Ganges tour, Delhi to Calcutta

“A unique tour of India, and a photographer’s delight, going beyond the main sights and into the idyllic countryside. Gain a sense of how Indians live far from the beaten tourist trail, with a two-week trip that's a real eye-opener.”


Delhi | New Delhi tour | Train to Mukteshwar | Corbett Tiger Reserve | Rishikesh | Haridwar | Overnight train to Lucknow | Allahabad | Boat trip along the Ganges | Varanasi | Overnight train to Kolkata | Victoria memorial | Kolkata markets tour | Kumartuli | St Paul’s Cathedral | Black Hole of Kolkata |

Description of Ganges tour, Delhi to Calcutta

Stepping away from the best-known attractions, and thereby giving you an exceptional insight into the day-to-day lives of people off the tourist trail, this small group tour of central India offers a combination of natural beauty, authentic cultural encounters and fascinating history.

From Delhi you’ll travel straight to Mukteshwar, to witness sunrise over Nanda Devi, the ‘Bliss Giving Goddess’ once thought to be the highest mountain in the world, and other Himalayan peaks. Here you’ll also tour the renowned Corbett Tiger Reserve for a few days, on safari to track shy Bengal tigers and other wildlife.

Rishikesh, a very holy pilgrimage destination for Hindus, leads to the overnight train to historic Lucknow, dotted with significant sites relating to the Indian Rebellion of 1857. In Allahabad you’ll see the sacred point where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers converge, before taking a memorable boat cruise along the Ganges itself. Floating into Varanasi is when you’ll really want a camera, as you sail past the ghats at dusk, and then morning prayers the following day.

Finally, another overnight train, an amazing experience in itself, brings you to Kolkata. Here you’ll wander colourful bazaars selling all manner of flowers and fish, and visit iconic sites including the Victoria memorial and the Black Hole of Kolkata. You’ll also have time to pick up some unique souvenirs with a ferry trip to a nearby potters’ village.

Passing through peaceful rural villages, tracking tigers and gently cruising past the ghats of Varanasi, this 16-day itinerary is a world apart from more typical India tours. Expect to be wowed from sunrise to sunset.

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14 Mar 2020
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 14 Mar 2020 departure
10 Oct 2020
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 10 Oct 2020 departure
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Responsible tourism

Ganges tour, Delhi to Calcutta

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


In our opinion the whole concept of Village India – where we steer our clients off the main tourist circuits and into the rural regions of the subcontinent, to interact directly with local people – is responsible travel at its most immediate and effective. On all of these tours we stay with local families, visit local industries (learning how to milk a buffalo, make a sari, cook a meal) and call on local organisation to learn more about the problems of the region and how we might help. Not only does this allow local people and visitors to interact and learn about each others culture, it ensures that the revenue generated by tourism goes directly to local communities.

On our ‘Slowly Down the Ganges’ trip which runs through Uttar Pradesh from Delhi to Calcutta and, most importantly, along India’s holy river, we will be visiting a number of local communities – from Sadhus to farmers – to learn about their lives and ways, all of which will be putting money directly into the local community. We will also be visiting one of our main Indian NGO partners, The Hope Foundation, in Calcutta to see where the financial support we give is going. Added to this on all our tours we employ local guides and drivers, stay in locally owned hotels and private homes, which again diverts important funds directly into the area. These are regions that have seen precious little from the boom in tourism, it is our aim to change this.

1 Reviews of Ganges tour, Delhi to Calcutta

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 09 May 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Apart from falling in a pond and creating a large hole in my knee (!), rowing down the Ganges in the moonlight, just before camping on the empty sandy banks, was something I could not have imagined. Following that a few days later with another boat trip and floating offerings away from the boat at Varanasi was also beautiful

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go for it! Expect a well-organised, fascinating trip. A fair amount of travelling but it never felt too much.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. We went places where there were few tourists and gave our custom to local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent, just what I needed - a fascinating holiday in which everything was taken care of.

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