Kolkata & Sunderbans

India

Culture

Discover colonial Kolkata and the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve

6 days £995 pp This is the price per person for a private tour (based on 2 people travelling) excluding international flights. Contact us for pricing for other group sizes including individuals.
Dates & Prices

Intro


Discover the hidden secrets of India's colonial gem on a fascinating walking tour of Kolkata, visit Kumartuli's master sculptors who craft thousands of Hindu deities, and stop off in one of the largest flower and fruit markets in India. Cruise through the Sunderbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, home to swimming Bengal tigers, reptiles and birdlife.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kolkata’s imperial monuments & markets
  • Discover the real Kolkata on our walking tour
  • Cruise the world’s largest mangrove forest

Places Visited

Kolkata - Sunderbans

What's Included

Airport transfers
Ground transport with driver
Accommodation
Entrance fees to sites & parks
Breakfasts and some meals (refer to itinerary for meal plan)
English-speaking guides
Itinerary
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Day 1 : Kolkata

Pick up early evening from Kolkata airport and transfer to hotel. Rest of day free. Overnight in Kolkata.

Meal plan: n/a

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Day 2 : Kolkata

After breakfast depart for city tour of Kolkata. Take in Kolkata's rich colonial past with visits to the impressive Victoria Memorial, St Paul's Cathedral and the High Court. Stop off at the bizarre Marble Palace and cross the famous Hoogly River, the city's main trading post. Pay respect and witness the fantastic work at Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity, then head into one of Kolkata's most artistic areas - Kumartuli - famous for sculptures of Hindu deities which are used in elaborate Hindu ceremonies. Lunch and dinner at local restaurants. Overnight in Kolkata.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Often labelled the  "Cultural City of India", Kolkata is India's second biggest city and one of its major ports, located on the east bank  of the Hooghly River. Previously named 'Calcutta', it was the former capital of the British Indian Empire until 1911 and originally designed in the style of a grand European capital. As a result, Western influences can be seen throughout the city within its colonial-era architecture: Raj Bhavan, the state governor's residence, imitates Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, the Indian Museum is built in the Italian style, while the Victoria Memorial Hall attempts to combine classical Western and Mughal architecture. Kolkata was also the centre of the Indian independence movement, and to this day still plays an important role in contemporary state politics.

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Day 3 : Kolkata - Sunderbans

After breakfast transfer to the departure point for your boat ride into the Sunderbans. Snacks and drinks served on board the boat. Check in to your cottage at the Camp. Savour an excellent lunch in the open buffet area. Leave for your afternoon boat ride along the Sunderbans many waterways and visit the watch tower. Tea/coffee and snacks served onboard. Return to camp for evening buffet dinner, followed by traditional folk dance and music. Overnight in Sunderbans.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sunderbans is a National Park, a Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve. It is home to one of the world's largest areas of halophytic mangroves and is also a hotspot for Royal Bengal tigers, boasting one of the highest Bengal tiger populations in India. Situated in Bangledesh, two-thirds of the park fall into the district of West Bengal. The name 'Sunderbans' literally means 'beautiful forest', and the reserve is very scenic, intersected by a series of waterways, tidal islands and mudflats, and boasting a diverse range of endemic plant species. There is also a significant Watch Tower which offers panoramic views of the area.

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Day 4 : Sunderbans Tiger Reserve

Early morning tea served at your cottage. Set off on boat ride through mangroves and creeks in search of tigers. It's usually the best time to catch glimpses of these majestic predators. Breakfast served on-board. Stop off by bank, and take a canopy walk above the forest. Return to buffet lunch at camp. After a rest, take a walk to the local village, where you will see children walking home from school, beautiful thatched huts, open fields and a vibrant market place. Return to camp for tea and snacks, followed by a short film on the Sunderbans. Buffet dinner at camp. Overnight in Sunderbans.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Day 5 : Sunderbans - Kolkata

Morning tea served at cottage. Boat ride with breakfast on-board. as you cruise through more mangroves and creeks admiring the scenery as well as looking out for more of the Sunderbans wildlife. Return to camp for buffet lunch and then transfer to Kolkata by boat and minibus. Transfer to guesthouse for dinner. Overnight in Kolkata.

Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch

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Day 6 : Departure

After breakfast embark on a fascinating half-day walking tour of hidden Kolkata. You will take in some of the lesser-known streets of Kolkata famous for carpentry and metalwork. Visit the colourful flower and fruit markets, one of the largest in India. Stop off for chai at one of the foodstalls. Hop on board the water taxi that ferries passengers along the Hooghly. Visit the area first colonised in Kolkata and also the house of Rabindranath Tagore, Bengal's most famous literary genius. Lunch en-route or back at hotel. Transfer to airport for return flight to Delhi/UK.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Extensions

Kolkata & Sunderbans (6 days)

Discover colonial Kolkata and the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve

Hill Stations & Mountains

Escape the city and unwind among some of the most breathtaking mountain and hill scapes the world has to offer.

City Extensions (1-4 days)

Visit the must-see sights and the hidden depths of India's most vibrant cities.

Beaches (1-7 days)

After exploring the busy cities, there's no better place to relax than one of India's paradisiacal beaches

Treks & Walks (1-12 days)

Himalayan treks, village walks and more

The Golden Triangle (5 days)

Marvel at India's most incredible forts and palaces

Himalayan Extension: Ladakh to Kashmir (5 days)

Travel across the spectacular Himalayan Highway

Kolkata & Darjeeling Snapshot (7 days)

Ideal extension to Bhutan

Wildlife of Madagascar, India & Borneo (29 days)

Spot lemurs, tigers & orangutans

Indian Odyssey (29 days)

Experience the best of North and South India

Highlights of the Subcontinent (22 days)

Discover iconic sights of India, Nepal & Bhutan

Wildlife of India & Borneo (21 days)

Get under the skin of Asia's two best wildlife spots.

Monks, Tribes & Rhinos (20 days)

Himalayan mountains, unseen tribes & amazing wildlife

Hill stations to the Himalayas (20 days)

Travel through the Himalayan foothills via Shimla & Amritsar to Ladakh

Classic Bhutan & Assam Cruise (18 days)

Experience Bhutan's rich culture, colonial Kolkata and rural life in Assam

Essential India & China (17 days)

Visit the two most populous countries on Earth.

Glimpse of India & Nepal (16 days)

Golden Triangle and the Himalayas

Essential India & Sri Lanka (16 days)

India's Golden Triangle & the best of Sri Lanka.

Textiles & Artisans of Gujarat & Rajasthan (16 days)

Nomadic tribes, traditional textiles, crafts & Mewar Festival

Nagaland: Festival of the Headhunters (15 days)

Aoling Festival, wildlife in Assam & natural beauty of Manipur

Assam & Nagaland Hornbill Festival (15 days)

Wildlife, tribes & rural life in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur

Taste of South India (15 days)

Experience the flavours and exotic spices of South India

Kerala Calling (15 days)

Tropical mountains, tea & spice plantations, and backwaters

Rajasthan Explorer & Pushkar Camel Fair (15 days)

Fort cities, rural villages & camel fair

Big Six of India (15 days)

Spot tigers, lions, leopards, buffalo, rhino & elephants

Tribal Orissa & Chhattisgarh (14 days)

Distinct tribal cultures, unique temples & traditional textiles

Spirit of South India (14 days)

Temple towns of Tamil Nadu to backwaters of Kerala

Kerala & Karnataka Explorer (14 days)

Idyllic backwaters, tropical forests & ancient temple towns

Taj, Tigers & Temples (14 days)

Perfect mix of classic sights and off-beat places for first-timers to India

Hampi and Beyond (14 days)

Discover Karnataka's stone temples, wildlife and coffee farms

Tribes of North East India (14 days)

Remote tribal cultures in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam & Nagaland

Sacred India (14 days)

Uncover the religious diversity of India

Delicacies of North India (14 days)

Discover the huge diversity of North India's cuisine

Big Cats of India (14 days)

Experience the thrill of the Indian jungle ...

