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THE INCREDIBLE GANGES

THE UPPER GANGES RIVER

12 NIGHTS FROM US$5,790.00

In 2019 we inaugurated an 'all Ganges' voyage of one thousand miles from Kolkata to Varanasi. Due to the challenges of navigation and the obstruction of numerous pontoon bridges it has been decided to sail as far as Patna and then overland to Varanasi.

The sailing does though cover the best of the Ganges from the colonial splendours of Kolkotta, through the enchanting rural arcadia of West Bengal along the Hoogly and the great expanse of the Ganga itself with its pristine bird and wildlife and cultural treasures dotted along the banks. Though in the days of the British Raj paddle steamers plied this route on a regular basis, with the advent of the railways in India river navigation was abandoned and the rivers were allowed to silt up. Now thanks to a multi-million dollar investment from the Indian Government channels have been dredged and buoyed and hi tech GPS based aids installed enabling seasonal navigation.

Varanasi, said to be the oldest inhabited city on the planet is the most sacred city of Hinduism and a place of overwhelming beauty at the same time poignantly moving with its cremation ghats. Varanasi is surely the goal of any 'passage to India' and at the other end of the holy river stands Kolkata, in all its Raj-like magnificence. Between lies several of the most important Buddhist sites in the country, fascinating cities great and small as well as expanses of empty river teeming with bird life, not to mention the Gangeatic dolphin.

No vessel could be more appropriate for a voyage on 'All the Ganges' than our ultra shallow draft Pandaw K class ships.

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.

Please Note::

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 while in the state of Bihar. This will affect the Upstream itinerary from day 6 until arrival in Varanasi and for the Downstream itinerary upon arrival to Patna until the afternoon of day 6.

CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE

or call TOLL FREE 1-877-872-6329
represented by Sayang Holidays
12 NIGHTS FROM US$5,790.00

IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

OPTIONAL EXTENSIONS

PRE CRUISE EXTENSIONS

India's Golden Triangle 6 Nights Pre Tour

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Delhi & Taj Mahal & Kolkata 4 Nights Pre Tour

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Ancient Kingdom of Bhutan & Kolkata Pre Tour 6 Nights

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Kolkata Pre Tour 2 Nights

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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

3 Nights Darjeeling Post Tour

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3 Night Delhi & Taj Mahal Post Tour

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Varanasi & Ancient Kingdom Of Bhutan 6 Nights Post Tour

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Varanasi 2 Night Post Tour

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The Land of Buddha: Varanasi, Gaya and Nalanda 4 night Post Tour

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OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS

Private Dining

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Pre-Bookable House Wine Package (India - Upper Ganges)

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

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Free Flow Drinks (India - Upper Ganges)

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ITINERARY

Upstream      Downstream

DAY 1 KOLKATA

Transfer from your hotel or airport in Kolkata to embark on your Pandaw ship. Set sail down the Hooghly River, an important distributory of the Ganga to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Stroll along the riverside promenade, visit the 18th century church and Dupleix's House, the erstwhile Governor-General of French India. Return to the ship and continue upstream past the old Dutch settlement of Chinsura and the Portuguese settlement of Bandel.

More about Kolkata
Kolkata
Kolkata

DAY 2 KALNA

Land at the country town of Kalna and 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. On the way back to the ship explore the colourful local market full of fruit sellers and fish mongers. Continue sailing towards Mayapur to explore 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.

More about Kalna

DAY 3 MATIARI

Set off to discover the brass-working village of Matiari. Interact with the local artisans learn how these skilled craftsmen all specialise in a different process – from beating the metal, to etching the designs. Witness the whole process involved to create brass water pots, trays and other vessels Later, cruise on past 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.

Matiari
Matiari

DAY 4 MURSHIDABAD

Take an early 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 cruising towards Murshidabad to where the great Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Explore the city, a hidden architectural gem along the river with dramatic, whitewashed, colonial-era structures including Katra Mosque and Katgola palaces.

More about Murshidabad

DAY 5 FARAKKA

Cross from the Lower Ganges or Hooghly River to the Ganges itself through the Farraka canal and lock, that was constructed 1963-75. Passing into the great river the great Farraka barrage will be visible just downstream. This effectively dams the Ganges and strategically controls the flow of water into neighbouring Bangaladesh. Enter a section of river rich in bird life, before stopping at Samtaghat, otherwise known as Raj Mahal.

Farakka
Farakka

DAY 6 BATESHWARSTHAN

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 BHAGLAPUR

Sailing along this stretch of the river provides an opportunity to spot the rare Gangeatic dolphins. Land at Bhaglapur, a centre of silk production, and visit the 18th century mansion of the Collector, Augustus Cleveland.

Bhaglapur
Bhaglapur

DAY 8 SULTANGANJ

Contunue 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.

DAY 9 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.

Munger
Munger

DAY 10 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 11 BARH

Explore Barh, a town famous for Hindu ritual cremation at Urmanath and the Alakhnath Temple.

Barh
Barh

DAY 12 PATNA

Enjoy a city tour of Patna, capital of Bihar state including a visit to The Golghar, a large stupa styled granary built in 1786. Farewell dinner with your crew.

DAY 13 PATNA TO VARANASI

Disembark your Pandaw vessel ready and transfer to Patna station for your 1st class train to Varanasi. Upon arrival to Varanasi, transfer to your hotel or the airport.

Patna To Varanasi
Patna To Varanasi

WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: Transfer to/from Ship including one way 1st class train ticket, entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes.

Price Excludes: International flights, laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes, tipping for guide and drivers.

Please Note:

  • Entry to the Bihar School of Yoga is subject to approval and may not always be possible.
  • We suggest to change money at a bank at the international airport before exiting (currently there is shortage of new money bills in India).
  • 1st Class train tickets are subject to availability.

Weather Condition Warning

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 KOLKATA

Transfer from your hotel or airport in Kolkata at 10:30am to the port to embark the cruise.

DAY 13 PATNA TO VARANASI

Check out after breakfast. Transfer to Patna Train Station. Train to Varanasi & transfer to your hotel or the airport for your onward flight.

TESTIMONIALS

TRAVEL BLOGS

Varanasi, India's Spiritual Capital

Varanasi , India's foremost religious destination that also goes by Benaras, Banaras or Kashi, stands on the banks of the river Ganges, held mos.... read more

 

Issues in India

No one said going back into India would be easy. Having pioneered Ganges cruising ten years ago we had some experience of the challenges o.... read more

 

MEDIA MENTIONS

Pandaw Milestone - Pandaw successfully reached Varanasi

02 Dec 2019 - article by Cruise Weekly

 

Cruising Ganges with Pandaw: A New Way To See India

29 Aug 2018 - article by Paul from ontravel.com

 

Pandaw Expands Cruise Offerings in India

17 Jul 2018 - article by Newsdesk on Travel Agent Central

 

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