Enjoy our Golden Triangle India tour designed exclusively for you. Our Golden Triangle India Tour package is personalized for your pleasure and is suited to your taste, so that your visit to India is like none other. Explore the three main cities Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Experience the culture, history and architecture and be a part of the people who make India as spectacular as it is!
Our friendly representative will be there to greet you as soon as you enter the arrivals area and you will be driven to your hotel in comfort and safety.
Delhi, known for its rich and diverse cultures, history and heritage is the ideal place to explore and experience the pulse of India and its people. A visit to this 600 square mile metropolis, which boasts of being one of the oldest cities in the world, will no doubt leave an indelible impression on you. With an intriguing mix of the old and new worlds each with its contrasting tones, this city offers its visitors a blend of ancient forts, temples, gates and walls in Old Delhi, while in Central Delhi there is the magnificence of European architecture. The South displays a scenery of impressive malls and houses and the West captures your imagination with its luxurious ambiance. You will be enchanted by the ancient monuments, art galleries, museums, cultural performances and architectural designs. A trip to this amazing city wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the delightful Indian delicacies and exploring the bustling markets filled with spices, colored cottons and people. Delhi is the perfect place to Explore, Discover and Enjoy India. Overnight in Delhi!
We begin Day 2 of our Golden Triangle India tour with a visit to Old Delhi the former royal capital, this morning. Lal Qila (Red Fort) a UNESCO World Heritage site will be our first stop. This 17th century fort was built by Emperor Shah Jahan and was so named because of its red-sandstone walls. It had the capacity to house a maximum of about 3000 people. The Red Fort stands supreme over the countless sights in Delhi and is a reminder of the period of Mughal glory and authority. Mahouts, the elephant drivers pass by with their royal elephants moving to and fro, palanquins move court ladies from one place to another, there is a royal army of eunuchs, along with a number of other remnants of the pageantry of Shah Jahan. As it is now, the Fort shows-off its magnificence with intricate semi-precious mosaic designs, beautifully kept gardens and charming archways. The interior has numerous marble palaces and corridors for exploration. The next attraction we will visit is the largest mosque in India the Jama Masjid, which can house some 20,000 worshipers at any one time. It has four angle towers, three great gateways and two towers standing 40m high and constructed of alternating vertical strips of red sand stone and white marble and is widely thought to be the final architectural heritage of Shah Jahan. Construction on Jama Masjid began in 1644 AD and was completed in 1658 AD.
We will take a ride through the 300 year old Chandni Chowk Market on the cycle rickshaws, the best way to maneuver through the narrow lanes. The reason for its name is because of the reflection of the moonlight (Chandni) on the waters of a canal, which once ran through the center of the street /courtyard (Chowk). It is currently a bustling market selling most anything. Druggists vend their home prepared medicines on the streets and there is an abundance of unusual dental equipment, even false teeth on display on the side of the road. Indeed this is a market that’s different but you can also find the regular items like fruits and vegetables, aromatic spices, jewelry, silver, textiles and leather being traded in this “hustle and bustle” very Indian market.
At the end of an enjoyable ride on the rickshaw we move on to Raj Ghat, the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi’s, memorial. It is here that this great leader was cremated on January 31st 1948. The black marble platform with its perpetual flame burning on one side stands in the open air. It is a tranquil and peaceful place with beautiful gardens and is a fitting remembrance to Gandhi.
We head to New Delhi after lunch.
New Delhi is quite different to Old Delhi in that it was well-planned. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1911, the city is divided by broad avenues lined with trees. On our way we will pass the official home of India’s President Rashtrapati Bhawan, which was built initially as the British Viceroy’s Palace. Its traditional design was motivated by Indian architecture. Further along, we drive by the place of India’s highest legislative body the Parliament Building once known as “Council House” and proceed to India Gate; memorial to the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died during World War 1. Here you will be captivated by the moving monument of Amar Jawan Jyoti which is called “flame of the immortal soldier”and has been burning ever since 1971. This site is one of India’s major landmarks.
As you set your eyes on the next site, you will be amazed. It is the tallest freestanding tower in the world at 72.5 m (238 feet). This UNESCO World Heritage Site is none other than Qutab Minar with a fantastic mix of Indo-Islamic architecture, built with red sandstone and decorated with verses from the Quran and detailed carving. At the base of the tower is India’s first ever mosque Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, which was built in the 12th century. It was constructed from materials that were taken from the 27 Jain and Hindu shrines that were destroyed. The never rusting Iron Pillar thought to be built sometime in 5th AD is also found here. Overnight in Delhi!
