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Slowly Down the Ganga Slowly Down the Ganga Slowly Down the Ganga Slowly Down the Ganga Slowly Down the Ganga Slowly Down the Ganga Slowly Down the Ganga

Slowly Down the Ganga

$2575
(0 Reviews)

Route : Delhi - Kuchesar - Rishikesh - Haridwar - Prayagraj (Allahabad) - Varanasi - Kolkata - Delhi / Mumbai

A Pilgrimage to the Cosmic Centre of Universe-
The position of the Ganga in India is unique. It is only the Ganga River in India which is so emotionally and spiritually related to any country in the world. Its very name evokes the panorama of Indian history – the rise and fall of the great empires as well as cultural and religious movements and the gradual growth of a number of very important cities and pilgrimage centers on its banks.
Considered as the most sacred river on the earth by the people not only in India, living along its banks; but the river is also worshipped by the Hindus who are living in different corners of the world.
This is the only river in the world to be given the appellation of the mother by an entire people. To visit the places of pilgrimage situated all along its course, to bathe in it, to drink its water and to be cremated on its banks or failing that to have one’s ashes scattered in it, have been among the deepest desire of practically every Hindu through the ages.
Our Journey begins at Dev Prayag, where River Bhaghirati meets with River Alaknanda to form the Eternal Ganga and travel to Rishikesh, the last point in the Himalaya before it enters the plains. This is an important pilgrimage centre with numerous well-known ashrams, including those founded by Swami Sivananda and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Emerging from the Himalaya at Rishikesh, the Ganga rushes on to the plains at Hardwar, one of the most sacred pilgrimage centers of the Hindus. Everything that the Ganga has created before it finally gushes forth from its mountain gorges seems to belong to the world of Legend. We then take a gentle six days sailing from Allahbad, where Ganga, Yamuna and the mystical Sarasvati meet to the sacred shores of Banaras (Varanasi). We camp on the river beach for 5 nights, along the teaming river banks. We visit sites like Siti Bani, temples at Mirzapur: a patchwork of charming peaceful villagers, paddy fields, and Ghats unfurls before our eyes, we then take an overnight train to Kolkata to witness the passionate meeting of the Ganga with the Maha Sagar (Indian Ocean).
A delightful journey capturing Ganga in her varied moods with 6 days gentle sailing and camping on the river beaches.

Highlights :

• Indepth exposure into the history of Delhi by visiting Jama Masjid, the bylanes of Chandni Chowk, India Gate, forerunner to the Taj, Humayun’s Tomb etc.
• Kuchesar, the princely state located on plains of Ganges basin amidst the picturesque landscape
• Rishikesh, the Yoga capital and a popular holy town with Ashrams and meditation centre
• Ancient city, a famous Hindu Pilgrimage site, Haridwar where River Ganges exits the Himalayan foothills
• Allahabad is where the three main rivers of India meet or confluence –  Ganges, Yamuna and invisible Saraswati
• Sailing experience on the River Ganges covering the villages on the banks of the river
• Experience the Aarti ceremony, boat ride on River Ganges in Varanasi, Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first sermon
• British Colonial buildings, colorful flower markets, street foods is the main attraction of the rich cultural hotpot and India’s third largest city, Kolkata
20 Days
06+ Age
  • Destination
  • Arrival
    Delhi
  • Arrival Time
    Midnight or Late night
  • Final Departure
    Delhi or Mumbai
  • Dress Code
    Casual, comfortable and light

Tour Itinerary : - Slowly Down the Ganga

1

Day 01: Arrive Delhi

Arrive at New Delhi International airport. After completing the immigration and customs, proceed towards the arrival hall. Meeting and assistance upon arrival with a traditional welcome of garlanding and transfer to the hotel (the room being held from 1400 hrs).
Overnight in Delhi
2

Day 02: In Delhi

This morning, after leisurely breakfast, we set off to explore Old and New Delhi, what India's Capital Delhi has to offer.
The visit of Old Delhi includes a drive past of the Red Fort (closed on Monday), built-in 1648 during the reign of Shah Jehan in red sandstone, which gave the fort its name. Jama Masjid is India's largest mosque, built of red sandstone and white marble in the middle of the 17th century. Chandni Chowk (Silver Street), once the imperial avenue down which Shah Jehan rode at the head of lavish cavalcades, is today bustling with shops, stalls and silversmiths' ateliers.
Later, we explore New Delhi to include the visit to India Gate, built-in memory of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War. Rashtrapati Bhawan, built in the early 20th century as the Imperial residence of the Viceroy is today the official residence of the President of India and Parliament House - a unique circular building with huge colonnades, Humayun's Tomb is the first Mughal garden tomb, built by Hamida Begum, Humayun's senior widow and mother of his son Akbar. One of Delhi's most striking monuments is the 70-meter high Qutab Minar, which looms majestically across the wide plains of Delhi.
Overnight in Delhi
3

