capital of Nepal
Kathmandu (; Nepali: काठमाडौँ, Nepali pronunciation: [ˈkaʈʰmaɳɖu]), officially the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (Nepali: काठमाडौं महानगरपालिका) is the capital and most populous city of Nepal. It is located in the Kathmandu Valley, a large valley in the high plateaus in central Nepal, at an altitude of 1,400 metres (4,600 feet).
The valley was historically called the "Nepal Mandala" and has been the home of the Newar people, a cosmopolitan urban civilization in the Himalayan foothills. The city was the royal capital of the Kingdom of Nepal and hosts palaces, mansions, and gardens of the Nepalese aristocracy. It has been home to the headquarters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) since 1985. Today, it is the seat of government of the Nepalese republic, established in 2008, and is part of the Bagmati Province.
Kathmandu is and has been for many years the centre of Nepal's history, art, culture, and economy. It has a multi-ethnic population within a Hindu and Buddhist majority. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. Tourism is an important part of the economy in the city. In 2013, Kathmandu was ranked third among the top ten upcoming travel destinations in the world by TripAdvisor, and ranked first in Asia. The city is considered the gateway to the Nepalese Himalayas and is home to several World Heritage Sites: the Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and Pashupatinath. Kathmandu valley is growing at 4 percent per year according to the World Bank in 2010, making it one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in South Asia, and the first region in Nepal to face the unprecedented challenges of rapid urbanization and modernization at a metropolitan scale.Historic areas of Kathmandu were severely damaged by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April 2015. Some of the buildings have been restored while some remain in the process of reconstruction.
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