Pre-tour Golden Triangle with Brahmaputra River Downstream Cruise

13 NIGHTS | 14 DAYS

DELHI | AGRA | JAIPUR | M.V. MAHABAAHU

Far Horizon offers you an itinerary with a difference combining a visit to some of the iconic monuments of the Golden Triangle with a cruise on the Brahmaputra River. This unique combination – a cultural and historical experience clubbed with soft adventure – makes for an enchanting and a complete journey.



 

Day 1 (Monday): Departure

Day 2 (Tuesday): Arrive Delhi
Our representative will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Delhi is a dynamic city where the past coexists with the present. While historic evidence shows that the area around Delhi was first occupied around 2,500 years ago, Hindu mythology predates that by 500 years. The British captured the city in 1803 and when they decided to make it the capital of India in 1911, they commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to draw up the plans. The result was a well laid out city with spacious tree-lined avenues punctuated with architecture which is among the most striking in the world. Overnight at the hotel

Day 3 (Wednesday): Delhi
After breakfast, experience the combined charm of Old and New Delhi. The day begins with sightseeing in Old Delhi and a visit to Raj Ghat. Drive past the Red Fort on your way to the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. A tour through the bazaars of Chandni Chowk is followed by a drive past the historical India Gate, the President's estate and the Parliament House. End the day with a visit to the capital's most striking monument; the 70 meter high Qutab Minar. Overnight at the hotel (B)

Day 4 (Thursday): Delhi / Agra (Approx. 220 kms / 5 hour drive)
After breakfast drive to Agra. En-route visit Sikandra– the city named after Sikandra Lodhi – holds the tomb of the mighty Akbar. The construction of this mausoleum was started by Akbar himself but was completed in 1613 by his son Emperor Jehangir. On arrival, check in to your hotel.

Visit the Taj Mahal at sunset – surely the greatest monument of love and one of the wonders of the modern world. Completed in 1652, skilled craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and some 20,000 laborers worked for 17 years to build this edifice. It was commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel (B)

Day 5 (Friday): Agra/Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri (Approx. 260 kms / 5 hour drive)
After breakfast, visit the red sandstone Agra Fort, which stands like a crescent on the banks of the Jamuna River enclosed by forbidding 20-meter high walls, with a 12-meter moat between them. Three successive Mughal emperors – Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan – helped create this massive structure. Later drive to Jaipur. En-route visit Fatehpur Sikri, the sandstone city which was the glorious but short-lived imperial capital of Akbar, the greatest of Mughal emperors. Lying on a rocky ridge, it boasts of palaces, forts and mosques representing a variety of architectural styles. On arrival check in to the hotel. Enjoy dinner with a Noble family at the Sankotra Haveli. (Experiencing the Living Cultures of India) Overnight at the hotel (B, D)

Day 6 (Saturday): Jaipur
After breakfast, take a half-day excursion to the Amber Fort. En-route, make a photo stop at the palace of winds – the Hawa Mahal – a 5 stored structure built in the 18 century. It has 953 windows and niches from where ladies of royal family could see the processions and events in the city without being visible to other people. Proceed to the Amber City Fort (11 kms. north of Jaipur) perched on a height of 130 m high on the Aravalli hills. It was the ancient capital of the Kachhawaha Rajputs till 1037. Enjoy an Elephant ride to the top of the Palace fort.

In the afternoon visit the 'Pink City' of Jaipur. The City Palace occupies the center of Jaipur. It now houses the royal residence and museums with a rich collection of textiles and costumes, armory, manuscripts and paintings. Also visit the Jantar Mantar (1728-34) built by King Jai Singh II who had a great interest in astrology. Overnight at the hotel (B)

Day 7 (Sunday): Jaipur / Dibrugarh / Nimati / M.V. Mahabaahu
After breakfast, check-out of the hotel and transfer to the Jaipur airport to fly to Dibrugarh via Kolkata (Jaipur/Kolkata and Kolkata/Dibrugarh. JAI/CCU by 6E-207 at 0820/1030& CCU/DIB by 6E-205 at 1230/1355 hrs.). Arrive at Dibrugarh airport and transfer to Nimati (4 hour drive), where you will be welcomed onboard the M.V. Mahabaahu. After check in and guest safety briefing, enjoy the Captain's welcome dinner. Overnight onboard (B,L,D)

DAY 8 (Monday): Nimati / Sibsagar / Majuli
Drive to Sibsagar, the ancient city of the Ahom Kings. Sibsagar, which literally means 'the ocean of Lord Shiva', is strewn with tell-tale ruins of a powerful empire – the Ahom. The town is built around the Sibsagar tank, dug over 200 years ago. On its banks are located some of the famous temples of Sibsagar. The Shiva Temple, constructed in the year 1734 is believed to be the highest Hindu temple in India.

