Entering Nepal from India Via Banbasa – Bhimdutta (Mahendranagar) Border

Entering Nepal from India Via Banbasa - Bhimdutta (Mahendranagar) Border

So, here comes the day when I began my South Asia trip. My first destination was Nepal and I was traveling from India to Nepal by road.

My aim was to enter Nepal by the far western side of the country and exit via the eastern side in Kakarvitta. For this reason, I decided to enter Nepal from India via the Banbasa – Bhimdutta (previously known as Mahendranagar) border.

The Banbasa – Mahendranagar entry is one of the easiest and most straightforward entries you will go through. Now, sitting in the beautiful garden at Bardia Wildlife Resort in Thakurdwara, I will explain how to enter Nepal from India via Banbasa – Bhimdutta border.

How to Reach Banbasa?

Banbasa (also spelt Banbassa) is a small border town in Uttarakhand state on the Indian side of the border. The best way to reach here is by taking a bus.

To reach Banbasa, you will first have to reach Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. Depending on where you are traveling from, your best option would be to reach Delhi and take a train to Bareilly. In my case, I took a direct train from Ahmedabad and reached Bareilly early morning the next day.

Walking into Nepal from India
I’m walking towards Nepal!

After reaching Bareilly, take an auto-rickshaw ride to the Satellite bus station.

Travel Tip: If you are in or near Varanasi, you better take the Gorakhpur – Sonauli – Belahiya route to enter Nepal unless you have specific reasons to cross through Banbasa – Bhimdutta.

Note: Keep in mind that buses towards Tanakpur no longer departs from the old bus station. Someone told me to go to the old bus station to take the bus. After walking there from Bareilly railway station, I came to know that buses now depart from Satellite. I almost missed my bus.

India Nepal Crossing - Passing by the woods
Passing by the woods

Once you reach the Satellite Bus Station, look for a bus that leaves for Tanakpur, or any other bus that will make a stoppage at Banbasa. Those buses bare misleading labels sometimes, so ask a few people around before boarding. When you board the bus, make sure to ask the conductor to tell you when Banbasa arrives.

I took a bus that was headed to Tanakpur. It cost me 102 Indian rupees and took about 4 hours to reach Banbasa.

What to Do After Reaching Banbasa?

Banbasa is a small border town. There’s not much to see around and absolutely no reason to stay here.

Once you reach Banbasa, ask for the directions towards Mahendranagar, walk straight into a big gate and continue walking.

There will be people asking you whether you want to go to Nepal. Some people will also come on a two-wheeler, offering you a ‘lift’ to Nepal. Before you get excited about the kindness of these people, do know that they aren’t offering you free rides. They will charge you for their ‘kindness.’

For me, I wanted to walk towards the border and enter Nepal on foot. But it wasn’t really a good idea. It was a hot day and I was swimming in my sweat by the time I finally reached the border.

Entering Nepal on Foot from India
Nepal is Getting Near. I’m tired!

Unless you want to walk 3 kilometres, I would suggest that you walk a few meters from the Banbasa gate and look for a tuk tuk (an electric vehicle). It will take you to the India – Nepal border near the blue bridge. Don’t forget to bargain the rate.

On your way, the driver will stop for security check and at the immigration office. All travellers except Indians and Nepali should make sure to get exit stamp on the Indian side. Once the driver makes the final stop, take a short walk towards the Nepal side.

After Reaching Gaddachowki

Once at Gaddachowki, head straight to the Nepal immigration office on your left to complete the visa process. After this, make sure that they stamped your passport.

Current Nepal visa fees are as follows:

  • 15 Days – 25 USD
  • 30 Days – 40 USD
  • 90 Days – 100 USD

It’s better that you carry your visa fee in US Dollars.

Note for Indians: Indian citizens don’t need a visa or permit to enter Nepal. Just co-operate with security personnel when they check your bags and enter Nepal. Read more about Nepal visa requirements for Indians.

More information on Nepal visa can be found here.

