Ganga is the Hindu goddess who personifies the Ganges.
Rising in the Himalayas and emptying into the Bay of Bengal, the Ganges drains one-fourth of the territory of India, its basin supporting hundreds of millions of people. For most of its 1,560-mile course it is a slow and sluggish stream, flowing through the heartland of the region known as Hindustan, cradle of civilizations for millennia.
Nearly all tours supplied by Western operators include a Golden Triangle land tour, visiting the grand monuments of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, but it is the river cruise along the Ganges that allows travelers to experience the human side of India. The banks of the Mother Ganges have been nurturing life for time immemorial, and only aboard a river cruise ship can you truly slip into the pace of life on the water, to get up close and personal to take the pulse of everyday life and visit villages where craftspeople specialize in traditional arts like brass work and colorful textiles.
Tours of the Kolkata portion of the Lower Ganges offered by American and British tour operators generally run from October to March, with February being one of the best months to go. Most companies charter nearly identical 56-passenger ships called the Ganges Voyager and Ganges Voyager II.