while grazing.

The tallest living mammal is the blue sheep. This master climber owes its name to its yellowish-brown fur, which turns blue-gray in winter.

Big cats like the fish cat, the leopard cat and the panther live in the remote regions of the lowlands, but are not as rare as the threatened Bengal tiger. With a length of 2.5 to 3 m and a height of 1 m, it is the second largest subspecies and is also known as the King Tiger. The famous white tigers are only found in this species. The nocturnal animal feeds on deer, gauren, wild boar and monkeys.

The jackals are seldom seen, but heard all the more frequently at night. Little is known about the lifestyle of the very rare snow leopard. It is one of the most critically endangered big cats as it is hunted for its fur and bones. The bones are ground into powder and are considered in Chinese medicine as a panacea and sexual enhancer. The snow leopard is endangered and is under strict conservation.

The Himalayan bear and the Indian rhinoceros are also among the rarer mammals in Nepal. Both are under conservation, while the Indian rhinoceros lives exclusively in Chitwan and Bardia.

Due to its unpredictability, the sloth bear living in the Terai is not entirely harmless and you should stay away from it.

The red panda lives at altitudes above 1800m and, unlike its relatives, does not only eat bamboo. Grasses, roots, berries as well as insects and small rodents are also on the menu. The 90 cm long, nocturnal animal with its dense, red-brown fur belongs to the small bear family, is threatened by the destruction of its habitat and is therefore under nature protection.

Reptiles (without snakes)

There are two species of crocodiles in Nepal, both of which are critically endangered, are under nature protection and are most likely to be observed in winter. The gharial lives exclusively in rivers, while the marsh crocodile prefers boggy terrain and shallow sea foothills. The gharial is the only representative of the gharial family. The most characteristic feature is the long and pointed snout with a bulbous attachment at the end of the snout in the male. The crocodile reaches a length of 6.50 m and is well specialized in fishing. But it also feeds on turtles, birds and small mammals.

Geckos are not uncommon and you will often see them walking along the walls of houses.

Snakes (not poisonous)

There are many snakes in Nepal, but most of them are said to be non-toxic, such as the pythons.

Poisonous animals

Among the most venomous snakes include the Kraits and the pit viper. All in all, the following venomous snakes live here, which we have listed individually, as they could possibly be a danger to visitors to the country:

  • IndianWolf Snake, Indian (Common) Wolf Snake (Lycodon aulicus)
  • RadiantSnake, Copper-headed Trinket Snake (Coelognathus radiatus)
  • Chain viper, Russell's viper (Daboia russelii) (the most dangerous local snake)
  • Himalayan Halysotter, Himalayan Pit signed (Gloydius himalayanus)
  • Himalayan krait, Northeastern Hill Krait (Bungarus bungaroides)
  • Indian krait, Indian krait (Bungarus caeruleus)
  • Yellow-banded krait, banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus)
  • Lesser Black Krait (Bungarus lividus)
  • Greater Black Krait (Bungarus niger)
  • Are Krait or Wall`s Krait (Bungarus walli or sindanus)
  • Tibetan bamboo pit viper, Tibetan pitocket (Trimeresurus tibetanus)
  • Spectacled snake, cobra (well well)
  • Monocled cobra, monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia)
  • King Cobra. King Cobra (Ophiophagus Hannah)
  • Mountain Pit Viper, Mountain Pit Viper (Ovophis monticola)
  • Himalayan Pit Viper, Himalayan Habu Pit Viper (Protobothrops himalayanus)
  • MacClelland's Coral Snake, MacClelland's Coral Snake (Sinomicrurus macclellandi univirgatus)
  • White-lipped pit viper, white-lipped pit viper (Trimeresurus albolabris)
  • Nepal pit viper, Kramer's pit viper (Trimeresurus septentrionalis)
  • Red-necked water snake, red-necked keelback (Rhabdophis subminiatus)
  • Tawny Cat Snake, Tawny Cat Snake (Boiga ochracea)

Birds

The peacocks are among the most conspicuous birds. The most notable and well-known feature are the enormously elongated and magnificently colored upper tail-coverts of the male, which are provided with eye drawings. They are spread out and erected during courtship and serve to impress the female. They prefer the dense jungle on hilly terrain and are quite shy.

The numerous birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, harriers, kites, vultures and owls exist in almost all heights, but they are particularly common in the Terai and the Alpine zone. The greatest biodiversity is in the Terai. Here live cormorants, gulls, darters, kingfishers and cuckoos, crows, jungle fowls, partridges and walking ducks. Herons, storks, cranes, ducks and pond fowls will be found near lakes.

Paradise flycatchers, adjutant storks and hornbills are rare occurrences. The latter owe their name to a nose piece. They breed in tree hollows and feed on fruits, berries, insects and small mammals.

The national bird of Nepal is the danphe, a species of pheasant.

Invertebrates, insects

The leeches are a real nuisance during the rainy season. They can be found in the Terai as well as in the mountains. They are attracted by body heat and either drop off branches or crawl up their legs and eventually suck on. After a while they often drop again unnoticed. It is not recommended to tear it off as it can cause inflammation of the wound.

Beware of mosquitoes, which are also abundant: the anopheles mosquito e.g. serves as a carrier of malaria.

But there are also more pleasant contemporaries, such as the more than 600 species of butterflies, of which the orange oak leaf butterfly and the golden bird butterfly are the best known.

