Traveling to Nepal from India

Nepal has an official “Freedom of Movement” agreement with India, essentially meaning that anyone who is an Indian citizen is free to come and go from Nepal as they please and stay there for extended periods of time.

Unfortunately, despite this being in place since 2000, it would appear most folks aren’t as familiar with the rules, including airline staff. As is evidenced by the fact that I booked my parents on an Indigo flight to Kathmandu from Bombay, and Indigo staff state that make sure you have a visa before getting on your flight.

In fact, travel to Nepal for Indian’s is so liberal that you don’t even need a passport. As per the Nepal immigration site:

Effective from 1st October 2000 an Indian citizen over the age of 10 years travelling between India and Nepal by air would have to keep in his possession any of the following documents to establish his/her identity as an Indian citizen.

  • Valid Indian passport; or,
  • Photo identity card issued by the Government of India, or any State Government or Union Territory Administration in India, or the Election Commission of India; or,
  • Emergency certificate issued by the Embassy of India in Nepal.

Now, if you have a passport I would still recommend carrying that as I have read mixed reports online of being able to use a Driver’s license or an Aadhar Card. They probably do work but its hard to form a consensus on it based off the online reports.

Kathmandu seems to have pretty reasonable flights pricing from India and the city itself seems extremely cheap which makes it very viable for a quick weekend getaway from India.


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