the capital of Nepal, in the east at the confluence of the Baghmati and Vishnumati Rivers. Pop: 814 000 (2005 est)
a republic in S Asia: the world's only Hindu kingdom until it abandoned its monarchy in 2008; united in 1768 by the Gurkhas; consists of swampy jungle in the south and great massifs, valleys, and gorges of the Himalayas over the rest of the country, with many peaks over 8000 m (26 000 ft) (notably Everest and Kangchenjunga). A multiparty democracy was instituted in 1990. Official language: Nepali. Official religion: Hinduism; Mahayana Buddhist minority. Currency: rupee. Capital: Katmandu. Pop: 30 430 267 (2013 est). Area: 147 181 sq km (56 815 sq miles) Official name Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
from Sanskrit Nepala, said to be from nipat "to fly down" (from ni "down" + pat "to fly") + alaya "abode, house." If this is right, the reference would be to villages in mountain vales. Related: Nepalese.