Take a peaceful river cruise with bustling authentic village life on both sides of the Ganges. It is a wonderful relief from the big cities. The Indians are very friendly – hundreds (if not thousands) of them stand on the shores and wave to you. You can spend time on deck just watching and being mesmerized by the activity. There are many temples on both sides of the Ganges.
Sailing Dates – Up
|Sl||Kolkata||Kolkata||Barrackpore / Channdanagore / Bandel||Shantipur / Kalna||Mayapur / Katwa / Matiari||Marshidabad||Azimganj||Farakka
Sailing Dates – Down
/ Katwa / Matiari
/ Channdanagore / Bandel
Pre and Post Cruise Tours
You can combine the 7-night Ganges river cruise with these pre and post tours:
- Golden Triangle 6 Nights / 7 Days
- God’s Own Country Kerala 7 Nights / 8 Days
- Queen of Himalayas.- 5 Nights / 6 Days
Please contact us and specify your preference. We will then provide a full itinerary with quotes.
Cruise Day 1: Kolkata. – On arrival embark on M.V. Paramhamsa at the Millennium Park. Tours
Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) – the City of Joy, is a vibrant colorful city. It has beautiful architectural and cultural remnants of its past as it was a trading post for the East India Company. The city’s colonial British Raj landmarks include the government buildings around B.B.D. Bagh Square, and the iconic Victoria Memorial, dedicated to Britain’s queen. Other attractions are the vibrant Kali temple and its colorful bazaars. Kolkata is arguably the most interesting metropolis in India.
Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata
Cruise Day 2: Kolkata – Tours, lunch on board ship, set sail.
Take an early morning walk through the colorful flower market. It is a photographer’s paradise, and from here you also have a perfect spot to view the nearby Howrah Bridge. Furthermore, you can watch the wrestlers practice their art starting at 7am on a small sandy area near the river.
Another point of interest is the potter colony at Kumartuli. Here you can see artists mold intricate images of various gods for various PUJAs (festivals). The artisans practice Hindu philosophy and design sculptures for worshipping.
There will also be time to tour colonial landmarks by coach and short walks. In the afternoon, visit Mother Therasa’s home, the Kali temple, the Indian museum and the Victoria memorial.
Mother Theresa’s home
Visit the humble room, the home of Saint Late Mother Theresa. For 44 years, she served millions of orphans. The Missionary of Charity was established in 1950 and has over 3500 sisters all over the world.
The Kali temple
The temple in its present form is about 200 years old. However, the temple was originally from Chandragupta II days. At that time, Bengal was a part of Vanga. The Archer type of coins, which became the most popular type of coinage used by the Gupta rulers after Kumaragupta I, have been found in Kalighat. This is the main evidence of the antiquity of the place. Kalighat is regarded as one of the 51 Shakti Peetas of India. Various parts of Sati’s body are said to have fallen, in the course of Shiva’s Rudra Tandava. Kalighat represents the site where the toes of the right foot of Dakshayani or Sati fell.
The Indian museum
This 200 years old museum, is the largest and oldest museum in India and has rare collections of antiques, armor and ornaments, fossils, skeletons, mummies, and Mughal paintings. It was founded in 1814 by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in Kolkata.
The Victoria Memorial
There will be a “photo stop” at the Victoria memorial, which was built by Lord Curzon in memory of Queen Victoria. The memorial with its museum and gardens depicts the British Raj colonial history in India.
With all on board, you sail from Kolkata along the sacred Ganges. The river Ganges also known as Hugli, gently meanders her way from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. During our river cruise, we will trace the history and heritage along her banks which are filled with smiling and waving villagers. Relax on the top decks with a cold brew and soak in the sun while experiencing authentic village life on both shores.
In the evening, there will be a short description of what you are about to experience on the cruise along the river Ganges. You will also learn some a bit of history and heritage of the River Ganges.
After dinner, enjoy a classical dance.
Cruise Day 3: Barrackpore, Chandannagore and Bandel
Barrackpore – Take a fast walking tour or an electric rickshaw ride through the town.
The first British barrack or cantonment in India was built in the town in 1772. After the British crown assumed direct control of India, the sprawling Government House and the Government Estate were built in Barrackpore to provide the viceroy with a suburban residence 15 miles (24 km) outside of Calcutta. The place experienced two rebellions against British authority. The first Barrackpore Mutiny of 1824 was led by Sepoy Bindee Tiwary. The rebellion, 47th Bengal Native Infantry, refused to board boats to cross the sea to Burma in the First Anglo-Burmese War. Consequently, British-manned artillery fired and “erased” them. In 1857, the second Sepoy mutiny took place after an Indian soldier, Mangal Pandey, attacked his British commander, and was subsequently court-martialed.
