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Old 16th May 2016, 13:54   #1
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Default Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Hi guys, I just came back from a quick road trip from Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal) via a new route which was officially opened a few months ago. This new route is not only shorter, but also much more beautiful and scenic. And since it is a fairly new road, the surface is very good and its got very little traffic. This is a very significant road for all travellers. Not only does it cut travel time by 4-5 hours, but now it is possible to easily travel to Kathmandu from East Nepal in one single day without an overnight stop. The travel time via the old route would have been approx 14.5-16 hrs. With this new route, its approx 9.5-10.5 hrs.

The route can be found on Google maps as well. If you type Destination Kathmandu from anywhere in East Nepal, Google recommends this New route.
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-bardibas.jpg

A more detailed map of Nepal:
(Map of Nepal. Click to enlarge. Map source: http://www.ezilon.com/maps/asia/nepal-road-maps.html)
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-nepalroadmap.gif

1) The RED Route is the new road to Kathmandu. Known as the B.P Highway, named after Nepal's first Prime Minister. The road was constructed in collaboration with the Kingdom of Japan. The Highway starts from a town called Bardibas on the East-West Highway(Nepal) and heads north from this town.

From Kakarbhitta to Bardibas is approximately 260kms. It takes about 5 hours. We left the border (Kakarbhitta) at 7am and reached Bardibas at 12 noon, just in time for lunch. From Bardibas, its a right turn onto the B.P Highway. Since its a new highway, there aren't any good places to stop for food. So its better to have your food anywhere along the East-West highway. We had our lunch at Bardibs while going and while coming from Kathmandu on this trip.

After turning right on to the B.P Highway, the road for the first 40-50kms is fast flowing with a bit of elevation, then after that for the next 100kms its relatively steep (not extremely) and winding. But its wide enough for two vehicles to pass. Large Trucks and buses cannot and do not use this road, only medium size transport vehicles.


=430 Kms: Total distance from Kakarbhitta to Kathmandu via B.P Highway.
=170kms: Distance of the actual B.P Highway (Bardibas to Kathmandu)
=9.5-10.5 hrs: Total travel time.

My Journey Stats:

Vehicle: Hyundai Santro Xing 2010.
Odo reading: 27,000kms
No. of Travellers: 2
Start Time: 6 AM from Siliguri
Finish Time: 5pm at Kathmandu
Total distance: approx 450kms
Fuel average with 50% A/C and 80-90kms top speed: 18.80 km/litre (24 litres used)

We had heard rumors about Petrol shortages in Kathmandu so we used our A/C very sparingly. It turned out to be just rumors. But situation can change anytime in Kathmandu regarding the availibility of fuel.

2) The Yellow+Red road Route. Well this is the old route. This is also the route used by all heavy vehicles. You can find details of this route in my other travelogue that I wrote 5 years ago.

=600 Kms approx: Total distance from Kakarbhitta to Kathmandu.
=15-16 hrs: Total travel time.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ndu-nepal.html (Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal))

2) The Green+Yellow+Red road Route. This is another route that can be taken. It follows the main East-West Highway till Hetauda and then heads north instead of heading west. This route is supposed to be quite narrow and quite steep.

=500kms approx: Total distance from Kakarbhitta to Kathmandu
=13-14 hrs: Total travel time.

Last edited by amrisharm : 16th May 2016 at 15:06.
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Old 16th May 2016, 14:34   #2
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Default re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Pictures from the Route (B.P Highway).
Since I already have a travelogue with pictures of the main road, here I shall only focus on the new section.

The beginning of the highway is relatively straight and the altitude gain is very gradual.
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-13214727_10153760127142525_1479137594_o.jpg

Then the uphill section begins.
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-dsc_0054.jpg


Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-dsc_0065.jpg


Some sections are truly amazing. 20%of the road is along the river.
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-dsc_0068.jpg

Driving on this highway was a delight!
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-13250336_10156863483295623_1113455328_n.jpg


Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-13235727_10156863484060623_1500143432_n.jpg


Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-13236216_10156863483650623_37260225_n.jpg


This highway is not all uphill. You go up and then down into valleys, then climb up and then down again along the river. Then on your third assend is the final assend into Kathmandu valley.
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-13219798_10156863483780623_467417413_n.jpg


From this highway, you can branch off to other remote parts of Nepal. But looks like most of those parts are 4x4 only.
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-13233187_10156863484435623_849768787_n.jpg


