India River Cruise On Ganges
THE TOUR AT THE GLANCE
Ganges River" cruise runs round trip from Kolkata and takes seven nights. Enter a world of color, culture, and cherished spiritual tradition on this India river cruise vacation. The holy river of Hinduism, the Ganges, slowly courses through one of the world’s most fertile and populated areas. Along its banks, human life is connected to its waters and you’ll get a glimpse of life away from India’s big cities. See muslin weaving in Kalna and sweet making in Matiari. Stop in Murshidabad for an excursion to Azimganj and Jiaganj—to tour a historic mansion and see gold and silver making demonstration. Explore the fascinating Hare Krishna headquarters in Mayapur, and visit Mother Teresa’s former home upon your return to Kolkata.
EXPERIENCES AND VISITS IN THIS TOUR JOURNEY
- Revisit historic times at the Victoria Memorial Palace in Kolkata.
- Howrah Bridge – Capture The Beautiful Landscape
- Explore a hidden architectural gem with dramatic colonial-era structures in Murshidabad
- Explore Kalna and visit the terracotta temple complex
- Enjoy Indian tea and view the art of saree weaving
- Admire the artifacts in the Victoria Memorial Museum
- MahaBodhi temple, Niranjana River, Sujata Village – Bodhgaya
- See ruins of ancient Nalanda University
- Visit Gridhkutta Peak, Venuvanaram and Bimbisar Jail - Rajgir
- VisIt Dhamekha Stupa and Deer Park - Sarnath
- Enjoy Boat Ride at River Ganges - Varanasi
- Witness the Aarti Ceremony at Varanasi Temples
- Walk thru / Cycle Rickshaw Asia’s largest Spice Market and explore narrow lane in Old Delhi
VIEW FULL ITINERARY
Meeting assistance on arrival and transfer to Hotel
Afternoon visit Kolkata City-Visit Tthe Victoria Memorial- Is a huge marble building signifying commemoration of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee. The architecture has a huge influence of both English and Mughal culture. Indian Museum- has been an important establishment in terms of cultural development of India. The museum houses the rare collection of antiques, fossils, skeletons, armor, ornaments, and Mughal paintings.
Then visit Colonial area. The area near and around Dalhousie square provides an opportunity to experience the imperialist dreams of Raj Era. Walking into these areas help you to understand the real spirit of the colonial era. In this walk, we will take you through 18th and 19th century history and architecture of Calcutta. This is an interesting walk which will give you an idea about the rich history, heritage and architectural brilliance of the then Calcutta.
Breakfast at Hotel.
Transfer to jetty to board the cruise ship. Lunch onboard.
Post lunch embark on an Orientation Tour of Kolkata, which will take us to the Dalhousie Square that houses several Colonial/Heritage monuments like Writer’s Building, General Post Office, High Court, Raj Bhawan (Governor’s Palace), Town Hall, Council House, Treasury Building and the Reserve Bank of India. We then visit St. John’s Church and the Victoria Memorial for a photo stop and walk in the gardens. St. John’s Church, originally a cathedral, was among the first public buildings erected by the East India Company after Kolkata became the effective capital of British India.. The Victoria Memorial is a grand marble building built during 1906-1921 in the memory of Queen Victoria (1819–1901). The Memorial lies on the Maidan (grounds) by the bank of the Hooghly River.
Return to the ship to board upstream journey towards Kalna sails through the areas where the different European settlers had established their respective East Indian Companies leaving back reminiscence of their settlements during the period of 17th to 19th century.
Breakfast on board.
Morning ride Cycle Rickshaws to visit the enchanting Rajbari Temple Complex in Kalna. The temples of Kalna take elements from mosques and temple architecture to create a new congregational space of worship. On one side of the road lies the Nabakailas Temples-. Built in 1809 by the Bardhaman Maharaja, it contains 108 'aat-chala' or “eight slope-roofed” Shiva temples arranged in two concentric circles. The outer circle consists of 74 temples of alternate black and white lingams; while the 34 temples of the inner circle have only white lingams and ontaining the most diversified form of Bengal’s temple architecture: Pratapeshwar Temple- contains terra cotta plaques depicting themes of Hindu epics and mythical life of saints, gods & goddesses and various aspects of day-to-day life.
