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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

NATIONAL GLORY OF NEPAL

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

1. KING JANAK

There is a big town called Janakpurdham in the terai. During Ramnawami a big festival is held there. It remaind the King Janaka and his daughter, Janaki or Sita. In ancient times, Janakpur was known as Mithila. It was the capital of the famous kingdom of Videha. Janakpur was the centre of learning. Among the kings of Videha, Janak was the most famous. His real name was Sri Dhoj. He was a learned and wise king. His court consisted of learned people.

While King Janaka ruled Janakpur, Dasaratha was the king of Ayodhya. Rama, the eldest son of Dasaratha was married to Sita. Sita was the daughter of Janaka, who was also known as Janaki. The Ramayana, a great Hindu epic, is the story of Rama and Sita.

2. GAUTAMA BUDDHA

Kapilbastu, one of the districts in Lumbini zone in the terai region. It was once the kingdom of Sakyas. Suddhodhana was the king of Kapilbastu in the sixth century B.C. He had two queens, Mayadevi and Prajawati . Mayadevi gave birth to a child called Siddhartha. Mayadevi died five days after the birth of her child. The step-mother Prajawati looked after the child like a real mother. At the age of 13, Siddhartha was married to Yasodhara. Yasodhara was the princess of Devdaha. They had a son called Rahul.

Siddhartha was always curious about the mysteries of life. Siddhartha realized that human life is full of suffering. Siddhartha saw a sick man, an old man and a dead man. Siddhartha used to think about the worries about human life. Siddhartha used to ask himself: why do people suffer from diseases? Why do people grow old? Why do they die? What is the remedy of all these troubles? Siddhartha was anxious to know the answer to such questions. At the age of 29, he left his wife and son, parents and relatives, wealth and properly. Then Siddhartha set out at midnight in search of knowledge and truth of life.

Siddhartha went to many places, and made contact with many people, but Siddhartha was not satisfied. Siddhartha sat for meditation in Gaya for six years and practiced hard penances. At last, on the day of full moon, in the month of Baisakh, Siddhartha attained a supreme knowledge, sitting under the banyan (Bodhi) tree, and become Buddha or the ‘enlightened one’. There after he was called Gautama Buddha.

Gautama Buddha preached his first sermon at Sarnath. Gautama Buddha laid stress on four Noble Truths which are as follows:

    1. There is sorrow in life,
    2. There is a cause of this sorrow,
    3. The cause is desire,
    4. If desire is removed, sorrow can also be removed.


The Eight fold paths are:

1. Right beliefs,

2. Right thinking,

3. Right speech,

4. Right action,

5. Right occupation,

6. Right desire,

7. Right conduct and

8. Right meditation


Gautam Buddha advised to follow the ‘middle paths’. There should not be be much pleasure in life nor total withdrawal from the pleasure.

Gautama Buddha preached his religion for forty-five years. At the age of eighty, Gautama Buddha died at Kushinagar. After his death, many people preached Buddhism. Ashoka, the Mauryan king of India, spread it far and wide. Today Buddhism is one of the major religions of the world. It can spread to Nepal, Bhutan, India, Sri-Lanka, China, Japan, Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, Thailand and other south-east Asian countries.


3. ARANIKO


Araniko, who is also known as Balabahu, was a famous architect during the reign of Jay Bhimdev Malla. The Chinese Emperor, Kublai Khan, wanted to build a golden stupa in Tibet for the teacher, Pagspa. So, in 1260 A.D. he asked king Jaya Bhimdev Malla to send skilled architects. Altogether, eighty architects were sent from Nepal. Araniko was made the leader of the Nepalese architect.

Araniko was a talented architect. He built several pagado-type monastries and stupas in Tibet. Kubli khan’s teacher, Pagspa was impressed with Araniko and presented him to king Kublai khan. Araniko made all kind of works of art in China. The Chinese emperor grew very fond of him and appointed him ‘the controller of imperial studies’. He was also awarded several titles and honours.

Araniko settled down in China and made the country rich with his works of art and architecture. The White Pagoda, the Archway of Yung Tai still sing the glory of Araniko. Araniko married in China, first a Nepali lady and then eight Mongol ladies. He had eight daughters and six sons. Araniko had many disciples and pupils. His art and frame spread far Mongolia and Indonesia. The Chinese Emperor was so impressed with Araniko that the Emperor appointed him ‘the Controller of Imperial Studies’. Araniko died in 1306 A.D.


4. SITA


King Janka had a daughter named Sita. She was also known as Janaki. Sita was a beautiful lady and was dear to her parents. King Janaka had promised that the person who could break his massive bow would be the one to marry Sita. Many brave princes, kings tried to break the bow but no one could. Ram the eldest son of the King Dasaratha of Ayodhya broke the bow. Then Sita was married to Ram.

After marriage, Ram was exiled for fourteen years. As a true wife, Sita also accompanied Ram to the forest. They had to face a lot of trouble there but Sita bore it all without complaining. Ravana, the demon king of Lanka kidnapped Sita from the forest. Ravana wanted to marry Sita but she did not agree although Ravana threatened to kill her. Sita was faithful to Ram in deed, and thought. At last, Ram killed Ravana and rescued Sita. Ramayana, the great Hindu epic is the story of Ram and Sita.

Sita had many noble qualities. Some of them are as follows:

· Strong belief in faith and religion.

· Hardwork, intergrity, social values and high moral character.

· Kindness to the poor and helpless.

· Devotion to her family and to her country.

· Love and affection to the people.


Sita is recognized as the ideal Hindu woman and a glory of Nepal. Sita is greatly respected by all. Sita is the pride of Nepal.


