If you are looking to learn more about the Kingdom of Himalayan Mountains, diverse culture & traditions, artistic architecture, and exotic species of animals, there is more to it than what just meets the eyes.
Here we have prepared a list of fun and interesting thing about this beautiful Asian country to make your research about the country exciting.
1. People are not so fond of Zebra crossings
You will find that the majority population of Nepalese people does not use zebra crossing that often. Rather, you will see people crossing from wherever they want even in the busy streets of city areas. This had been quite a problem in the city areas with a high risk of accidents. However, in recent years, the government has set some strict rules to control the unmanaged crossing with penalty and road lessons if any people found violating the law.
2. Cows blocking the busy streets
You will be surprised to see cows in the middle of the streets if this is your first time in the country. You will find people trying hard not to bother these holy creatures; you will also find vehicles finding the way around the sitting cow rather than honking at it. The country whose majority of the population is Hindu have great affection for these mythical creatures, the cows were even declared national animal by the constitution of Nepal in 2015.
3. Organized street mess
There aren’t street light and traffic in every corner of the country. So, you will see the road filled with vehicles and people taking their own turn to change direction or head through a certain junction. Although it may seem like a total unplanned mess, you will find a pattern in that people are taking their turn to head out on the direction they want. The vehicles in such areas are not monitored by any cameras or traffic, you will find people deciding themselves who should head out first; a planned organized mess indeed.
4. MOMO craze everywhere
This is the most common thing you will witness in every corner of the country, people’s craze for the steamed dumplings with several kinds of stuffing from vegetarian, dairy items to different kinds of meats. This dish is served with special kinds of soup and ‘achar’ making it one of the kind and a dish that everyone loves in the Nepalese’s community. You will almost find MOMO in every corner of the country from big start hotels to small street vendors.
5. The average life expectancy
The average life expectancy of the Nepalese people has been estimated to be around 59 years old. The different types of pollution in the country like air pollution and water pollution are the major factors that are affecting the life expectancy of the people, the life expectancy of people has been decreasing compared to the last decades. Similarly, the average number of children that a Nepalese woman will give birth has been calculated to be around 2.7.
6. People don’t like alcohol that much
The alcohol consumption rate in this country with rich culture and tradition is pretty low. It has been estimated that around 75.3% of adult women have never drunk any alcohol and on the male side about 52.9% of adult men have never tasted alcohol. Similarly, only about 1% of the total population likes consuming wine, 34% of the population consumes beer whereas a surprising number of 65% of the population likes spirits.
7. Top producer of Mustard and Ginger
The country which has more than 66% of the population directly involved in farming is the mass producer of mustard and ginger in the world. Nepal ranks Number 1 among the countries that produce mustard seeds in the world. Similarly, Nepal has secured the Number 3 position when it comes to the world’s biggest producer of ginger. Especially in hilly regions, the planation of ginger and mustard is done in mass numbers.
8. The left hand is prohibited while eating and offering something
It might come as a surprise to the lefties across the world, but, in Nepal, it is strictly restricted to eat food using the left hand. The use of the left hand is compared to the act of using the toilet in the country, as the tradition of toilet paper is not that popular. Similarly, if you are offering something to others, don’t use the left hand, offering things to people with the left hand is considered a sign of disrespect in the country.
9. Nepal holds the handshake record
Nepal holds the record for the longest handshake in the world. Two Nepali men Bikram Timilsina and his cousin Santosh Timilsina set the world record by shaking hands for 48 hours and 35 minutes. They set the Guinness world record in 2011 holding the unique title on their name.
10. World’ youngest professional photographer in from Nepal
Rirendra Shrestha holds the title of the world’s youngest professional photographer is from Nepal. He was just 2 years and 2 days old when he debuted in the professional photography section. His work exemplary work at such a young age became a global sensation and he was dubbed the youngest professional photographer in the world. Rirerndra has also been awarded several awards in the country as well, his work was exhibited and sold in 2006/2007.
11. Flying to Nepal is expensive
Although facilities like accommodation, food, and clothing are reasonable in the country, getting into Nepal can be quite expensive. The planes in Nepal are quite limited, so the Nepal airline services have been limited to only up to Asian countries. Thus, while traveling into the country or traveling outside the country, travelers are forced to use the transit flight for the countries outside Asia and also for some countries within the Asian continent.
