Treasures of India with Brahmaputra Cruise - Downstream

Introduction

India is a country with a sumptuous mix of traditions, spiritual beliefs, festivals, architecture and landscapes. Far Horizon takes you on a special journey where you will explore the treasures of India, a phenomenal cultural mix along with the intricate architectural wonders and a deep sense of spirituality. From the historical city of Delhi to the royalty and cultural richness of Rajasthan along with the sacred and soulful Varanasi, not to miss the monumental city of Agra, the majesty of Taj, this special journey comes to a close at the cosmopolitan city of Kolkata from where MV Mahabaahu will take you cruising onto the waters of the mighty Brahmaputra river, a unique experience filled with an extensive wildlife coverage of the Kaziranga National Park along with exploring the living cultures of various towns, villages and islands of Assam.

Tour Highlights

  • Travel like a Maharaja on the leading luxury train of India “The Maharaja Express”
  • Explore the North East India while cruising on the mighty Brahmaputra River
  • Sunrise visit of Taj Mahal
  • Explore the famous sites of North India
  • Visit to Tea Gardens and Tribals of Assam
  • Bird watchers’ paradise - Brahmaputra River
  • Boat, Jeep and Elephant safari in Kaziranga National Park
  • Visit to Majuli island – the Largest River island in the World
  • Visit to Umananda island – the smallest inhabitant River island in the World

Destinations Covered

Detailed Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Arrive Delhi

    Delhi

    After clearing Customs and Immigration, step into the receiving area, where our representative will meet you and escort you to the hotel.

    Overnight at the hotel (No Meals)

  2. Day 2 Delhi

    Delhi

    Today morning after breakfast, proceed to explore the Old Delhi.

    On the tour of “Old Delhi,” you will head out to explore this exotic locale with its narrow dirt roads, myriads of people and inexpensive and colourful bazaars that keep alive the traditional workmanship for which Delhi has always been famous. Drive past the Red Fort, and visit the Jama Masjid, one of the largest Muslim mosques in India.

    A bicycle rickshaw would take you into the heart of Chandni Chowk (the silver square - so named because of the silver merchants).

    Lunch on own.

    We then drive to the outskirts of New Delhi to explore the Qutub Minar, on the way our guide will point out the Raj-era architecture in the city centre, including the renowned India Gate and Edwin Landseer Lutyens’ and Herbert Baker’s monumental governmental building on Raisina Hill.

    Qutub Minar, a victory minaret built by the first invading Persian, Qutub-ud-din, a millennium ago in South Delhi. One of Delhi’s most visited and striking monuments, the 72-meter (230 feet) high tower which majestically over the wide plains of Delhi. It is a victory tower built by the slave king Qutubuddin Aibak and later completed by his successor Iltutmish. 

    Return to the hotel. 

    Overnight at the hotel (B)

  3. Day 3 Board Maharaja Express - Agra

    Agra

    After breakfast, we will proceed to Safdarjung railway station to board the Maharajas Express Train, bestowed the "World's Leading Luxury Train" award at the World Travel Awards for five consecutive years from 2012 to 2016. The Maharajas' Express has redefined the luxury travel experience by offering guests the opportunity to explore fabled destinations providing a glimpse of rich cultural heritage of Incredible India which will leave you with fond memories of this train journey to be cherished.

    You will get to enjoy a traditional welcome and welcome drink.

    Enjoy your Brunch while the train leaves for its first destination, Agra.

    Reach Agra and proceed to Taj Mahal. Later, proceed for a Hi Tea with Champagne at Taj Khema.

    Return to the comfort of Maharajas Express, En-route you witness Pietra Dura Marble Inlay Work or You can choose optional activities such a spa at five star hotel or Mohabbat The Taj Show (On direct payment)

    Overnight on-board Maharajas Express (B, L, D)

  4. Day 4 Maharaja Express - Ranthambore

    Ranthambore

    Wake-up to a delicious on-board breakfast. Later, proceed to visit the Agra Fort or you may choose for optional activity to visit Itmad Ud Duala.

