“For a glistening Golden Triangle, get up early. Sunrise at the Taj Mahal, Jaipur turning pinker with dawn, Breakfast at Delhi’s Chandni Chowk, all memories that are still glowing”
The Golden Triangle in India connects the national capital of the country, Delhi and the two very famous tourist destinations in India, Jaipur and Agra. It is called so because of the shape its route forms by the locations of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur when seen on the map. The trip usually starts in Delhi, then goes to cover the majestic Taj Mahal in Agra as the second stop and then way into the desert landscape of Rajasthan, Jaipur. A lot of tour operators are available to take this tour by coach, car or bus. The tour can be done by yourself as well if you wish to drive. The entire circuit is about 720km by road. Each stop takes about 4 to 6 hours drive or you can also take the Shatabdi Express from Delhi, which connects Agra and Jaipur.
The best time to visit the Golden Triangle is October to mid-April when the weather is decent, with temperatures during the day ranging from 20 degrees Celsius to 35 degree Celsius. It is better to visit the locations at this time since a considerable amount of walking is required. May and June can be comparatively hot. Here is our guide for you on the Golden Triangle Tour and a list of must-see places in each location.
Golden Triangle Route
Stop 1: Delhi
The India Gate, the national monument of India is the ultimate symbol of India’s rich history, colonial past, and future promise and is situated in the center of New Delhi. The monument is an important landmark in Delhi and commemorates the soldiers of the Indian Army, who lost their lives while fighting for the British Indian Empire in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The structure built by Sir Edwin Lutyens has been built with red and pale sandstone and granite. The flame of the Immortal Soldier or the Amar Jawan Jyoti is always lot at the India Gate. The best time to visit the India Gate would be early mornings, if you would like to avoid the crowd. In the winter season, any time is ideal to visit the monument. During summers, one can find a lot of families and friends enjoying a walk or an ice cream around the India Gate.
You must also walk on the Rajpath from the India Gate to the majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan, situated at the end of Rajpath, popular as a ceremonial boulevard in the national capital of India, New Delhi, Rajpath runs the length between the Rashtrapti Bhawan on Raisina Hills to the National Stadium. It literally means the kings way and the well-maintained roads and the lawns on either side of the Rajpath are a treat and are the attraction point during the Republic Day Parade on January 26 every year. We also recommend you take a guided tour inside the President’s House by making an online booking through the website here.
The Jama Masjid holds a place in India’s history and a world heritage site. Within the red-walled sandstone structure and the ‘World-reflecting Mosque’, you will bloom with the stride of positivity. It is the blaze of calm you need after the hustle and bustle of Old Delhi. Furthermore, making it one of the most amazing travel places in India.The architecture of Jama Masjid incorporates a symphonic array of red sandstone and white marble stones. Being a revered religious site, this mosque orients in the direction of Muslim pilgrimage Mecca. With a dome tearing the skies and a prayer hall occupying over 25000 pilgrims, Jama Masjid is an assortment in Delhi you didn’t even know you deserve.
Humayun’s Tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built in 1570 and commissioned by Humayun’s first wife and chief consort, Empress Bega Begum. Humayun’s tomb has cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. One of the best examples of Mughal styled architecture and a major tourist attraction in the Delhi, Humayun’s Tomb stands within a complex of 27.04 ha. The architecture of the tomb is strongly influenced by Persian architecture. The tomb constructed in the center of a Persian-style chaharbagh garden with quadrilateral form. Inspired by Quran, the garden is divided in four main parts by walkways or flowing water is created which resemble to the paradise garden.
Timing: 8am to 6pm (all days)
Tickets: INR 10 (Indian Adults) and INR 250 for Tourists
Transportation: Easily accessible by road as well as by Delhi Metro. The nearest railway station is Nazimuddin. Nearest Metro stations are, Jorbagh and Race Course stations (both on the Yellow line) are the nearest.
The history of red fort (Lal Quila), built by Shah Jahan goes back to the year 1638 when he took the decision to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi. Red Fort holds an important place in the history of India. It is the fort where the National Flag of India was hoisted at the time of Independence. Till present, it is hoisted at the same place by the Prime Minister of India every year.
Red Fort is a very beautifully built monument which is in the form of a parallelogram. It has walls facing Yamuna as well as Chandni Chowk. One of the important gateways here is Lahori Gate. It is that particular gate where the Indian Flag was hoisted at the time of independence. There are other important buildings inside the fort as well. Diwan-i-Aam and Diwan-i-Khas are a few to name. The architecture of Red Fort depicts the beautiful Mughal culture.
The best time to visit the Red Fort is during the winter months when the weather is cooler and protects you from the high Delhi heat.
Timings: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM (All days except Monday)
Cost: INR 35 for Indians and INR 500 for foreigners
Transportation: The nearest metro station to Red Fort is Chandni Chowk on Yellow Line. Exit at the station and take an auto or cab to reach the Red Fort. DTDC buses are also available for road transfers. Buses stop near New Delhi railway station which is close to Red Fort.
