Our Luxury Tour of Varanasi, Calcutta and Darjeeling has been carefully designed with the requirements of our second-time guests in mind. On this fascinating journey we invite those who’ve previously dipped their toes into India in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, to return and get their teeth stuck into another facet of this truly diverse country. After an initial night in Delhi, we fly out to the holy city of Varanasi to experience the spiritual and ancient prayer rituals performed on the banks of the Ganges at sunset. We then continue to Kolkata, previously known as Calcutta, to soak up rich heritage, colonial charm and epic street food. The colonial flavour continues at our last stop, Darjeeling, where Raj-era bungalows can still be seen today, amongst the more recently arrived Tibetan population and a carpet of tea plantations.
In the early evening, you’ll be met by your guide for a tour of the Ganges – and its many ghats – by boat, culminating with the evening aarti ceremony. These ancient rituals have changed very little over hundreds and hundreds of years. The scent of sandalwood and inscence swirls around, whilst the sounds of prayer chanting and clashing symbols rise to a crescendo. Hundreds of little oil lamps flickering on the river are a beautiful sight.
The itinerary we’ve described here is merely a starting point to share a flavour of the possibilities, and absolutely every aspect is flexible (from the hotels, to the destinations, to the length, to the sightseeing). For example, those with tighter schedules may consider removing the first and/or last night at the Imperial in Delhi (flight times permitting); or remove Varanasi in favour of focusing on east India. On the other hand, you may like to stay a bit longer to explore the eastern region further, by continuing from Darjeeling onwards to Gangtok and/or Kalimpong. Or, keep the colonial theme going with a visit to Shimla in the Himalayan foothills. For first time visitors to north India, this luxury tour of Varanasi, Kolkata and Darjeeling would also pair perfectly with this luxury Rajasthan tour. Let us know what you’d like to create and we can make it happen!
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