“You don’t stumble upon heritage, it’s there, just waiting to be explored and shared.”
The Bengal Heritage trail takes you on a journey through towns lost in time as you discover the state’s rich culture, a perfect blend of man-made marvels and natural splendors. Bengal’s history is the richest in India, and the state still proudly bears the stamp of its Muslim rulers, the British and the European settlers and has been home to many different communities from around the world. Its culture has emerged as the perfect blend of tradition and modernity. On this holiday, you will discover the ornate terracotta Hindu temples of Bishnupur, stay in the restored havellis (ancient homes) of erstwhile noble families Murshidabad, explore the European outposts of Chandernagore, Bandel and Serampore and experience the vision of India’s poet Laureate Tagore in Santiniketan.
Bengal is an experience, to feel it you relive its past.
The holiday begins with a guided tour of Kolkata, a city steeped in history. Visit the Victoria Memorial, an early 20th century architectural gem, Netaji Bhavan, home to one of India’s greatest freedom fighters Subhash Chandra Bose, the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral, Indian Museum, erstwhile residence of Mother Teresa and more. Savor an authentic Bengali lunch. The day ends with watching the sun set over the beautiful Ganges.
Early morning, we take you for the Dalhousie walking tour where you will explore streets and buildings depicted in the map of British explorer Lt. Col. Mark Wood from the European Calcutta of 1784. Visit a handicraft shopping centre. Later, enjoy a sunset river cruise and visit the Belur Math.
Next morning, drive to Bishnupur, renowned for its 16th century terracotta temples and rich cultural traditions. Watch artists weave the famous Baluchari saree. Early evening drive to Santiniketan, famous for Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s Vishwa Bharati University.
Spend a relaxing day exploring the Visva Bharati University learning about Tagore’s philosophy and teachings. The Rabindra Bhavan Museum here has the poet’s original manuscripts, as well as paintings while at Prakriti Bhavan you will find a unique art museum. Late afternoon visit the banks of River Khoai and watch the local wandering minstrels or the bauls perform.
Following morning, drive to Murshidabad, the last capital of independent Bengal before the British rule. Your home for the next three days will be a beautifully restored heritage home built in the 1700s. Relive the history of the house and enjoy the lavish Sheherwali spread. Go for the Azimganj heritage walk, followed by tea on the Ganges. Later in the evening experience a special cultural performance followed by dinner.
Next day, visit the ethnic villages of Tantipara and Islamapore to experience pure silk weaving. In the afternoon, visit the Kathgola Palace and in the evening, enjoy Raibeshe (Indian folk martial dance) and Fakiri (a variant of Sufi and Qawwali music) performances.
Start your day with a heritage tour of Murshidabad. Visit the Hazarduari Palace or the palace with a thousand doors, the Imambara and Katra mosque. In the evening enjoy a 5-course dinner.
After an early breakfast and start your drive to explore the colourful heritage of the European settlers along the River Hooghly. Our first stop will be the quaint little town of Bandel, famous for its church built in 1599 and then onwards to Chandannagar, once a French colony and land of the “Nawabs and the Lords”. Here visit the French Bienvenue Patal Bari, Sacred Heart Church and the Boulevard-Chandannagar Strand. Your last stop for the day is Serampore, a historical town that once had Danish colonial settlers dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Spend the night at the 232-year old, restored The Denmark Tavern.
Next morning, visit the historic St. Olav’s Church, Serampore College, followed by the old Dutch fort and the Dutch cemetery. In the evening drive back to Kolkata.
On the 11th day of your holiday, return back to Kolkata for your onward journey back home.
To be a part of this heritage holiday, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +91-33-4052-5777.