The National Museum of India will be our first stop today. It is here that the complete history of India will come alive with the artifacts, arts and other traditional and historical items on display. You will also discover lots of information about the people, empires, religion and art of India. The exterior of the building is somewhat like that of Lutyens’ Presidential Palace,where the sandstone dome is buttressed by traditional columns made of brown sandstone on a bottom of red-sandstone. As you step inside you will behold the sun god standing under the dome from the Surya Konark Sun Temple in Bhubaneswar, built in the 13th century and stands as a symbol of the strength of the National Museum. As you browse you will encounter several ancient Hindu and other sculptures and there is a room that is completely given over to displaying the relics of the Indus Valley Civilization which existed around 2,700 BC. Among the numerous displays you will also see works from the Chandela, Chola and Gandhara era. View the fence of Amravati Stupa, which is engraved with incidents from the life of Buddha, Mohanjodaro’s dancing bronze girl, 3rd century Barhut stupa built by Maurya king Ashoka, which tells the story of the remnants of Buddha, miniature paintings from the Mughal era, and an upright Buddha from the school of arts of Gandhara that heavily influenced Greek iconography. In addition to the amazing paintings and sculptures,the museum also showcases ancient musical instruments, terracotta pottery, weapons like the sword of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, jewelry, carpets, seals and coins.
Our next visit will be to the Humayun’s Tomb, which is a display of some of the finest and earliest architecture from the glory days of the Mughal Empire. Its design has inspired the works of other mausoleums like the Taj Mahal in Agra and was itself inspired by the Samarka designs. It is also a UNESCO site. The Agha Khan Trust recently restored this site and its surroundings with magnificent gardens and functioning fountains.
We head next to the Bahai House of Worship also called the Bahai Temple or Lotus Temple, a modern day architectural wonder that draws over 4 million visitors from all over the world to its site. It is an amazing retreat from the hectic streets of Delhi. Sometimes called the Lotus Temple because it is constructed like a lotus flower with milky white petals made of marble which open to the sun and surrounded by lovely gardens, it is a fantastic spectacle to behold. The interior is just as exciting, with curved walls that are set alight by the rays of the sun beaming through the windows shaped like stars. Not only is the physical structure and architectural design of this Bahai Temple magnificent but when you are there the atmosphere is one of peace and tranquility, which puts your mind and body at rest, away from the hustle and bustle of life. You can take the time for prayer and reflect, no matter what religious belief you hold.
Our last outing for the day will be in the evening, as we visit what can be considered an authentic mini India; it is Dilli Haat. Here you will be treated to the cultural activities, foods, deals and crafts that are really Indian. It’s a place filled with almost sixty lively stalls from practically all of the 29 states of India. So if you are looking for diversity when shopping for souvenirs and things Indian then this is the right spot. You will find woolen items, silk items, crafts, and the traditional Indian footwear made of camel skin among others. It’s also perfect for dinner late in the evening, when you can feast on the delightful local foods in all variations from different regions.
Most of the stalls are temporary and are rotated every 15 days, the others are permanent. Entrance to Dilli Haat is by ticket only, with peddlers and hawkers not allowed, therefore you have a more peaceful shopping experience.
Overnight in Delhi!
We check out of the hotel after breakfast and travel to Agra, which was the capital city of the Great Mughals. Along the way we will make a stop at Sikandra, where the tomb of Mughal Emperor Akbar of the 17th century lies. This tomb is built with a fusion of Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist and Jain styles. You will admire its red-stone towers and its gateway with an impressive display of mosaic patterns done in marble. The gardens of the tomb are landscaped with animals like the spotted deer, Chinkaras (the Indian Gazelle) and Gray langurs or Hanuman langurs (Semnopithecus).
We will check into our hotel after we arrive in Agra, take a break and then head to our tour of the city; the Agra Fort complex will be our first stop. This complex is a prized feature of the architecture of the Mughals and is constructed from red sandstone and white marble. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site where Aurangzeb placed his father the Mughal emperor under house arrest for 8 years. His first daughter Jahanara Begum Sahib volunteered to care for him in confinement until he died. The interior of this mammoth compound houses mosques, magnificent palaces, elaborate halls, and reception rooms. See the aged Mughal market of the Meena Bazaar, the lovely Pearl Mosque, and Jahangir Mahal’s fortress, the beautifully decorated Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am, Macchi Bhawan and Nagina Masjid. Added to that are the Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace) mosaics and the eight-sided tower of Musammam Burj which provides a splendid view of the Taj Mahal.
