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 (the top) side of the country and exit via the bottom side in Kakarvitta. For this reason, I decided to enter Nepal from India via the Banbasa – Bhimdutta (previously: 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 (sometimes spelled as Banbassa, too) is a small border town in the Uttarakhand state on the Indian side of the border. The best way to reach here is by taking a bus ride.
To reach Banbasa, you will first have to reach Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh (UP). Depending on where you’re traveling from, your best option would be to reach Delhi first and continue your journey from there.
After reaching Delhi, you will head straight to the New Delhi railway station and from here, you will take a train to Bareilly. In my case, I took a direct train from Ahmedabad and reached Bareilly early morning the next day.
After reaching Bareilly, take an auto-rickshaw ride to the Satellite bus station.
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 the bus now departs from Satellite. I almost missed my bus.
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 Tanakpur. It cost me 102 Indian rupees and took about 4 hours to reach Banbasa.
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What to Do After Reaching Banbasa?
Banbasa is a small town. There’s not much to see around and there’s absolutely no need to stay here.
Once you reach Banbasa, ask for the directions towards Mahendranagar and walk straight into a big gate. Walk directly towards the border through the gate and keep 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.’ So avoid them.
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 after walking about 2km.
Unless you want to take a 3km walk, I would suggest that after 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.
Oh, and don’t forget to bargain the rate, too. While crossing the border, keep your eyes open. There’s some serious beauty all over the place.
On your way, the driver will stop at both entry points for security check and drop you at Gaddachowki. From here, take a short walk towards the Nepal side.
After Reaching Gaddachowki
Once at Gaddachowki, head straight into the immigration office on your left to complete the visa process. After this, make sure that they stamped your passport to avoid unnecessary problems during your stay and upon exiting.
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.
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 you continue your journey. If you arrive during the early daytime, 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 in UP, and then a 4-hour bus ride will take you to 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. Planning a Nepal trip? Feel free to ask for any help before you leave.
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