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Luxury River Cruises in India


India is increasingly becoming a central location for luxury travel and luxury cruises. Luxury River Cruises in India are all the more spectacular because they provide travellers with an opportunity equal to none to observe the astounding geography of the region. The

Ganges River is the starting point for a host of luxury river cruises.

All river cruises in India start and finish with the River Ganges, or India's "Holy River." The Ganges flows east through the Gangetic Plain of northern India into Bangladesh. The Ganges then rises in the western Himalayas and drains into the Sunderbans delta in the Bay of Bengal.

For Hindus in India, the Ganga is not just a river - but a mother, a goddess, a culture. Many Hindus believe that life simply isn't complete without bathing in the Ganga at least once in one's lifetime. Many Hindu families keep a vial of water from the Ganga in their house. Hindus believe that the water from the Ganga can cure the ill.

Some of the most important Hindu festivals happen on the banks of this vital body of water. Festivals are celebrated on the banks of the river, such as the Kumbh Mela, Allahabad and the Chhath Puja.

The River Ganges is a primary tourist destination. Three towns holy to Hinduism - Haridwar, Allahabad, and Varanasi - attract countless pilgrims to its waters. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims arrive at these three towns to take a dip in the Ganges. The rapids of the Ganges also are popular for river rafting, attracting scores of adventure seekers in the summer months.

A Brahmaputra Luxury River Cruise provides the best opportunity to explore one of the world's finest combinations of river and jungle.

The River Brahmaputra merges with the Ganges in Bangladesh and splits into two: the Hugli and Padma Rivers. When it merges with the Ganges it forms the world's largest delta, the Sunderbans. The Sunderbans houses the largest mangrove swamp and Estuarine National Park in the world and is home to one of the largest tiger reserves in the world.

The notions of wildlife and wilderness are central to any Brahmaputra Luxury River Cruise. The sand spits and estuaries of the river abound with a variety of bird life and Gangetic Dolphins.

A cruise along this river also allows access to a number of spectacular National Parks, including Kaziranga, the last home of the one horned rhino. Kaziranga National Park is the oldest National Park in Assam and a World Heritage site. Spread over an area of 430 square kilometres, the park is home to a variety of species, such as: the one horned rhinoceros, elephant, Indian bison, swamp deer, samber, hog deer, sloth bear, leopard, capped langur, gibbon, jackal and ibis.

The mighty Brahmaputra River charts its majestic course through the state of Assam. This mystic land of blue hills and beautiful rivers is renowned for its rich flora and fauna, the one horned rhinoceros and other species of wildlife on the verge of extinction.

Assam is the state that houses many holy sites, such as: Kamakhya Temple, the Shakti Temple of mother Goddess Kamakhya situated on the top of Nilachal Hills. The greatest shrine of tantric Shaktism, devotees from all over India converge on this holy place during festivals.

Umananda Temple is another great Shiva temple situated on the Peacock Island in the middle of the Brahmaputra. This temple attracts devotees from all over the country during Shiva Ratri.

The Brahmaputra soon becomes the Hugli River, which glides snakelike through the Kolkata district. Kolkata is regarded as the intellectual capital of the nation. Several of India's great 19th and 20th-century heroes were Kolkatans, including guru-philosopher Ramakrishna, Nobel Prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore and film director Satyajit Ray.

Dozens of venues showcase Bengali dance, poetry, art, music, film and theatre. Kalighat's Kali Temple is Kolkata's holiest spot. The current structure dates from 1809.

However, the site is many, many centuries older and possibly the source of the city's name. Inside the temple pilgrims jostle to present hibiscus offerings to Kali. This site has been an important pilgrimage destination since the 16th century.

Luxury river cruises in India provide travellers with an unequalled opportunity to observe the astounding geography of this stunning region.

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