The division of Nepal

The division of Nepal

It is quite interesting that the 7 provinces in Nepal are called now Province No. 1, Province No. 2 etc. Before Nepal was divided into 14 Administrative Zones which had normal names. The change happened in 2015 with new establishment.

The previous system of division

  • Mechi Zone, named after the Mechi River
  • Kosi Zone, named after the Kosi River
  • Sagarmatha Zone, named after Sagarmatha (Mount Everest)
  • Janakpur Zone, named after its capital city
  • Bagmati Zone, named after the Bagmati River
  • Narayani Zone, named after the Narayani (lower Gandaki) River
  • Gandaki Zone, named after the Gandaki River
  • Lumbini Zone, named after Lumbini, a pilgrimage site, birthplace of Gautama Buddha
  • Dhaulagiri Zone, named after Dhaulagiri mountain
  • Rapti Zone, named after the West Rapti River
  • Karnali Zone, named after the Karnali River
  • Bheri Zone, named after the Bheri River
  • Seti Zone, named after the Seti River
  • Mahakali Zone, named after the Mahakali River

Interesting fact:

The anthem of Nepal written in 2007, ‘Sayaun Thunga Phool Ka’ (Made of hundreds of flowers) has a fraze where we can find the names of 2 zones; ‘Mechi-Mahakali’. Where they say that Nepal spreads from Mechi to Mahakali.

The current system of division

  • Province No. 1
  • Province No. 2
  • Province No. 3
  • Province No. 4
  • Province No. 5
  • Province No. 6
  • Province No. 7

I know it looks funny. Now when we know what Provinces we have, let us see how they are divided.

Administrative divisions of Nepal

Its called the ‘administrative divisions of Nepal’. The first level of country subdivisions of Nepal are the Provinces. Each province is further subdivided into Districts and districts into Municipalities and rural municipalities.

Here is how it goes:

Federal Government

7 Provinces

77 Districts

6 Metro City / 11 Sub-Metro City / 276 Municipality / 460 Rural Municipality

Some of you, unexperienced, might think, what this ‘Metro’ or ‘Municipality’ means. So here it is.


On the basis of population, resources, and other urban facilities available, the Nepal government can classify the municipalities under four categories.

Metropolitan city

  • A minimum population of 200,000
  • A minimal annual income of NPR 40 crores
  • Facilities like electricity, drinking water and communication
  • Main roads and other link roads are pitched
  • Availability of special health services like hospital, medical college
  • Has physical facilities for conducting international sports and games
  • Sufficient opportunities for higher education and at least one university

Sub-metropolitan city

  • A minimum population of 150,000
  • Minimum annual income of NPR 10 crores
  • Facilities like electricity, drinking water and communication
  • Main roads are pitched
  • Facility of higher education and health service
  • Has minimum physical facilities for conducting national and international sports and games
  • Facilities like gardens, parks and city hall


  • A minimum population of 20,000 (10,000 for those within hilly regions)
  • A minimum annual income of NPR 40 lakhs
  • A semi-urban area possessing electricity, road, drinking water, communication and similar other basic facilities

Rural Municipality

Rural Municipalities (Gaunpalikas) were established in 2017, replacing the Village Development Committees (VDC). The main purpose of a Gaunpalika resembles that of a Village Development Committee, but it has more rights in the collection of royalty and taxes and has a higher annual budget than the VDC.

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