How to Get from Kathmandu to Lumbini
Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, sits on Nepal's Western Terai, close to the border with India. It's around 155 miles (250 kilometers) from Kathmandu, and not the most comfortable overland journey. Flying is much easier. Here are your options for traveling between Kathmandu and Lumbini.
Duration: 35-minute flight, plus a 1-hour drive
By far the easiest way of getting from Kathmandu to Lumbini is to fly. The flight takes about 35 minutes, and there are several every day. Lumbini itself doesn't have an airport, but nearby Siddharthanagar does (this city was formerly called Bairahawa, and many people still call it that). Lumbini is less than an hour's drive north of the Gautam Buddha International Airport in Siddharthanagar, along the fairly straight Siddhartha Highway. Some accommodation options in Lumbini can arrange for a pick-up, or you can get a taxi from the airport.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 7+ hours
After flying, a private transfer is the next most comfortable way of reaching Lumbini from Kathmandu. You can stop where you like for meal and comfort breaks, and can usually travel in an air-conditioned car. This is important once you reach the Terai, because outside of a short, cool winter, the temperatures on the plains are much higher than elsewhere in Nepal. Once you've left Nepal's hill areas after turning south at Mugling, the views become a bit less scenic, but the roads are less windy (if not really any safer).
Duration: 7+ hours
Both local (not recommended) and tourist buses ply the route from Kathmandu to Lumbini. These are only really worthwhile if you're on a tight budget. Tourist buses usually make an adequate number of meal and comfort stops, and are usually air-conditioned, although how well this works in the heat of the Terai is a gamble.