I wanted to travel from Kathmandu to Lumbini by bus or a van but did not know where to get it. Fortunately for me, I got a very valuable tip upon arrival at the Kathmandu airport itself. When I booked my taxi ride to Peak Point Hotel Kathmandu at the airport prepaid taxi counter, their staff asked me about my travel plans in Nepal. I told them about my plan to go to Lumbini, and they were quick to suggest that I should do the bus booking myself and avoid any hotel's travel desk. They were saying that hotels were overcharging tourists for their travel within Nepal. Over the course of my next two days in Kathmandu, I learned that good buses for Lumbini leave from "Naya (New) Bus Stand" in the morning, starting at 7.00am and reach Lumbini in 9-10 hours. That would be all right, if I started at 7.00am, I could be in Lumbini at 4.00pm. On April 21, 2014, I got a taxi outside my hotel at 6.00am that dropped me to the New Bus Stand after 20 minutes and 300 Nepali rupees. The taxi driver helped me by giving me directions to the ticket counter. He mentioned a name - "Saleena". I had to ask a couple of people but the Saleena counter was not hard to find (see the picture of the ticket counter later in this page). It was 6.30am and the next bus to Lumbini would leave at 7.00am but according to the guy at the counter, that bus would not be airconditioned. He suggested the next, 8.00am bus that would be air-conditioned and more comfortable. He was right. Lumbini is close to the Indian border state of Uttar Pradesh and those regions get very hot even in April. Air-conditioning would be useful once the bus left Kathmandu valley. Keep reading...
(Also Read: Travel from Lumbini to Kushinagar by Taxi and Bus - opens in new tab)
|Saleena Bus from Kathmandu to Lumbini|
I think I paid NPR 1045 or so but the price written on the ticket was NPR 1000. I got directions to go towards the bus and found it easily. "Saleena" was a real magic word. There was a guy who put my bag in the baggage bin of the bus. Now I was free to see the bus stand for the next hour and a half. (Useful tip: It would be nice to buy a ticket for the bus a day or two in advance because the seats are limited. If your hotel travel desk or agent is asking for for a price close to NPR 1000, better buy the ticket from them).
|Saleena Bus Booking Counter Kathmandu Naya (New) Bus Stand|
|Snack shops at Kathmandu Naya (New) Bus Stand|
|Boiled Pan Fried Bengal Gram|
There was not much to see at the bus stand actually. Even though it was called "New Bus Stand" there was very little in terms of passenger amenities. There was one semi-clean pay-per-use toilet, and a few snack & tea shops. I had boiled, pan fried Chana (Bengal Gram) which contained too much chilly. The accompanying tea was thankfully very sweet.
|Saleena Air Conditioned Bus from Kathmandu to Lumbini|
The Saleena bus left the bus stand at 8.15am with very few passengers in it. The bus was clean, seats were comfortable, air-conditioning was effective, and there was a small LCD TV showing Indian music videos & movies for entertainment. For the next hour, the bus went through a local route in Kathmandu picking up passengers and was full by 9.15am. Now we were on the way to Lumbini.
|Snack Shops on the Way to Lumbini from Kathmandu|
|Vegetable Pakoda and Boiled Eggs|
The first tea / snack break came at 10.00am. The bus stopped at a village where there were toilet facilities and several shops selling tea / packaged and even hot snacks like deep fried vegetable pakoda and boiled eggs. The break lasted for 20 minutes.
|Blue Heaven Resort on the Way from Kathmandu to Lumbini|
|Lunch Stop on the Way from Kathmandu to Lumbini|
|Riverside Lunch Stop Kathmandu to Lumbini by Bus|
Lunch break came too early in the day, at around 12.00 pm. It was a resort called "Blue Heaven" or something like that situated at a river bank. There were two separate vegetarian buffet meal options starting at NPR 200 per person. It was a nice "all-you-can-eat" type of spread with a good variety of food. They had set up tables and chairs by the river. The 45-minute break was enough to let the passengers enjoy a great vegetarian meal.
|Gate Number 4, Lumbini Buddha Complex|
Later, on the way, the bus stopped a couple of times on passenger demand and was in Bhairahawa at 4.00pm. Some people got down, the bus took a U-turn and reached Lumbini a little before 5.00pm. The drop point in Lumbini was Gate number 4 which is very close to Maya Devi Temple. My hotel - Ananda Inn was right opposite Gate-4. Also Read: Travel from Lumbini to Kushinagar by Taxi and Bus
|Posted by Narinder Singh|