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Sacred Buddhist Pilgrimage Site - Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini Garden ( the Ancient Birthplace of Lord Buddha) Sacred Buddhist Pilgrimage Site - Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini Garden ( the Ancient Birthplace of Lord Buddha)

How to Travel from Kathmandu to Lumbini: By Flight or By Bus?

14 July 2020 Last updated at 12:19

Rated as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Nepal is diverse in tourism resources, such as breathtaking Himalayan scenery, featured Nepalese culture of art, architecture, local customs and religious belief everywhere, etc. With more time, many travelers, especially Buddhist followers often take a flight, or a tourist bus, a private car to Lumbini after a Kathmandu tour. It's cherished as a sacred pilgrimage trip to “the Birthplace of Lord Buddha”, which you can learn Buddhist stories, feel peaceful atmosphere and see rural scenery there. What is most recommended transportation to take? Check the following distance, duration and costs to make your perfect decision.

How far is Lumbini from Kathmandu?

Where is Kathmandu Located in Nepal?

Kathmandu, the capital and the largest city of Nepal, is nestled in Kathmandu Valley, central Nepal, with an average elevation of about 1,400 m (4,593 ft). The city is the location of Nepal’s only international airport - Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA: KTM/TIA, sole air entry port applicable to Nepal Visa on Arrival) and seven UNESCO World Heritage sites of Nepal. Thus, tourists usually start a Nepal tour from Kathmandu.

Where is Lumbini Located in Nepal?

Lumbini lies in Rupandehi District, Province No.5, Terai Plain, southwest of Nepal. Meanwhile, it’s situated at Nepal-India border area, with only a few miles’ distance to Nautanwa railway station and 1 hour’s drive to Sonauli in Maharajganj, India. The average elevation of Lumbini is approximately 100 m (328 ft).

Lumbini sits west of Kathmandu, with a driving distance of nearly 260 km. The direct bus journey from Kathmandu to Lumbini is over 10 hours. Keep reading to find more detailed Kathmandu to Lumbini transportation guide.

Nepal Kathmandu to Lumbini Transportation Map Kathmandu to Lumbini Transportation Map

Option 1: Take Flight from Kathmandu to Lumbini

Route: (Kathmandu - Siddharthanagar by flight) + (Siddharthanagar - Lumbini by drive)

Travel Time: 25~35 minutes + 1 hour

So far, there is no airport serving Lumbini and the nearest airport is Gautam Buddha Airport (also called Bhairahawa Airport) in Siddharthanagar, Rupandehi District, Province No.5, Nepal. Bhairahawa Airport (IATA: BWA, ICAO: VNBW), about 28 km from Lumbini, mainly operates a few domestic flights between Siddharthanagar and Kathmandu, Pokhara. So, if you want to travel from Kathmandu to Lumbini by air, you need to make transfer in Siddharthanagar. Saving lots of your time and offering a relatively comfortable travel experience is the biggest advantage you can enjoy when taking a flight to Lumbini.

Step 1: Fly to Siddharthanagar from Kathmandu

First, you can take a non-stop flight from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) to Bhairahawa Airport (BWA). There are about 8 daily flights available each day, arranged between 3:00 am to 5:00 pm by Shree Airlines, Buddha Air and Yeti Airlines. One-way air travel needs almost 30 minutes, depending on different airlines.

Step 2: Transfer from Siddharthanagar to Lumbini

After arrival, you can take a local taxi or public bus from Bhairahawa Airport to get to Lumbini in the north. The driving takes about 40 minutes while the public bus needs 1 hour. You can let the taxi driver take you to Lumbini Sacred Garden or your hotel directly. Don’t worry, you will drive on well-paved Siddhartha Highway and can see local people and Nepalese houses along the road.

Kathmandu to Lumbini Flight Kathmandu to Lumbini Flights Leaving from Kathmandu Airport
Kathmandu to Lumbini Flight Local Taxis outside Bhairahawa Airport

Popular Kathmandu to Lumbini Tour (by Flight):

✔ 7 Days Nepal Buddhist Shangri-La Tour (Kathmandu/Patan/Dhulikhel/Bharktapur/Pharping/Kathmandu)

Kathmandu to Lumbini Non-stop Flights Schedules for your reference:

AirlineDeparture & Arrival AirportDeparture & Arrival TimeFrequencyDuration
Shree Airlines Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Bhairahawa Airport 02:45 - 03:10 daily 25 minutes
Buddha Air Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Bhairahawa Airport 07:00 - 07:30 daily 35 minutes
Buddha Air Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Bhairahawa Airport 11:00 - 11:30 daily 30 minutes
Buddha Air Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Bhairahawa Airport 12:10 - 12:45 daily 35 minutes
Yeti Airlines Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Bhairahawa Airport 13:00 - 13:35 daily 35 minutes
Buddha Air Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Bhairahawa Airport 15:05 - 15:40 daily 35 minutes
Buddha Air Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Bhairahawa Airport 16:00 - 16:35 daily 35 minutes
Buddha Air Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Bhairahawa Airport 17:05 - 17:40 daily 35 minutes

