Essay on Nepali Art and Culture with Geographical Information
1) Capital – Kathmandu
2) Currency – Nepalese currency
3) Official language – Nepali Language
4) Population – 2 crores and sixty lakh (according to the eleventh census)
Nepal has always been a special place for various people across the world in various ways. For some people it is the religious place where the light of Asia, Gautam Buddha was born, for some people, it is a country of historical art and architecture, for some, it is the country full of divine beauty and for some the country of great Gurkhas. In every way, it is one of the best destination for tourist around the world as one can see the perfect compilation of natural beauty, art, culture, and tradition.Nepal is a landlocked country situated in South Asia between China in the North and India in the South, East, and West. Nepal reflects an extraordinary image of paradise. Although the country is relatively small (i.e. 147,181 square kilometers; 800 Km long and 200 Km wide) it is known as the roof of the world having Mount Everest, the world ’s highest peak in its territory . Almost 80% of Nepal’s territory is occupied by the majestic Himalayas and has 8 out of ten highest peaks in the world. Nepal is known for its exquisite natural beauty with the iconic Himalayas running across the Northern and Western part of the country.
However, apart from natural beauty wildlife diversity is a notable feature of Nepal. There are eight National Parks , four Wildlife Reserve and two conservation area protecting and preserving a large variety of plants and animals. Wildlife tourism is one of the major source of tourism in the country. There are some animal species which are unique to Nepal, such as Spiny Blabber , one- horned rhino etc. The Spiny Blabber is a species of bird which belongs to the Leiothrichidae family was first found and introduced in Nepal by Miraj Adhikari. Similarly, there are 400 species of vascular plant which are endemic to Nepal. Of these , two, in particular, are orchids Pleione coronary and Oreorchis prophy ranches. Moreover, the most popular endemic plant of Nepal is rhododendron ( arboretum) . It is also regarded as the national plant of the country.
Nepal is equally rich in its art and culture. The cultural heritage of Nepal has evolved over the centuries. The art and culture have been influenced by the religious beliefs, norms, and values of the country. One can find fine pieces of art in a various part of the country. The two most typical form of art are that of painting and sculpture.
Manuscript illustration on the palm leaves is the earliest example of Nepalese art in painting form. The influence that religion has on ancient artwork is assertive in the fact that such manuscripts are usually decorated with figures of divinities. Thanka Painting is the another form of the painting that is evident in Nepal since the ancient times. These were used as icons in worship as they possess primary religious nature. These paintings are known as “Paubha” in Newari and “Thangka” in Tibetan and were originated in Nepal. A good example of Thangka Painting is the “ Mandala of Vishnu” which dates back to 1420 A.D.
Nepalese sculpture is a tradition which was derived out of the art of Gupta India and later influenced by Pala India. Furthermore, Nepalese artists created a unique style of their own. While the early sculpture was very simple, but those from Lichhavi period were remarkably beautiful. These sculptures were composed of copper, stone, and bronze with slanted eyes and depict round face. Some pieces of this art can be still seen in the valley.
Geographically, Nepal is divided into three regions ; The Himalaya to the North, The Mid- Hill and The Terai to the South. Himalayan region is the most attractive region of the country which covers 15% of the whole land and is decorated with an iconic range of snow-capped mountains for the entire year. The world’s highest mountain peak along with other numbers of the mountain over 6000 meter lies in this region. Life is very tough here due to lack of cultivable land for plantation of crops and undeveloped infrastructures. The midst of the people living here is Sherpa, Lhomi, and Lopas. They follow Buddhism and Lhosar is their major festival which falls in Magh . Barter trade is the major occupation. Namche Bazar, Gosain Kunda, Muktikshetra, and Sinja are the most popular and religious places of this region.
Mid- Hill region covers 68% of the total land and is the densely populated region. The capital city of the country, Kathmandu along with the scenic city, Pokhara lies in this region. The region is considered the original heartland of Nepal. This region begins at the Mahabharata range with high hills and forest. The Newar were indigenous to the Kathmandu valley but spread into Pokhara and other towns alongside . This region comprises of three amazing cities of great historical interest; Kathmandu, Lalitpur (Patan) and Bhaktapur. Newar along with Magar, Rai, Chhetri, Tamang are the inhabitants of this region. Dashain, Tihar, Mahashivratri are the major festivals by Hindu people living here.
Terai lies in the southern part of the country . It covers 17% of the total land. Terai possesses the most fertile land available in the country. The climate is tropical here and life is more comfortable in comparison to other. Most of the national parks and wildlife reserves lie in this region. Farming is the major occupation of people living here. Terai supplies grains to the other part of the country and known as the granary of Nepal. Chhat, Holi, Eid etc. are major festivals of the people. The majority of the people of Terai region are Hindus followed by Muslims.
Moreover, Nepal is a secular state having multicast, religion, and culture. There is no discrimination or conflict among people regarding different religion and culture. Nepal is the perfect example of unity in diversity. There are religious tolerance and the feeling of brotherhood among people. They celebrate their festivals in their own way and live their own lifestyle . They respect each other’s customs, norms, and values. Nepal has a history of people adhering different religion living in harmony. Our own unique and traditional culture define us as Nepali.
Writer : Rashika Shreshta Pahari
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Pair of manuscript covers with Buddhist deities
Pair of Manuscript Covers with Buddhist Scenes
Manuscript cover with Vishnu flanked by Lakshmi and Sarasvati
Mandala of Chandra (God of the Moon)
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