Biratnagar Travel Guide : 15 Best Things to Do in Biratnagar

things to do in Biratnagar gudri bazar

Biratnagar is the sixth largest city of Nepal and a bustling hub for students and businessmen. Home to the Biratnagar Jute Mills, the first large-scale industry of Nepal, Biratnagar is famously regarded as the industrial capital of Nepal. While there may not be much tourist attractions in Biratnagar, the city is so full of life that you will find beauty in its neighborhoods, its people, and the experiences it offers. As a Biratnagar local who has lived in this place for more than 15 years, I will share with you the best things to do in Biratnagar in this comprehensive Biratnagar travel guide.

Best Things to Do in Biratnagar

1. Explore the Biratnagar market

Biratnagar market stretches from Atithi Sadan to Roadcess Chowk. This area is the most happening part of the city. The market is full of shopping malls, many restaurants, and clothing stores where you can see people moving from one shop to another to find what they like.

On a cool evening, you could walk through the market area of Biratnagar, observing the life around you, and entering the stores or restaurants that catch your attention. The best way to see a city is through its people, and Biratnagar’s market offers a lot of opportunities for you to do that.

 2. Eat the famous chaat in Lovely Chaat Biratnagar

When I was a kid, I remember being always excited whenever my parents would take us to the market because we would get to eat the famous Chaat at Lovely Chaat House. It was a dream for every kid who grew up in Biratnagar. The cravings continued into adulthood, and I still make sure to visit Lovely Chaat every time I visit Biratnagar, and I’m not surprised that the restaurant is always crowded.

The Chaat recipe consists of mashed samosas, bhujias, yogurt, spices, and many other ingredients as toppings that make a major difference. If I had to put a “must-do” label on things to do in Biratnagar, this would be it.

3. Shop and relax at the Central Mall

Located in the heart of Biratnagar, Central Mall is a recent addition to Biratnagar’s commercial scene and offers a sophisticated and relaxed shopping experience. Its beautiful interior quickly became popular among Biratnagar residents and soon turned into an Instagram hotspot. 

The mall, with its rectangular design, stretches 700 meters, featuring commercial stores on each side of the walking area. Its Europe-like atmosphere provides a great place to shop and perhaps relax with a coffee or cola.

4. Shop at Gudri Bazaar

things to do in Biratnagar gudri bazar
Colourful Gudri Bazar. Picture by Shraddha

Gudri Bazar is a famous marketplace in Biratnagar. Originally started a few decades ago as a local hub for farmers and artisans to sell their products, Gudri Bazar slowly turned into a bustling market that attracts people from all over the region. 

People can buy a range of necessities in the market, including clothes, electronics, household goods, local handicrafts, agricultural products, and much more. I’d highly recommend visiting this market during your trip and taking a refreshing drink of Lassi or Sarbat to enjoy the atmosphere.

5. Attend Jhulan in Radha Krishna Mandir

A major occasion for Hindus, Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated auspiciously in the Radha Krishna Mandir of Biratnagar. It is celebrated as Jhulan, marking the birth of Lord Krishna and symbolizing him safely sleeping in his crib.

Every year during Janmashtami, the Radha Krishna Mandir and its vicinity are decorated with lights, and people visit to participate in bhajans, kirtans, and to receive blessings at the temple. The festival is no less than a fair for the people of Biratnagar, who are uplifted in spirit as they welcome this auspicious day.

6. Experience the famous Rath Yatra of Biratnagar

Biratnagar rath yantra things to do in Biratnagar
Biratnagar Rath Yatra. Picture by Madan Pradhan

Rath Yatra (The Cart Journey) is celebrated on the next day of Sri Krishna Janmashtami in Biratnagar. It is celebrated with the belief that the cart is driven by Lord Krishna, which is why a young child is placed in the cart, symbolizing Lord Krishna.

The celebration is not for the faint-hearted, as the crowd is very large. Most people watch the cart being pulled from the comfortable balconies of their homes, while some forcefully make their way through the swarming crowd to pull the cart, even if it’s just for a split second. It is said that anyone who touches the rope of the cart is blessed.

