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The Ganges & the Himalaya

(Tour code: INR17)Explore authentic rural life in the villages along the Lower Ganges

Explore authentic rural life in the villages along the Lower Ganges on this spectacular all inclusive tour. Discover the bustle of Indian cities with tours of Delhi and Kolkata, taste Darjeeling tea in the Himalayas, and visit the iconic Taj Mahal, in addition to a stunning 7-night cruise along the 'reborn' Hooghly River on board the luxurious ABN Rajmahal.


Take advantage of our latest saving of up to £100 per person when booking your 2017 Cruising by Rail holiday on or before 31st October 2016. Terms & Conditions 

Tour Highlights
  • Old and New Delhi
  • Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal
  • Gatimaan Express and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
  • Tiger Hill viewpoint
  • Darjeeling Mountaineering Institute and Darjeeling Zoo
  • Darjeeling tea plantation
  • Explore the historic city of Gaur
  • Hazarduari Palace, the ‘house with a thousand doors’
  • Enjoy two guided tours of Kolkata
What’s Included (Full details)
  • 8 Nights' Hotel Accommodation
  • Return Scheduled Flights
  • 6-night cruise on the ABN Rajmahal

Itinerary & Map

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Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Days 1-2

London to Delhi

Our tour begins with an overnight flight from London to Delhi, where we arrive on Day 2. After settling in to our hotel, we begin our introduction to India with a guided sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi, taking in the sights of this incredible city.

  • Day 2 - Dinner
Days 3-4

Agra and Darjeeling

Today we board India's first semi-high speed train, for a journey to Agra on the new Gatimaan Express. On arrival, we visit two of India's most stunning icons: the imposing Agra Fort, which dates back to the 15th century, and the incredible Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world and arguably India's most famous attraction. After time to explore, we return to Delhi by rail. On Day 4, we leave Delhi behind, taking an internal flight to Bagdogra. On arrival, we transfer by coach to Darjeeling.

  • Days 3-4 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tiger Hill
Day 5

Tiger Hill & the Mountaineering Institute

Today we visit Tiger Hill viewpoint, where we watch the sunrise from behind Kanchenjunga, India's highest mountain. Later we travel on the steam-hauled Toy Train to Ghum, to visit the town's Buddhist monastery. In the afternoon we visit Darjeeling's Mountaineering Institute. We will also have the opportunity to see the red panda at Darjeeling Zoo.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Darjeeling Tea
Days 6-7

Darjeeling tea and Siliguri

For centuries Darjeeling has been famed as a tea-growing centre, and today we visit one of the town's authentic tea plantations for a guided tour, before enjoying a tasting. On Day 7, we leave Darjeeling behind, travelling on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway to Kurseong, where we pause at Cochrane Place, enjoying lunch in the restored colonial home's Pankasari Restaurant, which recreates the atmosphere and architecture of a 20th century Darjeeling Hill railway station. Later we continue by Toy Train to Siliguri, where we overnight.

  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 7 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 8-9

The Hooghly River and Gaur

This morning we board the Shatabdi Express to the Farakka Barrage, where we board our fabulous vessel - the ABN Rajmahal - for a seven night cruise along the Lower Ganges. Known locally as the 'Hooghly River', this distributary of the Ganges is named for its 'rebirth', after the almost-extinguished river was revived by the building of the Farakka Barrage, which quenched the Hooghly with an increased water flow. After our first night on board, our ship pauses on Day 9 at Gaur, a historic former capital with roots dating back to 12th century Hindu rule. During our excursion, we discover the remnants of centuries past, preserved in the ancient monuments and mosques of the city.

  • Day 8 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hazarduari Palace
Days 10-11

Baranagar and Khushbagh Gardens

Having explored India's cities, today our holiday takes a different approach, as we cruise to the sleepy village of Baranagar. Here we experience idyllic rural India at its best, as we stroll through the fields to the town's superb terracotta temples, admiring delicate designs and intricate carvings of Shiva. We continue to Murshidabad, a small town dominated by a 19th century mansion, named the Hazarduari Palace, or 'house with a thousand doors'. On Day 11, we continue down river to Khushbagh Gardens, the resting place of the 18th century Nawal rulers of Bengal. Later, we visit the site of the Battle of Plassey, famous as the conflict which secured the East India Company's hold over Bengal, with Clive of India paving the way for British dominance in India.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kalna Temples
Days 12-13

Matiari and the Kalna Temples

Our tour of authentic rural Indian life continues today, as we stop along the Hooghly for a shore excursion to Matiari, a small village where brassworking has been the local trade for generations. During our time here, we observe the methods used for the last 100 years to create brass utensils and works of art. Later, we visit Mayapur, watched over by its imposing ISKCON Hindu temple.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14

Chandernagore and Barrackpore

Our first stop today takes us to Chandernagore, the 'City of Liberty', a famously beautiful city that was in French possession from the 17th century until the 1950s. Whilst here, we visit the former governor's residence, Dupleix House, and the Elglise du Sacré Coeur, or Sacred Heart Church. Later we continue to Barrackpore, a former British military centre, for a short walking tour of the city's main highlights, past the Semaphore Tower and the Temple of Fame.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 15-17

Kolkata and return to London

Our time on board the ABN Rajmahal comes to an end today. Disembarking in Kolkata, we check in for two nights at the fabulous Oberoi Grand Hotel, ahead of a guided walking tour, where we take in Dalhousie Square, the vibrant local flower market, and Kolkata's Jain Temple. On Day 16, we continue our sightseeing, visiting Mother Teresa's house and Prinsep Ghat, ahead of a final dinner together this evening. We transfer to the airport on Day 17 for our return flight to the UK, where our holiday concludes.

  • Day 15 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 16 - Breakfasat

Get in touch with one of our Travel Specialists

Helping you plan your holiday...

Phil Conde
James Eaton
Julie Longfield
Kathryn Cambridge



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