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Old 20th February 2012, 20:30   #16
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

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Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
And yes we are fortunate with regards to being able to drive to Nepal and Bhutan quite easily.
Hi Amrish,
Bhutan!!! have you travelled there? If yes can you please share the TL details if at all you have posted in here.
Also did you visit the Pashupatinath Temple?

Wonderful TL and as Pooran Sir has mentioned this does open another frontier that has to be explored

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Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Hi Amrish,

Thanks for opening up another route for the road trip with all details
Poorna Sir,
Appears you are keen on making it to Nepal? From what I could gather 15 days trip should be sufficient. 8 days for travelling with buffer and 7 days for sight seeing. My To Do Lists are running high
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Old 21st February 2012, 12:09   #17
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Hi Amrish,
Bhutan!!! have you travelled there? If yes can you please share the TL details if at all you have posted in here.
Also did you visit the Pashupatinath Temple?

Wonderful TL and as Pooran Sir has mentioned this does open another frontier that has to be explored.
Ku69rd, thank you for your kind words. I did not visit Pashupati nath temple this trip as i had done so many times in my previous trips (by air).

And yes I have been to bhutan but on 2 wheels. I had posted a travelogue on team bhp:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...impu-paro.html (Bike Trip: Siliguri-bhutan (thimpu & Paro))

that was my first ever travelogue on this forum so the arrangement of the travelogue is well below par . The trip to Bhutan too was a great one. The bad roads due to widening added to the adventure of the trip.

Coming back to Nepal, I will post more destinations one can drive to within nepal so stay tuned.
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Old 21st February 2012, 17:13   #18
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

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Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
Coming back to Nepal, I will post more destinations one can drive to within nepal so stay tuned.
Sure Amrisharm, shall await your further inputs on the destinations in Nepal. Also please do dwell some time on the food and local specialties

And going by the initial checks appears that Kathmandu is around 2900 Kms from Bangalore

Did read your other thread on the bike trip to Bhuthan, very tempting to say the least.

Last edited by ku69rd : 21st February 2012 at 17:14.
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Old 27th February 2012, 14:38   #19
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Beautiful pictures. Felt like I was touring the place. It's been one on of my dream to travel to Nepal and see the most beautiful places in the world.
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Old 27th February 2012, 16:23   #20
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Wonderful TL Amrish. You have provided all the information that would be needed in a logical flow. Loved it and a deserved 5 star rating.



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Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
Birtamod: 30 kms from kakarbhitta, you have to pay a tax of approx IRs 200. This is a vital tax and you have to look for this office as it is not easily visible from the main road. The direction we got was this place is opposite of the Birtamod eye clinic. The scam of this tax is that if you do not get a tax paid receipt from this office, all the check posts that check your papers from here on till you reach Kathmandu will "fine" you for not paying this tax. So make sure you find this tax office no matter what.
Now this is weird. They want to collect tax but they do not have clear directions for the office. I guess they want to make more money from the fine collected from folks who miss this check point.
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Old 27th February 2012, 16:23   #21
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

unique route... great write up.
Thanks!
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Old 28th February 2012, 15:17   #22
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

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Originally Posted by sabsubs View Post
Beautiful pictures. Felt like I was touring the place. It's been one on of my dream to travel to Nepal and see the most beautiful places in the world.
Thanks Sabsubs, I do hope your dream comes true some day. And to help you towards this goal I will be putting up more info on nepal in the coming days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Wonderful TL Amrish. You have provided all the information that would be needed in a logical flow. Loved it and a deserved 5 star rating.





Now this is weird. They want to collect tax but they do not have clear directions for the office. I guess they want to make more money from the fine collected from folks who miss this check point.
Thank you Amit. It is indeed weird. Just one of those things you encounter. I guess we just have to live with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzrockz View Post
unique route... great write up.
Thanks!
Thanks Zazzrockz


OTHER ENTRY POINTS INTO NEPAL

To my fellow Bhpians, I am getting feedback that my trip and other places to visit has not been extensive enough, So here is my attempt to give you all more info about driving to Nepal and other places that may be of interest to you.


Entering Nepal

As you have read above, I entered through the Kakarbhitta entry point. This is an ideal entry point for people living in the north east of the country, but not so ideal for the rest of India. So a few emails to family and friends in Nepal and a few hours of googling and the following information is what I have come up with in terms of entering Nepal via road.