12. You could get arrested for PDA
More than being a conservative nation, the culture and tradition of the country don’t approve the public display of affection. No, you won’t get arrested for holding hands or simple kiss, but, if you take things too far you may get in trouble. Yes, you could say that it’s a developing country and people don’t appreciate such actions. However, Nepalese culture is all about honor and respect so, too much PDA is considered a disrespectful action, try to be respectful to the country’s culture and traditions.
13. The myth of Yeti
The country has a rather interesting myth about the Himalayan region, which is said to be the home of the abominable snowman also known as Yeti. This mythical creature has been described as the thick hairy creature with the body size of a big gorilla; dozen people including the father of Tenzing Norge Sherpa (first person to climb Everest) claimed that they had encountered the Yeti. Even, Ir Edmund Hillary set out on an expedition to find the abominable snow in 1958, but, it turned out to be a failed attempt.
14. The Kathmandu was the ‘Kantipur’
The capital of Nepal was not named Kathmandu from the very beginning, the beautiful valley was known as the Kantipur when the Malla dynasty was ruling the valley. The valley was the medieval kingdom of the Mallas and the name had pretty a strong meaning defining the peaking years of Malla regime. The ‘Kantipur’ can be translated into the ‘City of Glory’, a fitting name to describe the Golden years of the valley when the glorifying arts, architectures, and sculptures that you can see today were forged.
15. Nepal’s capital as immersed in water
Before the settlement of the beautiful valley in the middle of the Hills, the Kathmandu valley was totally immersed in water. Surrounded by the green lush hills, this valley was indeed a big lake full of floating lotuses; this fact was also proved right by the Geologist. There is also a myth about the Priest Manjushree who is said to have cut off the hills in Chovar to drain this big magnificent lake for civilization to flourish downhill.
16. The capital of Nepal is known as the ‘World’s Living Cultural Museum’
The Kathmandu city was the status of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 for being home to more than 130 pilgrimages and monuments of significant importance. The cultural and religious sites like Pashupatinath Temple, Bouddhanath Stupa, Swayambhunath, Changunarayan Temple, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and Kathmandu Durbar Square are listed in UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Sites. So, the capital with so many historic and religious sites have been dubbed at the living cultural museum of the world.
17. Newari people are the original inhabitants of the valley
The multi-cultural and multi-ethnic Kathmandu valley which it is today, such wasn’t the case always. The valley was once only home to Newari people in the very beginning, the Newari people are considered the direct descendants of the racial and ethnic group of the people who resided in the valley for almost two millennials before people started migrating from other regions. The ancestry of the Newari people can be traced back to the direct blood relationship with the first settlements of the valley.
18. The motto of Nepal’s capital is ‘Unity in Diversity’
In the total population of the country, 81.3% of people are from the Hindu religion, 9% follow the Buddhist religion, 1.4% belongs to Christianity and 0.8% are from other religions. Similarly, there are more than 80 ethnicities in the country and more than 123 languages are spoken. So, the capital of this beautifully diverse country, which the primary hub for migration has been dubbed as the valley where all religions and cultures come together. The people wholeheartedly follow the motto ‘Unity in Diversity’ and lead a peaceful harmonious lifestyle.
19. The Kathmandu is a pretty popular shooting spot
Almost every major place in Kathmandu is filled with artistic architecture, rich history, simply magnificent natural beauty and you can also witness the diverse culture & traditions in every corner. So, likely, the directors want to capture the scenic locations of the Kathmandu valley in their projects; you can find the different locations of the valley in many of the significant movies and TV shows. If you are lucky, you might even find some of the big stars of different cinemas around the Kathmandu city.
20. Nepal is an ideal destination for adventure sports
The high hills, majestic Himalayan ranges, an unlimited number of water resources, and complex landscapes in the country open a lot of opportunities for adventurous activities in the country. The country has always been a top choice when it comes to water adventures like kayaking and rafting due to its high rapid white-water rivers. Similarly, extreme adventure sports like bungee jump, bungee swing, zipline flying including trekking, hiking, and mountaineering are quite popular in the country.
