The recorded history of Nepal begins when the Kiratis from the eastern part of the country started to rule the country. The first known rulers of the Kathmandu valley were Kiratis. Yalamar was the first of their king, he was also mentioned in the Hindu epic the Mahabharata. During the Kirati period that Buddhism first arrived in the country, Krakuchhanda Buddha, Kanak Muni Buddha and Kashyapa Buddha visited the Kathmandu valley to worship Swayambhunath. After Kiratis, the Lichhavis as the second ruler of the country began ruling 4th to the 7th century. The temple of Changunarayan was built in the Licchavi period, which can be seen now a day.
The Malla period was the golden period of Kathmandu valley when great numbers of art, statues and temples were built. During the 14th century, Malla ruled this valley for a total period of 568 years. At that period this country was divided into small principalities and kingdoms of 24 groups in western and 22 groups in the far western Kathmandu valley was divided into three states of Kantipur, Lalitpur & Bhaktapur.
From the tiny Kingdom of Gorkha, halfway between Kathmandu and Pokhara the king of the Shah Dynasty gradually strengthened and extended their power. In 1768 king Prithivi Narayan Shah defeated the Malla kings and Nepal has been ruled by Shah Kings ever since. His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev is the twelfth king in this shah dynasty.
Nepal is a sovereign mountainous tiny country, located in Southern Asia. It is a landlocked country, situated between China to the North and India to the South East and West, which are the two giant countries of Asia. The area of Nepal is 1, 47,181 sq. km. In total which covers 0.3 percent of Asia and 0.03 percent area of the Earth. It lies between the latitude of 26’ 22’ and 30’ 27’ North and the longitude of 80’ 4’ and 88’ 12’ East. The country is small only about 880 km. length from East to West and breadth varies from 145 to 241 km from north to south. So the average breadth is 193 km, which covers approximately the same land area.
Geographically, Nepal is divided into three regions:
1. Himalayan Region
The Himalayan region covers 15 percent of the total land area which lies on the northern side of the country lying horizontally at the altitude of 4700m and above. In this region, white snow falls every season. So we found here, several mountains with Mt Everest (8848m), give pleasure to all mankind. Another attraction of this region is several Kundas (Big Lakes) and also several national parks, and wildlife reserves with Sagarmatha National Park, which is known as a world heritage site. In this region settlement of only SHERPA can be found. During snow season, YETI and bear footprints can be seen.
2. Hilly (Mountain) Region
The Hilly region covers 68 percent of the total land area. It is formed by the Mahabharat range that soars touching mountain regions at an altitude of 600 m to 4700 m in height. In winter, snow may fall in high hills. This region is formed by beautiful valleys like Kathmandu and Pokhara which is now famous for its fascinating lakes in Pokhara Fewa, Begnas and Rupa. Tilicho Lake in the Manang District, which is known as the highest lake in the world is situated at 5180m on the bottom of the Tilicho peak. Swimming and boating in these lakes be can be enjoyed by everyone. The three major rivers Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali come out from the Himalayas and flow through this region.
3. Tarai (plain) Region
The Terai region covers 17 percent of the total land area. This is a plain land area of Nepal at an altitude of 70m above sea level to 600 m in height. This region is home to religious places, national parks and wildlife reserves. The famous religious places are Janakpur, Lumbini and Barahachhetra. Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha who is the activator of world peace. There are four national parks and wildlife reserves in this region, among them are Chitwan National park which is the most famous for rhinoceros.