Golden Triangle (India)
India's golden triangle is a tourist circuit which includes: Delhi, Agra (including the Taj Mahal), and Jaipur. These trips usually last 7 or 8 days and do the trip as a circuit starting and ending in Delhi. Flights and hotels are often included in the price. The Golden Triangle is now a well travelled route, hosting many of India's great cultural gems, and providing a good spectrum of the country's different landscapes. The Golden Triangle is so called because of the triangular shape formed by the locations of New Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan on a map, but is occasionally expanded to include the wider geographical area of North India, most frequented by tourists. Most tourists fly from Delhi, travel southwards to the site of the famous Taj Mahal at Agra, then west, to the desert landscapes of Rajasthan, including the city of Jaipur. These three cities are extremely popular as tourist destinations among the foreign tourists visiting India as well as among the natives.
The circuit is about 1000 km by road. Each leg is about 4 to 6 hours of drive, though with new Yamuna Express Highway between Delhi and Agra it takes around 1.5 hours to reach Agra by Road. The faster Shatabdi train runs between Delhi and Agra, and also Delhi and Jaipur.
Agra - This historical city stands 200 km south of New Delhi, on the banks of river Yamuna. Over three centuries ago, it was a powerful Mughal capital and the most important city of northern India. It was at this time that Agra's many timeless architectural wonders were born: the wonderful Taj Mahal, the awesome Agra Fort, and the sprawling Sikandara - a whole city in itself.
Agra Fort - Built in red sand stone, it is the one of the famous sights of Agra other than Taj Mahal. The semi circular fort was started by Akbar in 1565, and completed in 1574.
Taj Mahal - The most photographed monument in the world, the Taj stands in its splendor of white marble, an imposing citadel on the banks of river Yamuna. Built in 17th century by Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is an ode to the emperor's eternal love for his wife. It took over 20,000 skilled workers from across the country, working day and night, for 22 years for this architectural wonder to be created.
Fatehpur Sikri: - 40 km from Agra, it is a city completely made of red sand stone. Built by Akbar and dedicated to a saint, Fatehpur Sikri was conceived in 1571. Worth visiting are the Jama Masjid, Salim Chisti's tomb, the Diwan-e-Aam, the Diwan-e-Khas and the Queen's palaces within the city.
Jaipur - The Pink City is replete with historical landmarks that echo its past glory and living traditions. Discover palaces and forts, temples and gardens, crafts and pageantry here.
City Palace - Built by Sawai Jai Singh, it became the official seat of the Jaipur royal family after 1922. A large part of the brilliant palace is now a museum, displaying an excellent collection of artifacts used by the Rajput royalty.
Jantar Mantar - Built in 1728, it is one of Sawai Jai Singh's unique observatories. It has instruments that have been scientifically designed to predict the movement of the major stars accurately. It represents the high point of medieval Indian astronomy.
Amer Fort - It is one of the finest and the best preserved forts, having served as the royal capital for seven long years before the city of Jaipur was built. It has a complex of several palaces, meeting halls, pavilions, gardens and temples. The Fort was built in the later half of the 10th century by Raja Man Singh.
Some other travelers site to visit - Hawa Mahal, Jal Maha.