Treasures of India with Brahmaputra Cruise - Upstream

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.

    Even at the time when Bombay and Madras were mere trading posts and Calcutta was a village of mud huts, Delhi had been the seat of an empire for five hundred years. Through the centuries, eight cities have been built on this site, by the Hindus, the Mughals and the British, each adding their own flavour. Within no time, you can be transported from a sprawling, elegant garden city to the ancient twisting alleyways of 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 Qutab 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, Qutab-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. The construction of the Qutab Minar began in the 12th Century and it was completed in the 13th Century. Beautiful calligraphy adorns the magnificent tower, which is covered with intricate carvings and deeply inscribed verses from the Koran. The first three stories are made of red sandstone, the fourth and fifth of marble and sandstone. The tower marked the eastern extremity of the Islamic faith.

    Return to the hotel.

    Rest 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 Deboard Maharajas Express in Delhi & flight to Varanasi

    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.

    Overnight at Hotel (B)

  8. Day 8 Varanasi –Kolkata by flight

    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

    Kolkata the city of joy as it is called is also commonly considered as the 'Paris of the East' as there's a happy amalgamation of different cultures, styles and moods, coupled along with numerous forms of industries and commerce and politics. Kolkata mainly gained importance in the times of British rule as it had been the capital of India till the year1912. At present, although it is no more the capital of India, it is the capital of West Bengal and is one of the most important places of cultural workshop and industrial centre.

    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 - Guwahati by flight

    Guwahati

    After breakfast, transfer to Kolkata airport to connect with flight to Guwahati. On arrival, we drive through the busy streets to the Kamakhya Temple. This Temple is devoted to Kama Khya, the eternal Feminine- the goddess of desire.

    After the Temple visit, we drive towards Pandu Port and check into the Cruise and gather on the open deck to enjoy the first sail!!!

    A quick orientation and we de-board for a short visit of the picturesque Peacock Island, the smallest island on the Brahmaputra (flight time permitting) famous for the highly endangered Golden Langur. It would be a good idea to have one’s binoculars and cameras at hand.

    Proceed into the evening with a talk on ‘Kamakhya and the occult in Assam’.

    Soon MV Mahabaahu drops anchor and the evening follows into the welcome dinner.

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

  11. Day 11 Village Visit/ Full Day Sail

    Guwahati

    MV Mahabaahu lifts anchor early. We enjoy Yoga on the deck for an hour and move on for breakfast. We enjoy a talk on 'Assam, its geographical location in the national and international context and how it is acclaiming recognition'. MV Mahabaahu heads on towards an island that is occupied predominantly by a ‘Bangla’ speaking Muslim community who are involved in extensive farming. After visiting this village, we return to the ship for lunch and sail towards the Orang Point.

    Evening sets in and over a cup of tea, we enjoy a talk on 'The River Brahmaputra and the tribal life’. We anchor at a deserted island for the evening and enjoy a bonfire with barbeque.

    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)

  12. Day 12 Sail To Silghat / Visit Tea Estate and Jute Mill

    Kaziranga National Park

    MV Mahabaahu sails early and we enjoy Yoga on the deck and move on for breakfast and for a talk on 'Wild life in Kaziranga with an overview of the wild life in India'.

    We sail on for the next couple of hours and enjoy a relaxed lunch as we reach Silghat.

    After a talk on ‘Tea, Jute & Silk in Assam’, we take a short drive to Kaliabore Tea Estate which is a vast undulating expanse 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).

    While returning to the ship, we visit a co-operative Jute Mill which is an interesting place to understand how jute fibre takes the form of very eco-friendly gunny bags.

    We enjoy a cultural evening on the ship followed by an early dinner.

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

  13. Day 13 Kaziranga National Park / Weaver’s Village at Bishwanath Ghat

    Kaziranga National Park

    An early wake- up call with Tea/coffee and we set out towards the Kaziranga National Park.

    The most prized inhabitant of Kaziranga is the Great 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. An elephant-back safari is once in a lifetime experience, to 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 its visitors!!!

    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 wildlife adventure and an extensive coverage of this magnificent park. We return to MV Mahabaahu and start sailing towards Bishwanath Ghat as we enjoy a leisurely lunch and a relaxed afternoon.

    We get into the excursion boats to reach 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 return to the ship to enjoy an evening on a deserted island and then 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 (B, L, D)

  14. Day 14 Dhansiri Boat Safari

    Kaziranga National Park

    We relish a relaxed breakfast over a talk on ‘The River Brahmaputra and the life that exists alongside.

    We proceed for the boat safari viewing 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 determined by the weather conditions).

    We return to the ship for hot lunch. This evening, we enjoy the Chef’s Cooking Demonstration and sample the snacks. The evening on a deserted island with bonfire is always exclusive! We enjoy dinner on-board.

    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)

  15. Day 15 Mishing Village Visit

    Majuli

    After Yoga and breakfast, we enjoy the sail towards the Mishing Village.

    The Mishings live on the banks of river in 'Chang Ghars' -houses with raised platforms. All Mishing women are expert weavers. We can buy the ethnic colorful cotton weaves and indulge in a dhoti tying and Mekhela Chadar (the indigenous traditional Assamese dress) wearing demonstration.

    We return to the ship to enjoy a talk on ‘Sibsagar and the Ahom civilization’ and proceed to get ready for a Traditional Assamese evening.

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

  16. Day 16 Majuli Visit / Neamati Ghat / Sibsagar

    Sivasagar

    After breakfast, we enjoy a talk on ‘Majuli’- the seat of Neo –Vaishnav Culture and then proceed in our excursion boats to the mainland. Here on, 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. The humble dwellings of the monks are a revelation of utmost simplicity.

    We enjoy lunch on MV Mahabaahu as we sail towards Neamati Ghat.

    Post lunch, we drive through the countryside to reach Sibsagar, the ancient city, built around a huge man made water tank ordered by the Ahom queen.

    A town that literally means 'the ocean of Lord Shiva.’ We notice the district is strewn with the tell-tale ruins of a powerful empire of the Ahoms. Sibsagar was the 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.

    The Shiva Dol, constructed in the year 1734 is believed to be one of the highest Shiva temple in India. We visit Talatal or Kareng Ghar which was the palace of the Ahom Kings and after a leisurely stroll in and around the monument, we go on to Rang Ghar which was a place for hosting wrestling bouts and buffalo fights and other entertainment or important meetings of the Royals and their guests.

    We return to MV Mahabaahu by sunset for the farewell dinner.

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

  17. Day 17 Neamati Ghat/ Jorhat/ Kolkata Departure by flight

    Kolkata

    Morning is at leisure to enjoy, Yoga/ bird watching or perhaps an early morning indulgence in the spa. A relaxed breakfast awaits all (Baggage down prior to breakfast is requested for easy de boarding) We drive to the Jorhat airport en-route stopping at a tea Estate to enjoy a traditional Assamese early lunch.

    Depart for the airport to board the flight to Kolkata.

    Arrive Kolkata and connect your onward international flight.

    (B, L)

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