Here is a chance to become more familiar with life in Agra, as in the evening we are welcomed to enjoy dinner at the home of a local family. It will be an experience to remember as you are taught the methods of Indian cooking, preparation and the utensils used. The homes are in some ways Western-styled in content but you will also encounter other amazing things like Hindu gods. The lifestyles in India also tend to be different as you find several generations of one family living in the same home. You will observe that North Indian’s cook more with butter oil and with a spicier flavor than other parts of India. Indulge yourself in some of the most delightful food you will find; curry, lentils, naans, tandoori chicken and a host of other Mughal dishes. Then delight your taste buds further with some sweet dessert made with milk. Apart from the food, one of the highlights of spending time in the home of an Indian family is their personalized touch, warmth and friendliness. Overnight in Agra!
Our Golden Triangle tours would not be the same without a visit to the place you have heard or read so much about; today you get the coveted opportunity to actually see it at sunrise. We are going to the supreme Taj Mahal for an unforgettable experience. This glorious palace will simply take your breath away, as the sun‘s first rays rest on the white marble and gradually evolve with the beautiful silky colors of dawn. We will take our time and explore this spectacular 350 year old building that took 22 years to build (1630-1652), cost millions to complete, is mosaicked with precious gems and stands unblemished by time. It was built as a demonstration of one man’s love and passion for his favorite wife Mumtaz. That man was Shah Jahan, the 5th Mughal Emperor of India (1630-52). Later in his reign Shah Jahan transferred his capital to Delhi and was placed under house arrest by his son, Aurangzeb, for eight years until he died. His body lies beneath the white marble dome next to that of his cherished wife Mumtaz.
We go back to the hotel for breakfast.
Generations on, there are still artisans practicing the art of crafting mosaics in marbles with embedded semi-precious stones and skillfully using the chisel and hammer with precision to produce amazing work. Today you will have the opportunity to see this work in action. The quality of the finished product is exceptional and much attention is paid to detail. Furthermore, these artisans will enlighten you about the passing down of this art form by the generations before, from those who worked on the Taj up to today. These artisans showcase photo–frames, beautiful boxes, all sizes of elephants, chess-boards, coasters and tables of all sizes and styles mosaicked with authentic semi-precious stones such as carnelian, mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli, abalone, black onyx and others.
Next visit the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah – This is an extravagant Mughal mausoleum built on the banks of the Yamuna River in 1625, during the period that Mughal Emperor Jehangir reigned. The Emperor’s clever wife Noor-e-Jahanhad erected it to memorialize her father, Mirza Beg Ghiyas. It is dedicated to I’timād-ud-Daulah which is the title given by the Mughal Court to its finance minister. Though it is called the ‘Baby Taj’ because of its likeness to the Taj Mahal, it is thought that Shah Jahan’s Taj design was really inspired by I’timād-ud-Daulah.The main tomb is home to yellow sand stone graves and murals that are 400 years old.
As the night closes in and the sun begins to set we will be at Mehtab Bagh, to take in the magnificent view of the Taj Mahal from the opposite side of the river. This garden is an elaborate 25 acres and was sanctioned by Emperor Babur in 1530. The initial purpose was that it be a “moonlit pleasure garden,” a place with sweet scented flowers, fruit trees, fountains and pavilions. It was thought in the latter part of the 19th century that the gardens held the foundation of the legendary Black Taj. Today Mehtab Bagh is a modern garden with an enviable location lying north of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort on the other side of the Yamuna River. This position makes it a perfect spot for thousands who come looking for relaxation, quietness and tranquility. Overnight in Agra!
Before we head to Jaipur we check out of our hotel. On the way we will stop at Fatehpur Sikri also called “ghost city.” It is one of the few protected Mughal cities that have remained unbroken, is located some 40 km from Agra and was constructed by Emperor Akbar in 1571. For fourteen years it functioned as the capital of the Mughal empire but a severe shortage of water caused its abandonment. There you will find an impressive royal complex of palaces and pavilions which include a mosque, private quarters, a harem, gardens, courtyards, ornamental pools, and intricate carvings. This collection of Mughal architecture is thought to be the best-preserved ones in India. A must–see is the Rumi Sultana palace which despite its small size is really the most charming of all in the complex, along with the secret stone safes in the Treasury’s corner that was opened recently and also houses a museum.
