NEPAL - A Solo budget Backpacking Trip | 9 days | Budget under 13k*

30th Sep 2019
Photo of NEPAL - A Solo budget Backpacking Trip | 9 days | Budget under 13k* by Neelam Sarda

One Sunday morning I woke up with a deep feeling to escape from this urban life and
happened to choose Nepal as my next travel destination as a solo budget backpacker.
I checked the flight tickets to Kathmandu which was then 25k return from Mumbai and really
out of my budget. I thoroughly researched for other travel modes and realized that it’s
possible to reach within 100 kms of the Indo-Nepal border by train. Rather than spending 25K on flights, I completed my entire journey, transport including adventures like bungee jumping in just 20k!!!!
I was literally half asleep when I randomly booked return train tickets from Mumbai to
Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh (approx. 29 hours of journey each side which was so beautiful
crossing various states of India) as I believe train is the best way to explore and traverse amidst
nature. I also carried enough healthy food to survive in the initial days.

A solo backpacking to Nepal

Photo of Gorakhpur Railway Station by Neelam Sarda
Day 1

The morning I reached Gorakhpur, I caught a bus to Sanauli border (100kms- 117INR-3hrs).
I crossed the border by a tuktuk and hired a cab to drop me at Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord
Buddha. After exploring such a peaceful place, I took a night bus to Pokhara (500 INR).

Lumbini the birth place of Buddha

Photo of Lumbini by Neelam Sarda
Day 2

I reached Pokhara in the morning and checked in to Zostel where I met and made so many friends out of which 3 were Mumbaikarssss and thereby ending my solo journey!! That morning we went to hire bikes (INR 500 per day) and explored Pokhara, the city of Lakes.

Boating in Phewa Lake

Photo of Pokhara by Neelam Sarda


Photo of Pokhara by Neelam Sarda
Day 3

The third day we woke up early morning and left for Sarangkot to see the beautiful sunrise
and landscapes of Annapurna ranges. Post a delicious breakfast of momos at Sarangkot, we
headed to Dhampus via Phedi for a short trek to the Australian Base Camp. Afterwards, we
preferred living in cozy tents over the comfy hotels because the feeling of camping, bonfire,
barbeque and music is just beyond magical!! Specially spotting the snow covered Annapurna
Himalayas during the sunrise and sunset was mesmerizing!

A hike to Australian Base Camp from Dhampus

Photo of Dhampus by Neelam Sarda

Australian base camp

Photo of Dhampus by Neelam Sarda
Day 4

The next morning we went back to Sarangkot for paragliding (INR 3500). What a thrilling
experience it was to fly down from the mountains to the Phewa lake in Pokhara!

That evening I enjoyed boating in the Phewa lake and caught a night bus (INR750- super deluxe bus) to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal which was the worst experience in the entire travel journey. Rather prefer a normal tourist bus over this super deluxe as it doesn’t give a privilege experience of what it quotes to!!


Photo of Sarangkot by Neelam Sarda
Day 5

The first half of the fifth day in Kathmandu was spent in booking bus tickets to Chitwan, and
bungee jumping activity. Afterwards, we hired bikes to explore the UNESCO heritage sites
around Kathmandu such as Kathmandu and Patan Durbar square, etc. We were too tired to
explore the night life such as Casinos, clubs or shopping that night.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Photo of Kathmandu by Neelam Sarda

Patan Darbar Square

Photo of Kathmandu by Neelam Sarda
Day 6

The sixth morning we left for some adventure activities to the Last Resort at Bhotekashi like
bungee jumping (INR 7500) which is 525 feet high free fall and among the top ten bungee
heights across the globe. On the way to Bhotekashi as I was asleep, I woke up all of a sudden to see a huge idol on the mountain. Later, I realised that this was the Kailashnath Mahadev Statue, the world’s tallest Shiva idol (143 feet). I feel I was fortunate enough to wake up at this moment as I am a great Shiva Bhakt. Then I started chitchatting with the local Nepalis in thebus who taught me Nepali language, shared experiences and stories of the 2015 earthquake among many other things.
Later I reached to the most awaited moment of the trip! It was time to jump off the bridge.
The team at the Last Resort was so amazing that they played superb music for me to dance
and release my stress just before my jump and of course the adventure literally took my
breathe away!. Trust me, the bungee jump was not so scary than the night ride to Nagarkot
from Bhaktapur to reach the Hotel “At the End of Universe” which truly lived up to its name.

Bunjee jumping 525 feet

Photo of The Last Resort by Neelam Sarda
Day 7

Nagarkot is a perfect honeymoon destination and the sunrise here is stunning. I always had a
fantasy to wear chiffon saree in snow mountains and enjoy the typical Bollywood scene just
like Anushka did in Ae Dil he Mushkil. And that’s what I did! I wore a lovely pink saree and
became a muse to the photographers around. After the shoot, we went to Bhaktapur Durbar
Square and tasted “jhu jhu dhau” which is a sweet yogurt. I loved it so much that we searched
for the local distributor and bought another serving. Then I headed back to Kathmandu to
visit the sacred place, Pashupatinath Temple, another highlight of my trip, as mentioned
earlier of me being a Shiva Bhakt, and this temple is one of the four important temple for Shiva devotees in Asia. I preferred waiting for the Ganga Aarti and the Shiva Tandav on the banks of Bagmatiriver as that had such a great energy compared to the Casinos in Kathmandu. After that I bid adieu to my Mumbaikar friends that I made in Nepal and explored the rest by
myself. Though I was tired, you know Kathmandu is famous for its night life and I just
couldn’t stop myself from exploring it and went alone to the club which was one from the
“things to do in life” bucket list. Though I was nervous I somehow managed to go and enjoyed
the music concert by “Mr No Money Band” from Italy followed by commercial and Bollywood
night. Being a professional dancer, I got a lot of attention and appreciation there


Photo of Nagarkot by Neelam Sarda

Hotel At the end of Universe

Photo of Nagarkot by Neelam Sarda
Day 8

I came back to zostel late night from club to pack my bags and leave for Chitwan National
Park, the last spot in my journey. I enjoyed cycling and watching huge elephants eating,
relaxing, sleeping in their stable. The sunset from the Jungle near the Rapti river was so
relaxing. Beyond nature, adventure and religious places, Nepal also has an amazing culture to explore. In the evening I went to this Tharu Cultural show where I enjoyed various dance performances and after a while, I joined them as I never skip a chance to dance (you can check out my professional dance covers on YouTube :p)

Chitwan National park

Photo of Chitwan National Park by Neelam Sarda
Day 9

On my last morning in Nepal, I went for jeep safari in Chitwan National park where I spotted
so many deer, rhinos, crocs and gators, etc. and then enjoyed the elephant bath at river Rapti.
This is where I say a heartfelt goodbye to Nepal and my journey back to Gorakhpur started.
Though I covered the majority of sightseeing places, Nepal has yet a lot more to offer and yes
I’ll go again in future to conquer the amazing Mt. Everest and the Annapurna Base Camp.
Chadai vetaula, Nepal!!
*Budget increases upto 25k if you opt to do adventure activities like Bungee jumping, Paragliding, river rafting

End of Nepal backpacking

Photo of Sanauli by Neelam Sarda

Elephant bath

Photo of Sanauli by Neelam Sarda