What Is The Capital Of Nepal?

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what is the capital of nepal

The capital of Nepal is Kathmandu. The enchanting hills of the Himalayas surround Nepal and it has a rich cultural history. Kathmandu serves as the capital, administrative and cultural hub of Nepal. From the ancient temples, breathtaking views, cultural wonders and bustling markets, Kathmandu, truly become the centre and the capital of Nepal. Although Kathmandu has faced many natural challenges like earthquakes, floods, etc, it has stood the test of time every time. Here are the details of what is the capital of Nepal. Scroll down and read more. 

Kathmandu: The Capital of Nepal

Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is situated in a mountainous area near where the Baghmati and Vishnumati rivers meet, standing at an altitude of 4,344 feet (1,324 meters) above sea level.

Many dynasties have ruled over Kathmandu from time to time, in ancient times, Kathmandu was under the rule of Licchavis, and Mallas, in the medieval era – Shah rule, Rana rule, etc.  

Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu
  • Kathmandu is believed to have been established in 723 by Raja Gunakamadeva, it was initially known as Manju-Patan.
  • Its current name derives from a wooden temple (kath, meaning “wood”; mandir, meaning “temple” or “edifice”) believed to have been constructed entirely from the wood of a single tree in 1596, by Raja Lachmina Singh.
  • A structure, thought to be the original establishment, still lies in the central square and is now used as a lodging place for holy men. 
  • Kathmandu was also the capital of the Shah dynasty, the ruling family of the Gurkha people from 1768 to 2008.
  • The city has evolved into the nation’s premier business and commercial centre, thanks to the efforts of its Newar merchant families too.
  • A large number of the local population is, however, involved in farming, with the Newar community preferring to reside in the city, establishing entrepreneurship opportunities.

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Geography, Demography and Economy of Nepal

Kathmandu is situated in the northwestern region of the Kathmandu Valley, located north of the Bagmati River, spanning a territory of 50.7 square kilometres (19.6 square miles).

  • Durbar Square is located at the heart of Kathmandu’s historic district, before the April 25, 2015, earthquake in central Nepal. 
  • Kathmandu’s two main streets stand in stark contrast to the older, narrower lanes and brick houses adorned with intricately carved doors and windows. 
  • The destruction wrought by an earthquake in 1934 led to the construction of numerous modern-style buildings. 
  • The city’s most famous structure is the old palace of the Malla kings, which includes the Taleju temple (1549) was built by Raja Mahindra Malla. The main gate of the palace is protected by a statue of the god Hanuman; in a small square adjacent to it, there are many pagoda-style temples.
  • To the east lies Tundi Khel, the parade ground, with a stone platform encircling a tree, historically the site where important government announcements were first made to the army. 
  • Between it and the city is a tall watchtower established by Bhim Sen Thapa, who was a former prime minister of Nepal. In the suburbs of Kathmandu are numerous palaces, which were built by the Rana family, with the Singha Palace being once the official residence for administrative purposes.
Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu
  • Kathmandu also features the magnificent white dome of Bodhnath, a Buddhist shrine revered by Tibetan Buddhists. 
  • The Kathmandu Valley, renowned for its extensive historic and cultural significance, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. 
  • It faced threats from urban expansion but was removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2007 following significant conservation efforts by the government, which partially addressed these concerns.
  • According to the 2011 census, Nepali is the predominant native language in Kathmandu, with 62% of the inhabitants using it as their primary language. Newari is the second most spoken language, with 19% of the population using it. Other languages native to the city include Tamang (6%), Maithili (3%), Bhojpuri (2%), Gurung (2%), Magar (2%), and Sherpa (1%). Additionally, English is widely spoken.
Swayambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu
Swayambhunath Stupa

Also Read – What is the Capital City of Uttrakhand?

Culture of Kathmandu

Kathmandu houses many historical temples like Pashupatinath Mandir, Boudhanath Stupa, Swayambhu Stupa, many museums, and a pond named Rani Pokhari which over time has converted into a tourist place.

  • In Kathmandu, springtime festivities feature the Shivaratri and the Machendra Jatra, showcasing the deity Machendra in a grand procession. 
  • Late summer brings the Gai Jatra, a celebration dedicated to cows. 
  • Meanwhile, early autumn is marked by the Indra Jatra, where the goddess Devi, depicted by a young girl, is taken in a procession.
Lakhey dances during the festival celebrated especially by the Newari communities in Nepal.

The Earthquake Disaster

On April 25, 2015, a powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit central Nepal, with its epicentre located approximately 50 miles (80 km) to the northwest of Kathmandu. At first, it was believed that over 1,500 individuals had lost their lives in the country due to the quake, but this figure rapidly increased as rescue and recovery teams ventured into more isolated areas. In total, the earthquake claimed the lives of around 9,000 people and injured approximately 16,800 across Nepal, including many aftershocks. The city of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, suffered significant damage, particularly to its historic centre, and a large number of people were left without homes.


What is Nepal famous for?

Nepal is the nation that houses Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain summit, and the birthplace of Gautama Buddha – Lumbini.

What language is spoken in Nepal?


Is Nepal in India or China?

Nepal is not in India or China, rather it is a bordering country between the two. Nepal is an independent South Asian nation.

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