Travelling between Nepal and India is like a cake walk. Doesn’t matter which Indian city you are in, a route leading to this beautiful mountain country will be present that will make travelling easier. Travelling between an Indian city and a destination in Nepal can take between 12 to 48 hours. This depends on the starting point of your journey and the place where you wish to eventually reach. If you catch a flight then your travel time will come down between 3 hours to 45 minutes.
Nepal is connected with India from cities like Gorakhpur Varanasi and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Raxaul and Sitamarhi in Bihar, New Delhi, Darjeeling and Siliguri in West Bengal and Dehradun Banbassa and Sunauli in Uttarakhand.
Reaching Nepal is possible by bus, flight and train up to some extent. It totally depends on how much time you have in hand and how much you wish to spend in travelling.
Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and a few more cities have direct but limited flight connected with Kathmandu. There may be a few occasional flights to Pokhara but after reading bad reviews of the airport and runway in general, I won’t recommend you to fly there and instead keep Kathamandu as the starting point of your trip.
The shortest flight distance taken to reach Kathamandu will be from New Delhi while Kolkata too have a couple of flights saving you from any layovers. Flights from Delhi take a minimum of 45 minutes and are the cheapest.
From Raxaul, Bihar
If you intend to reach Kathamandu in shortest time then Raxaul – Birganj border is the best place to start your journey from. Raxaul is also close to Chitwan National Park and hence many visitors take a halt here before arriving Kathmandu.
Raxaul is three hours away from Patna. Regular Air Conditioned buses charge between INR 300 and 400 and drop you at Raxaul bus stand. From here, catch a rikshaw to Raxaul – Birganj border. Ask the rikshaw guy to stop at a local shop to change the currency. Have some local cash and take rest out from an ATM in Kathmandu to get better rates. The Rikshaw will drop you at the border gate from where you’ll find an e-rikshaw going to Birganj. Ask them to drop you at the Sumo Stand.
Sumos take less time to travel between Birganj and Kathamandu. If you catch a ride at 12 PM then you’ll be at your destination by 5. Compared to this, a bus will take a minimum of 14 hours on a godforsaken road which will break your back.
If you are a foreigner who needs visa to enter Nepal then ask the e-rikshaw person to drop you at immigration office. Clear the formalities and then proceed.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi is a popular point for the travellers who want to enter Nepal after they are done with travelling in India. Varanasi has a number of buses, both government and private that travel to Kathamandu.
Time taken to travel between Varanasi and Kathmandu is 12 hours. There is a direct bus between Varanasi and Kathmandu every 2 days run by the Uttar Pradesh Road Transport Corporation. It leaves every night at 10 pm and takes around 13 to 16 hours to reach Kathmandu from Varanasi.
Note – Always confirm about the bus arrival and departure and make your bookings from a reliable travel agent or online portal to avoid frauds.
New Delhi is by far the most popular route despite longer time taken to travel to Kathamandu. Buses from Delhi also travel to Pokhara and Nepalgunj. Bus from Delhi leave from Majnu ka Tilla near Kashmere Gate and take almost 27 hours to drop you at Swayambho. These buses are fully equipped with all amenities including charging points, personal LCD screen and blankets. You can find sleeper, and seater buses depending on your preferences.
Gorakhpur is close to Sunauli Border and by far the busiest border crossing point. Regular trains and buses for Gorakhpur are available from Delhi, Varanasi and Patna. From Gorakhpur, you need to travel to Sunauli border by another bus. From Sunauli, find a rickshaw going to border. Cross the gates, if you are travelling with visa then complete the formalities and then catch a bus for Kathamandu, Pokhara or Lumbini depending on the destination you wish to head to.
Dehradun has two routes to enter Nepal. You can either take a bus for Sunauli or catch a direct bus to Mahendragarh in Nepal. From Mahndragarh, one can catch another ride to Kathamandu and continue their journey. Make sure that you reach Mahendragarh early morning so that you are in Kathmandu by sunset or spend enough time to find an overnight bus and arrive at your destination in the morning.
One can also travel to Tanakpur and then enter western districts of Nepal. Travelling to Kathmandu from here is gruesome but will be a nice idea to explore nearby villages.
If you want to enter Nepal from Darjeeling or Siliguri then you must keep a day extra in hand because the shared jeeps will drop you at Ilam. This village is in the Eastern Part of the country and Kathamandu is almost 12 hours away. From Ilam, you’ll find overnight buses as well as 4WD jeeps travelling to Kathmandu. The jeeps departs in the morning and take less time through a well made highway. The overnight buses are very tiring and hence not recommended. The jeeps travel on better road and take less time.
Hope you found an idea about travelling to Nepal. A lot of visitors from Europe come to India first as the flights to Kathmandu are costlier. You can do the same. There is no sea or inland water transport route but you can always fly to Pokhara by Paragliding from Indian Himalayan regions (at your own risk).
Have any doubt? Ask the same in comments section.
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