With its ancient culture and the Himalayas as a backdrop, landlocked Nepal was closed to the outside world until the 1950s.
Since then the country has seen the creation of a multi-party parliamentary system, a decade-long Maoist insurgency and the abolition of its monarchy.
Flanked by China and India, it is home to eight of the world’s highest mountains including Mount Everest, known locally as Sagarmatha.
As one of the world’s poorest countries, Nepal’s economy relies heavily on aid and tourism.
A devastating earthquake in April 2015 killed thousands of people, flattened villages and reduced numerous heritage sites to ruin.
Since then political infighting has delayed much of the reconstruction despite billions of dollars having been pledged.
- Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
- Capital: Kathmandu
- Population 31 million
- Area 147,181 sq km (56,827 sq miles)
- Major languages Nepali
- Major religions Hinduism, Buddhism
- Life expectancy 68 years (men), 70 years (women)
- Currency Nepalese rupee