The Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle

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8 Days From

$1010

$827

The 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:

Low, Full On

Age range:

16-

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Vegans

Trip Styles:

Small Group

From:
$1010
$827 Operator discount: -$160 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$23 -18%

NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

This week long trip through the cultural heart of Northern India features all of the essentials of the famous three cities which make up the 'Golden Triangle'. Starting and ending in Delhi's chaotic lanes and markets, we travel to Agra to witness the incredible Taj Mahal, stay overnight in the more rural setting of Karauli and see some of Jaipur's magnificent historical splendour.



Agra - Witness the Taj Mahal up close and watch as the sun rises over the iconic building

Karauli - Visit the imposing royal palace and sleep like a Maharaja in heritage accommodation

Jaipur - Explore the sprawling Amber Fort, the incredibly accurate Observatory and the majestic Palace of the Winds

Highlights

  • Agra - Witness the Taj Mahal up close and watch as the sun rises over the iconic building

  • Karauli - Visit the imposing royal palace and sleep like a Maharaja in heritage accommodation

  • Jaipur - Explore the sprawling Amber Fort, the incredibly accurate Observatory and the majestic Palace of the Winds

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Join Tour In Delhi. Visit Jama Masjid And Explore Old Delhi By Rickshaw And Metro

Location: Delhi

Accommodation: Hotel

Arrive in New Delhi, India's bustling capital which successfully combines the ancient with the modern. Amidst the tall and modern skyscrapers, there are still the remnants of a bygone time with numerous monuments and temples.



For those arriving on time today our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 2pm for the welcome meeting and to take us on our afternoon city tour we take cycle rickshaws to explore the winding lanes of Chandni Chowk bazaar, a sprawling market where you can buy almost anything you need from household wares to souvenirs. We view the Red Fort from the outside and Jami Masjid Mosque, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and one of the biggest in India.



If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport (airport code DEL), which is 12km, around 45 minutes from our hotel.



Please note that if you wish to join the city tour today, you must arrive at the hotel by 2pm. If you are booking your own flights, we recommend giving yourself at least one hour to clear the airport. From the airport to the hotel is around 45 minutes drive, so therefore the latest your flight can arrive is 12.15pm. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.

Day 2: Morning Sightseeing Of New Delhi And Afternoon Transfer To Agra

Location: Delhi

Accommodation: Hotel

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

In the afternoon we will drive to Agra, which will take about four hours.

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

Location: Agra

Accommodation: Hotel

This morning's early start is rewarded with the spectacular sight of the sun rising over the Taj Mahal during our visit. Over 300 years have elapsed since the construction of what is arguably the world's most perfect and poetic building, yet its beauty and symmetry seem unscarred by age. Created by Shah Jahan as a funerary monument to his favourite wife, Mumtaz, it took 22 years to build. The Great Moghul lies beside his beloved under the white marble dome. After our visit, we will return to the hotel for breakfast and some down time.



Later in the morning we will visit the imposing Agra Fort and the Itimad-ud-Daulah or 'Baby Taj'. Either side of the river, the grandeur of these two impressive sites either side of the Yamuna river explain why Agra was the first capital of the Mughal Empire. In-between both visits we will have some time to stop for lunch and potentially try some local delicacies such as petha (a dry dessert) or paan (a betel leaf which you chew). To finish our sightseeing in Agra we will head over to the Mehtab Bagh, a park offering a different perspective of the gleaming Taj Mahal with the Yamuna river in the foreground. In the evening you may wish to take part in an optional cookery class and meal during which we will visit a local house and prepare some of the dishes for which Indian cuisine is well renowned.

Day 4: Explore Fatehpur Sikri And Drive To Karauli For The Arti Ceremony

Location: Karauli

Accommodation: Hotel

Early this morning, we continue our journey west and soon reach the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. Founded in 1569 and abandoned scarcely 16 years later, it is a perfectly intact example of Akbar's imperial court. Among the many noteworthy buildings is the five-storied Panch Mahal, probably 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 like chess, with dancing slave girls as pieces. Perhaps the finest structure of all though is the lotus-shaped carved central pillar of the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience).