Packed lunch / Lunch in local restaurant.
Return to the ship and cruise towards Matiari, arriving by the evening and moor for the night.
Early in the morning we will visit the village of Matiari, which is famous for its work in brass and copper. Here copper is still processed manually. The unique character of the area is that as we start walking towards the village, we can hear loud noises of beating metal coming from all the houses. Stroll in the village and visit some homes to see and experience the different process of the brass making with a chance of buying artifacts and souvenirs.
Return to the ship, cast off and cruise towards Murshidabad sailing past Plassey, which is well known for the battle that took place in 1757 that turned the history of India. The battlefield of Plassey is where Robert Clive of British East India Company defeated the Mogul Nawab, the then ruler of Bengal and his French Allies; establishing the company rule in India which expanded over much of South Asia for the next 190 years. Arrive at Murshidabad
Morning excursion of the historic town of Murshidabad. We ride the local Tonga (horse cart) to visit the oldest mosque of this town the Katra Mosque built by the first Nawab of Murshidabad, Nawab Murshid Quli Khan in the year 1724-25. From there we ride the Tonga to the Hazarduari Palace Museum. Built during the reign of Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah (1824-1838 AD) by an English architect, Duncan McLeod following the Greek “Doric” style. The palace has more than a thousand real and false doors in the vast corridors. Inside the palace museum one can observe a wide collection of antiquities including various kinds of weapons, oil paintings of Dutch, French and Italian artists, marble, porcelain & stucco statues, are manuscripts and palanquins mostly belonging to the 18th-19th centuries. Opposite to the Palace is the vast Imambara open only during the religious ceremony time.
Return to the ship and sail onwards to Jangipur.
We cast off in the morning to reach the historic Farakka Lock Gate, which was built during the years 1963-75. The travel through the Feeder Canal will give us a chance to see the different birds of the region. After crossing the lock we cruise through the connecting canal to the Ganges revealing vast panoramas. We can also see the Farakka barrage at a distance, which regulates the Ganges water into Bangladesh and India.
Continue our sail upstream and moor for the night at Samtaghat.
This morning we sail towards Bateshwarsthan. Afternoon, we ride in jeeps/cars (about 15 minutes) to the excavation site of the Vikramshila University and walk around the ruins. Established by King Dharampala in late 8th or early 9th Century A.D. Vikramshila University was one of the two most important centers of Buddhist learning in India during the reign of the Pala dynasty along with Nalanda University. Vikramshila was one of the largest Buddhist universities having more than one hundred teachers and about one thousand students. Subjects like theology, philosophy, grammar, meta-physics and logic were taught here.
We sail towards Sultanganj, which is conspicuous for two great rocks of granite, one of which on the river bank is crowned by a mosque. The second and larger one is occupied by the 16th century temple of Ajgaibinath Shiva. The river here impinges on a stone cliff. The folklore of river Ganga being seized here by a curse of the sage Jahnu and later getting released by the penance performed by king Bhagirath makes this place an important pilgrimage. The rocky island is known as Jahngira meaning ‘the hill of Jahnu’ derives the name from this historical event. There is a long causeway that connects the mainland with the island rock on which the cluster of shrines is entwined along with the seemingly floating rock.
We sail further upstream.
We sail towards Mungar, one of the largest city and most industrialized cities in the state of Bihar. It is a hub for railway, gun, tobacco and dairy product manufacturing.
Post lunch visit the Bihar School of Yoga, a modern school of Yoga founded in 1964 by Satyananda Saraswati and his spiritual successor Niranjanananda Saraswati. In addition to providing spiritual instruction to aspirants, the school also guides yoga projects and medical research in association with various corporations, state government and public works. Arrive Munger by the afternoon.
Disembark the ship at 0800 hrs and drive to visit Nalanda, perhaps the oldest seat of learning in India. It treasures a glorious past, rich spiritual heritage and some extraordinary architectural ruins believed to be established in 5th century BC by the Gupta Kings.
