The Best Nepal Travel Guide to Plan a Holiday from India
First Published on: 19 Feb, 2019 By Nidhi Singh
Don’t go by its size, this land of knowledge, of peace, the plains, hills and mountains tall, is everything you want to visit when you are tight on schedule but want to witness diversity and rich culture. The neighbouring country of Nepal, is not only about Mount Everest, there is plenty to see and do for traveller of every age. Have you thought of spending some time exploring Nepal from India? Well if you haven’t, then you should now, and I’ll help you plan your Nepal trip with perfection. All you have to do is to follow this Nepal travel guide, and you’ll have the possession of the recipe of the best trip in this beautiful country.
Ways to Reach Nepal:
By Air: Nepal’s has one international airport – Tribhuvan International Airport which operates a good number of flights for Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Lucknow, Varanasi, Chennai, and Mumbai from Kathmandu. Indian airlines like Air India and Indigo along with Nepal’s Royal Nepal Airline operate their flights on a regular basis.
By Rail: Nepal can be accessed by train from India as well, partly though but it is a cheaper option than flight to reach. One has to get to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh by train, then has to take a bus or shared jeep to the border in Sunauli, then another bus or shared jeep to Kathmandu from Bhairahawa on the Nepali side of the border.
By Road: Nepal is bordered by India on its three sides, which means there are a number of access point to the country. The most common one being the Sunauli Border which discussed in the section above. However, the most convenient way now available for the tourists is the bus service between New Delhi and Kathmandu. It departs daily at 10 a.m. from Ambedkar Stadium Bus Terminal at Delhi Gate. The bus is a luxury Volvo bus. It goes via Agra, Kanpur, and the Sunauli border in Uttar Pradesh.
Via Banbasa Border: Another way to reach Nepal from India is through Banbasa Border Crossing in Uttarakhand. This picturesque route is the quickest way from Delhi to Kathmandu if you have your own car. You can also stop at Bardia National Park in Nepal, about five hours from the border, on the way to Kathmandu.
Via Varanasi: Buses from Varanasi to Kathmandu are also available.
Via the Raxaul Border Crossing: The Raxaul border crossing to Birganj in central Nepal is accessible from Patna in the India state of Bihar. It’s quite convenient for anyone travelling from Bodh Gaya or Kolkata but from Bodh Gaya, it’s quicker and easy to take a bus or car and travel by road. From the border, buses take 6-7 hours to reach Kathmandu and 8 hours to Pokhara. Shared jeeps to Kathmandu are a quicker option.
Via the Panitanki Border Crossing: The Panitanki border crossing to Kakarbhitta in eastern Nepal, is accessible from Siliguri in West Bengal. It is easily accessible for people traveling from Darjeeling, Kolkata, Sikkim and the rest of northeast India. Buses, taxis and shared jeeps run to the border from Siliguri, Kalimpong, and Gangtok in Sikkim. The border crossing is open 24 hours. There are regular buses to Kathmandu which take 14 to 16 hours and to Pokhara which take 15 hours from Kakarbhitta. One can also choose to stop at Chitwan National Park on the way to break the journey. Get off at Sauraha (9 hours from Kakarbhitta), which is the closest town and travel hub to the park.
Other Border Crossing: Two other border crossing points are from Jamunaha in Uttar Pradesh to Nepalganj in western Nepal, and Gauriphanta in Uttar Pradesh to Dhanghadi in far western Nepal. However, they’re rarely used.
For Indians, Nepal offers visa free entry to the country. At the airport, one can either show an Indian passport or the Indian Voter ID Card along with the boarding pass.
While travelling by road, it is advised to keep the copy and original ready of the Passport/Voter ID Card.
Hotels in Nepal:
Nepal tourism has been flourishing from the time immemorial, which means there is no dearth of accommodation for tourists in this country. From budget hotels to homestays, hostels, teahouses, guesthouses, trekking lodges to luxury and boutique hotels, you have everything you can ask for in Nepal.
Accommodation in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan
These three popular tourist destinations in Nepal are replete with abundant staying options. From high end luxury hotel to backpackers’ hostels, there is a wide range available to cater to your need.
Accommodation in Everest Region: Lukla and Namche Bazaar
The Everest Region or the trekkers’ paradise also has some brilliant accommodation coming its way. Although, one can still find basic places to stay with minimum facilities in these areas, there are some luxury properties seen mushrooming too.
Average Cost of Accommodation in Nepal:
Hotel tariffs in Nepal begin from $10 (INR 700) and go up to $300 (INR 2100 approx).
