India's Golden Triangle

India's Golden Triangle

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8 Days From

$1010

$827

India's Golden Triangle

8 Days Starting and ending in Delhi

Visiting: Delhi, Agra, Karauli, Jaipur, Heritage Transport Museum

Tour operator:

Explore!

Tour code:

GTI

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:

FullOn

Age range:

16-

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Vegans

Interests:

Cultural

From: $1010 $827 Operator discount: -$160 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$23 -18%

NB: Prices correct on 24-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Journey through the cultural heart of Northern India on this tour that traces India's famous Golden Triangle. Explore the delights of Delhi where old and new meet before witnessing the sun rise over the Taj Mahal and finally uncovering the picturesque pink glow of Jaipur. Along the way, sleep like a Maharajah in heritage accommodation and feast on Indian delicacies.
The highlights of Agra - Watch the sun rise over the white marble dome of the Taj Mahal
Jaipur's unmissable sites - Explore the Pink City's iconic must-sees, from the Amber Fort to the Palace of the Winds
Regal hospitality in Kalakho - Get closer to local life with a stay in a family-run heritage property fit for a Maharajah.

Highlights

  • An 8-day journey through the cultural heart of North India's famous Golden Triangle

  • Get closer to local life with a stay in a family-run heritage property fit for a Maharajah

  • Explore the Pink City of Jaipur's iconic sites from the Amber Fort to the Palace of the Winds

Itinerary

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Day 1: Join Trip In Delhi - Visit Jama Masjid And Explore Old Delhi By Rickshaw

Location: Delhi

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Rockland Hotel - Chitranjan Park

Today we arrive in New Delhi, India's bustling capital. The city is the perfect blend of new and old, with monuments and temples hidden amongst its glittering skyscrapers.

For those arriving in time, our tour leader will meet you in the hotel reception at 2pm for a welcome meeting followed by a city tour. We'll take to the winding lanes of the Chandni Chowk bazaar by rickshaw, whizzing past stalls selling everything from household wares to souvenirs. We'll also view the Red Fort and the Jami Masjid Mosque - one of the biggest in India.

Please note, if you'd like to join today's tour, you'll need to arrive at the hotel by 2pm. If you're organising your own travel, we recommend giving yourself at least one hour to clear the airport, plus at least 45 minutes to get to the hotel. To make it in time, the latest your flight can arrive would be around 12.15pm. If you miss the welcome meeting, your tour leader will catch you up as soon as possible.

If you'd like an airport transfer, you'll need to arrive into New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), a 45-minute drive from our hotel.

Day 2: Morning Sightseeing In New Delhi And Afternoon Travel To Agra

Location: Delhi

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Amar

Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we'll visit New Delhi's modern quarter. The Indian capital has long been a phoenix rising out of its own ruins and New Delhi was the creation of the British Raj in the 1930s. On our tour, we'll view the Lok Sabha (Parliament), India Gate, and the Rajpath buildings. We'll also explore the Qutub Minar and Humayun's Tomb, set in peaceful gardens away from Delhi's chaotic roads.

This afternoon, we'll drive to Agra, around four hours away.

Day 3: Visit The Taj Mahal For Sunrise Followed By Agra Fort And Baby Taj

Location: Agra

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Amar

Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning's early start rewards us with the spectacular sight of the sun rising over the Taj Mahal. Built more than 300 years ago, it's arguably the world's most poetic building and its beauty seems untouched by age. The Taj Mahal was created by Shah Jahan as a funerary monument to his favourite wife, Mumtaz, and the great Moghul was laid to rest next to her beneath the building's marble dome.

Later in the morning, we'll visit the imposing Agra Fort and the Itimad-ud-Daulah (Baby Taj). Standing at either side of the Yamuna River, these two impressive buildings go some way in explaining why Agra was the first capital of the Mughal Empire. In between our visits, we'll stop for lunch and try some local delicacies. Finally, we'll finish our sightseeing in Agra with a trip to Mehtab Bagh. From this park, you can see a new perspective of the gleaming Taj Mahal with the Yamuna River in the foreground.

This evening, we'll have the option of a cookery class at a local house before sitting down to dinner.

Day 4: Explore Fatehpur Sikri And Drive To Kalakho

Location: Karauli

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Umaid Palace

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early this morning, we'll continue our journey west to reach the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. Founded in 1569 and abandoned 16 years later, it remains perfectly intact as an example of Akbar's imperial court. Among the many noteworthy buildings is the five-storey Panch Mahal, probably used as a pleasure pavilion for the ladies of the harem. In the centre of the courtyard is the pachisi board, where the emperor played a game much like chess but using slaves as pieces. Perhaps the finest structure of all is the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), with its lotus-shaped carved central pillar.

Leaving Fatehpur Sikri behind us, we'll drive to Chand Baori stepwell. Constructed more than 1,000 years ago, the stepwell is the equivalent of a modern-day water storage unit, built to provide water year-round. Although it's no longer used today, the perfect symmetry of the structure, with its hundreds of slanted steps, is a beauty to marvel at.

