Explore North India & the Ganges

  • Trip Type: Journeys
  • 16 Days | Delhi to Kolkata
  • Group Size: Max 24

Trip Details

 

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.

Trip Highlights

    • Visit Jaipur’s Amber Fort and the breathtaking Taj Mahal.
    • Step back in time in the traditional village of Sāwarda.
    • Spend six days cruising the sacred Ganges, discovering villages, palaces, and historic settlements.
    • Ride a bicycle rickshaw to explore the terra-cotta temple complex at Kalna.

Itinerary - 16 Days

Day 1 — Delhi

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included through Women on Wheels, a G Adventures–supported project that trains and employs local women.

Day 2 — Delhi/Agra

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)

Day 3 — Agra

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)

Day 4 — Agra/Jaipur

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 Abhāneri, 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)

Day 5 — Jaipur

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)

Day 6 — Sāwarda

Drive to Sāwarda 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)

Days 7, 8, & 9 — Delhi/Kolkata (Calcutta)/Ganges River

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)

Days 10 & 11 — Chandannagar/Chinsurah/Kalna

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)

Day 12 — Matiari/Murshidābād

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)

Days 13 & 14 — Murshidābād/Farakka

This morning, travel by bicycle rickshaw to the Khushbagh Cemetery, a peaceful Mughul-style garden with several tombs. Explore Murshidābād, 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)

Days 15 & 16 — Farakka/Gaur

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)

Related Trips

Offered in partnership with G Adventures, our National Geographic Journeys line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.

Dates

2017
  • Dec 21, 2017 - Jan 05, 2018
2018
  • Mar 15 - 30, 2018
  • Mar 29 - Apr 13, 2018
  • Jul 12 - 27, 2018
  • Aug 09 - 24, 2018
  • Aug 23 - Sep 07, 2018
  • Sep 06 - 21, 2018

Trip Cost

Price From

$2,279

Activity Level

Light/Moderate

Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.

Contact Us: 1-800-281-2354

Call to speak with a specialist about this trip.

Cost Details

All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy. If you're traveling on your own, we'll pair you up with a roommate of the same gender so that you can pay the same rate as other travelers. Prices are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.

What's Included

Arrival transfer, internal flights, transport between destinations and to/from included activities, and activities as listed in the itinerary.

Accommodations
Aboard a riverboat (7 nights), comfortable, mid-range hotels (7 nights), heritage guesthouse (1 night)

Meals Included
15 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 8 dinners

Transportation
Private van/bus, plane, train, riverboat, cycle-rickshaw

Optional Experience

You can do whatever you wish during your free time on tour, but if you're in need of suggestions, we've got them. Details about any optional experiences for this trip will be available during the booking process. Please note, these are at an additional cost.