Best of Bengal & Sikkim (14 days)

Colonial Kolkata, Darjeeling toy train & Buddhism

Wildlife of North East India (14 days)

Diverse wildlife in Assam and the Sunderbans

Heart of India (14 days)

Lucknow, Varanasi & the wonders of Madhya Pradesh

Kashmir, Ladakh & The Hemis Festival (14 days)

Experience dramatic Himalayan scenery, Islamic & Buddhist cultures

Kerala - Trekking the Western Ghats (13 days)

Explore this UNESCO biodiversity hotspot on foot

Markha Valley Trek (12 days)

Set foot in Ladakh's hidden Himalayan valleys

Treasures of Gujarat (12 days)

Villages, temples, salt flats & the world's last Asiatic lions

Glimpse of India (11 days)

Golden Triangle, tigers & exotic Goa

Classic Kerala (10 days)

Tea, spices, backwaters & beaches

Essential Rajasthan (10 days)

Discover the forts, palaces, villages and desert of Rajasthan

Living Bridges of Meghalaya (7 days)

Waterfalls, hills and living bridges in North East India

Reviews

I thought I missed the name of this tour when I was looking for wildlife trips, lions in India! Not only was I lucky to see a tigress and her cubs in Kanha, Satpura was also magical, particularly the walking safari. I saw a leopard dragging its kill away. Gir was so different, and yes, I can confirm lions do live in India! Thank you Travel The Unknown for a very different wildlife trip.

Danny , Tigers, Lions & Rhinos of India, India

I have been on 3 tailor made trips with Travel The Unknown and have found them to be knowledgeable and reliable. We`ve stayed in some wonderful places and have had some unusual and satisfying experiences that go beyond the standard tours.

Joan Edmunds (USA) , Tailormade India

This trip was very well put together and ticked all the boxes that we had requested. The accommodation throughout the tour was of a high standard and our experiences in the national parks was wonderful spotting many different animals including tigers, leopards, sloth bears, lions, jungle cat plus countless number of birds. Thank you Rahul for tailoring this trip to our requirements.

Nigel & Margaret Turner , Tailormade India Wildlife & Birding tour

The tour was an amazing experience for our first visit to India. The country, its people and its cuisine were friendly,delightful, colourful and exceeded all our expectations. Travel the Unknown have put together a superb unique package that we have no hesitation in recommending to anyone with an interest in food and culture.

Elaine & Neil Smith , Delicacies of North India, India

Thank you for organising our holiday in Kerala. I certainly wouldn`t have had the time or the knowledge to put together such a trip. Munnar was my favourite and the accommodation throughout was excellent.

Vik , Kerala Calling, India

A really well planned trip. We experienced life in Northeast India in just the way we wanted to. We loved the game reserves and saw a rock python which thrilled our guides as it is even rarer than the tiger! We visited villages and were able to interact with local people and loved the busy markets in Delhi and Calcutta. A special highlight was the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland; shown to us by our very own Naga guide Kezo. Kezo accompanied us for 15 days of our trip and ensured that we had many very special experiences - even taking us to the home of one of his Aunts where we spent a couple of hours sitting by the bonfire chatting.

Ann Holgate , Tailormade India

What an excellent service! Rahul adapted, extended and improved our trip so many times without a qualm and we ended up with the trip of a lifetime. The destinations are unusual and interesting but everything has been checked out by the team and works brilliantly. I can`t wait to do another trip.

Penelope Smith , Assam & Nagaland Hornbill Festival, India

This was a very varied and interesting trip to a forgotten part of India. If you like off the beaten track travel it is definitely worth the effort but go with an open mind and keep a smile on your face.

Richard Williams , Monks, Tribes & Rhinos, India

I would highly recommend Travel the Unknown to anyone visiting India. The service we received both prior to, during and following our travels was always timely and excellent. We were able to customize our trip to our liking and to enjoy a wide variety of activities. The guides in every location were outstanding! Honestly. Having travelled through much of the world I can truly say that we have never been more impressed with the quality of the guides arranged for us in each location, as well as the service we received. Similarly, the hotels were excellent and allowed us to live very comfortably while, at the same time, enjoy an authentic Indian experience. If you haven`t already booked your trip with Travel the Unknown, then either do so now....or at least give them a chance to show you what they can offer.

Tracey & Gary , Tailormade India

Another great trip from Travel the Unknown. I would recommend this company to anyone who wants to move outside the boundaries of the usual tourist itinerary.

Catherine Crawford , Kashmir & Ladakh Explorer, India

A fantastic trip to Arunachal Pradesh. Very well organised exactly to our requirements. Superb local guide. Would recommend this trip. Hazel and James.

Hazel Frost , Tailormade North East India

We went on the Spirit of South India Tour and had a great time on our honeymoon. There was a good variety of places visited and the hotels, drivers and guides were all very good. We would definitely recommend this tour.

Rachel , Spirit of South India, India
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