5. BHRIKUTI


Bhrikuti is another noble daughter of Nepal. Amshuverma was the father of Bhrikuti. Amshuverma was a far-sighted Lichchavi king. During his period, Srongchangampo was the king of Tibet. Srongchangampo was very powerful and was extending his territory. Srongchagampo wanted to attack Nepal and occupy it. King Amshuverma gave his daughter Bhrikuti in marriage to Srongchangamop. Bhrikuti got married to the Tibetan king to maintain friendly relation between Nepal and Tibet.

Bhrikuti promoted Nepalese art, religion and culture in Tibet. Bhrikuti established better understanding between the people of Nepal and Tibet. Her contribution helped Nepal protect and preserve the territorial integrity and independence. Bhrikuti is widely respected in Tibet (China) and in Nepal. Bhrikuti was called Green Star (Harit Tara) in Tibet. So, she is also included in the list of the glory of Nepal.




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FAMOUS MARTYRS OF NEPAL


1. SHUKRA RAJ SHASTRI


Shukra Raj was born in Varanasi (India) in 1950 B.S. Madhav Raj and Ratna Maya were his parents. He got his early education from Gurukul Sanskrit from his father and got the degree of Shastri in Sanskrit from Punjab University. Thereafter, he was called Shukra Raj ‘Shastri’.


He served as Head Pandit of Dayananda Anglo-Vedic High School in Allahabad for four years. He worked with the Indian social reformer, Madan Mohan Malabiya for two years. He also worked for Hindu Mahashabha in Darjeeling. He wrote several books like Nepal Ko Jhalak, Satyartha Prakash, Sanskrit Pradeep, Satya Kalpana, Brahmansutra, Swarga Ko Dwar. He had good knowledge of English, Hindi, Nepali and Newari languages.


In those days, Nepal was ruled by the Ranas. Many underground revolutionary groups were trying to overthrow the Rana regime. Shukra Raj met some leaders at Kathmandu and encouraged them. He went to Kolkota many times for the publication of his books. During one of his visits to Kolkota, he met Mahatma Gandhi. The Ranas considered this a crime, and arrested him. In Mangsir 1995 B.S., he gave a lecture at Indra Chowk on the essence of Gita. During his lecture, he also spoke indirectly against the Rana rulers. A huge crowd was gathered there. He was immediately arrested along with some leaders of the Praja Parishad. On Magh 10, 1997 B.S., at midnight he was hanged beside the Jaisi Dewal Pachali on the bank of Bagmati river, Kathmandu.


2. DASARATH CHAND


Dasarath Chand was born in Baitadi in 1960 B.S. Sher Bahadur Chand was his father. He received his primary education in Kumaon. He passed the Intermediate examination from Benaras. When he was studying in Benaras, there were movements for India’s independence. He took part in the Non-Violent Movement of 1921 A.D. (1978 B.S.) launched by Mahatma Gandhi. He worked for ‘Kashi Nagari Pracharini Shabha’ throughout his stay in Benaras. All these brought political consciousness in Dasarath Chand and he started thinking about his own country.


The social condition of Nepal at that time was very bad. The people were suffering from poverty, epidemics, etc. On the other hand, the Ranas lived a luxurious life. Dasarath Chand thought over these problems and decided that the solution was the abolition of Rana rule. Dasarath Chand formed an association of Nepali students who were studying in Benaras. He met Tanka Prasad Acharya and Dharmabhakta. Together, they established a political party known as ‘the Praja Parishad’ in 1937 A.D. Tanka Prasad Acharya became its first president. The Praja Parishad became active in Kathmandu-holding meetings, distributing pamphlets, drawing wall-posters, etc. against the Ranas. Dasarath Chand was in charge of all these activities.


Dasarath Chand wrote articles against the cruel rule of the Ranas by the name of Sewa Singh and published them in ‘Janata’ of Patna (India). The British Government in India banned the publication of ‘Janata’ at the request of the Ranas. Meanwhile, Ramji Joshi was arrested. He disclosed everything about the Parishad, including the names of its leaders. Dasarath Chand was arrested and was tortured in the jail with Gangalal. Mohan Shumsher, a Rana official, advised him to beg pardon for his misdeeds. But, Dasarath Chand turned a deaf ear to his proposal. On Magh 14, 1997 B.S. in the night he was shot dead along with Gangalal near the temple of Shobha Bhagawati, in Kathmandu.


3. DHARMABHAKTA


Dharmabhakta was the son of Subba Adibhakta Mathema. He was born in 1965 B.S. He got his education in Darjeeling and Kolkota. He was lean and thin in his childhood. Realizing the importance of physical exercise he got himself admitted in the ‘Physical Institute’ at Kolkota. He made good progress and became the ‘Bengal Champion’ in a physical show.

In those days, India was under British rule. Struggle for independence was in full swing. He met Chitaranjan Das, and worked for some time as a member of the Indian National Congress. He was inspired by the Indian struggle for independence. He came back to Kathmandu.

He met Dasarath Chand at Kathmandu in 1990 B.S. A great earthquake occured this year in Nepal. Dharmabhakta, along with some leaders of the Praja Parishad, was busy in a rescue-operation of the earthquake-affected people.

Dharmabhakta was a body builder. He got chance to hold physical show of two hours during the Ghode Jatra festival at kathmandu. The Rana rules was impressed by his physical show and appointed him to the Royal Palace to teach physical exercises to king Tribhuwan. Thus, he got an opportunity to have contact with the king. He made the King aware of the activities of the Praja Parishad. He acted as a link between the Praja Parishad and the king. A secret meeting of the king with the members of the Praja Parishad was arranged at Lainchaur. But, Juddha Shumsher, the Rana Prime Minister came to know about this and arrested Dharmabhakta and some members of the Praja Parishad immediately after the meeting. On Magh 12, 1997 B.S. Dharmabhakta was hanged in the midnight in Shifal, near kalo Pul, Kathmandu.


