The reason for Nepal is different from the whole world


When the clock was only 1 hour in Iran, 2 hours in India and 3 hours in Myanmar, Nepal was then 2:15.

The world has 24 time zones, one hour apart. However, there are time zones currently affected by political, geographical and social changes, or by new conventions. However, countries usually only differ by an hour or a half. Meanwhile, Nepal does not follow any international rules, time in GMT + 5: 45 time zone - 45 minutes difference from Greenwich Mean time. In fact, the country in the Himalayas has its own time zone, the Nepali Standard Time.


As the years passed, the world time zone became much more complicated. Photo: AFP.

The Nepal Standard Time dates back to 1956, when policymakers decided that the meridian to determine a nation's time had to be taken at Gauri Sankar, a sacred peak located east of Kathmandu. At the time, India was setting the meridian in Calcutta, so now Nepal was ten minutes faster.

Today, India is 15 minutes slower than Nepal, when this billion-dollar country chose the meridian for its time zone in Hyderabad. The time difference between the two neighboring countries gives the joke that Nepalese are always 15 minutes late, or Indians usually arrive 15 minutes early.

Before 1956, Nepalese considered the time much less accurate, relying primarily on devices like the "dhup ghadi" sundial. Under Malla (1201-1779), the only way for Nepalese people to see now was to a pond near the royal palace in the capital Kathmandu, where an official would observe a device called a "Ghati engine", essentially stones that have holes drilled into the water. Each stone takes exactly 24 minutes to sink. So by counting the number of stones that sunk every day, the time manager of the whole kingdom could tell the people the time.


Mount Gaurishankar (7,134 m) is part of the Himalayas. This mountain is named after the goddess Gauri in Hinduism. Photo: NTNC.

Nepalese call their country's unusual time zone the Nepali Stretched Time, because they consider the 15-minute difference as a grace period if they are late. It is also a point of pride for Nepalese people to go ahead of India, their bigger neighbors, even for just a few minutes. But compared to the West, Nepalese go even further, because they still use an ancient calendar that precedes the Gregorian 56 years and six months - now 2076 in Kathmandu.

Nepal is the only country in the world 15 minutes ahead of its neighbor, but there is another land that produces the same odd time zone. It is Chatham, a small archipelago of New Zealand with the time zone GMT + 13h45. Chatham Islanders set their watches 45 minutes ahead of the South Islanders, for no good reason.

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