Will amazing palaces, grand romantic gestures, and scrumptious food tick your boxes for a bucket list adventure. Then you should hurry over to visit the so-called Golden Triangle of India. Covering a super popular tourist itinerary in India, a Golden Triangle of India tour covers 3 cities (New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur) and hundreds of years of history. In a short few days, you will get a highlights of India experience. If you are like most people, this short taster trip will leave you wanting to explore more of the country. An Indian Golden Triangle tour though is intense. I would totally suggest a Golden Triangle and beach holiday combination to have a chance unwind and to reflect on all the amazing things that you have experienced before you go back to your own reality.
What is the Golden Triangle in India?
The Golden Triangle in India (sort of like the Golden Circle in Iceland) is a popular tourist route in India. Yes, The Golden Triangle India tour is not off the beaten path but for a quick overview of Northern India’s landscapes and heritage it can’t be beat. Sometimes the well-worn path really is the best one!
The Red Fort in New Delhi, a must-visit on any Golden Triangle tour
The Golden Triangle India encompasses three cities (Delhi Agra Jaipur) which includes the capitol city, the two UNESCO world heritage sites of Agra (the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort) and the proposed UNESCO world heritage site that is the city of Jaipur.
India Golden Triangle map
A quick look at a Golden Triangle Map India shows you where the Golden Triangle in India got its name. Yes, it’s a triangle! surprise. Here’ I’ve shown the Golden Triangle India with the suggested beach escape in Sri Lanka.
Create your own travel map
Golden Triangle of India tour
The usual route for a Golden Triangle trip is from Delhi to Agra to Jaipur. Each part of the journey takes about 4-6 hours. The best way to sightsee the Golden triangle of India is by car. There is an express train that connects these cities but it does take longer.
Golden Triangle tour itinerary
The three main city of the Golden Triangle are Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
New Delhi, the capitol city, has much to see, such as, for example:
- Humayun’s Tomb (a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in 1570};
- the Red Fort (a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the 17th century by the same emperor who built the Taj Mahal);
- Qutb Minar (a UNESCO world heritage site built in the 13th century);
- India Gate – A war memorial built in 1931
- The Jama Masjid Mosque and the Chawri Bazaar in Old Delhi
- The Raj Ghat – the Gandhi Memorial
Agra is located a distance of 210 kilometres (about a 3 hour drive) away. Everyone goes to Agra to see the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort, both UNESCO world heritage sites. The Taj Mahal is indeed gorgeous but it is super crowded – no one leaves the Taj Mahal without forming an impression whether or positive or negative.
The Taj Mahal in Agra, one of the three prongs of the Golden Triangle in India
From Agra to Jaipur, the distance is about 240 kilometres (about a 5 hour drive). Jaipur has requested to have the historic city be protected on the UNESCO world heritage list (similar to Toulouse in France. Ouro Preto in Brazil and Philadelphia in the USA). It’s known as the pink city because of its many sandstone buildings.
Jaipur has many fascinating sightseeing places: the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Observatory (Jantar Mantar), Amber Fort, the City Palace complex, Water Palace (Jai Mahal) and Wind Palace (Hawa Palace).
The distance from Jaipur back to Delhi is 250 kilometres (about a 5 hour drive).
Side Trips on a Golden Triangle Tour
Either on the way to Jaipur or on the way back to Delhi from Jaipur you should check out Fatehpur Sikri. The city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Emperor Akbar but was only occupied for 14 years. It had to be abandoned to the desert from which it sprung thanks to a chronic lack of water to keep the city going.
Another place for a detour is Ranthambore National Park (about a 3 hour drive from Jaipur) so that you can combine a India golden triangle tour & tiger safari . One of the largest national parks in India, it was once the hunting grounds of the Maharajah of Jaipur. Ranthambore is one of the best places to see wild tigers in India.
