The moment you listen to these three golden words, your mind takes you to that glittery world where there are huge alluringly frenetic old vestiges like forts, palaces, mausoleums, museums, temples, and tombs. And everything is so nice and beautiful.
For all those who don’t know about the iconic golden triangle tour, let me tell you that it is the best and perhaps the classiest-est introduction to the cultural diversity that India poses. Quite renowned amongst the international travelers, this 650-mile circuit of almost fairy tale beauty covers India’s three most visited cities – Agra, Jaipur, and Delhi.
Surely after reading this, a question will pop in your mind – Why it is a golden triangle?
Well, this is because by pointing all these places on the map, a roughly equilateral triangle, some 200-250 km along each side will be formed and golden because of the extraordinary wealth of cultural and historical splendors that each city offer.
It is Fascinating and spectacular, to say the least.
I want to share with you the sequence of timelines from my trip and I felt it will suit the most of you thinking of doing this trip.
You start the first day of your trip, from Delhi traveling to Jaipur, the Capital of Rajasthan and also known as the Pink City of India. As it took me, you will take approximately 8 hours to reach Jaipur and enroute, don’t miss to stop at any of the Dhabha to try some hot paranthas. Pass through the highways of Delhi, Rajasthan, and Haryana, and reach Jaipur.
Later that day, reach the bars of Amber Fort, you can either travel by jeep or elephant from the main parking area or take a steep walk up the hill. A UNESCO world heritage site, the fort was originally built by Meenas, and later ruled by Raja Man Singh I. As you will glide through the gracious courtyards of the palace, you will see rooms and galleries decorated in both Hindu and Mughal styles. Make a point to visit the famous Sheesh Mahal, Jas Mandir, Ganesh Pol and Shila Devi temple of Amber Fort.
On the second day, you can visit the fascinating Jantar Mantar (1734), an observatory with bizarre sculptures, architectural astronomy instruments, and sophisticated instruments – the most updated version of their times. Don’t miss the sundial that has a 27-metre high gnomon.
Close to Jantar Mantar is City Palace. A must visit sightseeing place in Jaipur, City Palace is a complex of courtyards, gardens, and buildings. City Palace is an exquisite example of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture, which has built over ages. Mubarak Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am, The Armoury, and Pitam Niwas Chowk & Chandra Mahal are the major highlights of the city palace.
You can spend the rest of the day by visiting the markets to shop classic gota saris, timeless block-print fabric and celebrated Rajput jewels.
When comes to stay in Jaipur, there is no scarcity of accommodation options. Especially for luxury travelers, there are an array of palaces turned hotels that once used to host the royals. Oberoi Rajvilas, and Taj Rambagh are some good luxury hotels where you can book a stay. And for budget travelers, there are a good number of hostels and homestays in almost every corner of the city.
1135 AD in Amer Palace; Anokhi Cafe, and Tapri Central in C Scheme, and Tapri Central in Civil Lines are some of the good places to relish spicy Rajasthani cuisine. To savor the quintessential street snack, visit Rawat Mishtan Bhandar, which is known for offering Onion and Dal Kachoris.
A day is just not enough to get the dose of exquisiteness that Jaipur has to offer. So for sightseeing in Jaipur, you’ll have to spend here another day of your holiday.
Day Three and Four – Exploring In and Around Udaipur
Next destination on our itinerary – Udaipur – is a little off the golden triangle trail but it’s beautiful. To reach Udaipur, take an early morning flight from Jaipur ideally. Quite popular amongst the international tourists and brimming with vast cultural and rustic beauty, Udaipur is unarguably one of the most romantic cities in India.
Udaipur might be a small city but it has a good number of magnificent palaces, lakes, and ethnic bazaars, which can’t be covered in few days that’s why you will be spending your third and fourth day in what legends calls – the Venice of East.
On your two days trip to Udaipur, you should visit the Vintage & Classic Car Collection Museum, where you can the phenomenal car collection of the royals. Rolls – Royce 20 (1924), Rolls – Royce GLK 21, Rolls-Royce 20-25, and Ford-A Standard Phaeton 1930 are some of the exquisites collection you can see at the museum.
Hardly a kilometer from Vintage car museum is City Palace. Overlooking the Lake Pichola, City Palace is Rajasthan’s largest palace. The exquisite part of the palace is its architecture, which has been built by various Maharajas but has still managed to retain a surprising uniformity of design.
After strolling at the City Palace, end your day with a visit to the Lake Pichola to enjoy boating to Lake Palace, and Jag Mandir while savoring the view of sun gliding below the horizon.
To make out the best of the fourth day, you can either explore the attraction of Udaipur like Jagdish Temple, Lake Fatehsagar, Saheliyon Ki Bari, Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum, Bagore Ki Haveli, and Ambrai Ghat.
