Oct to May
SMALL SHIP CRUISE
Upper Ganges River Cruise
You can travel deeper into India on the RV Katha Pandaw and get a more personal sense of the nation. Discover the riverside towns, take rickshaw rides, and visit the magnificent terracotta temples. If you enjoy wildlife, you might even get lucky and see some Gangetic dolphins playing in the ocean as you eat on deck.
Over 2,500 kilometers of the Ganges River pass between Bangladesh and India. Before draining into the Bay of Bengal, it travels from the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand south and east via the Gangetic Plain of Bangladesh and India.
Many tourists visit India to experience the vibrant culture. You will be able to attend presentations and demonstrations given by the local Indian population to add extra value to your vacation.
WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY
- Take a rickshaw in Kalna to see Bengal’s terracotta temples, & the unique Shiva temple with 108 shrines
- Discover the brass-working village of Matiari
- Cross the Lower Ganges or Hooghly River to the Ganges itself through the Farraka canal and lock
- Opportunity to spot the rare Gangeatic dolphins
- Explore Barh, famous for Hindu ritual cremation at Urmanath
- Visit the archaeological site of Nalanda, the great 5th century Buddhist university
~ Mark Twain
If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!
Itinerary in Brief
Transfer from the meeting point in Kolkata to start up your Pandaw ship. Set sail down the Hooghly River, a crucial distributor of the Ganga to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Stroll along the riverside promenade, visit the 18th-century church and Dupleix’s House, the erstwhile Governor-General of French India. Return to the ship and continue upstream past the old Dutch settlement of Chinsura and, therefore, the Portuguese colony of Bandel.
Land at the country town of Kalna and take rickshaws to determine a gaggle of many Bengal’s most incredible terracotta temples, moreover because the unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made of 108 lesser shrines. On the way back to the ship, explore the colorful local market stuffed with fruit sellers and fishmongers. Continue sailing towards Mayapur to explore the vast new ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple, which dominates the skyline. Because of the headquarters of ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement, the temple receives over 1,000,000 singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world.
Set off to get the brass-working village of Matiari. Interact with the local artisans learn how these skilled craftsmen all concentrate on a unique process – from beating the metal to etching the designs. Witness the entire process involved forming brass water pots, trays, and other vessels Later, cruise on past the battlefield of Plassey where, in 1757, statesman, the Commander-in-Chief of British India, defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal.
Enjoy an early 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 cruising towards Murshidabad to where the lovely Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Explore the town, a hidden architectural gem along the river with dramatic, whitewashed, colonial-era structures, including Katra Mosque and Katgola palaces.
Cross from the Lower Ganges or Hooghly River to the Ganges itself through the Farraka canal and lock, which was constructed 1963-75. Passing into the lovely river, the Farraka barrage is visible just downstream. This really dams the Ganges and strategically controls the flow of water into neighboring Bangladesh. Enter a piece of the river rich in birdlife before stopping at Samtaghat, otherwise called Raj Mahal.
Passing the confluence of the Kosi river that flows down from Nepal, moor at the gorgeous town of Bateshwarsthan to uncover the 8th-century Buddhist site of Vikramshila, one of all the two most vital centers of learning in India during the Pala Empire, together with Nalanda.
Sailing along this stretch of the river provides a chance to identify the rare Gangetic dolphins. Land at Bhagalpur, a center of silk production, and visit the 18th-century mansion of the Collector, Augustus Cleveland.
Continue to Jahanigra Island, an area of pilgrimage with many rock carvings in alto relievo dating from the eighth century depicting aspects of Siva and Vishnu. Within the evening moor off Sultanganj, with its pair of great granite rocks, one crowned with a mosque and the other a tiny low temple dating from the 16th century.
Munger is now a large and industrialized city but has a remarkable history. In 1762, Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal, shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger and established a firearms manufacturing center. Explore the Mughal fort, the East India Company cemetery, and step inside the Bihar School of Yoga, founded in 1964 by Satyananda Saraswati, one of the leading yoga schools within the country. The institution has developed yogic techniques by synthesizing traditional yogic, vedantic, and tantric practices and contemporary health science.
Stop at Mokama, once home to Gentleman Jim, the naturalist, and protector of the Indian tigers. Surrounded by farmlands, Mokama has the second-highest production of lentils within the country. Study the liberty fighters from Mokama like Lalldin Saheb, who during the liberation struggle was sentenced to jail during land rule.
Explore Barh, a town famous for Hindu ritual cremation at Urmanath and the Alakhnath Temple.
Nalanda – Disembark Ship
Disembark the ship early and drive to the archaeological site of Nalanda, the lovely 5th-century Buddhist university. Discover the massive red brick walls and stupas standing on the positioning of what was the longest-running university in Indian history. Immerse yourself within the tranquil surrounds of this UNESCO World Heritage Site which is assumed to possess accommodated over 10,000 students and hosted Buddha Siddhartha himself. Still, Bodh Gaya, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, arranged round the Maha Bodhi temple where the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment within the 5th century BC. Spend time exploring this global center of pilgrimage for Buddhists of all denominations and admire the various monasteries inbuilt various national styles – Tibetan, Burmese, Thai, Japanese, etc.
Overnight in Oaks Bodh Gaya or similar
Board a flight to Varanasi, the oldest and holiest city of India established within the 11th century BC and today with over 2,000 living temples. Check-in to your hotel with time to clean up before an evening cruise along the sacred river to witness the Aarti ritual. Enjoy dinner at the good Kebab Factory, a contemporary and classy Indian restaurant specializing in delectable kebabs.
Overnight in Tree of Life Varanasi or similar
Take a sunrise boat cruise past the showering ghats and observe the people as they are available to the river to perform their morning prayers and rituals. Following breakfast, explore the Old City on a walking tour through the traditional by-lanes and find out the colorful and chaotic life. Later visit Sarnath and the Deer Park, where the Lord Buddha gave his first sermon with its archaeological museum. Return to the hotel and luxuriate in a performance comprising a sitar and tabla before your farewell dinner
Overnight in Tree of Life Varanasi or similar
After breakfast, you will check out and transfer to the airport or the Taj Ganges hotel.
RV Katha Pandaw
Sister to the Kindat and identical in design the Kalaw was launched together with her in 2014. Kalaw is named after the PS Kalaw launched in 1917 and sunk in 1942 within the War. Paul Strachan witnessed the salvaging of the Kalaw in 1998 and managed to accumulate her nameplate and bell, the previous of which has been reused on her namesake. Again this ultra lightship combines one in every of the shallowest drafts on the river with one in every of the very best passenger space ratios afloat.
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