Day 03: Delhi to Kuchesar 110 km about 3 hrs

This morning after leisurely breakfast we set to drive to Kuchesar – a princely estate or Jagirdari located in the state of Uttar Pradesh was the seat during British Raj. The mud-fort was built in the mid-18th century by the rulers. The fort had turrets which were used as a defence mechanism against the attacks of British cannons.
This evening is at leisure or you could walk around the area.
Overnight in Kuchesar
4

Day 04: Kuchesar – Rishikesh 225 km about 6 hrs

This morning after leisurely breakfast, we proceed towards Rishikesh - located on the bank of the River Ganga, surrounded on three sides by the Himalayan ranges. If legends are to be believed, God himself revealed as Hrishikesh to Raibhaya Rishi who on a penance. Therefore, this sacred place came to be known as Rishikesh. It is also famous for its Ashrams and a grand view of Ganges.
En route, we will stop to visit Anand Maa Ashram in Kankhal. This is the Ashram of a Bengali Lady Saint.
We will check into The Glass House on Ganges(located 20 km away from the main city of Rishikesh), set amidst the Lychee and Mango orchards along the Ganges River. The rest of the day is at leisure.
We will attend the Aarti ceremony in the evening. It is a sacred ceremony which offers you the most visually triggering experiences. The city is adorned with hundreds of lamps along with riverside by the time it is dusk.
Overnight in Rishikesh
5

Day 05: Rishikesh

This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we set off to explore the city of Rishikesh and its surrounding. Few highlights during the visit – Lakshman Jhoola, Ram Jhoola and Yoga Ashrams.
The famous Laxman Jhoola and Ram Jhoola are dedicated to Laxman, the brother of Lord Ram (from the Epic Ramayana) and Lord Rama himself. Stretching to around 450feet long and hanging above water at a height of around 70feet, these bridges are well known all over the world. One of the interesting facts of the city is the most of the people have their memories of this city connected with these bridges only.
Rishikesh is also the starting point of several treks and pilgrimages to the holy shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
We will visit temples and ashrams. Some of these places are globally considered to be the hub of meditation, philosophical studies and yoga. We will also get to visit Muni Ki Reti Mahesh Yogi Ashram and Parmarth Niketa Shankaracharya Nagar.
During the evening, we return to Rishikesh to attend the aarti ceremony at Triveni Ghat.
Overnight in Rishikesh
6

Day 06: Rishikesh – Haridwar 45 km about 1.5 hrs

This morning after leisurely breakfast, we set off to Haridwar – one of the seven Holy Cities in India, also called as Ganga Dwara, the Holy Ganges enters the plains here.
Haridwar, located at the foot of the Shivalik hills on the banks of the holy Ganga. Known as Mayapuri in the Puranas, it is mentioned in the memoirs of the Chinese traveller Huen Tsang. As per the legends, Sage Kapila cursed the ancestors of Raja Bharigarh and they were brunt here at this sacred place. Raja’s penance redeemed them; this also brought Ganga down from the locks of Lord Shiva. Millions of devotees flock to this temple city annually to redeem themselves.
We visit temples and centers of Yoga and meditation ashrams.
The evening is dedicated to the visit of Har – ki – Pauri to witness the holy Ganges Aart, the place where the main bathing takes place which is known as Brahma Kund. According to the Hindu mythologies at this place, nectar was dissolved in the holy River the Ganges.
This is the venue of the Kumbha and Ardh Kumbha Melas, held every 12 and 6 years respectively, when hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims, priests and sadhus gather.
Overnight in Haridwar
Highlight: Kumbh Mela will be held in Hardwar from mid-January till March 2021 (dates will be updated later) 
7

Day 07: Haridwar – Allahabad – Overnight train Dep: 1455 hrs

This morning is at leisure or you can explore the area on your foot. The highlights of this area are also to visit the Temples.
During the afternoon, we will be transferred to the Railway station to board the overnight train to Prayagraj(Allahabad) at 1455 hrs.
Overnight onboard the train
Note: Travelling on an Indian train is an experience in itself and in particular if the train journey is during the night.
8

Day 8: Arrive Prayagraj (Allahabad)

This morning we arrive at Prayagraj station and deboard the train at 0835 hrs. On arrival, we are met at the railway station and transferred to the hotel (Room available only held from 1400 hrs).
Breakfast at the hotel.
This afternoon is dedicated to the visit of the ancient site, Allahabad which was known as Prayag in Aryans. It is also believed that Lord Bhrama himself performed a sacrifice here.
During modern times, Allahabad is considered a major pilgrimage site as the confluence of the two of India’s most important rivers – the Ganga and Yamuna. The place is known as Sangam which is said to be a sacred place with soul-cleansing powers and people come here for this purpose.
It is even more holy because the invisible Saraswati river is supposed to join the Ganga and the Yamuna at this point.
Sunrise and sunset can be spectacular here.
We will visit the Temples and Ashrams.
Overnight in Allahabad
9