4. GANGALAL SHRESTHA


Gangalal was the son of Bhaktalal Shrestha. He was born in 1975 B.S. at Bhangeri, Ramechaap. He got his education from Durbar High school and passed the Matriculation examination in the first divison. He also studied I.Sc. at Tri-Chandra college. Gangalal was an intelligent student. He was also a good writer, orator and actor. He formed an association of young men in Tri-Chandra College and jointed the “Mahabir Institute”, where students were taught about patriotic ideas, human rights, and systems of government apart from a bookish education.

In the year 1995 B.S., Gangalal attended one of the lectures on ‘Puran’ by Pandit Murlidhar Bhattarai. He also gave a lecture on human rights at Asan. He met Shukra Raj and together they started to instigate the people against the Rana rule. Shukra Raj was arrested during such a campaign, but Gangalal could not be arrested. He disguised himself as a monk and began to live in a temple behind Swayambhu. Other members of the Praja Parishad visited him very often and they are meetings for future programmes. The police force detected this and arrested him. As the request of Padma Shumsher and Kazi Narayan Bhakta, Prime Minister Juddha Shumsher released him.

But Gangalal could not live a peaceful life. He could not tolerate the cruel administration of the Ranas. Then he met Dasarath Chand and became an active member of the Praja parishad. The members of the Praja Parishad now started distributing papers and pamphlets against the Ranas. During such a campaign, Gangalal was arrested. He was tortured in the prison but he never disclosed anything about the Praja Parishad. He was shot dead in front of Shobha Bhagawati, Kathmandu on Magh 14, 1997 B.S., at midnight.





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Major Religions


The people of Nepal mainly follow following religions. They are Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. Religions teach people to respect the elders, to help people in distress, to be kind, disciplined and to be good, and to speak the truth. Religion teaches us that truth brings happiness but evil causes trouble and sorrow.

HINDUISM

Nobody knows how and when Hinduism began but it is an ancient religion. Any one person did not found it. Different sages, rishis and munis during different ages explained what religion was and what they should do. So, sages of ancient times were probably the conveyers of this religion. Some people claim Hinduism to be about five thousand years old.

According to Hinduism there are thousands of gods and goddesses in the universe. Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswar are the main forms for the god. It is believed that Brahma is creator of the universe. Vishnu is the preserver. Maheshwar is the destroyer. The Hindus establish their gods and goddesses in temples.

The oldest books of Hinduism are the Vedas. The Veda is the sacred scripture of the Hindus. There are four Vedas- Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda and Yajur Veda. Other sacred books of Hinduism are the Geeta, the Ramayana and the Mahabharat.

Hinduism does not have a single founder or prophet. There is no exact record of the origin of Hindu religion. It is believed that Hinduism originated from the knowledge and preaching of sages and ascetics for ages. It is considered to be the oldest religion of the world. Hindu religion is also called ‘Sanatan Religion’ or ‘Vedic Religion’. The Vedas are the oldest Hindu scriptures. Besides, The Upanishad, The Bhagwadgita, The Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharata are other sacred books of Hindus.

According to Hinduism, patience, forgiveness, self-control, not to commit theft, purity, control over senses, wisdom, knowledge, truthfulness and anger are the ten salient features of the religion.


BUDDHISM

Gautama Buddha was the founder of Buddhism. He was born at Kapilvastu in 563 B.C. Kapilvastu is in Rupandehi, Lumbini zone. Gautama Buddha was the son of king Suddodhen and Queen Mayadevi. His real name is Siddhartha. Siddhartha thought of human beings and the causes of their sufferings. So, he left his palace and wandered many places in search of the cause of trouble. He practiced meditation under a banyan tree at Gaya. After that, he suddenly attained enlightenment. After enlightenment he came to know the cause of sorrow and found out ways of getting rid of it. As a result, people began to call him Buddha.

Buddha began to teach his disciples the causes of sorrow and pain in human life. He also thought out the ways for happiness. This message spread all around the world and finally became a religion. The Buddhists worship Siddhartha as Gautam Buddha. Buddhists place the image of Lord Buddha in the Chaitya or in Stupa. The place where the Buddhists meditate is called Gumba and Vihar. The sacred books of Buddhists are the Jatakas and the Tripitak. Tripitak is the most important book.

Many Nepali people worship Buddha. So they became Buddhists. Buddhism spread mainly in Nepal, India, China, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka and Japan.

Buddhism has become one of the major religions of the world. Four Noble Truths that
  1. there is misery
  2. there is cause of misery
  3. there is cessation of misery and
  4. there is a path leading to the cessation of misery.

He found a way to remove the pain and suffering from life by following the “Eight Fold Paths”. They are as follows:
  1. Right view
  2. Right determination
  3. Right speech
  4. Right conduct
  5. Right livelihood
  6. Right effort
  7. Right mindfulness
  8. Right meditation

CHRISTIANITY

Christianity is one of the major religions of the world. Its followers are found in almost all the countries. They go for prayers to the church. Jesus was the founder of the Christian religion. He was born at Bethlehem near Jerusalem. His Mother’s name was Mary. When he was 30, he preaching his message. He spoke to people in simple language and in the form of stories. The common people could understand him easily. Jesus had a charming personality. He led a simple life. He had great love for his fellow beings. He was kind to all. He would remove the sorrows of all who came to him. These qualities made him very popular and he came to be known as a great healer.

Jesus was fearless and bold. He criticized those who were hypocrites. He thus made many enemies, especially among the religious leaders. His enemies complained against him to the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. They said that he was inciting the Jews against the Roman rulers. They also said that he was telling the Jews that he was their king. Jesus was arrested and sentenced to death on a cross. That is why, the cross became a sacred symbol for the Christians.

