The Mahakali Bridge on Nepal-India Border

Chandani Dodhara Bridge on Mahakali River
The 1453 meters long bridge on Mahakali River that connects Chandani Dodhara villages (of Nepal) on the border with India with rest of the country.

Chandani & Dodhara villages:

These two villages of Mahakali pari (beyond Mahakali) were connected to the mainland Nepal only in 2005 when the government built a 1452.96 meters long suspension bridge. The structure is quite a sight.

The suspension bridge is 12 kilometers away from Mahendranagar town and is connected by a dusty road.


A bike ride on the Chandani Dodhara suspension bridge over Mahakali river.

Purba Mechi dekhi paschim Mahakali samma. From Mechi in the East to Mahakali in the West.

That’s how Nepal is referred to whenever Nepalis talk about the geographical & political boundaries of their country. Beyond these two rivers is not the present day Nepal with the exception of two villages Chandni & Dodhara on the bank of Mahakali.

Last year I walked on the Mechi Pul (bridge) and crossed over to the Indian side. That was on the day of Maha Ashtami (the 8th day of Dashain festival).

This year I crossed the Mahakali river, for the first time, and walked into Nepal- again on the day of Maha Ashtami (the day before yesterday).

The most preferred mode of transportation while crossing the border is a Horse Cart. A ride to Mahendranagar from Banbasa (about 10 kilometers) cost Indian Rs. 60. Additional charges for heavy luggage. This video was taken on the Nepali side of the border soon after we crossed the Seema Surakshya Bal (Indian border security force for the border with Nepal) check post.

Entering their country via this border crossing point is not always a good experience for many Nepalis. Many of them complain that the Indian security personnel harass them for no reason while crossing into Nepal from India. Most of these Nepalis who say they are humiliated by the Indian police at the Gadda Chowki crossing (Banbasa, India- Mahendranagar, Nepal) point are poor migrant workers from far and midwest region of Nepal. The Seema Surakshya Bal (India’s Border Security Force for border with Nepal) is particularly notorious. The SSB post on the Mahakali barrage came up overnight a few years ago encroaching the No Man’s Land and provoking much anger in the Nepali population. Apart from the SSB the Indian policemen also openly loot the Nepali migrant workers. I saw the policemen forcefully collecting Indian Rs 20 from each migrant workers with a small luggage at the police post near the SSB checkpoint. Corruption is visible. It’s understandable for the Indian side to be vigilant as the open border is often used by criminal elements from both countries. But they can be respectful while dealing with the migrant workers.

Apparently only migrant workers who are mostly illeterate or uneducated- not the finely dressed & educated Nepalis- are targetted by the Indian policemen.

It’s not the same case at other Indo-Nepal border crossing points. For example, Pashupatinagar (Ilam-Darjeeling) and Kakadvitta (Mechi bridge) in the east are more organized and peaceful. Indian policemen and officials are friendly.

5 thoughts on “The Mahakali Bridge on Nepal-India Border

  1. Bridge looks stunning.
    People on their Bicycles could also be seen, it looks narrow.
    Police is very corrupt, i rate them above thief’s and Looters.
    We cannot compare our Army and Police, if our Police would have been like our Army India would have much better place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ya… The bridge sure looks stunning! There are some places in this world which literally got rejuvenated after the mere construction of a bridge; the bridge alone standing proud as a landmark. I am not sure if same is the case with this bridge of ours, but it sure does create a chapter to the bridge architecture of the country.
    As for the Indian Police harassing innocent Nepali workers, the act itself is plain inhumane. Only if humans could learn to be a little human…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The similar loot happened at Sunauli border this time! Indian police were asking everyone to open their whatever sized luggages they had … and took money according to the luggage size… Since I had an identity card issued by an Indian government college.. they let me go.

    Across the border there were Sasastra Prahari Bal of Nepal. They too were looting this time. I had a laptop bag . I was told to pay some 200 rupees. I interrogated on why should i pay… they told its custom duty and if i denied to pay that amount i had to pay the actual amount which can be far more than i imagined. I told them abt me being a student and showed them the same I-Card… it worked again though after quite lot of effort..

    I took a bus to the bhairahawa bus station..in the middle there was again some check by Sasastra Prahari Bal. Same thing repeated.. this time he was like he wont let me go until i pay him some money for his “TEA”. This time i had to tell him that thers no custom duty for accessories like laptop.. which i had read in some newspaper few weeks back..🙂 … He had no options then!

    Not only the Indian security forces… Nepalese side are equally looters to innocent.. illeterate… Nepali workers…..
    And they do pay,,,without any words..

    Liked by 1 person

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