There isn’t a more classic introduction to India than the famed Golden Triangle tour. From bustling street life to architectural marvels, cultural nuances and gastronomic delight, this tourist circuit provides a glimpse into this vast and varied country.
The Golden Triangle comprises the three most visited cities in the country’s north-west region – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. All these cities are well connected by a network of roads, rail links and flights. If you take a close look at the map of India, you will notice that these three cities form a roughly equilateral triangle, close to 250 km along each side. The name ‘Golden’ comes from the region’s rich history of housing extraordinary cultural and historical wealth.
In most cases, the tour of the Golden Triangle begins at Delhi, the capital city of India, as a majority of the international flights arrive here. This surging metropolis and its sprawling old gardens is every traveller’s delight. With its vibrant culture and old-wordly vibe, Delhi manages to fascinate every time. There are several important things to do in Delhi, but its chief attraction is its streets. From the busy bylanes of Old Delhi to the green-canopied, quiet streets of Central and South Delhi, these lanes throw up surprises in the form of some lip-smacking food and jaw-dropping monuments at every corner. From the magnificent Red Fort to the huge Humayun’s Tomb, the gigantic Qutub Minar and the India Gate – all these structures tell stories of the years gone by.
Delhi is also popular for its shopping scene. Head to the Chandni Chowk market in Old Delhi for literally everything you can think of, including jewellery, clothes and some great food. For a more boho flavour, Paharganj serves up some amazing experiences in the form of cafes and great places to shop for memorabilia. In contrast to the more cultural side of this city is New Delhi, the bustling metropolis of high-rising buildings, malls, cafes and much more.
Next city on the triangle is the Pink City of Jaipur in Rajasthan. The royal city with its pink-coloured huddle of buildings invites travellers into its labyrinthes of beautiful palaces, sumptuous cuisine and lively bazaars.
Jaipur is the only planned city in Rajasthan and has an illustrious history of sightseeing. Starting from the centrally-located City Palace that exhibits a fine blend of Mughal and Rajput styles of architecture, to Jantar Mantar, a stone observatory that displays vestiges of medieval Indian astronomy – Jaipur has a host of places that transport you to the glorious Rajputana era. Along the main street of the city is situated yet another marvel of architecture, the Hawa Mahal, the city’s most distinctive landmark. The bazaars of Jaipur also have a unique charm. From souvenirs, fabrics with tie-and dye embroidery, to exotic pottery, and semi-precious stones and gems – the bazaars house the timeless handicraft of the region. The delightful Rajasthani cuisine is another highlight of this city, along with the various cultural offerings. From enchanting individual dance performances to community dance of the Rajputs, all these activities provide a glimpse into their heritage.
On the third point of the triangle is the city of Agra, home to the world-renowned Taj Mahal and other famous monuments that ensure that people around the world flock to the city throughout the year.
Agra is a perfect blend of a rich history and a thriving metropolis. The primary reason that dictates a visit to this city is the Taj Mahal, built during the rule of Shah Jahan to hold the tomb of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The pristine white marble and the beautiful dome-
shaped structure make it a sight to behold. Another architectural marvel that attracts travellers to Agra is the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most celebrated forts in the world. Its red sandstone structure still stands out as symbol of resilience and showcases a mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture.
One of the other great legacies left behind by the Mughals was the construction of Persian-styled gardens. One of the oldest Mughal Gardens in India, the Ram Bagh, is also a popular sightseeing option in Agra. There is also no shortage of delicious cuisines to enjoy in Agra, including its delicacy of the indigenous sweet called Agra Petha that is made entirely of ash gourd and sugar.
The key to enjoy the journey is to sit back and savour everything that comes your way, because no other trip to India will provide you with a better introduction to this vibrant chaos of a country.
Call Travel Crafters to discuss your next Golden Triangle experience, in India.
02 8964 4221