Chandannagore – Take a stroll or a take a bike tour to explore the town.
Chandannagore was a French colony from 1673 to 1952, except for a short period from 1757 to 1794 when it was under British rule. The town built along the shores of Ganges, has a distinctive French architecture.
Bandel means the Port in Bengali, and the place was a port during the time of the Portuguese.
A bike tour is offered from Chandannagar to Bandel. You can ride through the river bank to Chinsura, (a Dutch trading post) where you can explore the Hugli Imambara before reaching the Portuguese town of Bandel and the Paramhamsa.
In the evening, an introduction-course to the science of Yoga will be offered.
After dinner, enjoy a mix of Bollywood and western music.
Cruise Day 4: Shantipur and Kalna
Shantipur – This village is known for its expert weavers using handlooms to produce fine Bengal cotton products. The weavers blend traditional art with modern styles to produce a variety of textiles, including saris, stoles, fabrics etc.
Kalna – The Maharajas of Bardhaman built several magnificent temples with intricate terracotta ornamentations. The main attraction is perhaps 108 Shiv Mandir temples from 1809 in traditional AAT chala architecture. The Raj bari housing most of the temples.
In the evening, you will learn about Indian dressing styles.
After dinner, enjoy gentle Sitar music. The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument used mainly in Hindustani music and Indian classical music.
Cruise Day 5: Mayapur and Matiari
Mayapur is the Headquarters of ISKCON, preaching the power of prayer to attain salvation. The Hare Krishna cult believes that by cultivating true spiritual science, we can be free from anxiety and attain a state of pure, unending, blissful consciousness in our lifetime. On average, 2000 people visit the temple town. The Mayapur ISKCON complex houses apart from the temple, 2500 guest rooms, a vedic school for the children of the worshippers and a cowshed!
Matiari is an artisans village of Kansari. Kansha (Bell metal wares) was a poor man’s substitute to the rich silverware used in Bengali homes for prayers, table wares and cooking. The traditional Kansari artisans make handcrafts and artifacts from scrap-metals. Walk through the village and watch the craftsmen at work follow the age old tradition.
After dinner on board, dance to the vibrant music of Baul songs. The Bauls are a syncretic religious sect with a musical tradition. The Bauls are a very heterogeneous group, with many sects, but their membership mainly consists of Hindus and Sufi Muslims. They can often be identified by their distinctive clothes and musical instruments.
Cruise Day 6: Murshidabad – Visit the magnificent palace of Thousand doors and take a ride on horse cart (Phaetons) exploring the historic town.
Murshidabad is an the old town with the earliest evidences of history from 1500 B.C. The Nawab Murshid Quli Khan made Murshidabad the capital city of Sube Bangla, comprising of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The East India Company reigned from here for many years after the Battle of Plassey.
Cruise Day 7: Azimganj
Baranagore was in the mid 17th century a small trading post. It was built by Rani Bhavani. The Baranagore temples spread over one and half kilometers, represent the Hindu Zamindari. The main temple is the Char Bangla temple, which is a fine example of Bengal’s unique terracotta art.
In the evening, experience Madal dance. This is dance form with drums and other percussions.
Cruise Day 8: Malda
Farakka Barrage. We will sail through farakka barrage. The lock gates will be opened for us between 9am and 11am. The Farakka Barrage is the longest barrage in the world with 101 gates, according to the Guinness book of World Records.
We will visit Gaur at Malda. Gour, located 16 km from the town Malda, has major historical significance as it was the capital of Bengal for several centuries. Gour has a number of monuments such as: Small Golden Mosque, Bara Darwaza, Dakhil Darwaza, Firoz Minar, Kodam Rasut Mosque, and the Tomb of Saint Makhdum Shaikh ached Siraj.
In the evening, barbecue night with light music.
Cruise Day 9 : Disembarkation
Take a post cruise tour or Check out and transfer for onward journey.
(This 9-day/8-night upstream river cruise program can be taken in reverse. The 8-day/7-night downstream river cruise ends with disembarkation and transfers in Kolkata one day earlier)