The proposed itinerary

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 1

After multiple days, weeks and months poring over Google Maps and speaking to numerous people, a tentative itinerary has been drawn up, a wish list of the daily distance I want to paddle and the intended night halt destination. Even though the proposed itinerary shows 45 days, there are bound to be rest days in between. I will be very happy to complete the journey in 60 days.

Day Proposed night halt Dist Notes and remarks
1 Haridwar to Bhogpur 19 km The first day should always be short.
2 Bhogpur to Bijnor (Barrage) 63 km The first big, long day. Beware of the barrage. Stop well before and portage.
3 Bijnor to Mamipur 41 km How did you sleep? And where?
4 Mamipur to Garhmukteshwar 47 km Will friends from Delhi meet me here? Hope so.
5 Garhmukteshwar to Narora (Barrage) 78 km A long day and another barrage.
6 Narora to Pipraul Kham 75 km Start early, reach early. This will be another long day.
7 Pipraul Kham to Quadar Ganj Pukhta 34 km Camp and catch up on sleep in this sleepy (?) village. Expect the entire population of less than 4,000 to land up.
8 Quadar Ganj Pukhta to Farrukhabad 99 km Camp at Ghatiya Ghat at Farrukhabad?
9 Farrukhabad to Kannauj 62 km Will there be time to visit one of India's oldest Kannauj, and today's perfume capital?
10 Kannauj to Mehandi Pur 47 km Get up, pack, paddle, camp, sleep.
11 Mehandi Pur to Katri Panka 43 km Repeat yesterday's regimen.
12 Katri Panka to Kanpur (Barrage) 43 km Visible chemical pollution starts. Stock up on water before hitting Kanpur. Where to camp? Where and how to portage across the barrage? Wonder if any friends live in Kanpur!!!
13 Kanpur to Chalaha 43 km Expect a steady float down the river.
14 Chalaha to Dalmau 60 km I guess there are a few villages en route.
15 Dalmau to Manikpur 59 km Another quiet day's paddle expected.
16 Manikpur to Allahabad 92 km A long paddle to reach Allahabad. Will spend a day or two here. Have been offered a place to stay.
17 Allahabad to Sirsa 37 km Away from the bustle of the city, to a gentle float.
18 Sirsa to Kolepur 60 km Another quiet day's paddle. Hopefully not too many sand banks.
19 Kolepur to Chunar 85 km Would love to visit, if not stay, at the Chunar Fort, lots of myth and history.
20 Chunar to Varanasi 23 km Definitely stay at Varanasi for a couple of days. Lots to see and explore. And I have a place to stay.
21 Varanasi to Medhwa 72 km Camping at Medhwa should be fun. Population less than 500.
22 Medhwa to Ghazipur 43 km Never tried it, not do I want to, but a visit to Ghazipur might be incomplete without a visit to the world's largest legal opium factory, operational since 1820.
23 Ghazipur to Buxar 47 km Enter Bihar at Buxar. Nothing to worry about, times have changed.
24 Buxar to Rudrapur 59 km Paddle on and be happy.
25 Rudrapur to Chhapra 50 km The second longest tributary of the Ganges, the Ghaghra (aka Karnali) meets here. Be careful, confluences can be tricky.
26 Chhapra to Patna 50 km Another city older than 2,000 years old, would love to stay in Patna for a couple of days and see the ancient sights and sounds.
27 Patna to Hardarpur 51 km Just float and enjoy the paddle.
28 Hardarpur to Begusarai 74 km HQ of Begusarai District . I need to find a quiet place to camp. Maybe before I reach town.
29 Begusarai to Munger 41 km Munger is another city cited in the ancient Indian epics. It is here that Sita performed her Agnipariksha.
30 Munger to Bhagalpur 74 km Hope to see some of the endangered Gangetic dophins on this stretch.
31 Bhagalpur to Hirdenaga Kant Nagar 68 km A long day through agriculture fields.
32 Hirdenaga Kant Nagar to Sahibganj 32 km Entering Jharkhand. Staying one night in the State before entering West Bengal.
33 Sahibganj to Malda 54 km Malda, erstwhile capital of Bengal, and one of the largest cities in the State.
34 Malda to Farakka (Barrage) 27 km Will take the feeder canal upstream of the barrage and link up with the Hooghly river. Will not get to see the (in)famous barrage. Where do I camp? Before or after the feeder canal?
35 Farakka to Raghunathganj 44 km Into the home stretch. The most difficult part of the journey comes up.
36 Raghunathganj to Berhampore 73 km Berhampore was fortified in 1757 by the East India Company after the Battle of Plassey in June 1757 and continued as a cantonment until 1870. On Feb 25, 1857, the first major armed battle of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 took place in Barrack Square. Certainly worth staying an extra day here.
37 Berhampore to Sankhai 72 km Nothing much to do here at Sankhai. Extremely densely populated stretch hereon in. Finding a secluded camp site might be difficult.
38 Sankhai to Nabadwip 65 km Do I stay at Nabadwip or at Mayapur, the headquarters of ISKCON?
39 Nabadwip to Kanchrapara 90 km The last day before hitting the City of Joy, the city of my birth.
40 Kanchrapara to Kolkata 51 km Oh Calcutta. I was born here, studied and worked here, got married here. Have to spend a couple of days here.
41 Kolkata to Falta 49 km Beginning of the last 100km. And battling the tides.
42 Falta to Diamond Harbour 21 km If I can reach early in the day, will explore Diamond Harbour, a stronghold of Portuguese pirates in the olden days.
43 Diamond Harbour to Haldia 17 km Haldia is a major riverport and industrial belt, and the only city in India to have a Japantown, housing Japanese expatriates working in Haldia.
44 Haldia to Kakdwip 23 km Smelling the sea. Can I hear the surf yet?
45 Kakdwip to Sagar Island 29 km The final stretch. One of the holiest spots in Hinduism, where the holy Ganges finally meets the Bay of Bengal.

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