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Old 13-11-2015, 19:55   #1
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Rules for boating the Ganges?

May a small private sailboat navigate the lower Hooghly River, a distributary of the Ganges, from it's mouth in the Bay of Bengal upriver to Kolkata? And if so, what is available for private mooring in or around the city?

I have scoured the internet to the best of my ability, and have only found information regarding the passage of commercial cargo vessels and their docking facilities. Lots of info about rules of river navigation and safety for barges, but there's nothing mentioned anywhere about private boats or moorings. I cannot even find a Google image of a modern private western style sailboat located anywhere near Kolkata, which leads me to further wonder if the passage is permitted.

Via Google Images and Google Map Satellite Images and a blanket search of the internet I have found the Hooghly River upstream of Kolkata to be inundated with local vessels and tourist leisure cruisers, but even there I find no evidence of any modern western sailboats or yachts. Downstream from Kolkata, via the same sources, I find nothing but commercial shipping.

I am writing a novel that poses these questions, and I would like to provide information that is as accurate as possible. Thank you for your time and help.
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Old 13-11-2015, 23:17   #2
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Re: Rules for boating the Ganges?

First rule:
Dodge all the bodies floating down!
Of all the places you could go boating in the world, why there?
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Old 13-11-2015, 23:25   #3
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Re: Rules for boating the Ganges?

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Originally Posted by VolcanoRider View Post
May a small private sailboat navigate the lower Hooghly River, a distributary of the Ganges, from it's mouth in the Bay of Bengal upriver to Kolkata? And if so, what is available for private mooring in or around the city?

I have scoured the internet to the best of my ability, and have only found information regarding the passage of commercial cargo vessels and their docking facilities. Lots of info about rules of river navigation and safety for barges, but there's nothing mentioned anywhere about private boats or moorings. I cannot even find a Google image of a modern private western style sailboat located anywhere near Kolkata, which leads me to further wonder if the passage is permitted.

Via Google Images and Google Map Satellite Images and a blanket search of the internet I have found the Hooghly River upstream of Kolkata to be inundated with local vessels and tourist leisure cruisers, but even there I find no evidence of any modern western sailboats or yachts. Downstream from Kolkata, via the same sources, I find nothing but commercial shipping.

I am writing a novel that poses these questions, and I would like to provide information that is as accurate as possible. Thank you for your time and help.
May we take it that you are not actually proposing to do this trip then, but rather are seeking assistance for your fiction research?
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Old 13-11-2015, 23:39   #4
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Re: Rules for boating the Ganges?

The major issue will be carrying enough ground tackle so that you can survive the bore....

Unless of course you avail yourself of the delights of the Kiddapore Dock Marina......
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Old 14-11-2015, 16:42   #5
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Re: Rules for boating the Ganges?

Your boat will be taken and you put in prison unless you have government permission. That is assuming the locals do not clobber you first. The only places suitable for a private yacht is at one of the royal clubs. Fat chance you will get in if your a scruffy foreigner. First step is to contact your embassy(State Department). Doubt if they will give you encouragement. The river system is swift, extremely polluted, and dangerous; and that is not including the reality of your life not being worth much over there. White men are not exactly welcomed in many parts of India. If your a white woman, you are fair game.
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Old 14-11-2015, 17:20   #6
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Re: Rules for boating the Ganges?

Wow! That's enough for an entire novel, reed. Great!
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Old 14-11-2015, 17:41   #7
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Re: Rules for boating the Ganges?

Well, we are having Indian cuisine tomorrow afternoon.
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Old 15-11-2015, 11:41   #8
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Re: Rules for boating the Ganges?

I'd move the locale for your novel to somewhere like Cochin.... more believable...
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Old 17-11-2015, 11:07   #9
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Re: Rules for boating the Ganges?

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White men are not exactly welcomed in many parts of India.
I've spent time in several cities and work with many people in and from India and have never gotten that impression. Granted, it's tech work so maybe my experience was different.
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Old 17-11-2015, 12:09   #10
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Re: Rules for boating the Ganges?

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I've spent time in several cities and work with many people in and from India and have never gotten that impression. Granted, it's tech work so maybe my experience was different.
On a professional level, you will be politely received. However, if your gunkholing up the Ganges from village to village, your experiences will be much different. Really depends on the level at which you interact with its society. The caste system still exists throughout the country, and if you look scruffy they may assume you are a lower caste white person. Not fun.

Traveling from Pakistan into India, we noticed a clear change in temperament from the rather gracious and polite Islamic culture to the topsy turvey and often physically painful reality of Hindu culture. But, again, this is from a pedestrian view, not from a car nor train riding tourist point of view. The rivers support large portions of the lower castes who are definitely not the erudite British-shaped Indians we usually see in movies and tourist advertisements. A travel through bedlam would be a more apt description of Indian river cultures.
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