If you’re looking to experience a lot of India in a condensed amount of time, the Golden Triangle is the itinerary for you. If you’ve never heard of the Golden Triangle, the phrase is referring to India’s most popular tourist circuit that connects three prestigious cities in Northern India: New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. If you look at the three points on a map and draw lines to connect them, you’ll find it forms a perfect triangle. The route is considered “golden” because it covers some of the most famous sites in the country, from the Taj Mahal, the pink city of Jaipur, and a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way.
If you’re curious what you’ll see and experience during a Golden Triangle tour, here’s a day by day glance into what you can expect during a tour.
Old and New Delhi
Day one is set aside for tour members to arrive and get settled into the hotel. Because flights are arriving at different times, this day is left open for your own exploration. Luckily, starting in Delhi means you’ll have endless places to explore. As the third largest city in the world, Delhi is a booming metropolis filled with a colourful mixture of historic Indian tradition and a modern twist of new-age culture. If your flight arrives in the morning, take the afternoon to wander through the streets and get acquainted with things. Some of the most popular sites include the beautiful Lotus Temple, Jama Masjid, or the dreamy Lodi Gardens.
Day two focuses on Old and New Delhi, one of the oldest and most historic neighbourhoods in India. Your day starts with a city walking tour where you’ll have the chance to learn more about Indian history and set sights on buildings that date back as far as the 1600s. Give yourself time to try some of the amazing food, while also capturing photos of the bustling narrow gullies. There’s a lot to see, hear, and smell – so take it slow and give yourself time to take it all in. Your afternoon/evening will be spent travelling from Delhi to Agra, a trip that typically takes between three and four hours.
Unlike any other city in the world, the Pink City of Jaipur was built according to Hindu architectural principles, leading to a beautifully eclectic collection of buildings that make for endless photo opportunities. Day six is all about Jaipur, which means there’s a lot to see. Next, head over to the City Palace where you’ll learn more about medieval India and the history of the country in the 1700s. Finally, visit Hawa Mahal in the afternoon – one of the most remarkable palaces in the world. Constructed of red and pink sandstone, the palace is one of the most dramatic buildings you will ever see, and no photo will do it justice. If you still have energy, spend your evening exploring Jaipur’s markets and local sites.
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The next morning will be spent visiting the Amber Fort, one of the most famous tourist attractions in Jaipur due to its remarkable design. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of six separate sections with individual gates and courtyards, and it’s easy to spend an entire day here and still not see everything this gorgeous complex has to offer!
If you’ve never heard of Indian step wells, day five will be a very interesting day. Spend the morning in Abhaneri marvelling at the amazing Chand Baori – one of India’s deepest and largest step wells. Steps wells are unique to India and were used as pools for cleansing, cool places for relaxing, and as water supplies during dry weather.
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Day six is a big day! Today is the day you’ll set your sights on one of India’s most iconic landmarks: The Taj Mahal. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, you’ll have the pleasure of enjoying it right at sunrise, one of the best times to visit. This gives you the chance to beat the crowds and get some amazing photographs of the site without distraction. The rest of your morning will be spent exploring the site, so don’t feel like you need to be rushed at sunrise. Visit the L’timad-ud-Daulah (the baby Taj Mahal) and the Agra Fort, a walled city that was taken over by the Mughals, but now serves as an amazing reminder of history.
Back to Delhi
Day seven involves the journey back to Delhi. The good news is, once you arrive back in Delhi the day is free to explore! So spend your time wisely, covering anything you missed in the city during your first two days. Some of the other most popular sites in the city include the Akshardham Temple, Hauz Khas Complex, Qutub Minar, Jantar Mantar, Humayun’s Tomb, the Spice Market (Khari Baoli in Old Delhi) and the Dilli Haat Handicraft Village. Or if you’re exhausted, take it easy at the hotel and prepare for your departure the next day.
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Now that you know what to expect from the outstanding Golden Triangle itinerary, it’s time to start planning your trip! Head over to TourRadar and learn more about this itinerary, its departure dates, and how to secure your spot.