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Ganga and Brahmaputra(Upstream)

Ganga and Brahmaputra(Upstream)

$5000 per person
12+ Age

There can be no river in the world as sacred as the Ganges and an expedition on the Lower Ganges or Hooghly is one of the prettiest river journeys imaginable. The river wends its way through the lush countryside of West Bengal with its culturally significant towns crammed with temples and palaces. A rich and vibrant rural life abounds and there is never a dull moment as we sedately ply this pleasant waterway. Combine this with the mighty Brahmaputra river in Northern India which originates high in the Himalayas before flowing through the scenic Assam Valley where UNESCO protected national parks and remote rural communities provide the traveller with the most wonderful and authentic expedition. This combination includes one night at a hotel in Kolkata.

Please note our Brahmaputra programme will start in October 2020.

Cruise Price Includes: Transfer between meeting point Kolkata, Ship and drop off point Kolkata, train ticket Farakka – Kolkata or v.v., entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes, domestic flight Kolkata – Jorhat or Guwahati incl 20kg check-in luggage, one overnight at Grand Oberoi Kolkata or similar incl. breakfast.

Cruise Price Excludes: Flights, port dues (if levied), laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.

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Tour Plan

Transfer from the meeting point at the Oberoi Grand to embark and sail at noon. Sail past the old Danish colony of Serampore to Barrackpore to land andand take a walk through the cantonment – past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House.
Sail up to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House, the erstwhile Governor-General of French India. Sail upstream past the old Dutch settlement of Chinsura before landing to visit the imposing Imambara at Hooghly. With verses from the Koran written on its walls, the Imambara is an opportunity to step back in time and relive a slice of Islamic history in Bengal. Sail into the night to a mooring near Kalna.
Sail upstream and, after breakfast, land at the country town of Kalna and take cycle rickshaws to see a group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracottatemples, as well as the unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made up of 108 lesser shrines. Continue on through the countryside to Mayapur to visit the vast new ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple which dominates the skyline. As the headquarters of ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement, the temple receives over a million singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world. Sail on through the night to a mooring near Matiari.
Day 4
This morning visit the brass-working village of Matiari, a charming riverside village. Interact with the locals of Matiari and witness the whole primitive process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels. Later, cruise on and visit the battlefield of Plassey where, in 1757, Robert Clive, the Commander-in-Chief of British India, defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, to change the course of Indian history. Moor close to Murshidabad for the night.
Day 5
This morning walk to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Mughal-style garden that encloses the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah – the last independent Nawab of Bengal – and his family. Continue a little way upstream to where the great Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Built by an English architect in 1837, the palace hosts an extensive collection of pictures, china, weapons and other objects. Carry on to visit the great Katra Mosque and Nashipara Palace before driving out to see the Katgola Palace. Built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants, Katgola Palace represents the other side of the coin of the 'White Mughal' period when English and Indian cultures came close to fusion. Moor overnight on the riverbank across from town.
Day 6
This morning, walk through the fields of the delightfully sleepy village of Baranagar to visit its three gorgeous miniature terracotta temples. This is rural India at its most idyllic. Continue up the lower Ganges (or the Hooghly),which transforms into a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards. Carry on up a long canal section to a mooring close to the Farakka Barrage.
Day 7
During breakfast, we cruise to a mooring by the Farakka lock. Disembark and go on a full-day excursion by road to Gaur, near the town of Malda, or English Bazar. This quiet, deserted place was once one of India’s great cities, first under the Hindus in 12th century, then as the Muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century. There are plentiful remains of mosques, palaces and gateways and you visit a number of the most interesting before rejoining the ship in the evening above the Farakka lock gate to continue your cruise upstream.
Day 8
Journey approximately four hours by train from Farakka to Kolkota and transfer to Oberoi Grand Kolkata. Rest of day at leisure.
Transfer to the airport for a domestic flight to Jorhat, followed by transfer to your ship in Jorhat.
DAY 10
Arrive at Sibsagar, the ancient city of the Ahom Kings. Sibsagar (literally “the ocean of Lord Shiva”) was built around Sibsagar tank, dug over 200 years ago. Explore temples at the banks including the Shiva Temple, contracted in 1734 and believed to be the hightest Hindu temple in India. In the afternoon, visit Majuli. Enjoy a masked dance at Samagudi Satra.
DAY 11
Sail to the Kamalabari and drive to Auniati Satra. Visit the prayer hall, the monks quarters and learn about the art of fan making. End the visit with a drum dance. Visit a local village on what is the world’s largest river island and home to the ethnic ‘Mishing’ people. Here, women weave on hand-looms to create characterful costumes and we enjoy a demonstration of a Dhoti & Chaddor - traditional dresses for the men and women of the Mishing communities.
DAY 12
Cruise in the morning and arrive at Bishwanath. After lunch, visit charming village by small boats and its people weaving silk and cotton.
DAY 13
Arrive at Silghat, take an excursion through stunning countryside to a tea estate and factory producing the famous Assam tea. Our expedition continues with a visit to the UNESCO accredited Kaziranga National Park where we enjoy a safari searching for the elusive Greater OneHorned Indian Rhinoceros and Indian tiger.
DAY 14
Rise before dawn and visit Kaziranga National Park to look for the elusive rhinoceros and tiger. Breakfast at a resort. Continue by Jeep to the Kohora gate. Afternoon start sailing towards Guwahati.
DAY 15
Morning sail to Pandu. After lunch, visit to the ‘Kama-khya Temple’, devoted to the goddess of desire. Continue to Guwahati and enjoy a farewell dinner on board.
DAY 16
After breakfast, transfer to Guwahati airport

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