Raxaul, or Raxual (a common misspelling) is a border town on the Indian side of the Nepal/India border. Its sister town just across the border in Nepal is Birgunj. There is little to recommend about the town apart from its border, and no reason to stay longer than needed to cross the border. Beware that travelling up and down the main road, as is required to enter or exit India, will involve lots of dust coming off huge trucks and the inevitable deafening horns of loud trucks at ear height.
Train; Raxaul has a station with infrequent connections to major cities including Kolkata, Varanasi, Lucknow and New Delhi.
- 1 Raxaul Junction railway station, Station Rd.
Nepal; The border can be crossed on foot both ways. For information on exiting India, see the 'Go next' section below and the Nepal main page.
The town is small enough to walk anywhere. However cycle rickshaws are the other mode of transport, it should be about ₹10 to get anywhere on the main road. Make sure you have change.
- Manokamna Maai Mandiir; the temple is of Mata Durga. It is situated at the entrance of the town.
- Jama Masjid; The Raxaul Jama Masjid is a mosque situated on the National Highway NO. NH-28A beside the Raxaul Police Station. It is the central mosque of Raxaul sub-division.
- The Sun temple is a temple to the sun god, which is surrounded by water. It is near the police station, situated just beside the market.
- There are other temples like Mata Mandir, Ramjanki Mandir, Sato mai Mauje and Naga Math.
- NaukaTola Jama Masjid is a beautiful mosque of Naukatola Village of Hardiya Panchayat, located between National Highway NH28A and Raxaul.
There are three cinemas in town if you need to wait. Sona and Pankaj cinema halls are on the main road at the very south end of the city, and Krishna cinema hall is right up near the train tracks crossing at the north of the main road.
All the shops are on the main road, or just a few meters down side roads coming off the main road. Besides the usual small stores, there's little to attract a tourist's eye.
- General stores; There are a few 'larger' general stores up towards the train tracks on the main road, including ones that sell toilet paper, but they're still little more than corner stores.
- Money change; to exchange rupees (or other main currency) for USD (necessary for a Nepali visa at the border), there is a general shop that can do money change on the main road about 100m before the train tracks on the right (as you walk towards Nepal). Just ask around a lot. Alternatively, the Indian police at the border can change small amounts of ₹(INR) for $(USD) for a 30% commission above the real market price (about ₹70(INR) = $1(USD)). As any Indian rupee notes over ₹100 (i.e.. ₹500's and ₹1000's) are illegal in Nepal, there are many stalls out on the road just near the train tracks that will give you change (for a fee of about 3%) - they also change between Nepalese and Indian rupees for ok-ish rates.
There are very few restaurants in Raxaul, only street vendors selling fruit, pre packaged snacks, sweets and omelettes.
- Tandoori, 20m down a small non-market alley off to the left of the main road as you walk towards the border. (It's about 500m back down the main road from the train tracks. You may have to ask people where 'Tandoori' restaurant is.). ₹50 for a veg thali.
Should you need to stay overnight, there are a few hotel options, all in the lower to midrange price and quality range. Most of them are located on the main road of town between the train tracks at the north, and Sona Cinema Hall in the south. Some of these hotels may tell you they are full, or don't take foreigners, if they don't feel like doing the requisite paperwork.
- (On the left side of main road as you go towards the Nepal border. Almost halfway between the Sona Cinema hall and the train tracks.). Check-out: 24 hours after you arrive. It is a four story building built back from the road 20m or so. You'll know you've found the right place if it has a generator in front of and almost blocking the main entrance. Comfortable, clean and quiet enough. Double room ₹350.
Buses are available daily to a limited number of places in the country. This is not the tourist connections hub of other Nepali border crossings.
- Patna; The buses sometimes require a change in Motihari whether they say they're direct or not. ₹35 to Motihari and ₹105 Motihari to Patna, or about ₹125 all the way Raxaul to Patna.
- Kolkata; Quickest way is by train. Buses also available.
- Nepal; The border is open 6am-10pm, however if you need a visa and do not already have one, the Nepali visa issuing booth is only open 6am-6pm. Nepali visa's can only be paid for using USD, meaning you'll have to change money in Raxaul or elsewhere before you attempt the border crossing. To cross the border as a foreigner, simply keep walking north along the main road. On the right about 100m past the train crossing, and opposite a larger customs building, there is an Indian police check point (that's quite easy to miss). Go inside this one room building and fill in the small form to register your departure from India - leave 15 minutes for this step. The police officers inside often ask for a ₹100- ₹500 per person 'fee'. There is no such thing, and they are trying to make a bribe/tip sound official. Asking for a receipt before payment, or saying you have no money usually makes them stop asking. Once you've been signed out, continue north over the bridge until you see a large gate. Twenty meters past the gate on the left is a small one room (again very easy to miss) Nepali immigration office. This is the place to get your visa on arrival. Once you have your visa, again keep walking north until you see boom gates across the road. Keep left and walk through them, then be prepared to show your visa to one of the Nepali police officers in a blue camouflage uniform. Despite all the trucks going through unchecked, they will probably do a quick search of your bags, which is often nothing more than looking at the top two items. Congratulations, at this point you've made it to Nepal! The centre of town this side of the border is a further 1km up the road. Walk or take a cycle rickshaw/tonga (hours drawn cart) for about ten Nepalese Rupees.
- Kathmandhu; Read the 'Nepal' details above to cross the border from Raxaul to Birgunj, then to get to Kathmandhu from Birgunj, you can take a bus of a jeep (sumo). Buses leave 6am-10am, then 7pm-10pm, with a 'deluxe' bus leaving daily at 7pm. Sumo's/Jeeps's can usually be taken from 6am-3pm, and cost Rs 500 NPR per person in a packed shared Jeep, or Rs. 6000 NPR for a whole private jeep to yourself or your travelling companions. See the Birgunj main article for more information.
- Varanasi; The well-timed Sadbhavna express leaves Raxaul five nights a week and stops at Varanasi and Lucknow en route to Delhi's Anand Vihar Terminal