Qutb Minar, spelled as Qutub Minar, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Mehrauli area of Delhi. Qutub Minar is one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks of the country. The complex includes is a minaret and “victory tower”, which is 240 feet tower with a width of 47 feet at the base that tapers to 8 feet at the top and contains a spiral staircase of 379 steps.
The construction of this gigantic structure was started in the year 1192 under the aegis of Qutb Al-Din Aibak, a ruler of the Turkic Mamluk dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate. The Qutb Minar as we see it now was finally completed by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in the year 1369.
Ticket: INR 30 (Indians) and INR 500 (Tourist)
Timing: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm (Every day)
Transportation: Qutub Minar Metro Station (Yellow Line – Connecting Samayapur Badli in Delhi to Huda City Center in Gurgaon) is the nearest metro station.
Lotus Temple also called as Bahai’s Temple, an enormous lotus flower, is an iconic temple in south Delhi. A symbol of peace and an architectural delight, the whole temple from top to bottom is made of pure marble. A serene place to be, the place was built to bring people from all communities and religions together to find inner peace. An ideal place for meditation and pray, the temple always has pin-drop silence to allow visitors to achieve peace.
Along with meditation, one can explore Manicured gardens, pools, and its grounds.
If you are in search of peaceful place in Delhi, then a visit to Lotus Temple will be a tranquil experience for you.
Transportation: The nearest metro station is the Kalkaji Metro Station and right to the Kalkaji Park (2 minute walk)
Cost: No Entry Ticket
Stop 2: Agra
Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world is in the city of Agra, which is about 2-3 hours drive from Delhi. The mausoleum of white marble took about twenty years to be constructed and is decorated with calligraphy, semi-precious stones. The Taj Mahal was built by the order of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. He also built the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid. The emblematic monument of this country, it is in white marble finely chiselled. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in India, in the city of Agra. The emblematic monument of this country, it is in white marble finely chiselled.
Taj Mahal can be accessed through three gates where the tour groups enter through the east and west gates and independent travellers through the south gates. The east gate has the shortest queues. There are separate lines for men and women at all three gates.
Inside the ground, we have the Persian Gardens. The monument stands on a raised marble platform at the northern end of the garden, facing its back to the Yamuna River. Each corner of the platform is graced with 40m tall white minarets. The four indistinguishable faces of the Taj are in perfect symmetry, featuring impressive vaulted arches containing scrollwork and the quotations from the Quran. The whole structure is topped off by four small domes.
Viewing the Taj Mahal at night is available on five days on a month, including a full moon night and two nights before and after the full moon. All these aspects, the dates and the timings for the night viewing of the Taj are decided by the Archaeological Survey of India. Viewing the Taj Mahal at night takes place between 8:30 PM to 12:30 PM in 8 batches of about 50 people for about 30 minutes each. Hence, only 400 people are allowed on a single night.
The reflection of this majestic structure in the Yamuna River is almost poetic in its perfection!
Cost: INR 45 (Indians) and INR 535 (Tourists)**
**Only Entry Fee, Ticket to main mausoleum is separate
The Agra Fort, which was used by the Mughal Emperors as residences is the second structure that attracts tourists in Agra after the Taj Mahal. The fort was built in the 17th century. The fort covers a great ninety-four acres of land and has a parallel border to the Yamuna River with a gate on each side of the fort. The most known and notable ates are the Delhi Gate and the Lahore Gate, with the Delhi gate famous for its carvings and statues (not open for tourists). The Khas Mahal Palace with the grape garden and the riverfront view was the residence of the women in the court while the Musamman Burj was the residence of the two main queens, Nur Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. The Diwan-i-Khas is the hall of private audience, building with marble columns, pietra dura decorations, marble thrones and a grand courtyard. A small mosque stands at the entrance of the hall. The Diwan-i-Aam is the hall of private audience, arched hall, famous for Peacock throne. Moti Masjid and other marble structures are found closer to this hall.
Timing: Open from sunrise to sunset, throughout the week
Cost: INR 20 (Indians) and INR 300 (Tourists)
Fatehpur Sikri (Buland Darwaza)
Fatehpur Sikri was built in the 16th century by Akbar and after a few years, the town was abandoned due to scarcity of water. The place gets its name from the village, which was present, Sikri. It is also said that Akbar’s son Jahangir was born in this village. This capital city is 3 km in length and is covered by fortified walls on three sides and a freshwater lake on one side. The lake was the main water source of the land. After many years, the lake water level started to decline and with no rain to support the region, the land became a desert. With hostile armies from surrounding regions threatening to attack the already weakened city, Akbar abandoned the city. The capital was built with gardens and structures for services and luxury facilities. The city was built with Hindu and Muslim styled architecture. The city could be accessed via nine gates in the fort wall.