One great option is to combine a India Golden Triangle tour and tiger safari at Ranthambore National Park
Udaipur is another interesting add-on in a tour of Rajasthan. Udaipur is famous its famous Lake Palace set in the middle of Lake Pichola.
If you have extra time after Delhi, you should try and combine a Golden Triangle Tour with Varanasi, one of the most holy cities in India. The distance from Delhi to Varanasi is about 250 kilometres (about a 6 hour drive). People bathe and worship on the city steps along the Ganges River which is one of the iconic images of India and of the Hindu faith.
Golden triangle 6 days
If you have the chance to spend 6 days on a Golden Triangle Itinerary, you will have approximately 1.5 days in each of Delhi and Jaipur. You really don’t need more than 1 day in Agra. This really is an ideal minimum amount of time to spend in each place,
Golden triangle tour 5 days
Because of the driving times between places, a 5 day golden triangle tour India would give you only 1 day in each city (Delhi Agra Jaipur).
Golden Triangle Tour 4 days
For a Golden Triangle Tour 4 days, I would suggest 1/2 a day in each of Delhi and Agra and a full day in Jaipur. This Golden Triangle trip cuts out some of your Delhi sightseeing. If you had to choose between spending the full day in Delhi or in Jaipur, I’d definitely pick Jaipur which is just more representative of India than Delhi which is a cosmopolitan capitol city a lot like many others.
Amber Fort in Jaipur, the third city in the Golden Triangle India
Golden Triangle Tour 3 days
Sure you can do a Golden Triangle tour in 3 days but I would not recommend it. This type of Golden Triangle India tour will have you zipping along from place to place all day and evening with hardly have any time to appreciate the places you are visiting. You will be spending more time in the car than out of it but if you are short on time doing a Golden Triangle tour in 3 days is totally feasible. I understand that ‘needs must’ and vacation time is precious.
A Golden Triangle and beach holiday
We did a 7 day Golden Triangle Tour in India and we were exhausted. It was beautiful and amazing and all the superlatives you could think of – but also tiring. We even had a luxury Golden Triangle tour with a private driver and staying at some of the best Oberoi hotels in India. We did, however, chose to visit all of Fatehpur Sikr, Udaipur and Ranthambore National Park and a few days in Mumbai on our way to Kerala.
We did not combine a Golden Triangle and beach holiday because we thought our relaxing time would be spend on a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala. Ha! That was more sightseeing. Spectacular but not relaxing.
Mirissa in South Sri Lanka is perfect for a beach holiday in Sri Lanka
If I were to do it again, I would recommend a beach holiday in Sri Lanka. The country of Sri Lanka has miles of sandy coast line dotted with a wide choice of great luxury hotels from the boutique to the eco-friendly. The gorgeous colonial town of Galle is a gateway to some amazing beaches on the South Coast. Mirissa, also on the south coast of Sri Lanka, is known for its whale watching opportunities.
I hope you’ve found these ideas for a Golden Triangle tour in India helpful. My suggested Golden Triangle India itinerary is supposed to be adaptable for however long you choose to spend in the area. Sightseeing the Golden Triangle in India is heavy on the history, culture and urban aspects of the country, I would strongly recommend some downtime.
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Why A Golden Triangle of India Tour Should Be On Your Bucketlist
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Traveling to India for the first time can be a daunting prospect and one in which needs to be planned meticulously to help minimize costs. If you live outside of South Asia then the chances are that such a journey will be extremely expensive and the focus on saving as much money during the planning stages are essential.
It’s been well documented when it comes to travelers incurring additional costs when abroad and therefore eating up large parts of their traveling budget. The modern-day traveler has all the resources available to them via online websites offering useful information like what you will find in this article. So, below we have shared some useful tips to consider when devising your itinerary for your trip to India.
It’s also worth noting that many travelers never consider the lead up to actually getting to India regarding saving money, so this is the area in particular we will focus on.
