Delhi to Kathmandu road trip

I had the chance to visit India and Nepal back in August 2016. The original plan was visiting Kathmandu to meet up with my sister, who was volunteering at a school in Hetauda, to spend a couple of weeks exploring the country together. However, our plans changed when I searched flights from London I realized there were no direct options to Nepal. There were stopovers at either middle eastern countries or India.

And that inspired the idea of a road trip from Delhi to Kathmandu by train and bus. My then flatmate and close friend Javi decided to join me on my journey of seventeen days and 1.500 km across Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Lumbini, Pokhara and Kathmandu.

IMG_9252Planning the trip: visa requirements

India is a though country to get an online tourist visa as the official website is slow, has constant failures and doesn’t accept debit cards. The single-entry tourist e visa costs 50USD and takes a few days to be approved once you pay and send the required information. This is the link for the Indian evisa:

  https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

The visa stamp on our passport to entry Nepal was easy to get at the Indian-Nepali border of Sonauli. A single-entry visa valid for 15, 30 or 90 days costs 25, 40 or 100 USD and can be purchased on arrival at the airport. It is also possible to get the visa online prior to arrival. This is the link for the online visa:

http://www.online.nepalimmigration.gov.np

Varanasi 1Planning the trip: when to go

The northeast region of India and Nepal have five different seasons:

Summer: April, May, June; Hot, low to moderate humidity and low precipitation

Monsoon or rainy season: July, August, September; Hot, very high humidity and heavy precipitation

Autumn: October, November; Warm days, cool nights, low humidity and low precipitation

Winter: December, January; Cold, moderate humidity and low precipitation

Spring: February, March; Warm days, cool nights, moderate humidity and moderate precipitatio

Delhi 19This was our 17-day route:

Day 1 – London- Delhi 

Day 2 – Delhi

Day 3 – Delhi – Agra 

Day 4 – Agra – Varanasi 

Day 5 – Varanasi

Day 6 – Varanasi

Day 7 – Varanasi – Lumbini

Day 8 – Lumbini – Pokhara 

Day 9 – Pokhara

Day 10 – Pokhara

Day 11 – Pokhara

Day 12 – Pokhara– Kathmandu 

Day 13 – Kathmandu

Day 14 – Kathmandu

Day 15 – Kathmandu

Day 16 –  Kathmandu – Delhi 

Day 17 – Delhi – London

IMG_6690IMG_8651How to move around:

We unsuccessfully tried to book our train tickets to Agra and Varanasi online from London so the first thing we did in Delhi was heading to Delhi central station to purchase them. We managed to book a regular afternoon train from Delhi to Agra, a sleeping train from Etawah Junction (1 hour ride from Agra) to Varanasi and a sleeping train from Varanasi to Gorakhpur. From Gorakhpur we shared a minivan to the bordier town of Sunauli, where we hop on a local bus to Lumbini. After that, we took local bus from Lumbini to Pokhara (9 hours) and from Pokhara to Kathmandu (11 looong hours).

The main sites we visited:

Delhi 2Delhi: Safdarjung Tomb, Lodhi Gardens, Humayun’s Tomb, Akshardham temple, Jama Masjid, Connaught Place

IMG_7005

Agra: Taj Mahal, Agra Fort

Varanasi 11Varanasi: Dashashwamedh Ghat, Manikamika Ghat, Kashi Vishwanath temple, Samath site

IMG_7877.JPGLumbini: Holy site including Mayadevi Temple, considering Buddha´s birthplace.

IMG_8490Pokhara: Phewa Lake, Tal Brahi Temple, Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda), Tashi Palkhiel Tibetan settlement.

Patan 9Kathmandu: Swayambhu (Monkey Temple), Boudha Stupa, Pashupatinath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square

One comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s