Leaving Fatehpur Sikri we continue towards Karauli, a smaller town with more of a rural feel. Our drive will take approximately three to four hours and we will arrive at our accommodation in time for lunch. Founded in 1348, Karauli is a holy town which has been strongly fortified by its rulers throughout history and is famous for the pale red sandstone wall which surrounds it. Legend has it that the ruling family were descendants of Lord Krishna, one of the most loved gods of Hindu mythology. Our family-run heritage hotel is an accommodation highlight here, encouraging us to feel like we have stepped back in time to the days of the Raj. After lunch we hope to be able to ride on camel-drawn carts from our hotel to the 600-year-old palace which forms the imposing highlight of this town. Used as a residence by the royal family until 1950, the palace has now been abandoned by them. These days it is mostly occupied by monkeys and geese. It is said that geese have been here since the days when they were used as a warning system against any intruders. After visiting the palace, we will explore other points of interest in the town, such as the Madan Mohanji Temple in time for the arti ceremony.

Day 5: Visit Chand Baori Stepwell And Drive To Jaipur To See The Phenomenal Observatory And City Palace

Location: Jaipur

Accommodation: Hotel

This morning, after breakfast we will drive towards the city Jaipur stopping en route at the Chand Baori stepwell. Built over a thousand years ago, the stepwell is the equivalent of a modern day water storage unit built to provide water to the area all year round. The stepwell is today not used for these purposes but our stop here will allow us to marvel at the structure and its perfect symmetry with hundreds of slanted steps leading to the water on each side.



Leaving the stepwell we drive to Jaipur, a drive of approximately 3 hours. Often 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 will visit the extraordinary Jantar Mantar - a star-gazing observatory built by Jai Singh, the great Maharaja-astronomer. Before checking in to our hotel we will also visit the nearby lavish and well-preserved city palace. Here, we will find a fine collection of textiles, costumes and armoury.

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

Location: Jaipur

Accommodation: Hotel

Today we will visit the Palace of the Winds, a five-storied facade built around 1760, which features on many an India postcard. Afterwards, we will drive to the Amber Fort. This impressive hilltop fortress possesses what must be the world's finest Chamber of Mirrors and affords glorious views of the surrounding plains. As we return back to our hotel for a free afternoon in Jaipur, we will get the opportunity to stop and view the Jal Mahal palace. Meaning 'water palace', as its name indicates the sandstone palace sits in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake and is a great photographic opportunity.



This afternoon has been left free to explore more of Jaipur in your own time. You may 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 may 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

After breakfast we start our return journey to the capital from Jaipur, a journey of approximately six to seven hours without stops. A couple of hours outside of Delhi we will stop at India's Heritage transport museum. This building offers a fascinating journey through the country's many transport methods from the pre mechanised era including wooden carriages and bullock carts to a classic selection of over 75 vintage cars and motorbikes. The museum also has several interactive screens with videos on the different transport methods on display. We will also get the chance to view documentary movie 'living in the age of airplanes'.



After visiting the museum we will drive to Delhi for our final night.

Day 8: Trip Ends In Delhi

Location: Delhi

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Delhi.



There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Delhi at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport (airport code DEL), which is around 45 minutes from the hotel.

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.

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Check out our Q&As

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    Yes

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?

    Yes

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

    Yes

  • What is the maximum group size?

    16

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

    Yes

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    No

  • 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

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.

Amanda  

The Golden Triangle

I cannot recommend this trip enough. We will book

I cannot recommend this trip enough. We will book with you again and our planning Kerala for 2019.

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.

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.

Noreen  

The Golden Triangle

Our first Explore experience but certainly not our

Our first Explore experience but certainly not our last!

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.

Irene  

The Golden Triangle

We had the most amazing time and would throughly r

We had the most amazing time and would throughly recommend Explore to anyone.

Jennifer  

The Golden Triangle

Fantastic holiday

Fantastic holiday

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

Read all 16 reviews

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  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 60 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 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

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

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 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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