KATMANDU // He has never worked outside the home or seen a doctor, and until today, he had never left his remote mountain village in western Nepal. So Chandra Bahadur Dangi, 72, only recently learnt he might be the world's shortest man.
Mr Dangi says he is only 56 centimetres tall - about the size of a toddler - and he is hoping to claim the title. Guinness World Records said in an email today that its officials will arrive in Nepal's capital on Sunday to measure Mr Dangi.
Mr Dangi took his first trip outside his village and his first trip on a plane to reach Katmandu today.
"I am very happy to be in Katmandu for the first time in my life. I am here so I can take the Guinness title," he said at the airport.
Mr Dangi, who has never been married, lives with his eldest brother and his family in Rhimkholi village, about 400 kilometres west of Katmandu. Because of his height, he has never worked outside the house, doing only household chores. His five brothers are of average size.
His family is not sure when he stopped growing, and Mr Dangi said he has never been checked by a medical doctor. He attended a few classes in the village school, but soon dropped out.
Mr Dangi eats mainly rice and vegetables, and occasionally meat, but in small portions.
Since the village is so remote, it was only recently that Mr Dangi gained notice. A forest contractor cutting timber in the village met him and informed local media after Mr Dangi's height was measured.
Mr Dangi's nephew, Dolak Dangi, said that before the contractor's visit, the family did not know his uncle's exact height, and that he was shorter than the world's shortest man.
Guinness currently recognises Junrey Balawing of the Philippines, who is 60 centimetres tall as the world's shortest man.
Another Nepalese man, Khagendra Thapa Magar, was known as the world's shortest man, at 67 centimetres, before Mr Balawing took over the title on his 18th birthday in June.
In December, Guinness recognised an Indian teenager as the world's shortest woman. Jyoti Amge is 62.8 centimetres tall and wants to attend university and become a Bollywood star.
Aside from a Guinness certificate, the titles do not come with any cash award.