The three cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur when laid out on a map form a triangle which gives birth to the term 'golden triangle'. It would not be too far fetched to say that the three cities together give a crash course on Indian culture and India in general to the traveler. Bustling bazaars, colonial remnants and stunning monuments complete a riot of colors on the tourist's canvas which make the golden triangle one of the most popular tourist circuits in the country. Do embark on the tour of the Golden triangle if you are hard pressed for time and want an introduction to India without missing out on any of the world famous monuments.
Indian Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle is the hub of Indo-Mughal culture in India. The journey for this adventure starts from Delhi where one can roam around the city and take in the vibrance here. From Delhi one moves onto Agra, the Abode of Love. Lose yourself in the majestic view of the Taj here and don't forget to carry back a few mementos of the same. Jaipur or the 'Pink City' as it is fondly called is home to the Rajput Kings. Take a tour of the majestic palaces and to realize that your dream home was not exactly well dreamt. Finally come back to Delhi to rest your weary but happy feet but not before you visit the India gate and pay your respects to the brave soldiers who laid down their lives for us.
Delhi or 'Dilli' as the locals say is a city with a big heart. Being the capital of India, Delhi is one of the busiest cities that one could walk into. It is divided into two parts. Old Delhi still has the essence of the Mughals here. One can also head towards Chandni Chowk, where you can see a 400 year old market still carrying on with its new trades and new customers. One would be surprised to know that one can find and buy almost anything here. Stroll around in the market and take in the sights and sounds typical to the famed Indian bazaar.
Photo Courtesy: Sourav Das
Situated in the heart of the city is this war memorial. India Gate formerly called the All India War Memorial is built to commemmorate the soldiers who lost their life during World War I and Third Anglo-Afghan War. Below the monument is the 'Amar Jawan Jyothi', which is an eternal flame paying homage to the soldiers who lost their lives in the Indo-Pak War of 1971. Here are a few places where one can stay here.
Rajpath as the name suggests means 'Royal Street'. Stretching from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to Delhi Museum, this street is a ceremonial street where every year on the 26th of January the Republic Parade takes place. It is a highly protected area as it houses the President of the State and the secreteriat buildings.
By far the most visited tourist spot in Delhi is the Raj Ghat. It is the final resting place of Mahatama Gandhi. Understandbly dignitaries from far and wide come here to pay homage to the great man who rests here. Surrounding it is the memorials of other political heads of India like India Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi to name a few.
Photo Courtesy: nikkul
The Red Fort or Lal Qila gets its name form the red stones that it was constructed from. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the monument has many marvellous structures in it. Prominent among them are the Diwan-i-Aam which was used by the kings to address the subjects and the Diwan-i-Khas which was used for private meetings and conferences.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is Humayun's tomb. Built nine years after the Emperor's death by his wife, it is a beautiful garden tomb with gardens, water channels, walkways and more.
It is the oldest fort in Delhi and has tall walls and grand gateways. Rumours say that this was the site of Indraprastha- the capital of the Pandavas.
Lodhi Gardens houses the tombs of many rulers of the Lodhi dynasty. It is a window to the glory of Delhi's past.
Qutub Minar, the tallest minar in India, is an architectural wonder. The iron pillar here is a subject of curiosity due to the fact that even after thousands of years of being exposed to the rain and sun, it has no signs of rust on it.
Photo Courtesy: Geoff Stearns
Garden of Five Senses
A modern attraction, developed by Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, the Garden of Five Senses is designed to stimulate the five senses. The huge park is at times used to host cultural shows and events.
Built by the king of the Tuglaq Dynasty, the Tuglaqbad Fort was built to protect Tuglaqbad city. The ruins in the fort will make one feel as if they are walking way back in time.
Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the Jama Masjid is a tourist attraction here at Delhi. One should note that even to this day thousands of people gather here to offer their prayers.
Akshardham is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Swaminarayan. A brilliant example of modern day architecture, the temple lies on the banks of the river Yamuna. Devotees and tourists flock to this place to marvel its beauty.