The birth of Christ is celebrated every year as Christmas. It falls on 25th December. It is believed that Jesus rose from among the dead on the third day after his death. This event is known as resurrection and is celebrated as Easter. In the same way, the day on which Jesus was crucified is observed as Good Friday. Christ called of God his father and himself His son. He preached that the authority of God was supreme on earth. We should create the Kingdom of God on earth by truly loving him. He asked his followers to lead simple life. He was against violence in any form. He said there was sin in man and he had come to make him free from sin. He laid great stress on the service to mankind. According to him service to man was service to God.

The Bible is the Holy book of Christians. It has two parts. The Old Testament is the history of the beliefs of the Jews. The New Testament contains the life story and the teachings of Jesus. There are two sects among the Christians. The Catholics follow the original form of the religion. The Protestants follow the reformed form of it.

Jesus Christ, service to human kind is service to God. The holy book of Christianity is the “Holy Bible”
Message of Christianity to all mankind are as follows:
  • Be merciful and do not harm others.
  • Be generous to all and do not be selfish.
  • Love all as we love ourselves.
  • All the good deeds are rewarded and the evil ones will be punished.

ISLAM

The Islamic religion began about 1400 years ago. The founder of this religion was Prophet Mohammad. He was born in Mecca in Saudi Arabia in 570 A.D. Prophet Mohammad taught people that the noblest duty of human beings is to love one another. Muslims go to Masjid bow their heads and kneel down on the floor. Then they offer prayer in the mosque. The Koran is the sacred and holy book of Islam. It contains what Prophet Mohammad taught people.

There are some Muslims in Nepal. Islam is followed in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Iraq and Brunei. People of some other countries also follow Islam.

The important duties to perform as a follower of Islam are:
  • Read the holy book “The Quran”.
  • Perform ‘Namaz’, pray five times a day.
  • Observe ‘Roza’, observe fasting during the month of Ramzan.
  • Give alms to the poor and disabled.
  • Make ‘Haj’ or pilgrimage to Mecca.

The teachings of Prophet Muhammad are:
  • There is only one God.
  • Do not worship idols, pray to the real God.
  • Live an honest life.
  • Give equal justice to all.
  • Treat all the people on this earth as brothers.

RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE

People believe in different religions. It is a matter of faith. One can follow any religion. Every religion teaches its followers to live a moral life.

We have religious tolerance. We do not have any ill feeling for any religion. People of differing religions respect each other. They live in peace without any interference. Hindus worship Buddha and they go to the Gumba, Vihar and Stupa. Buddhists also respect Hindu gods and goddesses. The Hindus wish the Christians on the occasion of Christmas and they wish the Muslims during ID. This is the way to respect people of different religions. It is called religious tolerance.




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Life in the Terai Region


The terai region lies in the southern part of the kingdom of Nepal. It spreads from Mechi in the east to Mahakali in the west. The terai in the east is wider than in the west. The southern part of the terai has fertile soil, while the northern part is full of stones, boulders and sands. The terai is situated at about 60 to 300 meters from the sea level. It has a hot climate. During summer, its temperature goes up to 40 degree Celsius. It receives rainfall during June to September. The eastern part of terai receives more rainfall than the western part. It is affected by floods during the rainy season.

SOCIAL LIFE

  1. Food: Rice and bread are the main food of the people of this region. The people also rear cattle which provide them with milk, cheese, ghee, eggs, and meat. Among the fruits, mango is quite popular. It is grown in most parts of the terai.

  1. Costume: Terai has a hot climate. So, the people wear light cotton dresses. Most of the male members are seen in lungis in villages. In the town area, men wear pants and shirts and women wear saris and blouses.

  1. Housing: In the villages, the houses are small huts. The Tharus, Satars, Rajbansis, etc. have peculiar houses. They are made of clay, thatch roofs, and very small in size. One has to bow down to enter these houses. Several paintings of pictures of birds, animals and flowers are seen on the wall. The terai towns have big modern buildings.

  1. Health: Terai people suffered from malaria, small-pox and other dangerous diseases in the past. But now many such diseases have already been eradicated. So the terai has become one of the most pleasant places to live in. There are hospitals, health centres and health posts in every part of this region.

  1. Education: Many primary and secondary schools have been established in every part of terai region. There are higher secondary schools and campuses in town areas. The main centres of learning are Bhadrapur, Biratnagar, Birgunj, Rajbiraj, Janakpur, Narayangarh, Butwal, Bhairahawa, Taulihawa, Nepalgunj, Dhangadi, etc. There is a rapid increase in the literacy percentage in the terai.


ECONOMIC LIFE

  1. Agriculture: Agriculture is the main occupation of the people of the terai. The terai is the main agricultural centre of the country. It produces sufficient food-stuff to feed the people of the country. Rice, wheat, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, etc. are the main agricultural products of the terai. Fruits and vegetables are also cultivated in large areas.

  1. Industry: The terai is the centre of industries of Nepal. The first industry was established in the terai. Biratnagar, Janakpur, Birgunj, Hetauda, Butwal, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj are the famous industrial towns of the country. Industries like jute, sugar, soap, cigarette, cotton, cement, leather and shoe, textile, etc. are located in these industrial town.

  1. Trade: There are some big business centres in the terai region. They are: Bhadrapur, Dhulabari, Birtamod, Biratnagar, Itahari, Janakpur, Birgunj, Butwal, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Dhangadi, Mahendranagar, etc. Many of these towns are located at the border of the country with India. So, Nepalese goods are exported and Indian goods are imported through these towns. The people of the terai are progressive in trade and business.