Looking at road maps on the Indian Side
http://www.ezilon.com/maps/asia/india-road-maps.html
Name:  india_road.jpg
Views: 34529
Size:  184.8 KB

Looking at road maps on the Nepalese side shttp://www.ezilon.com/maps/asia/india-road-maps.html
Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-nepalroadmap1abcd.jpg




1) Entry through Uttrakhand

To enter through here you need to go towards Naini Tal on NH 87 and then 35kms before Naintal you need to make a right turn towards Tanakpur-Mahindranagar (Nepal India border). I read an article about entering through here online and the procedure seems to be quite different to what I encountered in Kakarbhitta. Here is an extract of what i read:

"As a part of the Great Himalayan Drive, I reached Banbassa on the Nepal border – my first international crossing by car. So what if it’s Nepal – Indians never regard Nepal as a ‘foreign’ country. Anyway, this is how I went over the line (Note: These rules are applicable only for Indian Nationals driving cars registered in India):

* Was asked to look for a blue box – a guy busy chatting on a mobile gave me a ‘parchi’ (ticket) for Rs. 35.
* Waited at Sharda Barrage – gates for 4-wheelers open from 6-7 am, 12-2 pm and 5-6 pm (6-7 pm in summers, months not defined). Pedestrians, cycles and anything else that can go through gate allowed all day. Rule goes back to British Raj days only here – all other border crossing points into Nepal are open all day.
* A market here has been set up mostly for those going into Nepal and needing to buy household goods, construction materials, groceries and even religious symbols.
* The border is full of people travelling between the two countries for personal reasons, work or religion (Hindus always seem to have some religious fair or event going on – and India and Nepal are full of holy spots)
* Gates open, drove across bridge on Mahakali river, handed over ‘parchi’ at check post and reached customs. They check car, make me get a customs declaration for my cameras and laptop (so I can re-export it duty free when I leave Nepal) and take a bribe of Rs. 100. Am I carrying any Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bills? I am prepared for this – the rules do not allow these to be taken out of India. No, I said. “Are you sure? If yes, we can exchange these for smaller denominations. The police post further on might take it all away later,” the official emphasizes again. No, I reply confidently.
* The SSB (Shashastra Seema Bal), a border police, try their best to find something in my car to incriminate me – no luck. I am flagged off and touch Nepali soil.
* Have to get Nepal permit now. Charge Indian Rs. 300 per day of stay – must tell them in advance. Driving on an expired permit means I pay a penalty of Rs. 1,130 per day. I pay for 20 days, sent to a traffic guy who gives me another paper and a temporary number plate – he borrowed my pen, liked it, insisted he is going to keep it, I let him and also pay Rs. 50 fee and Rs. 50 ‘gift.’ No regrets about pen – ink was running low.
* A Nepali cop wants to go through all my bags – paid Rs. 100 to get him off my back.
* Sent to RTO for yet another paper – it was late evening and had to get guy from his home nearby. Paid Rs. 250 fee and I was home free.

Carry these papers with photocopies when you take your car to Nepal: Registration Certificate, Insurance, Driving Licence, Passport size photographs, Passport (not mandatory). Owner of car has to be in the car when it crosses over. Keep these papers and permits handy – there is a checkpost every few miles in Nepal."

Source: http://kunzum.com/2010/07/15/driving...er-from-india/

2) Entry through Uttar Pradesh route A

Entering through here, you will need to take the Lucknow-Bahraich-Nanpara-Belmar-Nepalgunj (Nepal) route.

3) Entry through Uttar Pradesh Route B

Another entry option from UP is the following Route Varanasi-Gorakhpur-Pharenda-Sonauli-Bhairawa(Nepal).

4) Entry from Bihar

From Bihar the following route seems the most efficient, Muzaffarpur-Pipra-Sagauli-Raxaul-Birgang(Nepal). This route is a very popular route for truckers and tourist buses from India to enter. Pilgrimage tours from as far away as Maharashtra use this route to take tourists to holy hindu places inside kathmandu.

5) Entry via West Wengal.

This is the route I took and description and explanations on this route have been provided in the above pages.

Please Note: there are many many other border crossings along the UP and Bihar border with Nepal. But Not all of them allow Indian cars to enter, only individuals. The 5 entry points I have explained above, are 100% sure to let Indian vehicles enter Nepal. If entering through other points, please do your research and find this fact out in advance before heading there.

In my next post I will be giving descriptions of other places one may be able to drive to once in Nepal therefore having a driving holiday that explores the whole of the country of Nepal and not just Kathmandu. The following Destinations will be explained in the coming days:

1) Nagarkot
2)Pokhara City
3) Chitwan National Park
4) Lumbini

Last edited by amrisharm : 28th February 2012 at 15:43.
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Old 29th February 2012, 17:02   #23
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

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4) Entry from Bihar

From Bihar the following route seems the most efficient, Muzaffarpur-Pipra-Sagauli-Raxaul-Birgang(Nepal). This route is a very popular route for truckers and tourist buses from India to enter. Pilgrimage tours from as far away as Maharashtra use this route to take tourists to holy hindu places inside kathmandu.



