Nepalganj is a gritty border town with a hectic Indian (in particular, Uttar Pradesh) flavour. You’ll hear more Hindi spoken than Nepali. As Nepal’s second city, Nepalganj is an important transport hub with mountain flights to remote airstrips in northwestern Nepal, a busy border with India, and the closest airport to Bardia National Park.
Mahendranagar is the most westerly border crossing into India and offers an interesting back route to Delhi and the hill towns of Uttaranchal. While it’s not somewhere you’ll want to spend any length of time (ie only until your bus is ready to depart), it’s somewhat less chaotic than other India–Nepal border crossings.
Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve
Tucked against the Indian border, Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve covers 305 sq km of sal forest and phanta (grassland) along the banks of the Bahini River. The terrain is similar to Bardia National Park and the reserve has tigers, rhinos, crocodiles, wild elephants and Nepal’s largest population of swamp deer, as well as large numbers of migratory birds.
Hidden away in the foothills of the Sisne Himalaya, the remote village of Jumla (2730m) is the gateway to the wild northwest – the least developed and most inaccessible region of Nepal. Apart from foreign-aid workers, the few visitors to Jumla are here for trekking in the remote Karnali region.