Mystical, magical India -- once the haunt of hippies, backpackers and spiritual seekers -- is going mainstream, as more and more Westerners set off to discover its glories on a river cruise.
The advantages of river cruising have been well documented; many have praised its ease and convenience. Once onboard, you can relax, take your 'hotel' with you and explore many places effortlessly, in a brief space of time without feeling rushed.
In India, those assets are even more important as, in the land of heat, dust and boundless bureaucracy, getting about by other means can be a hot and exhausting hassle.
Traveling aboard a ' oating hotel' is also the best bet for maintaining access to consistently high standards of food and sanitation, thus avoiding the dreaded 'Delhi Belly.'
But which India river cruise is best for you? At present, the main options for Western tourists are cruises along the famous Ganges river (and its tributary, the Hooghly, which ows through West Bengal), or the Brahmaputra, which wends its way through Assam in the country's northeast, within sight of the Himalayas...