Explore North India & the Ganges

Delhi to Calcutta

16 days from 1,874 per person

Overview

Combine two incredible adventures – a highlights tour of India plus a cruise on the mighty Ganges River – in one extraordinary experience. Our unique 16-day itinerary takes in the lively rush of Delhi, the tranquility of the Taj Mahal, the character of rural villages, and the pure serenity of sailing the river from temple to palace. From land to sea, immerse yourself in India and all its glory.

16 days Delhi to Calcutta

From 1,874 per person

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

Physical Rating: 2 – Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 24

Age requirement: 18+

Day 1: Delhi

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through Women on Wheels, a G Adventures-supported project.

There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting, so check into to the hotel (check-in time is 12 noon) and enjoy the city.

G Adventures for Good: Women on Wheels Transfer:

Transfer by a G Adventures-supported project, Women on Wheels. This program provides safe and reliable transport for travellers, while providing a dignified livelihood for a local woman from a resource poor community.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting:
1h.  The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Accommodation:

Piccadily Hotel (or similar)
Day 2: Delhi/Āgra

Enjoy a youth-led walk through Delhi with G Adventures-supported City Walk project. Later, explore Old Delhi with your CEO before an afternoon drive to Agra.

G Adventures for Good: City Walk
3-5km

Explore the streets of Delhi with a youth-led tour guide from the G Adventures-supported City Walk project. As a former street child, your local guide will have a unique perspective on the city and can provide more information on the life of a child in India. The guided tour helps support the guide’s college or university tuition.

Please note that City Walk is closed on Sundays and holidays and this activity will not run on those days.

Old Delhi Guided Walk
Delhi1h

Visit historic Old Delhi through this guided walk. Explore Jama Masjid, the “Great Mosque,” and enjoy its massive courtyard, which can hold up to 25,000 worshippers. Pick up trinkets and textiles or do some window shopping at Chandni Chowk market. Visit the ancient Sikh temple of Gurdwara SisGanj, which was established in 1783.

Private Vehicle:
Delhi – Āgra3h-4h200km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation:

Hotel Utkarsh Vilas (or similar)
Day 9: Calcutta/Bārākpur

Transfer to the boat and once on board, explore the riverboat and settle in. As the trip gets underway, sail up past the old Danish colony of Serampore, and head out to explore Barrackpore.

Transfer from your hotel in the late morning and embark around midday.

Varuna Riverboat:
Calcutta – Bārākpur

Hop aboard and float on to the next stop.

Barrackpore Excursion:
Bārākpur

Discover Barrackpore on foot. Take a walk past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House, its garden housing many of the British statues removed from central Kolkata.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 3: Āgra

Spend the day visiting the highlights of the walled city of Agra including the famed Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and Agra Fort.

Taj Mahal Visit:

Cross one off your bucket list as you visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Explore the gorgeous white marble mausoleum, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a testament of his love for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

Baby Taj Visit
Āgra

Visit this mausoleum that looks like a jewel box, built before the Taj Mahal by Queen Nur Jahan for her father. Enjoy the intricate details of the structure; it was the first Mughal building faced with white marble and where “pietra dura” (precious stones inlaid into marble) was first used.

Agra Fort Visit:
Āgra1h-3h

Enjoy your visit to this impressive Mughal fort made of red sandstone and white marble.

Accommodation:

Hotel Utkarsh Vilas (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 4: Āgra/Jaipur

Drive to Jaipur, visiting the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri and the village of Abhaneri, which has one of India’s deepest and largest stepwells (tank gardens).

Private Vehicle:
Āgra – Jaipur5h-6h240km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Fatehpur Sikri Visit:

Explore the magnificent red sandstone fort city that was once the capital of India’s Mughal Empire and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Keep an eye out for elements of different religions, as King Akbar built three palaces for each of his favorite wives—a Hindu, a Muslim, and a Christian—in the city.

Abhaneri Stepwell Visit:
Abhaneri30m-1h

Walk around the amazing Chand Baori, a tenth century water tank that’s an impressive 6.1m (20 ft) deep. Learn about ancient Indian environmentalism—a “baori” is a unique Indian invention for harvesting rainwater.