Be back onboard the M.V. Mahabaahu (after a four hour excursion), for lunch and set sail for Majuli. In Majuli, visit Samagudi Satra and enjoy the masked dance. (This trip will take approximately 3 hours) Return to the M.V. Mahabaahu and enjoy a talk on 'Vaishnavism in Assam'. Dinner onboard Overnight onboard (B,L,D)

DAY 9 (Tuesday): Majuli / Sailing towards Bishwanath Ghat
Majuli is a treasure house of Assamese culture. Ancient monasteries dedicated to preservation of the arts have existed here since the fifteenth century. Written records are found of the visit of Shankardeva, a social reformer, during the 16th century. He promulgated a form of Hinduism that was also called Vaishnavism. He established monasteries or hermitages that were called Satra – the hub of culture, art, and religion. Even today, the Satra preserve weapons, utensils, jewelry and other articles of cultural importance. Sail to the Kamalabari jetty and drive to Auniati Satra. Visit the prayer hall, the monks quarters and seethe art of fan making. A drum dance is the perfect way to end this cultural experience. (This excursion takes approximately 4 hours) Also meet the Mishing people in their village. Return to the M.V. Mahabaahu and set sail towards Bishwanath ghat. Arrive at an isolated island for drinks and dinner. Overnight onboard (B,L,D)

DAY 10 (Wednesday): Arrive Bishwanath Ghat
Arrive at Bishwanath after eight hours of sailing and drop anchor. After lunch, take the smaller boats to visit this charming village where you can see the local women as they weave cotton and silk in their homes. Return to M.V. Mahabaahu. In the evening, enjoy a dance performance onboard followed by a demonstration on how to wear an Assamese sari. Dinner onboard. Overnight onboard (B,L,D)

DAY 11 (Thursday): BishwanathGhat / Silghat / Tea Plantation
Sail to Silghat and drive to a tea plantation. Wander through the manicured tea gardens, watch tea pickers at work and taste the perfect cup of Assamese tea. Return onboard for lunch.

Leave for a jeep safari in the western range of the Kaziranga Park. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Kaziranga National Park is located in the flood plains on both sides of the Brahmaputra. 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, deer, bison, and a rich variety of birds. Dinner onboard. Overnight onboard (B,L,D)

DAY 12: (Friday): Kaziranga National Park
Rise before dawn and  set off for the Kaziranga National Park for a once-in-a-lifetime elephant safari to look for the elusive rhinoceros and tiger. Breakfast at a resort. Drive to the Kohora gate for a jeep safari. Return to the M.V. Mahabaahu for lunch. Set sail towards Guwahati. Dinner onboard. Overnight onboard (B,L,D)

DAY 13 (Saturday): Guwahati
Sail to Pandu. Relax on board with Spa facilities, swimming pool, gymnasium or simply indulge in some bird watching from the decks. Your guide summarizes the rich legacy of the Assamese culture and civilization for you. Arrive at Pandu port, just after lunch and depart for a visit to the Kamakhya Temple from the periphery (Sanctum closed from 1.00 pm to 3:30 pm). Animal sacrifices take place at the temple almost daily. After an orientation visit to Guwahati city, return to the M.V. Mahabaahu. Enjoy the farewell dinner. Overnight onboard (B,L,D)

DAY 14 (Sunday): Guwahati / Departure
After breakfast leave for the airport to board the flight to your onward destination.(B)

 

 

WEATHER AND SEASONAL INFORMATION
There are four distinct seasons in Assam – summer, monsoon, autumn and winter. The best time to visit Assam is in the autumn and winter seasons, i.e. from October to April, which is also the festive season of Assam.

While winter days are usually sunny, the temperature can fall to 8 degrees Celsius (46 F) at night. Our cabins are air conditioned and heated for your comfort, but you should include warm clothing, hats and jackets in your bags when visiting during the winter months.

Kaziranga National Park is open from 15th October until the 30th of April. During the first half of October and May, the Park has a “Partially Open” status. This means that the Park will be open but all roads may not be navigable, as they work to restore them to pre-monsoon standards.

Please note, there are no elephant-back or jeep safaris between May and the first half of October. Instead, boat safaris will be offered during these months. During the months that the Kaziranga National Park is closed, we are able to explore the shores of the Park on our expedition boats. We will cruise the Park shoreline and many of the riverine islands that are home to a number of animals, as well as a wide variety of birds.

During the peak winter season, from mid-December to mid-February, the itinerary will be adjusted according to daylight hours as the M.V. Mahabaahu does not sail during darkness. In order to provide for full coverage of the Kaziranga National Park during these winter months, we will not visit Bishwanath Ghat.

RIVER CONDITIONS AND DISCLAIMER
River cruising in this part of the world is an adventurous experience. Assam is still in the developing stages of tourism and the developing infrastructure is rushing to keep pace with the rapidly growing interest in this part of India. As such, our voyage is an expedition-style cruise with all creature comforts on-board. Our onshore staff will make every effort to attend to your comfort during onshore expeditions. However, vehicles and roads may not be of the same standard that you have experienced elsewhere, although we use the best of what is available locally.

Please note, this itinerary is subject to weather and river conditions. The Captain/Cruise Director reserves the right to adjust the itinerary for passenger safety and comfort.

The Brahmaputra River is subject to seasonal fluctuations. Islands and sand bars can appear and disappear between one sailing and the next. Also, being one of the highest precipitation zones in the world, our program is subject to weather and river conditions.

We reserve the right to convert the direction of the cruise from upstream to downstream or vice versa without any compensation.