The India–Nepal border is an open international border running between India and Nepal. The 1,770 km (1,099.83 mi) long border includes the Himalayan territories as well as Indo-Gangetic Plain. The current border was delimited after the Sugauli treaty of 1816 between Nepal and the British Raj. Following Indian independence, the current border was recognised as the border between Nepal and the Republic of India.
Map of Nepal, with India to the south
|Length||1,770 kilometres (1,100 mi)|
Treaty of Sugauli between Nepal and British Raj
|Current shape||15 August 1947|
Independence of the Republic of India from British Raj
|Treaties||1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship|
The border starts in the west at the western tripoint with China near the Tinkar Pass. It then proceeds to the south-west through the Himalayas, the Sivalik Hills and then the Gangetic plain, initially overland and then utilising the Sharda River. Just east of Majhola it turns to the south-east and proceeds in that direction overland, occasionally utilising various rivers and hill crests. North-west of Islampur the border turns to the north-east and proceeds overland to the eastern Chinese tripoint.
The border region has historically existed at the edge of various Indian and Nepali kingdoms. It took its modern shape during the period of British rule in India which began in the 17th century. During the late 18th century the Nepali kingdom launched an expansion drive, bringing them into conflict with the British and resulting in the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814-16). Nepal was defeated, and by the Treaty of Sugauli it was forced to cede large areas of land to Britain, effectively creating the modern India-Nepal boundary. Finding the Terai region difficult to manage, the British returned parts of it to Nepal in 1816.
India gained independence in 1947, and three years later it signed a friendship treaty with Nepal, by which both countries agreed to respect the territorial integrity of the other. Since then relations have largely been cordial, though a number of border disputes remain. There have also been occasional blockades on the border at times of tension, for example in 1987 and 2015.
There are two existing territorial disputes between India and Nepal, over the Kalapani territory, a 35 square kilometres (14 sq mi) area at the India–Nepal–China trujunction in North West Nepal, and Susta, a 20 square kilometres (7.7 sq mi)–140 square kilometres (54 sq mi) area in Southern Nepal.
In addition, in May 2020, Nepal has begun to dispute the source of the Kali River, claiming it to be at Limpiyadhura, and allocating 300 square kilometres (120 sq mi) of Indian territory to itself through the issue of a new map. It did not explain why this dispute newly arose.
There are several major border crossings that the Indian Integrated Check Posts (ICP) use for processing cargo customs and immigration entry for citizens of third countries. These are, from west to east:
- Banbasa in Champawat district, Uttarakhand, India - Kanchanpur District, Sudurpashchim Pradesh, Nepal
- Rupaidiha in Bahraich district, Uttar Pradesh - Nepalganj in Banke District, Nepal
- Sonauli in Maharajganj district, Uttar Pradesh, India - Siddharthanagar in Rupandehi District, Nepal
- Raxaul in East Champaran district, Bihar, India - Birgunj, Nepal (also known as the 'Gateway of Nepal')
- Jogbani in Araria district, Bihar, India - Biratnagar, Nepal
- Panitanki in Darjeeling district, West Bengal, India - Kakarbhitta, Nepal
Since there are no fences along the border there are several smaller official and unofficial border crossings. Smaller official border crossings are known as Chhoti Bhansar (Minor Customs) in the Nepali language. These are, from west to east (by Indian state):
- Gauriphanta in Lakhimpur Kheri district - Dhangadi, Nepal
- Murtiha in Lakhimpur Kheri district - Gulariya, Bardiya, Nepal
- Tal Baghaura in Shravasti district - Laxmanpur, Nepal
- Tulsipur in Balrampur district - Koilabas, Nepal
- Barhani Bazar in Siddharthnagar district - Krishnanagar, Nepal
- Bhikhna Thori in West Champaran district - Thori in Parsa District, Nepal
- Pipraun in Madhubani district - Jatahi-Nagarain in Dhanusa District Nepal
- Bhimnagar in Supaul district - Bhantabari-Haripur in Sunsari District, Nepal (via Kosi barrage)
- Amgachhi in Araria district - Rangeli in Morang District, Nepal
- Baria (Bairia bazar) in Kishanganj district - Gauriganj in Jhapa District, Nepal
- Bairgania in Sitamarhi district - Gaur in Rautahat District, Nepal
- Sonbarsa in Sitamarhi district - Malangwa in Sarlahi District, Nepal
- Bhittamore in Sitamarhi district - Jaleshwor in Mahottari District Nepal
- Jainagar in Madhubani district - Inarwa Phulbariya in Saptari District, Nepal
The India–Nepal border is relatively peaceful. Indian and Nepali nationals do not need passports or visas to enter each other's countries, and tens of thousands of people cross the border every day for tourism and shopping.
The Indian side of the border is regulated by Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) along with local police. The Nepali side of the border is regulated by the Armed Police Force (APF) along with the local branch of Nepal Police. Often SSB (India) and APF (Nepal) perform joint patrols on the border.
On a local level, Indian and Nepali district officials meet regularly to discuss security challenges and other issues on their respective border portions. Such meetings are usually attended by District Magistrates, local SSB representatives, customs chiefs from India including the Chief District Officer (CDO), local APF, Police and custom chiefs from Nepal.
- "Nepal". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
- "History of the Nepalese Army". nepalarmy.mil.np. Nepal Army. Archived from the original on 28 December 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
- Marshall, Julie G. (2005). Britain and Tibet 1765–1947: A Select Annotated Bibliography of British Relations with Tibet and the Himalayan States Including Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. ISBN 9780415336475.
- "Treaty of Sagauli | British-Nepalese history ". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
- Stephen Groves (22 September 2014). "India and Nepal Tackle Border Disputes". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
- "Nepal: A Country Study". Library of Congress. 1991. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
- "Nepal PM Wants India to Lift Undeclared Blockade". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
- Arora, Vishal (November 2015). "R.I.P., India's Influence in Nepal". The Diplomat.
- Gupta, Alok Kumar (June–December 2009) [originally Kalapani: A Bone of Contention Between India and Nepal, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, 2000], "The Context of New-Nepal: Challenges and Opportunities for India", Indian Journal of Asian Affairs, 22 (1/2): 57–73, JSTOR 41950496: "Kalapani, 35 square kilometres piece of land, is entangled in controversy since mid-1996, a few months after the ratification of the Mahakali treaty (with India on the harnessing of hydro-power) by Nepal's Parliament."
- "Nepal objects to India-China trade pact via Lipu-Lekh Pass". 9 June 2015 – via The Economic Times.
- Nidhi Jamwal, As a river changed its course, a village on the India-Nepal border became disputed territory, Scroll.in, 19 March 2017: '"An area of some 5,000 acres [approximately 2,023 hectares] of land in Narsahi-Susta area adjoining the Gandak river in West Champaran district has been encroached upon by Nepalese nationals....," is how the then Union Minister of External Affairs answered a question in the Lok Sabha in 2002. Shrestha, however, alleged that over 14,860 hectares of Nepali land in Susta has been encroached upon by India.'
- Sugam Pokharel, Nepal issues a new map claiming contested territories with India as its own, CNN, 21 May 2020.
- "Armed Police Force, SSB start joint patrolling on no man's land". The Himalayan Times. 7 January 2019.
- "Nepal-India border security meeting concludes". The Himalayan Times. 16 October 2018.