The valley and surrounding territories constituted the former Newar kingdom of the Nepal Mandala. Unlike a common-origin ethnic group, Newars are a good example of a nation-community with relic-identity of a previously existing country. Newar community within it consists of various strands of ethnic, racial, caste and religious heterogeneity, as Newars of today are descendants of the diverse group of people that have lived in Nepal Mandala since prehistoric times. Indo-Aryan immigrants like the Licchavis and Mallas that arrived at different periods eventually merged with the local indigenous Newar population by adopting their language and customs. These immigrants retained their Indic heritage and brought with them their Sanskritic languages, social structure, Vedic religion and culture which has profoundly altered the history of Newar civilization. Newar rule in Nepal Mandala ended with its conquest by the Gorkha Kingdom in 1768.
Today, Newars are a linguistic and cultural community of primarily Indo-Aryan and Tibeto-Burman ethnicities following Hinduism and Buddhism with Nepal Bhasa as their common language. Unlike other ethnic or caste groups of Nepal, they are a linguistic and cultural community that transcends religion, caste, ethnicity and cultural distinctions. Scholars have also described the Newars as a nation. They developed a division of labour and a sophisticated urban civilization not seen elsewhere in the Himalayan foothills. They are known for their contributions to art, sculpture, architecture, culture, literature, music, industry, trade, agriculture and cuisine, and left their mark on the art of Central Asia.