Everything about the Brahmaputra cruise on the MV Mahabaahu was so exciting. We visited Hindu temples, remote villages, and ancient monuments, went on a dawn safari on elephant back in search of rhino and even saw a Bengal tiger. And then there is the river itself – blazing such a trail through Assam that the scenery changes by the hour. What an amazing week.
16 Nights Special Departure Itinerary
MV Mahabaahu, Brahmaputra River
Guwahati (29th April, 2019) to Kolkata (15th May, 2019)
This is a new cruising sector of Indo-Bangladesh. Enjoy the trans-boundary landscape of lower Assam—Bangladesh—and southern part of West Bengal an ‘off the beaten path’; a fresh experience on the deliciously lush landscape of multiple hues of greens where more than 700 rivers braid through the country.
- 5 Major rivers in the luxury of MV Mahabaahu (1250 kms)
- 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- 5 Days of wildlife in unique Mangroves of Sunderbans
- Expeditional journey through Rich Cultures
- Floating Markets
- Jungle walks
- Rickshaw rides
- Night safaris
Day 1: Monday, 29th April 2019
Activity: Kamakhya, Hajo, Sualkuchi
Transfer Guests by cars to MV Mahabaahu at Pandu We visit Kamakhya temple (optional) We walk through a village in Hajo and interact with Bell Metal Workers We enjoy local snacks at Sualkuchi – a silk weaving hub and enjoy a process of silk weaving
Overnight in Sualkuchi
Day 2: Tuesday, 30th April 2019
Activity: Kukurmara for dolphin Project, Goalpara for Jogigopha
05:00: Light snack with tea and coffee
Drive to Kukurmara for Dolphin watching
Enjoy local breakfast at Kukurmara, a village at the confluence of Kulsi and Kuiya tributaries and understand the dolphin protection project. In spite of sand mining by the locals the numbers of dolphins has been on the increase because of the surrounding wetlands of Koloni, Sol and Dora beels which are spawning sites for riverine fish that increase the food supply for dolphins
Return to MV Mahabaahu and enjoy sailing towards Goalpara that is located on a spur of the Meghalaya hills . By the evening we sail under the Naranarayana Bridge which is another rail-cum-road bridge over the mighty Brahmaputra river in the state of Assam. Naranarayan Setu is 2.24 kilometres long truss bridge and connects Pancharatna and Goalpara towns.
Overnight in Goalpara
Day 3: Wednesday, 1st May 2019
Activity: Dhubri for Damdama Sahib and Asharikandi
06:30 – 07:30: Breakfast
Visit Shri Damdama Sahib Gurudwara for an early morning Ardas
Visit Asharikandi Village for Clay pottery and Terracotta Crafts. Walk through the village community of Khumhars and Hiras who use the Hiramati soil to shape the pots and idols.
Return to the Gurudwara for lunch at the Langar. Guru Nanak started the Sikh langar when, as a young boy, he came across people from different backgrounds who were in need of food. In an act of grace and charity, he spent all of the money his father had given to him to start a business. He described it as sucha sauda (the truest and highest of all businesses) to bring all people together.
Overnight in Dhubri
Day 4: Thursday, 2nd May 2019
Assam to Bangladesh (No Man’s Land & Water)
Activity: Shahaber Agla (BGB) and Chilmari for Pilot
Early Morning cruising from Dhubri towards Chilmari and custom clearance formalities at both ends.
Overnight in Chilmari
Day 5: Friday, 3rd May 2019
Chillmari – Bahadurabad
Activity: Bahadurabad and Chandan Boissha
07:00 – 08:00: Breakfast.
10:00 – 12:00: Talks on Bangladesh & Tourism industry.
12:30 – 13:30: Lunch on board Sailing continues.
14:00 – 15:00: Tour Manager will brief about Bahadurabad & Sirajganj,
16:00 – 17:00: Afternoon Tea/Coffe, snacks.
18:00: Arrival at Sirajganj via Chandon Boissha completing Bunkering / Pilot change.
18.30: Offer visual Presentation on Bangladesh followed by dinner.
Overnight in Sirajganj
Day 6: Saturday, 4th May 2019
Sirajganj – Aricha/ Daulatdia
Activity: Siraj Ganj for Hati Kumrul Nabaratna Temple, Weaving Villages for Colourful Gamchas, Lungis & Sarees and Bangabandhu Rail & Road Bridge
06:00 – 07:00: Breakfast. 08:00 – 12:00: Tour managers will lead the guests for sightseeing: Hati Kumrul Nabaratna Temple.
Weaving Villages for colorful Gamchas, Lungis and Sarees.
