A few millennia of Nepalese feudalism came to an abrupt end in 2006.

The revolution started so quietly that few saw it coming. Long neglected by Kathmandu elites, rural communities in the remote Himalayas fed a violent Maoist insurgency that gradually swept across the country. A series of nationwide strikes, curfews, and mass arrests paralyzed the capital city, forcing the resignation of King Gyanendra, the world’s last Hindu monarch, in 2006.

Nepal’s civil war claimed over 17,000 lives.

A new republic was born. But it would take a decade of instability to ratify a constitution affirming Nepal as a secular democracy.

Today, Nepal is the world’s only republic run by a communist party.