You can go on a roadtrip to Ranakpur and Kumbhalgarh Fort, which are simply majestic. Early morning, embark on an 85 kilometers ride to Kumbhalgarh to see the iconic fort, which features the second longest wall in the world. It was built by Rana Kumbha during the 15th century and so far it is considered the most important fort of the Mewar kingdom after Chittorgarh
After enjoying a stopover, hit the roads again to visit Ranakpur, which is hardly 35 kilometers from Kumbhalgarh. India’s largest and most important Jain temple complex, Ranakpur temple is quite known for its complicated series of 29 halls, 80 domes, and 1444 individually engraved pillars.
Once you’ve explored Kumbhalgarh, return to Udaipur hotel for overnight.
Somewhere like Rajasthan, here you too finding an accommodation is not a problem. You can choose to stay in any of the heritage property or a hostel. Oberoi Udaivilas, Taj Lake Palace, Lalit Laxmi Vilas Palace, Jag Mandir Palace, and Ramada Udaipur Resort And Spa are some good places to stay in Udaipur.
Samosa at Bohra Ganpati Misthan (Aayad), Kachori at Shri Lala Mishtan (Chandpole), Aloo bada by Pandit Ji (outside Fateh School), Vada pav by Mohan Singh (Fatehpura), and Poha at Bhole Nath Nashta Center (Sukhadia Circle) are the must try street food in Udaipur.
On the Fifth day, embark on a drive to Pushkar; Udaipur to Pushkar – 280 kilometers – 5 hours
On the fifth day, check out from the hotel in Udaipur so as to embark on a drive to Pushkar, which will last for approximately 5 hours. Pushkar is one of the favorite places to visit for the Hindu devotees as it has the renowned Brahma Temple and a sacred Pushkar Lake with approximately 52 ghats. A visit to the Brahma Temple and boating on Pushkar lake is a must. Also, if you’ve extra time at your disposal, do take the camel safari tour.
In Pushkar, you might be able to find some good number of hotels like Ananta Spa & Resorts, Orchard Pushkar, Pushkar Resort, Gateway Resort, and Aaram Baagh.
Early morning, embark on a drive to Agra, which will take approximately eight hours. To spice up the eight hour journey, you can take a break at the Fatehpur Sikri, a magnificent fortified city, which was the capital of Mughal empire during the reign of Akbar, between 1571 and 1585. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site and is quite known for its stunning imperial complex of pavilions and palaces. After spending some time at Fatehpur Sikri, continue your drive to Agra. You will reach Agra by night.
Oberoi Amarvilas, ITC Mughal, Sheela, Heritage Home, and Wyndham Grand are best places to stay in the city of Taj Mahal.
Travel all the way to Delhi on your Seventh Day. Finally, the day has come for what you’ve been waiting for. In the morning, you will visit the iconic Taj Mahal. Even if you will look at the place from a distance, the sights of this grand ivory-white marble mausoleum can make one go ‘Awww.’ An epitome of love, this one of its kind vestige was built in 1653 on the bank of River Yamuna. When in Taj Mahal, make a point to get clicked on the ‘Princess Diana Chair.’ If you’ve time then do visit Mehtab Bagh, a prominent place to visit nearby Taj Mahal.
Once you’ve explored Agra, pack your bags and get ready for a drive on the Yamuna Expressway to reach Delhi. It will take approximately fours hours to reach Delhi from Agra. When in Delhi, check in the hotel in central Delhi and then visit Swaminarayan Akshardham to see its resplendent architecture and attend the musical fountain show.
After exploring Akshardham, hit the roads to see Connaught Place, a prominent sightseeing place n Delhi, and enjoy dinner at the world famous eateries. If you so wanted to enjoy Delhi’s nightlife then Connaught Place (CP) is simply the place to be. After an electrifying night at the CP, visit India Gate to treat your taste buds with a sweet ice-cream.
You can also opt for an NH19/NH44 route to visit Delhi. The best part about this route is that you can stop by at Mathura and Vrindavan to see its beautiful temples. By taking this route, you’ll reach Delhi in the evening. And then you can visit Connaught Place (CP) to enjoy Delhi’s electrifying nightlife.
On your 8th Day of the trip, Experience Delhi - It is going to be the last day of your trip, make sure to get the best out of it. In the morning, visit the old Delhi area. Early morning because there will be less rush. Start your rickshaw tour from the red fort, visit the Jama Masjid and then end it at Fatehpuri Mosque. Missing the scrumptious street food of Chandni chowk would be a sin. After exploring Red Fort, go for a ride to Qutb Minar, a prominent sightseeing place in Delhi. During the journey, you will come across Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Secretariat Building, and Old Fort.
If your idea of a vacation is to relax and treat yourself to utmost luxury then you can check-in at any of the five-star hotels. Mid-budget boutique hotels are also available for stay in the city that offers all the services that you can ask for.
Your arrival in Delhi marks the end of the golden triangle trip.