What to do in the Golden Triangle of India: 16 unique experiences
If you are preparing to travel to India for the first time, you may not know where to start. For this reason, we suggest what to do in the Golden Triangle of India, a route formed by the cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur and ideal to start in the country of magic and the Maharajas.
Patrika Gate of Jawahar Circle, in Jaipur. © Jaipur Beat
Ancient palaces inhabited by maharajas, bustling cities of new aromas and colors or mausoleums erected for love . The famous Golden Triangle of India has been attracting all those travelers who do not dare to make the leap to the Indian subcontinent for decades. A route full of legends and magic that show some of the most spectacular heritage of India.
Here are 16 unique experiences to do in the Golden Triangle of India .
1) Tour Old Delhi in rickshaw
Delhi is a vibrant city and the first of any incursion into the Golden Triangle. A mosaic of influences found in Old Delhi , its oldest neighborhood , the perfect gallery of characters and experiences to enjoy from a typical auto- rickshaw . As you get lost in the streets you can not only see passers-by or magicians, that passing train or an ornate cow, but also the piles of fruit, spices or fabrics that make up the atmosphere of Chandni Chowk , one of the great Indian markets . The best place from which to approach a reddish and monumental Delhi among whose attractions highlights the nearby Jama Masjid, considered the largest mosque in all of India .
2) Eat in a Sikh temple
The so-called “gurudwara” are temples belonging to the Sikh religion in which large quantities of food are made for all attendees regardless of ethnicity, gender or origin. A good way to immerse yourself in a mystical and new world where, despite the long tail, it is worth eating a good thali based on mashed potatoes or red lentils sitting on the marble floor next to many other visitors and devotees . A cosmic experience in the city center of New Delhi, the best place to enter Gurudwara Sahib and succumb to a new experience at the hands of the Geographical Society of the Indies .
3) Immerse yourself in monumental India
Mirror of an entire country, in Delhi some of the most fascinating places come together: in addition to the aforementioned Jama Masjid you can not miss a visit to the contemplative Lotus Temple followed by a day between street food and sunsets wrapping the famous India Gate at the end from Rajpath, the most monumental avenue in the entire city . Do not waste the possibility of raising your eyes towards the Qutab Minar, the tallest mine in the world or, especially, Humayun’s Tomb , where the second Mughal emperor was buried and the first sketch of a certain famous monument …
4) Falling in love at the Taj Mahal
All the places and experiences of the Golden Triangle are inclined around its great star: a Taj Mahal that shines along the Yamuna River in the city of Agra . From the entrance by that threshold caressed by the dawn, the perception of being in a place far from reality is more than palpable, especially when we know that this mausoleum was erected in the seventeenth century by Prince Sha Jahan in honor of his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal . Romantic feats as they can no longer be seen and which leave as their heritage those dreamlike domes and unique ornamental details that evoke the pure charm of “The thousand and one nights.”
5) Discover the secrets of the Red Fort
Considered as the greatest fortress in India , the Red Fort is another of the great obliged on your route through the Golden Triangle. Built by Emperor Akbar, father of Sha Jahan, architect of the Taj Mahal, this complex carved in red sandstone encompasses a set of palaces, harems and gardens guarded by Amar Singh, the huge entrance door that already constitutes an imposing example of this World Heritage Site .
6) Living in a rural village
One of the great traveling finds of India lies in the contact with its people, spiritual and smiling people whose customs are totally different from those of the West. And one of the best scenarios in which to enjoy this experience is a few kilometers from Agra, specifically in a typical village where you can have tea with a local family on a porch where children run around and someone paints a giant rangoli in soil. If you also travel to this place during parties like Holi or Diwali , magic is guaranteed.
7) Looking up at Fatehpur Sikri
At 43 kilometers from Agra, the presence of stairs marks the ascent to Buland Darwaza, the highest threshold in the world with 53 meters high and entrance to an old walled city of Fatehpur Sikri converted into one of the great icons of the Golden Triangle . Built at the end of the 16th century in honor of the Sufi guru Salin Chisti, this walled city is one of the best exponents of the Indo-Muslim architecture driven by the Mughals and that would inspire other future constructions in northern India. From different pavilions to its brand new Panch Mahal , Fatehpur Sikri becomes a must-see as you pass through the area.