Please Note: there are many many other border crossings along the UP and Bihar border with Nepal. But Not all of them allow Indian cars to enter, only individuals. The 5 entry points I have explained above, are 100% sure to let Indian vehicles enter Nepal. If entering through other points, please do your research and find this fact out in advance before heading there.
In 1997, my uncle drove us through Sitamari-Janakpur border in Bihar. Permits were obtained in an hour or so.
Currently, I hear that the Motihari-Raxaul section has very bad roads. I am not sure whether the Muzaffarpur - Sitamari road is any better.

For travelling via public conveyance, the Raxaul-Birganj is preferred due to the availability of large number of public buses and shared taxis.

Last edited by black_panther : 29th February 2012 at 17:03.
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Old 29th February 2012, 21:14   #24
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Hi,
I think one can also enter via Pashupati. (Near Mirik).

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 1st March 2012, 08:08   #25
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

The best HOW-TO guide to driving to Nepal! Thanks, was great reading & leaves with you no doubt about how to drive to Nepal. I especially liked those detailed maps of teh check posts.

A few Qs from my side:

1. Being a long drive from Kakarbitta, are there any large towns or hotels to stay at en route to Kathmandu?

2. Good restaurants?

3. How often do you get petrol pumps?

4. Do they accept 500s & 1000s notes? Do you have toc hange currency or is Indian Rupee accepted all over (as in Bhutan)?

5. Credit Card establishments & ATMS?

6. Mobile connectivity & costs - better to take a local card, cheaper?

7. Border is open all days?

8. I have heard that Nepal Police is also quite corrupt - any anecdotes on that?

9. Did you hear that this road you took is in good condition throughout the year - or does it crack up during the monsoons?

10. Any Customs issue entering Nepal or exiting (trouble from Indian posts)?
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Old 2nd March 2012, 00:09   #26
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Hi Hvkumar sir, I guess Nepal is one of the few places left for you to go and explore. I have tried to answer your questions as much as possible in bold letters below. Hope they help.

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
The best HOW-TO guide to driving to Nepal! Thanks, was great reading & leaves with you no doubt about how to drive to Nepal. I especially liked those detailed maps of teh check posts.

A few Qs from my side:

1. Being a long drive from Kakarbitta, are there any large towns or hotels to stay at en route to Kathmandu?

From Kakarbhitta, there are ok hotels till Itari (95 kms from Kakarbhita). From Itari the next place with decent accommodation is Hetauda which is another 340kms towards Kathmandu.

2. Good restaurants?

Same answer as question 1, till Itari you have ok restaurants from there you will have to reach Hetauda.

3. How often do you get petrol pumps?

Petrol pumps appear every 100kms or so, but there is no guarantee that there will be petrol there or not. 100% pumps are private small scale traders so no guarantee of purity of product either. Also No chance of getting extraMile diesel or premium petrol, not even in Kathmandu.

4. Do they accept 500s & 1000s notes? Do you have toc hange currency or is Indian Rupee accepted all over (as in Bhutan)?

A very good question and which i forgot to mention in the above pages, it is illegal to have any 500 or 1000 Indian notes in your possession. The info I got was that if they catch u, they will just confiscate the lot with no way to get it back. The best thing to do is carry indian 100rs notes. Indian currency is widely used in nepal and in Kathmandu. But traders will not accept Indian 1,000 or 500 notes.

5. Credit Card establishments & ATMS?

Out side Kathmandu its below par. Its best not to rely on them. Some bank atm's offer visa and maestro comparability and some are just bank specific. Within Kathmandu you should be alright. But I would say even inside Kathmandu city, an ATM was never at hand when needed. They are scattered pretty thin. most stores and restaurants accept credit cards, but the best is to carry cash while bargain hunting in the smaller shops that offer great value for money.

6. Mobile connectivity & costs - better to take a local card, cheaper?

Mobile connectivity was a pain on this trip. There are only 2 service providers in the whole of Nepal and they both require nepali documentation while applying for a sim card. We used land lines along the way and once in kathmandu, i just borrowed my cousins sim.

7. Border is open all days?

Kakarbhitta is open 7 days from 6am-8:30 or 9:00 pm. But be prepared for unannounced road closures. Best thing is to travel around religious holidays to avoid such closures like us when we traveled during the most holy festivals for nepalis, Dassera.

