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Draped along the southern flank of the Himalaya, Nepal is a land of sublime scenery, time-worn temples, and some of the best trekking trails on earth. It is a poor country, but it is rich in scenic splendour, wonderful people and cultural treasures. Nepal has long exerted a pull on the Western imagination.

Nepal, formerly the Kingdom of Nepal and now officially the Republic of Nepal, is situated in South Asia, land-locked, and bounded by the two most populous countries in the world, the Tibet region of China to the north, and India to the south, east, and west.

The population of Nepal is estimated at between 27 million and 29 million people. Kathmandu is the capital and largest city and has a population of approximately 600,000.

Nepal is one of the least developed countries in the world with almost one-third of its population living below the poverty line. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for three quarters of the population and accounting for 38% of GDP. GDP is estimated at US$250-US$300 per person. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural produce including jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain.

Nepal was cut off from the rest of the world until the early 1950's, when a palace revolution and the subsequent overthrow of the autocratic Rana dynasty marked the beginning of Nepal’s emergence into the modern world.

Security concerns up until 2006, relating to the Maoist conflict, had resulted in a decrease in tourism, a key source of foreign exchange. However with the political events of 2006 and subsequently, this has dramatically changed, and Nepal is now considered a reasonably stable tourist destination. In 2008 full democratic elections were held, and the Maoist Party returned as the majority party in the new Parliament. Rapid constitutional change followed, including the formal abolition of the Monarchy and the establishment of the Republic of Nepal. It appears that the instability of Nepal's recent past has been replaced by a start down the long road to economic and social advancement. Nepal has considerable scope for exploiting its potential in hydro power and tourism, areas of recent foreign investment interest.

The Nepal flag was officially adopted in 1962, and it is the only national flag in the world that is not a rectangle or square. The flag’s blue border symbolizes peace, while red is the colour of the rhododendron, Nepal's official flower. The sun and moon represent the hope that Nepal will exist as a nation for so long as the sun rises and the moon sets.