Plan ahead and combine two river cruising tours along the famous Ganges River for 15 days so you don’t have to worry about missing anything. Get unpacked and comfortable in your cabin once and then relax and enjoy the journey from Patna to Kolkata. Explore palace ruins at Rajmahal, check out sixth-century rock carvings, take breathtaking photos of the Jain temple in the middle of a lake at Pawapuri, and sail through local villages to see historical battlegrounds, terracotta temples, and the Katgola palace. Experience India in a way only river cruising can show you.
Arrival transfer. Patna city tour. Buddhist monastery and stupa visit (Nalanda). Pawapuri Jain temple visit. Rickshaw ride to a Mughal fort and the East India Company cemetery (Munger). Pirpahar Hill and Sitakund Hot Springs visit. Sultanganj visit. Mansion and silk-weaving village visit (Bhagalpur). Bateshwar Temple visit. 8th-century Buddhist stupa ruins and monastery visit (Vikramshila). Rajmahal visit. Full day excursion to Malda. Baranagar village and temple visits. Hazarduari Palace visit. Katra Mosque visit. Nashipara and Katgola palaces visit. Cycle rickshaw excursion to the Khushbagh. Battlefield of Plassey visit. Brassworking village of Matiari visit. Hare Krishna temple visit. Cycle rickshaw excursion to terracotta temples (Kalna). Shiva temple visit. Imambara visit. Chandannagar visit. Barrackpore visit. All meals on board Varuna. All transport to/from included activities and between destinations.
Explore ancient palaces and historical sights, savour Indian cuisine on board, enjoy a rickshaw ride to view Mughal ruins, visit beautiful temples and local villages, witness traditional brass-working
1. While it is our intention to follow the itinerary as advertised, some modifications to the itinerary are occasionally needed if water levels become very low. If changes need to be made, they may involve docking the boat just before a scheduled port and using overland transportation to reach the destination.
For a portion of this trip you are travelling through the state of Bihar that has banned the sale and consumption of alcohol, during which time you will be unable to purchase alcoholic drinks on the cruise.
3. GANGES & HOGHLY RIVERS
Please note that between Farakka and Kolkata we sail along a distributary arm of the Ganges locally known as the Hoghly River. This narrower arm, once a key transportation channel in Bengal, offers the opportunity to cruise close to riverbanks dotted with historic temples and colonial settlements while still travelling the sacred waters of the Ganges.
Group Size Notes
Riverboat Varuna, private vehicles, train, rickshaws, walking.
Aboard the Varuna riverboat (13 nts), comfort hotels (1 nt).
My Own Room
Cabins on board the riverboat all have exterior view windows and private bathrooms.
Capacity: 24 passengers
Cabins: 12 Cabins
Boat Layout: Spacious saloon with French windows opening onto a front balcony deck, dinning room with glass doors down each side.
Large sun deck with cane rattan chairs and sun loungers. Single seating for buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Combination of Indian and Western cuisines.
What to Take
Most airlines allow up to two checked bags and one carry-on per person. To avoid any problems upon check-in and with possible excess baggage charges, please consult the airline for specific restrictions.
Dress on board the boat is informal. Plan to bring comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. When packing, we suggest that you do not weigh yourself down with too many clothes or too much gear. Select informal, practical attire that can be worn in layers.
Passport (with photocopies)
• Travel insurance (with photocopies)
• Airline tickets (with photocopies)
• Cash in USD
• Credit and debit cards
• Any G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information or trip details
• Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
• Camera, memory cards, batteries and chargers
• Reading/writing material
• Flashlight or headlamp
• Rain poncho
• Windproof jacket
• Walking boots/sturdy shoes
• Toiletries (biodegradable)
• Watch/alarm clock
• First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking.)
• Antibacterial wipes/gel
• Ear plugs
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medication required. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise us of any medical condition that may affect you while traveling.
If you are carrying any prescribed medication, or if you have any particular health needs, please bring with you a signed and dated letter from your physician stating any such health problems and dosage requirements for any medication to be provided to any medical authorities in case of an emergency.
Also, please note that if you are particularly sensitive to heat, this may not be the trip for you.
Safety and Security
A Couple of Rules
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.
Allow USD55-75 for meals not included. Drinks and tips on board not included.
14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 13 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: AHLPC, ID: 24369
Day 1: Patna
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
This itinerary may change slightly due to river conditions.
Arrival Airport Transfer
Day 2: Patna (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy a free day to explore Patna before a 4pm embarkation.
