Kolkata is home to many religious places of importance, most prominently temples erected on Shakti
Peethas. In this seven-day trip, we start from the city with a Darshan tour and visit the Kalighat Temple
as our first destination. Built on one of the 51 Shakti Peethas, this Hindu Temple was built on sacred
Ghat of Goddess Kali and was where the right toes of hers fell. We move to the architecturally stunning
Dakshineswar Kali Temple and then to Belur Math, where thousands would come yearly for an annual
celebration. We’ll visit Shanti Niketan for a day, exploring Noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s
birthplace and another Shakti Peetha spot in Kankalitala. This rural village is dense-packed with the
culture and artwork of Tagore during his lifetime. We’ll also go on an excursion to Mayapur to tour
around ISKCON Mayapur Campus after a fun tour around Kolkata visiting famous landmarks for
pictures and leave with fantastic experience exploring this city.
Hand-picked Premium accommodation
All transfers and sightseeing with Innova Crysta or Similar on Private Basis
All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Shakti Peetha of Kolkata, Kalighat Temple
Dakshineswar Kali Temple - Mystics of 19th Century Bengal
Belur Math - Pilgrimage for people of different religious faiths
Eden Gardens, the world’s second-largest cricket stadium
Kolkata’s largest church, St. Paul’s Cathedral
Mayapur Day Tour at ISKCON - one of the nine Dham’s of the holy islands
Goshala to brush and pet well-raised cows
Souvenir shopping in New Market - Sir Stuart Hogg Market
Day 1: Arrival Airport And Transfer To Hotels
After taking your flight from your respective hub, you’ll land in Kolkata. Upon arrival, our representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. You have the rest of the day for yourself before staying overnight at the hotel.
(Lunch & Dinner)
Day 2: Kolkata Darshan Tour - “ Faith Restored In Kolkata”
Enjoy a delightful breakfast at the hotel before we start a full-day enlightening Kolkata Darshan tour. The first destination of the day is Kalighat Temple, a popular religious site that overflows with tourists due to its status as one of the 51 Divine Seats (Shakti Peethas). The historically prominent Hindu temple was built for Goddess Kali, built inside the traditional neighbourhood of Kalighat that was a sacred Ghat to Goddess Kali and the old course of the Hooghly River. Zealous worshippers would tell the story of how the right toes of Goddess Kali – who was Sati at the time – fell there when Lord Shiva performed the Dance of Destruction (Rudra Tandava). Enraged Lord Shiva held the body of Sati, who immolated herself at her father King Daksha’s holy pyre of yagna, during the dance and Vishnu dismembered her body into 51 parts to calm him down, creating 51 Divine Seats (Shakti Peethas) across India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and Pakistan.
Then we head to Dakshineswar Kali Temple, well-known for its architecture and renowned for being built just two years before the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 – India’s first Independence War. It was built in 1855 and founded by Rani Rashmoni of Bengal. Now it’s a sacred temple complex with historical and religious significance featuring naravatna architecture, a must-see Hindu temple located on the eastern banks of the Hooghly River if you ever travel to Kolkata.
Still around the Hooghly River, but on the west bank this time, is Belur Math. On the northern part of Kolkata is the Headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, a twin organization founded by Swami Vivekananda that strives to represent one universal faith. It is a 32,900-square feet wide Hindu Temple complex and campus completed in 1938, where the relics of Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda are enshrined. The 112.5-feet structure’s principal architect was a monastic disciple of Ramakrishna, Swami Vijnanananda, the brother monk of Swami Vivekananda. An annual celebration is held at The Math, which celebrates all faiths equally and receives thousands of visitors from all around the world during the celebration alone. The architecture over the chunar stone and concrete material has been hailed for representing the non-sectarian approach while retaining spiritual value, earning it a mention from the erstwhile President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam as a place with heritage and national importance.
