This tour offers a fascinating blend of colonial history, Indian Heritage and glimpses of rural life. Explore the popular Golden Triangle route with its colonial and Mughal history, ancient regal monuments and palaces which still stand telling tales of the bygone era; before embarking on silent cruise waters of the Ganges. Discover bustling, chaotic and heritage rich city of Kolkatta (former Calcutta).
Fly from Heathrow for an overnight flight to Delhi.
Arrive Delhi and transfer to your hotel in private car. Evening visit to Red Fort with your private guide. First of two nights in Delhi.
Drive to Agra. Visit Itmad-ud-Daula and Agra Fort. Evening visit to Taj Mahal with your private guide. Overnight in Agra.
Drive to Jaipur enroute guided visit of Fatehpur Sikri. Evening at leisure. First of two nights in Jaipur.
Morning, visit the Amer Fort, City Palace and Jantar Mantar with your private guide. Evening at leisure.
Morning, a short flight to Kolkatta. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. After setting into the hotel, visit the South Park Street Cemetery, where tombs of the early British settlers are of a monumental classicism without parallel in Britain. Overnight in Calcutta.
Early morning, optional walk through the colourful flower market. Afternoon transfer to train station to take a 4-hour train journey from Kolkata to Farakka, and a short road transfer to your ship. First of seven nights onboard ABN Sukhapa.
Morning cruise along a straight canal to Jangipur, where you disembark for 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 Hindus in 12th century, then as the Muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century. Visit the plentiful remains of mosques, palaces and gateways telling tales of the past centuries, before rejoining your ship in the evening. Overnight onboard ABN Sukhapa.
Morning sailing down the Lower Ganges, a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards. Moor at the delightful sleepy village of Baranagar with three miniature terracotta temples. Walk through the fields to explore the temples and get glimpses of the local rural life.This is rural India at its most idyllic. Continue on down past Azimganj, boasting some fine riverside mansions, to Murshidabad, where Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Built in the nineteenth century by architect Duncan Mcleod under the reign of the Nawab, the palace hosts an extensive collection of pictures, china, weapons and other objects. Continue to visit the great Katra Mosque and Nashipara Palace before driving out to visit the Katgola Palace, a palace built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants. Overnight onboard ABN Sukhapa.
Sail downstream to visit Khushbagh, a peaceful Mughul-style garden enclosing the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah – the last independent Nawab of Bengal – and his family. Return to the ship and continue sailing past the old British cantonment of Berhampur to a rural mooring close to the battlefield of Plassey where, in 1757, Robert Clive, the Commander-in-Chief of British India, defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, to change the course of Indian history. You can walk through the fields to the commemorative obelisk. Cruise on to a mooring near Katwa, a market town with narrow bustling bazaars (markets). Overnight onboard ABN Sukhapa.
Visit the brassworking village of Matiari where you can see the traditional process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels. 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. Overnight onboard ABN Sukhapa.
Sail to the town of Kalna. Take cycle rickshaws to see group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples, as well as the unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made up of 108 shrinelets. Sail on, leaving fields behind and arrive at the outskirts of Kolkata. Stop at Bandel to visit the imposing Imambara at Hooghly. With verses from the Koran written on its walls, the Imambara highlights Islamic history in Bengal. Overnight onboard ABN Sukhapa
Sail downstream, past fine waterfront buildings and the old Dutch settlement at Chinsura – to land at Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House, the erstwhile Governor-General of French India, before continuing down to Barrackpore. Disembark and take a walk through the cantonment, past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House. Overnight onboard ABN Sukhapa
Early this morning, cruise under the Howrah Bridge to central Kolkata to disembark. Meet your guide for a city heritage walk that takes in some of the finest structures of the British Raj, most European in style but adapted to Bengali climate: the Dalhousie square covering the Georgian classicism of St John’s Church (1784) and the Town Hall, the Gothic High Court and Classical General Post, the Anglican cathedral of St Paul (1847) and the Victoria Memorial (1906–21), the most imposing building in Calcutta. Overnight in Calcutta.
Early morning assistance and transfer to airport to board your return flight.
Just a quick report on the trip! You are a hard act to follow, having lead the first two trips so superbly, but Tilak did you (and us ) proud! He was un-flappable, cool, calm and courteous, extremely helpful, and showed a great sense of humour….what more could one ask? I was very grateful for his help when my camera was stolen, also when I locked my keys in my suitcase.
Neither of us had been to India before, but we were well taken care of, and learned and saw so much! In addition, I would particularly like to mention how very good Tilak was. We relied on him completely, he managed everything exceptionally well, and nothing was too much trouble. It cannot be easy dealing with a group of senior travellers (especially on the train!) but he made it all very easy for us. He was efficient, professional, resourceful, and kind. We could not have asked for more.
We returned home from India last week and just wanted to let you know that we thoroughly enjoyed our Indian holiday with excellent co-ordination from your company throughout. We had a superb driver and some lovely enthusiastic guides, save for one poor guide in Jodhpur. Our holiday was one of the most vibrant, colourful and cultural experiences ever with delicious varied food.
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