For me, Rath Yatra is the essence of Biratnagar. We would wait for this day to come so we could wander the streets of Biratnagar welcoming the cart. Many organizations provide refreshing free juices on many checkpoints to help people manage the heat of summer.

7. Feast on the street food culture of Biratnagar

One of the best things about Biratnagar is its street food culture. My fond memories of Biratnagar include going out with friends and feasting on a variety of street foods. From sweet delicacies to spicy bites, Biratnagar is full of street food that will make you come back for more.

Milk tea with bakery items

Gathering with friends over a relaxed cup of tea is a major ritual in Nepal, and Biratnagar is no exception. Strong milk tea, served with bakery items, is one of the favorite delicacies for the people of Biratnagar. The most popular bakery item is Khasta, which is crunchy, just sweet enough, and goes perfectly with the tea.

Who’s up for a strong milk tea? Picture by Shraddha

Dahi puris, samosas

Biratnagar serves some of the best samosas. A samosa has a crispy layer on the outside and is stuffed with potatoes and beans, served with a special kind of chutney. You must try the samosas in Biratnagar. Dahi puri is another satisfying snack that is popular in Biratnagar.

Bhuteko Aloo with chiura bhujia (Fried potato with beaten rice and bhujia)

My mouth waters as I write this. This is my favorite snack. The perfect taste of the aloo, and the crunchiness of the bhujia blending perfectly with the chiura, it is all so magical. Eating this snack on a sunny day, especially with a refreshing Coke on the side, is what some people like to call “foodgasm.”

Chatpate, aloo chop, pyaji, dhungri

These are the perfect evening walk snacks. Many shops sell these snacks in possibly all the neighborhoods of Biratnagar. They are crispy, spicy, and are perfect for satisfying cravings.

8. Cycle the neighborhoods of Biratnagar

Cycling is one of the most underrated things to do in Biratnagar.

Biratnagar’s beauty is in its neighborhoods, and you can easily spend an evening exploring them by bicycle. Places like Tinpaini, Bargacchi, Chadani Chowk, and Devkota Chowk (my favorite), among others, are the best places to cycle. You will see different presentations of Biratnagar by exploring these different neighborhoods.

Renting a cycle is not so common in Biratnagar. However, you can just drop the request to the locals you meet or your hotel staff, and they will surely manage it for you.

9. Attend the weekly Haat Bazaar (farmers markets) of Biratnagar 

Biratnagar hat bazar
Scenes of a typical Biratnagar Haat Bazar. Picture by Shraddha

Visiting Haat Bazaar (also locally known as hatiya in Biratnagar) and buying fresh vegetables and fruits is a weekly ritual of families living in Biratnagar, and in many cities of Nepal.

In different neighborhoods of Biratnagar, Haat Bazaar happens once every week. I remember that there would be at least one bazaar on each day of the week so we would name them as Aaitabare hatiya (Sunday’s market), Sombare hatiya (Monday’s market), and so on.

The markets are conducted in many neighborhoods of Biratnagar; Chadani Chowk, Kanchanbari, Shani Chowk, etc. to name a few. You can inquire with locals or hotel owners to locate a Haat Bazaar during the stay of your visit.

In the Haat Bazaar, you can typically find fresh produce of vegetables, fruits, diverse spices, drinks, and many street food stalls. Feel free to buy what you please and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Note: As all these Haat Bazaars are typically set up in an open space, consider carrying a face mask if the dust unsettles you.

10. Go for an evening stroll in major Chowks (Public junction)

All the major chowks, like Devkota Chowk, Bargachhi, Kanchanbari, Tinpaini, etc., become major social hubs in the evening. Lots of people living nearby come to the chowks for a cool breeze of air while enjoying tea with friends, street foods, or just to have a stroll. 

Have an evening stroll to the nearby chowk from the place you’re living to enjoy a relaxed evening time in Biratnagar.