Bangabandhu Multipurpose bridge. ‘opened in June 1998, is the longest bridge in Bangladesh, the 5th longest bridge in South Asia, and the 92nd longest bridge in the world
Return to the ship for lunch
19:00: Folk Music Show followed by Dinner
Overnight in Aricha
Day 7: Sunday, 5th May 2019
Aricha / Daulatdia – Mawa
Activity: Sonargaon for Goaldi Mosque, The Folklore Museum and Barodi Ashram of Loknath Brahmchari Noapara for Jamdhani Weaving
06:00: Cruising will resume following the Padma river.
07:00 – 08:00: Breakfast, Sailing continue.
10:00 – 10:30: Arrive Mawa & Pilot change & Cruising restarts to-wards Narayanganj / Dhaka.
11:00: Disembark & Riverside life style of country people.
18:00: Vessel will arrive at the destination to anchor for overnight at Narayanganj.
Overnight in Narayanaganj
Day 8: Monday, 6th May 2019
Narayanganj / Old Dhaka – Sonargaon – Loknath Asheam – Jamadhani Weaving Village
Activity: Riverside walk to experience life along Padma River
06:00 – 07:00: Breakfast .
08:00 – 11:00: Sonargaon sightseeing
11:30 – 12:30: Sri Loknath Brahmachari Ashram
13:00 – 14:00: Lunch at a local restaurant
14:45 – 17:00: Jamdhani weaving village
18:00 – 18:30: Back to the Cruise Ship Sonargaon belongs to Narayanganj, one of the first and oldest capitals of Bengal. Sonargaon was known as ‘The City of Panam’ and was a focal part of the renowned Deva Dynasty until the thirteenth century. After the thirteenth century Sonargaon was made Secondary capital of the Sultanate of Bengal. The Goaldi mosque in the Goaldi village is a wonderful example of a mix of Indian, European and Mughal architecture.
The Folklore museum houses a variety of artefacts from all over Bangladesh, representing the many cultural groups that exist in the country. Next visit Barodi ashram to see and pay rituals to the great Sri Sri Loknath Brahmachari followed by lunch.
Then drive to Noapara –Jamdhani weaving village, where the whole village is engaged in the craft.
Overnight in Narayanganj
Day 9: Tuesday, 7th May 2019
Old Dhaka City
Activity: Sadarghat for Ahsan Manzil / Pink Palace, Shakhari Bazaar, Lal Bagh Fort, Dhakeshwari Temple, Language Martyr’s Monument and Chawkbazaar
07:00 – 08:30: Sadarghat river port , one of the largest river port in the world passing around 150,000 passengers every day.
08:30 – 09:00: Pink Palace/Ahsan Manzil ,Ahsan manzil also known as Pink Palace dating back to 1872, was built on the site of an old French Factory by Nawab Abdul Gani,. Some 16 years after it was damaged by a tornado and reconstructed again altering massively and became even grander than before.
09:30 – 10:30: Shakhari Bazar/Hindu Street Artisans here make bangles from Conch Shell , which are worn by Hindu ladies as a sign of being married women .
12:00 – 12:30: Lunch
13:30 – 14:30: Lalbagh Fort, 17 century Mughal Fort started by Prince Mohammad Azam and handed over to Shaista Khan, Governor of Dhaka, who didn’t finish it because of death of his daughter Pari Bibi whose tomb is inside the fort.
14:45 – 15:30: Dhakeswari temple, & Language martyr’s monument : There after drive back to the Ship.
15:45 – 16:30: Chawkbazar: This area takes a festive look with different kinds of food items during Ramadan.
16.30: Drive back to port to board the ship.
Overnight in Sadarghat
Day 10: Wednesday, 8th May 2019
Dhaka – Dhamrai Metal Craft – Pottery Village – National Martyr’s Monument – National Assembly Aarongshop – Ship
Activity: Dhamrai Village for metal craft, Nayarhat – cross a small river by local boats to reach, Kakran Village for pottery, National Martyr’s Monument, Dhaka City, National Assembly Building and Aarong Craft Shop
05:30 – 06:30: Breakfast
07:00: Drive 2hrs to Dhamrai
09:00 – 10:00: Dhamrai Metal Craft village to experience the Brass Artifices made following the Lost Wax method. Few families are keeping up the tradition. Also visit the Wooden Chariot used during the Rath-Jatra.
10:00 – 11:30: Move back to Nayarhat, cross a small river by local boat to visit the Kakran pottery village , to experience the traditional Pot making technique. A handful of families are still continuing with the traditional profession.
11:30 – 12:00: Visit National Martyr’s monument-built in memory of millions who sacrificed their lives during the Liberation War in 1971. 12:30 – 13:30: Lunch at a local restaurant.
14:00: Drive to -wards Dhaka city, visit National Assembly building from outside, which is a masterpiece of architecture designed by the celebrity Architect Louis I Kahn.
15:00: Visit Aarong Craft shop to buy some souvenir.
16:00: Move to Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel –Reception & Dinner.
