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  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 1 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    Travel Weekly's Michelle Baran cruised on the Bengal Ganga along India's Ganges River on a scouting expedition of sorts with Breckenridge, Colo.-based Haimark in partnership with Indian company Heritage Cruises ahead of the 2015 launch of Haimark's 56-passenger Ganges Voyager. On day one of the Haimark journey through India, the group stumbled upon a Bollywood movie being filmed at the Qutab Minar mosque complex in Delhi. Photos by Michelle Baran; posted Oct. 16, 2013.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 2 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    Next stop: Kolkata, the chaotic Colonial city of West Bengal where Ganges River cruises begin.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 3 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    The 56-passenger Bengal Ganga, the group's home for one week as they traveled up the Lower Ganges.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 4 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    Sunset at the Hooghly Imambara in Bandel, the first stop on the Ganges River cruise.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 5 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    A visit to the intricate Hindu Nabakailas Temple in Kalna, where the group begins to learn more about the 330 million (yes, million) Hindu deities. The temple, dating back to 1809, is a series of 108 smaller Shiva temples arranged in two concentric circles.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 6 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    Preparing for the Durga Puja festival, during which images of the Goddess Durga are paraded around and thrown into the river.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 7 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    The simple life along the Ganges. Here, a biker pedals through farmland in Khushbagh.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 8 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    Khushbagh, a mosque and cemetery known for being the burial place of the family of the Nawabs of Bengal.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 9 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    Quieter, cleaner and more pristine stretches of the Ganges, far from the hustle and bustle of city life.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 10 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    Young Krishnas at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in Mayapur, where the religious organization is building a massive new temple complex.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 11 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    Spiritual morning bathing ritual in the holy city of Varanasi.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 12 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    A holy man in Varanasi.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 13 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    Styled as maharajas at the City Palace in Jaipur, the seat of the former Maharaja of Jaipur, and still an active royal residence.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 14 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    At the red Agra Fort in Agra.

  • Dispatches from the Ganges - 15 of 15

    Dispatches from the Ganges

    Sunrise at the Taj Mahal, a fitting finale to any journey through India.

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