8. I have heard that Nepal Police is also quite corrupt - any anecdotes on that?

Surprisingly no troubles from them on our trip to and from kathmandu. Just as a precaution, we just were very polite while dealing with them and called them with the "Sir" title. So no problems from them. I think they were too busy fleecing commercial vehicles from India and nepal itslef to be bothered with a private Indian vehicle. The traffic cops in kathmandu are very strict. i was waiting at a red light and the cop pulled a motorcycle rider over because his rear view mirrors were folded (in the pulsar 220). One time I saw a biker being scolded by a high ranking cop because he had not tied his chin strap on his helmet. So follow rules closely inside the valley. U turns are a strict no no so check for signs before u make one. Same goes with parking. Also the worst part of driving in kathmandu was not knowing which street is one way and which isnt. The same road sometimes had 3 sections in it with the middle section being one way. So beware! I guess if you were to break a traffic rule, then the corrupt nature of the cops will be revealed. And as u know its always the outsider that inadvertently brakes the rules.

9. Did you hear that this road you took is in good condition throughout the year - or does it crack up during the monsoons?

From what i have heard, its ok throughout the year. with minor potholes cropping up during monsoons. I was advised not to travel during monsoons not so much for the conditions of the road but because of the high rate of accidents that happen during that time. Wet roads, fog and twisty roads are not a good mix even if its only 150kms of the journey. Also during monsoons the threat of landslides is always there in the last 150km stretch to kathmandu which falls along hilly terrain. This road is the only link to Kathmandu so these slides are cleared up fast, none the less, you could still get stuck for hours if not a day or 2.

10. Any Customs issue entering Nepal or exiting (trouble from Indian posts)?

We had nothing much with us, no laptops and all, just a few point and shoot cameras so we had no problem. there was an Indian Taxi sumo ahead of us and the nepali cops were checking that vehicle, but flagged us in without checking anything. I guess they are more lenient on private cars. This i can speak only for the border crossing from kakarbhitta. I have no idea what the other crossings are like.
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Old 5th March 2012, 22:37   #27
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Can one enter from one checkpost and exit from another. Say for example, entry through Tanakpur and exit from Kakarbhita.
I am sure HVK is already planning the cross Nepal trip.
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Old 5th March 2012, 22:49   #28
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

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Can one enter from one checkpost and exit from another. Say for example, entry through Tanakpur and exit from Kakarbhita.
I am sure HVK is already planning the cross Nepal trip.
Yes, it is indeed possible, but that would be a boring Terai (plains) drive. Fun is in going up to higher reaches like Mustang, etc.
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Old 28th March 2012, 11:39   #29
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

A few questions from me, just checked out Kathmandu's temperatures, looks moderate in summer, so considering flying there for 4/5 days with family. Is it a good idea, i see temperatures around 25/13 (Max/Min) in April.

1. Would recommend staying at proper Kathmandu or someplace on the outskirts?
2. Is 4/5 days of vacation enough for the trip?
3. Any good stay options?
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Old 29th March 2012, 17:21   #30
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Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

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A few questions from me, just checked out Kathmandu's temperatures, looks moderate in summer, so considering flying there for 4/5 days with family. Is it a good idea, i see temperatures around 25/13 (Max/Min) in April.

1. Would recommend staying at proper Kathmandu or someplace on the outskirts?
2. Is 4/5 days of vacation enough for the trip?
3. Any good stay options?
Hi there, The temperature hovers around 25'c around late march to early april and then rises. In may the temp is around 30'c. So I would advise you to go there early. Plus in march/early april you will get clear skies during mornings and evenings so you will be able to see the Himalayas form most parts of Kathmandu.

4/5 days should be enough for a quick touristy trip to kathmandu valley. Inside Kathmandu the places to visit are the old cities of Patan, Kathmandu and Bhaktapur and Buddhist holy shrines of Swayambhu and Boudha. You can take a day trip or overnight stay to hill top destinations in the outskirts of kathmandu as well, namely nagarkot and/or Dhulikhel. From here you get to see the full himalayan range. I have pictures from Dhulikhel in the above pages.

Other things to do in Kathmandu would be to try out the local cuisine, especially the indigenous to kathmandu valley, Newari food along with food from other parts of nepal. Shopping for chinese goods, and the mouth watering nepali handicrafts and metal works.

About staying, what budged bracket do you have in mind? Also i would recommend staying inside kathmandu since you only have 4/5 days to spare.

Last edited by amrisharm : 29th March 2012 at 17:25.
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