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ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple

The Upper Ganges and Brahmaputra River (Upstream)

Guwahati to Varanasi - Example 21 Day Cruise aboard RV Kindat Pandaw
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Join RV Kindat Pandaw on this 21-day Upper Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers cruise from Guwahati to Varanasi. Uncover the charms of Assami city as you visit the Nilachi Hill temple and the Commonwealth Graves. Explore the intricately adorned portals of the De Parbatia temple and admire the medieval carvings at Cole Park, showcasing a diverse collection from the region. Experience a thrilling jeep safari to Kaziranga, a UNESCO World Heritage, home to the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros and Indian Wild Water Buffalo. Visit the Tea Gardens and Sualkuchi Silk Village, then take your flight to Kolkata and continue your expedition down the Hooghly River. Stroll along the riverside, explore an 18th-century church, and trace the history of Dupleix's House, once the residence of the Governor-General of French India.
Srila Prabhupada Puspasamadhi MandirKathgola PalaceVishwa Shanti StupaKalna Shiv MandirMahabodhi TempleISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple
  • Explore the Nameri National Park & take a float trip down Jia-Bhoreli River
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kaziranga National Park
  • Experience the vast ISKCON temple in Mayapur, hub for Krishna devotees
  • Discover the home of Jim Corbett, a naturalist & protector of Indian tigers
Places Visited
  • Asia
  • India
  • Assam
  • Ganges River
  • Guwahati
  • Kolkata
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Varanasi
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Guwahati | Embark

Transfer to the ship from the airport and explore this pleasant Assami city visiting the Nilachai Hill temple and Commonwealth Graves. Late afternoon cast off upriver.

Day 2: Sailing

Sail all day making headway against strong currents through the lush Assami countryside stopping for some exercise in a village of market gardens.

Day 3: Tezpur

Exploring the town by trishaw you visit the De Parbatia temple with its richly carved portals and Cole Park with its collection of medieval carvings collected from across the region.

Day 4: Nameri National Park

After an early breakfast, drive for some two hours to the Nameri National Park at the foot of the blue hills of Arunachal Pradesh, the old North East Frontier Agency. Here, you take a float trip of around two hours down the Jia-Bhoreli River through the park. There are excellent birdwatching opportunities here (look out for the great Hornbills) and, perhaps, the chance of sighting wild elephants. After lunch, take a village walk before returning to the ship. Continue upstream, passing below a seemingly endless new bridge across the vast width of the riverbed, to moor at Silghat.

Day 5: Kaziranga National Park

Jeep safari to Kaziranga an area of approximately 430 sq km, this UNESCO World Heritage is home to the world’s largest population of the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros as well as the Indian Wild Water Buffalo. It has the highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers with one every five sq. km. The park is an incredibly rich biodiversity hotspot with its marshy swamps and thickets of elephant grass, this park supports large populations of Indian elephants, Indian bison, swamp deer, and capped langurs. Besides wildlife, Kaziranga National Park is also a birding paradise. A few of the bird species found here are the oriental honey buzzard, black-shouldered kite, white-tailed eagle, himalayan griffon to mention a few.

Day 6: Tea Gardens

Return downstream to visit a tea estate and historic plantation house on the way. Learn about the tea production process from start to finish in this idyllic setting.

Day 7: Sualkuchi Silk Village

Sailing down past Guwhati moor here in the afternoon to see silk production from the cocoon to spinning and weaving to make the typical saree worn by Assami women.

Day 8: Guwahati | Disembark | Fly to Kolkata

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in the morning and transfer to the airport for your flight to Kolkata. Overnight in a hotel in Kolkata.

Day 9: Kolkata | Embark

Transfer from your hotel or airport in Kolkata to embark on your Pandaw ship. Set sail down the Hooghly River, an important distributor of the Ganga to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Stroll along the riverside promenade, and visit the 18th-century church and Dupleix's House, the erstwhile Governor-General of French India. Return to the ship and continue upstream past the old Dutch settlement of Chinsura and the Portuguese settlement of Bandel.

