Famous People from Nepal, Celebrities

Nepal is the birthplace of many notable individuals who have contributed or had an influence on either their country or on the world. Famous people from Nepal include religious icons, literary geniuses, mountaineers and political rulers. Among Nepal's most famous people are the Sherpas, collectively renowned for their great mountaineering skills. Another famous group are the Nepalese Ghurkas, excellent warriors.

Perhaps the best known Nepali person is Siddhartha Gautama, better known around the world as Buddha. Siddhartha was born some time between 624 BC and 563 BC in Lumbini of Nepal. Buddhism is based on the teachings of Gautama who became known as Buddha meaning “the awakened” or “Enlightened One”. Tradition states that at the age of 30 he abandoned a life of opulence and focused many years of his life on self-denial and contemplation. One day, whilst sitting under a tree he gained enlightenment. From then on he became Buddha. For the remainder of his life he taught his beliefs to this disciples along with the goal of reaching Nirvana, the ultimate state of enlightenment. His beliefs are embodied in his Four Noble Truths. Buddha died at Kushinagara sometime between 544 BC and 483 BC, yet his teachings continue to influence the lives of individuals throughout the world.

Tenzing Norgay is the most famous Nepalese Sherpa. Born in 1914, Tenzing Norgay took part in many expeditions of the magnificent Mount Everest. In 1953 he joined Sir John Hunt’s expedition of the grand mountain. Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary were the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Tenzing never took the glory, but rather always pointed to Hillary as the conquerer of Mount Everest. Following this great acchievement Tenzing was designated director of the field training section of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute located in Darjeeling. He created his own company called Tenzing Norgay Adventures in the year 1978. The company provides visitors the opportunity to trek through the Himalayas. Tenzing Norgay died in 1986 at Darjeeling of India. His son, Jamling Tenzing Norgay continues to run his business. Other famous Sherpas from Nepal are Lakhpa, Tashi, Dorjee and Nawang.

Jhamak Ghimire, born in 1980, has become a symbol of courage to people around the world. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Ghimire was able to overcome her disability. She made great efforts to learn to read and write and is now a famous Nepalese writer and poet.

Below is a list of other famous people from Nepal along with some brief details about them:

  • Bhanubhakta Achary – 1814 to 1868. Nepal’s first poet.
  • Bala Krishna Sama – born 1903. An influential dramatist.
  • Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev of Nepal – 1971 to 2001. Accused of murdering his family and king for 3 days whilst in a coma.
  • Amar Singh Thapa – 19th century. Military leader in Nepal. A national hero.
  • Sir Jung Bahadur Rana – 1817 to 1877. Well-known prime minister.
  • Sir Chandra Shamsher Jang Rana – 1863 to 1929. Well-known prime minister.
  • King Mahendra Bir Bikram-Shah – 1920 to 1972. Brought in a political system without parties.
  • King Birendra Bir Bikram Sha Dev – born 1945. Brought in democracy.

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