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Itinerary

  • Itinerary - Upstream

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INCREDIBLY ON THE GANGES
12 Days on Tour: 8 Nights on Bengal Ganga & 3 Nights in Hotels

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The cruise schedule includes the latest information regarding your program, but last minute adjustments may occur. The schedule may shift due to the weather or to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. The exact time for each activity will be announced or posted by the onboard tour staff.

The letters in parentheses denote the meals provided that day: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner. 

DAY 1:  ARRIVE AT KOLKATA – EMBARK / SAIL TO KALNA (_, L, D)

Arrival at Kolkata by morning flight and transfer to jetty to board the cruise ship RV Bengal Ganga. 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. It was modeled according to the St Martin-in-the-Fields of London. 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 and cast off to Kalna. Our 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.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 2:  KALNA – MATIARI (B, L, D)

Morning we 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. On the other side of the road lies a walled complex, containing 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. The other notable temples here are the Lalji temple, Krishnachandra temple and the flat roofed temple of Giri Govardhan.

Return to the ship and cruise towards Matiari, arriving by the evening and moor for the night.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 3:  SAIL MATIARI / MURSHIDABAD (B, L, D)

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 and moor for the night.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 4:  SAIL MURSHIDABAD / JANGIPUR (B, L, D)

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 and moor for the night.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 5:  SAIL JANGIPUR / FARAKKA / SAMTAGHAT (B, L, D)

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.

We continue our sail upstream and moor for the night at Samtaghat.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 6:  SAIL SAMTAGHAT / BATESHWARSTHAN (B, L, D)

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 moor for the night at Bateshwarsthan.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 7:  SAIL BATESHWARSTHAN – SULTANGANJ UP (B, L, D)

Today 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 and moor for the night.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 8:  SAIL TO MUNGER (B, L, D)

Today we sail towards MUNGER, 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. Its history can be traced back to the mythological era of Ramayana and Mahabharata. In modern times Munger came into prominence in 1762 when the Nawab of Bengal Mir Qasim made Munger his capital instead of Murshidabad in Bengal. The new ruler established arsenal for the manufacture of firearms. Subsequently Munger came in to the hands of the British Empire after Mir Qasim lost the Battle of Buxar. The tradition of manufacturing of arms is continued till now. Arrive Munger by the afternoon and moor for the night.

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.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 9:  DISEMBARK AT MUNGER & DRIVE NALANDA / BODHGAYA (B, L, D)

We disembark the ship at 0700 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.

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.

Overnight at Hotel Royal Residency / Hotel Sujata at Bodhgaya OR Indo Hokke Hotel, Rajgir

DAY 10:  DRIVE BODHGAYA / VARANASI (B, L D)

After early breakfast we drive to VARANASI – the holiest town for Hindus. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel and have our lunch.

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.

Overnight at Hotel Gateway Ganges / Radisson Hotel / Clarks Varanasi

DAY 11:  VARANASI CITY TOUR (B, L, D)

Sunrise Boat Tour to witness the incredible scenes along the Holy River.

Return to hotel for breakfast, rest and lunch.

Post lunch visit Sarnath. The city is famous as the seat where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. The Archeological Museum at Sarnath contains a large collection of sculptures that stand testimony to the fervent artistic and religious activity for more than a thousand years.

Overnight at Hotel Gateway Ganges / Radisson Hotel / Clarks Varanasi

DAY 12:  DEPARTURE FROM VARANASI (B, _, _)

Transfer to airport for your flight or depart to your onward destination.

**** END OF BENGAL YATRA UPSTREAM CRUISE TOUR ****

INCREDIBLY ON THE GANGES
12 Days on Tour: 3 Nights in Hotels & 8 Nights on Bengal Ganga

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The cruise schedule includes the latest information regarding your program, but last minute adjustments may occur. The schedule may shift due to the weather or to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. The exact time for each activity will be announced or posted by the onboard tour staff.

The letters in parentheses denote the meals provided that day: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner. 

 

DAY 1:  ARRIVAL AT VARANASI (_, _, D)

Arrive after midday at VARANASI – the holiest town for Hindus. Upon arrival check in at the 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.

