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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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Throughout most of the trip we will be travelling in minibuses. Travelling as a group in a small bus contributes less pollution than a multitude of vehicles. We will also be exploring areas by boat and train, to not only soak up the amazing sights at a slower pace, but to reduce our environmental impact and footprint along our journey.
We will be wild camping on day 10 and 11 of this tour, reducing our environmental impact considerably by not using energy for hotel facilities such as air-conditioning and lighting. We will be camping along the holy river Ganges and will always take with us any waste we produce, making sure the environment is left in the same condition as it was before. Taking our own cooks the food will be vegetarian to respect the spiritual customs of the river, and the camps will be comfortable.
By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit.
We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles. Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.

The Impacts of this Trip

On each Group tour we use local ground handlers. This means that all operational costs go directly into the local economy and help improve employment opportunities in remote regions. Such support can also be seen in our incorporation of homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of local guides and drivers into our itineraries, which ensures that the money you spend with us goes directly into the local economy and local community.


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