Day 10: Kalna

Land at the country town of Kalna and take rickshaws to see a group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples, as well as the unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made up of 108 lesser shrines. On the way back to the ship explore the colorful local market full of fruit sellers and fish mongers. Continue sailing towards Mayapur to explore the vast new ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple which dominates the skyline. As the headquarters of ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement, the temple receives over a million singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world.

Day 11: Matiari

Set off to discover the brass-working village of Matiari. Interact with the local artisans and learn how these skilled craftsmen all specialize in a different process – from beating the metal to etching the designs. Witness the whole process involved to create brass water pots, trays, and other vessels Later, cruise on past the battlefield of Plassey where, in 1757, Robert Clive, the Commander-in-Chief of British India, defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal.

Day 12: Murshidabad

Take an early morning walk to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Mughal-style garden that encloses the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah – the last independent Nawab of Bengal – and his family. Continue cruising towards Murshidabad where the great Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Explore the city, a hidden architectural gem along the river with dramatic, whitewashed, colonial-era structures including Katra Mosque and Katgola palaces.

Day 13: Farakka

Cross from the Lower Ganges or Hooghly River to the Ganges itself through the Farraka canal and lock, which was constructed in 1963-75. Passing into the great river the great Farraka barrage is visible just downstream. This effectively dams the Ganges and strategically controls the flow of water into neighboring Bangladesh. Enter a section of river rich in bird life, before stopping at Samtaghat, otherwise known as Raj Mahal.

Day 14: Bateshwarsthan

Passing the confluence of the Kosi river that flows down from Nepal, moor at the pretty town of Bateshwarsthan to uncover the 8th-century Buddhist site of Vikramshila, one of the two most important centers of learning in India during the Pala Empire, along with Nalanda.

Day 15: Bhaglapur

Sailing along this stretch of the river provides an opportunity to spot the rare Gangeatic dolphins. Land at Bhaglapur, a center of silk production, and visit the 18th-century mansion of the Collector, Augustus Cleveland.

Day 16: Sultanganj

Continue to Jahanigra Island, a place of pilgrimage with many rock carvings in high relief dating from the eighth century depicting aspects of Siva and Vishnu. In the evening moor off Sultanganj, with its pair of great granite rocks, one crowned with a mosque and the other a small temple dating from the 16th century.

Day 17: Munger

Munger is now a large and industrialized city but has an interesting history. In 1762, Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal, shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger and established a firearms manufacturing center here. Explore the Mughal fort, and East India Company cemetery and step inside the Bihar School of Yoga founded in 1964 by Satyananda Saraswati. One of the leading yoga schools in the country. The institution has developed yogic techniques through a synthesis of traditional yogic, vedantic, and tantric practices and contemporary health science.

Day 18: Mokama

Stop at Mokama, once home to Jim Corbett the naturalist and protector of the Indian tigers. Surrounded by farmlands, Mokama has the second hightest production of lentils in the country. Learn about the freedom fighters from Mokama such as Lalldin Saheb, whose during the freedom struggle was sentenced to jail during the British rule.

Day 19: Barh

Explore Barh, a town famous for Hindu ritual cremation at Urmanath and the Alakhnath Temple.

Day 20: Patna

Enjoy a city tour of Patna, the capital of Bihar state including a visit to The Golghar, a large stupa-styled granary built in 1786. Farewell dinner with your crew.

Day 21: Patna | Disembark | Train to Varanasi

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark your Pandaw vessel ready and transfer to Patna station for your 1st class train to Varanasi. Upon arrival to Varanasi, transfer to your hotel or the airport.


RV Kindat Pandaw

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$11,274 2-3 travelers
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Pandaw Stateroom
Bedroom: 12' x 10' Bathroom: 6' x 4' Showeroom: 2'8" x 3'4" Single Bed: 6'7" x 3'3"
  • 20 Breakfasts, 18 Lunches, 19 Dinners
  • 20 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All entrance fees as per program
  • Local mineral water, Jugged coffee, Teas & Tisanes
  • Transfer to/from/between Ship
  • 1 air ticket between Kolkata and Guwahati
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Laundry 
  • Port Fees
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • Passport or Visa fees
  • Tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.


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