Book hotels in advance
November and December can be extremely busy times for travelers in India so it’s best to book your hotels well in advance. Like when booking flights, make sure to book around 8 weeks before your date of departure. Leaving it late could result in higher costs or even worse, there could be no accommodation available at the hotel you wish to stay. Always use reputable travel websites like ours or Tripadvisor for the most up to date reviews on hotels.
Search online for pre-booking parking options
Horror stories are rife on the Internet of people arriving at parking lots and being startled by the costs of long stay parking. That’s why it’s best to take advantage of the ability to pre-book for most of the major airports services. Leading passenger hubs around the world, such as London Gatwick, have affordable short and long stay parking lots. However long stay options will save you more money in the long run if you’re traveling for more than a couple days.
Download travel apps to save money
The savvy modern day traveler will never step foot on foreign soil without being armed with an array of useful travel apps in their armory. Top 10 Travel Apps published the essential apps for trips to India including apps such as India Travel Guide and Hindi Translation to help you on your way. This will eliminate the added costs of tour guides or buying city maps during your journey.
The above is an affiliate post written by Sam Channing.
Today I have a guest post from the team at Guiddoo, a travel planner app. They have lots of suggestions for keeping children entertained in India’s glamorous centre of business and entertainment, Mumbai. I hope you enjoy this great list of fun activities for kids visiting Mumbai!
When you’re traveling with children, you would surely want a wholesome, fun-filled experience for your family. A city meant for all, there are plenty of amazing places and activities for kids visiting Mumbai that you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here are the famous places to look forward to when you’re in Mumbai.
Educational Activities in Mumbai
Teach Your Kids about Taxidermy
Your kids might not be interested in sculptures or historical artifacts kept in The Prince of Wales Museum but they should enjoy the Natural History section. Here animals, birds, reptiles and all life-size marine and animal life are kept on display. They also show you and your kids the process of taxidermy whereby these animals are preserved.
The Prince of Wales Museum
Experience the Marine World
Taraporewala Aquarium has an acrylic glass tunnel for you and your children to have a true underwater experience without even diving. They also have pools containing fish that your child can go ahead and touch. There is also about 400 species of fishes in lit-up tanks for the kids to enjoy.
A Trek amidst Flora and Fauna
There are more green areas in Mumbai than you can imagine from the roads and the smog. One of the best of the lot is Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Take your kids for a walk in the thicket of trees. Get them acquainted with a vast number of birds, dense wildlife and take a safari to see the lions and tigers.
You can also take them to the haven of aviators – Karnala Bird Sanctuary. You can trek there as your child stares in amazement at the pretty butterflies and falls in love with birds like Malabar Whistling Thrush, Paradise Flycatcher and Shaheen Falcons. The best time to visit visit Karnala Sancutary is from October to April.
For flamingoes you can head to Sewri Jetty to show your child the pink beauties squawking away as they enjoy the coastline. These flamingoes come to Sewri annually betweenthe months of November to March.
Learn as you Play
Head to Kidzania as your first learning hub where kids take up occupations as a part of a role play in the city and become a Construction Engineer, an RJ, a Surgeon, or CSI Agent etc. They also learn to, or pay to, get a service at the Culinary School, the Department Store, and a Driving School and so on. Its fun, interactive and the kids learn a lot.
Nehru Science Centre gives your child an opportunity to fall in love with science with the 500 interactive science exhibits based on energy, sound, mechanics, and kinematics and so on. There are also science expositions on various themes. If your child is more into stars then you can also take him to the Planetarium located nearby.
Nehru Science Centre and Planetarium
Farmer’s Market at Maharashtra Nature Park in Dharavi is the best place to give your child a complete farm experience on a Sunday. You can not only show where the vegetables and fresh produce comes from but also make them learn how organic or chemical fertilizer free vegetables are better for them. Enjoy sumptuous meals cooked with organic vegetables at their café and make it a day of nature-filled fun and learning. The market shuts shop in monsoons and appears only between the months of October to March.
