Kathmandu (Nepal)

2017-04-17 10:14:14 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Kathmandu is the capital city of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the largest Himalayan state in Asia. It is the largest metropolis in Nepal, with a population of 1.4 million in the city proper, and 5 million in its urban agglomeration across the Kathmandu Valley, which includes the towns of Lalitpur, Kirtipur, Madhyapur Thimi and Bhaktapur. Kathmandu is also the largest metropolis in the Himalayan hill region.

The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 feet) above sea level in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal. The valley is historically termed as "Nepal Proper" and has been the home of Newar culture, a cosmopolitan urban civilization in the Himalayan foothills. The city was the royal capital of the Kingdom of Nepal and hosts palaces, mansions and gardens of the Nepalese aristocracy. It has been home to the headquarters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) since 1985. Today, it is the seat of government of the Nepalese republic established in 2008; and is part of the Bagmati Zone in Nepalese administrative geography.

Kathmandu has been the center of Nepal's history, art, culture and economy. It has a multiethnic population within a Hindu and Buddhist majority. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. Tourism is an important part of the economy as the city is the gateway to the Nepalese Himalayas. There are also seven casinos in the city. In 2013, Kathmandu was ranked third among the top ten upcoming travel destinations in the world by TripAdvisor, and ranked first in Asia. Historic areas of Kathmandu were devastated by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015. Nepali is the most spoken language in the city, while English is understood by the city's educated residents.

History

Archaeological excavations in parts of Kathmandu have found evidence of ancient civilizations. The oldest of these findings is a statue, found in Maligaon that was dated at 185 AD. The excavation of Dhando Chaitya uncovered a brick with an inscription in Brahmi script. Archaeologists believe it is two thousand years old. Stone inscriptions are a ubiquitous element at heritage sites and are key sources for the history of Nepal.

The earliest Western reference to Kathmandu appears in an account of Jesuit Fathers Johann Grueber and Albert d'Orville. In 1661, they passed through Nepal on their way from Tibet to India, and reported that they reached "Cadmendu", the capital of Nepal kingdom.

Economy

The location and terrain of Kathmandu have played a significant role in the development of a stable economy which spans millennia. The city is in an ancient lake basin, with fertile soil and flat terrain. This geography helped form a society based on agriculture. This, combined with its location between India and China, helped establish Kathmandu as an important trading center over the centuries. Kathmandu's trade is an ancient profession that flourished along an offshoot of the Silk Road which linked India and Tibet. From centuries past, Lhasa Newar merchants of Kathmandu have conducted trade across the Himalaya and contributed to spreading art styles and Buddhism across Central Asia. Other traditional occupations are farming, metal casting, woodcarving, painting, weaving, and pottery.

Kathmandu is the most important industrial and commercial center in Nepal. The Nepal Stock Exchange, the head office of the national bank, the chamber of commerce, as well as head-offices of national and international banks, tele-communication companies, the electricity authority, and various other national and international organizations are in Kathmandu. The major economic hubs are the New Road, Durbar Marg, Ason and Putalisadak.

The economic output of the metropolitan area alone is worth more than one third of national GDP around $6.5billion in terms of nominal GDP NR.s 550 billion approximately per year $2200 per capital income approx three times national average. Kathmandu exports handicrafts, artworks, garments, carpets, pashmina, paper; trade accounts for 21% of its finances. Manufacturing is also important and accounts for 19% of the revenue that Kathmandu generates. Garments and woolen carpets are the most notable manufactured products. Other economic sectors in Kathmandu include agriculture (9%), education (6%), transport (6%), and hotels and restaurants (5%). Kathmandu is famous for lokta paper and pashmina shawls.

Education

The oldest modern school in Nepal is Durbar School, and the oldest college, Tri Chandra College, are both in Kathmandu city. The largest (according to number of students and colleges), oldest and most distinguished university in Nepal is in Kirtipur and is called Tribhuvan University. The second largest university, Kathmandu University (KU), is in Dhulikhel, Kavre on the outskirts of Kathmandu. It is the second oldest university in Nepal, established in November 1991. Not surprisingly the best schools and colleges of Nepal are located in Kathmandu and its adjoining cities. Every year thousands of students from all over Nepal arrive at Kathmandu to get admission in the various schools and colleges. One of the key concerns of educationists and concerned citizens is the massive out flux of students from Nepal to outside Nepal for studies. Every year thousands of students apply for No objection certificates for studying abroad. Consultancy firms specialising in preparing students to go abroad can be found in all prominent locations. The reason for such an outflux range from perceived low quality of education, political instability, less opportunities in job market, opportunities of earning while learning abroad and better job prospects with an international degree .

Medical colleges

Institute of Medicine, the central college of Tribhuwan University is the first medical college of Nepal and is in Maharajgunj, Kathmandu. It was established in 1972 and started to impart medical education from 1978. A number of medical colleges including Kathmandu Medical College, Nepal Medical College, KIST Medical College, Nepal Army Institute of Health Sciences, National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) and Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences (KUSMS), are also in or around Kathmandu.

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