India's Golden Triangle

Starting From

$790/person

Number of days

5

Start Location

India

Group Size

2-6

Operated by

World Expeditions

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An ideal trip if you are short on time but want to visit the icons including the capital New Delhi, the stunning Taj Mahal in Agra and the fabled pink city of Jaipur

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Arrive Delhi

Upon arrival at Delhi airport (or train station) you will be met by our representative who will transfer you to your hotel. There are no activities planned for the rest of the day so you are free to explore this bustling capital city. Connaught Place. Commonly abbreviated as CP and also known as Rajiv Chowk, this is one of the main business, shopping, restaurants and markets areas of the city. It was developed as a showpiece of Lutyens' Delhi featuring a Central Business District. Named after the Duke of Connaught, the construction work was started in 1929 and completed in 1933. India's capital is an exciting, busy, and often chaotic city but certainly one of the most interesting. Delhi comprises of conspicuously contrasting Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of Muslim India between the 12th and 19th centuries and one can find mosques, monuments and forts related to this Muslim history. New Delhi is the imperial city created as India's capital by the British, intricately planned and comprises of imposing buildings displaying various modern styles of architecture. For those arriving early, explore some of the many attractions on your own - explore the Janatar Mantar, wander the market of Janpath in CP, catch the metro anywhere, visit the Crafts Museum, Indira Gandhi Museum or Birla House (the site of Gandhi's assassination) or relax in the magical Lodi Gardens.

Sightseeing in Delhi, afternoon drive to Agra

This morning we visit the Raj Ghat which is the cremation ground of the father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and continue to the Humayun's Tomb which is believed to have been designed in 1565 AD by the widow of Mughal emperor Himayun. Its design and layout is based on the description of Islamic paradise gardens and is known to have inspired the Taj Mahal and many later Mughal tombs. The Qutab Minar has walls inscribed with intricately carved quotations from the Koran and is one of the most perfect towers of the Persian world. We drive past the Red Fort and in the early afternoon journey by road 200km (approx 4 hours) to Agra. *Please note some monuments and museums in Delhi are closed on Mondays

Sightseeing in Agra

We depart the hotel early this morning and make our way to the Taj Mahal to watch as the sun rises over this extraordinary building. Built by Shah Jahan’s as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal the beauty of this structure is unmatched. On the death of his beloved wife, in wild extravagance, Shah Jahan built her this memorial. 20,000 men laboured for over 17 years to build this wealth of white marble and precious stone. We have time to walk the corridors and gardens before continuing on to the Agra Fort. With its grand courtyards, royal pavilions and palaces the Agra Fort is a fitting testimony to the Great Moghuls – Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan – during the era when Agra was the capital of the Moghul Empire. The most impressive part of the Fort is the Dewan-e-Am, where the Emperor sat on his throne to dispense to his subjects, and the Dewan-e-Khas where he received foreign dignitaries. A brief visit is also made to the marble inlay workshop - where one can see the art that went into the inlay work at the Taj Mahal. This workshop has brought back into India this almost forgotten art style, tomb of Itmad-ud-dullah, father of Queen Nur Jehan – a two storied tomb bearing mosaics in inlaid semi-precious stones. You will then return to your hotel where you will have free time. If time permits you should visit Itimad-ud-Daulah, known as the ‘Baby Taj’; it was built before the Taj Mahal by Nur Jahan, queen of Jehangir, for her parents. The first Mughal building to be faced with white marble and where ‘pietra dura’, (precious stones inlaid into marble) was first used. Or alternatively head down to the Yamuna River and take a small boat across the river to get a glimpse of the Taj Mahal from a different angle and a different perspective - truly magical. Agra is a great place to try barbecue meats (kebabs) mixed with Indian spices. Petha, pieces of white pumpkin dipped in sugar syrup, and Gajak, a crumbly sweet made with sesame and jaggery, are delicious local sweets and sold everywhere - try them. For a splurge have a drink at the Oberoi Amarvilas. Built in typical Mughal style, barely 600m from the Taj Mahal, they have the most stunning view of the monument. *Please note the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays

Fatephur Sikri, drive to Jaipur

After breakfast we depart for Jaipur by road. The distance is 240km (approx 5 hours) and en-route we visit the ghost city Fatehpur Sikri. Built in red sandstone by Emperor Akbar the Great in 1569 and deserted 14 years later because its water supply failed. Its glorious courtyards and palaces conjure up dreams of the mysterious past. There’s the imperial Jami Masjid, the tomb of Shaik Salim Chisti who predicted the birth of Akbar’s son Jehangir, the Panch Mahal, a strange building which resembles a Buddhist Temple, a cloistered courtyard which was the Hall of Public Audience and the Pachchisi paved with black and white where the Emperor played chess using slave girls as figurines.

In Jaipur, where trip concludes

Early this morning, after breakfast, we head out for a day of sightseeing in Jaipur. We begin at the Amber Fort, the honey coloured fortress-palace in the Aravalli Hills just north of the town centre. The sombre exterior belies the richness of the royal apartments, which open to striking views of the gorge. The Hall of Victory presents a galaxy of decorative art - panels of alabaster with fine inlay work of the tenderness hues and the intriguing Chamber of Mirrors. We return to town to view the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) an elaborate building encrusted with delicate honeycomb screens and carved balconies from which the royal ladies, confined to their quarters, could view the world outside. Jai Singh’s Observatory built in the 17th century by the founder of Jaipur who, besides being a prince was also soldier, astronomer and builder. We conclude at the City Palace, now a museum that contains fine Rajput and Moghul paintings, rare manuscripts and an armory, old carpets, and even amazingly embroidered clothes of the Maharajas and the Maharanis. After the sightseeing has finished, you will be returned to the hotel where the trip ends. If you require additional nights accommodation in either Jaipur or Delhi please contact World Expeditions.

Additional Information

This trip is ideal if you are short on time but want to visit the icons of India. From the capital of Delhi, with its bustling markets, magnificent monuments and colonial past we head to Agra to view the well preserved Agra Fort and the stunning Taj Mahal. Truly one of the wonders of the world, see why it was described by Rabindranath Tagore as a 'teardrop on the face of eternity'. Then continue on to to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, discover why this is known as the Pink City and explore the incredible Amber Fort.

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