Good roads, less traffic means you will come across a few accidents. Be careful of bike riders, who seem to be trying to imitate Moto GP riders by taking the "Racing line" instead of staying in their lane. We had a few near misses with these overconfident bike riders.
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-dsc_0078.jpg


Since most of the houses along the highway were made of mud and stone, we could see a lot of damaged houses. The big 7.9 M earthquake of April 2015 really did lot of damage to this deprived region.
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-13219939_10156863483820623_1119542913_n.jpg

Last edited by amrisharm : 16th May 2016 at 14:58.
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Old 18th May 2016, 09:51   #3
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th May 2016, 11:01   #4
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Wow, man it looks like a dream highway. I was recently at Kathmandu and the people there are really amazing. They are kind and warm. They like, or might be, used to like India before we screwed up our diplomatic relations with Nepal and not helping them unblock the border. They suffered a severe shortage of fuel, during my visit i saw long lines of people with their gas cylinders. From a projected GDP growth rate of 4% pre border blockage issue, now their GDP growth is close to 0. Yet you see them smile and be happy. I feel more Indians should visit Nepal, purely because it is so easy, and cheap.

Doing this was fun in Nepal.
- Give our 100 Rs note (Indian currency >50 Rs is accepted everywhere there)
- Buy something worth 60 Nepali Rupee
- Get 100 NPR back :-)

I am not sure if you can do this in many countries where INR is widely accepted.
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Old 18th May 2016, 11:31   #5
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Nice route @ Amrisharm. Informative travelogue for one and all. Could we get more details on this route please.
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Old 18th May 2016, 12:10   #6
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Thanks for the info. I have been planning a trip from Siliguri to Nepal which I intend to do sometime this year. This will be really helpful now.

Quick question: What would the weather be like in Siliguri and Nepal during July ?
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Old 18th May 2016, 21:10   #7
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Any problems with animosity towards Indians? After the blockade, things were very tense.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 18th May 2016, 21:38   #8
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Quote:
Originally Posted by pduttaghy View Post
Nice route @ Amrisharm. Informative travelogue for one and all. Could we get more details on this route please.
Hi, its a pretty straight forward road. There are not intersections or diversions to confuse you. The road surface is great 90% of the distance. And you enter into Kathmandu valley on the north Eastern point. If you have any specific queries please feel free to ask. If you want info on how to take an indian car into Nepal, the procedures and the taxes involved, then I have given all the details in my other travelogue which I wrote 4-5 yrs ago. Though it is from a few years ago, the info is still correct to this day.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ndu-nepal.html (Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal))

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coplay View Post
Thanks for the info. I have been planning a trip from Siliguri to Nepal which I intend to do sometime this year. This will be really helpful now.

Quick question: What would the weather be like in Siliguri and Nepal during July ?
Hi there, July being peak monsoon season, the weather will be cool in Siliguri when its raining, and a bit humid when the sun is out. As for Kathmandu, its a pleasant time to be in Kathmandu. Though mountain views will not be possible. Ideally the perfect time to visit Kathmandu is right after the monsoons in October. Do keep in mind, Kathmandu and most parts of Nepal are hilly areas. So if the monsoon is severe then chances of landslides are high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Any problems with animosity towards Indians? After the blockade, things were very tense.

Regards
Sutripta
Funny thing is, when I was about to leave for Kathmandu, friends and family in India were telling me to be careful about the anti-Indian animosity there... When I got there, I faced none. Then while in Kathmandu, Nepalese people there were asking me about the Anti-Nepalese animosity that they had read and heard about in India. And so I told them there was none.

There is nothing like that anywhere in Nepal. But just be aware there might be and avoid getting into any heated situations.

Last edited by amrisharm : 18th May 2016 at 21:47.
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Old 19th May 2016, 12:28   #9
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Hello amrisharm

A nice travelogue and the pictures are just fantastic. The highway is looking too tempting to drive. Driving on this highway would be in my bucket list obviously.

And once again, Santro proved what a gem of machine it is.

Wishing you miles of fun-filled journeys.

Regards

Saubhik
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Old 19th May 2016, 15:38   #10
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Quite informative Amrisharm.
Last week we did road trip to Kathmandu as well. During the trip we took Birgunj-Hetauda-Thaha-Nabuise-Kathmandu route. Hetauda-Nabuise section is quite deserted with very few vehicles plying.
Can you elaborate on the amount of Bhansar(Custom) and other taxes paid.

Happy Cruising
Krishna
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Old 20th May 2016, 15:07   #11
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Any problems with animosity towards Indians? After the blockade, things were very tense.

