Ensure you change your Nepalese Rupees before you cross the border as it is extremely difficult to change them in India as it is not a traded currency. If you change Nepalese Rupees in India you will often only get offered a fraction of their value.
Sauraha to Tadre Bazaar
We travelled from Sauraha to Kakarbhitta in one long day as we wanted to get the bus journey over with, rather than prolonging the pain. If you would prefer to break the journey then consider stopping half way at Janakpur – it has good transport connections, as well as a couple of sights if you want to prolong your visit.
We caught the local bus from Sauraha to Tadre Bazaar at 6:30am from the junction of Rhino Chowk and Restaurant Chowk, although I believe the bus does a loop round the village so you can flag it down at any point. The bus cost rs.25 each and took 30 minutes and it dropped us on the main road at the junction for Sauraha.
Tadre Bazaar to Narayangadh
We were hoping there might have been an official bus station in Tadre Bazaar, however unfortunately there was not. There was however a handful of private tour agencies organising buses to Kakarbhitta, and one quoted us rs.900 each for a bus to Kakarbhitta. We were quite shocked at the price and decided they might be adding a lot of commission so we decided to take another local bus for rs.30 each to Narayangadh (journey time – 30 minutes) where we knew there was a large bus station.
Narayangadh to Kakarbhitta
At the bus station in Narayangadh we were quoted rs.850 each for a bus ticket to Kakarbhitta. This still seemed a lot; although we guessed it must have been correct given the price we were quoted at Tadre Bazaar was similar.
We waited an hour for the bus to arrive and it was packed. All the seats were taken and there were people standing. We had to ask for seats and the bus driver kicked some people off from the back seat and made them stand as they were not travelling as far as us. It was still very crowded as the seats on the buses are very narrow and there is never enough leg room. In addition, throughout the journey people insisted on squeezing themselves on the backseat – there was 7 of us sat on the backseat at one stage. It was also outrageously bumpy and our bums would lift off the seat every time the bus hit a bump.
Luckily the bus seemed to be travelling at a good speed and the journey took 10 hours from Narayangadh to Kakarbhitta.
We arrived in Kakarbhitta at about 7pm and walked around to find a hotel. We enquired at quite a few hotels and looked at their rooms, but ended up staying at Hotel Venus just across the road opposite the bus park. There are many hotels surrounding the bus park, however standards are rather low for the price paid.
Location: across the road opposite the bus park
How much does it cost? Rs.500 for a non a/c room with attached bathroom
Hotel Venus was OK for a one night stop over, however I couldn’t have stayed there any longer than one night. When we inspected the room there was a girl staying in there (she seemed to be a long term lodger), but the staff ensured us that they would clean the room for us whilst we went and eat dinner.
When we arrived back after dinner all the staff had done was emptied the room of the girl’s belongings and straightened the sheets. They had NOT changed the bed sheets, or cleaned the bathroom, and the towel they gave us was dirty.
We decided to stay there for the night anyway as we were tired and figured we would be leaving early the next morning so all we needed was a cheap place to stay. We both huddled up that night in our sleeping bag liners to protect from bed bugs, and used our travel towel as we couldn’t bear to use the one they had given us.
The Nepalese immigration office is located on the left through some green metal gates just before the border. The immigration office seemed quiet when we were there and it only took 10 minutes to get a stamp out.
Once you have got your stamp out of Nepal you need to go to the Indian immigration office and get a stamp into India.
The Indian immigration office is located approx. 800m across the bridge on the left, set just off from the main road behind some trees.
Indian Visa and the 2 Month / 60 Day Rule
Most nationalities need to obtain a visa before they enter India – please consult your own consulate for further details.
Please note that if you have a UK passport and wish to re-enter India from a neighbouring country (i.e. India – Nepal – India), but want to avoid the 2 month/60 day rule, then the easiest way to do this is to get a double entry visa with an endorsement from the Indian Embassy in London. The endorsement will read ‘re-entry from Nepal’ and it means that there is no minimum period for which you need to leave India before you can re-enter. If you simply have a double entry visa without the endorsement then you need to leave India for a minimum of 2 months before you can re-enter.
- Catch the bus from Tadre Bazaar to Kakarbhitta (around rs.900 each) (it isn’t worth travelling to Narayangadh in the hope you may save some money on the bus ticket)
- The bus from Tadre Bazaar / Narayangadh to Kakarbhitta takes between 10 – 11 hours depending on how much the bus stops ,and the speed of the driver. We only stopped once for 30 minutes and it took us 10 hours
- Ensure you inspect at least a couple of hotels in Kakarbhitta as prices & standards vary vastly
- Set off early and stay the night at Kakarbhitta then you can cross the border early the next morning
- Ensure you change your Nepalese Rupees before you cross the border as it is extremely difficult to change them in India as it is not a traded currency. If you change Nepalese Rupees in India you will often only get offered a fraction of their value
- The Indian immigration office is located approx. 800m away from the Nepalese immigration office, therefore if you have a heavy rucksack consider taking a cycle rickshaw