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.