Golden Triangle is the most popular trinity of Indian tourism - Delhi, Agra & Jaipur. It is a perfect introduction to the quintessential Indian experience. The entire Golden Triangle region is dotted with lots of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is plush with history and culture. While Taj Mahal is the major draw, but other monuments and attractions complement well with the glamor of The Taj. The chaos of Delhi streets is a lifetime experience, which could give you goose bumps. The hill fort of Jaipur - Amer Fort is an astounding fort palace, which will enthrall you with its architecture.
Varanasi, or Benaras, (also known as Kashi) is one of the oldest living cities in the world. The famous English author Mar Twain wrote about Varanasi - “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” It has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. The holy Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals. A morning boat ride on the Ganges is such a soul soothing experience.
This short trip is like a platter full of travel-treats. But you can't have all of the cookies in one go. So keep savoring the experiences one by one.
Arrive by flight at Delhi before noon. Welcome to the chaos of Delhi. Love it or hate it, but you cannot just ignore it. It is capital of India and the base location to explore North India. The largest city of India, Delhi is considered to be the city with a heart. The city’s importance lies not just in its past glory as the seat of empires and magnificent monuments, but also in the rich and diverse cultures.
The private car will pick you from Delhi Airport and transfer to the hotel for check-in. In the late afternoon head out for some Delhi exploration. We will cover the central Delhi this day, which is the seat of the country’s political power. Drive past Rashtrapati Bhavan (the official residence of the First Citizen of India – the President) and the Parliament of India. Visit Rajpath (which means the "King's Way”), a ceremonial avenue that is located in the heart of New Delhi. Then visit India Gate, which is like the “Arc de Triomphe” of India. It is a memorial to 70,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21 in the First World War. Since 1971 it has served as India's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and as a memorial of the unsung heroes of the wars.
Reach back hotel by late evening. Overnight stay will be at hotel in Delhi.
Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast to start your day. Then head out for exploring Delhi. A mixture of history with a taste of everyday Delhi, today’s itinerary covers all aspects of this former capital of the Mughal Empire. Stop off at the UNESCO World Heritage sites, Humayun’s Tomb. Built in 1570, it is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. Then visit the magnificent Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656. After that visit the bustling Chandni Chowk – one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. Enjoy an eco-friendly rickshaw ride at Chandni Chowk, and feel like a local. After that visit the towering Qutub Minar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), a 73-metre (239.5 feet) tall tapering tower of five storeys. Qutb ud Din Aibak, founder of the Delhi Sultanate, started construction of the Qutb Minar's first storey around 1192.
Afterwards visit Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, one of the most prominent Sikh temples, or Sikh house of worship, in Delhi, India and known for its association with the eighth Sikh Guru – Guru Har Krishan, as well as the pool inside its complex, known as the "Sarovar."
Have dinner at a nice restaurant. Overnight stay will be at hotel in Delhi.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
After breakfast, check out from hotel & head towards Agra. Welcome to the city of Wonder… because it’s the place of Taj Mahal – one of the seven wonders of the world. Pictures of Taj Mahal don’t do the complete justice to its magnificence. It’s an epitome and symbol of love. You got to be here to feel your jaws drop. Agra used to be the historic capital of the Mughal empire.
Reach Agra by afternoon. Have lunch at a nice restaurant. Check-in at hotel and freshen up. In the late afternoon visit Agra Fort, a historical fort, which remained the main residence of the Mughal emperors till 1638. Walking through courtyard after courtyard of this palatial red-sandstone and marble fortress, your amazement keeps growing as you hear about the history of this fort from the guide. In the evening visit the local market to get the true essence of Agra city. Overnight stay will be at hotel in Agra.
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Early in the morning, visit the majestic Taj Mahal (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) built by Shah Jahan in 1560 in memory of his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. Taj Mahal looks really mesmerizing at the sunrise.
After breakfast check out from hotel, and head towards Jaipur. On the way take a short detour to visit Chand Baori, a stepwell built over a thousand years ago in the Abhaneri village of Rajasthan. About 100 feet deep, it is India's largest and deepest stepwells with 13 floors and was built in the 9th century for water harvesting.
