Package - Golden Triangle Tour (5 Nights & 6 Days)

Package - Golden Triangle Tour (5 Nights & 6 Days)

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Rs.14,999
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Destination
Destinations: 
Rs.12,599
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Overview

Overview :

Rajasthan is the largest state of the India in terms of area.The region borders Pakistan to the west, Gujarat to the southwest, Madhya Pradesh to the southeast, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to the northeast and Punjab to the north.Rajasthan covers an area of 342,239 km.The state capital is Jaipur. Geographical features include the Thar Desert along north-western Rajasthan.

One of the world's oldest mountain ranges, the Aravalli Range, cradles the only hill station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu, and its world-famous Dilwara Temples, a sacred pilgrimage for Jains. Eastern Rajasthan has two national tiger reserves, Ranthambore and Sariska, as well as Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, once famous for its bird life.Rajasthan was formed on 30 March 1949, when all erstwhile princely states ruled by Rajputs, known as Rajputana, merged into the Dominion of India. The only difference between erstwhile Rajputana and Rajasthan is that certain portions governed directly by the British Raj, in the former province of Ajmer-Merwara, were included. Portions lying geographically outside of Rajputana such as the Tonk state were given to Madhya Pradesh.Rajasthan is home to many courageous heroes, admired for their courage, strength and determined struggles. A few popular heroes are Bappa Rawal, Rana Sangha, Pratap Singh and Prithviraj Chauhan.

Inclusions : Inclusions 2 Night Accommodation in Delhi on twin sharing basis As per packages Inclusions 2 Night Accommodation in Jaipur on twin sharing basis As per packages Inclusions 1Night Accommodation in Agra on twin sharing basis As per packages Inclusions Daily breakfast Inclusions All Transfer and sightseeing as per itinerary by A/c indica Inclusions All applicable hotel taxes.

Itinerary :

Day 1 : Delhi
Arrive at Delhi airport the bustling capital of India. On arrival pick-up from airport and transfer to hotel for check-in. Day free for own (depending the time permitting). Overnight stay at hotel.
Meals: Breakfast
Optional: NA

Day 2 : Delhi
After breakfast proceed for sightseeing tour covering Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Jama Masjid, India Gate, Humayun Tomb. Overnight stay at hotel.
Meals: Breakfast
Optional: NA

Day 3 : Delhi - Jaipur (by road)
After breakfast drive to Jaipur. On arrival check-in at hotel. Evening visit Birla Mandir & Albert Hall. Overnight stay at hotel.
Meals: Breakfast
Optional: NA

Day 4 : Jaipur
After breakfast proceed to cover city attraction covering Amber Fort enjoy elephant ride to the fort, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar (observatory), City Palace & Museum. Overnight stay at hotel.
Meals: Breakfast
Optional: NA

Day 5 : Jaipur - Agra (by road)
After breakfast drive to Agra. En-route visits Fatehpur - Sikri. On arrival check-in at hotel for overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast
Optional: NA

Day 6 : Agra - Delhi (by road)
After breakfast visit Taj Mahal (closed on Friday), Red Fort. Later drive and drop at Delhi airport for onward journey with a bunch of enthralling & ever mesmerizing moments during your tour.
Meals: Breakfast
Optional: NA

When you’re driving in India you need three things... a good horn, good brakes and good luck.

As our tuk-tuk screeched round the narrow alleyways of Jaipur, beeping at the crowds filling the streets, I knew the first two were covered.

But as I clung on for dear life in the back, regretting my choice of transport, I prayed the third was on my side.

As we braked sharply outside the market, colliding with a cyclist along the way, I realised nothing – not even the shortest journey – is simple in India.

And while it may be only a nine-hour flight away from Britain, India feels like nowhere else on Earth.

Whistle-stop tour
I spent eight days in early February touring the “Golden Triangle” – visiting Northern India starting in Delhi, then to Agra and Jaipur, before flying back to Goa in the south for a few days of well-deserved rest and relaxation.

Our guide, Harsh – “only by name not by nature” – made the trip unforgettable.

We began with a day’s sightseeing in India’s second largest city, Delhi.


            



From a tourist’s point of view it is split into two main parts – Old Delhi, the city of the Mughals, which dates back to the 17th century, and New Delhi, built by the British, with spacious tree-lined boulevards.

Two words best describe the city as a whole, though: exotic and frenetic. Even a simple walk to look at the Red Fort, a huge palace-cum-fortress that formed the heart of the Mughal Empire, is a sensory overload. Everywhere you look something memorable is happening, whether it’s a line of men being shaved on the street by barbers, a family of baboons stealing fruit from one of the market stalls or a cow holding up three lanes of traffic.

A short stroll away through chaotic bustling streets is the beautiful Jama Masjid mosque

We finished the day with what was supposed to be a serene visit to Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, but that was turned on its head by scores of visitors wanting pictures taken...with us. Harsh explained: “The locals are just as curious about you as you are about them. You’re in India now. Relax, don’t think too much and enjoy it.”

So we did.

The next day we caught an early morning train to Agra. It is the only time I have ever been offered a curry at 7am for breakfast. We wolfed it down (it was delicious) while watching Indian life pass by, from slums to beautiful scenery. It was an extraordinary experience.

Agra stands on the bank of the river Yamuna and is famous for its beautiful medieval monuments as well as the granddaddy of all tourist attractions, the Taj Mahal.