Overnight at Hotel Gateway Ganges / Radisson Hotel / Clarks Varanasi

DAY 2:  VARANASI CITY TOUR  (B, L, D)

Sunrise Boat Tour to witness the incredible scenes along the Holy River. Return to hotel for breakfast.

Post lunch visit Sarnath. The city is famous as the seat where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. The Archeological Museum at Sarnath contains a large collection of sculptures that stand testimony to the fervent artistic and religious activity for more than a thousand years.

Overnight at Hotel Gateway Ganges / Radisson Hotel / Clarks Varanasi

DAY 3:  DRIVE VARANASI – BODHGAYA (B, L, D)

After breakfast we start our journey for Bodhgaya. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel and have our lunch. BODHGAYA is one of the most important and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage center for the Buddhists.

Post lunch 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.

Overnight at Hotel Royal Residency / Hotel Sujata at Bodhgaya OR Indo Hokke Hotel, Rajgir

DAY 4:  DRIVE BODHGAYA – NALANDA – MUNGER & EMBARK (B, L, D)

After breakfast we drive to drive to Rajgir, the first capital of the Magadha Empire. Buddha not only spent many years in Rajgir, but also delivered important sermons here. We pick up our packed Lunch boxes from a local restaurant in Rajgir and continue 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.

We will have the box lunch while travelling towards Munger Jetty, our embarkation point to board the cruise ship RV Bengal Ganga.

MUNGER - 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. Its history can be traced back to the mythological era of Ramayana and Mahabharata. In modern times Munger came into prominence in 1762 when the Nawab of Bengal Mir Qasim made Munger his capital instead of Murshidabad in Bengal. The new ruler established arsenal for the manufacture of firearms. Subsequently Munger came in to the hands of the British Empire after Mir Qasim lost the Battle of Buxar. The tradition of manufacturing of arms is continued till now.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 5:  SAIL MUNGER – SULTANGANJ – BHAGALPUR   (B, L, D)

After breakfast we will 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.

Return to the ship and cast off towards Bhagalpur, sailing past 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 moor for the night at Bhagalpur for the night.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 6:  SAIL BHAGALPUR – BATESHWARSTHAN – SAMTAGHAT  (B, L, D)

This morning we sail down to Bateshwarsthan. Post breakfast, 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.

Return to the ship and continue sail downwards to Samtaghat and and moor for the night.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 7:  SAIL SAMTAGHAT – FARAKKA - JANGIPUR (B, L, D)

Today we cruise towards the Farakka Barrage Township. The Farakka Barrage, which regulates the Ganges water into Bangladesh and India can be seen at a distance.

Midday we cross through the historic Farakka Lock Gate, which was built during the years 1963-75. After crossing the lock we cruise through the connecting Feeder Canal (40 km) to the Bhagirathi-Hooghly River (the Lower Ganges). The travel through the Feeder Canal will give us a chance to see the different birds of the region.

We continue the cruise towards Jangipur and moor for the night.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 8:  SAIL JANGIPUR  – MURSHIDABAD (B, L, D)

Today we sail towards the historic town of MURSHIDABAD arriving by the afternoon.

Post lunch we walk 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.

We walk back to the ship through the local market.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 9:  SAIL MURSHIDABAD – MATIARI (B, L, D)

Post breakfast 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.

We ride back the tongas to the jetty and continue the cruise towards Matiari, 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 Matiari and moor for the night.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 10:  SAIL MATIARI – KALNA  (B, L, D)

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 Kalna arriving by the afternoon.

Post lunch we 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. On the other side of the road lies a walled complex, containing 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. The other notable temples here are the Lalji temple, Krishnachandra temple and the flat roofed temple of Giri Govardhan.

We moor further down at Bandel for the night.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 11:  SAIL KALNA – KOLKATA (B, L, D)

Today we cruise through the vast countryside of golden Bengal towards KOLKATA. Our cruise will take us through the areas where the different European settlers had established their respective trading posts during the period of 17th to 19th century.

Post lunch 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. It was modeled according to the St Martin-in-the-Fields of London. 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.

Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga

DAY 12:  DEPARTURE FROM KOLKATA (B, _, _)

After breakfast disembark the ship and transfer to airport for your flight or depart to your onward destination.

**** END OF BENGAL YATRA DOWNSTREAM CRUISE TOUR ****

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