    Return on board Maharajas Express as it leaves for Ranthambore. On Arrival, you would then proceed for an exciting game drive at Ranthambore National Park.

    Return to the comfort of Maharajas Express. Enjoy an Indian Evening followed by dinner as The Maharajas' Express leaves for Jaipur.

    Overnight on-board Maharajas Express (B, L, D)

  5. Day 5 Maharaja Express – Jaipur

    Jaipur

    After an on board breakfast, proceed to visit the Amber Fort or you may also choose the optional activities such as spa facilities at a Palace hotel or private shopping tour or Golfing at Rambagh Golf Club or visit to City Palace & Jantar Mantar.

    Return to the comfort of Maharajas' Express while returning from Amber Fort you have an opportunity to visit a local centre for polishing and cutting of precious and semi-precious stones.

    Lunch will be served on board.

    Later, procced for an exclusive venue where you can indulge with the Elephants –paint them, feed them or may take a joy ride followed by Cocktail Dinner at City Palace.

    Return to the comfort of Maharajas' Express. The Maharajas' Express leaves for Delhi.

    Overnight on-board Maharajas Express (B, L, D)

  6. Day 6 Delhi - Varanasi (Deboard Maharajas Express in Delhi)

    Varanasi

    After Breakfast, we will deboard the train at the Safdarjung Railway station at Delhi and will transfer straight to Delhi airport to connect with flight to Varanasi.

    On Arrival in Varanasi, you will be met by our representative & will be transferred to the Hotel.

    Later in the evening, take a boat ride in the holy River Ganges where you will witness the beautiful and captivating 'Aarti' ceremony’ at twilight. ‘Aarti’ is a Hindu religious ritual of worship, in which wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor are offered to one or more deities. An absolute must see in Varanasi, the evening aarti is conducted every day at sunset by priests, worshiping the river goddess with incense, camphor, flowers and earthen lamps. Overnight at hotel (B)

  7. Day 7 Varanasi

    Varanasi

    Rise early this morning and take a boat ride on the Ganga past the Ghats. Here, pilgrims gather on the steps that lead down to the river to bathe in the waters of the sacred river, as the city begins to come alive, in the magical misty light of dawn. Walk through the streets and visit some of Varanasi’s many temples.

    After breakfast visit Sarnath, this is one of four holy Buddhist sites and an exceedingly tranquil place. It is the place where the enlightened Buddha gave his first sermon. Visit the Dhamek Stupa- built in 500 CE to commemorate the Buddha's activities in this location.

    Rest of the day is free at leisure.

    Overnight at Hotel (B)

  8. Day 8 Varanasi –Kolkata

    Kolkata

    After relaxed breakfast, proceed to Varanasi airport to connect with your flight to Kolkata.

    On arrival, you will be met by our representative you will escort you till the Hotel. Evening will be at leisure.

    Overnight at Hotel (B)

  9. Day 9 Kolkata

    Kolkata

    After breakfast, visit the Victoria Memorial. This marble-white monument is one of the most fascinating landmarks of Kolkata.

    Here, come face to face with miniature paintings and images of Queen Mary, King George V and Queen Victoria. Of special importance are the Queen's dresses, the famous Rosewood piano, the Whispering Gallery in the dome and numerous artillery weapons used in the Battle of Plassey.

    St. Paul’s Cathedral, built in the Indo-Gothic style of architecture, and was built in the year 1847 by Major W.N. Forbes of the East India Company. The height of the Cathedral is 201 ft. This Cathedral has the rare distinction of being the first Episcopal Church built in this part of the world. The peak of St. Paul's Cathedral has been designed as a replica of the famous Canterbury Cathedral's Henry Tower.

    Thereafter visit Mother Teresa’s House, called ‘Nirmal Hriday,’ and also visit Shishu Bhawan, located near her house. Mother Teresa’s great work of caring for abandoned children on the streets of Kolkata is carried out at this centre. Watch the children’s face light up with just one smile of yours.

    Overnight at the Hotel (B, L)

  10. Day 10 Kolkata - Jorhat

    Jorhat

    Jorhat & transfer to Neamati Ghat / Board MV Mahabaahu

    In time check out from your hotel and transfer to the airport to board your flight to Jorhat.

