Places Visited: Kolkata, Bishnupur, Shantiniketan, Tarapith, Berhampur, Malda, Darjeeling
This is one of the least visited regions of India, but one rich in heritage, culture and interest. In the course of a highly varied fortnight, you’ll explore the most charismatic of India’s four great mega-cities, Kolkata, attend Hindu rituals at the Kalighat temple near the banks of the Ganges and marvel at the pomp and splendour of more recent British monuments. Up country, traditional Bengali culture takes centre stage as you visit the university founded by Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore at Shantiniketan, then explore the ruins of the huge, prosperous cities that flourished on the establishment of British rule after the Battle of Plassey in 1757. Further north, the hill station of Darjeeling, with its tea gardens and breathtaking views of the Himalayas, epitomises the more gentile side of the Raj.