And to end the day on a high note, we’ll go shopping at New Market and visit souvenir shops. Kolkata has become a popular city for tourists, prompting its development that includes a lot of stores selling local specialties you don’t want to miss. Chamba Lama is a popular jewellery and handicraft store, known best for its silver accessories. Foodie people will probably enjoy popular food stalls, restaurants, or bakeries like Nahoum & Sons, an iconic Jewish Bakery dubbed as one of the best in Kolkata. Stroll through the bustling market area as tenders vie for your attention. Enjoy a cup of refreshing Indian-style lemonade, Nimbu Pani, with Badshah’s roll in your other hand. Exploring this area during Christmas brings a whole new experience and sight as the New Market will be decorated and create a festive atmosphere with bangles, dry flowers, and dress materials in every corner.
After a fulfilling darshan tour, we’ll return back to the hotel for delicious lunch. We’ll have an overnight stay in Kolkata.
(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Day 3: Transfer From Kolkata To Shanti Niketan - “ India’s Greatest Poet’s Origin”
Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel before we check out to head for our next destination: Shanti Niketan. This small city is packed dense with literary and artistic heritage and is where Noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore lived in.
Shanti Niketan literally means “Abode of Peace” and was established by the Nobel winner’s father, Maharshi Devendranath Tagore. His son would later become one of India’s and the world’s greatest writers, poet, and songwriters who dedicated his life to teaching art to people by opening a school in Shatiniketan in 1901 that later became a famous educational centre. Rabindranath was also a prominent member of the Bengali Renaissance.
We check in at the hotel and rest a little bit before heading to Kankalitala, a temple town and famous pilgrim site near Bolpur. The sacred Hindu shrine in this town is located on the banks of the Kopai River, one of the 51 Shakti Peethas where the waist (kankal) of Parvati fell.
We’ll go back to the hotel for an overnight stay in Shanti Niketan.
(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Day 4: Half-day Sightseeing And Transfer From Shanti Niketan To Kolkata
Enjoy your breakfast in Shanti Niketan’s hotel before checking out of the hotel for a half-day tour around the small town.
We start from Tagore’s Ashram located within the oldest area of Shanti Niketan. This is where Maharshi Debendranath Tagore built the first guesthouse here, Shanti Niketan Griha. To this day, the house remains a well-preserved heritage site. Aside from the guesthouse, various buildings can also be found in this complex many still complete with their backstories and knowledge of their historical significance, including Path Bhavan featuring gorgeous frescoes on the walls drawn by Nandalal Bose himself. There’s also Natun Bari (New Home) that was built in 1902, and “Black Home” Kalo Bari that is a structure made of mud mixed with coal tar. Other notable houses within the complex are Dehali, Santoshalaya, Singha Sadan, Dwijaviram, Dinantika, Taladwaj, Chaitya, Ghantatala, Panthasala, Ratan Kuthi, and Malancha.
As a temple town known for its culture and artworks, naturally Amar Kutir is a popular shopping spot in this rural area. This is where traditional Bengal arts & crafts can be found and sold. You can find a good collection of saris, including the famous Kantha stitch style, bedspreads, and dress materials. There’s also a wide variety of handicrafts to take home. Flowing calmly behind this area is the Kopai River, making this a tranquil walk through the place.
Then we’ll visit Tagore Museum, also known as Rabindra Bhaban Museum. It was constructed in remembrance of Rabindranath Tagore after his death in 1942. Until over a decade ago, the museum featured the Nobel Prize medallion that Rabindranath Tagore won. But it was stolen in March 2004 from the vault along with the Nobel citation, making this the site of one of the heists of the century, allegedly due to lax in security.
Next is the Chattimtala which is the meditation spot of Maharshi Debendranath, Rabindranath Tagore’s father. Debendranath was also a scholar and focused on meditating and introspecting, advocating those as the keys to life’s success and advancing the world’s progress. Students bear a connection with this place as they’re granted a branch of Saptaparni tree that grew within Chattimtala upon graduation. Not far from here is the highly revered prayer hall, hailed as one of the most beautiful places in Santi Niketan, a very sacred location.
We drive back to Kolkata from Chattimtala and leave Shatin Ketan. We’ll check-in at the hotel in Kolkata and enjoy dinner before staying overnight there.
