Nepal is a shockingly beautiful country that draws in travelers for innumerable reasons. Some are baited by the call of the mountains to ascend the Himalayas; others are captivated by the way of life and the renowned city of Kathmandu. Nepal can be an adrenaline experience, a social shocker, a groundbreaking encounter, or something beyond imagination.
Nepal is also one of India's closest neighbors, therefore there are various approaches to the land of Nepal based on interest, time, and budget. The following is a comprehensive travel guide for Indians or foreigners visiting Nepal from different parts of India, including transportation options and essential papers.
Getting To Nepal from India by Air
Air travel to Nepal is the quickest and simplest choice, with many airlines operating flights from all major Indian cities to the sole international airport of Nepal, i.e. Tribhuvan International Airport. Airlines such as Nepal Airlines, Indigo, Air India, and Buddha Air are some of the airlines that fly every day from major cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Bangalore.
- Delhi to Kathmandu by Flight
There are around 7 flights each day from Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport to Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, with only two of these being direct flights. The distance between the two cities is 507 miles (817 kilometers). The flying time is anticipated to be 1 hour 27 minutes. The ticket fare might differ depending on the booking time, airline, and the number of stops.
- Mumbai to Kathmandu by Flight
From Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport to Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, there are roughly 5 connecting flights. The flight distance is 1590 kilometers / 987 miles. The flight time is predicted to be 2 hours 30 minutes. At least one layover or transit is required on all Mumbai to Kathmandu flights.
- Bangalore to Kathmandu by Flight
From Bangalore's Kempegowda International Airport to Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, there are roughly 6 connecting flights. The distance between the two cities is 1,114 miles (1,794 kilometers). The flying time is predicted to be 3 hours. Most Bangalore to Kathmandu flights includes a stopover in New Delhi.
- Kolkata to Kathmandu by Flight
There are roughly 9 connecting flights from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata to Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport. Due to a diversion to Delhi, the flight distance is 1,318 miles / 2,122 kilometers. The flight time is predicted to be around 4 hours. The fastest flight has a 3hr 15min layover in Delhi.
Note: If you do decide to travel by plane, make sure to book your tickets ahead of time, as flights can fill up rapidly, especially during peak trekking season in October and November.
Getting to Nepal Overland from India via Different Nepal-India Borders
Apart from flight options, there are various ways to travel from India to Nepal, including trains, buses, and shared jeeps, which are becoming more common on both sides of the border.
Eight open Nepal-India borders are running between India and Nepal. Visitors can travel to Nepal from the following borders freely on private vehicles or trains or jeeps.
Through the Sunauli Border Crossing
Many people going overland from north India to Nepal go through the Sunauli border to Bhairahawa in Nepal, available from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. This is the most significant and most active India-Nepal border crossing. From that point, there are successive associations with Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Lumbini.
The majority of people going by land from northern India, such as Varanasi and Delhi, would stop here.
- Delhi to Kathmandu Overland via Sunauli
Though Delhi to Kathmandu flight is the most comfortable way to get to Nepal, for people within the budget of wanting to travel via road or overland, there are options to take a train to Gorakhpur and afterward a bus. The train takes about 14 hours and costs roughly US$20. It travels numerous times a day. For roughly US$ 3, you can ride a jeep or a local bus from Gorakhpur Junction to the Nepali border at Sunauli, which takes about three hours.
After crossing the border, it's only a few minutes walks to the Bhairahawa bus station, where you can get a bus to Kathmandu for around US$ 8. Buses run on a regular schedule till 7:00 p.m.
There is also a direct bus service from Delhi to Kathmandu. Passengers are transported to Sunauli via Agra and Kanpur on air-conditioned Volvo buses that depart from the Dr. Ambedkar Stadium Bus Terminal.
- Varanasi to Kathmandu Overland via Sunauli
Many individuals travel overland from Varanasi to Kathmandu, either by bus or train, and transport blends. The easiest overland travel from Varanasi to Nepal is taking the direct air-conditioned bus. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Varanasi bus station. The bus leaves at 10 p.m. and arrives in Kathmandu in around 21 hours.
