BENGAL DESPATCH 9 & 10: CITY OF LIGHT: A VARANASI SUMMER

0
Send Us An Enquiry
Full Name*
Nationality*
Adult*
Child
Email Address*
Your Enquiry*
* Creating an account means you're okay with our Terms of Service and Privacy Statement.
Please agree to all the terms and conditions before proceeding to the next step
Save To Wish List

Adding item to wishlist requires an account

318
A VARANASI SUMMER

With our specially designed ship, ABN Rajmahal, we are able to offer two one-week cruises which access the Holy Grail of Ganges cruises, the sacred city of Varanasi itself. Operating only in periods of high water, when India is at its most lush and attractive, they explore the untouched villages and towns of rural India along the river between Patna and Varanasi. Both cruises feature two days of sightseeing in Varanasi itself, including sailing all the way up to the spectacular Chunar Fort.

 

 

 

Choose your itinerary:

Tour Start Location

PATNA / VARANASI

 

Tour End Location

VARANASI / PATNA

 

 

UPSTREAM ITINERARY: PATNA TO VARANASI

Day 1

​Arrive at Patna by road, rail or air; transfer from airport or railway station to ship is included in the cruise cost. Embark on your cruise ship from afternoon onwards, and enjoy dinner on board while sailing upstream.

Day 2

This morning you’ll cruise upstream during breakfast before landing to visit a spectacular small Mughal tomb at Maner. Reboard and continue past the confluence with the River Sone to the busy river port of Doriganj, mooring at an overnight stop near the confluence with the River Goghra.

Day 3

​Today you continue up past Ballia to Buxar, famous for the battle fought here in 1764 which, together with Plassey, laid the foundations of the British Raj. Visit the memorial on the battlefield and the old East India Company cemetery in town. Later, take a short cycle rickshaw ride up to the ghats of Buxar.

Day 4

Sail upstream today past Chausa to Ghazipur, still a centre for (official) opium production. Visit the imposing tomb of Lord Cornwallis, the General responsible for the British defeat at Yorktown and, if time permits, take a stroll through the busy Ghazipur bazaar, a quintessential Indian experience.

DAY 5

​This morning, sail on to Varanasi, formerly Benaras. Also known as the ‘City of Light’, it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, dating back 3,000 years. Mark Twain once wrote that “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together”. An accurate description, Varanasi is arresting to your every sense yet beautifully spiritual for those willing to let go and just be. It’s the most important religious site for Hindus and visited by people from all walks of life who come here in the hope of attaining moksha or salvation.

After lunch, visit the Buddhist site at Sarnath and the Deer Park where the Buddha preached his first sermon, as well as the nearby archaeological museum.

DAY 6

​This morning, sail past the ghats of Varanasi to visit Ramnagar and see the Maharaja’s Palace and museum. Sail on to visit Chunar, the great Mughal Fort, the old British cemetery and the Mughal tombs nearby. Carpet weaving and Chunar pottery offer a taste of the traditional industries that still thrive in the region. Sail down to anchor at Ramnagar for the night.

DAY 7

An early start this morning as you take rowing boats at dawn to soak in the lively and colourful bathing ghats of Varanasi. After a reviving breakfast onboard, disembark again to take a walk through the busy alleys of Varanasi to experience the beating heart of the city. In the evening, take rowing boats once again to join the evening Ganga Aarti ceremony, where young priests perform their daily rituals with brass lamps and spiritual mantras in front of large crowds from all over India and the world. A truly mesmerising sight, this aarti is the essence of Varanasi. Return to the ship anchored at Rajghat.

DAY 8

​After breakfast, disembark and transfer to Varanasi airport or railway station.

DOWNSTREAM ITINERARY: VARANASI TO PATNA

Day 1

Arrive at Varanasi by road, rail or air and be transferred from the airport or railway station. The City of Light is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world, dating back 3,000 years. Mark Twain once wrote: “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together”. An accurate description, Varanasi is arresting to your every sense yet beautifully spiritual for those willing to let go and just be. It is the most important religious site for Hindus and visited by people from all walks of life who come here in the hope of attaining moksha or salvation.

Embark your ship and sail downstream a short distance before putting down anchor for the night. Enjoy dinner on board.

Day 2

​This morning you’ll sail past the ghats of Varanasi to visit Ramnagar to see the Maharaja’s Palace and museum. Sail up to visit Chunar, the great Mughal Fort, the old British cemetery and the Mughal tombs nearby. Carpet weaving and Chunar pottery offer a taste of the traditional industries that still thrive in the region. Sail on to anchor at Ramnagar for the night.

Day 3

An early start this morning as you take rowing boats at dawn past the busy and colourful bathing ghats of Varanasi. After a reviving breakfast, you’ll be driven to visit the Buddhist site at Sarnath, the Deer Park where the Buddha preached his first sermon and the archaeological museum. This evening, disembark and take a walk through the busy alleyways of Varanasi to experience the beating heart of the city. Join the Ganga Aarti ceremony, where young priests perform their daily rituals with brass lamps and spiritual mantras in front of large crowds from all over India and the world. A truly mesmerising experience, this aarti is the essence of Varanasi. Return to the ship anchored at Rajghat.

Day 4

After breakfast on board, disembark and drive to the city of Jaunpur to see the Mughal Bridge, visit its ancient fort and walk to the splendid Atala mosque. Return to the ship for lunch and sail downstream towards Ghazipur. Alternatively, some may prefer to stay back and explore Varanasi’s tempting shopping possibilities.

DAY 5

This morning you continue your journey downstream, disembarking at Ghazipur after breakfast. Visit the imposing tomb of Lord Cornwallis, the General defeated by George Washington in 1781 at Yorktown, so arguably responsible for the loss of the American colonies. If time permits you can take a stroll through the busy Ghazipur bazaar, which offers a quintessential Indian experience. Later, sail down towards Buxar.

DAY 6

​After breakfast, disembark for a visit to the country town of Buxar, famous for the battle fought here in 1764 which, together with Plassey, laid the foundations of the British Raj. Visit the memorial on the battlefield and the old East India Company cemetery in town. Later, take a short cycle rickshaw ride up to the ghats of Buxar. Sail down to anchor near the confluence of the Ghagra.

DAY 7

​​Cruise past the busy river port of Doriganj and the confluence with the Sone River to a ghat from which you’ll visit the small yet spectacular Mughal tomb at Maner. Sail on to anchor at Patna and visit the great Sikh gurdwara.

DAY 8

After breakfast, disembark and transfer to Patna airport or railway station.

NOTE
This itinerary, including the cruise and approximate driving durations, is subject to river and weather conditions.

Tour Map
img
SHIP
img

ABN RAJMAHAL

loader