In the middle of China and India lies Nepal, the only country with a triangle flag. Nepal is mostly located in the Himalayas, naturally isolating it from its neighbors. However, Nepal is also located in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Even with its struggling economy, Nepal still gets a lot of international aid because of its strategic location. Aside from that, Nepal is famous for being the ultimate outdoors sports haven. Hikers and mountaineers flock to Nepal to challenge Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world.
Nepal uses the rupee as its currency. One Nepalese rupee (NPR) is equivalent to 100 paisa.
Nepal Rastra Bank
The Nepal Rastra Bank is the central bank of Nepal. It is established under the Nepal Rastra Bank Act 1955 on April 26, 1956. During that time, both the Nepalese and Indian rupee were in circulation.
The first series of Nepalese rupee banknotes issued by the Nepal Rastra Bank was introduced in 1960. Almost all of the notes featured King Mahendra, who succeeded King Tribhuvan in 1955. Smaller denominations did not have security threads while larger denominations had solid security threads. However, all the notes had a plumed crown watermark.
Only the 1 rupee note did not feature King Tribhuvan. Instead of the king’s portrait, the 1 rupee coin was featured on the obverse side. The reverse side of the note featured a sacred urn, crossed khukhuries, and a crescent moon and the sun. The note did not have a security thread. However, it had a plumed crown watermark. It also measured 101 mm long and 63 mm wide.
Nine years later, the bank issued a new series of banknotes. All the notes featured a new portrait of King Mahendra in his summer military uniform. Two new denominations were also introduced—the 500 rupees and the 1,000 rupees.
On January 31, 1972, King Mahendra died of a heart attack. His son, King Birendra, succeeded the throne. The Nepal Rastra Bank issued a new series of banknotes. The notes featured a portrait of King Birendra in his royal dress and cap on the obverse side and different native animals and landmarks on the reverse side. Most of the notes had a solid security thread and a plumed crown watermark. Only the 1 rupee note did not have a security thread.
Nepal Banknotes in 1981
An updated portrait of King Birendra in his royal dress and plumed crown replaced the old portrait. The 2 rupee was also introduced.
A mass shooting in the royal palace erupted in 2001, killing nine royals including King Birendra. King Dipendra was quickly crowned as his successor, but King Dipendra succumbed to his injuries in the shooting. Dipendra’s nephew, Gyanedra, assumed the throne on June 4, 2001. The bank issued a new series of notes six months later. King Gyarendra was featured on the obverse side of the notes. He also replaced the plumed crown as the notes’ watermark. Most of the notes also had windowed security threads with demetalized text. Only the 5 rupee retained its solid security thread. The 1 rupee note was printed on a polymer window sandwiched between cardboard to make it more secure.
The Nepal Rastra Bank also issued a 10 rupee note to commemorate the coronation of King Gyanedra. Its obverse side showed King Gyanedra in his royal dress and plumed crown and the Garud Narayan of the Changu Narayan temple. Its reverse side featured three black bucks grazing in a field, the Rastra Bank logo, and the coat of arms of Nepal. The note was printed on a polymer substrate so it had a simulated windowed security thread and a plumed crown watermark. There was also a see-through window with Devnagari text that read “Issued on the auspicious occasion of HM King Gyanendra’s Ascension to the Throne-2058”. The note was 133 mm long and 70 mm wide.
On April 2006, Nepal reduced King Gyanedra’s status to that of a ceremonial monarch. The Nepal Rastra Bank issued new notes that replaced King Gyanedra’s portrait with Mount Everest. However, because these notes were printed before the change in status, they still had King Gyanedra as the watermark. The bank hid the king’s portrait by printing the rhododendron, Nepal’s national flower, over the watermark.
2008 Issues In Nepal
On May 28, 2008, King Gyanedra was deposed and Nepal became a federal republic. The Nepal Rastra Bank issued a new series of banknotes that removed all traces of the monarchy. These notes featured Mount Everest instead of a king’s portrait, and the King Gyanedra watermarks were replaced by rhododendron watermarks. The notes with King Gyanedra’s portraits were withdrawn in 2011.