       


I don’t care how many versions of the mausoleum you’ve seen in your local Indian restaurant, nothing can prepare you for the breathtaking majesty of the building itself. As you walk through the gateway and take in the vast white marble edifice it is truly awe-inspiring and achingly beautiful.

Built by Shah Jahan to enshrine his queen’s mortal remains, this “love poem in marble” took 20,000 craftsmen from 1631 to 1648 to complete. It’s a sight we’ll never forget. It’s worth hiring one of the professional photographers at the entrance to take a few pictures. It costs 100 rupees per photograph... just £1!

Still catching our breath from our incredible morning we visited the Agra Fort in the afternoon. The former residence of Mughal emperors is a fascinating complex of elaborate royal apartments, pearl white mosques and spacious courtyards.

The next day we were up again at the crack of dawn for a 140-mile drive to Jaipur. But 20 minutes into the five-hour journey it became clear that, like everything in India, the drive was going to be anything but ordinary.

Indian drivers don’t tend to follow any of the traditional rules of the road. As Harsh, ever the optimist, told us: “Don’t be surprised if they head towards us the wrong way– it’s just the way things are. In India, when you drive size matters.”

Shame, then, that we were in a small minibus while most of the traffic around us was giant haulage trucks...


        


Ghostly edifice
After two hours of white-knuckle terror we stopped along the way to visit Fatehpur Sikri.

Built by Emperor Akbar, the third and greatest of the Mughals, in 1571, the city was abandoned after 15 years due to the scarcity of water.

Careful conservation work has preserved its barren yet glorious buildings, a deserted and ghostly edifice surrounded by green fields.

We then continued our journey to Jaipur, the capital of India’s largest state, Rajasthan. As we arrived the sun was setting on the city’spink-washed buildings making it instantly intoxicating. We set off early to the hilltop Amer Palace, which you can reach on foot, or by elephant.


Agra: experience the Mughal legacy

From Delhi, head southeast via private vehicle (about four hours) or by train (figure roughly two hours) to Agra, home of the wondrous Taj Mahal – a resounding tribute to a lost love and undoubtedly the most brilliant manifestation of the Mughal dynasty’s design aesthetic. The glistening white marble and the swirling, minaret-like towers never fail to impress.

While the Taj Mahal was built to honour the dead, Fatehpur Sikri, located 40km from Agra, was very much a place for the living. The palace’s grand human scale is immediately captivating – it’s impossible not to feel haunted by the ghosts of the emperor, princesses, valets and concubines that once roamed the hallowed courtyards.

When you’ve maxed out your memory stick with snaps of forts and palaces, head to Kaya Kalp, a 99,000 sq ft spa located at the ITC Mughal (www.itchotels.in/hotels/itcmughal.aspx), which takes guests on a sensorial journey back to an era of excess and great conquest. It is well documented that the members of the Mughal elite enjoyed the trappings of a luxurious lifestyle, with ample gardens, feasts, harems, sweeping palaces and many other ostentatious manifestations of wealth. At the ITC Mughal you’ll find a sumptuous reproduction of that bygone era – in fact, the hotel has remained so precise and true to the Mughal dynasty that it was the recipient of the Aga Khan Award for architecture in 1980.

After pushing through the massive wooden doors, the spa’s cardinal design element becomes immediately apparent: a ruby red pomegranate. It is commonly believed that Barbur – the first Mughal emperor – came to Rajasthan from Ferghana (in present-day Afghanistan), a lush kingdom with plenty of fruit-bearing trees. When Barbur decided to stay, he instructed his architects to recreate his elaborate gardens and plant a variety of orchards, including the pomegranate – his undeniable favourite. Further evidence of the pomegranate’s importance has been documented on many stone carvings within Agra Fort. The coveted pomegranate also features in the spa’s signature treatment, an exfoliating scrub made from pomegranate peel, orange rind, pomegranate seeds and brown sugar.

Jaipur: hidden temples in the City of Forts

From Agra and Fatehpur Sikri, plough westward to Jaipur (about three hours by private vehicle), where further spoils of the Mughal lords await. Known as the Pink City for its ribbon of walls that extend throughout the central core (the city doesn’t actually look particularly pink), Jaipur is the gateway to Rajasthan’s cache of rugged landscapes, photogenic cities and elaborate palaces.

Most visitors make a beeline for Jaipur’s surrounding hills dotted with parched trees – a hint that a great desert (the Thar desert) sits not too far beyond. Here lies one of the city’s great attractions, the Amber Fort (pronounced ‘amir’); yet another great legacy of a long-lost empire. While most tourists mount the ramparts on a regal-robed elephant, try driving around to the back of the fortress and start your journey within the simple hamlet of Amber dating back to the 11th century. Here you’ll find the Shri Jagatshironmani Temple, built at the request of Queen Shringar Devi Kanakaway (wife of Man Singh, ruler of Amber) between 1599 and 1608. The temple is particularly rare because Krishna is not depicted with his usual consort Radha, he is instead accompanied by ‘Mira Bai’, a princess who became a mystic, and later Krishna’s lover. The temple’s name translates to ‘the head jewel of the idol of Lord Vishnu’. During your visit you may spot the groundskeeper watering the plants and gently sweeping the stairs – his family has been caring for the temple for over 20 generations.

 

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