India is a country no traveller visits only once and those who do, might return home but their heart stays here forever. A mystical land of Maharajas and kingdoms, ancient cities and mythical tales, yogis and spectacular landscapes, religions and tradition, languages and beliefs, where aromatic spices tempt your senses, and sweet, strong chai is a culture in itself. From the magnificent mountains of the north to palm-treed paradise of the south, deserts of the west to national parks of the east, India indeed is like no other place. Or you can just say Incredible India!
If you ever plan to explore the different shades of this vibrant country, be sure to make "The Golden Triangle" the epitome of your trip. Strolling the capital city Delhi, the pink city Jaipur and India's pride 'Taj Mahal' in Agra – the Golden Triangle Tour will take you into the captivating, decadent and passionate world of the Mughals and Maharajas. What they left behind is some of the world’s best architecture, from the Qutab Minar in Delhi to the Amer Fort in Jaipur and of course the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Moreover, these three cities form a roughly equilateral triangle each side a distance of 200-250km on the map. So, came the word" The Golden Triangle" into existence.
How to make your Golden Triangle Tour right?
If you are opting to explore the golden triangle, Delhi should be your natural starting point of the journey as it well connected to significant travel terminals. Then, move to Agra and finally head to the third node of Golden Triangle- Jaipur.
For now, Let's take you through a virtual journey of Golden Triangle Tour until you do it yourself!
Being capital of the country, Delhi is a massive metropolitan area which forms the crux of the Golden Triangle Tour. As this city is the starting and ending point of the tour and you have the perfect chance to witness some extremely ancient Mughal architecture at its very best.
Places to visit in Delhi during Golden Triangle Tour:
1. Red Fort
A 17th-century historical fort made of red sandstone, Red Fort is one of the most fantastic tourist destinations to visit in Delhi. Earlier, it was the primary residence of Mughal dynasty emperors for more than 200 years and is now home to several museums.
Did you know that the Red Fort was also the site where the British put the last Mughal Emperor on trial before exiling him to Rangoon in 1858. Take a guide along during the tour for a more detailed info.
2. Qutub Minar
Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Qutub Minar is victory tower built by the slave king Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak in 1193 after defeating Delhi's last Hindu kingdom. With a height of 73m, this minaret has been drawing tourists from all around the globe throughout the year. Moreover, there is an iron pillar here which is rust resistant. Yes, it's true! Go check it out yourself.
3. India Gate
This tour is not complete without the visit to India Gate. Standing tall at 42m, it is a triumphal arch and war memorial situated quite near to the Rajpath to commemorate those Indian soldiers who were killed in the First World War. Red-coloured Bharatpur stone forms a low base for this Gate as it rises in stages to give way to a massive moulding. Moreover, its a famous picnic spot for the Delhites to bond with each other. Maybe you can bond with someone too, you never know!
4. Lotus Temple
If you wish to get the glimpse of the magnificent temples in the country during the Golden Triangle Tour, you can't afford to miss Lotus temple in Delhi. Shaped in a lotus flower-like design and the temple was opened in the year 1986. How beautiful it is? Isn't the picture saying it all?
Well, the list of places to visit in Delhi doesn't end here. The Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhawan, and Connaught Place are some other tourist spots worth visiting during the Golden Triangle Tour.
If you are done doing the sightseeing tour for the day, you can enjoy the shopping spree at the Chandi Chowk markets which sell an array of spices, silver jewellery, dried fruits and sarees along with much more at reasonable rates.
Moreover, the street foods here are well renowned for varying tastes which can satiate the taste buds of all kinds of traveller. Do try Natraj ke Bhalle or different types of Paranthe in Paranthe Wali Gali. If you are a non-veg lover, try Chicken Biryani at Karim's nearby Jama Masjid. We're sure that you are going to add Delhi to the places to visit list every time you are planning to visit a place in North India once you eat Chandi Chowk's food. Such is the magic!
