Encompassing Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, India’s Golden Triangle is an assault on the senses that has to be experienced at least once in your lifetime. From the sights to the sounds, the smells and of course the flavours, not to mention a chance to see the great Taj Mahal, enigmatic India will shake you to your core.
Our ‘India’s Golden Triangle & Arabian Cruise’ tailor-made package is for true travellers, keen to see a completely new side of the world. India is a cacophony of contrasts but experiencing its endless highlights independently can be nigh on impossible without expert help, your itinerary requiring careful planning when it comes to sourcing accommodation and transport between the three cities. The Golden Triangle escorted tour is an effortless way to explore one of the most exciting regions on earth. Everything is taken care of, from an English-speaking guide by your side throughout to all transportation, accommodation on a full-board basis and all sightseeing entrance fees.
If the Golden Triangle has been on your wishlist for as long as you can remember, isn’t it time to tick it off? Here’s what you will experience along the way.
Delhi is divine chaos. Packed with character, the city seamlessly blends old and new. Delve into the spice-scented, gold-strewn souks of Old Delhi, sampling some of the street food these maze-like alleyways are famous for, before revelling in the contrast of skyscraper-studded New Delhi.
When India’s oldest market, Chandni Chowk was first built in the 17th century, it relied on the canal that ran through the heart of the bazaar to reflect the moonlight and illuminate its stalls. Nowadays it is a hive of activity coloured with saris in every colour you can imagine and handcrafted silver jewellery that sparkles in the sun.
THE RED FORT
It may be lesser-known than his iconic Taj Mahal, but Persian architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri’s Red Fort is just as impressive in its own right. An icon of Indian independence from British rule, the opulent architectural masterpiece looms large and looks rather grand indeed.
Standing tall and majestic above its surroundings, India’s largest mosque is a haven of tranquillity amidst Old Delhi’s cacophonous hustle and bustle.
There’s a satisfying symmetry to the red sandstone structure of Humayun’s Tomb. In fact, look a little closer and you might well draw some comparisons between it and the Taj Mahal, which came 60 years after. More than 150 members of the Mughal family were laid to rest within the marble-inlaid walls of the beautiful garden tomb.
Hugging the curving bank of the holy Yamuna River, Agra is home to some of the most intricate, entrancing examples of Mughal architecture left behind from its time as the centre of the great Mughal Empire. The Taj Mahal is undoubtedly the jewel in Agra’s crown but the city has so much more to offer too, with opulent marble mausoleums, fascinating marketplaces and the immense Agra Fort all there for the exploring.
It’s hard describe how it feels to see the sun rise over the Taj Mahal while the rest of the world is still sleeping. It is a magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience and one that isn’t forgotten in a hurry. Emperor Shah Jahan’s tomb to his beloved wife took almost 20 years to construct but it takes mere minutes to fall in love with remains one of the most beautiful buildings ever built.
The Taj Mahal may command the headlines but miss the Agra Fort at your peril. A mass of red-sandstone and white marble that once protected the Mughal Empire from its position on banks of the Yamuna River, the palatial fort is every inch as impressive as its famous neighbour. Invaders would once have had to negotiate their way through a crocodile-infested fort before even making it to the fort’s imposing walls, but it’s far easier to access today, even encouraging visitors with an impressive light and sound show each evening.
A stone’s throw from Agra, you’ll come across the so-called ‘Ghost City’ of Fatehpur Sikri. Don’t let its moniker throw you, because there is nothing desolate about the palace-scattered city which was once Mughal Emperor Akbar’s regal capital. Pass under the Buland Darwaza, also known as the ‘Gate of Magnificence’ and the highest gateway in the world. Walk in the royal chambers of palace buildings bedazzled with precious stones and feel the Indian sun on your back as you take in views once reserved for royalty.
The dusky pink palaces of Jaipur are a photographer’s paradise. See a completely new side to India in the romantic ‘Pink City’, known as such since its walls were painted in the rosy hue to welcome Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, in 1876. Some of the country’s most elaborate royal palaces sit within Jaipur’s city walls, making for holiday snaps that could have come straight from the storybooks.
Hawa Mahal, or the ‘Palace of the Winds’, is the most photographed building in Jaipur with its grand facade decorated with a hive of countless ornate windows. Royal ladies once sat in the windows and watched life play out on the streets below but now all eyes are turned towards the building itself and its palatial pavilions.
MARHARAJ’S CITY PALACE
Jaipur’s City Palace complex occupies an incredible seventh of the whole city and the home of generations of royals is grandiose as one would expect. With a tangle of sprawling courtyards and a maze of manicured gardens surrounding the palace’s various buildings, you could quite easily lose a whole day to exploring the regal grounds.
Your tour of India’s Golden Triangle will eventually bring you back to Delhi, but not before a visit to the city of Gurgaon. The Kingdom of Dreams will host you for a traditional Bollywood performance, your evening entertainment ablaze with rainbow-bright saris and mesmerizing dance moves.
Were a week spent discovering the Golden Triangle not enough, you’ll round off your incredible Indian escape with an 11-night cruise around the Arabian Gulf on board the MSC Lirica, including an overnight stay in both fabulous Dubai and Muscat.
Don’t let the Golden Triangle languish on your wishlist any longer. Call our Cruise Experts today on 01246 819819 to find out more about this tailor made cruise and stay package, available from just £2,999pp.