People in Bihar friendly, outing very interesting: Ganga Vilas cruise tourists
Tourists on board the Ganga Vilas cruise vessel, flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, heaped praise on the hospitality of the staff, quality of food and the arrangements to take them to historical sites in the Bihar capital.
Touted as the world's longest river cruise, the ship, which will take 51 days to complete its journey from Varanasi to Dibrugarh in Assam, reached Patna at 4.45 pm on Monday.
The passengers visited places of interest in the city, including the Patna Sahib Gurudwara, on January 17.
The tourists were accorded a grand welcome on their arrival here and greeted with flowers , scarves and tilak.
The visitors were welcomed at the gurudwara by BJP MP Ram Kripsl Yadav , Patna mayor Sita Sahu and members of the gurudwara committee.
The travellers were taken inside the premises of the place of worship by the gurudwara committee members and were gifted books on the history of Patna Sahib.
Stephanie, a traveller from Germany, said, “people here are very friendly and it was a great experience for us”.
From the gurudwara, they were taken to Golghar. The tourists enjoyed sight-seeing and were eager to know about the historical structure.
Golghar, an enormous granary, was built by Captain John Garstin for British army in 1786, after the 1770 famine. The winding stairway around this monument offers a brilliant view of the city and the Ganga flowing nearby. One can climb at the top of the Golghar through the 145 steps of its spiral stairway around it.
The visitors were also taken to the Bihar Museum where they witnessed a performance by dancers showcasing the state's culture.
Peter, a tourist from Switzerland, said, “the outing was very interesting and it was a special experience for all the tourists travelling on the vessel. The culture and the hospitality of the city will be etched in our minds forever”. Another visitor from Switzerland, who is travelling with her husband, said that the cruise was luxurious and comfortable.
“The crew is very helpful and kind hearted”, she said adding “Indian food, though very spicy, is delicious”.
Stephanie also had a word for the cuisine, saying “the food served is vegetarian and is good for health”. The tourists said that they were served only vegetarian food and no alcohol was served on board, though they had been informed about it before the start of the cruise.
'MV Ganga Vilas' cruise will travel 3,200 km in 51 days. The luxury journey covering five Indian states, and Bangladesh will cost Rs 50-55 lakh per passenger.
Swiss tourist Peter said “This is an experience we were looking forward to and the trip was a value for money” .
Before reaching Patna, the vessel, carrying mostly foreign nationals, had a stopover in Saran district where the passengers visited Chirand archaeological site.
MV Ganga Vilas is the first-ever cruise vessel made in India. The luxury cruise has three decks and 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists with all the luxury amenities.
The vessel is 62 meters in length, and 12 meters in width and comfortably sails with a draft of 1.4 meters.
The ship has 39 crew members and its captain is Mahadev Naik who has more than 35 years of experience.
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