Regards
Sutripta
Nothing at all. Everywhere you see Arijit Songs being played. They treat you really well. It is cheap, beautiful, i won't say very clean but then i only visited Kathmandu and i am sure a bit more rural Nepal is even more beautiful and clean.

Getting in there is like taking a domestic flight. Plus you get to see Everest from the flight, far, but still, its Everest

One interesting thing i heard there during a long conversation with a Monk:
Nepal is not really a majority Hindu state as we think. The earlier government was always eager to please India and seek our help for their various projects. During the senses, many of the Non Hindus (majority Buddhist) were also tagged as Hindu, creating a census that looked Hindu populated, but is not.

Also, the girls there are drop dead Gorgeous. I don't mean this is any derogatory way. I have never seen such pretty faces, in that many numbers as i saw in Nepal. Also the kids there will be really well dressed, they have their unique fashion, its trendy and very funky.

That is Everest
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-img_20160412_135833.jpg

In a Monastery
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-img_20160413_150242.jpg

This is Sechen Monastery, it was closed for repairs due to the Earth quake impact
Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-img_20160413_082227.jpg

Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal-img_20160413_150401.jpg
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Old 21st May 2016, 04:19   #12
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Very informative Travelogue about our neighboring country and lovely pictures. The route seems to be very scenic especially the one beside the river and the condition of road is very nice. Just curious, apart from paying tolls & taxes, are there any legal formalities that need to be done to drive a Indian car in Nepal ? Also are there anything that is banned like Sunfilms and all ?
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Old 21st May 2016, 09:15   #13
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivingNirvana View Post
Hello amrisharm

A nice travelogue and the pictures are just fantastic. The highway is looking too tempting to drive. Driving on this highway would be in my bucket list obviously.

And once again, Santro proved what a gem of machine it is.

Wishing you miles of fun-filled journeys.

Regards

Saubhik
Yea I just love the santro. Its perfect for us as we live in a Tier III city where the city roads aren't wide. Also its a great little car for the narrow hilly roads of Darjeeling which is close by. Only issue is I am 6"1 so the car feels a little small.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmohan90 View Post
Quite informative Amrisharm.
Last week we did road trip to Kathmandu as well. During the trip we took Birgunj-Hetauda-Thaha-Nabuise-Kathmandu route. Hetauda-Nabuise section is quite deserted with very few vehicles plying.
Can you elaborate on the amount of Bhansar(Custom) and other taxes paid.

Happy Cruising
Krishna
Oh wow so you took the old highway to Kathmandu. I have heard a lot about this highway but never been. So how was the road from Hetauda to Thaha to Naubise? The road tax into Nepal is approx INR 320 per day. Which you pay at the Border entry point. You have to tell them how many days you want to stay inside nepal and pay them up front. after that there is nothing more to pay. I have given full details in my older travelogue which can be found here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ndu-nepal.html (Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal))

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samfromindia View Post
Very informative Travelogue about our neighboring country and lovely pictures. The route seems to be very scenic especially the one beside the river and the condition of road is very nice. Just curious, apart from paying tolls & taxes, are there any legal formalities that need to be done to drive a Indian car in Nepal ? Also are there anything that is banned like Sunfilms and all ?
Yes buddy the pictures do not do justice. I was in awe of the beauty of the route while driving. After paying the taxes, there is no other formalities required. The rules are almost the same as in India. You will not face any issues from the Nepalese Police. Just speak to them politely and they don't bother you. In fact I crossed a few places inside Kathmandu where they were testing for drink driving and another time where they were checking driving license. Both time they just waved me off. So unlike in India where they target outside state vehicles, in Nepal they are just the opposite. One Issue could be informing your Car Insurance company about the fact that you will be going to Nepal. I have to admit I have not done it so don't know the exact procedure.
You can find more details in my other travelogue that I wrote a few years ago but the info is still valid for today:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ndu-nepal.html (Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal))

Last edited by amrisharm : 21st May 2016 at 09:18.
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Old 22nd May 2016, 22:19   #14
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Thanks for the information Amrisharm, I am planing for a Nepal trip at the end of this year. Your information will help me a lot to plan my trip. Also the pictures of the highways is luring me to make this trip sooner than later.

Thanks again.
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Old 23rd May 2016, 00:45   #15
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Default Re: Details! Shorter New Route to Kathmandu, Nepal

Does this good road further extend till Narayanghat or Butwal. Can you please confirm?
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