11. Take a safari ride

Safari is the main public transport option in Biratnagar. Buses and vans with fixed schedules are not so common in the inner parts of Biratnagar and only run from the main highways. So, people normally prefer taking a ride in a safari to reach their destinations. Safaris are like autos that run on electricity. You can either reserve a safari for a higher price or share with other passengers traveling on the same route for a comparatively lower price. 

Taking a safari ride in the morning or evening (during sunset) would also be a nice way to explore the city.

12. Take a rickshaw ride and tip the driver

Before safaris became popular, rickshaws were the most used public transport in Biratnagar. Even on days of scorching sun, when you would be sweating in the shade of the rickshaw’s roof, the rickshaw drivers would make sure to carry you to your destination. 

Though rickshaws are becoming less popular and people are opting to take a safari for their convenience, there are still many rickshaw drivers in Biratnagar who run their rickshaws every day to earn a livelihood. 

It would be extremely generous of you to take a few rickshaw rides during your trip and tip the driver extra to help make their day a little bit better.

13. Take blessings at Kali Mandir, Shani Mandir in Biratnagar

Kali Mandir and Shani Mandir, both located in the vicinity of the Biratnagar market, are two major religious temples in Biratnagar. Many people visit these temples every morning to take blessings. Near the temples, you can see street vendors selling sweets, flowers, and essentials required for a temple visit. Visiting one of these temples and observing life, and possibly taking blessings, can also be a good morning itinerary for people visiting Biratnagar.

14. Visit the Indian border of Jogbani to shop

Biratnagar is close to the southwestern Nepal-India border. A 45 minutes drive in a bus or a 1.5-hour drive in a safari will take you to Jogbani, a place that comes directly after the India-Nepal border. It is a shopping hub for the people of Biratnagar, offering all kinds of essentials at a comparatively cheaper price. 

Jogbani offers a wide variety of options for consumers, and people are often excited about the opportunity to shop there. You could buy clothing, a variety of Indian products, household items, and basically every essential that is not readily available in Nepal. 

However, it is also important to note the buying limitations because if you overbuy, you might have to pay taxes while entering Nepal.

15. Attend the Chhath Puja

things to do in Biratnagar chhath puja
Chhath Puja. Picture by HolidaystoNepal

Like many cities in the southern part of Nepal, Chhath Puja is also celebrated in Biratnagar in huge numbers. The festival happens every year, after the festival of Tihar, and falls around the English months of November or December. 

People do the Chhath Puja by worshiping the Sun while taking a holy bath in the river, and offering prayers and prasad (offerings) during sunrise and sunset. This festival is a way for people to express gratitude to the Sun God, Surya, and his sister Chhathi Maiya for sustaining life on Earth. 

It is a great experience to engage in. If you’re in Biratnagar during this time, do visit a nearby river to observe the religious devotion of many people who decorate the river and stay awake overnight to worship the Sun.

Best Areas to Stay in Biratnagar

An ideal place for you to stay would be in neighborhoods that are closer to the Biratnagar bus stop or the airport.

Roadcess Chowk, near the Biratnagar bus stop and its proximity to the Biratnagar city center, would be a great place to stay. There are many good hotels in this area, so you can find a favorable place during your stay.

The Biratnagar airport area could be another great place for your stay. There are good hotels around the area and a lot of good restaurants where you can dine in. Safaris might demand higher prices in this area, so it would be useful to bargain a bit for a better price.

Best Time to Visit Biratnagar

Biratnagar is extremely hot during the summer, averaging around 35 degrees Celsius. It is definitely not recommended to explore the city during summer. From the month of October to mid-March would be a good time to visit Biratnagar. The weather is much cooler, and you can calmly explore the area without worrying about the scorching sun. November and February would be the most ideal months.

If you like the blog post, please share it with your friends who are planning a trip to Biratnagar and you’re not sure what to suggest them (the dreading situation I faced many times in the past). If you have more suggestions, you can reach me on my Instagram and I’ll make sure to add them here.

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I love traveling and I love writing about it. It's my sincere hope that through my content, you will find some helpful information and inspiration for your own travels. :)

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