An exciting 10-day cruise on Kolkata-Varanasi route in river Ganga would be launched soon with main aim to attract foreign tourists. About
500 km of the total 800 km stretch of the cruise will pass through various tourist places of Bihar, including Bhagalpur, Munger, Patna and Buxar.
Tourists would have the opportunity to visit all the sightseeing places, including Munger Yoga Ashram, ancient Vikramshila University, Dolphin Sanctuary, ancient Nalanda Mahavihara, Rajgir, Bodh Gaya and Patna, during the cruise.
To promote river cruise tourism in Bihar, Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) CMD Rashmi Verma signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UK-based Pandaw Cruise India Pvt Limited director Raj Singh here last week.
Pandaw Cruise has identified national waterway no. 1 from Kolkata to Varanasi, which flows between Bhagalpur, Munger, Patna and Buxar as the first inland waterway for launching a tourist cruise service in one of its existing vessels imported from Mynamar. This service will commence in September.
As per the MoU, the two parties — BSTDC and Pandaw Cruise — have decided to cooperate to jointly work towards realising the common objective of promoting tourism on the Ganga, said a BSTDC official. Pandaw Cruise will also facilitate and provide support to BSTDC to produce promotional material for river tourism.
The cruise will have 30 double bed (A/C) rooms, open deck, dining hall, bar, restaurant, massage centre, big hall and emergency medical facilities. About 80 per cent advance booking (all foreigners) has already been made so far, said an official.
The cruise will have six-day stoppages in Bihar which will include Kahalgaon, Munger, Barh, Patna and Buxar. In the first stoppage at Kahalgaon, visitors will be taken for sight seeing of ancient Vikramshila by luxury vehicle. Visitors can also enjoy the betel leaf (Paan) plantation and toddy palm tapping at Oriup near Vikramshila.
Similarly, on the second day they will cruise to Munger through Dolphin sanctuary which is a 60 km stretch from Kahalgaon to Sultanganj. The third day would be spent at the famous Yoga school in Munger. Special rickshaws would be available near river ghat which will take them to the Munger Yoga school.
Day four would be more exciting where all the visitors would be taken to the ancient Nalanda Mahavihara and Rajgir by luxury vehicle from Barh river ghat. After taking lunch at Rajgir, tourists will be taken to Bodh Gaya by bus. They will return to Patna in the same evening.
On the fifth day, all the tourists will be taken for local sightseeing in Patna by bus. The sixth last day, they will cruise to Buxar and get the opportunity to watch birds in the neighbouring areas.
During the seven-day cruising in Bihar, several items like Madhubani paintings, sikki, Bhagalpur silk and other handicrafts would be put on display for sale.