Everest Base Camp is often referred as the ‘’steps to heaven’’ because it represents the profound sense of achievement and wonder experienced by those who embark on this extraordinary journey which draws them closer to the sky and the Earths highest point.
Imagine waking up to the majestic sight of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth, towering over you.
Imagine trekking through stunning alpine landscapes, crossing glaciers, and passing by crystal-clear lakes.
Imagine the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you reach Everest Base Camp, one of the most iconic trekking destinations in the world.
If you’re an Indian trekker dreaming of conquering Everest Base Camp trekking, this guide is for you.
We’ll cover everything you need to know.
But first let’s discuss a brief overview of the relationship between Nepal and India.
Nepal and India share a rich historical connection, from far back in time. Nepal and India are not just neighboring countries, they have deeply intertwined cultures, cuisines, histories, attires, and many more.
Nepali and Indian traditions are profound and far reaching that shapes the essence of both societies.
With frequent flights and accessible road routes connecting the two countries, it has become easier than ever for Indians to visit Nepal and experience the country’s attractions.
Most Nepalese are bilingual to Nepali and Hindi languages and share close cultural values.
Best Time for EBC Trek:
The best times of year for an Everest Base Camp trek are Spring season (March to June) or Autumn season (Mid-September to November). These seasons have mild temperatures and favorable weather conditions.
During these seasons, the trails to Everest base camp are relatively safe because there is no heavy snow or monsoon rain.
Saving up for an Everest hike is only worthwhile if you have a clear understanding of the optimal time of the EBC trek.
However, the best season for EBC trek relies on your preferences too.
Suppose you prefer tranquil and quieter hikes and enjoy the solitude of nature then, off-season months like January, February, June, July, August and December are the ideal choice as the trails of EBC are less crowded.
Mount Everest base camp trek can be done all year round, but it is not recommended during monsoon (June-August) and winter (December-February).
In monsoon season (June-August) the Everest regions weather can be very unpredictable. There can be a number of obstructions including flight delays. It can also be dangerous as the trails can be slippery due to heavy rainfall and unpleasant weather.
Trekking to Everest base camp during winter can be challenging. The trails are covered with snow and can be very slippery. Also, the temperature can drop down to -25 degrees Celsius which can be unbearable.
Preparing for the EBC trek:
Trekking to Everest Base Camp can be challenging, both physically and mentally. It is very important to be well-prepared both ways before embarking on the EBC trek.
Here are some tips for mental preparation:
- Set realistic expectations
- Learn as much as you can about the EBC trek before you go
- Talk to other people who have been to Everest base camp.
- Be prepared for the altitude by acclimatizing gradually and taking altitude medication if necessary.
- Be positive and motivated.
- Be open to trying new foods and learning about the Nepali culture.
Physical preparation for the Mount Everest Base Camp trek
- Start training early. work out in the gym or practice outdoor activities like walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling, basically anything that will increase you’re your stamina and prepare your body for high-altitude trekking
- Focus on cardiovascular fitness.
- Strength training is also important for the EBC trek.
- Get used to hiking with a backpack. Start with short hikes and gradually increase the distance and weight of your backpack.
- Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.
Packing for Everest Base Camp:
Packing for the Everest base camp trek requires careful consideration of essential trekking gears, clothing and especially footwear. Proper trekking shoes are of paramount importance while trekking Everest base camp.
Packing for Everest Base Camp hike varies according to the season and your personal choice. It is important to have the knowledge of what to pack beforehand.
Pack appropriate clothing for varying temperatures.
- Invest in good quality trekking gear
- proper and comfortable hiking boots
- light warm clothing in layers
- sturdy backpack
- four season (zero degree) sleeping bag
- brimmed sun hat
- first aid kit
*NOTE: use multipurpose clothing and gear to lessen the number of items you need to bring, because less is more.
Getting to Nepal for Indian Travelers via Road and Air:
Getting to Nepal from India is relatively easy and there are many options available for both via air and by road.
The fastest and most convenient way to get to Nepal from India is by flight.
There are many airlines that operate direct flights from major Indian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, and Varanasi to Kathmandu, Nepal.
The flight duration from India to Nepal is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Some of the popular airlines that offer direct flights to Nepal are Air India, Nepal Airlines, IndiGo Airlines, Vistara, SpiceJet.
