Delhi to Pokhara by Road: The Ultimate Travel Guide!

"Money can't buy you happiness, 
But it can buy you a Motorbike.
And that's pretty much close."

"We kept on moving. Our eyes were eagerly waiting for the ‘Welcome to Nepal’ signboard on the highway. Soon, we were stopped at a check-post by the security guards in blue uniforms, a couple of Nepalese policemen. They asked us to get the entry permit for the bikes to enter Nepal and that's how we knew we were already there!"

Nepal is a country that has left an immense impact on us  as travellers. Maybe that’s why we are on a mission to share our experiences that might help fellow wanderers to visit it as well. To begin with, let us tell you this. If you are starting your journey from North India, Nepal is easier to reach than you might think.

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Undoubtedly, taking a flight is one of the fastest and most convenient ways to get there. In addition to direct flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Kathmandu, you can get connecting flights from all major cities in India: Varanasi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Indore, Bhopal and so on.

Nevertheless, flights may be over the budget if you're willing to spend little. A cheaper alternative to flights is getting to Nepal by road, which is what this blog is about. As you read on, I'll share some tips and tourist scams you might meet on the way, so you can be all prepared!

Ways to enter (Shhh!!!)
Nepal has numerous borders with India which you can cross. If you are a non-Indian citizen going by road, there are the following borders available for you.

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  1. Northeast India to Nepal via Karkarbhitta
  2. Bihar to Nepal via Birgunj
  3. Uttar Pradesh to Nepal via Sunauli or Nepalgunj (DELHI PEEPS?)
  4. Uttrakhand to Nepal via Bhimdatta

Most of the tourists come through Sunauli or Birgunj border point. 
( I am biased and mainly focusing on Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to Pokhara.)

Delhi to Nepal by train and bus - via Sunauli border

There are several ways to reach the Nepal border from Delhi. I will be talking about train + bus combination as I find it the most practical. Our itinerary will be the following: Delhi – Gorakhpur – Sunauli – Belahiya. Sunauli also happens to be one of the most popular borders.

Note: Belahiya is the name of the place in Nepal which is also mentioned on my Nepali visa. The border is also sometimes referred to as Siddharthnagar (Bhairahawa), which is, in fact, the name of the district. (It’s advantageous to know different names.)

Dress tip: Sunauli is a very dusty town, where drivers play Bhojpuri clips in some buses. Dress more conservatively and practically.

Distance from Delhi to Nepal via Sunauli border

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Though the nearest Nepal border from Delhi is Gadda Chauki (Bhimdatta), I would suggest rather choosing the route according to the places you wish to visit in Nepal. For instance, if you are planning to go to Pokhara, Kathmandu or Chitwan, it is much better to enter through Sunauli border. For Kathmandu, Birgunj is also a good choice.  Here's info on the overall distance from Delhi to Nepal via Sunauli:

Delhi to Kathmandu – 1124 km
Delhi to Pokhara – 1049 km
Delhi to Sunauli Border – 860 km
Overall, prepare to invest 20-30 hours in this journey.

Documents required by Indians at Nepal border to prove their citizenship

  • Passport
     Voter ID card
     Driving Licence 
     ID-card issued by any government authority
     A letter issued by the Nepalese Embassy

Documents required  for entering Nepal with own vehicle

  • Registration Certificate of Vehicle
     Driving License 
     Customs Permit (called Bhansar in Nepali) 
     Vehicle Permit (called yaatayaat anumati in Nepali)

How to obtain Bhansar and Vehicle permit in Nepal?

Approach the Bhansar office at the border and get the application form. The form is supposed to be available for free, but the office clerk asked me to get it from a local shop. The shopkeeper charged me for it.

The form is in Nepali, i.e. the Devanagari script. Again, the office clerk directs the applicant to take help of ‘somebody’ to fill up the form. These ‘somebodies’ are the agents who are easily available in such offices to ‘help’ you. Of course, they charge for all such ‘help’. After submitting the form at the concerned counter, do not forget to collect the pink-coloured receipt. This is the proof of the payment of customs duty for your vehicle you intend to take in Nepal.

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Documents fees: To be paid in Indian or Nepali currency ?

All the payments are supposed to be done in cash in Nepalese currency. Though, Indian Rupee is also accepted at the counters. However, the office clerk may expect some commission or may offer a poor exchange rate. So, it is always better to pay in Nepali Rupee, if possible. Rupee can easily be exchanged at various shops around the border in India and Nepal.

As soon as you get over with all these formalities, you can take a deep breath and embrace the fact that you've entered the beautiful country of humongous mountains and lush sceneries.

Voila! Welcome to Nepal ;)

Just so you know, you can come and say hello to us at Zostel Pokhara and Zostel Kathmandu!

If you'd like to meet fellow backpackers and spend some memorable time with them as you traverse, you can book your stay with us at Zostel.com

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Tip : Take permit for a few extra days as there is so much to do and see in Pokhara and Nepal as a whole.

Refer to these blogs to know why a visit to Pokhara should be on your #2019 Travel list.

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1) Things to do in Pokhara
2)Places to see in Pokhara

Crafted By, Anushka Arora


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