Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 3rd October 2013, 11:52   #61
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Siliguri
Posts: 12
Thanked: 11 Times
Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Quote:
Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
Glad to be of service. I am planning another trip inside Nepal from Siliguri to Lumbini (South central Nepal) in feb 2014. I would be very grateful if you could provide me with accommodation info in Hetauda that you will use and your experience from your short janakpur detour once your trip is complete. Thanks . I think I can fit in a visit to Janakpur on the way back if you feel its worth it once you have done it.
Sure. Will do. Infact we are being joined by 2 more people from delhi who will fly to kathmandu. On our return trip we will take the kathmandu gorakhpur route from where our friends from delhi will catch a train and we will head to siliguri after a nights halt at gorakhpur. Lumbini is only a short detour on the kathmandu gorakhpur route and we intend to visit that as well. I should be able to provide you information on Lumbini as well.
Rhythump is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2013, 13:08   #62
BHPian
 
amrisharm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: siliguri/Darj
Posts: 505
Thanked: 299 Times
Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythump View Post
Sure. Will do. Infact we are being joined by 2 more people from delhi who will fly to kathmandu. On our return trip we will take the kathmandu gorakhpur route from where our friends from delhi will catch a train and we will head to siliguri after a nights halt at gorakhpur. Lumbini is only a short detour on the kathmandu gorakhpur route and we intend to visit that as well. I should be able to provide you information on Lumbini as well.
Oh good news for me. I will be getting first hand info from you. Do take lots of pics. Updated info on the toll booths would be greatly appreciated. And waiting to see pics and condition report of the "Green Route" as well in your travelogue when you write it.
amrisharm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th January 2014, 14:25   #63
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Siliguri
Posts: 12
Thanked: 11 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post

Oh good news for me. I will be getting first hand info from you. Do take lots of pics. Updated info on the toll booths would be greatly appreciated. And waiting to see pics and condition report of the "Green Route" as well in your travelogue when you write it.
Hey, we made this trip as planned. Took the "Green route" from hetauda to kathmandu and though shorter and a quicker option to reach kathmandu the condition of the road is horrible. Specially broken parts on steep bends made the climb that much more difficult. It took us a little over four and a half hours to reach ktm but if not for the traffic jam caused by a broken jeep we would have made the journey in well under 4 hours. The condition of the road from siliguri upto hetauda is so good that even with the janakpur detour (which took us 2 hours in all) we made it to hetauda by 4 pm and decided to stretch till ktm the same day.

Apart from the first two halts for entry at the border and getting the nepal number plate there were just two more check points both on the green route and nothing else. Entry fees to nepal has however increased to 310 INR per day.
Rhythump is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th January 2014, 16:17   #64
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Siliguri
Posts: 12
Thanked: 11 Times
Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Quote:
Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
Glad to be of service. I am planning another trip inside Nepal from Siliguri to Lumbini (South central Nepal) in feb 2014. I would be very grateful if you could provide me with accommodation info in Hetauda that you will use and your experience from your short janakpur detour once your trip is complete. Thanks . I think I can fit in a visit to Janakpur on the way back if you feel its worth it once you have done it.
Janakpur is a 25 km detour on the East-West Highway to hetauda. We took the Dhulikhel Sindhuli Bhittamod Rajmarg from near Hariharpur rather than the Choharwa siraha madar road that google maps points out when looking for directions from siliguri. Apart from the Janaki Temple there isn't much to see in Janakpur. The temple itself though is pretty big and gives an impression of a palace at first look. The main mandir gates remain closed from 12:30 pm to about 4 pm. We reached around 1 pm and couldn't see the idol. I think the temple is worth the detour if you are around there.

We didn't halt overnight at Hetauda but from what we figured out from a local contact there Hetauda Resort and Hotel Avocado are the better ones.

Some pictures of the Janaki Temple...
The temple is on the road to the left of the arched pillar gate.
Attached Thumbnails
Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-janakitemple1.jpg  

Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-janakitemple2.jpg  

Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-janakitemple3.jpg  

Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-janakpurgate.jpg  

Rhythump is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th January 2014, 23:47   #65
BHPian
 
amrisharm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: siliguri/Darj
Posts: 505
Thanked: 299 Times
Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythump View Post
Janakpur is a 25 km detour on the East-West Highway to hetauda. We took the Dhulikhel Sindhuli Bhittamod Rajmarg from near Hariharpur rather than the Choharwa siraha madar road that google maps points out when looking for directions from siliguri. Apart from the Janaki Temple there isn't much to see in Janakpur. The temple itself though is pretty big and gives an impression of a palace at first look. The main mandir gates remain closed from 12:30 pm to about 4 pm. We reached around 1 pm and couldn't see the idol. I think the temple is worth the detour if you are around there.

