Sitting in the lap of the Himalayas, Nepal is a kaleidoscopic blend of awe-inspiring vistas enchanting monasteries, charming hamlets and abundant wildlife. It is the home to eight of the world’s highest peak including the tallest Mount Everest. No wonder, the landlocked Himalayan beauty is a haven for trekkers and nature lovers. Nepal is the birthplace of sage Gautam Buddha and holds a lot of significance to the Buddhist followers. The rich culture has a rooted identity and has an unusual way of making a deeper connection with the visitors.
If you are excited to visit this intoxicating land, here is our guideline on the different ways to reach Nepal. Scroll down and keep reading!
Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is the only International airport in the region. There are a handful of airlines that operate daily from major Indian cities including Jet Airways, Indigo and Air India. Other airlines that connect Nepal to various international destinations are Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airlines, Silk Air, Oman Airlines, Air China, Air Asia, Fly Dubai and Air Arabia. A second international airport is under construction in Pokhara and it is expected to be operational in the year 2021.
There are regular passenger and cargo trains that connect Sirsiya (Southern Nepal) and Raxaul (India). There is no visa requirement and this option is only open to Indians and Nepalese.
Recently, officials have announced the launch of a direct passenger train between India and Nepal. The train would run from Jayanagar (Bihar) to Kurtha (Dhanusa District, South-eastern Nepal).
Bus is the most convenient option to reach Nepal from India. There are direct buses that operate between Delhi and Kathmandu. Travelling by car is also a common practice. You are required to pay a toll fee and a transport permit at the border crossing. Do not forget to collect the receipts as you might be asked at other checkpoints. Please note, there is a lot of traffic at the border that often makes the journey tedious.
The best way to reach Nepal from Delhi is by flight. There are direct flights operating in this route. These airlines include Indigo, Royal Nepal Airways, Jet Airways and Air India. You might find some great deals if the flight is booked in advance. The approximate travel time is one and a half hours.
From Delhi, board a train to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. After reaching the destination, avail the shared jeep or a bus for the onward journey to Sunauli border. The travel time is approximately 3 hours. From the other side of the border in Bhairahawa, take another shared jeep or bus to reach Kathmandu. This bus travel will cost you around INR 600.
Please note only overnight buses run late in the afternoon or evening. They take more time and you would miss getting a glimpse of the picturesque landscape on the way. Hence, it is always a better idea to board the day buses that stop operating late afternoon.
There is a direct bus service from Delhi to Kathmandu. The initiative was taken by the Delhi Transport Corporation in November 2014. The air-conditioned Volvo buses commence the journey from Dr. Ambedkar Stadium Bus Terminal and take the passengers through Agra and Kanpur to Sunauli border. The one-way fare is approximately INR 2300.
While Sunauli is the most popular entry point, the border crossing at Banbasa in Uttarakhand is closer to Delhi. This is the quickest way to travel if you have your own vehicle. There are limited public transportations on this route.
There are no direct flights from Varanasi. They fly via Delhi, making the journey costly and time-consuming.
An economical way of travelling to Kathmandu from Varanasi is by train. From Varanasi Railway Junction, you have to board a train till Gorakhpur. Another train from Gorakhpur will drop you at Sunauli border. For the onward journey, there are buses and shared jeep available from the other side of the border crossing.
There is a direct air-conditioned bus service from Varanasi to Kathmandu. The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transportation looks after its operation. It is an air-conditioned Volvo seater bus and tickets can be booked online or at the Varanasi Bus Stand. The bus starts at 10 PM and takes around 21 hours to reach Kathmandu.
Pro-Tip: The Sunauli-Bhairahawa border crossing is suitable for people travelling from Varanasi, Delhi and other north-western states of India.