The Upper Ganges River (Upstream)

The Upper Ganges River (Upstream)

From USD $5,508

Description

In late 2019 we will inaugurate an ‘all Ganges’ voyage of one thousand miles from Kolkata to Varanasi. 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 including Sarnath, Nalanda and Bodh Gaya and cities great and small and between urban centres and great pilgrim sites are 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 the much-loved Katha Pandaw, constructed originally in Vietnam in 2008 that has seen service there, in Cambodia and in recent years in Burma. Refitted for expedition sailings in India, we have reduced the number of staterooms from sixteen to fourteen to create an enlarged indoor saloon / dining area as winter cruising in India can be chilly first thing.

Trip Name
The Upper Ganges River (Upstream)
Days
15
Overview
Vessel Type: River Boat Length: 40 metres Passenger Capacity: 32 passengers (28 passengers from Sept 2019) Built / refurbished: 2011 ACCOMMODATION 6 upper deck, 10 main deck (4 upper deck, 10 main deck from Sept 2019) - 170 square feet, finished in teak and brass - AC with individual control - Premium mattresses  WINING & DINING Local master chef heading an experienced international culinary team - Semi-buffet breakfast, semi-buffet lunch, and seated theme dinners - Daily lean & light menu options - Complimentary coffee, water, tea, soft drinks, local beer, local spirits, juices - Extensive wine list with premium wines - Series of cultural performances, educational talks, cooking classes, and ship tour - Welcome drink on arrival - Welcome cocktail - Farewell reception - Theme dinners - Open air lounge and bar - 24hrs hospitality bar - Onboard bakery with daily freshly baked breads and rolls ON EXCURSIONS Admissions - Shoe cleaning after excursions - Bottled drinking water - We give away aluminium water bottles - Cold towel service after excursions - Refreshing drink following excursions - 1st aid trained assistant guide to follow all tours and excursions SAFETY & SECURITY All onboard crew is trained and certified as per international marine standards - Fire alarm system in all cabins, public areas and back areas - Fire fighting system in all ship areas - Expert marine superintendant - 24 hrs watch on duty ONBOARD STAFF Captain - River Pilot - First Officer - Chief Engineer - 1st Engineer - Electrician - Bosun & nautical crew - Ship manager - Housekeeping - Dining - Bar keeper - Chefs - Local tour guides PUBLIC SPACES Guest relation desk - Shop, supporting fair trade - Library with contemporary and classic literature.