SOME IMPORTANT PLACES IN THE TERAI

  1. Biratnagar: Biratnagar is the headquarters of the Morang district and Koshi zone. It is one of the largest towns of the country. There are many industries located in Nepal. The first industry of the country was established in Biratnagar. It is also the biggest industrial town of the country. There are industries manufacturing soap, matches, jute, steel and various other things needed in daily life. It is the centre of trade and business of eastern Nepal. The Nepalese goods are exported to India from this town and Indian goods are imported through it. That is why, it has rightly been called the ‘Eastern Gateway of Nepal’.

  1. Janakpurdham: Janakpurdham is the headquarters of Dhanusha district and Janakpur zone. It is also situated in the eastern terai. The famous temple of Ram-Janaki is located here. Every year on the fifth day of the full moon in the month of Magh, Ram Nawami, a big festival is held here. People from all over the country and also from India attend these festivals. The oldest cigarette factory of the country is established in Janakpurdham. The only railway of Nepal, Janakpur-Jayanagar railway is also here.

  1. Birgunj: The headquaters of Parsha district is Birgunj. It is one of the most important industrial towns of the country. The main industries located here manufacturer Matches, Sugar cigarettes and Agricultural tools. It is the centre for trade and business in the central terai. Birgunj is at the Nepal-India border. Trade takes place through this border between the two countries.

  1. Lumbini: Lumbini is situated in Rupandehi district of Lumbini zone. It is an important historical and religious place. Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism and preacher of people in the world was born in Lumbini. The monument of Ashoka the great and the temple of Mayadevi (mother of Gautama Buddha) are also located here. Foreign tourists and Buddhist pilgrims visit it all the time. The year 1981 A.D. was declared a “Lumbini Year” by the Government. Now Lumbini Development Project is in progress. Some of the foreign countries and international organizations have given aid for its development. In addition, many countries like Japan and Myanmar have built Buddhist monuments here.

  1. Nepalgunj: It is the headquarters of Bheri zone and Banke district. It is situated in the western terai. It is the important commercial centre of western terai. It is the main centre of business for people living in Humla and Jumla districts. An Industial Estate which has been manufacturing different goods for everyday needs of the people, is also set up at Nepalgunj.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Life in the Hilly Region

Sunday, March 28, 2010
The Hilly region is situated in the central part of the country. It spreads from Mechi in the east to Mahakali in the west. It has high hills and rocks. There are certain valleys surrounded by hills from all sides. Kathamndu, Phkhara, Surkhet, Dang-Deokhuri, etc. are such valleys. The hilly region lies at a fairly high altitude. So this region has a moderate type of climate. It is neither too cold, nor too hot. There is heavy rainfall from June to September. It also receives winter rain. Moreover, Pokhara valley gets the heaviest rainfall in Nepal.


SOCIAL LIFE

Food: Rice is the main food of the people of this region. Some people also eat bread. They eat meat, eggs, milk, curd, butter, ghee, etc. which they get from domestic animals.

Costume: Male members wear Daura, Suruwal, coat and cap, female members wear cholo, fariya and patuka. Men in the town areas wear pants, shirt and coat, and women wear sari and blouse.

Housing: Most of the houses in this region are made of stone and clay. They have thatched roofs. There are single-storey houses. In the town areas, multi-storey buildings are also seen.

Health: Government has established Health Centres and Health Posts in various places of this region. In the town areas, there are many big hospitals. Kathmandu, the capital of the country, has many large hospitals. Patients from all over the country come to benefit themselves of the treatment available in the capital town.

Education: The hilly region is the centre of education in the country. The centres of education are: Kathmandu, Pokhara, Tansen, Dhankuta, Birendranagar, Banepa, etc. There are many Primary and Secondary Higher Secondary Schools, Campuses and Universities in this region.


ECONOMIC LIFE

Agriculture: Agriculture is the main occupation of the people living in this region. They cultivate maize, wheat, rice, millet, soyabeans, etc. Rice and wheat cultivated in the valleys and river basins. Other crops are cultivated in the hills. The people also rear domestic animals and grow fruits and vegetables.

Industry: Many industries are set up in this region. There are cement, bricks and tiles, textile, biscuit, leather and shoes, beer and wine and other industries in the Hilly region. In addition to these industries, there are Industrial Estates in Balaju, Patan, Bhaktapur and Pokhara. There are various cottage and small-scale industries as well.

Trade: In this region, some people earn their living from trade and business. Kathmandu is the centre of trade and business. Other business centres are Dhankuta, Pokhara, Tansen, Ghorahi, Surkhet, etc.


Some Important Places in the Hilly Region

Kathmandu (Kantipur): It is the capital and the biggest city of the country. It is in the Kathmandu district of the Bagmati Zone. The Parliament and head offices of all offices are located here. Basantapur palace is another important place for its Hanuman Dhoka and the ‘Kasthamandup’ from which the name Kathmandu is derived. The holy place of Hindus-the temple of Pashupatinath is in Kathmandu. Swayambhunath, the sacred place of Buddhist pilgrims is also in Kathmandu. It is the treasure house of Nepalese art, culture, history and traditions.

Bhaktapur (Bhadgaon): Bhadgaon is the ancient name of modern Bhaktapur. It is to the east of Kathmandu. It is in Bhaktapur district of Bagmati zone. It is one of the oldest and the third biggest town in the valley. It is famous for Nepalese art and architecture. Nyatapol, the temples of Bhairavnath and Dattatraya are some of its most attractive objects. The main occupations of the people of Bhaktapur are agriculture and trade. The people are expert in weaving. The black caps prepared here are known all over the country by the name Bhadgaunle Topi (Bhadgaon’s Cap). The people of this town are expert in making earthen pots.

