||Delhi | Varanasi | Kolkata | River Cruise | Farakka | Kolkata | Delhi ||
Upon arriving in Delhi our representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. On the way he will explain basic social etiquettes and provide you with an insight into cultural practices, which will go a long way towards enhancing the enjoyment of your time in India.
A leisurely stroll through the bazaars of Delhi. Buy souvenirs and lose yourself in the exotic sights, sounds and fragrances of the market. Later head to the airport for our flight to Varanasi. Situated on the bank of the Ganges, the city is considered by some pious Hindus to be the oldest city in the world.
Early morning is one of the best times to observe life along the river. Cruise down the Ganges and observe India’s diverse range of spiritual practices. After we’ll wander through the labyrinthine alleys of the old city, indulging in the scents, sounds and tastes of one of the country’s most colorful cities. In the afternoon we’ll visit the deer park of Sarnath, where Buddha preached his first sermon.
Varanasi – Kolkata
Arrive in Kolkata. In the afternoon explore the colonial legacy and heritage of the city, which was the British during their rule. It’s also known as the ‘City of Processions’ and the ‘City of Joy.’
Kolkata – Cruise
Time to start our cruise. We’ll sail past the old Danish colony of Serampore and on to Barrackpore. After disembarking we’ll walk through the cantonment and past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, Temple of Fame, and Flagstaff House. Our final destination is a hidden garden that houses many of the Imperial British statues removed from central Calcutta.
We’ll then head to Chandernagore, a city ruled by the French until 1950. Your visit will take you to the famous 18th century church as well as Dupleix’s House. Then we’ll hit the river again and journey to the Old Dutch settlement of Chinsura. Revel at the sight of the imposing Imambara, then sail into the night and end up in Kalna.
In the country town of Kalna we’ll take bicycle rickshaws to se esome of Bengal’s most beautiful terracotta temples, as well as the unique Shiva temple, famous for its hypnotizing concentric rings, which are made from 108 shrinelets. Continue on through the countryside to Mayapur, where the beautiful skyline is dominated by the towering new ISKCON temple. Then sail through the night towards Matiari.
In Matiari village we’ll observe the ancient process of brass artwork, using techniques as old as the craft itself. Then we’ll cruise down to the battlefield of Plassey, where in Clive’s defeat of Siraj-ud-Daulah in 1757 changed the course of Indian history. After we’ll end the day in Murshidabad.
Walk to Khushbagh, a peaceful Moghul style garden containing the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah and his family. Then continue upstream to where the Nawab’s great Hazarduari Palace, built by an English architect in 1837, dominates the waterfront. Inside you’ll find an extensive collection of pictures, china, weapons and other interesting objects from India’s history.
Today we’ll visit the sleepy village of Baranagar, where we’ll tour three gorgeous miniature terracotta temples and walk through the surrounding fields. This is rural India at its most idyllic. Then continue up the Hooghly, a charming river that twists and turns through riverbanks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards.
Cruise on to the Farakka lock. Disembark and take a full day excursion by road to Gaur, near the town of Malda. This quiet, deserted place was once one of India’s great cities, first under the rule of Hindus in 12th century, then as the Muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century.
Say goodbye to the Ganges and board the train at Farakka station in the morning for a four hour journey to Calcutta. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. The evening is free for whatever you want to do. Unwind at your hotel, or explore the many wonders of Kolkata.
Note: Cruise itinerary is subject to river conditions.