Accommodation:

Hotel Libra (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 5: Jaipur

Explore the “Pink City,” known also as Jaipur, including the Amber Fort, City Palace, and the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds). Listen to a local historian/scholar discuss the spirituality, social fabric, customs and traditions of India.

Consider treating yourself to a night at the cinema. Going to see a Bollywood film in India is much more than what we are accustomed to in the west. The atmosphere, energy, and pure fun (not to mention volume!) has to be experienced to be believed.

Amber Fort Visit:
Jaipur

Enjoy the Hindu and Muslim architecture of the beautiful Amber Fort.

City Palace Visit:
Jaipur1h

Explore the courtyards, gardens, and buildings that make up the City Palace. Located in the heart of the Old City, it is a striking blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. Visit the palace’s museum to look at ancient carriages and the former maharaja’s gold-embroidered wedding outfit.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives – Meet a Local Historian:

In Jaipur, known as the “Pink City,” meet with a local historian and sociology scholar to learn about India’s complex social fabric and traditions, and discuss a range of topics from the country’s belief systems to its architecture.

Accommodation:

Hotel Libra (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 6: Jaipur/Sāwarda

Drive to the rural village of Sawarda where we stay in a heritage home. Exploring this traditional village is like stepping back in time. Walk and meet with elders, teachers and elected representatives of the village governing council, called the Panchayat. Topics of discussion include: how urbanization affects village life, information technology and modernization and its benefits and disadvantages, as well as simple village customs and traditions.

The village is about 60km (37 mi) from Jaipur and has beautiful temples dedicated to different religions, including a unique sikh temple. The residents of the village are still involved in traditional commercial activities. You’ll see pottery wheels, silversmiths, cobblers, traditional huts, old temples, and small stepwells.

Private Vehicle:
Jaipur – Sāwarda60km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives – Local Village Immersion:

Step back in time and explore the traditional village of Sawarda to get a glimpse of life in rural India. On our walk we meet elders, teachers and elected representatives of the village governing council, called the Panchayat. Topics of discussion include how urbanization affect village life, information technology, and modernization in its benefits and disadvantages, as well as simple village customs and traditions.

Accommodation:

Sawarda Palace (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 7: Sāwarda/Delhi

Drive back to bustling Delhi. Opt to join the CEO for a group dinner.

Private Vehicle:
Sāwarda – Delhi6h310km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation:

Piccadily Hotel (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 8: Delhi/Calcutta
Plane:
Delhi – Calcutta

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… yup, it is a plane, actually.

Accommodation:

The HHI Kolkata (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 9: Calcutta/Bārākpur

Transfer to the boat and once on board, explore the riverboat and settle in. As the trip gets underway, sail up past the old Danish colony of Serampore, and head out to explore Barrackpore.

Transfer from your hotel in the late morning and embark around midday.

Varuna Riverboat:
Calcutta – Bārākpur

Hop aboard and float on to the next stop.

Barrackpore Excursion:
Bārākpur

Discover Barrackpore on foot. Take a walk past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House, its garden housing many of the British statues removed from central Kolkata.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 10: Bārākpur/Kālna

Sail to Chandannagar, a former French possession, to explore. Continue to Chinsurah, to visit the historic Dutch cemetery and the Imambara before reboarding the vessel. Moor near Kalna for the night.

Varuna Riverboat
Bārākpur – Chandannagar

Hop aboard and float on to the next stop.

Chandannagar Excursion
Chandannagar

Visit the beautiful 18th-century Sacred Heart Church with its historical French style architecture. Continue on to the Chandannagore Museum and Institute, one of the oldest museums in the area. With its beautiful collection of French antiques, cannons and 18th-century wooden furniture, it is well worth the time to explore.

Varuna Riverboat:
Chandannagar – Chunchura

Hop aboard and float on to the next stop.

Chinsurah Excursion:

Arrive in Chinsurah and visit the Dutch cemetery. Spend some time walking around the pathways that lead through the monuments. Later, board a cycle rickshaw ride and check out the imposing Imambara mosque with its magnificent clock tower and spectacular location right on the river

Varuna Riverboat:
Chunchura – Kālna

Hop aboard and float on to the next stop.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 11: Kālna/Matiari

Land at the country town of Kalna and take cycle rickshaws to see the terracotta temples, as well as the unique Shiva temple. Later, explore Mayapur, with its skyline dominated by the vast ISKCON temple. Sail on through the night to a mooring near Matiari.

