Famous Nepali People: Nepali Artists, Scientists, Leaders, Musicians, Politicians and Athletes

 List of Famous People from Nepal ::

Siddhartha Gautama
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 his 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
He can be considered as one of the most famous and influential people from Nepal. Born in late 1914 as Namgyal Wangdi, Tenzing Norgay was the 11th of the 13 children of Ghang La Mingma and Dokmo Kinzom. Norgay was a Nepali Sherpa mountaineer, holding the honor of being the first two individuals, together with Sir Edmund Hillary to reach the summit of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953. According to some accounts he was born a Sherpa and brought up in Tengboche, Khumbu which was located in the northeastern part of Nepal. Others claimed that he was born in the Kharta Valley in Tibet but he was sold as a bonded servant to a Sherpa family in Thamel, Nepal by his destitute family. Sherpas are traditional mountain guides. His name was changed by the Ngawang Tenzin Norbu, head lama and founder of the Rongbuk Monastery. Tenzing Norgay roughly translated to mean a wealthy-fortunate-follower-of-religion and Tenzing was a Buddhist follower.

He had been a guide to many mountaineers who attempted to climb Mount Everest from the Tibetan and Nepali sides when he was younger, but most of the expeditions were unsuccessful due to extreme weather conditions. In 1952 Norgay was part of two serious Swiss expeditions led by Raymond Lambert who attempted to climb Mount Everest from the Nepali side. They were able to reach a record height of 8,599 meters, short of just 249 meters to reach the summit.

He was part of the John Hunt expedition in March 1953, Tenzing’s 7th climb on the Everest. The team included Edmund Hillary, who was saved by Tenzing from a fall into a crevasse. The whole team comprised 400 people and Tenzing was part of the 20 Sherpa guides. Equipment failure sent some of the climbers down until John Hunt ordered Tenzing and Hillary to continue the climb. On May 29, 1953 at 11:30 in the morning, they reached the 8,848 meter-summit of Mount Everest. Hillary was able to take a picture of Tenzing holding his ice axe but Tenzing, who had not used a camera before was not able to take a picture of Hillary. They did take pictures from the top as proof.

He received the George Medal from Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal together with the Mount Everest team in 1953. He was also presented the Order of the Star of Nepal, First Class by King Tribhuvan of Nepal in 1953. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honor by the Government of India in 1959 and was honored by the creation of the Tenzing Norgay Award in 1978 by the Indian Government. He became director of field training for the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in India and founded his own company, the Tenzing Norgay Adventures which is now run by his son, Jamling Tenzing Norgay.
Tensing Norgay died in 1986 at the age of 71 with cerebral hemorrhage in Darjeeling, India. A small airport in Nepal, the Lukla Airport was renamed in 2008 as the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in their honor.

Jhamak Ghimire
Jhamak Ghimire was born in the Kachide village development in Nepal. She was born with cerebral palsy in July 1980. Despite her debilitating condition, she had the courage to learn to read and write. Writing with her left foot, she is one of the celebrated poets of Nepal and now works as a columnist at the Kantipur, a Nepali-language daily newspaper, the most widely read newspaper in Nepal. It is published simultaneously in Kathmandu, Nepalgunj, Bharatpur and Biratnagar. She had received the Kabita Ram Bal Sahitya Prativa Puraskar 2055 and the Aswikrit Bichar Sahitya Puraskar 2056 awards.

Bhanubhakta Acharya
Bhanubhakta Acharya was Nepal’s first poet who wrote in the Nepali language as previous Nepalese poets wrote in Sanskrit. He was born in 1814 in Chundi Ramgah located in the district of Tanahu. His father Dhananjaya Acharya was a government official. He worked for General Amar Singh Thapa, the governor of Palpa. Young Bhanubhakta was home schooled by Shri Krishna Acharya, his grandfather.

His greatest work was the translation of the epic Ramayana from Sanskrit to Nepali. During that time, Sanskrit was the dominant language and Bhanubhakta was a Brahmin, the caste of teachers, priests and scholars and their education was Sanskrit-oriented, while Nepali was considered a bastardized language and only used for speech after the fall of the Khas empire. The language of the Khas was the origin of the present-day Nepali language. The exploits of the hero of Ramayana deeply impressed Bhanubhakta so he decided to make the epic accessible to the people who spoke Khas. His translation was very lyrical that the epic came out more like a song than the original work, which was a poem.