Then continue towards Pink City - Jaipur, famous for its broad avenues, massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples and a proud culture. Reach Jaipur by late afternoon. Check-in to hotel on arrival. In the evening head out for a guided walk tour through the Pink City market. Jaipur is also known as the shopper’s paradise. Jaipur's colorful markets offer a great break to stop and shop on your tour. Take in the glint and sparkle of the rows of shops selling hand-crafted bangles and other decoration items. While moving through the markets, you will come across the vivacious culture of this region.
Reach back at the hotel by late evening. Overnight stay will be at hotel in Jaipur.
Have a sumptuous breakfast and then set out for exploring the best attractions of Jaipur. Visit the historic heritage sites of Jaipur - Hawa Mahal ("Palace of Winds"), a high screen wall built so the women of the royal household could observe street festivals while unseen from the outside. Then visit Jantar Mantar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). It is a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments, built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh, and completed in 1738 CE.
Afterwards visit the City Palace. It houses the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, and continues to be the home of the Jaipur royal family. The palace complex has several buildings, various courtyards, galleries, restaurants and offices of the Museum Trust.
In the afternoon stop by to visit Jal Mahal, a palace in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur city. It was built in the 17th century. Then visit the grand Amer Fort (or Amber Fort), also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the principal tourist attraction in the Jaipur and the current structure was built during the late 16th century by Rajput Kings. This magnificent fort comprises an extensive palace complex, built from pale yellow and pink sandstone, and white marble, and is divided into four main sections, each with its own courtyard. In the evening visit Nahargarh Fort, which provides a beautiful bird's eye view of entire Jaipur city. There is a food court and a restaurant "Padao" at the top of the fort with an excellent view.
Later in the evening enjoy dinner at a nice restaurant. Overnight stay will be at hotel in Jaipur.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
After breakfast check out from hotel. The private car will drop you at Jaipur airport. Take flight for Varanasi. Also known at various times in history as Kashi (City of Life) and Benares, this is one of the world's oldest continually inhabited cities and is regarded as one of Hinduism's seven holy cities. Pilgrims come to the Ghats lining the River Ganges here to wash away a lifetime of sins in the sacred waters or to cremate their loved ones.
A private car will pick up from Varanasi airport and transfer you to your hotel. Check-in at the hotel on arrival and relax. In the evening visit and hangout at the local market. Try the different taste of street food at Varanasi. Overnight stay at hotel in Varanasi.
Start your day with the early morning boat ride in Ganges River. Rowing boat rides during the dawn is perhaps one of the best things to do in Varanasi. Witness the daily rituals. The best time to enjoy boat ride of the Ganges River is from 5:30 AM to 7:00 AM. This is when the color and clamor of the place will enthrall you.
After breakfast, morning at your leisure. In the noon, head out for the tour to Sarnath, one of the holiest Buddhist's sites. Located around 10 km from the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, it is the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. Visit the Dhamekha Stupa where the voice of Buddhism was first heard and many Buddhist dignitaries visit to pay homage to Buddha. After that visit Sarnath Museum, the oldest site museum of Archaeological Survey of India built in 1910 CE. The museum contains five galleries and two verandahs to display the antiquities ranging from the 3rd century BCE to 12th century CE that have been found at Sarnath. The single most famous exhibit of this museum is the Lion Capital of Ashoka, a sculpture of four Asiatic lions standing back to back, on an elaborate base, built in around 250 BCE. Later during the day visit the famous silk market of Varanasi. Varanasi silk is famous all over the India and abroad. In the evening see the Ganga Aarti, a spectacular ceremony that takes place everyday at the Dashashwamedh Ghat.
Reach back at the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel in Varanasi.
After breakfast check out from the hotel and transfer to Varanasi Airport. The private car will drop you at airport to catch your flight for Delhi from where you could take your return flight.
To all the good things, comes an end. Bid farewell with the memories of amazing fun-filled 08 days of Golden Triangle & Holy Ganges, worth remembering for the lifetime!
Taj Mahal remains closed on Friday. Please choose your travel dates accordingly.
Moods: Culture & Insight