Kalna Excursion:
Kālna

Take a rickshaw ride to explore the terracotta temples of Kālna. Visit the unique and beautiful 108 Shiva Temple Complex. With 108 temples arranged in two concentric circles, it is architecturally unique and fascinating to explore and photograph.

Varuna Riverboat:
Kālna – Māyāpur

Hop aboard and float on to the next stop.

Mayapur Excursion:
Māyāpur

Head out to explore Mayapur, including a visit to the vast ISKCON temple – visited by over a million people annually. Take time to check out some of the smaller temples in the area as well.

Varuna Riverboat:
Māyāpur – Matiari

Hop aboard and float on to the next stop.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 12: Matiari/Murshidābād

Start the day with a visit to the brassworking village of Matiari to witness their ancient techniques. Continue on the river to a rural mooring near the battlefield of Plassey and opt to walk to the commemorative obelisk.

Moor near Murshidabad for the night.

Matiari Excursion:

Visit the charming brassworking village of Matiari. Watch a demonstration of the traditional process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels.

Varuna Riverboat:
Matiari – Palāshi

Hop aboard and float on to the next stop.

Battlefield of Plassey Visit:

Visit the battlefield of Plassey, where Clive’s defeat of Siraj-ud-Daulah in 1757 changed the course of Indian history. Opt to walk through the fields to the commemorative obelisk.

Varuna Riverboat:
Palāshi – Murshidābād

Hop aboard and float on to the next stop.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 13: Murshidābād

Explore the Khushbagh this morning, a peaceful Moghul-style garden housing several tombs. Continue a little way upstream to Murshidabad to visit Hazarduari Palace and Katra Mosque before driving to two 18th-century buildings – the Nashipara Palace and the Katgola Palace.

Moor on the riverbank across from town for the night

Khushbagh Excursion:
Murshidābād

Travel by cycle rickshaw to visit the Khushbagh, a peaceful garden enclosing the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah and his family.

Varuna Riverboat:
Murshidābād

Hop aboard and float on to the next stop.

Murshidabad Excursion:

Explore Murshidabad and see Nawab’s Hazarduari Palace. Visit the Katra Mosque and two amazing buildings of the late 18th century, the Nashipara Palace and the Katgola Palace. Both were built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 14: Murshidābād/Farakka

Explore the rural village of Baranagar and walk through farmers’ fields to visit three miniature terracotta temples. Continue up the river and take in the scenery as you cruise to a mooring near the Farakka Barrage.

Enjoy the idyllic views today as the boat carries on up along canals, passing mustard fields and mango orchards, to the mooring for the night.

Baranagar Excursion:
Baranagar

Explore the sleepy village of Baranagar. Wander through the fields and explore the terracotta temples. Soak up the atmosphere of idyllic rural Indian life

Varuna Riverboat:
Murshidābād – Farakka

Hop aboard and float on to the next stop.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 15; Farakka

Enjoy a full day excursion by road to Gaur, near the town of Malda (English Bazaar). Visit a number of sights from the 12th-century Hindus and 14th-century Muslims, including mosques and palaces. Rejoin the boat in the evening.

Private Vehicle:
Farakka – Ingrāj Bāzār1h-1h15m Morning

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Gaur Excursion:
Ingrāj Bāzār

Enjoy a full day tour to Gaur, close to the town of Malda (English Bazar). Now a quiet place to visit, Gaur was once one of India’s great cities, first under the Hindus in 12th century, then as the muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century. There are plenty of mosques, palaces and gateways to explore, so take some time wander around with your camera.

Varuna Riverboat:
Ingrāj Bāzār – Farakka1h-1h15m Afternoon

Hop aboard and float on to the next stop.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 16: Farakka/Calcutta

Transfer to Farakka station at dawn to catch the morning train and journey back to Kolkata. Tour ends on arrival in Kolkata.

Local train:
Farakka – Calcutta6h

Climb aboard, take your seat, and get around like the locals do.

Departure Day (Activities):

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with any onward travel arrangements you require.

Meals included:

Breakfast

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