Home to 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites, Agra is a small yet beautiful city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It lies on the banks of the River Yamuna and is around 200 km south of Delhi. With one of the seven wonders of the world - Taj Mahal in its abode, Agra is one of the most romantic destinations around the globe. Yes, Agra is the place where pride of India is shimmering with its whiteness!
Places to visit in Agra during Golden Triangle Tour:
1. Taj Mahal
Built by Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife, Taj Mahal is a symbol of love built in 22 years by 20000 workers. After the completion of this splendid man-made architecture, Shah Jahan ordered to cut the hands of the workers so that the monument cannot be replicated. There's more to the story of Taj Mahal but we prefer you hear it from a local guide of Taj Mahal.
As the picture shows, the entire monument is built using the white marbles. Being the source of inspirations for poets and writers alike, this perfectly symmetrical mausoleum is considered one of the most famous landmarks in the world. One glimpse of Taj Mahal and you won't blink an eye, such is the beauty of this spectacular human-made beauty.
2. Agra Fort
Another UNESCO Heritage site, Agra Fort is a veritable treasure trove of the Mughal architectural tradition. The various buildings within this sprawling fort complex represent the assimilation of different cultures, which was the mark of the Mughal period. Also, the fort was the site of a battle during the Indian rebellion of 1857, which caused the end of the British East India Company's rule in India, and led to a century of direct rule of India by Britain.
Majority of the buildings within the Agra Fort are a blend of different architectural styles. The assimilation of these different styles has given the structures within the fort a distinctive look.
3. Itmad-Ud-Daulah Tomb
The third UNESCO Heritage Site in Agra, the Tomb of I’timad-Ud-Daulah is yet another tourist attraction in the Golden Triangle Tour. Also known as the ‘jewel box’ or ‘Baby Taj’, it is a Mughal mausoleum made exclusively with white marble and semi-precious stones embedded in it. Itmad-Ud-Daulah Tomb has its own way of people fall for it.
4. Fatehpur Sikri
Being one of the best-preserved examples of Mughal architecture in the country, Fatehpur Sikri surely to make to your Golden Triangle Tour complete. Home to the massive gate known as Buland Darwaza, Fatehpur Sikri was founded by Mughal king Akbar in 1569.
Entirely made of sandstone and this place is a beauty to visit. Meaning the ‘Gate of Magnificence’ and it was built by Akbar to commemorate his victory over the state of Gujarat.
The Jama Mosque and The Tomb of Salim Chisti are other great examples of Mughal architecture built during the 1570s and 1580s.
5. Jodha Bai's Palace
Boasting both Hindu and Mughal style of architecture, Jodha Bai's Palace is a beautiful building entirely made of red sandstone. A focal courtyard enables guests to witness the excellence of the place settled. Panch Mahal is a royal residence in Fatehpur Sikri while the Diwan-E-Khas was Emperor Akbar's Hall of Private Audience. The primary fascination of this is the cut central stone pillar.
When you are done exploring the heritage side of Agra and want to treat your hunger side, do try Bedai and Jalebi which is the perfect combo of spicy and sweet. The Parathas in Agra are reminiscent of the Mughal culture and a must-have when in the city. Also try out items such as Dalmoth, Bhalla, and the Pethas of Agra
which are as equally famous as the Taj Mahal!
The capital city of the Rajasthan, known as the ‘Pink City’ is a bustling modern town with vibrant streets. Famous for its rich culture, architectural masterpieces, and delicious Rajasthani cuisine, Jaipur offers the best of royalty and hospitality which can be experienced in Rajasthan.
Places to visit in Jaipur during Golden Triangle Tour:
1. Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal literally meaning 'the Palace of winds' is a paragon of stunning architecture. The five-storied building resembles a honeycomb with 953 windows for the ventilation. Hawa Mahal was built for the Royal women of Rajput's to witness the happenings of the city from the windows and is a not-to-miss tourist spot. The palace has a pyramidal structure which resembles a crown and built with red and pink sandstone. Hawa Mahal is the prominent structure of the Pink city and was made under the reign of Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the year 1799. Situated in the heart of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal will display its beauty from any angle you click a picture!
