Nepal is a democratic republic located along the southern region of the Himalayan range, bordering India to the south, west, and east and the Tibetan autonomous region of China to the north. Though a small country in geographic terms (approximately 54,362 square miles [1 mile = 1.6093 kilometers]), its population of approximately 29.5 million people is a complex and heterogeneous mix of both Indo-European and Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups and castes, each with distinct languages and religious and cultural traditions. It has the highest percentage of Hindus in its population than any other nation in the world, including India.

In the late 18th century, the Gorkha king Prithvi Narayan Shah consolidated the territories of what is today Nepal, and his descendants ruled Nepal as a Hindu kingdom ...

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