Patan (Lalitpur): It is located in the Lalitpur district of Bagmati zone. It lies to the south of Kathmandu. It is also famous for Nepalese art and craft. Some of the eye-catching objects of Patan are the temples of Lord Krishna, Minnath, Machchhendranath and Buddhist Stupas. The Patan Industrial Estate has been manufacturing different items for the last few years.

Pokhara: Pokhara is situated in the Kaski district of Gandaki zone. It is the headquarters of the Western Development Region, Gandaki zone and Kaski District. There are several lakes in Pokhara, like Fewa, Rupa, Begnas, etc. which enrich the beauty of the place. At the Fewa lake itself, there is a temple of Barahi. Another significant site is the temple of Bindyabasini. Pokhara is famous for its natural beauty. Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna mountains are seen very clearly from Pokhara. Mahendra Cave, Chamero Gupha, David Falls, etc. are other attractive places of Pokhara. The beautiful scenery of Seti river is another eye-catching object. For all these reasons, Pokhara has become the centre for tourists of different countries.

Gorkha: Gorkha is a historical place. It is in the Gorkha district of Gandaki zone. It is the place where King Prithvi Narayan Shah was born. It was the capital of Garkha kingdom in ancient times. The famous Gorakhnath temple and the Gorkha Palace are the most attractive objects of Gorkha. The Manakamana temple which is visited regularly by large numbers of Hindu pilgrims lies near Gorkha.



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Life in the Himalayan Region

The Himalayan region lies in the northern part of the kingdom. This region stretches from east to west. In the northern most part of this region, there are some of the highest peaks of the world. This part is always covered with snow. The southern part of this region is less cold. Himalayan region, crops are cultivated, animals are reared and carpets and wool are produced in large quantities. There are villages and small towns as well.


ECONOMIC LIFE

Agriculture:
Agriculture is the main source of income of the people living in this region. They cultivate maize, millet, potatoes, fruit and vegetables. Animal farming is one of the main occupations. They rear cows, sheep, mountain-goats (Chyangra), yaks, etc. which give them milk, cheese, butter, meat, etc

Industry: There are some cottage industries. They produce carpets, blankets, etc. from the raw wool of the sheep. They also make thick woolen jackets for their use. Cheese, butter, ghee are made from animal products. Mustang and Jumla districts are famous for apple. There are apple related industries as well.

Trade: The people in this region carry on barter trade with the people of Tibet. They also carry their local products like carpets, hides, herbs, fruit and wool to the terai and big towns of the country. They sell these and buy salt, cloth, kerosene oil and utensils.

Transport: Transportation is the most difficult problem in this region. During recent years, some of the places in this region like Taplejung, Lamidanda, Faplu, Jomsom, Shyangboche, Jumla, etc. have been connected by air services. But these are not sufficient for local transportation. Horses and mules are the main means of transport. Very often, people are seen carrying heavy loads on their backs.


SOCIAL LIFE

Food: The people in this region eat ‘Dhindo’ (a pudding- like food made from maize or millet), bread, potato and meat. They also have a special type of sea which is prepared from tea-leaves, salt and ghee.

Housing: Most of the houses in this region have a single storey. Some of them have stone roofs and some are thatch-roofed.

Costume: The people wear thick woolen clothes. They wear snow shoes which are called ‘Docha’. The women wear ornaments of gold, silver and copper. Men also keep long hair, like women.

Health: The people work hard and eat a lot and they rarely fall ill. The people are quite strong and healthy. Health centre and health posts are also established in some of the places.

Education: In the past, the people had to come down to the hilly region for education. But now, attempts are being made to educate the people of this region and there are schools up to secondary level.

The people living in this region are mostly Sherpas, Lhomis and Lopas. They follow Buddhism. They celebrate the Lhosar festival which falls in Magh. They visit one another’s houses during festivals.

Some Important Places in the Himalayan Region

SINJA: It is a historical place located in the Jumla district of the Karnali Zone. More than one thousand years ago, the Khas kings ruled over this place. They used to speak in ‘Khasa’. Gradually, this language developed and has become Nepali language.

NAMCHE BAZAR: It is situated in the Solukhumbu district of the Sagarmatha zone. It is mostly inhabited by Sherpas and people who were originally from Tibet. Mountaineers on their way to climb Sagarmatha pass through this place. For this reason it has also been called ‘the gate-way to Sagarmatha’. Foreign tourists who come for trekking and sight-seeing also visit Namche Bazar.

GOSAIN KUNDA: It also lies in the Rasuwa district of the Bagmati zone. Gosain Kunda is a pond where Lord Shiva was supposed to have dived into after he swallowed poison. One can see the image of God Siva beneath the clear water. Every year during Dashain, and on Janai Purnima, a big fair is held in this place. Pilgrims from all over the country and from India come for a holy bath during such festivals.

MUKTIKSHETRA: It is situated in the Mustang district of the Dhaulagiri zone. It is equally famous among both Hindus and Buddhists. There is a temple of Muktinath and of Jwala Mai. Pilgrims from all over the country and also from Tibet, India and other countries visit this place. There is a rock wall with three openings from where one can see a blue flame burning. Very near to it, there is a hot spring. It is believed that if one takes a bath in this hot spring he will be cured of whatever illnesses he may have.



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NATURAL RESOURCES IN NEPAL: Forest, Water, Soil and Minerals


Nepal is a small country but it is rich in Natural Resources. These natural resources are the gifts of the nature. Some of the important natural resources of Nepal are: Forest, Water, Soil or Land.


FOREST

Forest is one of the important natural resources. Different types of forests are found in different regions of Nepal. It occupies about 37% of the total land of Nepal. Forest is the source of all wood-based industries. Industries like paper, furniture and timber are based on the forest. Forests are rich in herbs. The herbs have medicinal values. Many medicines are made from these herbs. Timber and herbs are valuable natural resources. The value of timber and herbs is very high in the world market.

