Bhairahawa

Bhairahawa is a city in Rupandehi District in Western Nepal.

Understand

Bhairahawa -- spelling variation Bhairawa and also known as Siddharthanagar -- is a pleasant city of about 70,000 people on the Terai plains of Nepal. It is 265 km. (165 miles) west of the capital Kathmandu and three kilometers north of the Indian border at Sunauli.

Bhairahawa is the main travel gateway to the Buddhist pilgrim's circuit of Lumbini, Kapilvastu and Kathmandu). Hindu pilgrims also enter Nepal here on pilgrimages to Kathmandu's Pashupatinath. Bhairahawa is also a gateway to Nepal for overland travelers and backpackers heading for jungle and mountain treks, river rafting and other adventures.

Climate: Summer temperatures reach 35 to 38 Celsius (95-100 fahrenheit). Winter temperatures are 9 to 23 Celsius (48-73 fahrenheit). Monsoon rains usually start in June and continue into September.

Get in

By plane

Bhairahawa's airport (IATA: BWA) is one of Nepal's busiest. The official name is Gautam Buddha Airport. Flights from Kathmandu take 45 minutes and cost about $200 for foreigners or $115 for nationals. 160 NRs airport tax applies to all domestic flights. Carriers include Buddha Air and Yeti Air.

By bus

From Delhi via Gorakhpur and Sunauli (Be sure to review warnings about scams at Sunauli border crossing.) 24 - 30 hours.

From Kathmandu via Bharatpur -- also called Narayangarh or Narayanghat -- and Butwal. 7 - 10 hours.

From Pokhara via Tansen and Butwal (potholed, windy road, but beautiful views) 5 - 6 hours. Also via Bharatpur and Butwal (better road conditions). 5 -6 hours.

From Sauraha (Chitwan Jungle) Take local bus or jeep to Tadi Bazaar then intercity micro-bus/bus via Bharatpur and Butwal. Road is very good. 4-5 hours.

By train

From Delhi to Gorakhpur. A broad gauge track goes to Nautanwa from Gorakhpur but trains are infrequent so travelers may prefer to hire a taxi directly to Sunauli, taking about two hours. Or from Nautanwa take a taxi, bus or rickshaw to Sunauli (about 5 kilometers). Cross the border to Belahiya, Nepal and immigration formalities. Then take a bus, taxi or rickshaw on to Bhairahawa (3 km.). Total time approximately 12 - 18 hours.

From Kolkata (Calcutta) via Patna and Gorakhpur, and from Gorakhpur as from Dehli, above. Total time approximately 10 - 12 hours.

Get around

Rickshaws are a good option within the city, or walking. Expect to pay about 2 rupees per minute, depending on how many people you are or if you have a lot of cargo.

Un-metered taxis are now common at the major intersections as well but prepare to bargain hard.

Bicycles are an excellent way to tour the area.

See

Lumbini Garden -- 22 klometers from Bhairahawa, the sacred birthplace of Lord Buddha. The garden extends one kilometer east-west and 4 kilometers north-south with monasteries representing over twenty nations. There are abundant birds and even some wildlife.

Devedaha -- 15 km. northeast of Bhairahawa near the village of Khairhani, has archeological mounds associated with the Koliyas, the maternal tribe of the Buddha.

Ramagram 20 kilometers due east from Bhairahawa and 4 km south of the town of Parasi in Nawalparasi district. The remains of a stupa and monastery lie on the banks of the Jahari river near Kerwani village. The large stupa mound is about 30 ft high and 70 ft in diameter. Some have suggested that this was the center of the Koliya Kingdom. The Koliyas of Ramagram are listed among the eight tribes that received the corporeal relics of the Buddha at Kushinagar. A Japanese funded memorial is located just to the west of the oxbow lake and a monastery is also planned. The all weather road to Ramgram is mostly unpaved and bumpy but passes through wonderful rural village scenes.

Kapilvastu is the name of an ancient Kingdom of the Shakyas -- the royal family of Lord Buddha. It is an important part of the Buddhist Pilgrimage Circuit. Taulihawa -- administrative center of modern Kapilvastu District -- lies 40 kilometers west of Bhairahawa or 18 kilometers from Lumbini. Many ancient archaeological sites are situated within 10 kilometers of Taulihawa. Local roads are in good condition.

Tribeni Ghat -- a small and picturesque village by the Narayani River (known as the Gandak in India) and just across from Chitwan National Park. An important historical, religious and cultural area due to the presence of the ancient Valmiki Ashram across the river and the auspiciousness of bathing at the ghats on the first day of Magh (approximately 15 January). Hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to bathe on this holiday. Cross the river here to visit Valmiki which is believed to be where Prince Siddhartha got down from his horse Kantaka and strode off on foot and into the jungles in his search for answers.

Do

Buy

Eat

Drink

They usually drink homemade alcohol. It's quite popular among the people.

Sleep

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, February 29, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.