Tailor-made Tour 7 days from £2845 per person

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  Places Visited: Patna, Barh, Nalanda, Mokameh, Monghyr, Jahangira Island, Bhagalpur, Bateshwar, Rajmahal, Farakka

Offering an insight into rural Bengal and neighbouring Bihar, the cruises on the Ganges are 6 nights downstream or 8 nights upstream from Patna or Farakka – or vice versa. Explore ancient Buddhist sites at Nalanda and Bodh Gaya, the Mughal ruins at Rajmahal as well as the East India Company relics at Monghyr and Patna. Available during the winter months only, these cruises combine well with the ones on the Hughli to make for an exciting voyage through totally undiscovered territory.

Operated by the pioneering Assam Bengal Navigation Company, three colonial-style steamers ply these ancient waterways, pausing at the historic sights, wildlife parks and cultural centres that line the riverbanks. The perspective yielded by these journeys is unique. The rural areas traversed have changed little in essence since the days of the East India Company, several of whose ruined trading posts rise from the paddy fields and sandbars.

Quite apart from being elegant craft in themselves, the boats are handsomely furnished and extremely comfortable throughout. The cabins are air-conditioned and en-suite. A wood-lined bar and dining room provides comfortable space to relax in, while a large canopied deck is perfect for watching life drift past on and alongside the water – all in all, a wonderfully relaxing way to experience parts of the world rarely visited by outsiders.

Holiday Types

River and Island Cruises


Suggested itinerary

Day 1

Embark the ship from 4pm onwards.

Day 2
Patna, Barh

This morning take a tour of Patna, visiting the extraordinary 18th century Gola Ghar granary, the great Sikh temple and the rich collections of the State Museum. Returning to the ship you pass near the old East India Company opium warehouses and cruise down to moor for the evening at Barh.

Day 3
Nalanda, Mokameh

Today there is an excursion to the excavated Buddhist monastery and stupa at Nalanda and the adjoining museum, then on to the picturesque Pawapuri Jain temple. Return to the ship in the evening, which will have sailed down to Mokameh.

Day 4
Monghyr, Jahangira Island

Today you will sail down to Monghyr. Monghyr possesses a fine Mughal fort, as well as an East India Company cemetery, now with villagers living amongst the tombs. You will also visit Pirpahar Hill and the Sitakund hot springs, before continuing to cruise downstream to anchor near Jahangira Island at Sultanganj, a place of pilgrimage with early Hindu carvings.

Day 5
Bhagalpur, Bateshwar

A chance this morning to spot Gangetic Dolphins and you sail to Bhagalpur, a centre of silk production. Here you will visit the elegant 18th century mansion built by Augustus Cleveland, as well as a silk-weaving village. There is also a trip to Bateshwar, with 6th century Hindu carvings and the nearby ruins of an 8th century Buddhist stupa and monastery at Vikramshila. The ship anchors for the night near the confluence with the Kosi, coming down from Nepal.

Day 6
Rajmahal, Farakka

Continue to sail downstream this morning to Rajmahal, beneath the Rajmahal Hills. Once known as Akbarnagar, the town was founded by the 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 you can explore before continuing on down to Farakka.

Day 7

Disembark in Farakka and continue your journey.

Tailor-made Tour 7 days from £2845 per person

What's included

✓   6 nights accommodation
✓   English-speaking guides
✓   Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary

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