Nepal is also known for its exquisite natural beauty, with the iconic Himalayas running across the northern part of the country. The mountainous north contains eight of the world's ten highest mountains, including the highest peak of the World as Mount Everest which resides within the country's borders. The fertile and humid south is heavily urbanized. Although Hinduism is practiced by a majority of the population, the nation also has a strong Buddhist tradition, as it is the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha. The capital and largest city is Kathmandu. The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR).
Nepal had been a monarchy throughout most of its history. Prithvi Narayan Shah, a Shah Dynasty king, unified the many small kingdoms in 1768. Since then, the country had been ruled by a dynasty of kings. However, a decade-long political war by the Communist party of Nepal called Maoist along with several weeks of mass protests by all major political parties of Nepal in 2006, culminated in a peace accord and the ensuing elections for the constituent assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of the abdication of the last Nepali Monarch Gyanendra Shah and the establishment of a federal democratic republic in May 28, 2008. The first President of Nepal, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav was sworn in 23 July 2008.