Day 09: Sailing Begins (from day 09 till day 13) – disembark on day 14

This morning after breakfast, we set to commence our 6 days of gentle sailing from Saraswati Ghat and then move to Sangam of Ganga, Yumana and the mystical Saraswati(considered the most auspicious place for the sacred bath).
We sail on the Ganges to the shores of the sacred city Varanasi.
During the sailing, we visit sites like Sita Bani, where you will see a huge statue of the monkey God Hanuman and Bindaya Temple (Bendvasinai Devi).
Before Mirzapur, a patchwork of small charming villages, paddy fields, and Ghats unfurls before our eyes.
We will be sleeping in the Simple basic Tents on the River banks. The last night is spent on a sandy beach with Romantic backdrop of a huge Chunnar Fort.
Overnight in Varanasi
Note: Sailing Per Day about 5/6hrs, with a delightful visit to the villages.
10

Day 14: Arrive Varanasi

This afternoon after sailing for 4 to 5 hrs, we arrive in Varanasi from the Chunnar Fort.
Varanasi - dating back to more than 3000 years. Varanasi is said to be the oldest city in the world. You will find temples at every step you take. It is said that people who take their last breath in this city, attain nirvana and get liberation from the birth and rebirth cycle.
Meeting on arrival at the Ghat of Varanasi – we disembark the boat and transfer to the hotel (Room will be available from 1400 hrs).
The rest of the day till the evening is at leisure to relax after the sailing experience.
This evening, we set off to the banks of the sacred Ganges to see the devout Hindus performing the "Aarti Puja" with lighted lamps. The priests stand on a Chauki(wooden stand) near the water. Priests and devotees worship the river with lots of colourful flowers, vermillion, milk and the surroundings get filled with the sweet smell of sandalwood and incense. The atmosphere comes to life when the priests chant holy mantras in Sanskrit and the goose bumping sounds of drums and cymbals vibrates everything. You will get to witness one of the most breathtaking sensory experiences as the city is bathed in the light of hundreds of earthen lamps by the riverside during the dusk. The sacred sounds of dongs and chimes reverberating in every corner bring the city of Varanasi to a standstill. This city blessed with spiritual resonance by the holy river Ganges.
Overnight in Varanasi
11

Day 15: In Varanasi

This morning, we start very early to experience the boat ride during sunrise on the sacred River Ganges. The Ganga Ghats are adorned with temples or more than a hundred ghats(Banks) which are located alongside the river. The best way to visit and cover every ghat is through, boat ride which will give you a scenic glimpse of all the ghats which are drenched in crimson light. We watch the wonderful colours of the sunrise whilst meandering along the river.
We disembark the boat and walk through the narrow streets of Varanasi before returning to the hotel.
The walk is through the maze of small streets and alleyways, which cannot be disentangled, hiding in disorderly array no less than 2,000 temples and shrines. The streets are noisy, colour is rife.
We return to the hotel for breakfast.
Later in the morning, after breakfast we set off for the visit of Varanasi city, covering famous sites like Banaras Hindu, 18th century Durga temple dedicated to Goddess Durga, Tulsi Manas temple, 'Bharat Mata' (Mother India). The temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936.
This afternoon, we proceed for the excursion to Sarnath (10 km / about 25 minutes’ drives one way) (museum closed on Friday), where Buddha delivered his first sermon (Religious language). Explore the Dharmek Stupa, Sarnath Museum. Ashoka pillar and the several statues dating from the Gupta period. Also, visit the Mulagandhakuti Vihar temple with frescoes scenes of Buddha's life.
Return to Varanasi city and you can explore the markets or walk around the city to get the feel of the city life.
Overnight in Varanasi
12

Day 16: Varanasi to Kolkata (Overnight train) – Dep: 1635 hrs

This morning is at leisure – we are free to explore the city on foot. (Room will be available till Noon hrs)
Late in the afternoon, we are transferred to the Railway Station to board the overnight train to Kolkata(the station is known as Howrah).
Overnight onboard the train
13

Day 17: Arriva Kolkata – Arr: 0850 hrs

This morning we arrive at Howrah station and deboard the train at 0850 hrs. On arrival, we are met at the railway station and transferred to the hotel (Room available only held from 1400 hrs).
Breakfast at the hotel.
The morning and the afternoon is at leisure.
During the evening we could visit the local theatre for classical dance and music performance(this is subject to any performance taking place at that time)
Overnight in Kolkata
14

