The most popular way to travel Lumbini from Kathmandu is either by taking a domestic flight or an overland drive. Lumbini is around 272 km away from the bustling city of Kathmandu. It will take approximately 9 hours to reach Lumbini. You can also fly to Lumbini by taking a domestic flight which is around 30 minutes long. There are other options for both luxury and budget travelers.
Taking a charted helicopter flight will be quickest and most comfortable but it is expensive. Opt for public transportation when you have a tight budget. There are other moderately priced modes of transportation to Lumbini from Kathmandu as well.
Visit one of the most popular places in Nepal, Lumbini- the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. Our travel guide will help you choose your mode of transportation as per your travel style and budget. Read more to find out about different types of travel options to reach Lumbini from Katmandu.
One of the quickest ways to travel to Lumbini from Kathmandu is by flight. You will be landing at the nearest airport to Lumbini, Gautam Buddha Internationl Airport - Bhairahaw in Shiddharthanagar commonly known as Bhairahawa Airport. The duration of your flight from Kathmandu to Bhairahawa is around 30 minutes (Approx.). Lumbini is around 28 kilometers away from the Gautam Buddha International airport and you need to either take a local taxi or local transportation to Lumbini.
The major airlines offering domestic flights to Lumbini are Yeti Airlines, Buddha Air, and Shree Airlines. The first flight leaves at around 8:15 am and the last flight at 4:55 pm. There are around 8 flights from Kathmandu to Bhairahawa.
The flight fare for a one way trip from Kathmandu to Bhairahawa is around US $113 for foreigners. For Nepalese and Indian citizens the fare is around NRP 3,000 for a one-way trip.
Taking a charted helicopter is the fastest and most comfortable way of traveling from Kathmandu to Lumbini. Enjoy the aerial view of Kathmandu valley, verdant hills, snowcapped mountains, and plains of Terai. Choose a helicopter ride if you have less time but wish to visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha.
Your Travel Company or travel agent can arrange a chartered flight to Lumbini for you. You will be paying for a helicopter on a charter basis. It costs around US $3500 to charter a one-way flight from Kathmandu to Lumbini. Moreover, you can save money by joining a group which costs around US $700 per person for one way trip to Lumbini. Most helicopters can fly up to 5 people in a single trip.
One of the most popular ways of traveling to Lumbini from Kathmandu is by road. Enjoy a scenic bus ride. On this trip, you will see a noticeable change in landscape as you will be traveling from hilly region to the plains of Terai. You will see large farmland filled with crops in the plains of Terai.
It takes roughly 9 to 10 hours to reach Lumbini. The main factor in your travel time is traffic on the day of your travel. Since your bus journey is long, download some movies or shows to keep you entertained. You can also keep some of your favorite snacks for the road trip.
Tourist buses or public vehicles going to Lumbini do not stop at Lumbini Bazar but Buddha Chowk. Further, you need to get a local bus or walk down to Lumbini Bazaar. If you are having difficulty in finding your way then ask any local they will help you.
Here are your travel options when traveling from Kathmandu to Lumbini via road,
Taking a tourist bus to Lumbini is one of the most popular ways of traveling via road. Travel in an air-conditioned bus with comfortable seats. The value of an air-conditioned bus raises many folds while traveling to a hot region like Terai. Moreover, you will get to eat at quality restaurants en route.
It costs around US $10 to US $13 to travel to Lumbini in a tourist bus. Tourist buses mostly depart in the morning at around 6 or 7 am from Shorhakhutte near Thamel daily. It’s not necessary to book tickets in advance. However, it will be wise to get tickets in advance if you want to secure your seats when traveling in a big group or during peak seasons.
If you wish to experience the local way of traveling in Nepal then choose public transportation to Lumbini. You will be traveling in a non-air conditioned bus and expect to hear loud music. Moreover, you will be compromising on your comfort stops, and eating at local eateries along the highway.
You can choose to travel either in a bus or Toyota Hiace which is popular as microbus in Nepal. Buses mostly have a seating capacity of over 30 people while microbuses can carry up to 14 passengers.
It is the cheapest way to reach Lumbini and you will be paying around US $9 for a one-way trip. The local bus will drop you off at Buddha Chowk and you need to either walk or take another vehicle to reach Lumbini Bazaar. If you have difficulty in finding your way, ask the locals and you will be pointed in the right direction.
Travel Lumbini in the comfort of a private car. You don’t need to drive a hired car as the driver comes along with a car. You will be eating at good restaurants in the long journey and will get frequent comfort stops.
It takes around US $120 to US $150 per day to hire a car and a driver. The day cost of hiring a vehicle might increase depending on the model of a car or jeep. Expect to pay more for an air-conditioned car.
Suggested Read: How To Get Chitwan National Park From Kathmandu?
Make most of your travel in a private vehicle by visiting Shashwaat Dham, a pilgrimage site.
Immerse in the spiritual vibe of Shashwaat Dham located in Nawalparasi. You will see a sprawling temple complex from your window while traveling in the Mahendra Highway. Marvel at the stunning temples, edifices, and monuments of the temple complex. The central temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is an architectural delight. Moreover, the complex features an educational and meditation center.
Visit the birthplace of Lord Buddha, Lumbini which is listed among UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists all over the world. Many pilgrims also visit Lumbini while doing a pilgrimage tour of Bhutan via Nepal.
Here are a few places that you must not miss when visiting Lumbini,
Maya Devi Temple marks the spot where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Gautam Buddha in around 563 BC. A square-shaped pond in front of Maya Devi temple is called Puskarini where baby Buddha was given his first bath. Archaeological remains indicate that this place date back to the 3rd century BCE.
Ashoka Pillar stands beside Maya Devi Temple. Emperor Ashoka erected a sandstone pillar known as Ashoka Pillar in the 3rd Century to mark the birthplace of Buddha. The pillar features one of the oldest inscriptions of Nepal which commemorates the birthplace of Buddha.
Many countries in the world have built monasteries in their distinct architectural style. Marvel at the grandeur of German Monastery, Thai Monastery, Chinese Monastery, and Korean Monastery. Also, explore monasteries from Nepal, Canada, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India, and Bhutan among others.
Japanese Buddhists constructed the white World Peace Pagoda or stupa at a cost of US $1 million in November 2011. The construction of pagodas or stupas started to promote peace and harmony among people, especially after World War II.
Explore one of the holy places of Nepal, Lumbini, and soak in its spiritual vibe.