One of the most celebrated tour circuits in India happens to be the golden triangle tour circuit. Golden Triangle refers to the 3 of the most popular tourist destinations in India - Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
For those looking forward to have a dash of history, heritage and wildlife along with a rendezvous with the modern India, these 3 destination offer more than enough to keep even the fussy travelers on their toes.
Why is it that the the tour comprising of these three destinations are refereed to as the "golden triangle?"
Let's have a look at them each one by one:
Delhi: A Bricolage of Past and Present
Starting from the ancient city of Indraprastha (founded by Pandavas and now the site where Old Fort or Purana Qila is located), the last of the pre-Independence city of Delhi was the Shahjahanabad founded by Shah Jahan, the last of the mighty Mughal emperor of India.
In between, some important cities to be founded in Delhi included Qila Rai Pithora which later became the site of Qutb Minar Complex, Siri founded by Alaudin Khilji, Tughlaqabad founded by Ghiyath-ud-Din Tughlaq, Firozabad founded by Firuz Shah Tughlaq and the modern city of New Delhi designed by Edwin Lutyen’s which is even now referred to as Lutyen's Delhi.
With the legacy as rich as Delhi and the profound impact on the framework of the city's spirit that the interactions that these rules left has what bestowed with its unique cosmopolitan character.
Now add to these the fact that Delhi is now one of the largest and fastest growing megalopolis in the world. Excellent infrastructure, Delhi Metro, buzzing couture clubs, malls and multiplexes and the vibrant shopping scene along with the variety of cuisines, restaurants and five star hotels makes Delhi a cultural melting pot.
With the “Old” jostling shoulder to shoulder with the “New”, Delhi encapsulates best of the two worlds. And that is what gives Delhi its appeal among both Indian and overseas tourists.
Delhi is home to 3 UNESCO inscribed World Heritage Site and the status of entire city as a World Heritage Site is pending before the UNESCO. In every nook and corner of the city visitors could find relics of bygone era.
Visitors could choose to admire the magnificent architecture of Humayun’s Tomb which was the first Charbagh to be designed in India, or they may choose to stroll amidst the sprawling green of Lodi Garden which is also home to tombs of Sayyids and Lodi rulers of Delhi.
Then there is Red Fort in Old Delhi which stands testimony to the might and eventual fading away of Mughal Empire which visitors could combine with a trip to medieval flavored bazaar at Chandani Chowk and Jama Masjid.
The Old Delhi area is also home to the famous Karim’s, one of the oldest restaurant serving eclectic Mughlai cuisines, Kebabs and curries as well as the Parranthewaali Gaali renowned for stuffed chapatis and delicious lassis and tantalizing chutneys.
Delhi is also renowned for its flea market and shopping buffs could head to Sarojini Nagar Market, Lajpat Nagar, Janpath or Palika Bazaar for bargain shopping.
If you are in Delhi, do look out for the modern structures like Lotus Temple (Baha’I House of Worship), India Gate, Rhastrapati Bhavan and Akshardham Temple. And if it is a dash of history you are looking for watch out for the heritage walks or plan one yourself. Mehrauli Archaeological along with Qutb Minar Complex is a good place to start with heritage walk.
Yet another good heritage walk comprises of Humayun’s Tomb and nearby monuments along with visit to Nizamuddin Dargah. Visitors may also include Safdarjung’s Tomb and Lodi Garden if it’s a day trip you’re looking for. Combine it with delicious food and shopping at Khan Market and you have a great day in Delhi.
Yet another tourist activity could include trip to Purana Qila or the Old Fort which is the most ancient site in Delhi combined with Delhi Zoological Park especially if you have kids. Family with kids could also opt for Adventure Island with its numerous fun rides and fine dining options.
Special mention to those looking to retrace the days of British Raj. Embark on a heritage trail along Delhi Ridge (North Delhi or Kamla Nehru Ridge) and visit the relics of 1857 Uprising of Indian Sepoys against the East India Company.
Recently Delhi has gained notoriety when it comes to safety concern especially for women. One of the foremost question asked nowadays is "if India's safe for traveling?"
Do check out our tips on how to ensure your safety if you are a woman traveling alone in India.
Interested in top things to do in Delhi? Here's our post on top 10 attractions in Delhi.
Best time to visit DelhiAlthough people visit Delhi throughout the year, for those planning holidays in Delhi or the golden triangle tour, November till last of February is the best time for planning vacations in and around Delhi.
During summer, it becomes almost impossible to do heritage walks or local sightseeing because of the scorching heat.
How to get around in DelhiDelhi Metro is one of the best options to commute in Delhi and most of the places mentioned in this post are accessible by Delhi Metro.
HOHO Bus is something most of the tourists aren’t aware of. It is an air conditioned Hop on Hop off bus service which covers most of the historical monuments in Delhi. HOHO Bus service also travels to major malls, museums and bazaars (flea markets) of Delhi.
With a onetime ticket, tourists could get on the bus and get off at any monument of their choice, explore it and catch another HOHO Bus. The frequency at each stop for HOHO Bus service is 10 minutes and the service starts from Baba Kharak Singh Marg in Connaught Place.
DTC Bus is yet another option of getting around in Delhi but for that you need to be well versed with the Bus Numbers and Routes which is a tedious task. There are 3 categories of Bus plying in Delhi: Red, Green and Orange out of which Red is air conditioned.
Where to stayWith so many tourists coming to Delhi from all parts of India and the world, hotels in Delhi caters to all kind of taste, preferences and budget of the tourists. There are some of the finest luxury hotels in Delhi by renowned hospitality brands catering to jet setters and elite travelers.
Budget hotels are also not hard to find near Connaught Place, Karol Bagh, Paharganj or even South Delhi and near Indira Gandhi International Airport (Mahipalpur Area). Recently quite a few boutique hotels have also come up to cater to the connoisseurs of fine living and those looking for distinct experiences.
Hostels and cheap accommodations are available near Paharganj area but it is always wiser to stay at a comfortable and safe accommodation and to compromise on budget for visitors own safety concerns.
Do you now agree with us when we recommend Delhi as one of the 3 gems of Golden Triangle Tour in India?
|Golden Triangle Tours - Agra|
- Highlights: Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Red Fort.
|Golden Triangle Tour - Jaipur|
- Highlights: City Palace, Jantar-Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, etc.