Kathmandu to Halesi or the Maratika caves is a very long journey. From Kathmandu to Halesi its about 325km and it will take about 7 hours by Suv and about 9 hours by bus.
Its not easy getting to Halesi daphu maratika caves from Kathmandu. Only few vehicles travel to this remote district of Khotang in Nepal. You will either have to reserve a jeep or go early to a place called as Khotaysur in Kathmandu from where there is a daily bus plying at 6 am. Bus ride will cost about US$25/person.
From Khotaysur you even have the chances of getting a passenger shared jeep for about US$35/person. If you reserve an independent vehicle you will have to pay about US$300.
From the Kakrivhitta to Halesi its about 350km and it will take about 12 hours. You can hire a vehicle from the Nepal border town or take an indian vehicle for the tour.
Whether you are riding form Kathmandu to maratika or from Kakrivhitta to Halesi the road condition is same. Most section of the road is dirt road with lot of dangerous landslide hit roads to maneuver. Some places its so dangerous that you will have a hair raising experience.
Once the ascent begins to the Maratika caves the sheer cliff and the narrow road where only one vehicle fit the experience is even more scary. Its mostly dirt road and the ascent and descent is so steep that any machanical failure would leave no survivors. People say about 20 or more vehicles went down the cliff and none could be recovered.
You can feel safe only with an experienced driver and a good condition vehicle.
Most Buddhist pilgrims travel to this place only once in their life time because of the distance and the road condition.