There are many kinds of animals in the forests of Nepal. Forests provide food and shelter for these animals. Animals and birds add to the natural beauty of the country. People from many countries come to Nepal to see these beautiful birds and exotic wildlife. Many types of fruit and grasses grow in forests. People depend on them for their living and also to rear their livestock.

Forests support agriculture. It also causes rainfall. It keeps the soil tight. So, forests help control soil erosion, landslides and floods. Nepal government is trying to preserve forests. It has established many National Parks and Wildlife Reserves.

Green forest is the wealth of Nepal. Forest is the free gift of nature to human beings. Forest is a very important resource of Nepal. Forest provides wood, fuel, herbs etc. we get raw materials for fuel, raw materials for furniture, matches and paper. It influences climates, causes rain, stops flood, soil erosion and landslide. Forest is the habitat of wild animals. Tourists come to see wild animals and thus we can earn foreign currencies. Forest regulates the temperature of the surrounding areas. It is pleasant to live near forest. Villagers graze their cattle in the forests and they also get fodders for their cattle. We should preserve our forest and use it wisely.

WATER

Water is the most important natural resource of Nepal. Nepal is rich in water resource. Nature has been very kind to us by providing us with unlimited supply of water. Nepal is the second richest in the water resources in the world after Brazil.

Nepal is a landlocked country. So Nepal does not have access to the sea or oceans. But there are lots of rivers that flow from the Himalayas. When snow melts in the Himalayas, the glacier and rivers are formed. The rivers flow through the mountain regions to the Terai. The main rivers of Nepal are Mechi, Koshi, Narayani, Gandaki, Karnali and Mahakali. These rivers have several tributaries. In addition to these Kankai, Bagmati, Trishuli, Marshyangi, Seti, Rapti, Bheri and also important rivers of Nepal.

Lakes are also important sources of water. There are many lakes in Nepal. Rara lake is the largest. It is located in Mugu district. The second largest lake is the Phewa. It is in Pokhara, Kaski. Begnas and Rupa lakes are also in Pokhara. Lakes are usually large areas of water surrounded by land.

Phoksundo is the deepest lake of Nepal. It is located in Dolpa district. Tilicho is located at the highest altitude. It is in Manang district. Some famous lakes are Gosain Kunda (Rasuwa district) and Satyawati (Palpa district). Rivers and lakes together with other streams, ponds and underground water form water resources. These are important sources for the development of Nepal.

Water is used for many purposes. It is used for drinking and washing. It is used for irrigation. Irrigation is the lifeline for agriculture. Hydro-electricity is produced from fast flowing rivers. Many hydro-power stations have been built in Nepal to tap rivers for generating electricity.

The major hydro-electricity projects are:
  1. Kaligandaki: 144MW
  2. Marsyangdi: 75MW
  3. Kulekhani I: 60MW
  4. Bhote Koshi: 36MW
  5. Khimti: 60MW
  6. Kulekhani: 32MW

LAND/SOIL

Land is the other natural resource of Nepal. In Nepal most people depend on land. They do farming and earn their living from land. Land includes soil and minerals. The cultivable land in Nepal is about 17%. About 38% of the land is rocky and covered with snow.
Soil is an important factor for agriculture. It is not possible for people and animals to live on earth without soil. The land in Terai is very fertile. It is good for agriculture. So, the productivity of Terai is very high. The terai region is the storehouse of food grains. It is called the green belt of Nepal. There are many hills and mountains in Nepal. The surface is rugged and sloppy in the hills. When rainfall is heavy the top soil of the hills is washed away. Then it causes landslides. So, the trees should be planted and conserved to protect soil in the hills. Plants are the only means to hold the soil tightly and to stop erosion.

A variety of soils are available in Nepal. Nepal is an agricultural country. There is a great importance of soil here. Alluvial soil is found in abundance, which is very good for growing paddy, wheat, jute, oilseed, tobacco and sugarcane. Sandy and stony soil is found in inner Terai and Chure range. Soil is good for growing groundnut, coconut, palm, oilseeds, maize, potatoes, etc. Reddish grey soil is found in the hills of Mahabharat. This type of soil is good for potato, fruits, soyabean, tea and maize. Lacutrine soil is found in the valley. Its colour is black. It is good for the growth of green vegetables and food crops. In the Himalayan region the soil is not suitable for food and cash crops. The soil has less fertility so only buckwheat, barley, maize and potato can be grown.


MINERALS


Minerals like slate, stone, rock, coal, iron, copper, limestone, magnesite, mica and natural gas are natural resources. The marbles are made of rocks. Limestones are used in cement industries. Hetauda and Udaypur cement factories are the examples of such industries.

Nepal is quite rich in mineral resources. Mineral deposits such as gold, mica, limestone, iron ore, copper are found in different parts of Nepal. Because of financial constraint and lack of technical and skilled manpower, progress in the field of mining is negligible. If we utilize the mineral resources of Nepal properly, we can earn foreign currencies and people will get job opportunities also. The areas where minerals are found are as follows:
  1. Copper: Buddha Khola (Bandipur), Gyari (Gorkha), Arghauli (Chisapani), Taplejung, Ilam, Baitadi, etc.
  2. Iron: Ramechhap, Labdhi Khola, Pyuthan, Bhainse, Kulekhani, Bhutkhola, Phulchoki, Ghatkhola, etc.
  3. Mica: Bhojpur, Chainpur, Lamjung, Dhankuta, Nuwakot, Sindhuligadhi, etc.
  4. Limestone: Chovar (Kathmandu), Baise (Makawanpur), Udayapur.


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Saturday, March 27, 2010

REGION OF NEPAL

Saturday, March 27, 2010


There are three regions in Nepal. They are Himalayan Region, Hilly Region and Terai Region.

