India's Ganges River
On this incredible journey we will explore the headwaters of the Ganges in northern India. The Hindus call it the Ganga Mata or the Great Mother, the holiest of all rivers in the world. We will start our adventure in the foothills of the Himalayas where the mountain waters tumble down into the valley below. We will paddle inflatable kayaks and will have two rafts along to carry the camping and cooking gear.
Nights will be divided between camping on white sandy beaches and staying at base camps along the river. We will visit remote villages, Hindu shrines and jungle temples. We will day-hike the Pilgrim’s Trail and take a jeep ride into Rajaji National Wildlife Park, home to 500 Asian elephants, 200 snow leopards, monitor lizards, barking deer and many macaque and langur monkeys. As we paddle through this ancient land, we will stop at Rishikesh, the town the Beatles made famous in the 1970′s. This is where they spent three months with their guru Maharishi.
We will visit Hardwar, one of the Hindu’s most sacred cities. Here we will go to Har-Ki-Pauri, the sacred bathing ghat and attend an Aarti, the evening blessing of this holy river. Sadhus and pilgrims come here from all over the world to bathe in the holy Ganges. They believe that to bathe in the Ganges washes away the sins of a lifetime. We start and finish this trip in Delhi, India’s vibrantly complex capital of all things ancient and modern, where visitors may run into saffron-turbaned mystics, bearded Sufis, and trendy Bollywood stars on the same block.
Arrive in Delhi
Arrive Delhi late night. Meet, assist and transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay in a Delhi hotel. New Delhi, Indias capital and a major gateway to the country, is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines the ancient with the modern. Along with the fast spiraling skyscrapers, the city is dotted with many historical monuments that stand as silent reminders to the regions ancient legacy. The first impressions for any visitor traveling in from the airport are of a spacious, garden city with roads lined by trees.
Day 2: Delhi
Morning at leisure/ recovering from jetlag. A half-day city tour in the afternoon. Proceed for a sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi. The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. You drive past the Red Fort. The magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Yamuna was built during the years 1638 – 48 when the Mughal Empire was at its peak. The tour continues to Jama Masjid, one of Asias largest mosques. The mosque is viewed from the outside. People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is always buzzing with activity.
Later, visit New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colours and spells. New Delhi in contrast is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.
Son et lumiere at the Old Fort in the evening. Overnight in Delhi hotel.
Day 3: Camp Tusker
Board the Dehradun Shatabdi at New Delhi Railway Station at 0655 hours and reach Haridwar at 1115 hours. Meet and Greet by a Snow Leopard Adventures Representative. Drive for about 35 minutes to reach Camp Tusker.
En route we cross the holy city of Haridwar. Haridwar is a sacred town for the Hindus and the name translates to `Gateway to God’. Located at the base of the Shivalik hills, it is in this town that the river Ganga enters the plains. We drive past Har ki Pauri- the sacred bathing ghats.
Arrive at Camp Tusker.
It is set in the verdant surroundings of Rajaji National Park. The musical chirping of the birds, the rousing sound of the forest and the relaxed atmosphere takes you far away from the hustle of city life.
Camp welcome, briefing followed by lunch. Post lunch at leisure in camp or leave for a short cycling session in the surrounding areas. Return to camp. Evening tea with coffee and snacks. Dinner around a merry campfire. Overnight in safari tents.
Day 4: Camp Tusker- Haridwar
Morning wake up call followed by breakfast. Post breakfast, we start the paddling trip today from Haridwar. We kayak today for about four hours.
Changing tents are set up at an isolated beach for the guests. After a picnic lunch, we go for a sightseeing trip of Haridwar with a Snow Leopard Adventures representative. Witness the evening Aarti at the Har-Ki-Pauri ghat. It is a must see for all tourists.
Dinner around a merry campfire at Camp Tusker.
Day 5: Rishikesh
After breakfast, drive to the put in point for the days paddling. We embark on an easy paddling session for about 2 _ hours. This is a gentle stretch covering a distance of 10 river kms wherein we float past famous temples, ashrams and yoga centers of Rishikesh. We raft under the Laxman Jhoola and the Ram Jhoola suspension bridges.
At Rishikesh, the Ganga River enters the Indo-Gangetic plains on its 2525-km journey to the Bay of Bengal.
The Yoga Capital of the World
After changing clothes and a picnic lunch, we proceed for a walking tour of the fascinating town of Rishikesh, the spiritual birthplace of Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda.
