These cruises along the main stream of the Ganges operate between Farakka and Patna (or vice versa). Mughal ruins at Rajmahal, East India Company relics at Patna and Monghyr, and Buddhist monuments at Boddh Gaya and elsewhere in this, the Buddha’s homeland, make for an exciting voyage through totally undiscovered territory. Please Note: Upstream Departures are 9 Days long, Downstream Departures are 7 Days long.
Take a 4hr (approx.) train journey from Kolkata to Farakka in the afternoon, and then a short road transfer to the ship. Guests joining independently at Farakka can board the ship from midday onwards.
This morning, we leave Farakka and sail out into the Ganges proper, almost sea-like here just above the great Farakka Barrage. We sail upstream for much of the morning before anchoring at Rajmahal, one of those places that feature in no guidebook and yet offer both interest and atmosphere. Once known as Akbarnagar, the town was founded by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his eastern capital; Shah Jehan, builder of the Taj Mahal, spent much of his youth here. There are remains of palaces, forts and mosques submerged in vegetation which we shall explore. We sail on as far as Manihari Ghat.
This morning, continue cruising upstream, passing the confluence with the Kosi river which flows down from Nepal. We arrive at idyllic Bateshwar, with its 6th century Hindu carvings, and the nearby ruins of an 8th century Buddhist stupa and monastery at Vikramshila. Later, onwards to Kehilgaon or Colganj, where our ship awaits us. We sail on, passing close to the island shrine with both Buddhist and Hindu cave temples, and once a centre of the murderous Thug sect.
Setting sail this morning you travel along a stretch of river where the endangered Gangetic Dolphin may be seen. Land at Bhagalpur, a centre of silk production, to visit the silk-weaving village and an elegant 18th century mansion built by Augustus Clevland, the collector and magistrate of the town back in the day. You’ll then continue on to Jahangira Island at Sultanganj, a place of pilgrimage with early Hindu carvings in the rock. On shore, another picturesque rock is topped with a mosque, and the stop offers a chance to stroll around the vibrant local market.
Today you’ll sail on to Monghyr, with its large Mughal fort and East India Company cemetery, where villagers now live among the grandiose tombs. You’ll also visit the Pirpahar Hill, crowned by a fine old mansion, and the Sita Kund hot springs, before continuing your cruise upstream.
This morning, we pass under the great bridge at Mokameh, where the naturalist Jim Corbett spent his working life in charge of the ferry which operated here earlier. Land to visit a bankside village and stretch our legs. We arrive by evening at Barh.
Today, there is an excursion to Nalanda, recently included as a UNESCO World Heritage site where visits would include the excavated great Buddhist monastery and stupa along with the adjoining museum; Nalanda is also the world's oldest seat of learning, once welcoming over 10,000 students at its height. Later, visit the marbled Pawapuri Jain temple in the middle of a lake. Return in the evening to Barh to reboard our ship.
Today is a day spent cruising upstream. At some stage, we shall pause at a bankside village and stretch our legs. We arrive in the evening at Patna, the state capital of Bihar, and moor close to the old East India Company opium warehouses.
This morning, we take a tour of Patna and visit the 18th century Gola Ghar granary, the great Sikh gurdwara and the rich collections of the State Museum. Disembark late in the morning and transfer to the airport or station (transfer included). Alternatively, create your own arrangements for road or rail travel to Varanasi, Bodh Gaya or Nepal.
Itinerary above indicates the Upstream direction. Downstream itinerary goes in reverse and are slightly different. Upstream Departures are 9 Days long, Downstream Departures are 7 Days long. While every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of fluctuating river conditions and navigational or mechanical difficulties, all schedules and itineraries are subject to change without notice.
5% Tax Applicable to all Cabin Categories: USD pp
Vessel Type: River Boat
Length: 50 meters
Passenger Capacity: 40
ABN Rajmahal is a 50m long and powered by 3 engines; her extra-shallow draught and a lower profile than conventional designs allow her to cruise further upstream than any of her competitors.
ABN Rajmahal has 22 cabins: 14 spacious twin/double cabins on the upper deck; 4 twin/double cabins on the main deck; and 4 single cabins for which we charge no supplement. The décor is stylish and fresh with touches of colonial elegance, brought to life by traditional Indian-inspired designs on hand-blocked cotton fabrics. All cabins on ABN Rajmahal have French balconies.
As with the other ships in our fleet, there is a comfortable saloon and bar, dining room and a vast canopied sundeck. A small spa onboard offers a wide range of treatments. All cabins and public rooms on our ships are air-conditioned.
Food on board is a mixture of Assamese (milder than most Indian cuisine) and Continental cuisines. Wines, beer and spirits are available.
* Spacious cabins with individual climate control
* En suite shower/WC with Biotique toiletries
* Generous cupboard space and under-bed storage
* Hair drier in each cabin
* Minibar in each cabin
* In-room electronic safe
* Tea/coffee making facilities in cabins
* Intercommunication telephone in cabins
* High quality bathrobes and slippers in cabins
* Large sliding glass windows offering panoramic views of the river
* Vast sundeck both open and shaded, with sunloungers or steamer chairs
* Spacious air-conditioned saloon with library and recorded entertainment
* Spa with choice of treatments.
* Shore excursion programme including all admissions
* Maximum 20 guests per guide on all excursions
* Naturalist onboard the vessel
* Cold towel service after excursions
* Welcome drink after excursions
* Shoe-cleaning after excursions
* Turndown service in all cabins
* Expertly trained culinary staff
* Single seating for buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner
* Acclaimed combination of Indian & Western cuisines
* Wide choice of wines, spirits and beer
* Complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water throughout
* Welcome reception
* Farewell reception
* Local on-board dance & song performances.