The 10 days backpacking travel in Nepal is very close to my heart. It was the initial days of my traveling where I had just stepped out of my comfort zone. My friends and I had planned an awesome backpacking travel covering the three cities of Nepal. These were the days where we had just started out in our careers and were earning a lot lower so most of our travels included walking or hiking bicycles.
Note: This backpacking travel in Nepal was executed many years ago, so please refer to the individual websites for the updated pricing and availability information.
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Backpacking in Nepal taught us that there are always a few things, in our case many things, that could go wrong while traveling. We had a rough itinerary of our travel plans before we set off for our adventure to Nepal. However, most of the things that we had planned did not work. There were delays in the public transportation, or the weather did not cooperate with us because of which we had to cancel many things.
Our rough itinerary includes:
- Days 1-2:
- Flight from Bangalore to Delhi.
- Train from Delhi to Gorakpur.
- Taxi from Gorakpur to Nepal border.
- Days 3-6:
- Explored Pokhara city.
- Whitewater rafting.
- Sunrise trekking.
- Phewa lake.
- Bus from Pokhara to Kathmandu
- Explored Pokhara city.
- Days 6-7:
- Explored Kathmandu.
- Swayumbunath temple.
- Pashupatinath temple.
- Bus from Kathmandu to Chitwan.
- Explored Kathmandu.
- Days 8-9:
- Explored Chitwan.
- Village tour of Chitwan.
- Chitwan National Park (elephant sanctuary).
- Jungle safari.
- Taxi from Chitwan National Park to Gorakhpur.
- Explored Chitwan.
- Days 9-10:
- Train from Gorakhpur to Delhi.
- Flight from Delhi to Bangalore.
We mostly used taxis and public transport and most of the transportation we hired on the go.
- Flights between Bangalore and Delhi. The flight duration is 2 hours 45 minutes. This was pre-booked and we had taken the Jetairways.
- Trains between Delhi and Gorakpur. The train journey takes around 16 hours if the train is on time. Train tickets can be purchased from the IRCTC website.
- Taxi from Gorakpur to Nepal border. The distance between Gorakhpur and Nepal border is about 190 kilometres. The taxis can be hired just outside of the Gorakhpur train station.
- Ensure to haggle before getting into the tax.
- Buses from Pokhara to Kathmandu and Kathmandu to Chitwan National Park. We reached the local bus depots after talking to the locals and took the overnight buses. This was not booked before.
- Taxi from Chitwan National Park to Gorakhpur. The distance from Chitwan National Park to Gorakhpur is about 160 kilometres.
Pokhara is a city in Central Nepal. It lies on the Phewa Lake and is a gateway to the Annapurna Circuit hiking trail. The city is the capital of Gandaki Province and is the largest metropolitan city in Nepal. The city is very famous for the hiking trails, rafting with 5 minus rapids and boating. There is a whole street in Pokhra dedicated to the tour agencies and shops that organise the adventurous activities one can do in the city.
Tip: Do not hire a taxi to see the touristy things around Pokhara. Most of the places that the taxi drivers show are a waste of money and are not worth visiting. On our first day in Pokhara, we did the mistake of hiring a taxi and regretted it after visiting a couple of places.
One needs only 3 to 4 days to see the things in Pokhara. The city was our first stop in our travels and we stayed at this beautiful city for 3 nights. Of all the places I visited, Pokhara has been my favourite.
Things to do in Pokhara
White water rafting
The white water rafting in Pokhara is one of the most amazing things to do. The rapids are 5 minus and is the best it could get for adventure seekers. Rafting in Pokhara is conducted on the Upper Seti River and the rafting ranges from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours.
White water rafting is an outdoor activity where the adventurers use an inflatable rafts to navigate through the rapids in a river or a water body. The rapids are of different degrees with 5 plus as the highest. And the white water rafting is absolutely safe for non-swimmers.
We opted for 30 minutes rafting and went with Extreme River Rafting provider. We found this provider while walking through the street that has all the agencies and shops. The cost at that time was around USD 40.
Sun rise trekking to Sarangkot
Sarangkot is known for its spectacular sunrise and is one of the popular destinations to see when in Pokhara. Just about 11 kilometres (30 minutes taxi drive) from the Pokhara city, this hill is a great place to see the Himalayan mountains such as Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu. This place is also famous for paragliding. There is no entry fee to trek the hill.
Unfortunately, when we visited Sarangkot it was raining continuously and we did not see the sunrise. Nevertheless, the trek to the top of the hill is wonderful and is totally worth getting up early.
A large freshwater lake offering beautiful views of the mountain ranges is the Phewa Lake. Also known as Phewa Tal or Fewa Lake, this lake is totally worth visiting. Supposedly, one can swim in the lake but we did not swim. Ensure to check with the locals before attempting to swim.
We had hired motor bikes to ride around Pokhara and explore the city and the lake.
Kathmandu is the gateway to the Himalayas and is the most popular destination in Nepal. The city is Nepal’s capital city and is famous for the Mt Everest, which is around 100 kilometres from Kathmandu. The city is full of historical sites and ancient temples.
Things to do in Kathmandu
Bhaktapur is around 13 kilometres from the Kathmandu city. Established in the 12th century by Raja Ananda Malla, Bhaktapur is a city of temples and is also known as Khwopa. There is no entry ticket to visit Bhaktapur.
Swayumbunath Temple is an ancient temple in the Kathmandu valley. Swayumbunath means self existent and is believed to be dating back to 460 AD. It was built in the 13th century by Raja Mandeva. There are two ways to get to the stupa – one is by staircase and the other by road.
The Pashupatinath temple is one of the Jotirlingas. The temple serves as the seat for Pashupatinath and is one of the most sacred temples for Hindus. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is no entry fee to get into the temple.
A Jotirlinga is a representation of the Hindu God Shiva.
Chitwan district is in the southwest corner of Bgamati Province in Nepal. It is one of the 77 districts of Nepal.
Things to do in Chitwan
There are plenty of things to do in Chitwan, even though the main activity is to visit the Chitwan National Park, read Top 10 things to in Chitwan to ensure you do not miss the other activities.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park is a World Heritage site and is the first and oldest national park in Nepal. It was established in the year 1973 and is famous for the one-horned rhinos.
There are two safari options in the Chitwan National Park, one is an elephant safari and the other is the jeep safari.
Even though at the time, I took the elephant safari, I would never do that again and ride an elephant.
Unfortunately, we did not spot any rhinos. Another beautiful national park in India where one can spot one-horned rhinos is the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary.
Would you believe if I said that the whole 10 days backpacking trip costed us only INR 20680 per person (approximately USD 284/ AUD 367)? Unfortunately, I do not have the detailed breakdown of the cost but the cost does include the below:
- Flight tickets return (INR 15072).
- Train tickets.
- Stay at the hotels.
- Whitewater rafting.
- Entry tickets.
- Cabs and public transportation.
- Water bottles and miscellaneous.
- Safari charges.
Safety for solo female travelers
I found Nepal to be a very touristy friendly destination. Because of the hikes like Mt Everest Base Camp and the adventurous activities one can do in Nepal, there are many travelers from around the World and because of which it is absolutely safe to travel in Nepal. However, for the two times I have been to Nepal, I have traveled only with my friends and not solo. I have not faced any problems as such. But I would still be cautious especially at nights and while traveling in remote places.
I love Nepal and as I said in the beginning of my post, Nepal is very close to my heart as this travel helped me in fueling the passion that I have for travel. I always long to visit Nepal over and over again. I do have a few more things on my bucket list which I will be doing at some point of my life.