Through the Raxaul Border Crossing
The Raxaul border crossing to Birgunj is available from Patna in Bihar in southern Nepal. It's generally helpful for anybody going from Bodh Gaya or Kolkata. There are direct trains from Kolkata to the Raxaul border which takes around 16 hours to reach. From Bodh Gaya, it's speedier to take a bus or car and travel by road instead of the train (13 hours). From the border, buses require six to seven hours to arrive at Kathmandu and eight hours to Pokhara. Shared jeeps to Kathmandu are faster and require four to five hours.
- Through the Panitanki Border Crossing
The Panitanki border crossing to Kakarbhitta in far eastern Nepal is available from Siliguri in West Bengal. It's generally used by Darjeeling, Kolkata, Sikkim, and the rest of upper-east India. Buses, taxis, and shared jeeps hurry to Siliguri, Kalimpong, and Gangtok borders in Sikkim. Siliguri to Panitanki requires around 45 minutes to 60 minutes.
Even though the border crossing is open 24 hours, the Indian and Nepali immigration offices close from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., so travelers ought to guarantee that they show up during this period. Standard buses are to Kathmandu (14 to 16 hours) and Pokhara (15 hours) from Kakarbhitta. It is worth going to Chitwan National Park during the journey for a break. Get off the bus at Sauraha (nine hours from Kakarbhitta), the nearest town and travel center point to the park.
- Through the Banbasa Border Crossing
Banbasa Border is the most western border crossing into Nepal from India, located in Uttarakhand's Banbasa. It is the speediest and generally rural route from Delhi to Kathmandu. However, it is far from Mahendra Nagar (also called Bhimdatta) on the Nepali border to Kathmandu. Buses take around 15 to 17 hours. Banbasa can be reached from Bareilly, Rudrapur, or Haldwani all three in Uttarakhand. It usually takes about three hours.
It is easy to get buses to Pokhara and Kathmandu from Mahendra Nagar. If you're not in a rush, it is excellent visiting Bardiya National Park on the way.
You can take a bus from Bhimdatta to Pokhara or Kathmandu after crossing this India-Nepal border. You can alternatively drive to Dhangadi and fly to Pokhara or Kathmandu from there.
- Other Border Crossings
Two other border crossings are: from Jamunaha in Uttar Pradesh to Nepalganj in western Nepal and Gauriphanta in Uttar Pradesh to Dhangadhi in far west Nepal. However, they're challenging to reach and rarely utilized. Foreign tourists are rarely allowed to enter the border at non-official border crossings in Janakpur, Biratnagar, and Ilam.
Visa Requirements to travel to Nepal from India
Indian people do not require a visa to enter Nepal, according to Nepal's visa policy. However, Indian residents should show a valid National Passport or Voter ID issued by the Government of India while checking in and at migration. Note that the Aadhaar (UID) card is not accepted as a travel document.
Foreigners can acquire a Nepali tourist visa once they arrive at the airport in Kathmandu. Nepali tourist visas are also accessible from immigration at border intersections available to foreigners. Also, along with your visa, you'll require identification, passport photographs, and foreign currency (a few intersections demand payment in US dollars).
Major Highlighted Places in Nepal
Most tourists invest some energy in Kathmandu, visiting sacrosanct and incredible attractions and heading to different parts of the country. However, the absolute best places to stay outside of the capital are Chitwan National Park for natural life seeing and the lakeside town of Pokhara, a famous region for embarking on a journey. Besides these, travelers will find a variety of options in Nepal. Some of the most amazing tourist attractions in Nepal are as follows:
Kathmandu, the capital and biggest city in Nepal, resembles no other city on the planet. It is the major gateway to the country as the only International Airport lies here. The first impression of Kathmandu might overwhelm the travelers as the city and the people here welcome every guest with open arms. The smell of incense floats from stores while road vendors push their merchandise. Individuals go about their daily lives in front of a backdrop of unusual sanctuaries and sculptures.