HIMALAYAN REGION

The high mountainous region with an altitude of 3000 metres to 8848 metres above sea level, is the Himalayan region. The snow line runs at 5000 meters. The Himalayan range like the Kumbhakaran, the Jugal, the Mustang, the Ganesh, the Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri and the Kanjiroba fan out from the east to the west. Sagarmatha, Kanchenjunga, Manaslu, Lhotse, Annapurna, Makalu and Dhaulagiri are some of the highest peaks of these ranges. About 15 percent of the total land area of the country falls within the Himalayan region.

Benefits from the Himalayas:

  1. The Himalayan from natural boundary of the north. It helps Nepal to remain an independent and sovereign kingdom.
  2. Stretching between Nepal and China, the Himalayas have saved the expense of erecting artificial border posts
  3. The Himalayas protect Nepal from the cold winds blowing from central Asia.
  4. The Himalayas cause monsoon rain during summer.
  5. Most of the river of Nepal originate from the snow-clad mountains of the Himalayas.
  6. The river which flow rapidly from the Himalayas, are very useful for generating hydro-electric power.
  7. The snow-clad Himalayas have a unique natural beauty. It attracts tourists and mountaineers from different countries. They are valuable sources of foreign currency income.


HILLY REGION

This region is formed by Mahabharat range that soars up to 3000 meter. It is also known as mid-Himalayan Region. To the south of it lies the Churila range whose altitude varies from 610 meters to 1872 meters. The two ranges enclose between them valleys of various widths and altitudes. They are known as ‘Doons’ or the inner terai. This region accounts for about 68 percent of the total land area of the country.


TERAI REGION

The terai region lies in the southern part of our country. It stretches from Mechi in the east to Mahakali in the west. The width varies from about 25 km to 30 km. The eastern terai is wider and spreads continuously while the western terai is narrower or irregular. The terai region has a maximum altitude of 300 meters and a minimum of 60 meters from sea level. It occupies about 17 percent of the total land area of the country.



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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Environment Education

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Environment Education

Environment education is very important for many reasons. It gives us information about the different components of the environment. It also teaches us the role of the different components of the environment.

We all depend on the environment for survival. Environment resources such as land, water and plants provide our needs. Some resources are renewable and some are not. Environment has perpetual resources such as solar energy, wind and water resources. It we properly exploit these resources they can be used forever for our benefit.

The following points sum up the important of Environment education:
  1. Environment education teaches us about biological, physical, chemical and socio-cultural components of the environment.
  2. It teaches us about the inter-relationship amongst environment components.
  3. It develops our knowledge and skills in rational use of environmental resources.
  4. It helps us to raise the awareness on protecting environmental resources and their proper management.
  5. It teaches us to care for and respect all the things of nature, which contribute to nature conservation.
  6. It helps us in conserving and promoting environmental resources.




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Environment

Environment

The world ‘environment’ describes our surroundings. It includes every thing present in our surroundings like the living as well as the non-living things. Environment is the sum total of all the living and non-living things present in our surroundings and interacting with each other in a harmonious manner.

Thus, an environment includes biological, physical and chemical components. Environment also has a socio-cultural part. This includes social behaviour, customs, traditions, religious, festivals, religious places and society. These also play an important role in maintaining our environment.

We all depend on the environment. We get food, water and shelter from the environment. These are environment resources. Environment resources may be natural (minerals, food etc.) or artificial (clothes etc.). The quality and quantity of environment resources depend on how we use these resources. Proper and limited use makes the resources available for a long time. However, improper and excessive use reduces the resources quickly. Moreover, our activities bring about changes in the environment. Depending upon the type of activity the changes may be positive or negative. These changes affect us. Thus, it is important for us to know more about out environment. We can do so through environment education.




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Population Education

Population Education

Some people think that population education is only the study of population related issues. On the other hand, some others consider population education as getting information about a population situation, various issues affecting it and ways of managing the issues. However, in reality an education cannot be limited to getting information and studying issues. Education should deal in a broader manner with the process of bringing changes in human behaviour. Therefore, population education can be defined as a process of developing awareness and understanding of population situation amongst people and making them more responsible towards managing population.

Population education makes the people aware of population related issues. It also brings about changes in their behaviour. By doing so, it makes the people more responsible towards solving population related problems. Thus, there is an improvement in the quality of their lives.

The ultimate aim of population education is to create a happy family life. To do so, it has to influence the overall behaviour of people towards population problems as well as to teach them ways to manage their day-to-day problems.

Thus, the following points can makes us understand the scope of population education:
  1. Understanding Demography.
  2. Affecting Population Change.
  3. Providing Family Life Education
  4. Improving Quality of Life
  5. Teaching Reproductive Health
  6. Helping in Population Management

Importance of Population Education

The rapid growth of population has affected every aspect of daily life. Natural calamities, corruptions, violations of rules and regulations, social disorders and political instability are often the consequences of rapid population growth. People are attracted to urban areas where better facilities and opportunities are available. This has increased population in urban areas, to the levels which are becoming difficult to manage. On the other hand, the population in the rural areas has started falling, resulting in under utilization of available resources. If this situation continues for a long period of time, the nation will have to face a lot of trouble. Population education can play a major role in reversing this trend.

Nepalese society still prefers to stay in large families. Moreover, a male child is still preferred. Thus, couples continue to increase their family size to get more sons and stay in large families. In addition, early marriage still continues to occur in Nepal. All these are increasing population rapidly. This is called Rapid Population Growth (RPG). Population education can help in identifying causes of rapid population growth.

After it has made understand the causes of rapid population growth and its ill-effects, population education helps to find ways of solving these problems. It teaches to bring about changes in attitude and behaviour. With these changes population related problems can be solved. The quality of lives thus improves.



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