The Gaddachowki Point - Nepal

After the immigration formalities, take a small walk ahead and take a ride to Bhimdutta in available vehicles. Do note that although its official name has been changed to Bhimdutta, it is still widely referred to as Mahendranagar. So if an auto driver comes asking you about Mahendranagar, that’s your ride.

After a few minutes of drive, you will reach Bhimdutta. From here, you can take a bus to reach any major place in Nepal including Ambassa (to reach Bardia National Park), Pokhara and, Kathmandu.

Depending on the time of your arrival at Bhimdutta, you might want to spend a night here before continuing your journey. If you arrive during the daytime or if you are able to find a bus to your destination, you can avoid staying here.

Entering Nepal from India via Banbasa – Bhimdutta Border: Summing Up

It is fairly easy and straightforward to enter Nepal from India via Banbasa – Bhimdutta (Mahendranagar) border.

The first step is to reach Bareilly and then a 4-hour bus ride will take you to the border town Banbasa. From Banbasa, you take a short walk and then a tuk tuk ride that will take you to Gaddachowki.

Once you enter Nepal, you can take a short auto ride to Bhimdutta (Mahendranagar). From Bhimdutta, you will get a bus to your desired destination in Nepal.

That’s it, folks! This was Parvez and you were reading Entering Nepal from India via Banbasa – Bhimdutta (Mahendranagar) border. I hope you found this guide useful and you enter Nepal safely and easily.

How did you enter Nepal? Do share your experience with me. If you found this article useful, please share it with others.

Also Read: Entering Nepal on Foot via Sonauli Border

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Show Comments (31)
  1. hi parvez…. thanks for the above information posted by you..it is very helpful.
    Can you please guide me where to stay i mean lodges and hotels and their rents accordingly.
    And what are the tourist places i can plan there?

    1. Hi, Lalit. Thanks for your comment.
      I assume you are asking about accommodation in Mahendranagar, Nepal. I wouldn’t recommend a stop here unless you wish to visit Shuklaphanta National Park. There is no tourist place other than this park around Mahendranagar.
      I would advise you to reach Mahendranagar bus station and take a bus towards your next destination. You can get a bus to almost any city in Nepal.
      Enjoy your trip and feel free to ask if you have further questions.

  2. Hello Parvez, do you know if buses from Satellite bus station to Taknapur departs any time, I suppose to reach there around 3 am and i want to go directly to Banbasa, Thank you.

    1. Hi, Katty.
      I am not sure about the exact timings of buses that run between Bareilly and Tanakpur. I tried finding a schedule for you but no luck.
      Getting a bus as early as 3 or 4 am could be a task. I suggest you head over to Satellite station after you arrive at Bareilly and inquire for the same. You might be able to get the earliest bus possible.
      I wish you a safe and happy journey. Have fun.

      1. Dear sir
        Is it possible to go from banbasa to Nepal by own Indian number plate car… My family wishing to visit. Plz let me know. Regards

      1. Direct bus from Delhi Anand Bihar ISBT to Mahendranagar via Banbassa & Direct train from old Delhi station to Banbass is also stared now.Also another direct train fron Allahabad to Tanakpur started , both are the express ones !!

  3. Hi Parvez,

    I am planning to enter Nepal via my Motorcycle. I guess that should not be a big problem at Banbasa border?

    1. Hi, Siki. Entering Nepal in a vehicle isn’t really a big problem.
      You will have to obtain a vehicle and a customs entry permit for days you wish to stay in Nepal. Carry your vehicle’s registration certificate, driving license, and some passport-size photos. From what I’ve heard, you might have to ‘deal’ with some officers during the process.
      Some information on vehicle permits can be found here: http://www.cgibirgunj.org/page/detail/179

  4. Hi Parvezish, thank you for posting this! I am currently in Almora Uttarakhand and was planning to travel to Bardia NP aftwr staying some time in Rajapur and wanted to confirm that it is possible, as a foreigner (non Indian) to cross at the Banbasa-Bhimdutta (Mahendranagar border). For some reason I had thought this border wasnt open to foreigners and the closest crossing was Dhangadhi…Is it possible to get tourist visas here and are US dollars required (I have been living in India for a year so only have Indian and some Nepali rupees on me)? Also, from Bhimdatta how easy is it to get buses and how frequent are they to Thikapur/Rajapur (if you have any idea)? Finally, just wondering if its fairly easy to pick up a SIM and go to an ATM in Bhimdatta? Thanks a bunch!