Day 3: Patna/Bārh (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy a morning tour of Patna, visiting the extraordinary 18th-century Golghar granary, the great Sikh temple, and the State Museum. Continue on by ship, passing near the old East India Company opium warehouses and cruise down to moor for the evening at Barh.
State Museum Visit
Sikh Temple Visit
Golghar Granary Visit
Day 4: Bārh/Mokāma (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy an excursion to the excavated Buddhist monastery and stupa at Nalanda, with a visit to the adjoining museum. After, visit the Pawapuri Jain temple, situated in the middle of a lake. Return to the vessel and continue to the bridge at Mokama, where earlier the famous naturalist Jim Corbett spent his working life overseeing the ferry crossing.
Buddhist Monastery and Stupa Visit
Pawapuri Jain Temple Visit
Day 5: Mokāma/Sultānganj (1B, 1L, 1D)
Sail down to Munger. Take a rickshaw ride through the town to view the remnants of a Mughal fort and the East India Company cemetery. Visit the bazaars with the locals before exploring Pirpahar Hill and Sitakund Hot Springs. Continuing walking through the village and fields before getting back on board. Continue on to anchor near Jehangira Island at Sultanganj, a pilgrimage spot with early Hindu carvings in the rock.
Munger Village and Sitakund Hot Spring Visit
Rickshaw Ride and Mughal Fort Visit
Jehangira Island Excursion & Hindu Rock Carvings Visit
Day 6: Sultānganj/Bhāgalpur (1B, 1L, 1D)
Spend the morning sailing a stretch of the river where South Asian river dolphins may be seen to Bhagalpur, a centre of silk production. Visit a mansion and silk-weaving village. Continue on close to the island shrine at Colganj, boasting Hindu and Buddhist cave temples. Visit Bateshwar Temple with 6th-century Hindu carvings, and the nearby ruins of an 8th-century Buddhist stupa and monastery at Vikramshila. Anchor for the night near the confluence with the Kosi River coming down from Nepal.
Colganj Cave Temples and Area Ruins Visit
Mansion and Silk-Weaving Village Visit
Day 7: Bhāgalpur/Farakka Barrage (1B, 1L, 1D)
Sail downstream to Rajmahal, a village offering both points of interest and fantastic local atmosphere. Shah Jehan, builder of the Taj Mahal, spent much of his youth here. Explore the remains of palaces, forts, and mosques submerged in vegetation before continuing on down to the Farakka Barrage.
Rajmahal Town and Sights Visit
Day 8: Farakka Barrage/Farakka (1B, 1L, 1D)
This trip is a combo. As such, today some travellers may depart and others may join.
Day 9: Farakka/Jangipur (1B, 1L, 1D)
Sail down the canal to Jangipur. In the afternoon, explore this small country town on foot.
Day 10: Jangipur/Murshidābād (1B, 1L, 1D)
Sail down the Hooghly River en route to the small village of Baranagar. Walk through the fields to reach the terracotta temples and get a taste of rural Indian life. Continue to Murshidabad to visit the Nawab’s great Hazarduari Palace. Visit the Katra Mosque before driving to two 18th-century buildings – the Nashipara Palace and the Katgola Palace.
Day 11: Murshidābād/Matiari (1B, 1L, 1D)
This morning, travel by cycle rickshaw to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Moghul-style garden. Continue on the river past Berhampur, to a rural mooring near the battlefield of Plassey and opt to walk to the commemorative obelisk. Cruise on to a mooring near Katwa for the night.
Battlefield of Plassey Visit
Day 12: Matiari/Māyāpur (1B, 1L, 1D)
Start the day with a visit to the brassworking village of Matiari to witness their ancient techniques. Later continue to Mayapur with a visit to the Hare Krishna temple. Enjoy a few of the older temples and see a giant banyan tree.
Day 13: Māyāpur/Chunchura (1B, 1L, 1D)
Explore the country town of Kalna. Take cycle rickshaws to see a group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples and visit a Shiva temple. Continue to Chinsurah, to visit the historic Dutch cemetery. After, take cyclos to the Imambara before reboarding the vessel.
Day 14: Chunchura/Bārākpur (1B, 1L, 1D)
Sail to Chandannagar, a former French possession, to explore. Continue to Barrackpore. Disembark for a walking tour around the main sights.
Day 15: Bārākpur/Kolkata (1B)
Cruise under the Howrah Bridge to central Kolkata to disembark. Transfer to central Kolkata or the airport. Tour ends on arrival.
Departure Day (Activities)