Nepal is the only country that has never passed days under foreigners’ rule. In ancient time, it was ruled by the Gopal Dynasty, Mahispal Dynasty, Kirant Dynasty Lichchhavi Dynasty and Malla Dynasty. Ancient Nepal consisted of many small autonomous states. King Prithivi Narayan Shah conquered all of them and unified modern Nepal in 1769. Before the unification of Nepal, the Kathmandu valley was known as Nepal Rajya.The precise origin of the term Nepal is uncertain. According to Hindu mythology, Nepal derives its name from an ancient Hindu sage called Ne, referred to variously as Ne Muni or Nemi. Some believe that Ne means Newar and pal means home, so Nepal (mainly the Kathmandu Valley) means the home of the Newars (indegenous people).
In the mid-18th century, Prithvi Narayan Shah, a Gorkha king, set out to put together what would become present-day Nepal. He embarked on his mission by securing the neutrality of the bordering mountain kingdoms. After several bloody battles and sieges, notably the Battle of Kirtipur, he managed to conquer the Kathmandu Valley in 1769. Rivalry between the Kingdom of Nepal and the East India Company over the control of states bordering Nepal eventually led to the Anglo-Nepal War (1815–16). At first, the British underestimated the Nepali and were soundly defeated until committing more military resources than they had anticipated needing. After the Sugauli Treaty to end the war Nepal’s border has been limited to Mechi river in the east and Mahakali river in the west.
Since 1846, the autocratic family rule of the Ranas began in Nepal. Junga Bahadur Rana founded the Rana rule which was overthrown after 104 years in 1951 and democracy was introduced in Nepal. But, Declaring parliamentary democracy a failure, King Mahendra carried out a royal coup 18 months later, in 1960. The political parties and people launched People’s Movement against the Partyless Panchayat System and got success to restore multiparty democracy in 1990. On June 1, 2001, King Birendra with his family was murdered in the palace. Then his brother Gyanendra became the king of Nepal. Meanwhile, Nepal was going through a decade of Maoists Civil War. On February 1, 2005, King Gyanendra dismissed the entire government and assumed full executive powers, declaring a “state of emergency” to quash the revolution. In April 2006 strikes and street protests in Kathmandu forced the king to reinstate the parliament. A seven-party coalition resumed control of the government and stripped the king of most of his powers.
On May 28, 2008, the newly-elected Constituent Assembly declared Nepal the Federal Democratic Republic, abolishing the 240-year-old monarchy. Dr. Rambaran Yadav was elected the first President of Nepal and during his tenure the Constituent Assembly drafted a new progressive constitution which was promulgated on September 20, 2015. The same year Nepal had to face a devastating earthquake and so-called economic blockade from India. Currently, Bidhyadevi Bhandari is the President (Head of the State) and K.P. Oli is the Prime Minister (Executive Head) of Nepal.