Day 18: In Kolkata

This morning, after leisurely breakfast, we set off to explore the highlights of the city through “white town heritage zone”, visit Eden Garden, nicely laid-out in green expanse having pools within, this is an attractive spot in the city. A superb wooden pagoda may be seen here.
Dalhousie square or BBD Bagh-is in the heart of the city. Many historical buildings surround the square. On the southern side of the square is the Raj Bhavan, besides that, are the Assembly House and Calcutta High Court (1872).
On the western side of the square stands the imposing General Post Office beside which is the tall building of the Reserve Bank of India / Writers building/ Marble Palace (story of Babu Culture)–the ‘Palace’ is in Chor Bagan at 46 Muktaram Babu street and Millennium Park.
Overnight in Kolkata
15

Day 19: In Kolkata

This morning, we visit the Flower market. Walk across the Howrah bridge till the boat jetty. Board a local boat with the daily passengers to experience the daily life of the common people of the city. We disembark at the SHOBHABAZAR GHAT and walk inside the residential potters' block of Kumartuli. Visit Kumartuli and interact with the clay modellers engaged in making the religious icons, for all sorts of Hindu festivals. Later drive to the Jain temple.
We will visit Belur Math (1938) – located 16 km across the river Ganga, is, the unique temple which represents a Church, a Mosque and a Temple and the international headquarter of the Ramakrishna Mission, founded in 1899 by Swami Vivekananda, a disciple of the 19th century Hindu saint Ramakrishna Paramhans.
Overnight in Kolkata
16

Day 20: Kolkata – Delhi or Mumbai or Flight back home

Today, as per your onward destination – you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight either to Delhi or Mumbai to connect the international flight back home or board directly your flight home with mesmerizing memories of the trip sailing down the Ganges.

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Price, Inclusions and Exclusions

 
Prices per person
01 paying person in a Single Room
USD 4255/-
02 paying persons in a Double Room
USD 2575/-
 

Validity - February till March 2021 & October till December 2021.

 

Price Inclusions

• Accommodations in one room/tent for 20 days/19 nights
• Meal plan
  ✓ Buffet Breakfast at – Delhi, Kuchesar, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Allahabad, Varanasi, Kolkata
  ✓ Full board (Simple Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) - During Sailing and staying in Tent
  ✓ Simple packed Dinner on board the overnight train journeys
• Transport services using Good Conditioned Small Car as follows
  ✓ Arrival transfer from Delhi airport to the hotel on Day 01
  ✓ Sightseeing of Delhi on Day 02
  ✓ Beginning with the pick up at the hotel in Delhi till drop at Haridwar Railway station on Day 07
  ✓ Beginning with the pickup at Paryagraj railway station on Day 08 till drop at the Sailing start point on Day 09
  ✓ Beginning with the pickup at the ghats of Varanasi after sailing on Day 14 till drop at Varanasi railway station on Day 16
  ✓ Beginning with the pickup at Kolkata railway station on Day 17 till drop at Kolkata airport on Day 20 for departure
• Meet and greet services in Delhi, Varanasi, and Kolkata only
• One time entrance fee to the monuments as per the program.
• Decorated sun decked boat during the sailing.
• While Sailing, sleeping tents/ dinning tents/ kitchen tents/ toilet tent will be provided on the river beaches for 05nights at different places.
• Shared boat ride in Varanasi and Kolkata as per the programme
• Services of English speaking local cultural guides (different guides in each city) as per the itinerary:
  > Day 02 Full day in Delhi
  > Day 05 Full day in Rishikesh
  > Day 06 Half day in Haridwar
  > Day 08 Full day in Prayagraj
  > Day 14 & Day 15 Full day in Varanasi
  > Day 18 & Day 19 Full day in Kolkata
Train travel
  > Haridwar to Allahabad(Prayagraj) – 2 tier air conditioned sleeper class –Overnight train
  > Varanasi to Kolkata – 2 tier air conditioned sleeper class - Overnight train
Domestic air travel (ONLY INDICATIVE)
  > Airfare(economy class)
     ✓ Kolkata to Delhi or Kolkata to Mumbai
• All currently applicable taxes
 

Price Exclusions

• International airfare for travel (from your home country to the destination and return)
• Visa charges or fees
• Airport taxes
• Camera fees during the visit to the monuments, temples or National Parks
• Tips to driver/guide/naturalist
• Additional meals
• Drinks or mineral water at the hotels or restaurants
Ayurvedic massages or treatments, laundry etc or any other items of personal nature
• Travel, health and cancellation insurance
• Any other expense/changes due to unforeseen circumstances while in India
• Any other thing not mentioned in program or “Price Inclusions”

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