(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Day 5: Full-day Kolkata City Tour - “ A Modern City With Living Antiques”
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll go on a city tour today in Kolkata, visiting various popular sightseeing points for the best pictures to take.
The Victoria Memorial is on top of the list, featuring one of the best architectures and designs, located within the heart of Kolkata. It is a large white marble structure that was built around the early 1900s in memory of Queen Victoria, Empress of India who died in 1901. The beautiful white marble structure was built from a concept that Lord George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, and Viceroy of India started. Built within the area was also a memorial gallery and gardens where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll and read about the colonial grandeur that was during the rule of the first Empress of British India.
You don’t want to Eden Gardens, India’s first and oldest cricket stadium. The stadium was built in 1864 and remain as the largest cricket stadium in India. It is the second largest in the world with a capacity of 68,000 only after the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia which has a 100,000 capacity. It is also where Bengal Ranji’s team, Kolkata Knight Riders, and IPL team consider home. The stadium has also been used for football matches occasionally. Eden Gardens is cricket’s answer to the Colosseum, a true grandeur, iconic cricket ground. The name Eden Gardens came from Lord Auckland’s twin sisters, Emily and Fanny Eden, which was given later after it was initially called “Auckland Circus Gardens.”
Kolkata’s St. Paul’s Cathedral is also a must-see historical structure, rich with stories and features architecture iconic from colonial times. It is an Anglican Church cathedral, the first of its kind within the British territory outside Great Britain, and is said to be the first Episcopal church in Asia. History buffs will love exploring the Church of North India, which is the seat of the Diocese of Calcutta established in 1847 as part of London’s Anglican cathedral after the cornerstone was laid in 1839. It is the largest church in Kolkata, initially designed with Indo-Gothi architectural style before a massive earthquake of 1934 prompted a reconstruction with revised design. Christmas sees this building decorated with lights that would be truly a sight to behold.
Before St. Paul’s, people used to offer their prayers at the St. John’s Church. The growing European community of Kolkata prompted the Governor-General of Bengal, Marquess of Hastings, to build a bigger cathedral. William Nairn Forbes submitted the design of the Goth-themed cathedral.
Next is the Indian Museum of Kolkata, which is the ninth oldest museum in the world, completed in 1875. It is also the largest in India, with the first cornerstone laid in 1814. Today, exhibits of India’s finest artifact collections such as armors and contemporary paintings and arts from the Mughal era can be seen, along with historically valuable specimens of fossils, skeletons, and Egyptian mummies. They also have one of the world’s most unique assemblages of coins and sculptures that are as old as 19 centuries old. You can also see sculptures brought from Gandhara School of Art and Bodhgaya’s artwork displayed in different galleries within Jaadu Ghar, another name of the museum. There are three floors, with each level being over a 930-square meter wide, housing over 60 galleries divided into six categories: Anthropology, Art, Archaeology, Zoology, Botany and Geology.
The ancestral house of the Tagores in Kolkata is called Jorasanko Thakur Bari. A grandeur mansion that remind us with prominent figures of history, such as the poet-artist Rabindranath Tagore who became the first Asian to win a Nobel Prize. The mansion was declared a heritage structure of Kolkata and the birthplace of the poet. Later, it also became home of Gaganendranath and Abanindranath Tagore who founded the Begal School of Art. The history of this estate goes back to 1784 when the land was first received by Nilmoni Tagore who left his family due to irreconcilable disputes on which he built a small house.
Next is the Howrah Bridge, an iconic Kolkata structure and the face of the City of Joy since it was finished. This marvelous cantilever bridge is the sixth longest in the world at 465.7 meters long & 19 meters wide and has stood strong for 76 years in Bengal, connecting Kolkata and Howrah. No pillars support the suspension bridge over the Hooghly River which witnessed some historically significant moments such as World War II. It also utilized no nuts nor bolts to keep things in place. Its construction happened during the 1800s, as the capital of British India, Calcutta, began to develop. Some parts of the bridge were shipped from England to be assembled in India, which continued to be constructed through the 1870s.