Bhaktapur, the third medieval city along with Kathmandu and Patan lies on the old shipping lane to Tibet, right outside of Kathmandu. Bhaktapur is also known as Bhadgaun and is noted for its religious, cultural, and historical history. It is called a City of Devotees, a Living Heritage, a Cultural Gem of Nepal, an open museum, and a City of Culture.
- Boudhanath Stupa
The Boudhanath Stupa, right outside of Kathmandu, is probably the biggest stupa of its sort on the planet and was built around the sixth century, conceivably much prior. But, like Bhaktapur, it lies on the old shipping lane to Tibet and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pokhara is the doorway to the Annapurna Himalayas and the beginning stage for trips to Jomsom and the Annapurna region. It's additionally an incredible spot just a little, either previously or after a climbing trip.
The Annapurna Region is one of Nepal’s most famous traveling areas, with choices ranging from a few days to a month. The treks and the journey in this region introduce you to the central Nepal mountain ranges with some of them being on the list of the world's highest. Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Mardi Himal Trek, Ghorepani Poonhill Trek, and Upper Mustang Trek are some of the most famous treks of this region.
- Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park is the spot to encounter an alternate side of Nepal. This is a bright spot for untamed life review, and it has a safari-type climate. However, at a height of just 100 meters in certain areas, much lower than Kathmandu at 1,350 meters, Chitwan has a tropical rainstorm environment, significantly not the same as what you'd hope to find in Nepal.
- Trekking in the Langtang Region
The Langtang Region, home to Langtang National Park, is an unbelievable region for climbing, with high passes, broad perspectives, old religious communities, and fantastic mountain views. Rhododendron woods sprout throughout the spring climbing season, adding colors to the vistas.
- Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple)
Set on a ridge toward the west of Kathmandu, Swayambhunath is the second most significant sanctuary in the Kathmandu Valley after Boudhanath. Because of the occupant monkeys that occupy portions of the sanctuary, it is warmly known as the Monkey Temple.
Lumbini is renowned for being the origination of Siddhartha Gautama, the notable Buddha known as Buddha Shakyamuni. Arranged off the top tourist place, just about 250 kilometers from Kathmandu, Lumbini is a beneficial diversion on the way from Pokhara to the Chitwan National Park.
- Helambu Trek
The Helambu region is a famous traveling region, especially with journeying organizations offering directed climbs. This is generally near Kathmandu, doesn't arrive at astoundingly high rises, and offers incredible mountain landscapes.
The Everest Base Camp Trekking is world-famous 12-14 days journey starting from the most dangerous airport in the world in Lukla. This high-altitude trek offers crosses to high peaks and glaciers, panoramic mountain vistas, and see popular Sherpa communities.
- Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek
The Kanchenjunga Circuit 26 Days Trek is a challenging adventure that takes you to the breathtaking region of eastern Nepal, where you can witness the majestic Kanchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak.
Best Time to Travel to Nepal from India
If you want to go hiking or trekking in Nepal, October, and November (autumn) and March, April, and May (spring) are the best months to visit because the weather is stable and warm with clear skies and pleasant weather. However, being the peak trekking season, the routes are crowded. Most of the high-altitude trekking routes are difficult during the winter due to heavy snowfall and the summer months in Nepal overlap with the rainy season making the routes difficult to pass by.
Other than high-altitude journeys in the Himalayas, Nepal could be traveled at any time of the year. Rain during monsoons and cold and fog during winter might disturb your holiday but it might give you a different experience. Also, there is a saying that Nepal has more festivals than days in a year. Whenever you are going to visit Nepal, you will get to observe at least a festival or an event.
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Nepal is a nation of differences. Natural riches are combined with a vibrant culture and a sense of history. Home to eight of the world's 14 top-class mountains, the nation offers a superb setting for trekking, climbing, and mountaineering, as well as a portion of the world's best cultural sightseeing.
Why wait anymore? Pack your bag and plan a trip to Nepal today. Nepal is waiting to welcome you.