We didn't halt overnight at Hetauda but from what we figured out from a local contact there Hetauda Resort and Hotel Avocado are the better ones.

Some pictures of the Janaki Temple...
The temple is on the road to the left of the arched pillar gate.
Hey thank you for the info. I will be travelling with my retirement age parents to lumbini so I will most definitely be making an over night stop at Hetauda. Thanks for the heads up on the hotels. We will probably be stopping over at Janakpur on the way back if time permits.

Also you were planning to drive to lumbini or near abouts to drop off a friend at the border i think u mentioned. Were u able to do that?
amrisharm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 06:00   #66
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Siliguri
Posts: 12
Thanked: 11 Times
Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Quote:
Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
Also you were planning to drive to lumbini or near abouts to drop off a friend at the border i think u mentioned. Were u able to do that?
Yes from Pokhra we drove to Gorakhpur via Sunauli border crossing. We did go to Lumbini as well. The Lumbini Development Trust complex which houses most of the attractions in Lumbini is a 18-20 km detour on the Siddharta Highway from Bhairahawa. This will be after crossing Butwal if you are coming from the north. There is a Gate called Lumbini Gate which will fall on the right a few hundred meters from the highway so chances of missing it if you aren't looking for it.

The main attractions are the Maya Devi Temple which houses the exact place of the birth of Lord Buddha and the World Peace Pagoda. I think it was gate No 4 or 5 for the Maya Devi Temple. You have to walk the last couple of hundred meters. Vehicles are not allowed inside. Rickshaws can be hired though right at the gate. World peace pagoda is at the other end and you can drive right upto the monument.
I'll upload some pics in a while.
Rhythump is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 08:18   #67
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Siliguri
Posts: 12
Thanked: 11 Times
Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Snaps from lumbini ...
Attached Thumbnails
Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-1.jpg  

Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-2.jpg  

Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-3.jpg  

Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-4.jpg  

Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-5.jpg  

Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-6.jpg  

Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-7.jpg  

Rhythump is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2014, 15:13   #68
Senior - BHPian
 
Sudipto-S-Team's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 1,294
Thanked: 258 Times
Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Hi Amrisharm
I am planning to visit Kathmandu by car (a Duster) from Calcutta via Kakarbhitta. I was wondering if you have any advice for someone who wants to break up the journey within Nepal into two days as I prefer not to drive after sun down.

What is a good place to break for the night? Hetauda (what is the correct Nepali pronunciation)? I would need a decent and safe hotel for my family and car. Any advice?

I could not understand this bit about the tax that one has to pay and the office being not very visible etc at Birtamod. You have mentioned that they don't give you a tax receipt and then you are fined later by all the check posts. So how did you solve this problem?

I have two more questions. What are the official timings for this tax collection points? Are they open 24x7? I want to cross the border early in the morning. Is it possible?

The other question is about currency conversion. From where do you suggest I convert my Indian rupees? At Kakarbhitta? I remember Kakarbhitta being a dusty little place with just a few shacks and lots of buses back in the 80s when I took a bus from there to Kathmandu. I am sure things have changed now. Does it have any official currency conversion point? In those days Indian currency used to fly in the border areas and we converted only in Kathmandu. I am sure things have changed now. How did you handle the currency issue?
Sudipto-S-Team is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2014, 20:02   #69
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Tampa, FL Kolkata, India
Posts: 143
Thanked: 22 Times
Default

You can take the raxaul-birganj route instead, with night halt at muzaffarpur/raxaul.

You dont need to convert INR in Nepal.

Last edited by black_panther : 21st May 2014 at 20:05.
black_panther is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2014, 20:10   #70
Senior - BHPian
 
Sudipto-S-Team's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 1,294
Thanked: 258 Times
Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Thanks for the reply. I didn't know that INR conversion is not necessary in Nepal. Back in the mid-80s it was technically illegal to pay in INR.

Regarding the route, I did some online research. Turns out Hetauda is a great birding spot. I am now inclined to spend a couple of nights there, birding in Rapti. For me going via Kakarbhitta would work better than through Bihar, particularly now that Mr Nitish Kumar has resigned :-) The small towns in Bihar/UP (and increasingly Bengal too) are notorious for harassing private vehicles with out of state registration plates.
Sudipto-S-Team is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2014, 23:11   #71
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Tampa, FL Kolkata, India
Posts: 143
Thanked: 22 Times
Default

When I last visited in 2007, inr 100 note was allowed but guys there were more happy to accept inr 500 notes. Some casinos at Katmandu allowed INR, but not Nepali rupees.

Dobbi - gaya - Patna - muzafarpur - raxaul should be okay. You also need to take the route through Bihar, unless you take NH34. Hetudua is close to Birganj and would be on your way.

