Golden Triangle Tour
The Golden Triangle of India includes a tourist circuit of the cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. These cities are located about 200 km from each other and have immense importance both in the country’s history and cultural traditions. The trip usually lasts from 7-8 days beginning and ending in Delhi traversing over the many sights of these three magnificent cities.
Delhi is the second most populated city of the world and the largest metropolitan in India. It has served as the capital to many kingdoms and has always been an integral part of Indian history. The most remarkable sights of this city are as follows.
- The Red Fort, made of red sandstone, was built by Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor. There are three palaces inside the Red Fort; the Khas Mahal, the Rang Mahal and the Mumtaz Mahal. It also has a museum situated inside it.
- Qutub Minar, a World Heritage Site, was the tallest building of the world when it was built at a height of over 70 m. This imposing structure is the first mosque of the capital city and is a glorious representative of the architecture of the Sultanate which ruled India prior to the Mughals.
- Humayun’s Tomb is one of the city’s World Heritage Sites and is impeccable in beauty and grandeur. It has beautiful Persian style gardens and is a spectacular piece of Mughal architecture.
Other places to visit are the National Railway Museum, India Gate, Raj Ghat, Jantar Mantar and of course, the majestic Mughal gardens.
The next stop on the Golden Triangle is the breathtaking city of Agra. Infamous for being home to the gloriously stunning Taj Mahal, the city has immense historic importance having being the capital of the Mughals.
- The Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is perhaps the most famous architectural piece built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan. It is built purely of white marble and is one of the most architecturally impressive mausoleums in the world. It was built by the Emperor in honour of his late wife, Mumtaz. The tomb is surrounded by lush gardens and is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world.
- The Agra Fort is one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Agra and is similarly built to the Red Fort but in a much better condition. It is here where Emperor Akbar began his rule and also where Emperor Aurangzeb had imprisoned his father, Emperor Shah Jahan in order to seize the throne.
- Fatehpur Sikri, an entire city, built by Akbar, is the third World Heritage Site of Agra. It has many beautiful gardens and is home to Jama Masjid, one of India’s grandest mosques.
Other prominent tourist destinations here are the magnificent Ram Bagh, Soami Bagh, Kailash Temple, Rawli Maharaj Temple, Prithvinath Temple, Mariam’s Tomb and the Sikandra, which is the tomb of Emperor Akbar.
The last stop on the Golden Triangle is the Pink City, Jaipur. A pioneer of Rajput opulence and architecture, Jaipur is often referred to as the first planned city of the country. There are many grand palaces and forts in this city.
- The City Palace occupies one seventh of the city area and comprises of many palaces, halls, courtyards, gardens and temples and is an imposing architectural beauty.
- Opposite to the City Palace is the Hawa Mahal which was built so that the royal women and their companions could view the daily lives of the city without being seen themselves. The breeze which circulates through the 900 windows of the palace gives it its name.
- Jal Mahal is a Rajput fort built in the center of the Man Sagar Lake.
- Jantar Mantar, the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, is an UNESCO World Heritage site. It has fourteen major astronomic devices of which the Samrat Yantra sundial is the most striking.
Other sites in Jaipur are the Moti Doongari Temple, the Marble Temple, Jain Mandir, the Zoological Garden and the Raj Mandir Theater.
India has been one of the most magnificent countries for travel and the Golden Triangle is merely the top layer of this gloriously beautiful country.