"Ain't No Mountain High Enough..."


Wedged between India to the south and Tibet (now the autonomous region of the people’s Republic of China)to the north, Nepal has enjoyed an independent political existence from very earliest times. The boundaries of modern Nepal fixed in the 18th century A.D. touch on Sikkim in the east and Kumaon in the west, roughly enclosing a territory of five hundred miles in length. Its breath, however, does not exceed one hundred and fifty miles, which occurs only at a few points, making Nepal a tiny rectangular country in the central Himalayas of South Asia. This small strip of territory contains an amazing contrast in landscape and topography, ranging from the flat alluvial plain of the Indo-Gangtic basin, in the south, in its Tarai, to the high altitude mountains covered with the perpetual snow, in the north, in which some of the world’s tallest peak including Mt. Everest are located. Nepal’s ethnic diversity is equally rich; multiple languages and a wealth of cultures thrive within its borders. There are at least forty different sizeable languages and cultural groups. The predominant group among them is the Nepali-speaking Hindus. These various languages of Nepal fall broadly into two main language families, the Indo-Aryan and the Tibeto-Burman, with one or two small languages betraying their Munda origin. This linguistic cacophony is matched by Nepal’s cultural pluralism which has existed dovetailing each other for hundreds of years.

                                                                                                                        Prayag Raj Sharma.


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