A Bahai house of worship, the Lotus temple is a tourist attraction due to its unusual architectural design. It is a nine sided circular temple in the shape of a lotus.
Head into Old Delhi and let the aroma of Mughlai food overwhelm your senses. The restaurants swear by their allegiance to the Mughal recipes of the old. One can never be fulfilled here. The best part of it all is that it is pocket friendly also. Dig into the biryani, bite into the roasted meats or just let the succulent kebabs melt in your mouth. It is truly a food paradise here.
Photo Courtesy: Saad Akhtar
Delhi being a metropolitan city has many a malls that cater to its branded citizens. Then again there are the local markets that steal the show here. From electronic items to clothes, anything one can think of is sold in Chandini Chowk. All you need to do is make a list of the items you want to buy and head here, you will return home happy and packed. Point to note when you are here is that do bargain here.
Our 2nd stop in this journey takes us to Agra, the City of Love. It has tourists visiting here around the year to see the magnificent Taj Mahal. Then there are those who keep coming back here because they did not get their hearts fill the first time around. There are other places of interest here as well.
Photo Courtesy: netlancer2006
The symbol of undying love, that is what Taj Mahal is and it has stood the test of times. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, this monument is made out of pure white marble and houses the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Emperor Shah Jahan. Here are the places one can stay here.
Photo Courtesy: Shubham.tiwari53
Built by Emperor Akbar, the Agra Fort is a World Heritage Site. Built out of red sand stone, tourists often confuse this with the Red Fort at Delhi.
Photo Courtesy: LASZLO ILYES
Chini Ka Rauza
Chini Ka Rauza is home to the tomb of renowned poet, scholar and also the Prime Minister of Emperor Shah Jahan, Allama Afzal Khan Mullah. It is an Indo-Persian Masterpiece. The tomb has Islamic texts inscribed on them.
Mariam's Tomb is a mega structure dedicated to Emperor Akbar's wife and Emperor Jahangir's mother, Mariam-uz-Zamani. One of the lesser known heritage sites , the tomb is located at Sikandra.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar and stands testimony to Mughal culture and civilization.
Photo Courtesy: Shakti
Wolf down the Mughlai cusine here. One would find restaurants on the way serving mughlai dishes. One also has option for other cuisines as well.
Photo Courtesy: Connie Ma
While in Agra one can go do regular shopping here. One can checkout the local handicrafts store and see if anything catches their fancy.
Photo Courtesy: VasenkaPhotography
Jaipur or the 'Pink City" as it is called is our next stop. The kingdom of Rajputs, this city showcases their culture and heritage. One will see men sporting long handlebar moustaches and wearing big turbans here. Here is how one can travel to here.
Photot Courtesy: Tim Moffatt
Amber Fort is one of the oldest forts here and if rumours are true then Amber fort existed even before Jaipur came to exist. A major tourist attraction here, one can see the ruins of the magnificent fort. Here are a few places one can stay here.
Photo Courtesy: Nvvchar
Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur, the City Palace is the beautiful amalgamation of Rajput and Mughal style of architecture.
Photo Courtesy: Rednivaram
Hawa Mahal or the 'Palace of Winds' speaks volumes about the poet king Maharaj Sawai Pratap Singh who built it. The beautiful architecture of the building will leave one stunned.
Photo Courtesy: Janwiki
Albert Hall was built as a drought relief project and is now a museum that houses colorful crystals, metal sculptures, paintings and more.
Photo Courtesy: Ksheer
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Jantar Mantar is the largest among the five astronomical observatories in India and represents the scientific prowess of medieval Rajput kings.
Photo Courtesy: Marcin Białek
When in Jaipur do try out the Rajasthani platter. With an array of curries one will be busy lip-smacking and torn between the option of which curry. Also gulp down a glass of chilled sweet curd and feel your body get rejuvenated.
Photo Courtesy: Scott Dexter
Try out the local handicrafts shop for items of interest. One can purchase the big turbans worn by the men here and keep them as a memento also.
Photo Courtesy: John Haslam