21. Nepal strategic location helped the country growth and survival
This beautiful landlocked country surrounded by hills made it almost impossible for the foreign army to conquer it. The country also experienced a dark age from the late 600s to 1200, the neighboring countries like Tibet and Kashmir tried to conquer Nepal during that era. However, the country strategic location made it impossible for the invading countries to have an upper hand; Nepal was never been successfully invaded or conquered by any of the world’s major power alliances.
22. The Himalayas fuel the major rivers in Asia
The three major rivers in the entire continent of Asia, the Ganga-Brahmaputra, the Indus, and the Yangtze are nourished by the Himalayan range. All of these three major rivers systems are originated from the Himalayan range, the Himalayas are also the world’s third-largest source of snow and ice. The Himalayas are home to the over 15,000 glaciers which contains about 3,000 cubic miles of the water source; the other two largest depositories of snow and ice being two polar regions.
23. The Himalayas ranges are approximately 70 million-years-old
The infamous mountain range Himalayas has been estimated to be approximately 70 million years old. The Himalayan range acts as the natural borderline in Asia separating the Tibetian plateau from the Indian sub-continent, also, the Himalayan range is spread across the five countries in Asia; Nepal, China, Bhutan, India, and Pakistan. Although, the 70 million-year-old mountain range can be considered pretty old, however, such isn’t the case, the Himalaya mountain range happens to be the youngest mountain range in the world.
24. Nepal attempted expansion in the Chinese border
Nepal also tried to spread its border in the Chinese region, however, it turned out to be a failed attempt and the country had to settle with the Sugauli Treaty in 1816. After the failed expansion attempt, the country was left with the boundaries it has today. The prideful warriors of the country felt humiliation from the defeat and the country cut off ties or any kind of contact with the foreign countries; Nepal only reopened its border in 1951 to the outside world.
25. Nepal’s GDP--$29.81 billion
According to the stats of 2019, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country was $29.81 billion. The majority of the population in the county depend on agriculture, however, only 32% of the country’s GDP comes from the agriculture sector; the products like rice, wheat, corn, and sugarcane are among the most produced agriculture products in the country. Similarly, 54% of GDP comes from the service sectors in the country like tourism sectors, textiles, and industries.
26. The country suffered a devastating Earthquake in 2015
On 25th April 2015, the country suffered from a violent intensity of earthquake on their local time 11;56am with 7.58 magnitude. The epicenter for the earthquake was Barpak which is located to the east of the Kathmandu, the hypocenter of the earthquake was about eight kilometers. During the time of the earthquake, it was reported that some parts of the cities were vertically lifted up to 3 feet, doing a lot of damage to the historic and religious sites.
27. World’s shortest man was from Nepal
The Nepali citizen Chandra Bahadur Dani(November 1939- September 2015) held the record for the shortest man in the world, Bahadur was 54.6cm(1 foot 91⁄2 inches) tall. He received the record for the shortest adult human in the world after his measurement in February 2012 and recorded his name in the Guinness Wolrd Record. Also, among his five brothers, three of them were recorded to be below the height of 4 feet. Chandra had beat the record of the Gul Mohammed (1957-1997) who was 1ft 10 inches tall and who held the record for the shortest adult man in the world.
28. Center of historic trade
The capital of Nepal was the historic trade center for the trade between India and Tibet. The old-timer traders took this route as it was easily associable to make the business exchange, as a result, the historic trade route brought in the fusion of religions, traditions, and architecture in the valley introducing the era of great diversity. The Kathmandu valley prospered as the resting port for the two major crossroads in Asia and picked up many things from the travelers, the valley was even dubbed as the cultural mixing pot.
29. The popular freak street
The freak street in Kathmandu was quite famous for the hippies in the 60s and 70s as the paradise of weeds. Although, the buying and selling of the weed were illegal all around the world, during that time the Kathmandu city was the hub for the weed and was also known as the ‘weed capital’. During that time people used to grow weed almost everywhere, around the roads, hills, farms, and mostly in the rural areas of the country. The weed farm was quite normal during the time as it was also used as medicines for farm animals like cows and goats.
30. The highest number of Everest summit
The country with the highest mountain in the world Mt Everest also holds the record for the highest summits of the majestic mountain. The Nepalese citizen, Kami Rita Sherpa holds the record for the highest number of the summits of the Mt. Everest. Kami Rita made his first ascent to the summits of the tallest mountain in the world in 1994; he later reached his 23rd and 24th summits in 2019 when he was 49 years old.