Option 2: Take Bus from Kathmandu to Lumbini

Route: Kathmandu (Gongobu Buspark – Balaju – Kalanki) -> Chitwan (Malakhu – Mugling - NayaranGhat) -> Gandaki Pradesh(Nabalparasi)-> Rupandehi(Butwal)-> Siddharthanagar (Bhairawa) -> Lumbini

Travel Time: about 10~11 hours

Road travelers may try a long bus journey from Kathmandu all the way to Lumbini, viewing different local lives en route in a Nepalese style tourist bus. There are two buses departing from Kathmandu Gongabu Bus Park (also named Gongabu New Bus Station Parking) to Lumbini every day. One leaves at the 07:00 am and arrives at nearly 5:00 pm or later. Another one is overnight bus starts off at 6:00 pm and reaches Lumbini at nearly 5:00 am the next morning. All Kathmandu to Lumbini tourist buses are international standard buses, which will make several stops and let passengers rest and have meals, buy supplement from roadside shops. You can get off at Gate 5, in front of Lumbini Sacred Garden, where most hotels are located. No extra transfer and authentic local life scenes are highlights of the bus trip, but also it’s quite tedious and time-wasting.

Tips: Gongabu Bus Park is situated about 3.5 km (15 minutes’ driving) from Thamel, Kathmandu.

Optional Choice: Except the direct bus from Kathmandu to Lumbini, tourists can also choose from many tourist buses from Kathmandu to Bhairahawa (now is changed to Siddharthanagar), the closest city to Lumbini. And then take another hour local bus from Bhairahawa (a little border town) to the front gate of Lumbini Garden.

Kathmandu to Lumbini Bus Tourists Bus Running from Kathmandu to Lumbini
Kathmandu to Lumbini Bus Nepalese Women Walking through Golden Sea of Rape Flowers

Option 3: Get to Lumbini from Kathmandu by Private Car

If you travel with many companions and are less interested in a public tourist bus, you may pay for charted vehicle to travel from Kathmandu to Lumbini, for almost 7 hours. Charges vary from types of vehicle, such as ordinary car, jeep, van, Hiace, Sutlej bus. Price is much higher, but you can enjoy freedom to rest and sightsee midway, and have more comfortable space. Private cars can be easily found in and around bus stations in Kathmandu.

Popular Kathmandu Lumbini Tour (by Private Driving):

✔ 10 Days Nepal Natural & Cultureal Savory Tour / ✔ 13 Days Nepal In-depth Discovery Tour

How to Plan a Nepal Tour

Best time to visit Nepal: March to mid-June and mid-September to November

How to get to Nepal: overland driving from China (Tibet) and India, flights from China (Tibet, Chengdu…), India (Delhi/Mumbai/Kolkata/Bengaluru...), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Thailand (Bangkok), Singapore, etc.

Nepal Visa: you can get Nepal Visa on arrival at Kathmandu Airport and border entry ports, or apply for it from Nepal Embassy abroad before departure, which takes about 1 to 3 working days.

Tourists always start a Nepal tour from Kathmandu - the capital city and tourist distribution center. 4 days is enough to enjoy the world heritage sites and Himalayan views in Kathmandu Valley (Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur and Nagarkot). For those travelers who won’t want to miss the most astonishing nature of Nepal, spend 1 or 2 more days visiting lakeside Pokhara. For more experience, Chitwan is a good choice to offer Nepal’s oldest wildlife (various mammal and birds species) as well as a variety of excursions in 2 days usually. If you are a Buddhist follower or fan, travel Lumbini and other Buddhist sites in 3~4 more days. If you are a trekking enthusiast, there is a bucket of trekking routes, like Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit, Poon Hill, etc.

☞ 4 Days Classic Kathmandu Valley Tour
☞ 5 Days Kathmandu Pokhara Leisure Tour (by Flight)
☞ 8 Days Nepal Holiday Tour (Kathmandu - Pokhara - Chitwan)

It is strongly recommended to take a Tibet Nepal overland trip, so you are able to have Himalayan landscape savory and special culture encounter in one go. Or you can extend your trip to tiny Bhutan to find the mystery of happiness. Tibet Discovery is specialized in providing Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour Packages and you are also welcomed to customize your unique experience.

☞ 7 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Mount Everest
☞ 15 Days Tibet Nepal Bhutan Himalaya Exploration In-depth Tour

Nepal Travel Photos
Adam's Family from USA visited Kathmandu with Tibet Discovery

Recommended Kathmandu Lumbini Tour Packages

Following are some of our most recommended Nepal tour packages with Kathmandu and Lumbini that you may be interested in. All of our tour packages are classic itineraries, and can be tailor-made to meet your personal requirements. You can get more Nepal Tours, or contact us to customize a trip if you want.

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