The perfect introduction to India's three popular destinations - Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, mostly known as Golden Triangle of India, as we explore the icons and discover the secrets of this fascinating region. Experience the history of massive forts, the opulence and splendour of Rajasthan's palaces, the bustle and buzz of markets and bazaars, and the traditions of a heritage stay. Travel through a land full of contrasts on this compact India tour, jam-packed with unforgettable highlights.
1. Humayun's Tomb, Delhi
The tomb stands on a high podium with 17 arched openings on each side giving access to burial chambers. Five linked Baghdadi octagonal chambers house several tombs. The main chamber is the taller one in the center and is roofed by a double dome mounted on a drum. A favorite with Instagrammers, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and defines the capital as one great love of the Mughals.
2. Lotus Temple, Delhi
Delhi’s Lotus Temple is one of the most beautiful sights in the city, especially if you have an eye for architecture. The temple is shaped like a lotus temple, is a Bahai House of Worship, and makes for sensational Instagram photos. It is a notable architectural marvel famous for its unique lotus structure. The temple has won several awards and recognition for its style of building, the concept of religion and the beauty. It is one of the most visited monuments in the world. This is a modern style non-religion oriented temple.
3. India Gate, Delhi
India Gate can be rightly called as Delhi’s Arc-de-Triomphe, and is a war memorial in the heart of the Indian capital. The surrounding area has landscaped gardens and is a bustling picnic spot as well. A late evening stroll here is a good option, for you will get a chance to hobnob with the locals as well.
4. Jama Masjid, Delhi
Located in the proximity to the historic building of Red Fort, Jama Masjid is counted as the largest and the most beautiful mosque in India. Also known as Masjid-i-Jahan Numa, this colossal mosque is located in the Old Deli. Jama Masjid is located close to the hub of the city and is close to the main bazaar of Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk. To enter the Jama Masjid, you can use the gates at the northern side and the southern side. The gate at the east remains open only on Fridays and was meant to be the entrance for the rulers in the past. During namaz and Muslim festival time, the whole mosque remains full of people. For the people of other community, specific time is mentioned.
5. Taj Mahal, Agra
Well, this one needs no introduction or description. India’s claim in the Seven Wonders of the World, it is a mammoth structure that will take your heart away. Trust me, do not miss this. It is an architectural piece of refined elegance and superb craftsmanship. It is a dazzling monument in Agra and is one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage.
6. Fathepur Sikri, Agra
While Taj Mahal basks in the glory of all attention in Agra, you really cannot skip Fatehpur Sikri as well. It sees lesser tourists and thus makes for a perfect photographers’ muse. Extremely well-crafted, it is an awe-inducing piece of architecture. It was founded in 1569 by the Great Emperor of the Mughal dynasty Akbar. The palace city atop a rocky ridge, confined within walls on its three sides and a lake in the foreground, was designed by Tuhir Das using Indian principles of art.
7. City Palace, Jaipur
As you touch Jaipur in your Golden Triangle route, it is imperative that you visit the City Palace as well. It is an essential for those into history and stories, for it houses a very impressive collection of curios, photographers, paintings and more from Jaipur’s golden age. What adds more lure to the place is the fact that it was once home to the royals of Rajasthan.
8. Jal Mahal, Jaipur
This place looks more like a painting, set between the shimmering waters of Man Sagar Lake. It is spread over five floors, with four of those underwater! It lies on the road to Amber from the city centre, and you can visit it enroute. While you cannot get across the lake to reach it, a look at it in the evening under a full moon is the stuff that dreams are made of.
9. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
This is probably the most photographed of all the sites of Jaipur. It is a very interestingly made structure, carved out of red and pink sandstone, and justifying Jaipur’s name as the Pink City. It is quite close to the City Palace, and both can be visited in one go. Much like the rest of Rajasthan, this one also deserves to be captured on camera.
10. Amber Fort, Jaipur
It would not be incorrect to write of Amber Fort as one of the grandest forts in Rajasthan. A mammoth structure, it is very well-kept and sees throngs of visitors all day. It is set in the Aravallis, and was built by Raja Man Singh in 1592. Once in, you can bask in the glory and experience the opulence that the royal family must have lived in during its ruling days.
11. Akshardham Temple, Delhi
This gigantic structure is one of the more recent additions to the landscape of Delhi, built in 2005. The complex comprises of the temple as well, which rises to an impressive 43 m; photographers have a definite opportunity here, especially around late evening when a fountain show takes place in the compound.