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Old 27th May 2007, 14:17   #1
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Question Bagdogra to Kathmandu by Road : Queries

Hi all,

I have few questions about road travel between Bagdogra / Siliguri (North Bengal) to Kathmandu, Nepal. I have never been to that part of the country. After some googling I came to know that:

- Kakarbhitta is the border crossing point, and it takes about 15-17 hrs from there to Kathmandu on Mahendra 'highway'
- Roads are not in very good shape. A bone rattling ride awaits the unsuspecting traveller
- Travellers has to change to a Nepali vehicle after crossing the border as Indian registered vehicles are not allowed into Nepal (!)

I want to know whether all of the above is true. Is there a chance to hire a vehicle (self driven) from North Bengal and drive to Kathmandu (ofcourse if border x-ing is permitted)?

thanks,
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Old 27th May 2007, 22:53   #2
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All I know is that Indian vehicles are allowed inside nepal, except that you have to pay a heavy fee. We are driving to Kailas-Manasarovar in China in our Indian vehicle next month via Nepal and I should fill you in on the details soon
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Old 28th May 2007, 12:48   #3
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Hi Kshastry,

Welcome aboard Team-bhp.

I live in Siliguri and can give you some tips and I hope they will be helpful.

First of, this is not a good time to drive to Kathmandu under any circumstances. This is due to the Maoists problems in the villages en route to Kathmandu.

You have an option of taking a flight from Bhadrapur (which like like 3 hours from Kakervitta) to Kathmandu @Rs 3000/- per adult and @2000/- for child below 10 years.

You can also fly from Kolkata to Kathmandu.

However, when things are stable, then this is what you can do:

1. It will take you an hour from Baghdogra to the border (Kakervitta).
2. From Kakervitta to Katmandu will take you around 10 hours in a good car. The road is very very good (unlike what we see in this part of our country).
3. Entry charges will be around Rs 500/- for a 5-day period, an average of Rs 100/- INR per day. I am not 100% of the charges, but it should be in that range.
4. Yes, you can take Indian private vehicles and/or taxis across. You just have to make the necessary entries at both the Indian border and the Nepal Border checkposts, pay the necessary fees, and are on your way. They will, of course, check the vehicle for security reasons.
5. You can't get a self-drivable car in these parts. However, what you can do it get a driver and drive for short stretches - should not be a big problem.

For now, take the flight(s), forget the road.
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Old 28th May 2007, 13:51   #4
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Hi Johy,

Many thanks for the welcome note and that very useful post! I never knew that insurgency is such a big problem (that too with Maoists being power in Nepal). Another surprizing fact is that Roads are very very good! I heard some horror stories posted by independent travellers in other forums. Do you think Mao gangs would extract "toll"? OR do they kidnap the tourists altogether?

How about Raxual-Birganj border crossing in Bihar? Is it doable atleast?
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Old 28th May 2007, 17:57   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshastry View Post
Hi Johy,

Many thanks for the welcome note and that very useful post! I never knew that insurgency is such a big problem (that too with Maoists being power in Nepal). Another surprizing fact is that Roads are very very good! I heard some horror stories posted by independent travellers in other forums. Do you think Mao gangs would extract "toll"? OR do they kidnap the tourists altogether?

How about Raxual-Birganj border crossing in Bihar? Is it doable atleast?
Hi kshastry,

No idea about the Raxaul-Birganj thing; I can ask some travel agency friends for more info.

I think more than kidnappings, it is the harassment of multiple stops and the tension that can ruin anyone's trip.

It is true that the roads were terrible a few years back, but at least this one (Kakervitta-Kathmandu) is a supersmooth one. :-)
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Old 28th May 2007, 18:26   #6
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OK. How do the locals manage? I hear there are buses plying that route. How long do they take? Are there any shared taxi rides available? (Tata sumo, Qualis etc).

I am asking all this because, I have been informed that this is the most scenic route if done in day time. If I can't do it with my own driving, I want to do it the way locals do. I think it should not be so bad with a bus or a shared ride. Please advice.

(I really appreciate you taking time to write all this. If you can, please enquire and let me know the possibility of bussing from the border to Kathmandu, the timings, fares etc.)
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Old 29th May 2007, 07:47   #7
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Yes, buses, shared taxis do ply from Kakervitta to Kathmandu; it would take 12 to 14 hours. I will get back with fares, timings, etc., later in the day - no problem at all :-) I would just need to make some calls.
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Old 19th June 2007, 12:42   #8
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Kshashtry
If you travel by bus from Kakarbhitta/Panitanki (two sides of the border) take the night service bus. It is an overnight trip with a stop at Biratnagar. Going from Siliguri you will be crossing the famous Naxalbari after which the ultra left movement of the 60s was named.
If you want to drive in the mountains in these parts of the world, I would suggest a trip to the various parts of Sikkim, Dooars, Darjeeling etc. Or even Bhutan. But take Johy's first advice and go after monsoon. Preferably November. Landslides is a major issue in eastern Himalaya during the monsoon. Self drive cars can be organised from Kolkata. But the charges will be exorbitant - Rs 1000 per day for an Esteem plus your own fuel and a security deposit. If you are flying into Bagdogra they can send the car there but you have to pay for the to and fro journey from here including driver's cost. I wonder if this is worth it.
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