The Ganges River

Visit the famed Taj Mahal on a Ganges River Cruise tour

UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the Ganges River

Along the Ganges River and nearby you can find these amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some will be included in your river cruise itinerary, but some may require some creative travel planning by your River Cruise Artist in order to visit.  Learn more below about these UNESCO Sites and the history you can experience when you visit them. Let River Cruise Your Way take you away to the history around the Ganges River.

Taj Mahal

An immense and famous mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage. Although not directly on the Ganges, many river cruise operators offer tours before or after the cruise to the Taj Mahal and Agra.

Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya

The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha, and particularly to the attainment of Enlightenment. The first temple was built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century BC, and the current temple site dates from the 5th or 6th centuries. It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely with brick, still standing in India, from the late Gupta period.

Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar

The Nalanda Mahavihara site is in the State of Bihar, in north-eastern India. It comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BC to the 13th century. It includes stupas, shrines, viharas and important art works in stucco, stone and metal. Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. It engaged in the organized transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years. The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions of India.

Ruins of The Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur

The Teesta River forms from the Himalayas of Tibet and flows past the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur before it meets the Brahmaputra headed for the Indian Ocean. Near its banks lies evidence of the rise of Mahayana Buddhism in the Bengal region from as early as the 7th century. This Somapura Mahavira, or Great Monastery, was a prominent intellectual center even until the 12th century. This city-monastery illustrates a unique artistic achievement. With its harmonious architectural lines and its abundance of carved adornments, the Vihara of Paharpur influenced Buddhist architecture throughout the region and as far away as Cambodia.

Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat

Not far from where the Brahmaputra meets the Ganges or Padma and the Meghna Rivers as they flow through the lowland Ganges Delta into the Indian Ocean lies the regional district of Bagerhat, Bangladesh. This ancient city area was once known as Khalifatabad and was founded by the Turkish general Ulugh Khan Jahan in the 15th century. The city’s infrastructure shows considerable technical skill for the time and region as well as a very high number of mosques and early Islamic monuments. There is evidence of the early use of brick in the architecture of Bagerhat. The historic Sixty-Dome Mosque has become the symbol of the rich cultural heritage of the Bagerhat district.

The Sundarbans

The Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world at almost 350,000 acres, lies on the Ganges Delta where the Brahmaputra, Ganges, Meghna and other rivers meet the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean. The Sundarbans mangrove forest of Bangladesh lies adjacent to India’s Sundarbans National Park World Heritage site. This lowland forest is intersected by a vast network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands that are home to the salt-tolerant mangrove trees and presents an inspiring example of untouched and ongoing ecological development. The region around the Mangrove Forest is known for its vast array of wildlife, including more than 250 species of Birds, the infamous Bengal tiger, as well as other threatened or endangered species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.

The Sundarbans National Park

The Sundarbans National Park of India lies in the lowland area of the Ganges Delta where many rivers originating in the Himalayas meet the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean. The Sundarbans covers a total of 3,800 square miles of land and water with a majority lying in India, and the rest in neighboring Bangladesh. The Sundarbans National Park is home to the world’s largest area of mangrove forests. There are a number of rare or endangered species that call the park their home, including tigers, aquatic mammals, various birds and reptiles.

Your Ganges River Cruise Awaits!

Are you ready to start planning your Ganges River Cruise Vacation Your Way? A River Cruise Artist at River Cruise Your Way is ready to be your vacation concierge. Contact us today at 1-800-259-7612 or use the form below and let us know when it is most convenient to call you, we will confirm via e-mail, and then reach out at the agreed upon time and date.