The Golden Triangle of India is a famous tourist circuit in India which connects three of the iconic destinations of India which are very popular with tourists. The three destinations which are Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur in Rajasthan when joined together on a map form a triangle.
The golden triangle is a very popular road trip route and in totality covers about 720 kilometres with travel across each leg of the triangle taking around 4 to 6 hours. Usually the trip starts in Delhi. Delhi being well connected is ideal for starting off on the Golden Triangle trip. One can easily get to Delhi from any place in India. Even if you are in the south of India, say Chennai, there are many Chennai to Delhi flights and one just needs to check the Chennai to Delhi flight schedule and book a convenient flight.
The first point of the golden triangle is the historic city of Delhi, a city that is not only the capital of India but also a place with many historic and heritage monuments. Delhi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Evidence suggests that across the ages at least seven settlements existed at different times in Delhi. The influx of different cultures also has left its mark on Delhi making it a fascinating blend of cultures. Some of the must see places in Delhi are, the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Jantar Mantar, Lodhi Gardens, Raj Ghat, Bahai Lotus Temple, and Birla Mandir. Apart from these historic places Delhi is great for shopping at its traditional markets as well as in the modern malls. Any visit to Delhi would be incomplete without marveling at the architectural brilliance of the Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament and paying obeisance to the martyrs of India at India Gate.
Ideally the next point in the Golden Triangle is the city of Agra.which is about 233 kilometres from Delhi in the state of Uttar Pradesh. By car it takes about 4 hours to reach Agra. The main reason why people head to Agra is of course the Taj Mahal. In fact most international tourists have the Taj Mahal in their bucket lists. If one were to leave Agra without seeing the Taj Mahal it would be nothing short of foolhardiness.
The Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world and was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is said to have been completed in the year 1653. The Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the finest examples of muslim architecture in the world. About 8 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. Though the Taj Mahal is the primary reason for most people to visit Agra, there is more to Agra.
The Agra Fort is another UNESCO World Heritage site and is a fort city within the city of Agra. This was the centre of power and the main residence of the Mughal emperors till the early 17th century when they shifted to Delhi. The Agra fort sprawls across a semi-circular area of about 94 acres. The fort has four gates and some of them are inlaid with marble and pure works of art. Originally there were about 500 beautifully designed buildings within the Agra Fort which included royal residences, offices, and markets.
Another important landmark not to be missed when in Agra is Akbar’s Tomb. The tomb is an architectural masterpiece in its own right and is situated in a place called Sikandra which is a suburb of Agra.
The next leg of the Golden Triangle takes you from Agra to Jaipur. Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan. One of the most popular states in India for travellers because of its desert sands, royal palaces, and forts. Jaipur is about 240 kilometres from Agra and it takes about a five hour drive to reach there. Jaipur is the gateway that leads deeper into the desert of Thar and the cities of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Bikaner. However Jaipur is itself a famous and poular destination. Jaipur is a charming mix of modernity and heritage. Some of the places that one must visit in Jaipur are the Amer Fort which is a fort city with a spectacular palace within its fold. The City Palace which is another example of the style and grandeur of the royalty of Rajasthan. Other important landmarks in Jaipur include the Jantar Mantar and Jaigarh Fort. Jaipur which is also known as the Pink City because of its pink coloured buildings that dot a historic shopping area is also a great place to shop and indulge the palate on some authentic Rajasthani cuisine.Jaipur is fittingly the last point in the golden triangle from where one can head back to Delhi. Delhi lies about 260 kilometres and can be reached by a 6 hour drive.