We drive along to the village of Abhaneri which is located some 15 km off the main road. Our visit here is to the 9th century Chand Baori, which stands as one of the most renowned step-wells in India. Be amazed at the uniqueness of one of Rajasthan’s landmarks and also contemplate on how the early builders were so innovative in their construction and the ability to gather rainwater. Historically these step-wells were used as a vital means of getting water in the extremely arid and dry Rajasthan. In addition to that, it was also a place of escape and socialization on very hot and humid days. What is also very fascinating is that the Chand Baori of Abhaneri even has royal rooms for the king and queen and a stage for performing arts. It is one of Rajasthan’s oldest attractions and is joined by thousands of steps going down 13 storeys.
Our last stop for the day will be Jaipur, a city named after its founder, an avid scientist, astronomer and architect Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, who established it in 1727. It was designed by its ruler to make sure that the people were successful and happy. In fact, Jaipur is known as one of the first ever cities in the world to be planned. Enveloped by the rocky and rugged Aravali Hills, it was amazingly painted pink in celebration of King George’s visit and has continued to wear that color up to today; that’s why it is called the Pink City. It is home to remarkable blue pottery, block print fabric and is the center of color and costumes.
Transfer to the hotel after arrival.
This evening we go to Amer Fort also known as Amber Fort, to be entertained by a spectacular light and sound show which recalls the story of Amer Fort and the dynasty of Jaipur mixed with music, history, narratives and lighting effects. On this spot is 600 years of history, through an era of 28 kings of the Kachhwaha Dynasty in the period before Jaipur became their capital. This long reign played an important role in transforming ancient India’s future. You will be excited and engrossed as this 50 minute show carries you through the historical journey of Jaipur, highlighting its royalty, monuments, medieval stories, musical extravaganza of the folklore and local legends. Be entertained by this musical spectacular affair, with music and rhythms that explicitly identify Rajasthan. Energize your body and soul and get moving! Overnight in Jaipur!
It’s said that “every good thing must come to an end”and we are nearing the final days of our Golden Triangle tours. Today we go out all day on an excursion, back to Amber Fort 6.5 miles (11 kilometers) outside of Jaipur the former medieval capital, built by Raja Man Singh the commander of Rajput Akbar army in 1592. This landmark made of fantasy white marble and red sandstone is a splendid representation of Rajput architecture. Getting to the top of the hill is an exciting adventure in itself, as you will travel on the on the back of a mighty Asian elephant up the hills of Aravali to the entrance of the fort. After that thrilling ride you’ll steady your feet and be awestruck by the marvelous sights before you: marble palaces, mosaics, paintings, mirror works, carvings, murals, walls and engravings. The Zenana courtyard is a place you must see! It is a private women’s residence designed with one corridor but different rooms so that the Maharaja could visit the wife or concubine of his choice, at his pleasure without the others knowing.
When you visit the glorious City Palace, you will get a feel for the wealth of Jaipur’s royal family one of the richest in India. It’s an enormous complex with well-manicured gardens, courtyards, buildings and a mixture of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. For a beautiful display of intricate craftsmanship see the superb Peacock Gate which shows off spectacular and bright peacock images at the entrance that will make you go WOW! The Chandra Mahal also known as the Moon Palace borders the courtyard and is to this day home to the royal family. Also making up a section of the City Palace complex is Maharaja Sawai Mansingh II Museum, one of the best museums in India, with an art gallery and exhibits of royal costumes and medieval Indian armaments. Admire an exclusive collection of regal costumes and marvelous shawls like the Kashmiri pashmina. Also on show is the large collection of amazing clothing belonging to Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I. He was said be 2m tall, 1.2m wide and 250kg in stature. In the middle of the palace complex stands a pink-and-white, marble-paved gallery where the Maharajas conferred with their ministers called the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience). It is here that you will find what are considered to be the biggest silver objects anywhere on earth; these are two mammoth silver vessels 1.6m tall. These vessels were used by Maharaja Madho Singh II, as a devout Hindu, to take holy Ganges water to England for the inauguration of Edward VII in 1902. Inside is the extravagant Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience). The art gallery Exhibits showcase a replica of all of the Bhagavad Gita (scripture) handwritten in small script, along with the miniature duplication of other holy Hindu scriptures. In the section with the armaments you will see the stylishly engraved ceremonial weapons.