Underwater world

The Ganges dolphin lives in the Karnali and Sapt Koshi rivers. The 2-3 m long dolphin is gray-black in color, with the back being darker. It occurs in the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra.

Nepal: plants

Nepal's vegetation is divided into three main groups, which are determined by the altitude: the lowlands with the Terai, the Chure Hills and the valleys up to a height of around 1,000 m, the mean heights between 1,000 and 3,000 m and the Himalayas from 3,000 m up to the vegetation line at around 5,000 m.

Trees

The Terai has a subtropical character and you can find plants here, most of which are industrially processed. Here grow Salbäume, kapok trees, banyan trees, Saj- and Haldubäume and Würgerebe. The sal tree is considered sacred by Buddhists and Hindus, as is the pepul tree, which is also known as the buddha tree. According to legend, Buddha was enlightened under a pepul tree.

The banyan tree is a botanical specialty and is one of the largest living organisms in the world. It is also known as the strangler fig or Bengal fig. He is a hemiepiphyte, which means that the rhizome (root stock) of this plant rises up on tree trunks, but roots in the ground. By being anchored in the ground, the plant is supplied with nutrients and the aerial roots become thicker and lignified. Over time, they develop into trunks, some of which are enormous in diameter. When the roots touch, they fuse, creating a dense network around the host tree. In this way, its main vessels are pinched off and it dies. Banyan trees are fast-growing and can reach a size of over 30 m. What is more impressive, however, is its scope. The largest banyan tree has a diameter of 300 m and stands in Calcutta. The tree is sacred to many peoples because it is regarded as the seat of spirits.

In the western and central regions of the middle altitudes, the emodi pine is widespread. Chestnuts and chilies dominate the lower altitudes, while alders thrive in the shady valleys. The mountain camellia as well as alders, oaks and rhododendrons thrive on the high slopes. There are over 500 species of rhododendrons in Nepal, of which the tree rhododendron flower is the country's national flower.

The oak species Khasra, which is characterized by its prickly leaves, grows at altitudes above 2000 m. At these altitudes, the deciduous trees are increasingly being displaced by conifers such as pines and cedars.

Typical of the Himalayas are the long-needle Himalayan pine, the Himalayan red fir and the blue pines. Hemlocks, pines and larches thrive in more humid areas. Poplars are not uncommon on watercourses, just as barberries are common in exposed terrain. Birch trees form the highest tree line, with the white birch being the most common.

Crops

Since the lowlands of Nepal has a subtropical character, grow here besides bananas, oranges and lemons and mangoes and grapefruits. Fruits like pineapples, peaches and papayas can be found in the Kathmandu valley.

Paper is made from the bark of the Lokta shrub that thrives in the Annapurna region. A very resistant material is made from the stems of the nettles that also grow in this area.

Medicinal plants

The eucalyptus tree is also known under the names fever tree and blue gum tree. It belongs to the myrtle family, grows very quickly and reaches a size of 6 m. Typical of the tree with the reddish to light brown bark are the older, drooping, leather-like leaves that are up to 20 cm long. Both the dried leaves and the essential oil are used as remedies. It promotes expectoration, relaxes cramps and when applied locally it promotes blood circulation. Therefore, eucalyptus is used for colds of the airways and as an oil externally for rheumatic complaints.

The pepul tree is also one of the medicinal plants, as its fruits have an antibacterial effect.

Cardamom belongs to the ginger family and is native to Sri Lanka and southern India. The seeds used in medicine and as a spice are contained in an elongated capsule. The essential oil from the seeds is said to have an antibacterial effect. The actual healing effect, however, lies in the promotion of digestion by stimulating gastric juice and bile secretion. Therefore, cardamom is often used for digestive disorders such as gas and bloating.

Poisonous plants

The buttercup from the buttercup family is known under different names, including the hot buttercup. The 30 to 70 cm tall plant has small golden yellow flowers. The whole plant is poisonous, but after drying it loses its poisonous substances. Skin contact causes redness, swelling, blistering and itching of the skin. If parts of plants are ingested orally, gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are the result. In addition to dizziness, there may also be difficulty breathing due to irritation of the bronchi.

More plants

Bamboo, elephant grass that can grow up to 3 m high, mimosa and jasmine shape the image of the Terai. Creepers are just as numerous in this subtropical part of Nepal. A common image are orchids, which the eye can always delight in.

Plants such as begonias, dahlias, geraniums, hibiscus and gardenia grow in the Kathmandu valley. The latter is an evergreen shrub that grows up to 150 cm high and belongs to the madder family. The dense white flowers and 10 cm long dark green leaves are striking. Juniper bushes are also an indispensable part of Nepal. Magnolias, tree ferns and cardamom

feel at home in the shady valley areas of the middle heights. You will find cannabis everywhere. The dwarf bamboo grows in very damp places. The evergreen plant is only 80 cm high.

The dwarf rhododendron in the Himalayan region is also of small growth. Some species of this plant have a very intense cinnamon odor and are used as incense. Primroses, buttercups, lilies, delphiniums, edelweiss, columbines, sage and bitterroot are widespread here. Most of these plants bloom during the monsoons. If you are very lucky, you can admire the rare blue poppy in the Himalayas after the monsoon season. The eucalyptus, which grows in the lowlands of Nepal, comes from Australia.

 

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