There are three major borders frequently used by tourists to cross the border from India to Nepal by road. All three borders are well-connected by rail and road transport or if you are planning to go by owned vehicle, you are good to choose any one rout at your convenience and reach to Kathmandu, Pokhara, and other destinations.
Saunauli – Bhairawa border
This route is preferred by travelers who are traveling from the north part of India or travelers who are planning to go to Nepal from Varanasi (Banaras). Saniauli is the last district of India Nepal board comes in Uttar Pradesh, state of India, if you are planning to go by public transport then you can go to Gorakhpur by train. Gorakhpur is well-connected by all the major railway stations. From Gorakhpur railways station you can easily get a bus to Saunuli which takes 3 hours. From the Saunuli bus stand, you have to walk for 15 mints to the immigration office of Nepal. For Indians, there is no such requirement for immigration but if you are driving your own vehicle then you have to take a permit for your vehicle. At the Bhairawa bus stand, you can get busses very easily for various destinations, especially for Pokhara and Kathmandu. (Note: if you are traveling by owned vehicle road condition of this root is very good).
Raxaul — Birganj
Raxaul is the last district of India-Nepal border in Bihar, a state in India. There is a new rail route that started from Kolkata to Raxaul. You can do advance reservations from IRCTC. From Raxaul station you can cross the border easily but If you are not Indian or traveling b owned vehicle then you have to go form immigration and permit. If you are planning to go by road I strongly not recommend this route because the road condition in Bihar is very bad. When I went in 2017 hundred kilometers of the road was been very poor condition filled with rainwater and mud, and almost the same condition on the other side of the border as well. Most buses for Kathmandu leave by around 8 PM and reach Kathmandu by 6 AM. There are lots of options available with different pricing for AC and non-AC buses.
Siliguri – Kakarbhitta
Siliguri is a district in West Bengal and its well connected by rail and road transport from Kolkata and other major parts of India. If you are planning to cover the northeast part of India or you are coming from the east part of India that this route is highly recommended for both public transport and owned transport. If you are traveling from public transport than the new Jalpaiguri major railway station well connected from other major railway satiation in India. From the central Siliguri, the bus terminal will get a bust to Panitanki which is the Indian side of the India-Nepal border. It takes one hour to reach Panitanki from Siliguri. Once you visited the Indian immigration office here and get your passport stamped you can either take a rickshaw or walk for about 10 minutes, cross over the bridge and reach the Nepal border town Kakarbhitta. Hi are you walk up to the Nepal immigration office and get your Nepal visa for 15 / 30 / 90 days etc and pay accordingly (15-day visa cost 25 USD)
Note that currently, the immigration office at both ends operate between 6 AM to 6 PM. So if any of this immigration office is closed when you reach, you need to stay overnight in PaniTanki area. So it’s better to schedule your visit correctly.
Most buses are in bad condition with uncomfortable or thrown out seats. Although they say it takes 12 hours to reach Kathmandu, it can easily take 15 to 16 hours or longer. They do hold twice or thrice along the way for refreshments. Buses leave in the morning and also in the afternoon. AC buses leave early between 4 AM to 7 AM and again between 3 PM to 5 PM.
After getting a Nepal visa there is a small walk to the bus terminal where you can get many private operators running buses to several places of Nepal including Kathmandu. As maximum buses are non-AC buses, I strongly suggest you catch an AC bus because of the dusty road and long long journey.
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