8) Enjoy the best views
In the Golden Triangle you can find some of the most impressive luxury hotels in India , many of them old maharajas palaces converted into empires of pleasure and good taste. If the exquisite treatment, spa treatments, gourmet menus or personalized experiences add views such as those of the Oberoi Amaravilas , just in front of the Taj Mahal , the feeling of daydreaming is confirmed under a sky of a thousand stars.
9) Look out at Chand Baori
The architecture of India is one of the most unique in the world: colored temples, lavish mausoleums … or staggered wells like Chand Baori . Located in the town of Abhaneri , in the middle of the route between Agra and Jaipur , this monument of 3 thousand steps around a pool represents the cultural display of ancient Indian villages that used these places as a place of worship, celebration and catering. So hypnotic that even the artist Escher himself seemed to have dreamed it .
10) Marvel at the pink charm of Jaipur
There is more than one legend about the origin of a city of Jaipur painted entirely pink . An apex that, coupled with its historical charm and elegance worthy of Maharajas, makes this destination of Rajasthan a delight for the senses. Listen to the sighs of old maidens slipping through the thousand windows of the Palace of the Winds , discover the secrets and nuances of the City Palace or take that photograph worthy of hundreds of likes in the trendy Indian place, the Jawahar Circle .
11) Go to a Bollywood cinema
Bollywood is the most productive film industry in the world with thousands of movies making the audience dance, sing and fall in love. An experience in itself that you can enjoy at the Raj Mandir Cinema, one of the most famous cinemas in India since its inauguration in 1973 and ideal setting to immerse yourself in a purely Hindu atmosphere with retro touches. Without a doubt, one of the most curious things to do in the Golden Triangle .
12) Buy tailored clothes in Jaipur markets
Jaipur is a city famous for many things, and one of them is its textile offer . Markets and tailor shops are deployed throughout the city offering products of all kinds, silk being the star element when attracting visitors. If you want to buy tailored clothes, at the tailor’s shops in Jaipur you can order a custom made sari , shirt or dress and in less than 24 hours you can receive it in your hotel room . The best way to renew the closet in an original and personalized way.
13) Indian cooking classes
The Indian cuisine is one of the tastiest in the world, especially for vegetarian travelers. Tasting a rich dhal of lentils and rice with chapati bread , tandoori chicken freshly extracted from a clay oven or its rich rice dishes are just some of the delicacies you can do in the Golden Triangle, although knowing how to cook them will completely reinvent your experience. In a country where the culture of cooking your own food is a sensory exercise, the possibility of teaching Indian cuisine in Jaipur becomes the most original way of entering its people and flavors.
14) The charm of Amber Fort
Opened in 1592, Amber Fort was conceived as a palace enclosed by the Amber wall 11 kilometers from Jaipur. Centuries later, the splendor of this complex remains intact thanks to its exotic gardens, its collection of mirrors or the huge lattice windows to which the maidens peeked without being seen. A place of magic and mystery among whose attractions highlights the unbeatable view of the entire city of Jaipur . Another option is to make a previous trekking route in order to know the nuances of this corner before encountering its palatial charm.
15) What if we travel the Golden Triangle in a luxury train?
Not so many years ago, the British and the Maharajas circulated in India on large trains where they had delicacies from the five continents, a bar where to share traveling experiences and fluffy beds from which to contemplate the patrimony of the Golden Triangle. A frozen experience in the Time and transferred to our days through The Deccan Odissey , the one considered as the Best Luxury Train in Asia and perfect option when it comes to traveling all the contrasts of the heart of India without giving up an exquisite treatment or the possibility of knowing the different places of interest.
16) Extension to Varanasi
Although the Golden Triangle configures one of the great attractions during any trip to India, this cultural combo can always be accompanied by an extension to other nearby places such as, for example, cities of Rajasthan such as the blue Jodhpur or the monumental Udaipur or, especially , Varanasi . Considered to be the best ambassador of that magical and spiritual India, ancient Varanasi is the line between the world of humans and the gods, with the famous ghats , or steps, overlooking the River Ganges the perfect threshold to dive into a new world.