Located in the laps of lower Himalayas, Rishikesh is surrounded by scenic beauty of the hills on three sides with Holy Ganga flowing through it. The whole place is considered to be sacred, as it is believed that meditation at this place leads to attainment of salvation and is often claimed as the `Yoga Capital of the World’. Back in the 1960s Rishikesh gained instant fame as the site where The Beatles came to stay with their guru, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
In order to get to the town, we cross over the Ram Jhoola, which is a suspended bridge across the Ganges. As we walk through the town, we will meet several holymen or Rishis who will engage you in conversation in the hope of getting some money out of you on the pretext of religion. We also walk past several temples, ashrams, and yoga centers culminating at the Triveni Ghat (the steps that lead down to the river) to participate in an aarti ceremony. In Hindu homes and temples, the twilight hour is one of the most important in India – the hour of the aarti ceremony. The lighting of lamps at this moment between daylight and darkness hour is to ensure the presence of light – symbolically the sacred presence of god worshipped as fire. Amidst the singing and chanting of devotional songs and hymns, the devotees and the guests will make prayer offerings to the holy river. The offering of the lamps is also a symbolic offering of one’s inner fire and sacred presence.
We then walk back across Laxman Jhoola and drive to Snow Leopard Adventures Camp, Shivpuri.
Day 6: Srinagar to Bhagwan
After an early breakfast, we drive to Srinagar (about 2 _ hours). From Srinagar, we paddle past the town of Srinagar for about 2 hours. This is a gentle section (Grade II) on the Alaknanda river till Bhagwan.
Please note that this trip is raft supported. We set up camp on an isolated beach in Bhagwan by the river.
Day 7: Bhagwan to Devprayag
After an early breakfast, we raft down the Alaknanda river. The river enters a breathtakingly beautiful gorge and picks up in intensity. After crossing a small suspension foot-bridge over the river we stop to inspect Moutups Hattrick a series of three exciting rapids named after a rafter who fell out of the raft in all three rapids.
If required, the kayaking guests can negotiate this rapid on the raft and go back to kayaking after the rapid. After Moutups Hattrick, we paddle for another hour through the gorge and we stop at the holy town of Devprayag. Devprayag is at the confluence of two sacred rivers, the Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda, which merge to form the Holy Ganges. One can wander around this pleasant town and its temples. After a holy dip we paddle down a few kilometers to set up camp for the night on an isolated beach on the Ganga River.
Day 8: Mahadev Chatti
After breakfast, we paddle on a beautiful section of the Ganges till Mahadev Chatti. It is a short/relaxed easy day. Lunch at Mahadev Chatti.
Post lunch, we take a walk around the area and visit some of the temples around.
Optional: Post lunch, we go for a trek to Chandpur-a quiet and quaint Himalayan village by the river (about 4 hours- both ways)
Overnight at camp.
Day 9: Mahadev Chatti to Snow Leopard Adventures camp
After an early breakfast, we trek along the ancient Pilgrims Trail, which was used by the pilgrims in earlier time before roadways were made. From Singtali, we raft/ kayak down the river. We walk around The Wall , which a grade IV rapid and paddle on till Marine Drive, our take out point.
We drive for about 35-40 minutes to reach Snow Leopard Adventures campsite, Shivpuri. Evening at leisure. Overnight at the camp.
Day 10: At the Camp.
Early morning wake up called followed by a yoga session. Breakfast at the camp. Post breakfast, we leave for a 04 kms trek through a local Garhwali village. This trek meanders through the local school where we will stop for a brief interaction with the students.
The trek meanders through terraced fields and streams and brings you down to a typical way to cross a Himalayan stream just wading through _. Return to camp.
Lunch at the camp. Post lunch, the guest are at leisure.
A grand celebration dinner around the campfire. Overnight at the camp.
Day 11: Train to Delhi
Early morning transfer to Haridwar Railway Station to board the Dehradun Jan Shatabdi (Not operational on Sundays) Arrive Delhi at 1120 hrs. Meet and transfer to Delhi hotel. Afternoon at leisure/ free time for shopping. Overnight in a Delhi Hotel.
Day 12: At Delhi
Morning at leisure/ shopping. Evening flight back home. OR
The guests wishing to do the extension tour depart for Jaipur.
November 5 - 15
11 Days / 10 Nights
|Lodging & Accomadations|
2 nights at Hotels
2 nights at Tent Camps
6 nights Tent Camping
This trip consists of a variety of accomadations or various days. Please read the itiniery for more detail and specifics.
This trip is rated moderate. It involves light hiking each day, 3 - 6 hours of Kayaking each day and staying at remote campsites.
|Services Included||Services Excluded|