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EXPLORE INDIA FURTHER

THE ALL GANGES & BRAHMAPUTRA RIVER

21 NIGHTS FROM US$12,046.50

Join us for a grand tour of India sailing 21 nights along the glorious Ganges & mighty Brahmaputra rivers. Inclusive of flights and transfers between Kolkata and Guwahati, Pandaw's newest combo cruise invites you to experience the best of India's waterways aboard our timeless colonial vessels. Add on one of our pre and post-cruise packages to Dehli & the golden triangle for a truly 'All India' experience.

From September 2024, Pandaw is happy to announce that our India expeditions will be all-inclusive, with complimentary local beers, spirits, mixers and soft drinks for all guests. Also included free of charge is select house wines during lunch and dinner only. Subject to availability.

Please Note: The Upper Ganges segment of this itinerary passes through the state of Bihar. In this state it is illegal to serve any drinks containing alcohol. For this reason we will not be able to serve alcohol onboard the ship.

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represented by Sayang Holidays
21 NIGHTS FROM US$12,046.50

IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS

Private Dining

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Free Flow Drinks & Wine Package (India - Upper Ganges)

Inclusive Add On
This package is now included free on your cruise for all guests.

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ITINERARY

Upstream      Downstream

DAY 1 VARANASI TO PATNA

Depart Varanasi in the morning and head to the train station for your journey to Patna where we meet your Pandaw vessel. Relax onboard and meet your crew and fellow passengers for the next 14 nights.

More about Varanasi

DAY 2 BARH

Morning city tour of Patna including a visit to The Golghar, a large stupa styled granary built in 1786. Sail downstream during lunch before arriving to Barh, a town famous for Hindu ritual cremation at Urmanath and the Alakhnath Temple.

DAY 3 MOKAMA

Stop at Mokama, once home to Jim Corbett the naturalist and protector of the Indian tigers. Surrounded by farmlands, Mokama has the second hightest production of lentils in the country. Learn about the freedom fighters from Mokama such as Lalldin Saheb, whose during the freedom struggle was sentenced to jail during the British rule.

DAY 4 MUNGER

Munger is now a large and industrialised city but has an interesting history. In 1762, Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal, shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger, and established a firearms manufacturing centre here. Explore the Mughal fort, East India Company cemetery and step inside the Bihar School of Yoga founded in 1964 by Satyananda Saraswati. One of the leading yoga schools in the country. The institution has developed yogic techniques through a synthesis of traditional yogic, vedantic and tantric practices and contemporary health science.

DAY 5 SULTANGANJ

Continue to Jahanigra Island, a place of pilgrimage with many rock carvings in high relief dating from the eighth century depicting aspects of Siva and Vishnu. In the evening moor off Sultanganj, with its pair of great granite rocks, one crowned with a mosque and the other a small temple dating from the 16th century. In the afternoon land at Bhaglapur, a centre of silk production, and visit the 18th century mansion of the Collector, Augustus Cleveland.

DAY 6 BATESHWARSTAN

Passing the confluence of the Kosi river that flows down from Nepal, moor at the pretty town of Bateshwarsthan to uncover the 8th century Buddhist site of Vikramshila, one of the two most important centres of learning in India during the Pala Empire, along with Nalanda.

DAY 7 FARAKKA

Continue sailing along the Ganges before stopping at Rajmahal, a quaint town on the banks of the Ganges for an afternoon walk.

DAY 8 FARAKKA BARRAGE

Depart Rajmahal and sail down to cross the Farakka barrage, entering the Hooghly River. In the afternoon take a gentle walk through a local village.

DAY 9 MURSHIDABAD

After breakfast, take a walk through the fields of the delightfully sleepy village of Baranagar to visit its three gorgeous miniature terracotta temples. This is rural India at its most idyllic. Visit the Jain temples at Azimganj before continuing our voyage downstream. In the afternoon we enjoy a city tour of Murshidabad, visiting the great Katra Mosque and Nashipara Palace before driving out to see the Katgola Palace. Built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants, Katgola Palace represents the other side of the coin of the 'White Mughal' period when English and Indian cultures came close to fusion.

More about Murshidabad

DAY 10 KUSHBAGH

This 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 a little way upstream to where the great Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Built by an English architect in 1837, the palace hosts an extensive collection of pictures, china, weapons and other objects. Continue sailing downstream in the afternoon with onboard activities and wildlife watching on the sun deck.

DAY 11 MATIARI

In the morning we visit the battlefield of Plassey where, in 1757, Robert Clive, the Commander-in-Chief of British India, defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, to change the course of Indian history. After lunch we continue downstream to the brass-working village of Matiari, a charming riverside village. Interact with the locals of Matiari and witness the whole primitive process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels.

DAY 12 MAYAPUR

Explore the village of Mayapur, the headquarters of the ISKCON movement with a new temple comparable in size to the Vatican and largely funded by Alfred B. Ford, the great grandson of car maker Henry Ford. Meet Krishna followers and walk through the pilgrims’ bazaar.

