Nepal and India today launched a direct bus service between Kathmandu and Varanasi from here, linking the two prominent cities - home to Pashupatinath and Kashi Vishwanath temples.
The regular Kathmandu-Varanasi-Kathmandu bus service was flagged off from near Dashrath Stadium in Kathmandu and would cover about 600 kilometres distance during its journey of about 12 hours.
Nepal Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bimalendra Nidhi and Ambassador of India to Nepal Ranjit Rae flagged off the service at a function.
The Nepalese registered ceremonial bus will follow the route Kathmandu-Bhairahawa-Sunauli-Azamgarh-Varanasi.
The bus service is expected to enhance people to people contact and further strengthen ties between people of India and Nepal. It is also likely to have a positive impact on the tourism industry as both Kathmandu and Varanasi are popular tourist destinations, a statement by Indian embassy said.
The service is being started under the ambit of Motor Vehicle Agreement between India and Nepal which was signed between the two countries during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kathmandu for SAARC Summit in November last year, it said.
Another regular bus service operated by Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) from Varanasi to Kathmandu through the same route was flagged-off from Varanasi by the state’s Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav yesterday.