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The world's most sacred river can be explored on a luxury river cruise.
The River Ganges, known as the sacred river, begins in the western Himalayas and flows over 2500 kilometres through India and into Bangladesh where it eventually empty's into the Bay of Bengal. It is the longest river in India.
The Ganges holds a special place for Hindus and is worshipped as the goddess Ganga. Hindu's pay homage to their gods by bathing in the sacred waters and offering flowers and rose petals that float on shallow clay dishes filled with oil. Hindu's believe the waters of the Ganges can wipe away the sins of a lifetime.
The navigable sections of the Ganges and Lower Ganges (Hooghly) include many small unspoilt towns and villages as well as historical cities, such as Varanasi, Patna and Kolkata.
Kolkata was the capital of British India for around 150 years, and boasts superb colonial architecture. It is the intellectual capital of modern India; a thriving, bustling, colourful and modern city with excellent shopping. Kalna is a pleasant agricultural centre, boasting some of Bengal’s finest terracotta temples. The battlefield of Plassey, where the foundations of the British Raj were laid, lies close to the river, with a commemorative obelisk. Rajmahal is an early Moghul capital of Bengal on the banks of the Ganges. Patna was one of the major centres of the East India Company, enriched by opium and indigo plantations, has an excellent museum and fascinating places of worship.
And Varanasi, known as the City of Light, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world, dating back to 3000 years ago. It's the most important religious site for Hindus who come here to attain moksha or salvation through intimate rituals of life and death, all of which add to the deeply spiritual atmosphere. There's no place on Earth like Varanasi.
We work with Assam Bengal Navigation who operate luxury River Cruises on the Ganges and Lower Ganges throughout the year. Their cruises range from 3 to 8 nights and provide the perfect base to explore this most fascinating region.
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