    Arrival Jorhat and transfer to Neamati Ghat where an Assamese welcome aboard the MV Mahabaahu awaits us. After the essential safety briefing we check into our cabin.

    On the Donyi Polo Deck, we raise a traditional toast to the mighty Brahmaputra River that carves the valley of Assam. If Lucky, we catch a fleeting glimpse of the Gangetic dolphins and notice the sky flocked with bar headed geese, egrets and cormorants returning to their abodes on deserted islands as the sun lowers itself in the western horizon.

    We enjoy a talk on 'Sibsagar, the seat of Ahom Civilisation' that ruled the north eastern region of India for six centuries. A short talk on 'Tea in Assam' continues over High Tea.

    A relaxed evening in the Soma Lounge followed by a sit down welcome dinner completes the day.

    Overnight on-board MV Mahabaahu Cruise (B, PL, D)

  11. Day 11 Sibsagar/ Home hosted lunch

    Jorhat

    After an early breakfast, we start our day-excursion to Sibsagar, the ancient city and capital of the Tai-speaking Ahoms who came in the 13th Century AD to the area from the north-east and were essentially of Tibeto-Burman origin.

    Sibsagar town literally means 'the ocean of Lord Shiva’ as it is built around a huge man made water tank ordered by the Ahom Queen. The Shiva Dol, constructed in the year 1734 is believed to be the highest Shiva temple in India.

    We visit The Talatal or Kareng Ghar, the palace of the Ahom Kings and the Rang Ghar, an amphitheatre, a place of entertainment or important meetings for the Royals and their guests.

    Thereafter, we drive to a Tea Estate for a relaxed afternoon and a traditional Assamese lunch with the Tea-estate family who have been involved in the tea business for over a century.

    We return to MV Mahabaahu by sunset and enjoy a relaxed evening before proceeding for dinner.

    Overnight on-board MV Mahabaahu Cruise (B, L, D)

  12. Day 12 Majuli Island visit/ Mishing village visit

    Majuli

    We start the day with Yoga or go for a walk along the swamps to catch a sight of owls, orioles, changeable eagles, adjutant storks, sea gulls, kingfishers, swallows and many more.

    As we have our breakfast, we sail towards Majuli, a cosmos of Assamese culture where various philosophies co-exist and thrive.

    After breakfast, we enjoy a talk on 'Majuli, the seat of Vaishnav culture’ and proceed in the excursion boats to the mainland where a drive takes us to a scenic corner of a ‘Satra’ (monastery) for an interesting cultural performance by Satriya singers and dancers.

    Next, we proceed to Kamlabari Satra to witness the Vaishnavite priests dancing to the rhythm of cymbals, drums and chanting in the temple premise.

    We enjoy hot lunch on MV Mahabaahu and sail towards the closest Mishing Village.

    The Mishings live on the bank of river in 'Chang Ghars', houses with raised platforms. All Mishing women are expert weavers. We can buy ethnic colourful cotton weaves and indulges in a dhoti tying and Mekhela Chaadar wearing demonstration.

    After the Mishing Village visit, MV Mahabaahu heads towards Dhansiri Mukh where the waters of Brahmaputra and Dhansiri meet, while we enjoy a talk on ‘Assam, its geographical location & importance’.

    We later enjoy the evening under the stars on a deserted island and proceed for dinner.

    NOTE: (Bonfire may be avoided if a suitable sandbank cannot be found or if we experience inclement weather conditions)

    Overnight on-board MV Mahabaahu Cruise (B, L, D)

  13. Day 13 Boat safari

    Majuli

    After Yoga/early morning walk on a deserted island, MV Mahabaahu sails towards the Eastern Range of Kaziranga. We enjoy breakfast and a talk on ‘The River Brahmaputra and the life that exists alongside’. and proceed for the boat safari . The shores are high but one can see roof turtles on protruding drift wood, water lizards, otters, elephants, wild buffaloes, rhinos, darters, herons, pied kingfishers, white throated kingfishers, serpent eagles and many more. The sightings are always determined by the weather conditions.