Stop 3: Jaipur
Jaipur’s most iconic landmark, Hawa Mahal literally translates to ‘Palace of the Winds’ and is perhaps the most photographed monument in the historical pink city. It is situated bang in the middle of the Old City or Walled City of Jaipur and is akin to a fairytale come true.
It was constructed in 1799 as an extension to Royal City Palace and is a dazzling structure in pink-sandstone that rises an astonishing five storeys. It was originally constructed by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh to enable ladies of the royal household to watch everyday street scenes of Jaipur and the various processions on festivals without being seen. It lies near Choti Choupad and has 953 windows on the outside walls.
The Amer fort is in Jaipur (The Pink City), Rajasthan, India. It is one of the most well known and most visited forts in India. The fort is built on a hill in Amer just outside the city next to the beautiful Maota Lake. The way up to the fort is quite steep but it is a beautiful walk and gives you a different perspective of the fort. It will take you about 20 minutes to reach the top.
The City Palace of Jaipur is a beautiful blend of the Mughal and Rajasthani architecture representing the elegance and royalty of the Pink City! The City Palace of Jaipur, Rajasthan has won the hearts of many and continues to do so. Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh I in 1729-1732, this palace becomes a window to peek into the stories of the glorious past and the authentic culture of Jaipur.
There are others monuments and forts too to visit in Jaipur like the Jantar Mantar, Nahargarh Fort and the Jaigarh Fort amongst others.
The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays; for the rest of the week it is open sunrise until sunset. Sunrise is not as busy as sunset.
Rajasthan is a desert state, so it gets seriously hot in April, May and June. However, this is when the wildlife comes out to waterholes in Ranthambore. You need to keep really well protected against the sun and keep well hydrated.
There are big celebrations all around the country on Republic Day, 26 January. With the Republic Day parade at the India Gate, it might be a good idea to visit Delhi in January end if you are interested in watching the parade.
We hope our recommended list of must- see places help you if you go for a self-tour of the Golden Triangle. If you are planning to do a guided Golden Triangle tour, we have some of the highly reviewed tours selected for you:
Tours by Car
Discover the best of India on a flexible 3-day tour to Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi with a dedicated guide to show you the highlights of each city such as the Taj Mahal, Amber Fort, Palace of the Winds, and Qutub Minar. Transport and entrance fees are provided with this private tour package, which includes the option to book 4- or 5-star accommodation with daily breakfast.
Price Starts at INR 24,000 and varies with group size.
Tour Language: English
See some of India’s most iconic cities on this comprehensive 4-day Golden Triangle tour. Relax in the comfort of a private air-conditioned vehicle and make your way between Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. Your driver shares details, insight, and the history of historic landmarks along the way. See the sunrise over the Taj Mahal—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—head up to Amber Fort, and explore the Maharaja’s City Palace, with guides provided at each sight.
Price Starts at INR 16,646 and varies with group size.
Tour Language: English
Your Tour Includes accommodation in hotels and the type hotel is based on the tour package you select. They have three different packages Economy, Deluxe and Luxury. Tours are for single traveller, couples and groups of people. Single traveller can have single occupancy hotel room or can share the room with co-traveller depending on the package selected. Each package includes all arrival, departure pick-up, drop, and sightseeing by car with English speaking driver. The tour does not include any entrance fees during sightseeing.
Price of the tour varies from INR. 22,000 to INR. 95,000 depending on the selected tour package.
Golden Triangle Tour India also offers a luxury tour package in association with Taj group of Hotels. If you are looking for a luxurious tour to the Golden Triangle cities, you cannot find a better experience than this package. Accommodation includes stay at Taj Palace-Delhi, Taj View-Agra, and Hotel Jai Mahal Palace-Jaipur.
Price of the tour varies from INR. 52,000 to INR. 1,90,000 depending on the selected tour package.
Tour Language: English
Tours by Train
Tour Includes accommodation in hotels and the type hotel is based on the tour package you select. They have three different packages Economy, Deluxe and Luxury. Tour will be offered for single travellers, couples and groups of people. Every selected package includes all arrival, departure pick-up and drop by car with English speaking driver. The tour package includes train Tickets, Delhi to Agra, Agra to Jaipur, Jaipur to Ajmer & Ajmer to Delhi in AC Chair Car or 3AC. The tour does not include any entrance fees during sightseeing.
Price of the tour varies from INR. 22,000 to INR. 1,20,000 depending on the selected tour package.
Tours by Bus
HOHO Holidays provides customised Golden Triangle Tour from Delhi. The tour is operated by India’s leading Mobility Solution provider “Purple “, the operators of the famous HOHO Bus in Delhi & HOHO Goa with over 30+ years of experience in Bus operations.
3 days tour of the Golden Triangle Route is offered by the Delhi Tourism. The tour is scheduled on every Tuesday and Friday and starts at 7am.
INR 6195 (Adults) and INR 5670 (Kids)