Dramatic views along the Prithvi Highway

Prithvi Highway is a challenging road located in Nepal. The hazardous road is unsafe to drive.

Prithvi Highway

Where does Prithvi Highway start and end?

Tucked away on the western part of the country, the road is 175km (109 miles) long, running east-west from Naubise (near Kathmandu, the capital of the country) to Pokhara (the capital of Gandaki Province and a tourist city famous for the views of the Himalayan range and lakes). The highway is named after King Prithvi Narayan Shah. Around 8,000 vehicles ply the road daily.

Is the Prithvi Highway paved?

Completed in 1974, the road (H04) is mostly paved in a bad condition. However, being a landslide-prone and heavily congested highway, a few sections of the road are mostly unpaved with roughness and undulation, turning dusty in the dry season and becoming muddy when it rains. Broken by earthquakes and heavy trucks, the road has so much traffic of buses and trucks. Ruthless driving and dangerous overtakings are other concerns.

How long does it take to drive the Prithvi Highway?

To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 5 and 7 hours. The scenery along the road is dramatic, following a series of deep river valleys, passing ancient stone villages, cascading rice terraces, rocky gorges and roaring rapids crossed by precarious suspension bridges. Its dramatic views come at a potentially high cost. In addition to beautiful views of the Himalayas, you will see vehicles that have ended up in the river chasms.
Pic: Sim Reaney