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Other significant symbols are the emblems (tree, plow, sun) used to designate political parties.Prominent among symbols for the nation as a whole are the national flower and bird, the rhododendron and danfe; the flag; the plumed crown worn by the kings; and the crossed kukhris (curved knives) of the Gurkhas, mercenary regiments that have fought for the British Army in a number of wars.The rugged topography has created numerous ecological niches to which different ethnic groups have adapted.

The Hindu Malla dynasties reigned in the Kathmandu Valley between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, encouraging tolerance toward Buddhism and an orthodox, caste-oriented form of Hinduism.The Kathmandu Valley has a population of approximately 700,000. After conquering much of the territory that constitutes modern Nepal, King Prithvi Narayan Shah (1743–1775) established Gorkhali (Nepali) as the national language.Nepali is an Indo-European language derived from Sanskrit with which it shares and most residents speak at least some Nepali, which is the medium of government, education, and most radio and television broadcasts.Since unification in the late eighteenth century and through the hundred-year period of Rana rule, the culture of hill Hindus, Parbatiya, has been dominant.The birth of the nation is dated to Prithvi Narayan Shah's conquest of the Kathmandu Valley kingdoms in 1768.

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