Flight is undeniably the most convenient and fastest way to get to Nepal from India. However, if you are on a tight budget and are looking for alternative ways, Natalia ShipKova has something to share on how to reach Nepal by road on a budget within a day.
If you prefer direct route, a comfortable bus from Delhi to Kathmandu is available. The journey will take 24 hours for a cost of 2300 INR(~30 USD)per person. If you are willing to commute by bus, I would suggest Varanasi – Kathmandu route, since it’s twice faster and almost twice cheaper. In addition to this, you will get to explore one of the most spiritual cities of India, Varanasi. . In this article, I will share how you can reach from Delhi to Nepal border, from where you are free to choose several Nepalese destinations.
Delhi to Gorakhpur
You can reach to Gorakhpur by train. It starts from NDLS train station (the closest metro station is New Delhi, yellow line). Natalia suggests going with express train options, where the journey length is 13 hours. You can book train ticket through IRCTC or Cleartrip website/app. “There is a super budget option of sleeper class (SC) that comes to 375 INR, however I wouldn’t suggest traveling in SC in East of India, especially if you are a woman.”
Travel tips: “I would advise booking train that reaches Gorakhpur between 6am – 8 am in the morning. In this case, you will be able to reach Nepalese border by noon and take the bus to Pokhara/Kathmandu the same day. Otherwise, all the buses that start from Nepalese border after 3pm, irrespective of starting time they reach the final destination by 6 am next morning.”
Gorakhpur – Sonauli
You will find people trying to sell you unnecessary stufs from Gorakhpur to Sonauli. You can reach Sonauli either by bus,jeep or taxi. I suggest taking a public bus which will take 3-4 hours to reach. The bus station is only 5 min walk from the train station.
Travel tip: “There will be people approaching you and selling a super comfortable bus with extra features, that will take you directly to Nepal. You will not be able to avoid crossing the border, it’s a fact. Whichever bus you will take, it will bring you till the border parking.”
Sonauli – Kasauli
There are 2 border points, Indian and Nepalese. Upon reaching the Indian Border Parking, you will find many rickshaw drivers trying to capitalize on your confusion. Some will tell, it’s 2-3 km and you might get lost on the road. They will ask 300 to 500 INR. It’s 8 times more than your 4-hr journey to Sonauli. In reality, there are hardly 200 meters to Indian passport checking office from the bus parking on a straight road. There is just 1 direction so there is no way, you will get lost. Thus, you can easily reach by foot.
Travel tip: “There will be several people approaching you to change money to Nepalese for a super high commission. There are 2 ways of dealing with this issue: 1. Exchange money in Gorakhpur. 2. Take out money from ATM in Gorakhpur, 2000- 3000 INR will suffice till you reach some city in Nepal. DON’T EXCHANGE Indian Rupees to Nepalese. 100 and 500 Indian notes perfectly work in any shop in Nepal.”
You will find a passport check point on the right of the road gates. I found Nepalese visa experience very smooth. You need to fill up a form with ten questions, select how long you wish to be in Nepal, pay and get a stamp. It can be extended later.”On the border you will hear from the officer a smiling “Welcome to Nepal” and you are free to go. “
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