Itinerary



Day 1 - DAY 1 KOLKATA
Embark and sail to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House, the erstwhile Governor-General of French India. Sail upstream past the old Dutch settlement of Chinsura before landing to visit the imposing Imambara at Hooghli with verses from the Koran written on its walls.
Day 2 - DAY 2 KALA
Land at the country town of Kalna and take cycle 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. 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.
Day 3 - DAY 3 MATIARI
Morning visit 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. Later, cruise on and 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.
Day 4 - DAY 4 MURSHIDABAD
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. Continue to visit the great Katra Mosque and Nashipara and Katgola palaces.
Day 5 - DAY 5 FARAKKA
Cross from the Lower Ganges or Hoogly 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 sgtrategically controls the flow of water into neighbouring Bangaladesh. We enter a section of river rich in bird life. Overnight at Samtaghat, otherwise known as Raj Mahal.
Day 6 - DAY 6 BATESHWARSTHAN
Passing the confluence of the Kosi river that flows down from Nepal, moor at the pretty town of Bateshwarsthan to visit the 8th century Buddhist site of Vikramshila.
Day 7 - DAY 7 SULTANGANJ
On this stretch we hope to see Gangeatic dolphins and land at Bhaglapur, a centre of silk production, and visit the 18th century mansion of the Collector, Augustus Cleveland. Contunue to Jahanigra Island, a place of pilgrimage with rock carvings. In the evening we moor off Sultanganj, with its pair of great granite rocks, one with a mosque and the other a temple dating from the 16th century.
Day 8 - DAY 8 MUNGER AND MOKAMA
Munger is now a large and industrialised city but has an interesting history with a Mughal fort and an East India Company cemetery. Visit the famous Bihar School of Yoga founded in 1964 by Satyananda Saraswati. Stop at Mokama, once home to Jim Corbett the naturalist and protector of the Indian tigers.
Day 9 - DAY 9 NALANDA AND BODHGAYA
Disembark at Barh and drive 60km to the archaeological site of Nalanda, the great 5th century Buddhist university. Continue to Bodh Gaya for lunch and a rest in a hotel. Afternoon exploring this UNESCO world heritage site arranged around the Maha Bodhi temple where the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in the 5th century BC. This is a global centre of pilgrimage for Buddhists of all denominations and it is fascinating to tour the many monasteries around all built in various national styles – Tibetan, Burmese, Thai, Japanese, etc. Return to the hotel for dinner and then take the Janshatbabdi Express train to Patna to meet the ship around 11pm that has moved up through the day.
Day 10 - DAY 10 DORIGANJ
If open, visit the famous Patna museums with their collections of early Buddhist artifacts and cast off to stop to see the small yet splendid Moghul tomb at Maner. Sail to the confluence with the Manek to moor at the busy river port of Doriganj. Visit the nearby archaeological site of Chirand and on to the confluence with the Gaghra.
Day 11 - DAY 11 BUXAR
We visit the battlefield, remembered for the 1764 battle between the British and the Moghuls. Then on, time permitting, to Madhubani which is a great centre of Mithila painting, the wonderfully vivid and colourful folk art of this part of Bihar.
Day 12 - DAY 12 GHAZIPUR
Stop at Ghjazipur, home to the world’s largest opium factory, and visit the imposing tomb of Lord Cornwallis (who lost Yorktown) and latterly governor of India, where he was to pass away in 1805.
Day 13 - DAY 13 VARANASI
The oldest and holiest city of India established in the 11th century BC and today with over 2,000 living temples. We visit Sarnath and the Deer Park where the Lord Buddha gave his first sermon with its archaeological museum.
Day 14 - DAY 14 VARANASI
Take rowing boats for sunrise over the bathing ghats and after breakfast explore the old city by cycle rickshaw. Evening walk along the ghats and witness the ‘Aarati’ rituals.
Day 15 - DAY 15 DISEMBARKATION
Transfers to the airport or railway station.
Day 16 - Please Note:
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.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
29-02-202014-03-2020USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
29-02-202014-03-2020USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
29-02-202014-03-2020USD $7,490Main Deck Twin Single Use. From
29-02-202014-03-2020USD $8,490Upper Deck Twin Single Use. From
28-03-202011-04-2020USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
28-03-202011-04-2020USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
28-03-202011-04-2020USD $7,490Main Deck Twin Single Use. From
28-03-202011-04-2020USD $8,490Upper Deck Twin Single Use. From
23-09-202007-10-2020USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
23-09-202007-10-2020USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
23-10-202006-11-2020USD $5,508Upper Deck Twin Single Use. From
23-10-202006-11-2020USD $5,508Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
23-10-202006-11-2020USD $6,120Main Deck Twin Single Use. From
23-10-202006-11-2020USD $6,120Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
22-11-202006-12-2020USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
22-11-202006-12-2020USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
22-12-202005-01-2021USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
22-12-202005-01-2021USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
21-01-202104-02-2021USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
21-01-202104-02-2021USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
20-02-202106-03-2021USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
20-02-202106-03-2021USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
22-03-202105-04-2021USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
22-03-202105-04-2021USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
21-04-202105-05-2021USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
21-04-202105-05-2021USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
18-10-202101-11-2021USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
18-10-202101-11-2021USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
17-11-202101-12-2021USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
17-11-202101-12-2021USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
01-01-202215-01-2022USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
01-01-202215-01-2022USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
31-01-202214-02-2022USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
31-01-202214-02-2022USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
02-03-202216-03-2022USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
02-03-202216-03-2022USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
01-04-202215-04-2022USD $5,580Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
01-04-202215-04-2022USD $6,120Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From

Inclusions

    • Visit the country town of Kalna and take cycle 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
    • 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
    • See Gangeatic dolphins and land at Bhaglapur, a centre of silk production, and visit the 18th century mansion of the Collector, Augustus Cleveland

Map