    We return for lunch. This evening we enjoy the Chef’s Cooking Demonstration followed by a talk on ‘Tea, Silk and Jute in Assam.’

    An evening on a deserted island with bonfire is always exclusive. We enjoy dinner on MV Mahabaahu.

    NOTE: (Bonfire may be avoided if a suitable sandbank cannot be found or if we experience inclement weather conditions)

    Overnight on-board MV Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

  14. Day 14 Bishwanath Ghat/ Sail to Silghat/ Tea Estate visit and/or Jute Mill

    Kaziranga National Park

    After Yoga/walk on the deserted island and breakfast on MV Mahabaahu, we enjoy an interesting talk on ‘Kaziranga and the wild life in India’. Then we step into our excursion boats to go to the shores of Bishwanath Ghat.

    We walk through the village and are struck by the simplicity of life while the weaver women surround us with their silk and cotton weaves. We enjoy some happy interaction with them.

    We sail on for the next couple of hours and enjoy a relaxed lunch and reach Silghat. Take a short drive to the Kaliabore tea estate, which is a vast undulating expanse of land with tea bushes. We proceed to the tea factory to see the processing of the Assam Tea and getting an insight into all that goes into preparing a cup-of-tea.

    (The tea factory is not operational from mid-December to mid-February as it is time for pruning the tea bushes)

    We return to where the ship is anchored. Close by a co-operative Jute Mill is an interesting place to understand how the Jute fibre takes the form of very eco-friendly gunny bags. At sunset, we enjoy a cultural evening on the ship followed by an early dinner.

    Overnight on-board MV Mahabaahu Cruise (B, L, D)

  15. Day 15 Kaziranga National Park/ Sail towards a Deserted Island

    Kaziranga National Park

    Early morning wakeup call and after a hot cup of tea/coffee, drive out towards the Kaziranga National Park. The most prized inhabitant of Kaziranga is the Greater One-Horned Indian Rhinoceros, but the Park is home to as many as 180 different mammals including wild elephants, tiger, deer, Asiatic wild buffalo and a rich variety of birds. We reach the Kohora Mihimukh range of the National Park and are ready to start our morning adventure; once-in-a-lifetime elephant-backed safari where we search for the elusive rhinoceros, tigers, swamp deer and hog deer and more and a large number of very interesting birds. The park never ceases to surprise us.

    After breakfast at a resort in Kaziranga, we drive on to Bagori, the Western Range of Kaziranga and get into the open jeeps for some more wild life adventure and an extensive coverage of this magnificent park.

    We return to MV Mahabaahu for a leisurely lunch and a relaxed afternoon. In the evening, we proceed for a traditional Assamese theme dinner.

    Overnight on-board MV Mahabaahu Cruise (B, L, D)

  16. Day 16 A village visit/ Full day sail/Peacock Island

    Guwahati

    We catch up on Yoga on an island or on the deck for an hour and move on to breakfast while MV Mahabaahu lifts anchor and heads on towards an island that is occupied predominantly by a ‘Bangla’ speaking Muslim community who are involved in the extensive farming. After lunch, we enjoy a talk on ‘Kamakhya and the Occult and Peacock Island’. After a visit to this village, we return to the ship for lunch and sail towards the Peacock Island - famous for the highly endangered Golden Langur. It would be a good idea to have one’s binoculars and cameras at hand.

    We later sail towards Pandu Port.

    Get ready for the Farewell Dinner ‘Alvida Bhoj’ and enjoy a relaxed evening.

    Overnight on-board MV Mahabaahu Cruise (B, L, D)

  17. Day 17 Guwahati / Kolkata flight & departure

    Guwahati

    We have a relaxed breakfast. Luggage down, as per the flight schedule. With packed lunch, we drive to the Kamakhya Temple (flight time permitting). This Temple is devoted to the eternal feminine the Kama Khya, goddess of desire.

    We bid farewell to the land of Kamakhya and drive to the airport to board flight to Kolkata. 

    Arrive Kolkata and connect your onward international flight.

    (B, L)

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