Kathmandu Metropolitan City
Kathmandu (Nepali: काठमाडौं ; Nepal Bhasa: येँ देय्) is the capital and, with almost one million inhabitants, the largest urban agglomerate of Nepal. The agglomerate consists of Kathmandu Metropolitan City at its core and its sister cities of Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City, Kirtipur municipality, Madhyapur municipality, Bhaktapur municipality as well as recently recognized urban areas of Shankharapur municipality, Karyabinayak municipality and Champapur municipality. Banepa, Dhulikhel, and Panauti are satellite urban areas of Kathmandu located just outside the Kathmandu valley. Kathmandu is also known informally as "KTM" or the "tri-city". According to a census conducted in 2011, Kathmandu has 975,453 inhabitants; in 2001 it had 671,846. The metropolitan city area is (50.67 square kilometres (19.56 sq mi)) and it has a population density of 19,250 per km².
The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley in central Nepal, surrounded by four major mountains: Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Chandragiri. Kathmandu Valley is part of three districts (Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur), has the highest population density in the country, and is home to about a twelfth of Nepal's population. These three districts contain 2.5 million people, as of the 2011 census.
During Rana and Shah era, the name "Nepal" referred only to the Kathmandu Valley; it was what people who lived outside the valley called it. During this period, British historians called the valley itself "Nepal Proper". Today, Kathmandu is not only the capital of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, but also the headquarters of the Central Region (Madhyamanchal), which is one of Nepal's five "development regions" (together comprising 14 "administrative zones"), and is so-called because it is located in the central part of the country. The Central Region comprises three zones: Bagmati, Narayani, and Janakpur. Kathmandu is located in the Bagmati Zone.
As the gateway to tourism in Nepal, Kathmandu is the nerve centre of the country’s economy. It has the most advanced infrastructure of any urban area in Nepal, and its economy is tourism-centric: tourism accounted for 3.8% of Nepal's GDP in 1995–96. (Tourism in Kathmandu declined thereafter during a period of political unrest, but it has since picked back up again).
The city has rich history, spanning nearly 2000 years, as inferred from an inscription in the valley. Most of Kathmandu's people follow Hinduism, many others follow Buddhism, and there are people of other religious beliefs as well, giving Kathmandu a cosmopolitan culture. Nepali is the most commonly spoken language in the city. Nepal Bhasa is the indigenous language spoken by the Newar people, Hindi is widely understood, and English is understood by Kathmandu's educated residents. The city's literacy rate is 98%.
Since Kathmandu's sister cities of Lalitpur (Patan) and Bhaktapur are integral to Kathmandu's cultural heritage, tourism industry, and economy,UNESCO's World Heritage Site lists the all three cities' monuments and attractions together under the one heading, "Kathmandu Valley-UNESCO World Heritage Site".
Read more about Kathmandu Metropolitan City: Toponymy, History, Geography, Climate, Economy, Demographics, Architecture and Cityscape, Religion, Education, Sports, Transport, Healthcare, Media, In Popular Culture, Sister Cities
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