19:00: Overnight on the ship
Overnight in Sadarghat
Day 11: Thursday, 9th May 2019
Dhaka – Chandpur (04 hrs) – Barisal (07 hrs)
Activity: Hilsa fishing with otters is possible and Chandpur for pilot change/Bunkering
06:00: Cruising to-wards Barisal via Chandpur starts following Buriganga river & on to Meghna river.
10:00 – 11:00: Chandpur experience Hilsa Fishing at the confluence of the Meghna & Padma river. We shall collect some fresh Hilsha Fish for lunch if available. Necessary Bunkering & Pilot Change will be done to continue to Barisal.
18:00: Arrive at Barisal to anchor the ship for overnight.
Overnight in Barisal
Day 12: Friday, 10th May 2019
Barisal – Floating Marketing – Sundarbans
Activity: Floating Market and Kotka Wildlife Sanctuary
05:30 – 06:30: Breakfast
07:00 – 10:00: Floating market visit
11:00: Back to the Ship & it will start cruising to-wards Kotka Wildlife Sanctuary (Sundarbans Mangrove Forest) with Bunkering if necessary & Pilot change at Barisal. Note: During the cruising it will pass through the rivers and mangrove forest will be on both sides + spotted deer, monkeys may be seen from the ship. If lucky you can come across Crocodile also.
18:00: Arrive at Kotka to anchor the ship
Overnight in Sundarbans
Day 13: Saturday, 11th May 2019
Activity: Silent Country-boat Trip, Kotka Forest Office – Moderate Jungle Safari / Board Walk, Climbing Watch Tower, Jamtola Beach Safari and Boat Trip at Night
05:00 – 06:00: Early morning SILENT Country boat trip through the narrow creeks/Canals to experience the mangrove Eco-System from a close range and wildlife sighting.
06:30 – 07:30: Back to the Ship & breakfast.
08:00 – 10:00: Moderate Jungle Safari/Board walk behind the Kotka Forest office for around 2hrs to see wildlife upclose like; spotted deer, monkeys, wild boar, monitor lizard, etc.
10:30 – 12:30: Climbing watch tower for interested members, jungle safari through the Jamtola beach, for wildlife sighting and FRESH PUGMARK OF TIGER.
13:00 – 14:00: Lunch on board
14:30 – 17:00: Watching spotted deer, wild boat , monkeys movement behind the Kotka Forest office.
17:30: Back to the ship, afternoon Tea / Coffee, Snacks.
18:00 – 19:30*: Talk on Tiger /Sunderbans, Film clips, presentation followed by Q/A session.* Presentation on human activity inside the Forest followed by Film show on Wild-honey collection. * A silent Country-boat trip at night to experience SILENCE & SOUNDS of the night forest for curious participants.
Overnight in Sundarbans
Day 14: Sunday, 12th May 2019
Sunderbans – Mongla
Activity: Shushuk Sanctuary for Gangetic River Dolphins, 6th century fishing technique by trained Otters and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bagerhat for the 60 domed mosque/tomb
05:00: Ship will start its voyage to-wards Mongla
07:00 – 08:00: Breakfast
12:00 – 13:30: Lunch on board * The ship will sail through Shushuk (Gangetic River Dolphin) sanctuary to witness this very rare dolphin in their natural habitat. *Experience amazing Fishing technique by trained Otter, dating back to 6th century.
14:30 – 16:30: At Mongla, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Sixty domes mosque’, a 15th century Mosque, Tomb of Khan Jahan-builder of the Mosque,
17:00: Back to the Ship
18:00: Enjoy cultural performance ‘POTER GAAN’ by local artist group.
Overnight in Mongla -Sundarbans
Day 15: Monday, 13th May 2019: Mongla – Hemnagar
Activity: Shekhbaria for custom formalities, Aungtihara and Hemnagar for custom formalities
05:00: Completing all formalities Ship will start its cruising to-wards Hemnagar.
14:00: Arrive at Shekbaria for BGB clearance Aungtihara
19:00: Enter West Bengal
Overnight in Hemnagar
Day 16: Tuesday, 14th May 2019: Hemnagar
Activity: Sajnekhali bird sanctuary
Ship will sail towards Kolkata and we will explore the Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary possibly the only place where tourists can walk through. Situated adjacent to the Sunderban Tiger Reserve.
Overnight in Kolkata
Day 17: Wednesday, 15th May 2019: Kolkata
Activity: 2019 De-boarding formalities and Airport transfer
End of Cruise, De-boarding formalities by 0930 hrs.
Airport Departure or a 2-day extension in Kolkata
All Entrance Fees
Assisted Arrival & Departure transfers
Laundry, Steam, Sauna and jacuzzi
Breakfast Lunch and Dinner
All Entry Tickets
Available with Wifi Dongle
By Air-conditioned Vehicles and Local Tuk-tuk
I felt like Katherine Hepburn in the “African Queen”. What a wonderful experience. The staff was exceptional. I thoroughly enjoyed it.