How to get the best out of India’s Golden Triangle
Catherine shares tips on how to uniquely experience India’s popular Golden Triangle:
India’s famous Golden Triangle is made up of the country’s 3 most visited cities: Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Yes, they can be touristy, but you’ll be rewarded with amazing sights. Brace yourself for lively city streets clogged with cattle, vibrant bazaars and colorful buildings lining atmospheric boulevards! To get the most out of the Golden Triangle and experience famous highlights uniquely, try the following:
Tour Delhi in a rickshaw
India’s capital is as intoxicating as it is chaotic. There are two parts to this sprawling megapolis—New Delhi, the modern city with skyscrapers, and “Old” Delhi, what the Moghuls built in the 17th century. You can explore the famous attractions with a drive, or better yet, go on an amazing rickshaw ride! Delhi’s most alluring attraction is in fact its street life. On a rickshaw, you’ll get intimate and unforgettable impressions of this fascinating city.
Cycle for street food
If you are a foodie, a cycling trip around Chandi Chowk in Delhi, one of the oldest and busiest markets in India, is a must. Expect massive levels of traffic and congestion. I’d say the flavorful chaats here are worth getting run over (but don’t, and you probably won’t). Jam-packed with food stalls and small restaurants, you can enjoy an epic culinary adventure here. And once you are stuffed, you can head over to the historic Red Fort nearby.
Ride an elephant to a majestic fort
Among the many coral-hued buildings in Jaipur, India’s “pink city,” Amber Fort spectacularly stands out. What better way to tour this classic attraction than on elephant-back?! You can ride a painted elephant up a hill to the fort like a Maharaja, and once there, enjoy a “sound and light show” about the fort’s legendary history narrated by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
Go on a tiger safari
That’s right, a tiger safari! Once you are done exploring Jaipur’s pink forts and places, take a scenic train ride to the Ranthambore National Park, one of the best places in the world to see tigers in their natural habitat. It’s famous as a wildlife sanctuary and several notable documentaries on tigers were filmed here. Head into the dead center of the park to explore a divine fort.
Tourist trap? Who cares, it’s the Taj Mahal! You’ve probably seen this legendary building in pictures, movies, snow globes, but none ever compares to seeing the world wonder up close! The first time I saw it, it brought tears to my eyes. You can complement your tour with a visit to the Kalakriti Cultural Center for a performance depicting the love saga behind the monument.
Visit a ghost city
It’s hard to believe that the eerie Fatehpur Sikri in Agra was once a glittering imperial capital. Built by the exalted Mughal Emperor Akbar, the city was abandoned due to water shortages. Nowadays only tourists come here to marvel at sandstone palaces and marble tombs. Try a walking tour for a unique experience unlike any other.