We return to the hotel in the evening for dinner spend an overnight in Kolkata.
(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Day 6: Mayapur Day Tour
After breakfast at the hotel, we start early to reach Mayapur. Mayapur is popular spiritual tourism, a great place to relax and wind down on this trip. We’ll explore the ISKCON Mayapur campus where several large temples that brag architecturally impressive structures are erected. The upcoming Temple of Vedic Planetarium has been said to be the largest in the future, featuring a Vedic planetarium that teaches and puts Vedic cosmology into practice.
We’ll also visit the Museum & Chaitanya exhibition and observe some impressive artwork and visit the nearby gift shop for gorgeous handicrafts and souvenirs.
You don’t want to miss a trip to Goshala in Mayapur, home to more than 200 cows, bulls, and calves. This ethical farm allows cows to grow up in a natural habitat and surrounded by a peaceful atmosphere, managed by a team of devotees. Visitors can pet and brush the cows here, which produce over 210 litres, some of which are used to supply the devotee kitchens and for the Deity.
Take a fun boat ride down the Ganga River, a perfect setting to view the sunset in Mayapur. The Ganga River is one of the three holy rivers that intersected at (Triveni Sangam). Then we’ll join some interactive sessions on spirituality in Mayapur, followed by the singing of bhajans to show our devotion to the Gods at ISKCON. Bhajan Kutir is dubbed the “original temple” in ISKCON Mayapur and was the first structure finished in the complex.
We return back to Kolkata after a day out in Mayapur and have our dinner at 8 PM before retreating back to your hotel room for an overnight stay at the hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Day 7: Departure Day
After breakfast at the hotel, prepare to check out from the hotel as we’ll transfer you to the airport before your departure from Kolkata.
Airfare (unless mentioned or added in the package)
Entry charges to Monuments, Museums and Forts (Directly to be paid by the guest)
Laundry services, phone calls, beverages, meals not indicated in the itinerary, tips any type, personal costs, optional tours and excursions and anything that is not mentioned in ‘Inclusions’.
Terms and Conditions
CANCELLATIONS / REFUNDS
A reservation should be considered cancelled only after receiving our confirmation of such cancellation. If a cancellation is received less than 60 days prior to the arrival of passenger, the cancellation expenses will be charged according to the following table:
· 14 – 08 days before arrival: 50% of total price
· 07 – 00 days or if have no show of passenger: 100% of total price.
There will be no refund for unused services or changes in itineraries made by passengers without permission.
It is allowed 02 suitcase normal sized per passenger in all transports. Passenger shall be fully responsible for their luggage and personal belongings during the course of the trip. Regarding to land transport, luggage and other personal belongings should be kept with you, whatever part of the vehicle that will be placed and will be transported at the risk of the user. We recommend users are present in all manipulations of loading and unloading of baggage. Baggage on air transport, rail, sea or driving, conditions of transport companies will apply, being the ticket passage, the document binds the mentioned companies to the passenger. If client suffer any baggage damage, loss or delay, the passenger must present a claim against the Transport Company. For transport of large volumes of luggage such as bicycles, surfboards, etc, a supplement will apply (please consult). The tour packages in economy class can have a piece of 15kg in air transport. The company may charge a supplement or can refuse baggage that exceed this weight or parts. Recommended not to store valuables, medication, passport, documents or money inside baggage. If you want to have this procedure, make a statement before travelling.
TIPS / TAXES / TICKETS
Tickets to museums and sites during excursions are included. Not included any kind of tip, and the tips are at your discretion.
Passenger must have valid passport, and visas for the countries that require them. Under 18 years old must have an authorization letter written and signed by their parents or guardians as such document can be requested by any authority. In the case of loss of a document for passenger such as hotel voucher, ferries tickets, air tickets, etc, we will not be held responsible and the penalty that will apply for a new booking and issuance of such documents.
Any physical or mental disability requiring special attention or treatment must be noted at time of reservation.
We recommend for you to purchase full travel insure that will cover the entire cost of your trip in case cancellation, trip interruption for any reason, etc.