Religious structure of Nepal has a unique place in the world. All the sects co-exist with universal brotherhood. Hindu and Buddhist are visiting the same places of pilgrimages. This serves as fine examples of fellow feeling. Tolerance in religious is one of the most remarkable features of Nepal culture. Nepal never witnessed religious riots. Overwhelming majority of the population are Hindu and Buddhist, they are many religious that are followed by different ethnic groups. Most of these sects are in the form of animism. They believe in host of spirits or supernatural beings as they worshiped by their generations.
Thousands of gods and goddesses make up the Hindu pantheon. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are the three major Hindu gods who have their own characteristics and incarnations. Each god has his own steed which is often seen kneeling faithfully outside that god and goddess temples. Symbolic objects are carries by the multiple hands of each deity which empowers them to perform great feats. The followers of Hinduism are roughly divided into three groups i.e. Nepali speaking Hindu of hilly region, the Maithili, Bhojpuri and Awadhi speaking groups of the Terai and the Newars of Kathmandu valley. They differ in customary practices; however they have indisputable arrangement as regard to broader philosophical aspects of the religion.
Sakyamuni Buddha is the founder of Buddhism who lived and taught in this part of the world during the sixth century BC. The great stupas of Swayambhunath and Boudhanath are among the oldest and most beautiful worship sites in the Kathmandu Valley.
The spinning of prayer wheels, prostrating pilgrims, collective chants and burning butter lamps are some Buddhist practices often encountered by tourist. a slip of paper bearing a mantra is kept inside the wheels so that prayers are sent to the gods when the wheel is spun. Scenes from the Buddha’s life and Buddhist realms are depicted on thangka scroll paintings which are used during meditation and prayer ceremonies. Many Buddhist followers are seen performing these practices in Swayambhunath , Boudhanath, and at other Buddhist sites around the Valley.
Nepal is a country of ancient civilization which can be traced thousand of years before the birth of Christ (B.C). However, scientifically reliable documents that are available now date back only to the 5th Century AD when the Lichhavis ruled over the country. We have to be content with various Legends about the earlier periods until more authentic documents are found. Legends say that the very first dynasty to rule the Kathmandu valley was Gopala dynasty. Then ruled by Kiratas. After Kiratas, then came rulers of Lichhavis dynasty who improved the economy and making great contributions for the development f the art of building, temples, images and places. After Lichhavis period, another important era of Nepalese history is the Malla dynasty ruled around 13th century AD. Innumerable temples, palaces, idols and carving that are preserved in the valley, speak of the excellence in art and architecture during that period. In this sense Nepal has a long and a glorious history. By 1767 AD, the Great King Prithivi Narayan Shah of Shah Dynasty conquered various warring principalities and laid the foundation of modern Nepal. After Prithivi Narayan Shah, the campaign of the unification was given continuity by his younger son Bahadur Shah and was launched once again by the First Prime Minister of Nepal Bhimsen Thapa. However the expansion came to a halt when Nepal came into conflict with British India Company and signed the treaty of Sugauli which lost the most important territories of Nepal. Another crucial chapter of the history began the fall of Rana Regime in February 1951, after a popular revolution Nepal saw the dawn of democracy. A democratic revolt of 1990 has reinstated the Multi-party democratic system since April 1990. A people movement of 2005 had removed the Shah Dynasty of constitutional monarchy. Nepal has been declared as Federal Democratic Republic by the First Constitutional Assembly on 28th May 2008.