One river carries the soul of India in her bosom with the eternal love that may never be requited. She is the mother, one that gives and sustains the lives of close to half a billion people and perhaps an even greater number of other lives. This route traverses some of the most significant places along the holy river, including the most sacred among cities. It begins in the nation’s capital, Delhi and heads to the foothills of the Himalayas in Rishikesh and Haridwar. From these holy towns, the route will remerge from the mountains onto the plains in Lucknow, from whence it will meander along the river to the holiest town of Varanasi. From Varanasi, the route will head to the first colonial capital of India and the largest city on the banks of the Ganges, Kolkata, where it will end.
Arrival in Delhi
Upon arrival in Delhi, our representative will provide assistance at the airport and will transfer the guests to the hotel. After the check-in formalities, they may choose to rest or to explore the city for the remainder of the day (if they arrive during the day time).
Sightseeing tour of Delhi. India’s capital is an enchanting medley of different influences, one foot deeply grounded in time revered traditions. The Red Fort and Jama Masjid of Old Delhi testify to the once glorious Moghul empire. Visit the colourful streets of Chandni Chowk and enjoy the local food. In the afternoon, a visit of Rajghat, the resting place of Mahatma Gandhi will be followed by Qutub Minar India Gate, and Humayun’s Tomb.
5 hour train + 1 hour drive, 20 kms
After a journey by train to Haridwar, there will be a short drive to Rishikesh. Rishikesh is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre where the smaller streams all flow out of the mountains to converge into the mighty river Ganges. The famous Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula, two suspension bridges across the river, offer spectacular views of the Shivalik Mountains that surround the town.
1 hour drive, 20 kms
Drive to Haridwar, one of the seven holiest towns of the Hindus. It has several temples such as the Mansa Devi and the Chandi Devi. Visit Hari-ki-Pauri Ghat, the riverbank where people bathe in the river at this Ghat. Watch the ‘Ganga Aarti’, the daily ablutions offered to the river Goddess Ganga, in the evening. Drive back to Rishikesh for the night.
1 hour 30 minutes drive, 46 kms + 1 hour flight
This morning, the guests will be driven to Dehradun airport where they will board a flight to Lucknow. They may choose to rest or explore this city of Nawabs or ‘princes’. Lucknow is a charming city of medieval palaces, mosques, temples. The city stands by the banks of the river Gomti. In the evening the riverside offers a beautiful sight of the sunset.
After breakfast, the guests will visit La Martiniere College which holds a special distinction of being the only educational institution to be awarded Battle Honours. The Bada Imambara and the Chhota Imambara are two major mosques in the city that take the traveller on a journey into the medieval era. The cuisine is an inseparable part of the Lakhnavi Tehzeeb, the culture of Lucknow.
5 hours drive, 320 kms
In the morning, the guests will drive to Varanasi. They will then drive to Sarnath, a prominent Buddhist centre, visit an archaeological museum that houses the famous Ashokan Lion Capital which is today the national emblem of India. Drive back to Varanasi. In the evening, you will enjoy the Ganga Aarti, the performance of daily ablutions to the sacred river.
1 hour flight
At sunrise, there will be a boat ride on the Ganges River, revered by the Hindus as a goddess. After breakfast they will discover the Durga Temple and Kashi Vishwanath, dedicated to Shiva. Also visit Bharat Mata Temple, the shrine to Mother India. The Benares Hindu University, is a pleasant and verdant area of the city that hosts a Bharat Kala Museum. In the evening, they will be transferred to the airport for their flight to Kolkata.
The guests will commence the sightseeing of Kolkata after breakfast. The famous Mullick Ghat Flower Market. The Belur Math is the centre of one of the most successful Hindu reformation movements, Take a boat ride on the river. The 19th century Marble Palace mansion and the Calcutta Jain Temple are interesting sights. Kumartoli Potter’sVillage, where the images of the goddess Durga are supplied for the occasion of Durga Pujo every year.
Departure from Kolkata
The client will discover a little more of Kolkata on this day. The Victoria Memorial, The BBD Bagh area, known to the locals as ‘British Calcutta’, Temple of Goddess Kali. The Birla Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna and his lover Radha is a spectacle. Other interesting places to visit are – St. Paul’s Cathedral; Mother Theresa’s resting place. The evening can end with a riverside walk along the Hoogly. The guests will then be transferred to the airport and will be assisted by our representative at departure.