Combine two incredible adventures—a highlights tour of India plus a cruise on the mighty Ganges River—in one extraordinary experience. Our unique 16-day itinerary takes in the lively rush of Delhi, the tranquility of the Taj Mahal, the character of rural villages, and the pure serenity of sailing the river from temple to palace. From land to sea, immerse yourself in India and all its glory.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included through Women on Wheels, a G Adventures–supported project that trains and employs local women.
Enjoy a youth-led walk through Delhi with G Adventures-supported City Walk project. Later, explore Old Delhi with our CEO, beginning with Jama Masjid, the "Great Mosque," which holds up to 25,000 worshippers. Peruse colorful textiles and handicrafts at Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest markets in Delhi, and visit a historic Sikh temple. Drive to Agra this afternoon. (1B)
Spend the day exploring the highlights of the walled city of Agra including the famed Taj Mahal, built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, and the “Baby Taj.” Later, venture into Agra Fort's courtyards, galleries, and private chambers, which bring to life the history of the Mughal Empire. (1B)
Drive to Jaipur, visiting the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri en route. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this magnificent red sandstone fort city was once the capital of India's Mughal Empire. Visit the village of Abhaneri, which has one of India’s deepest and largest step wells (tank gardens). As we explore, learn about ancient Indian practices for harvesting rainwater. (1B)
Set out to explore the “pink city” of Jaipur, starting at the hilltop Amber Fort, a 16th- and 17th-century complex of palaces, temples, and gardens. Discover jewel-like mosaics, inlay, and sculptures throughout the fort. Then step inside the vast City Palace, which incorporates a striking blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. View the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), and enjoy a talk with a local historian about India’s social fabric and customs. (1B)
Drive to Sawarda for an overnight stay in a heritage home. Step back in time as we explore this rural village, meeting with town elders, teachers, and local elected representatives to discuss daily life here. Walk amid traditional huts and beautiful temples dedicated to different religions, and observe potters, silversmiths, and cobblers at work. (1B, 1D)
Drive back to Delhi and fly to Kolkata the next day, checking into a hotel for the night. The following day, board our comfortable riverboat and set sail on the storied Ganges, cruising upriver past the Danish colony of Serampore. Explore the former British stronghold of Barrackpore, walking past the Government House, the Semaphore Tower, and the elegant Temple of Fame. See the gardens of Flagstaff House, which feature many colonial-era statues that were removed from Kolkata in 1969. (3B, 1D)
Sail to the former French colony of Chandannagar, exploring its distinctive architecture and a museum housing a beautiful collection of French antiques. Arrive in Chinsurah, where we visit the Dutch cemetery and the imposing Imambara mosque with its magnificent clock tower and spectacular riverside location. Moor near Kalna for the night. The next day, discover the terra-cotta temples at Kalna, which boasts 108 Shiva temples arranged in two concentric circles. Then head off to experience the highlights of Mayapur, including the vast ISKCON temple, which is visited by more than a million pilgrims annually. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Begin the day with a visit to the charming brass-working village of Matiari. Watch a demonstration of the traditional process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels. Continue to our mooring near the battlefield of Plassey, where the British victory over the nawab (ruler) of Bengal in 1757 changed the course of Indian history. Opt to walk through the fields to the commemorative obelisk. (1B, 1L, 1D)
This morning, travel by bicycle rickshaw to the Khushbagh Cemetery, a peaceful Mughul-style garden with several tombs. Explore Murshidabad, home to the impressive Hazarduari Palace and Katra Mosque. Take in the classical Georgian architecture of Nashipara Palace and the Kathgola Palace. The next day, pay a visit to the village of Baranagar, where we’ll walk through farmlands to see three miniature terra-cotta temples. Then enjoy the scenery as we cruise upriver to our mooring near the Farakka Barrage. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Step ashore and drive to the fascinating ruins of Gaur, the former Muslim capital of Bengal. Keep your camera handy as we explore numerous mosques, palaces, and gateways. Rejoin our riverboat in the evening and enjoy a final dinner on board. The next day, disembark and return to Kolkata via train, connecting with your flight home. (2B, 1L, 1D)
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