Man Mohan Adhikari
He was a Prime Minister of Nepal from 1994 to 1995, the first democratically-elected Prime Minister from the Unified Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Nepal. He was born in Lazimpat, Kathmandu in June 1920. He received his education in India in 1938 where he was introduced to the communist movement. He spent most of his adult life fighting the monarchy and their authoritarian rule. He was part of the group that founded the Communist Party of Nepal.

Krishna Prasad Bhattarai
He was a Nepali political leader, born on December 13, 1924. He was a leader of the Nepali Congress Party and credited with the transition of Nepal to a democratic multi-party style of government from the previous absolute monarchy. He became Prime Minister of Nepal for a year in 1990 to 1991 and was again elected to the position in May 1999 up to March 2000. Nepal’s Constitution was proclaimed while he was the interim Prime Minister in 1990 and held the parliamentary election during that same year, which was a milestone in the history of politics in his country.

Bal Krishna Sama
He was the second son of General Samer Shumshere Jung Bahadur Rana and Kirti Rajya Laxmi. Rana was the ruling party when he was born in 1902 so he never lacked for anything and received the best education. However, he was exposed early to the harsh realities of life. His father was more concerned with maintaining a life of luxury and his grandfather showed violence to their servants. His mother and grandmother were more compassionate and he spent his time on art and literary activities writing short stories and changing his last name to Sama to disassociate himself from his autocratic family who once ruled Nepal. His literary works brought him fame, and he was dubbed as the Shakespeare of Nepal for his dramas with social, emotional and romantic contexts. He also wrote dramas that dealt with human psychology, philosophy, religion and issues on human rights.

Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev
Dipendra was born on June 27 1971 and was a member of the royal family of Nepal. He was the Crown Prince and his father, Birendra was the king. He received very good education in Nepal as well as in England, where he studied at Eton College and held a pilot’s license.

According to official government reports made on June 2001, Dipendra had an argument with his mother, Aiswarya who opposed his choice of a wife who was from the rival party, the Rana and in a rage after a drinking binge, he killed his father, his mother, brother and sister and even injured himself, resulting in a coma. He was proclaimed as king while comatose but died three days later from self-inflicted wounds during the massacre.

Amar Singh Thapa
Amar Singh Thapa was one of the national heroes of Nepal who served as general of the Nepalese army during the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814 to 1816. It was also called the Gurkha War against the British East India Company. He led many attacks on several western states of India and fought many small wars with King Ranjit Singh of Punjab who was defending his country’s western front against the British. Amar Singh Thapa also built a temple to the goddess of the river, Ganga that until today is part of the Cham Dam Yatra, a pilgrimage to the four sacred abodes in India that is revered by the Hindus.

Mahaboob Alam
Mahaboob Alam is a left-arm medium-pace bowler and left-handed batsman who plays for the national cricket team of Nepal. He started playing since 2000 for the national cricket team. He was a representative of the Under-19 during the Under-19 World Cup held in Sri Lanka and represented the senior side in 2001. His performance has helped his team tremendously and he has been awarded with seven Man of the Match awards from 2004 up to 2006. One of his most notable performances during an international cricket tournament recognized by the International Cricket Council was when he took all ten wickets in an innings in the World Cricket League Division 5 match against Mozambique. He was the first bowler to accomplish that feat.

Anil Gurung
Ail Gurung was born on September 23, 1988 in Pokhara, Nepal. He is an international football player, playing the position of forward who was the first Nepali to be selected for a trial for England’s Chelsea Football Club reserve team as well as the Woking Club. He spent 4 months in England showing his skills in football with all his expenses paid for by Chelsea F.C.

He won several trophies and cash awards while he played domestically with clubs such as Three Star Club, New Road Team, Manang Marshyandi Club and Brigade Boys Club. He was adding to his tally of goals before his Chelsea F.C. trials. Although he was not successful with his trials, he was still welcomed as a hero back home.

Anil signed up with Shillong Lajong FC of India on October 30, 2009. His contract worth Nrs. 6.3 million made him the highest paid footballer in Nepal. He helped the club reach the semifinals in the 3rd E.K. Nayanar Memorial Gold Cup with his lone goal against Pune FC. When his club was relegated he rejoined Manang Marshyandi Club for an undisclosed amount, and he retained his status as the highest paid Nepali footballer.

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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