- Delhi to Kathmandu flight- Indira Gandhi Airport operates 7 flights to Tribhuvan International Airport Kathmandu. Out of these 7 flights, only 2 are nonstop, while others may have layovers. Estimated flight duration is 1 hour 27 minutes. The base fare for this journey starts around INR 6,400 and can go up to INR 16,550.
- Mumbai to Kathmandu Flight- Mumbai Chhattrapati Shivaji Airport offers 5 flights to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. The duration of the flight is 2.5 hours. All 5 flights involve one or more layovers during the trip. The ticket prices start at INR 11,400 and can go up to INR 30,000.
- Bangalore to Kathmandu Flight- Kempe Gowda International Airport in Bangalore operates approximately six flights to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. The travel duration is 3 hours. The plane ticket prices start at INR 11,700 and can go up to INR 36,500.
- Kolkata to Kathmandu Flight- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata offers 9 direct flights to Kathmandu. The journey includes a short 3 hour and 15 minutes layover in Delhi, and it takes around 4 hours to reach Kathmandu. The ticket prices start at INR 11,300 and can go up to INR 21,800.
Road travel is a well-known and popular way of getting to Nepal from India. There are many routes to enter Nepal. The two main entry points between India and Nepal for road travel are Sunauli border and Raxaul Border.
- India to Nepal via Sunauli/Bhairahawa: Sunauli/Bhairahawa is the largest and busiest crossing point between India and Nepal. Delhi travelers can take air-conditioned Volvo bus directly to Sunauli. The one-way bus fare is only INR 2300.
- India to Nepal via Raxaul/Birgunj: Raxaul/ Birjung is easily accessible for travelers from Bodh Gaya, Kolkata, or Bihar. To reach Raxaul, Indian travelers can take a bus or a car from Bodh Gaya Airport to Patna, then transfer to Sonpur, followed by a train journey, totaling 13 hours of journey.
- India to Nepal via Panitanki/Kakarbhitta: Travelers from Darjeeling, Sikkim, and Kolkata can choose Kakarbhitta border route to enter Nepal.
Lukla Flight Cost for Indian Citizens:
Everest base camp trekking is much more fulfilling and budget friendly for Indian citizens. One of the main reasons why travelling in Nepal for Indians is so much affordable than other nationalities is that Indian citizens do not require visa.
Round trip flight cost for Indian citizens to Lukla costs around INR 26,905.
The flight prices are subject to seasonal fluctuations. The prices also vary due to factors like fuel prices, taxes, seasonal demands, and other economic factors.
Indian citizens enjoy visa-free entry to Nepal, while other nationality citizens must pay at least $50 USD for a visa, which reduces the cost significantly.
The strong cultural ties and geographical proximity result in a favorable exchange rate to Indian Rupees to Nepali, making the expenses economical for Indian travelers.
Flights from Kathmandu to Lukla, the gateway to Mount Everest Base Camp are cheaper for Indians due to reduced rates.
Cost of Everest Base Camp trek permit for Indians:
Consider selecting a responsible local trekking agency for a safe and budget friendly way to trek Everest Base Camp.
The paperwork and logistics for EBC trek may seem overwhelming but it is a crucial necessity.
Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality permit and the Sagarmatha National Park permit are the two main permits required to enter the Everest region where the Mount Everest base camp is situated.
Sagarmatha National Park fee is only INR 939 Indians while it costs INR 1,878 for foreigners
The Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality permit fee is INR 1251.37 per person. (No VAT is added to these permit fees.)
*Note: The Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality permit fee can only be paid in Nepalese currency on the spot.
Once you and received your permits, make sure to keep them safe and easily accessible. The permits must be shown upon request at different check points during your Everest base camp hike.
According to Nepalese Immigration regulations, Indian nationals traveling to Nepal are required to carry one of the following documents for identification and to acquire the required permits:
- Driving License with a photograph
- Photo identity card issued by a government agency
- Ration card with a photograph
- Election Commission card with a photograph
- Identity card issued by the Embassy of India in Kathmandu
- Identity card with a photograph issued by a Sub-Divisional Magistrate or any official of higher rank.
*If you have arranged your EBC trek through a responsible agency, they usually manage the permits hence, relieving you from the hassle of obtaining them yourself.
Food and Accommodation Cost on the Trek:
While inspiration and determination are necessary for the Everest base camp hike, being financially prepared is a must.