More about Mayapur

DAY 13 KALNA

After breakfast visit the country town of Kalna. Take rickshaws to see a group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples, as well as the unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made up of 108 lesser shrines.

More about Kalna

DAY 14 CHANDENAGORE

Continue sailing upstream to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House, erstwhile Governor-General of French India. In the afternoon we sail toward Barrackpore and take a walk through the cantonment - past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House. Enjoy a farewell dinner with your crew as we moor in Kolkata for the night.

DAY 15 KOLKATA - GUWAHATI

Disembark the ship at 08:00 and transfer to the airport for your flight to Guwahati. On arrival transfer to ship and meet your crew for the next 7-nights and set sail upstream onto the Mighty Brahmaputra River.

DAY 16 SUTARGAON RIVER VILLAGE

Today we stop at a local village consisting of migrant populations that have settled and been provided with official status by the government. Their charming village is the perfect place to learn about life along such a dramatically changeable river.

DAY 17 SILGHAT AND SAFARI

Setting sail early morning we reach Silghat, at the doorstep of Kaziranga National Park. We make our first venture into this park in the afternoon in search of the reserve’s most famous inhabitant, the Royal Bengal Tigers for which the park boasts the highest density of any place in the world. Tiger spotting is extremely rare but chances to see Kaziranga’s other famous inhabitants are abundant.

DAY 18 KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK

We leave the ship in the early morning for our second Jeep safari into Kaziranga National Park. Mornings are the perfect time to spot the Indian One-Horned Rhinos, Buffalos, Elephants plus a host of birdlife, including hornbills and kingfishers. Following your safari, we visit a typical Assamese tea garden and learn about the process from bush to cup. After lunch onboard we sail downstream toward Tezpur and if time permits, visit Bamuni Hills, a 9th century temple complex that lies in ruins overlooking the town.

DAY 19 NAMERI NATIONAL PARK

After an early breakfast we head ashore and drive north toward the state of Arunachal Pradesh to explore our second national Park – Nameri National Park. Here we take a float trip down the Jia – Bhoreli River of around 2 hours and enjoy the abundant birdlife and breathtaking scenery backdropped by the Blue Hills in the Eastern Himalayan range. We return for lunch onboard and set sail downstream.

More about Kaziranga National Park

DAY 20 MYSTICAL MAYANG

Stepping ashore in Mayang, a sizeable village along the shores of the Brahmaputra, we learn about the history of magic and sorcery that was prevalent in the region. We visit the fascinating Mayang museum which explains how various mantras were used for anything from curing ailments to identifying a thief. We are then welcomed into the home of a local Mayang resident for a discussion and perhaps demonstration of some tricks.

DAY 21 SUALKUCHI SILK WEAVING VILLAGE

Sualkuchi is a major centre for weaving in Assam. Here we learn about the entire silk making production from the cocoon, to spinning and weaving to make the typical saree worn by local women. There is a chance to buy some local silken souvenirs and experience a traditional folk dance before we return to the ship by electric rickshaw.

DAY 22 GUWAHATI

After breakfast, disembark the ship and transfer to city hotel or Guwahati airport for your onward journey.

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WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: Transfer to/from/between Ship, 1 air ticket between Kolkata and Guwahati, entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes plus our India complimentary drinks package

Cruise Price Excludes: Flights, port dues (if levied), laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.

What to Note

  • We suggest to change money at a bank or withdraw cash from an ATM at the international airport before exiting.
  • The weather in Assam can be unpredictable and can be cool of an evening. Between December and February it can be particularly cold and we advise bringing warm weather attire for sailings during these months.
  • The Brahmaputra River is a fast flowing and changeable river. Navigable channels can change overnight meaning amendments to excursions, sailing times and mooring locations can occur with little warning. We will endeavour to fulfil all stated excursions or suitable replacements where possible, but a flexible approach is required for sailing on the Brahmaputra.
  • The Upper Ganges segment of this itinerary passes through the state of Bihar. In this state it is illegal to serve any drinks containing alcohol. For this reason we will not be able to serve alcohol onboard the ship.
  • Entry to the Bihar School of Yoga is subject to approval and may not always be possible.
  • 1st Class train tickets are subject to availability.
  • Comprehensive health insurance, including cancellation insurance is strongly recommended for all Pandaw expeditions.

River cruising on the Lower and Upper Ganges can be severely affected by fog during the months of December and January. This may impact the sailing schedules and the planned excursions. While every effort will be made to make up time and include all activities this is not always possible. Similarly temperatures can drop significantly overnight and in the early mornings, though during the day warmer temperatures can be expected. Winter temperatures can be below average with many destinations in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh experiencing long spells of cold.

TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 1 VARANASI TO PATNA

Transfer from your hotel or airport in Varanasi in the morning to Varanasi train station. Train to Patna and transfer to your Pandaw ship.

DAY 15 KOLKATA - GUWAHATI

Disembark the ship at 08:00 and transfer to the airport for your flight to Guwahati.

DAY 22 GUWAHATI

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to your hotel or Guwahati airport (15km / 30 min). Transfers can be arranged as per your flight details with the latest departure from the ship at 10am.

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