The currency in the country is called Nepalese Rupee and 1 Indian Rupee (INR) equals to 1.60 Nepalese Rupees (NPR). The old notes i.e notes used prior to demonetization in India of the value 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 are used widely in Nepal. The country does not accept any of the new notes including that of 500 and 2000.
What to Pack for Nepal?
- Raincoat and Umbrella: In case you are travelling in the monsoon as well as winter, these two things will be required.
- Pack light clothes for summer and monsoon, and heavy woolens if travelling in winters to Nepal.
- Comfortable Flat Shoes and A Pair of Trainers/Hiking Shoes
- Motion Sickness Medicine: For the country has winding roads
Note: In case you’re travelling for trekking, you need not worry much about the clothes and gears as you can buy them in Nepal itself that too at an affordable price.
What to See and Do in Nepal?
There’s always something for the travellers to explore in Nepal. This beautiful Asian country which is home to the tallest mountain, Mt Everest and several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, leaves you spoilt for choice. Read our blog on top places to visit and things to do in Nepal for details on the best tourist attractions in the country. Below is the list in bullet points to render a glimpse of what you are to explore in Nepal.
- Sagarmatha National Park
- Chitwan National Park
- Annapurna Region (Manang Mustang)
- Khumbu Valley (Namche Bazaar)
Transport in Nepal
Nepal with years of flourishing tourism is easily accessible. There are tourists buses from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Chitwan National Park, Lumbini and to many other places. For those destinations in Nepal where tourist buses are not available, there are local buses offering their service. Cabs are also easily available in the country. However, the best and easiest way to reach some popular tourist places in Nepal like Pokahara, Chitwan, Lumbini, Everest Region, is air ways. The domestic airport at Kathmandu is well-connected to all airport in Nepal. Apart from Kathmandu, many popular destinations are also connected with each other by flight. Yeti and Buddha are two common and trusted airlines in Nepal.
What to Eat & Drink in Nepal?
Did you know the Newari Community (people of Kathmandu valley) alone have 200 dishes to contribute to the cuisine of Nepal? This construes that the country is going to leave spoilt for choice if you are food lover. Here are top dishes in Nepal that you can try.
- Dal Bhat (Traditional Thali): Most popular food in Nepal
- Momos: Dumplings
- Thukpa: Noodle Soup
- Maas ko Bara: light patties are made from dark lentils
- Keema Chatamari: rice-flour crepe decorated with delicious toppings
- Swo: similar to Scottish haggis
- Choee: tastes like salaami
- Jwanu Chicken: chicken preparation marinated and cooked with chilies and other spices
- Bangur bhutuwa: a spicy stir fried pork dish
- Phagshapa: pork with chili and radishes
- Khasi mo masu ledo: mutton curry dish
- Lamb Pakuwa: slow cooked dry lam
- Alu Tareko: fried potatoes cooked with spices
- Vegetable Pulao: vegetarian fried rice dish
- Alu dum: fried potatoes in gravy
- Alu acchar: dish made from pickled potatoes
- Golveda ra dhaniya ko achaar: made from tomato and coriander pickle.
- Tingmo and Aaloo Phing: Tingmo is a steamed, porous bread served with aloo phing which is made of translucent noodles, potatoes and vegetables in a hot broth
- Baji: a dish made with beaten rice served with vegetables and spicy sauce
- Choyila: fried buffalo meat mixed with greens
- Sel Roti: crisp, puffy dough that’s been deep fried
- Yomari: a dish made of a rice-flour dough filled with sugarcane molasses, ground sesame seeds, and coconut
- Chhaang: a rice beer
- Ayla: an alcoholic drink made from distilled rice and cereals
- Tongba: an alcoholic drink made from fermented millet
- Jaand: Nepalese beer
- Raksi: rice wine
- Yangu Yi Hau: white pudding
- Rasbari: a type of sweetened milk ball that usually come with rose water flavour syrup
- Skiarni: a yogurt dish that is mixed with spices and fruit
- Juju Dhau: a dish which is a mix between yogurt and custard
- Alu Tama: made up of potato mixed with bamboo shoots
What to Buy from Nepal?
Nepal leaves you spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping. There is a wide array of things that you can take home as souvenirs. Here are some of the top things to buy from Nepal.
- Thangka Paintings
- Khukuri Knife
- Singing Bowl
- Wooden Masks
- Terracotta Puppets
- Wall Hangings
- Tibetan Prayer Flags
- Lokta Paper Products
- Pashmina Shawls
- Tiger Moving Game
- Hemp-made bags
Follow this travel guide, and we guarantee you an unforgettable Nepal holiday.
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