Our Golden Triangle tour takes you on one of the most popular tourist circuits of India, combining Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Explore the monuments of the Mughal era in Delhi, the city with rugged fortresses perched on barren hills – Jaipur and lastly, Agra, home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal.
Upon arrival at New Delhi International Airport you will be met by our representative. Please look for him in the arrivals hall. In the arrivals hall, he will be holding a placard with the Holxo Holidays logo and your name on it. He will escort you to your vehicle and accompany you to your hotel for immediate check-in.
Welcome to New Delhi, the capital of India, a fascinating city with complexities and contradictions, beauty and dynamism, where the past co-exists with the present. Delhi is not only the present metropolis of India but also a Necropolis, where many cities have risen and fallen over the last five millenniums. Many dynasties ruled from here. Both Old and New Delhi are rich in architecture while New Delhi is a stark contrast compared to the alleyways of Old Delhi.
After breakfast, the thrill of discovery awaits as you explore New & Old Delhi with the guide: see the war memorial, India Gate, the impressive palatial sized buildings of Rajpath and President’s House, designed and built by the British in the 1920’s. Watch or participate in Kar Sewa at the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the most prominent Sikh house of worship, in Delhi built in 1783. Kar sewa, a form of selfless service, is considered a privilege and high honour for every Sikh. The Langar (Community kitchen) prepared by Gursikhs who work there and by hundreds of volunteers, is offered to everyone, regardless of any religion or race.
Continue to Humayun’s Tomb, a magnificent structure in red sandstone and white marble is one of the finest examples of a garden tomb and is a precursor to the Taj Mahal. Don’t miss Isa Khan’s garden tomb nearby, within an enclosed octagonal garden, considered the earliest example of a sunken garden in India – a concept later developed at Akbar’s Tomb and at the Taj Mahal.
Drive past the Red Fort, a beautiful red sandstone monument built in 1648. Visit Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. The Jain Temple, Hindu Temple, Church, and the Sikh Gurudwara Sis Ganj are all within a short walk from each other, all are in the heart of Old Delhi. Take a rickshaw ride through the narrow alleys of Chandni Chowk a colourful and bustling market of Old Delhi and climb to the rooftop of one of the ancient buildings in the heart of the spice markets. From here you get an amazing view of Old Delhi and a peek into the architecture and lifestyle of locals, many of whom have lived here for generations.
After your breakfast, drive to Samode, an erstwhile royal principality amid Aravalli hills. The royal family has caringly restored three of their ancestral properties which are now trend-setting and exclusive hotels and resorts. Exclusive and discreet, Samode Palace has been host to celebrities, royalty, artists, and the discriminating traveler. A splendid example of regal Indo-Saracenic architecture, the Palace combines the best of Indian and Mughal styles. The 475-year-old palace is a celebration of the senses, underlined always by contemporary luxury and the signature service of Samode hotels – magical hospitality and rare courtesy. The Samode Palace welcomes you into a legacy of quiet magnificence, an elegant and regal way of life, into the warmth of a family and people renowned for their refined hospitality.
In the afternoon, tour the Palace (public rooms) and then explore the nearby villages (your driver will take you) with its local craftsman and workshops. This is where you can take a camel or camel cart ride too. The evening is at leisure to enjoy a beautiful sunset in your luxurious surroundings.
After a leisurely breakfast (Perhaps visit nearby Samode Bagh, a beautiful green and serene getaway where you can have an early lunch before continuing to Jaipur.)
Continue to your next destination - Jaipur! Colour washed in pink associated with hospitality in Rajput culture, it is lovingly nicknamed The Pink City and is a city of fairy-tale palaces, rugged fortresses perched on barren hills and broad picturesque avenues. The first planned city of its time, a formidable wall encircles Jaipur. On arrival check into your hotel.
The evening is at leisure to relax at your hotel pool or spa. Alternatively, perhaps browse the bazaars for colourful Jaipuri fabrics, artwork, handicrafts, jewellery and gemstones.
After breakfast, full day visit of Jaipur, Start with a stop at Hawa Mahal as a backdrop for a brief photo opportunity. A stunning monument of 5 stories with 365 windows, it is also known as the Palace of Winds. Its façade is encrusted with delicate screens and carved balconies from which the royal ladies, confined to their quarters, could sneak views of the outside world, continue and visit the massive Amber Fort, (Best done in the morning) one of the most splendid examples of Rajasthani architecture. You have the option to drive up the hill by a vehicle or walk up. Inside the Fort, you will see the Hall of Victory or Jag Mandir and the famed Sheesh Mahal, a room with walls and ceiling completely embedded with glittering mirrors specially imported from Belgium at the time.
In the afternoon, visit the City Palace and the Palace Museum to see its fabulous display of miniature paintings and traditional Rajasthani royal costumes. Also visit Jantar Mantar, Jai Singh's Astronomical observatory, where time has been accurately measured since the 17th century.
After breakfast, drive to Agra. En route visit Chand Baori, in Abhaneri village, a must visit but often overlooked landmark in the country. Not only is it one of the oldest step-wells in Rajasthan, it is among the biggest in the world. This incredible square structure is 13 stories deep and lined along the walls on three sides are double flight of 3,500 narrow steps arranged in perfect symmetry which descend 20 meters deep to the bottom of the well. Built during the 8th and 9th century it was a dependable water source for centuries before modern water delivery systems were introduced. The well is no longer in use but is an architecturally impressive structure that is over 1000 years old. There’s also a temple adjoining the well which you can explore.
Continue to Fatehpur Sikri – a perfectly preserved red sandstone “ghost town" which was the estranged capital of Mughal Emperor Akbar, built in 1569 and deserted when its water supply failed. Here you can explore the Diwane-i-Am – a vast courtyard in which the emperor gave daily public audience; Diwane-i-Khas – a large quadrangle which contained all the major functions of the Palace, Pachisi court, the Emperors private living quarter, Jodha Bhai’s Palace, Mariam’s Palace, Birbal’s Palace, Hawa Mahal and Panch Mahal.
After visit continue to Agra, home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendour of mausoleums, forts and the palaces of Agra are a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal Empire. Agra was the capital of the Mughal empire for nearly a hundred years from 1564. It is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by artisans who are hereditary craft persons. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes.
Wake up early to visit the spectacular Taj Mahal, at sunrise. Bathed in the glowing light of dawn bask in the glory of this world-famous mausoleum with its perfect architecture, as its white marble reflects the rays of the rising sun. This is your opportunity to explore the Taj Mahal up close.
Return to your hotel for a quick breakfast and to check-out shortly before driving to Delhi. Then explore the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on the banks of river Yamuna. This is a massive red sandstone Fort provides a glimpse into the medieval lifestyles of 16th and 17th century Mughal emperors. Built by three Mughal Emperors starting from Akbar the Great in 1565 AD, it is a masterpiece of design and construction. Within the fort are several exquisite buildings including the Moti Masjid, Jahangir’s Palace, Khaas Mahal and the Sheesh Mahal, Diwane-i-Am, Diwane-i-Khas and Musamman Burj, where Emperor Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal Emperor died a prisoner.
After lunch drive directly to Delhi Airport for flight back to your home.