Thereafter we drive to Rajgir, the first capital of the Magadha Empire. Buddha not only spent many years in Rajgir, but also delivered important sermons here. Lunch halt at a local restaurant in Rajgir, thereafter continue the journey to Bodhgaya – one of the most important and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage center for the Buddhists.
Lunch at hotel.
Late afternoon visit the Mahabodhi temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a Buddhist temple that marks the location where Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, is said to have attained enlightenment under a banyan tree, the “Bodhi Tree”. Buddhist chanting and prayers can be witnessed in the temple premises.
Early morning walk to the yoga centre for yoga class followed by relaxation of body and mind.
Back to hotel for breakfast.
Drive to Varanasi- the holiest town for Hindus, arrive & check in at hotel.
Lunch at hotel.
Late afternoon we experience the enchanting and the incredible life on the Streets of Varanasi riding Cycle Rickshaws. We continue to visit the Ghats (riverbank) by walk and witness the evening “Aarti” ritual on the Ganges from a boat.
Sunrise Boat Tour to witness the incredible scenes along the Holy River.
Return to hotel for breakfast,
Morning visit The Durga temple, Tulsi Manas temple. Drive around the Benares Hindu University, built during the Indian freedom struggle and is known as Oxford of the East.
Lunch at hotel / local restaurant
Afternoon drive to the nearby ancient Buddhist learning center of Sarnath: Here, Gautama Buddha preached his first sermon to his first disciples. Visit some of the Buddhist temples and Sarnath Museum (Closed on Fridays) which houses some of the great treasures of Indian Buddhist art. Also visit a local silk-weaving workshop.
Breakfast at hotel,
Transfer to airport to board flight for Delhi (Flight-6E3129-1030/1210 Hrs)
Met & assistant at airport and transfer for Lunch at local restaurant.
After lunch transfer to check in at hotel.
Afternoon at leisure or free to explore local bazaar.
Morning: Visit Old Delhi - Jama Masjid “built in the year 1656 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.” Chandni Chowk and enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride “the heart of Old Delhi, this is the place to go for the full-on Indian experience of crowded, twisting alleys and tiny shops.” Red Fort ‘’this fort built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the year 1648.” Raj Ghat ‘’It is a memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, who was assassinated on 30th January 1948.’’
Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon: Visit New Delhi, The Qutub Minar ‘’73 meters in height is a Mughal milestone and the tallest monument. Humayun’s Tomb, this magnificent garden tomb is the first substantial example of Mughal architecture in India. Drive past India Gate “This monument has been built as a memorial for the Indian soldiers who died in World War I.” Drive past President's House ‘’it is the official residence of the President of India.
In time transfer to airport to board onward flight
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE IN YOUR TOUR COST
- Accommodation for a total of 14 nights on a twin sharing room on a full board basis as per program.
- Total 08 nights on cruise & 06 nights on hotels.
- Transfers, sightseeing/excursions as per the program by air-conditioned vehicle.
- English speaking Guide onboard as per program.
- French / English speaking accompanying guide from Mungar till Varanasi.
- French-speaking guide sightseeing in Delhi.
- Boat ride on river Ganges in Varanasi on a shared basis.
- Waterways/Jetty Passenger Service Fee
- 01 Tour Leader cost for accommodation, activities and entrances is also included.
- All entrance fees to the monuments as mentioned in the program.
- Cycle Rickshaw ride in Delhi & Varanasi
- Company representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.
- All presently applicable taxes
- Mineral water throughout the cruise and other cities.
TOUR COST WILL NOT INCLUDE FOLLOWING EXPENSES
- Airfare (domestic & international)
- Airfare for Tour leader
- Expenses of personal nature like drinks, personal insurance, tips and telephone calls.
- Any additional expenses due to unforeseen problems like a natural disaster, war or strikes, cancellation or disconnection of flight or a last-minute change of timings, etc.
- Any other service, which has not been specified as "included".
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