Have you fancied driving across to Nepal in your own car? It is not a big deal at all as I discovered when I undertook the Great Himalayan Drive recently. You can actually start very early, cross the border around noon, and be out for a jungle safari in the Shuklaphanta National Park in the afternoon. Or leave comfortably, cross the border when the gates open in the evening and have dinner in Mahendranagar (this is the border town in Nepal and adjoins the national park). Here is the distance / time chart I logged:

  • Delhi – Gajraula: 2:20 hrs, 212 km (This is not distance to Gajraula town but a few miles after that – you have a highly recommended multi-cuisine restaurant Meritone and a McDonalds here. Took a pitstop here)
  • Gajraula – Café Coffee Day, Moradabad: 0:55 hrs, 67 km (Take a bypass on the toll road before Moradabad or you could ne stuck in traffic. The café is a few miles after Moradabad. I took a caffeine break here.)
  • CCD Moradbad – Rampur: 0:22 hrs, 14 kms (Watch out for left turn pointing to Nainital – very easy to miss. Ask people if not sure)
  • Rampur – Rudrapur: 1:00 hrs, 44 kms (The point measured is two miles before Rudrapur town – I stopped here for fuel. Good idea to tank up here – I was almost stranded once on this same route as I did not get fuel later on the way to Abbott Mount. Very cheerfully, the attendant wished me all the best for my journey when he heard I am off to Nepal and the North-East. Stopped for lunch in Rudrapur – again, a good idea; not too many options after this)
  • Rudrapur – Khatima: 1:30 hrs, 72 kms
  • Khatima – Banbassa: 0:27 hrs, 13 kms (stopped to tank up again – I was paranoid not knowing what the fuel position in Nepal is)
  • Banbassa – Crossing over point to Nepal: 0:10 hrs, 5 kms.

Effectively reached Nepal in 6:50 hours driving time (stops not included) covering 427 kms. It took another 3 hours at the border though. Out of this, 45 minutes were spent waiting for gates to open (they open at specific times only) and the rest for the formalities. The hotel in Mahendranagar in Nepal was 13 kms from the Indian side of the border – did not take much driving time for that though. Have written another post on what it entails to cross the border.

Notes:
* All distances have been measured from Rajghat in Delhi – it is the 0 km mark in the city.
* I have not included the time where I took stops. In other words, you are only reading actual driving times above except where mentioned.
* The actual distance readings can vary in different cars. Treat these as approximations only.
* Time taken can vary with traffic – always a good idea to leave early morning to beat at least some of the rush.
* One rule when driving in India and the rest of the subcontinent: Keep asking for directions even when you know you are going correctly. With highways constantly being upgraded, you may be directed to some more efficient routes including bypassing towns, or being told about new roads. And locals always know when a road or a bridge has gone under, and may suggest alternate routes.
* The best people to ask for directions are drivers of taxis, buses and trucks. They ply the roads all the time.
* Milestones give distances to centres of town – and the above may not necessarily be measured at that point by me.

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14 Comments

  1. A very useful post! I am passing it on to friends.

  2. Niteesh Sharma says:

    I just listen Nepal is Famous Hill Station but i dnt see Nepal. I wnt to go in Nepal by 2 Whellers Bike (Bulit).

  3. Saurabh Kulyana says:

    Nepal is not a Hill Station but a Country in itself. It lies in the laps of The Great & Beautiful Himalayas. Those looking for great adventure, take a road trip to Nepal (3-4 days).

  4. Ganesh Pandey says:

    I am also planing to visit nepal on 7 aug, but i m going to do this on my pulsar 150.
    Is there anyone who want to join me?

  5. Aayush Bhatt says:

    I’m feeling privileged to see some people looking 4ward to my small, less developed but b’ful country Nepal :)
    U r heartly Welcome guys!!!

  6. Would this driving route be recommended for a woman driving solo?

  7. HII Martha last year i went with my family, to visit Nepal..it was great..but this road trip is possible only with bachelor’s or friends that’s my personal perception no doubt Nepalese are thugs over here..if its your first time visit to Nepal i would suggest you to take proper suggestions/consultations with a reknown travel agency the way i did with Yatra.com no doubt they ease ur trip and give you a joful yatra. :)

  8. i am 62 iwant to visit nepal by car by road please tell me the experians about and also about rods convence our mobile 9968993681 please contact me thanks.

  9. I WANT TO GO TO MAHENDERNAGER BY BUS CAN ANY ONE GIVE ME SOME HINT TO REACH UPTO BARDIA NATIONAL PARK…
    PLEASE HELP ME OUT IN FINDING A SHORT ROUT SO THAT I CAN REACH AT BARDIA WITHOUT MUCH WASTAGE OF TIME
    THANKS

  10. Good post, and agree with 99% of the stuff (I hail from Rampur). However, I did not understand the distance of 212 kms between Delhi and Gajraula. Is it a type, as the right distance to me is somewhere around 112 kms.

    However, inspite of this, the post was quite informative.

  11. hi im wasee me apni bike se nepal jaana chahta hu ky delhi ki bike nepal me jaa sakti he. border any problem

  12. Aayush Bhatt says:

    Waseem khan- yes u can take Indian bike and 4 wheeler to Nepali border city for just 10 and 300 RS/day respectively(at custom, u have to pay). if u want to go beyond the border cities may be u have to pay more.

  13. sanjeev kumar says:

    i want to go nepal in Nov. 2013,
    i want road map & guide how to go. please help me

  14. Parminder says:

    I want to visit nepal with my family by road in tata safarivia mahendranagar .can anyone tell me how far is kathmandu from mahendranagar by road?please help me.Want to go before holly.

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