Finally, we'll make our way to today's final stop, Kalakho. In this small, rural village, we'll stay at a family-run heritage hotel that encourages us to step back in time to the days of the Raj. The rest of the day is free to relax in the gardens, watch the sunset from the terrace or join the family for an evening prayer ceremony at the small temple on the grounds.

Day 5: Explore A Vegetable Garden Before Moving On To Jaipur

Location: Jaipur

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Traditional Haveli

Meals Included: Breakfast

We'll have a relaxed start this morning with a walk through our host family's organic gardens. The family will guide us, telling us what's in season and the dishes that can be made from certain products. If you don't fancy the walk, you can enjoy a lie-in in one of the heritage-style bedrooms. Afterwards, we'll say goodbye to our hosts and set off on the two-hour drive to Jaipur.

Known as the 'Pink City', Jaipur was first painted terracotta pink by Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh to celebrate the visit of Prince Albert in 1853. On arrival, we'll visit Jantar Mantar, a star-gazing observatory built by Jai Singh, the great Maharaja-astronomer. Finally, we'll end the day at Jaipur's lavish City Palace, where we'll find a fine collection of textiles and costumes.

Day 6: Visit Jaipur's Palace Of The Winds And Amber Fort

Location: Jaipur

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Traditional Haveli

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we'll visit the Palace of the Winds, a five-storied facade built around 1760, which you might have already spotted on souvenir postcards across the Golden Triangle. Afterwards, we'll drive to the Amber Fort, an impressive hilltop fortress that houses the Chamber of Mirrors and affords glorious views of the surrounding plains.

As we return to our hotel for a free afternoon in Jaipur, we'll have the opportunity to stop and view the Jal Mahal Palace. Meaning 'water palace', Jal Mahal sits in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake and makes for a great photo op.

This afternoon is free to explore more of Jaipur at your own pace. You might choose to visit one of the famous bazaars which are bursting with delights, from marble statues to antique textiles; traditional print blocks to local musical instruments. In the evening you might be able to take in a famous Bollywood movie at the Raj Mandir cinema, an art-deco-style cinema where the locals cheer on their favourite movie stars.

Day 7: Drive Back To Delhi Via The Heritage Transport Museum

Location: Heritage Transport Museum

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Lemon Tree Premier

Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast this morning, we'll start our journey back to Delhi, around a six- or seven-hour drive. Along the way, we'll stop at India's Heritage Transport Museum, where we'll take a look back on the country's old transport methods from wooden carriages and bullock carts to vintage cars and motorbikes.

We'll arrive in Delhi in time for a final taste of the capital's delightful cuisine.

Day 8: Tour Ends In Delhi

Location: Delhi

Meals Included: Breakfast

Our tour of India's Golden Triangle ends at our hotel in Delhi.

There are no activities planned today, so you're free to depart at any time. If your flight leaves later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you'd like a hotel transfer, you'll need to depart from Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL).

What's Included

  • Meals
    Breakfast: 6

  • Fully Guided

  • Accommodation

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Game Drives on Safari

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • 1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

  • Country Entry Visas

Why Book this Tour

This classic trip around north India's cultural triangle is ideal for those who want to experience some of India's incredible sights in a short period of time. As well as exploring dramatic forts and palaces from the Moghul period there is time to experience the organised chaos of India, sample delicious curries and wander through exotic spice markets.

Meals

Breakfasts: 7
Lunches: 1
Dinners: 1

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Check out our Q&As

  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?

    Yes

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • What is the maximum group size?

    16

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?

    Yes

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    Yes

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    No

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    Yes

  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

  • Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Kathleen  

The Golden Triangle

All well organised , staff veryod and whole trip w

All well organised , staff veryod and whole trip was very enjoyable .

Rachael  

The Golden Triangle

Wonderful experience. I'd highly recommend this tr

Wonderful experience. I'd highly recommend this trip to my friends.

Ruth  

The Golden Triangle

As our first experience with Explore as a company

As our first experience with Explore as a company it was a shining example of what Explore has to offer and we are excited for our trip to the Maldives next year.

Jane  

The Golden Triangle

Brilliant trip. Thank you. Mum had a great time to

Brilliant trip. Thank you. Mum had a great time too and is already looking at booking another trip with you.

Sue  

The Golden Triangle

huge thank you to our guide Natsa who made this a

huge thank you to our guide Natsa who made this a fabulous trip

Ann  

The Golden Triangle

As with all explore trips the standard of organisa

As with all explore trips the standard of organisation and support was excellent - always our tour operator of choice.

Jane  

The Golden Triangle

We had an excellent group - 10 people of mixed age

We had an excellent group - 10 people of mixed ages. Our guide ensured that we were all looked after.

Jennifer  

The Golden Triangle

Fantastic holiday

Fantastic holiday

Jacqueline  

The Golden Triangle

Had an amazing time. sheroe’s hangout was an eye o

Had an amazing time. sheroe’s hangout was an eye opener. Being on an escorted trip broke is into India gently and made it much easier to manage in our own on the 2nd week

Louise  

The Golden Triangle

It s a full-on pace, with early mornings and some

It s a full-on pace, with early mornings and some late evenings. This allows the group to see and experience as much as possible in the one week, something I was specifically keen on.

Read all 16 reviews

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 70 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of explore! charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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