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Local legends have it that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself in the valley of Kathmandu in prehistoric times, and that the word "Nepal" came into existence as the place was protected ("pala" in Pali) by the sage "Nemi".It is mentioned in Vedic texts that this region was called Nepal centuries ago.The highest elevation in Nepal is Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain, rising 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level.The Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley's traders.Neither does it border Bhutan due to the Indian state of Sikkim being located in between.Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, and eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth.The country struggles with the transition from a monarchy to a republic.
The military of Nepal is the fifth largest in South Asia and is notable for its Gurkha history, particularly during the world wars, and has been a significant contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations.The Nepalese Civil War resulted in the proclamation of a republic in 2008, ending the reign of the world's last Hindu monarchy.Modern Nepal is a federal secular parliamentary republic. Nepal is a developing nation, ranking 144th on the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2016.Kathmandu is the nation's capital and largest city.Nepal is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language.
The terms "Nepāl", "Newār", "Newāl" and "Nepār" are phonetically different forms of the same word, and instances of the various forms appear in texts in different times in history.