2. Amer Fort
Situated at a distance of 11km from Jaipur, Amber Fort is the next famous hill fort after Nahargarh Fort. The highlight of the fort is 'Sheesh Mahal' (Palace of Mirrors) and the layout of its garden in the form of 'Chaar Bagh'. It is covered in pink and yellow sandstone and is visited by approx five thousand tourists daily. With the perfect blend of Hindu-Muslim architecture, the fort comes alive with the light and sound show in the evening!
Light & Sound Show timings:
October to February -6:30 pm (English)/ 7:30 pm (Hindi)
March to April – 7:00 pm(English)/ 8:00 pm (Hindi)
May to September – 7:30 pm(English)/ 8:30 pm (Hindi)
Show Fees: Rs. 250 + 18% GST = Rs. 295 (Hindi & English both)
3. Albert Museum
The central government museum is an inspirational place to see for its design. In the honor of Prince Albert of Britain who was the husband of Queen Victoria, this beautiful place was named as the ‘Albert Hall Museum’. In 1876, during his tour of the Indian Subcontinent, this museum was built to tempt him to visit the Pink City. Maharaja Ram Singh really wanted the prince to visit the Pink City because due to this visit, their ties to the British Royal Court will be improved and strengthened. He also performed other extravagance like the whole Jaipur city was painted in pink color which was the symbol of welcoming. This tradition continues to be followed through to today.
What all you can see here? This museum displays a wide range of metal objects, wood crafts, carpets, stone and metal sculptures, arms and weapons, natural stones and ivory goods of the royal families to take you back to the old times!
4. City Palace Complex
The fusion of Mughal, Rajput and European architecture; City Palace is the complex of buildings, gardens and courtyards. Located right in the centre of the old city, the palace has buildings from different era’s.
The City Palace includes Jantar Mantar, Mubarak Mahal and Chandra Mahal. Mubarak Mahal which now houses Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, exhibiting a collection of royal costumes and superb shawls. The ‘Maharani’s Palace’ on the other hand displays well preserved Rajput weaponry dating back to the 15th century.
City Palace is a beautiful insight into the royal times gone by!
5. Nahargarh Fort
Built in 1734, Nahargarh Fort is situated upon the Aravalli Hills. Nahargarh Fort boasts a spectacular view of the city and is famous for the enchanting sunset views! The insides of the Fort makes up for a perfect picnic spot, with the inside restaurants serving food and beer.
Reaching to the Nahargarh Fort is another exciting thing to do. You can take a rickshaw or walk to the end of Nahargarh Fort road, from there it's a steep 2 km climb across the winding paths! You can also hop on to the elephant's back and enjoy the bumpy ride!
More, it has been the location for scenes of many Bollywood movies too.
6. Chandpole and Bapu Bazaar
“Chandpole and Bapu Bazaar”, where one can witness the hustle bustle of the main bazaar of the pink city. You can do some work here. How about shopping some cultural clothes like colourful Bandhani and Leheriya or lac bangles to take back with you in the name of Pink City. "Rajasthani Jootiya's" are the famous footwear you can buy. Not enough? Buy some leather accessories or puppets as a souvenir for your loved ones.
If you are a foodie, Jaipur has got your back. “Lassiwala” on MI road near Rajmandir Cinemas, is the most famed lassi (buttermilk) shop in Rajasthan. Moreover, you can try Kachori at Rawat's. A shop famed in the whole state is more than enough to say about it. Looking for authentic Marwari cuisine? Chokhi Dhani is the perfect place where not just the food is authentic but the atmosphere of this themed compound too. Do try the famous dish of Rajasthan here- Dal Batti Churma!
Explore a part of Incredible India: Delhi, Agra and Jaipur and make your holidays a memorable one.
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