Nepal is the most accessible country for Indians. Indians don’t need a visa or passport to travel to Nepal. The pristine rugged Himalayan mountains and the many valleys spread throughout makes it a top destination for road trips. The demanding terrain provides an adventure of a lifetime in Nepal. You definitely need good driving skills to negotiate the remote locations on your motorcycle or car as the roads are mostly non-existent. In this blog post, you will find out the list of documents and permit required for entering Nepal by bike or car.
My Experiences at India-Nepal Entry Points
I have crossed India Nepal Border at four different locations over my Road Trips to Nepal from India on a motorbike. Each time it was a unique experience to cross the border. Some entry points have less hassle than others. Here in this post, you will find detailed information that you may need to travel to Nepal from India by road, on your own vehicle.
There are over 20 major and minor border crossings between India and Nepal. Not all border crossings can be used to enter Nepal on an India registered private bike or car. Some of the crossings are only for cargo vehicles. The official name for these India to Nepal border crossings is Integrated Check Posts (ICP). They process cargo, customs as well as immigration from different countries.
I am mentioning only the important Check Posts where you can enter Nepal from India after getting ‘bhansar’ permit. You can find a list of all major and minor Border Entry Points from India to Nepal here.
List of major India – Nepal Border Crossing Entry Points
- Banbasa in Champawat district, Uttarakhand, India – Kanchanpur District, Sudurpashchim Pradesh, Nepal
- Sonauli in Maharajganj district, Uttar Pradesh, India – Siddharthanagar in Rupandehi District, Nepal
- Raxaul in East Champaran district, Bihar, India – Birgunj, Nepal
- Bhittamore in Sitamarhi, Bihar – Jaleshwor in Mahottari, Nepal
- Bhimnagar in Supaul, Bihar – Bhantabari-Haripur in Sunsari, Nepal (via Kosi barrage)
- Jainagar in Madhubani, Bihar – Inarwa Phulbariya in Saptari, Nepal
- Pipraun in Madhubani, Bihar – Jatahi-Nagarain in Dhanusa Nepal
- Mirik in Darjeeling, West Bengal– Pashupatinagar, Ilam, Nepal
What is a Bhansar permit and how to obtain it?
Bhansar is like a visa for vehicles to enter Nepal. To cross the border from India to Nepal on your own vehicles like a motorcycle or car you will need a permit called Bhansar. Bhansar refers to the official name for the permit required for a private vehicle to legally enter Nepal. The form to be filled contains details like the registration number of the motorcycle/car/vehicle, duration of stay in Nepal, engine cc, and your personal details.
The word, ‘Bhansar’ literally translates to ‘custom duty’ in the Nepali language. Once you reach the Border Check Post just walk to the Bhansar Counter and tell that you need to apply for ‘Bhansar’. At some Bhansar Office, the official themselves will fill the form for you after checking relevant documents. But at some crossings, they will ask you to fill yourself. There will be a few middlemen or agents who may approach you to help in return for some money. Since the forms to be filled are in the Nepali language, they take advantage of the situation. Do not overpay them and negotiate. In any case, they should not charge anything more than INR 100.
Which one is the Best Border Crossing and Entry Point between India and Nepal?
The best crossing between India and Nepal is the one closest to your location. However, the experience will be slightly different at various border crossings. I had a smooth experience at the Bhittamore-Jaleshwor border crossing while had to pay middlemen to fill the form at the Raxaul-Birgunj border. Avoid the Raxaul-Birgunj border crossing as it is a major crossing and there are kilometers long queue of trucks and heavy vehicles waiting to get customs clearance. This often leads to long traffic jams on dusty border roads. The roads are pathetic at their best. In contrast, Bhittamore-Jaleshwor crossing is only for lighter vehicles and there’s no waiting. The officials filled the form themselves and there were no middlemen.
Documents Required for Bhansar – Entering Nepal by Bike or Car
Indians don’t need a visa or passport to enter Nepal. However, if you are traveling on your own motorcycle or car then you need to apply for the Bhansar permit for your vehicle. Ensure that you carry the original copy of the following documents:
- Vehicle Registration Certificate – RC
- Vehicle Insurance Paper in Original with Stamp – Insurance
- Driving Licence – DL
- Pollution Under Control Certificate – PUC
- Any Government Approved ID card like Passport, Voter ID, Aadhar Card
Always carry more than one ID card as sometimes Aadhar or PAN card is not accepted as valid proof of citizenship. Once the official rejected my vehicle Insurance paper as it did not have a stamp on it as it was a digital copy. It took a lot of requests to make him understand that it was a valid original copy. Digital copies don’t come with stamps. Now, I make sure that I get my Insurance paper stamped from the insurance company.
Fees/Charges/Tax for Bhansar Permit
The payment for Bhansar can be done in Indian currency. The forms are available for free but at some places, the official may ask you to pay a small amount.
for 1 day in NPR
with 13% tax
for 10 Days in NPR
Extension and Penalty for Bhansar Permit
Keep a day or two extra in hands in case you are not sure that you will return on time. The road condition in remote areas is perilous and regular roadblocks occur due to landslides. There is a heavy penalty if you keep the vehicle in Nepal even after the expiry of Bhansar. In case of unforeseen circumstances contact the nearest Nepalese Customs Office (Bhansar) for extension of the period of the ‘Pass’. In Kathmandu, the extension of the pass can be done at the Nepal Customs office at Tribhuvan international Airport Cargo complex. You do not need to come to the border and re-enter Nepal to get a Bhansar extension. Any vehicle which is found without valid Bhansar will be confiscated permanently.
Indian registered vehicles are allowed to stay in Nepal for a total of 30 days only in a calendar year and cannot stay in Nepal for more than 30 days in all in a year, even on payment of charges.
The police officials inspect vehicles and documents in many places and you must present all the documents along with Bhansar when demanded. Keep the documents in a waterproof bag or travel pouch.
Read Additional information and Resources:
- Road Trip to View Mount Everest.
- Embassy of India – Vehicle Permit Info.
- List of Border Check Posts PDF file.
- Motor vehicle movement treaty.
In view of the pandemic situation in 2020, some entry points may remain closed between India and Nepal. Check for updates before you plan.