Trekking requires many expenses that includes transportation, accommodation, food, tips, and other unexpected costs.
The costs for Everest base camp trekking also depends on the duration of your trek, preferred, food, service and accommodations, etc.
The high altitude raises the costs of every basic necessity in the Everest region but given the remoteness the high prices make sense. The higher you go, the higher the prices for food, water and accommodation.
The food and the accommodation on the EBC trek are an easy adaptation for Indian trekkers because of the close similarities in food and living habits between India and Nepal.
The food available on the Everest base camp teahouses are similar to Indian foods as Nepalese and Indians share similar spice palates.
The teahouses serve roti, chapattis, vegetable curries, vegetable soup, rice, lentils and a variety of food that is nutritious and fulfilling.
The cost of 1 meal per day during EBC trek can range from INR 416 to INR 999. So, on average, your daily food and water cost will be around INR 2,497 to INR 3,330.
Additionally, vegetarian dishes are much cheaper and more fresh and healthier which is perfect for Indian trekkers.
On the Everest Base Camp Trek, it is essential to drink plenty of water, especially as you climb higher. However, the price of water can go up dramatically as you go higher.
Opt for water filters and purifiers, which not only lowers your cost but also ensures that you contribute to environmental conservation by reducing the plastic bottles.
For those who prefer bottled water, it is still available for purchase at most tea houses and shops along the route.
By sterilizing your drinking water instead of buying bottled water, you can save up to INR 4,163.
The Everest region provides various choices for accommodation from simple budget friendly teahouses to luxury lodges.
The cost of the accommodation also varies according to your preference.
The average cost for a bed per person for a 1 night in a basic teahouse can cost around INR 300. The prices may go up to INR 832 as you go higher at GorakShep.
The rooms available in the teahouses are very basic, which includes 2 beds, a pillow, blanket and a shared bathroom.
Amenities like hot showers, electric blankets, heaters, battery charging, internet, etc cost extra as these are not included in your basic teahouse package. These can cost you anywhere from INR 166 per night to INR 499.
Here is an outline of day-by-day itinerary for the Everest Base Camp trek from India.
Day 01: Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel
Max. Altitude: Kathmandu (1,400 m)
Day 02: Fly to Lukla from Kathmandu or drive to Manthali/Ramechhap & flight to Lukla and then trek to Phakding
Max. Altitude: Lukla (2,840 m)
Day 03: Trek to Namche Bazaar from Phakding
Max. Altitude: Namche Bazaar (3,440 m)
Day 04: Acclimatization Day at Namche. Hike to Hotel Everest View and back
Max. Altitude: Hotel Everest View (3,880 m)
Day 05: Trek to Tengboche from Namche Bazaar
Max. Altitude: Tengboche (3,860 m)
Day 06: Trek to Dingboche from Tengboche
Max. Altitude: Dingboche (4,410 m)
Day 07: Acclimatization Day. Hike to Nangkartsang Peak and back
Max. Altitude: Nangkartsang Peak (5,083 m)
Day 08: Trek to Lobuche from Dingboche
Max. Altitude: Lobuche (4,910 m)
Day 09: Trek to Everest Base Camp and then back to Gorak Shep
Max. Altitude: Everest Base Camp (5,364 m), GorakShep (5,164 m)
Day 10: Morning Hike to Kala Patthar and then, Descend to Pheriche
Max. Altitude: Kalapatthar (5,555 m), Pheriche (4,240 m)
Day 11: Trek to Namche Bazaar from Pheriche
Max. Altitude: Namche Bazaar (3,440 m)
Day 12: Trek to Lukla from Namche Bazaar
Max. Altitude: Lukla (2,840 m)
Day 13: Flight back to Kathmandu or Manthali/Ramechhap from Lukla and same day drive to Kathmandu
Day 14: Transfer to the International Airport for your Final Departure
Inconclusion, Trekking to Everest Base Camp is a shared experience for Indians and Nepalese, promoting mutual respect and understanding, as well as appreciation for each other’s cultures.
The iconic and majestic Mt. Everest represents the common heritage, providing an opportunity to learn about different ways of life and work together on sustainable tourism initiatives.
For Indians, it is a fantastic way to experience Nepal’s rich culture, made more accessible by the close ties between the Nepal and India.