Last edited by black_panther : 21st May 2014 at 23:13.
black_panther is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2014, 00:20   #72
BHPian
 
amrisharm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: siliguri/Darj
Posts: 505
Thanked: 299 Times
Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Hi Amrisharm
I am planning to visit Kathmandu by car (a Duster) from Calcutta via Kakarbhitta. I was wondering if you have any advice for someone who wants to break up the journey within Nepal into two days as I prefer not to drive after sun down.

What is a good place to break for the night? Hetauda (what is the correct Nepali pronunciation)? I would need a decent and safe hotel for my family and car. Any advice?

I could not understand this bit about the tax that one has to pay and the office being not very visible etc at Birtamod. You have mentioned that they don't give you a tax receipt and then you are fined later by all the check posts. So how did you solve this problem?

I have two more questions. What are the official timings for this tax collection points? Are they open 24x7? I want to cross the border early in the morning. Is it possible?

The other question is about currency conversion. From where do you suggest I convert my Indian rupees? At Kakarbhitta? I remember Kakarbhitta being a dusty little place with just a few shacks and lots of buses back in the 80s when I took a bus from there to Kathmandu. I am sure things have changed now. Does it have any official currency conversion point? In those days Indian currency used to fly in the border areas and we converted only in Kathmandu. I am sure things have changed now. How did you handle the currency issue?
Hi there, sounds like a great road trip coming all the way from Kolkata. To answer your questions, Hetauda is about 6-7 hrs drive from Kakkarbhitta (India Nepal Border). I was there about two months ago on my way to lumbini in central Nepal and we too did a night halt there. We started from the border at 7 am and were easily in hetauda by 2-2:30 despite a few stops along the way. We decided to halt there as I was travelling with my retired parents and I did not want to over do the drive for their sake. I cant remember the exact name of the hotel we stayed in but it is opposite Standard Chartered bank on the one and only main road in Hetauda. When you enter Hetauda the Hotel will be on your Left and Standard Chartered Bank will be on your Right. it was a nice little hotel with safe parking. Rooms were in the IC Rs 1,000-1,400 range. When you go there do ask for Deluxe rooms. If you are looking at something a bit fancy then the following might interest you:

http://www.orchidresort.com/index.htm

A few of my relatives have stayed here in the past and they said it was quite nice, but a little expensive. Probably around the IC Rs 2,000-3,000 range. I gave it a miss as we just needed a place to crash. But just like us, am sure you will get to hetauda in the late afternoon if you start driving early from the border so you can easily get there and then search for accommodation that suits you perfectly. Thats what we did.

About the Birtamod tax office, I have attached a map, Hope it helps, the best and most simple direction I can give is, Once you reach Birtamod Junction, which is a big 4 way intersection, travel a further 100 mts and on your right you will see a simple building with a sign board saying "Birtamod Eye Hospital" Opposite that is a kaccha road about 20-25ft wide. you enter that road and two houses down this kaccha road on your right you will see the Birtamod Tax office. I have had friends who were fined at kathmandu Check Post as they did not have this tax receipt from Birtamod. At the same time when I drove to kathmandy in march, I was not asked for this receipt. But I guess its best to have all the papers in order just in case.

Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)-screenshot.jpg


About Border timings: Kakkarbhitta Border timing: 6 am- 8:30 pm.
As mentioned in my earlier posts, you have to prepay the road tax for all the days you will be in Nepal. At the moment the rate is INR 320/Day. Last time we were there they were telling us that we can only get a permit for a maximum of 7 days. We somehow managed to convince them to give us a 10 day permit. if you are not so lucky and want more than 7 days then you can get it extended in kathmandu as well. But its a lot cheaper and less of a hastle to get it done in kakkarbhitta so try to do it there itself.

For how long are you going to be in Nepal?

Also just 100mts down from the Border dont forget to register and get your Temporary Nepali Number Plate.

About currency, according to the Nepalese law all INR 1,000 and 500 Rupee notes are illegal to carry in Nepal. But having said that, the cops have never searched my wallet or pockets or anything ever, so a few Indian Notes wont matter I guess. But Just to be on the safe side you can easily exchange your Indian currency at Kakkarbhitta. There are a fair few private money exchange counters. There are also Banks but since you plan to leave early they may not be open when you are at kakkarbhitta. And when you change Indian currency for Nepali Rupees you actually get a little extra because of the fact that INR currency is in short supply inside Nepal. Last time when I exchanged INR 50,000 I should have got nepali Rs 80,000, but I got 81,500 . But the reverse applies when you change Back your Nepali Currency to Indian Rupees. You will have to pay a small premium. So exchange only what you need.