    1. Hi, Sierra. The Banbassa – Bhimdutta border is open for all nationals. Visit the immigration office at the border to get your visa and the arrival stamp on your passport.

      Indian and Nepali rupee is not accepted as visa fee. Although you can pay in some currencies other than USD, it’s better to carry USD along. You might want to exchange some money while you are in India.

      Once you pass the immigration, walk a few meters and you will be able to get an auto to reach Bhimdutta (now called Mahendranagar) bus station. You’ll get a direct bus towards Bardia which is near Tikapur and Rajapur. I’m not sure about the frequency and exact timings but there are plenty of regular buses from Mahendranagar going across Nepal.

      Picking up a SIM should not be a problem in Bhimdutta. There are some ATMs, too. Walk past the bus station and turn on your right. You should get mobile shops, banks and ATMs neaby.

      Have a great trip.

  5. Dear Pervez, I need to reach Surkhet, Nepal from Delhi starting on the 6th night and I need to be there by the 8th afternoon. I am taking the banbasa route and am entirely dependent on busses going on a shoestring budget as it is. So, if you can help me with the following please: 1. Do you think it is possible to reach Surkhet with my time constraints, in time? 2. From where can I get a bus to surkhet that is nearest to the Banbasa border. Thanks

    1. Hi, Mohsin. Provided that you reach Bareilly on 6th, you can take the next available bus to Banbasa. It shall take about 4 hours to reach there. You can also spend a night in Bareilly and take the morning bus.
      Once you enter Nepal, you can take a short auto ride to Bhimdutta (Mahendranagar). I’m not sure about the direct buses to Surkhet, but you will get more information there at the bus station. Ask some people around.
      I’m pretty sure you can reach Surkhet by the night of 7 or by the noon of 8th depending on your arrival to Banbasa.

  6. Hi Pervez

    Just found this post and just wanted to say thanks for the completely random wild adventure you have shared here. Not too many people would travel directly from Ahmedabad > Nepal more or less without stopping. The world needs more people doing crazy shit like this.

    Keep it up.

  7. Hi Parvez,
    Good work on your ‘freedom travelling flow’ as Life is so much richer that way !
    Do you know how to get a visa to Mynamar ? Can I get it at the border? I will travel across to Nepal with your directions through Banbassa and then through Nepal to Mnaymar….any travelling suggestions ?
    Love and Light,

  8. Can we use new 200, 500,2000 indian currency note in Nepal or is it still illegal to use it? And where can we exchange those notes in Nepal?

    1. Hi Chandan.

      According to the last information I have, RBI has not made the use of any currency bills above INR 100 as ‘legal’ in Nepal after the demonetisation in 2016. But many places across Nepal do accept these bills. You can exchange your money at ‘authorised money exchanges.’

  9. Dear Pervez,

    I really found your information pertinent and valuable and enjoyed the pictures.Carry on with your lovely mission. I have already subscribed.

  10. Hi. Its great to read ur experience as its very hard to find something on this route.
    I am in nainital and planning to go to mahendranagar and return same day.
    Can you tell me what are the documents required and what are the procedures on both the sides (ps-i only have my aadhar card with me will that work?)

  11. Hi Parvej,

    Could you please guide me how to reach Banbasa from Dhangari airport? Can we hire vehicles from Dhangari itself or Bhimdatta for distance traveling in India? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Zeesh. I am not sure about reaching Banbasa from Dhangadhi airport but given its location, one should be able to find buses from Attariya chowk. I have also heard you can enter India from the border near Dhangadhi itself but I haven’t taken that route myself. Given the current situation and uncertainty of availability of bus and other transportation in Nepal, I would suggest better planning and more information before you start your journey.

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