The mighty Ganges is the holiest waterway on the Indian Subcontinent. Stretching from the Himalayas, the river flows for 1,560 miles, through over 100 cities and towns, and across four borders, into India, Nepal, Bangladesh and China.
1. New Delhi
New Delhi captures history in action. The city has been at the helm of Indian politics for five thousand years. Visit the UNESCO approved Humayun’s Tomb for a trip to the past, or the startlingly modern Lotus Temple for a glimpse of the future.
Agra is home to the most precious of India’s historical treasures, the enduring marble beauty of the Taj Mahal. Built by Shah Jahan in tribute to his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is a powerful symbol of eternal love.
Tightly clustered along the banks of the River Ganges, Varanasi is the holiest of India’s cities. Said to be the place where worshippers come to escape the cycle of life and death, Varanasi is the spiritual epicentre for the continent’s major religions, in particular, Hinduism. Famous for its bathing ghats, Varanasi is a tourist-friendly destination, with many hotels and markets.
Built on the crossroads of four rivers, the Ganges, Sone, Gandak and Punpun, Patna is a mixed transit city. Not only is it home to one of the longest river bridges in the world; the 7.5km Mahatma Gahdi Seti; but it is also said to be one of the five Holy Takht cities of Sikhism.
Overlooked by the snowy peaks of the Himalayas, from Siliguri travellers can take the famous Toy Train through the mountains to Darjeeling.
Hidden high in the foggy peaks of the Himalayas, Darjeeling is the tea capital of the world. These tea plantations, overlooked by the towering peak of Khangchendzonga (8,586m), are scattered with colonial buildings, churches and tea shops.
Kolkata, the former capital of the British Raj, is scattered with the reminders of colonial occupation. Contained within the noble white-bricked streets visitors will find an enchanting banquet of traditional Kolkatan street food, bazaars and markets.