Golden Triangle: The Best of India

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India is a country filled with bustling cities both ancient and modern, varied landscapes from the desert to the sea, enough languages to make your head spin, and plenty of people with a population of roughly 1.35 billion. For this reason, the country may come off as an overwhelming challenge for even the most experienced travellers. However, this doesn’t have to be the case: If you opt to embark on a tour of the Golden Triangle, you will receive the classic introduction to India.

India’s Golden Triangle is a popular tourist route that connects Delhi, the nation’s capital, with Agra and Jaipur by road and rail. The region gets its name from the cultural and historical riches of the three cities as well as from the triangular shape the three destinations form when looking at a map. The circuit is popular among travellers because it showcases the varying landscapes of India. Its humming urban centres complement the lovely natural scenery along its rivers and in its deserts.

Three of the most visited cities in India make up the Golden Triangle, packing the main highlights of the country in a manageable tour. The destinations are overflowing with historic monuments and eye-catching architecture. The capital city of Delhi is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Crowds flock to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Jaipur, also referred to as the “Pink City”, is known for Jantar Mantar, an open-air astronomical observatory that will bring you closer to the stars. The site is of high importance considering the strong influence astrology has on India’s belief system. This tour of India will pull you out of your comfort zone. But have no fear as it will only have you wanting more!

Qutub Minar and India Gate in Dehli India of the Golden Triangle

Qutub Minar (left) and the India Gate (right) in Delhi, India

Touring India’s Golden Triangle

We at Cruise1st offer many cruise & tour deals to India that not only include return airfare to and from Australia but also pre- or post-cruise itineraries to the cities of the Golden Triangle. Tours usually being in Delhi and work their way southward, so you can visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. Afterwards, you’ll head west until you reach the dry, desert landscape of the state of Rajasthan, where the rose-tinted Jaipur is located.

An average tour of the Golden Triangle will just take you to the three cities, and this type of tour will vary greatly depending on how long you stay in each city and on which accommodations you booked. Regardless, you would need to spend at least four days touring the Golden Triangle to even begin to scratch the surface of its magnificence.

If nature fascinates you, you can go on a safari! Some tours feature a trip to the Ranthambhore National Park. There, you will have the opportunity to observe exotic wildlife that you won’t be able to see back home. Have your camera ready to snap some pictures of leopards and wild boars. Look towards the heavens to see the more than 270 bird species. Keep your eyes peeled for the stealthy Bengal tiger.

No matter what your taste, we have packaged these cruise & tour deals with plenty of top cruise lines. If you’re looking for fun for the whole family, a cruise with Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, or Costa Cruises would be perfect. For a more sumptuous experience, consider a luxury cruise with Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, or Silversea Cruises.

Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India of the Golden Triangle

Agra Fort (left) and the Taj Mahal (right) in Agra, India

The Three Points of the Golden Triangle

Delhi

India’s sprawling capital, which is highly influenced by Muslim culture, is the home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Among them is the Red Fort, which was designed by the same architect who constructed the Taj Mahal. Once the primary residence of Mughal Empire rulers who reigned over northern India for nearly 200 years, the Red Fort now houses various museums. Other highlights of Delhi include Mughal Empire monuments spread throughout the city, the impressive Jama Masjid (Great Mosque), and museums dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi and his legacy.

Travellers in Delhi will instantly notice the divide of the capital city. With dusty alleys filled with bazaars, classic Indian street life is alive and well in Old Delhi. In contrast, the British-built New Delhi is overflowing with broad boulevards full of boutiques and cafés.

Agra

The main attraction in Agra is undoubtedly the Taj Mahal, meaning “Crown of the Palaces” in Hindi. Once the heart of the Mughal Empire, the white mausoleum is definitely worth a visit despite the massive crowds. If we want a more intimate look at the architectural masterpiece, we recommend that you swing by earlier in the morning to watch the sunrise. However, due to pollution, thick smog may obstruct your view if you’re visiting between December and January.

Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar in Jaipur, India of the Golden Triangle

Hawa Mahal (left) and Jantar Mantar (right) in Jaipur, India

Jaipur

Jaipur, the capital of India’s western state of Rajasthan, is also known as the “Pink City” due to its trademark pink-red wash of the buildings. The native dress and textiles in Jaipur also showcase eye-catching colours. With so many vibrant hues, you should be sure to have your camera at the ready!

It is rumoured that Jaipur is home to some of the best bazaars in all of Asia. If you have a shopping list for India, this is the perfect city to buy everything you need. Get ready to haggle because there will be no price tags in sight.

The Best Time to Visit

We offer cruise & tour deals to India’s Golden Triangle between October and March. This six-month period is the ideal time frame to go on a tour. Undoubtedly, February is the best month to go. During this time, northwest India boasts comfortable temperatures between 18C and 24C. Humidity increases significantly in March. There might be some smog-related hiccups if you travel between December and the first half of January. Smog may cause issues like flight delays and can even prevent you from seeing the country’s breathtaking monuments clearly.

Ready to explore India for yourself? Then, check out our best India cruise deals. And if you want to add on a land tour of the Golden Triangle, take a look at our cruise & tour deals to India. You can book instantly online. But if you need any assistance, then ring our Australia-based cruise experts on 1300 857 345. They’ll be more than happy to help you book your dream cruise to India!

 

About Author

Josh Kongmany

Josh is a content manager and blogger at Cruise1st. His love of travel has driven him to share his expertise in the cruise industry. When he's not writing, you can catch him playing a game of foosball, sticking his nose in a book, or experimenting in the kitchen.

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