Pure Enjoyment in Mumbai
Adlabs Imagica is a magical place filled with fun-filled rides, roller coasters, haunted house, themed attractions, and rides for kids of all age groups. You’ll have a mind blowing time there. I assure you one day wouldn’t be enough to see it all.
Aquamagica is another venture by Adlabs which provide you water life unheard of and your kids are surely going to love it.
EsselWorld is yet another amusement park with some super amazing rides like bumper cars, spinning teacup rides and everyone’s favorite Thunder ride which turns you upside down. EsselWorld too has rides for all ages.
Water Kingdom is close to EsselWorld and is a water park with massive pools and water rides that will leave you refreshed.
Beaches and Promenades
Mumbai beaches are not the conventional ones where you go to get a tan or go for a swim. Here beaches are meant for family fun and where college kids and the like come to play and chat. You can take your kids to beaches like Girgaum Chowpatty where there is a section for swings and slides for your little ones. On Girgaum as well as Juhu the kids have open space to build sand castles, play with a ball and eat some sumptuous Mumbai street food. Do make your kids try the Gola (find what is Gola in the Mumbai Street Food Guide) made with pouring flavored syrups on ice shavings.
Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai
There are beautiful promenades like Bandra Sea Face and Marine Drive where the sunsets are absolutely beautiful. Your kids will love the waves of the Arabian Sea lashing against the rocks as they enjoy the beauty of nature in all its simplicity. Not just this, Experience at Marine Drive is something one can never miss when in Mumbai.
Parks in Mumbai
There are so many gardens in Mumbai that you’ll get choosy as to which one to take them to. My first pick would be Kamala Nehru Children’s Park where a tall shoe house or boot house is the biggest attraction, at least for the kids. They can actually climb up inside and peek from the topmost window. Lush green beauty surrounds this garden which is also known as the Hanging Garden or the Shoe Garden.
Another option is Priyadarshini Park or PDP which is also a sports complex and offers scenic views of the Arabian Sea where you can perch yourself on grass, drink coconutwater and watch your child play.
Acquaint Your Kids with Performing Arts
Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is an annual festival held in February when the entire place is filled with art lovers. There are plenty of activities for children like theatre, puppet shows, cooking, story reading and much more.
If you’re not around in February then there are amazing theatres like Prithvi Theatre and NCPA (National Center for Performing Arts, Mumbai) which organize plays that adults and kids enjoy equally as well as plays specially meant for children.
Let’s Play Some Games
Mumbai surely has a lot to offer and arcade games for children have advanced to a whole new level. At “Smaaash” you’ll find a bowling alley as well a virtual cricket simulator where your child or you are the batsmen and who’s bowling to you? That’s right, cricket legends (virtually though)! Your kids will get a complete 360 degree experience. They also have a rooftop go karting arena, ziplining, interactive theatre and a mind-boggling racing simulator to keep your kids hooked.
Cricket, a national sporting obsession
Wow! Didn’t expect so much for your kids in one city, did you? This is why we say Mumbai is for one and all. Even simple experiences like riding in the local train can be fun with kids but for a more organised trip choose from the above list and have fun!
If you enjoyed these ideas of fun activities for kids visiting Mumbai, you can read get more travel tips from the Guiddoo Team at their website or follow them on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Anyone who visits chaotic and colourful India will come away with a jumble of opinions, impressions and memories. I, too, had an unforgettable trip to India a few years ago. Even now, the memories flicker in and out of my mind when I least expect it. It’s the scent of jasmine, the intensity of bright colours in the sunshine, the rhythmic beating of Kathakali, and the taste of black dhal eaten on a candlelit terrace on a warm night.
Is my nostalgia because I doubt if I will ever return to India? Possibly. I’ve been living with an immune disorder on the back burner for many years. Unfortunately, my trip to India sent my health into a tailspin. I’ve promised my doctors I will never return to India because they had no idea what was wrong with me. They took the usual approach of zapping me with every antibiotic known to mankind which eventually did the trick. It was a harrowing experience which none of us are keen to repeat. Before you ask, I stayed in 5 star hotels and was very careful what I ate.
Here are seven of my favourite memories from our 3 week trip to India:
Vanyavilas in Ranthambore
The Oberoi Vanyavilas Ranthambore was my absolute favourite of the hotels. I know the Oberoi Udaivilas gets all the hype for being the number 1 hotel in the world, etc. but I preferred Vanyavilas. A small hotel with tented villas and exceptional service, this hotel set the standard for me in terms of glamping. My husband has pointed out that it was hardly what you would even consider glamping. Exactly.
The Ranthambore Tiger Preserve
During our three days in Ranthambore, our guides were finally able to find a couple of tigers for us to see in the wild. They were two young tigers who were left alone while their mother was probably out hunting. The youngsters were less than careful about staying hidden.
The Traffic and the Transportation
We survived Indian public transportation as well – the tuk tuk, taxis, trains and planes. There was only one mishap when our flight from Mumbai to Cochin was cancelled. Our train travel was pretty uneventful because we had porters who helped us on and off the trains. I wish we had had time to take one of the luxury trains in India which I’m sure would have been a fabulous experience.
I found Indian traffic very much an adventure in itself. Indian cars drive down the middle of the road play chicken with the car coming opposite until at the last minute one of them swerves. In New Delhi, we got stuck in a traffic jam with an elephant standing in traffic right by my window. I can’t get my kids to stand still in a queue never mind an elephant.
The Houseboat Trip in the Kerala Backwaters
For my birthday (I won’t divulge which one!), we stayed in a houseboat in the Kerala backwaters. The landscape was exceptionally beautiful and even worth being bitten by a zillion mosquitoes. Our houseboat people made a special dinner for us which we got to eat on the deck of the boat under the stars. My husband was given some of the local moonshine which he had to drink manfully. Mercifully, I got to avoid the stuff.
I also did some serious shopping. For my birthday, I got a sapphire eternity bracelet from Jaipur which wound up getting stolen at a wedding in Oxfordshire. Grrr. I found lots of great stuff just in the stalls, the roadside vendors and the stores. One of my favourite bargains was a trio of vases (lassi cups). I couldn’t resist buying way too many of these plastic bangles which my daughter has loved for playing dress-up.
The Amazing Architecture
Everyone knows about the Taj Mahal. In fact, the Taj Mahal is probably the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Indian architecture. As great as the Taj Mahal was, there was so much more to see though. We wondered at the New Delhi buildings created by Edwin Lutyens for the British Empire. Then there was Fatehpur Sikri the city created and abandoned on an Emperor’s whim for the Moghul Empire. Rajasthan seemed to be full of palaces everywhere you looked.
India Gate in New Delhi
Delicious Indian Food
The food was exceptionally good from the vegetarian dhals of North India to the fried fish and chicken curry of Kerala. I did not even miss the fact that I did not have any fruit or salad the whole trip. My husband though was craving a salad. When we had our stopover in Frankfurt airport, he had a salad and promptly came down with food poisoning. It was pretty ironic since he was not sick at all during the entire India trip.
Although I had an unforgettable trip to India I would love to return one day. There are so many more fabulous places in India to discover that we did not have time to visit. For example, this India travel blog gives 10 different reasons the writer loves India. We overlap on some of our reasons (Kerala, Ranthambore) but she’s done some cool things I’d love to do (attend festivals, see the Himalayas).
Who knows? I have been dumb enough to ignore doctors’ advice before. I may yet have another India trip left in me. It will, however, take some extensive wearing down of my husband’s resistance.
The City Palace in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan
Is there anywhere that you have been that has been particularly memorable? I’d love to hear where and why it was so unforgettable.