Afterward we journey to Jantar Mantar, a gigantic solar observatory with a brilliant display of Indian architecture that shows the scientific expertise that existed in medieval India. It is made up of some 14 most important geometric devices which track the location of the stars, measure time, predict eclipses, as well as the earth’s orbit around the sun. It will be a surprise to you when you see that these instruments which the ancient people made of stone can carry out the same measurements of time and the sun’s movement as our modern day technology.
Hawa Mahal, also called the “Palace of Winds” was built so that the royal ladies could view the royal processions without anyone seeing them. If you have ever seen a giant beehive then that gives you an idea of the look of this five story building. The Hawa Mahal is beautifully decorated with lattice work, has some 953 tiny windows (jharokhas) and is one of the prime features and attractions in India.
Guided walk through the old bazaars of the Pink city of Jaipur, late in the afternoon
Visit the old markets of Jaipur one by one or pick the ones that are more interesting to you. The choice is yours! These are the best known Jaipur shopping markets: M.I. Road, Kishanpol Bazaar, Rajasthali, Chaura Rasta, Zohri Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, Nehru Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar. You can take your time and linger around stores that are packed with handicrafts and wares of the best craftsmen of Rajasthan at Rajasthali, or shop around for block print textiles like Bagru prints and Bandhni textiles. It’s also a good time to browse around the Jauhari Bazaar with its splendid jewels set in gems and precious stones. Also available are kundan and meenakari works (coloring and ornamenting the surface of metals), well-loved all over the world and traditional Rajasthani jewelry. How about trying footwear made of camel skin that is beautifully embroidered at the Nehru and Bapu bazaar or at M.I Road. Make a selection from the lovely brass, pottery and wood crafts. Along with that you will also find several small shops with fabrics, bangles, carpets and footwear on sale. The Tripolia Bazaar offers you even more colorful bangles but is also known as the ideal place to purchase some of the nicest wares for your home, Indo-Heratic carpets along with designs for landscapes, fauna and flora. Furniture is to be found at the Kishanpol Bazaar and you also have the opportunity of a lifetime to actually see the fine craftsmen working live on their creations and changing white fabric into the most colorful and gorgeous profusions of Bandhani designs. Not forgetting the spots where you can delight your palates with some delicious meals. On the road to Amber Fort you can also look around or shop at the tourist shops which offer service even on Sundays. And if you are one to hit the malls you can find some of Jaipur’s modern shopping malls here as an essential aspect of the “Pink City”. Overnight in Jaipur!
We have come to the end of a spectacular adventure on our golden triangle India tour. With an abundance of unforgettable stories, experiences and memories we make our way back to Delhi with filled bags. When we arrive you can choose to take an onward flight or spend an extra day shopping in Delhi.
Thank you for choosing our Golden Triangle tour Package!
My sister and I recently came back from our 2 week holiday in India. Thanks to Vacation India (Classic Holidays India) we had a fantastic time. From our first communication until we were dropped off at the airport everything was perfect. We flew from Atlanta to Delhi via Amsterdam and visited Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar, Jodhpur (our favorite) and Jaisalmer. Our driver, Jai, was with us through out the whole trip. He was fantastic. We had very knowledgeable local guides in every place we visited. Mr. Vikas, the manager at Vacation India was available over the phone 24/7 during our trip…More Feedback
– Maria and Laura, Atlanta (USA)
In 2014 I was working in Delhi and an Indian colleague fixed me up with a day at the Taj Mahal, organised by Vacation India. It all went smoothly from being met at the train station, taken round the Taj Mahal, the Mini Taj and the Red Fort, entertained to tea with Vikas followed by a stroll round the back streets of Agra.
I like to wander round different parts of India on my own each year but advice from Vacation India on where to go and how to get there is always sought and is invaluable. I include a photo of me with some local boys in a temple in wonderful Hampi in Karnataka…More Feedback
– Nicholas Goslett, UK
8-days individual travel to / from New Delhi, 7 nights in hotels of your choiceTravel Destinations: Old and New Delhi– Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Abhaneri Step-well – Jaipur – New Delhi
|Season||Hotel Category||Per person in double room|
|01/04/2016 – 30/09/2016||deluxe downtown hotels||price starts from $ 725|
|01/10/2016 – 31/03/2017||deluxe downtown hotels||price starts from $ 825|
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