The Golden Triangle can be visited any time, but it is best to visit the circuit during the winter season to avoid the lash of heat and dehydration. At the same time, from October to February it becomes comfortable for sightseeing and participating in various outdoor activities. This time the landscapes also get ornamented with the flowering season, making the trip delightful and a memorable one.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi.
Our representative will meet you on arrival and transfer to hotel.
Day 2: Delhi
Full day tour of Old and New Delhi including the Jama Masjid Mosque, a rickshaw ride through the market in Old Delhi, India Gate, Raj Ghat/Gandhi Memorial Museum and Qutab Minar in New Delhi.
Start the tour with a visit to the great Jama Masjid- the principal mosque of Old Delhi. Built in the year 1656 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is the largest & best known mosque in India. The courtyard of the mosque can hold up to twenty-five thousand worshippers. The mosque also houses several relics in a closet in the north gate, including an antique copy of the Qur’an written on deer skin. It lies at the origin of a very busy central street of Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk.
Next take an exciting rickshaw ride through Chandi Chowk, the old marketplace of Shah Jahanabad now a picturesque bazaar.
We continue our tour, now driving to New Delhi. Raj Ghat, memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It is a simple black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation on 31 January 1948. An eternal flame is lit. Opposite Raj Ghat is the Ghandi Memorial Museum. Afterwards drive past India Gate, memorial built in the year 1931 to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I & the Afghan Wars. President’s House built in the year 1931. Until 1950 it was known as Viceroy’s House & served as the residence of the Governor-General of British India.
Culminate the day at Qutub Minar, built in the year 1206 by Qutub-ud-din Aibek. It is the tallest (72m) brick minaret in the world, an important example of Indo-Islamic Architecture.
Day 3: Delhi – Agra (220 kms / 4 hrs)
After early breakfast drive to Agra. Afternoon visit the incredible architectural excellence of Taj Mahal (Friday Closed), built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Next we visit Agra Fort, built principally as a military establishment by Akbar in 1565. The red sandstone Agra Fort was partially converted into a palace during Shah Jahan’s time. This massive Fort is 2.5 km long & is considered as predecessor of Delhi Red Fort. Later in the evening visit Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb, built by Noor Jahan, wife of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, in memory of her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg. Before Taj Mahal was built, its rough design was already standing in the form of Itmad ud Daulah’s Tomb.
Day 4: Drive Fatehphur Sikri – Jaipur (260 km / 6hrs)
Drive to Karauli enroute visit Fatephur Sikri, built in 1571, one of the world’s most perfect ghost cities and a marvel of design and construction. It is a synthesis of the flourishing styles of the Persian courts and the prevailing Hindu-Islamic trends. Fatehpur (town of victory) Sikri was built by Akbar, the third and greatest of the Great Moguls. It is over 400 years old and today its pristine red sandstone buildings are as perfect as when they were first chiseled.
The town was erected after a holy man, Sheikh Salim Chisti, decreed the births of three sons to Akbar after all his children had died in infancy. There are three sections to the City: The Royal Palace (notable for the Emperor’s throne), the outside of the Royal Palace and the Jami Masjid (the location of the Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, a masterpiece in brilliant white marble). The centerpiece of this remarkable monument is the Jewel House of the Diwan I Khas. Architecturally extraordinary, the four doorways lead into a single-story room where a huge central pillar supports a seat reached by mid-air walkways.
After the visit continue drive to Jaipur.
Day 5: Jaipur
Morning excursion to Amber Fort. Amber is the name of the ancient kingdom of Jaipur as well as the name of its ancient capital, before it was shifted to Jaipur, situated 7 miles away. Its history can be traced backed to the 12th century. Amber Fort is superbly located, protected by the wild Arrival Hills on all sides. Originally built in the 11th century, it was expanded by Raja Mannish in the late 16th century. The rugged exterior belies a beautiful and delicate interior.
Afternoon, a city tour including the City Palace, Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) and the Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory. Browse the shops if you wish.
At the heart of Jaipur is its City Palace which houses an extensive collection of rare manuscripts, Mughal and Rajasthani miniatures, Mughal carpets, costumes and textiles, arms and weapons, royal buggies, chariots and palanquins and a remarkable carriage -the indiraviman – that was drawn by four elephants. At the center is Chandra Mahal, the seven-tiered moon palace where the present Maharaja still resides. The
City Palace complex also contains the Govind Devji Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna.
Just outside the gateway of the City Palace is Jantar Mantar, the Yantralaya of Sawai Jai Singh II, the last great classical astronomer in India. The modernistic structures known as Yantras are the unique creations of this astronomer-king, designed by him and built by experts to observe the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars. This is the largest of five observatories founded by him in various parts of the country.
Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) is Jaipur’s most-photographed building, a honeycomb palace with 953 latticed windows overlooking the bazaar and busy streets of Jaipur. Built in 1799 by the poet-king Pratap Singh, this extraordinary building was used by purdah-bound women to watch the grand processions that were a regular feature of the city.
Day 6: Jaipur – Ajmer – Jodhpur (310 km / 6hrs
Drive to Jodhpur en route visit the Ajmer Sharif, it is venerated as a holy place for both Hindus and Muslims. It has the mausoleum of the Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, whose blessings are eagerly sought by pilgrims to his dargah. Known as the ‘Dargah Sharif’, the last resting place of the saint who died in 1235 lies at the foot of a barren hill. The saint’s marble domed mausoleum is India’s most important shrine for Muslims and receives an endless flow of visitors of all religions as the sick, the troubled and the childless come here seeking a boon, a blessing or just peace of mind. Legend has it that the Mughal emperor, Akbar came here to the saint in the 16th century in quest of a boon for an heir and the saint obliged.
Day 7: Jodhpur
Morning tour of Jodhpur with guide, including the 15th century Mehrangarh Fort perched majestically on a high hill. The best way to trace the history of Jodhpur is to visit the Meherangarh Fort, which dominates the skyline. Enter through gates which bear the evocative handprints of the Sati queens, women of the royal harem who took their own lives when their men were defeated in battle. The fort has a series of spectacular palaces, each decorated with exquisite engravings, lattice and mirror work. Of particular note is the museum that exhibits a magnificent collection of royal memorabilia; we stop to admire the graceful cenotaph at Jaswant Thada.
Later afternoon browse the bazaars of the old city, for Jodhpur is well known for its glass bangles, puppets and other folk art. Ornate glass bangles with mirrors embedded and lacquer-finished can be found here. The area around the bazaars is a wonderful example of 19th century town planning, blending Rajasthani concepts with more contemporary styles. Dinner at Hotel Restaurant.
Day 8: Jodhpur – Ranakpur – Udaipur (280 km / 7hrs )
Morning at leisure. A short drive to Rankpur (60 km / 1.5hrs), we visit the magnificent Ranakpur Jain Temples (opens 12 noon – 5 pm) built in 1439 and dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankar. The three temples in the complex each are distinct in design, with carved ceilings and arches decorated with friezes depicting scenes from the lives of the Jain saints. The largest, Adinatha, is noted for its grandiose scale and elaborate ornamentation and for its 1444 sculptured pillars, all with different scenes from Jain mythology and cosmology. The temples are situated in the Haldigathi Jungle where monkeys, wild boars and panthers are dwelling as well as exotic trees such as cinnamon apple and babur maple. Lunch included at Maharani Bagh (Mango Orchard of the Maharaja of Jodhpur) near the Temples.
Continue drive to Udaipur (80 km / 3hrs)
Often called the Venice of India, this is a city of lakes, palaces and gardens. There is no place in India which appeals more to the imagination of poets and painters, travelers and writers, than Udaipur, the lovely lakeside capital of Mewar. The city’s inherent romance and beauty, along with its remarkable past, bristling with episodes of heroism and splendor, continue to enthrall visitors. Udaipur, sometimes called the City of Dawn, looms up like a vision in white. Surrounded by hills and mountains, and set on the edge of three lakes which give way to a fertile plain, it is bewitching in all its details – narrow streets lined by vivid colored stalls, gardens, temples and palaces – every feature mirrored in the placid blue waters of Lake Pichhola.
Udaipur retains the essence of a quaint town with cobble stone streets, plentiful local bazaars, marble palaces, lakeside gardens, temples and havelis. It is a traditionally planned fortified city surrounded by walls and massive gates. The rulers, beginning with Maharana Singh in the mid 16th century, prided themselves on being independent from other more powerful regional neighbors, particularly the Moghuls.
Day 9: Udaipur
In the morning visit the City Palace, the largest Palace complex in the area, and the Museum of Rajasthan. The City Palace is a blend of stern Rajput military architecture on the outside and lavish Mughal-inspired decorative art on the inside. Set on a hill overlooking Lake Pichhola, it is quite large and made up of at least four separate inter-connecting palaces, built over a period of nearly 3 centuries. The palace museum contains a wonderful collection of old Rajput weaponry.
Later visit artists’ studios of the miniature paintings. Afterwards, some independent time to stroll the quaint city and take a walk through the colorful Bapu Bazaar. It is easy to walk about independently just outside the city palace gates for a real experience of the local culture beyond the tourist shops.
Sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola.
Day 10: Udaipur – Delhi
Morning Independent. Afternoon transfer to Udaipur airport for flight to Delhi 9W708 dep. 1625 / arr. 1735 to Delhi. Transfer to hotel Holiday Inn near airport for wash/change. Late night transfer to International airport for flight to home.