Indian currency is very widely used inside Nepal. But I did have a few shop owners/ hotel managers who did not accept INR 1,000 and 500 notes. INR 100 notes are as good as Nepalese money.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask. When exactly are you going? and are you visiting only Kathmandu or other places as well?
amrisharm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2014, 08:25   #73
Senior - BHPian
 
Sudipto-S-Team's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 1,294
Thanked: 258 Times
Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Hi Amrisharm - thanks a lot for your detailed reply. I plan to go around Dassain. A bit of "kanchhi lai ghumaoni" Jokes aside, We will possibly stay in KTM for 3 nights and in Hetauda for 2. So 7/8 days' permit in Nepal is fine for me. If I like Hetauda I might stay more there than in KTM.

Would you or anyone else know about Chitwan National Park and how far it is from Hetauda?

I might bug you a bit more as the journey time nears and we firm up our plans. It is quite fluid as of now

Black_panther - Yes I will be going via Bhagalpur so there will be bit of Bihar on my route :-). Actually, I have gone in the 80s both via Kakarbhitta and Raxaul. The Raxaul experience was quite bad. Also, now that I plan to stay in Hetauda it makes eminent sense to go via Siliguri.

Also, in the post monsoon time there is a chance of Koshi flooding the area. If I find that has happened then I can go to some other place in the Darjeeling hills.
Sudipto-S-Team is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th May 2014, 18:42   #74
BHPian
 
amrisharm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: siliguri/Darj
Posts: 505
Thanked: 299 Times
Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post

Would you or anyone else know about Chitwan National Park and how far it is from Hetauda?

I might bug you a bit more as the journey time nears and we firm up our plans. It is quite fluid as of now

.
Hi there, You seem to have the perfect song in mind for this trip! haha. To answer your question, yes I know a little about Chitwan but have never been there. We were planning to go there a few years ago and I had asked around then and this is what info I gathered... From Hetauda to Chitwan National Park Entrance is roughly about 1-1.2 hrs depending on traffic. You have to turn left when travelling from hetauda when you get to a place called Tandi (Tadi) which falls along the Kakkarbhitta to Ktm main road. This town (Tadi) is about 30 kms from Hetauda due west and about 5-10 kms before Reaching Bharatpur (aka narayanghat). Before 2013 there were Private lodges running inside the Park but there was some issues with permit extension and all in 2013 so I dont know if those lodges are still open. But the advice I got was to stay outside the park in the many many hotels there are outside the national Park gate. Worth a visit I think.

Also what all are you thinking of doing in kathmandu? if Mountain views are what you love then maybe Pokhara is also another destination you might wanna check out along with Kathmandu. I have not been there yet but I am hoping to do a drive to Pokhara this coming winters. Pokhara is 6-7 hrs drive from kathmandu, approx 210kms.
amrisharm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2014, 10:45   #75
Senior - BHPian
 
Sudipto-S-Team's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 1,294
Thanked: 258 Times
Default Re: Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal)

Sorry about the delayed response. Thanks for your reply regarding the route to Chitwan.

Regarding Kathmandu - my list of to-do things is somewhat like this. 1. Go to Pashupatinath and Gujjheswari temples. 2. Spend an afternoon at Thamel/Freak Street etc including a good book store like Pilgrims Book House or Asian Book House or perhaps both. 3. Spend half a day in the old city 4. Spend an evening at Rum Doodle restaurant and hope to see some celebrity mountaineer (not that I know them all by face) 5. Spend an evening if not an entire night at the casino 6. Spend another half a day at the Marmot and North Face stores (perhaps 6 and 2 will get combined).

I have been to Kathmandu two times (back in the 80s) and I know that it is not a hill station (many Bengalis make this mistake ) so seeing the snow capped peaks from there is not possible and I am okay with that. I don't have too much fetish for snow peaks :-)

Pokhara will not happen this time because of time constraint. Also I plan to go for the Annapurna Base Camp trek - perhaps next year. In fact point number 6 is related to this. So Pokhara will have to wait for me a bit.
Sudipto-S-Team is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal amrisharm Travelogues 15 28th May 2016 20:17
Nepal (Kathmandu and Pokhara) : Dashain, Religion, Phailin and Fun SS-Traveller Travelogues 52 15th February 2016 13:08
Photologue : A Trip to Kathmandu, Nepal pcpranav Travelogues 22 23rd May 2013 14:32
Goa to Siliguri, Bhutan, Nepal and Sikkim? erlebrito Route / Travel Queries 9 14th May 2013 09:20
Kolkata-Siliguri-Mangalbaria-Ravangla-Geyzing-Siliguri-Kolkata Saurabh M Travelogues 125 9th April 2011 21:27


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 07:12.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks