What Is the Golden Triangle?
India’s Golden Triangle is a popular tourist route covering Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. It gets its name from the triangular shape that the route forms. Tourists usually begin in Delhi and move south to Agra and then to Jaipur.
The circuit takes in some of India’s most famous sites. These include the Taj Mahal in Agra, a monument to love believed by many to be the most beautiful building in the world, the imposing Humanyun’s Tomb in Delhi, resting place of the second of the Mughal emperors, and Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, a red and pink sandstone palace with its intricate windows.
Other highlights of the Golden Triangle include an unbeatable collection of World Heritage forts covering the 3 cities. The Red Fort, the Amer Fort, and Agra Fort will leave you in no doubt that these types of construction were the Mughals forte.
The full route covers 720km by road and involves 4-6 hours of driving. The itinerary can easily be combined with other attractions such as a visit to Ranthambore, the vast wildlife reserve which is home to the elusive tiger. Many companies offer package tours with coaches provided to travel between the cities. Many find this to be a safer and more hassle-free way to do the route, particularly for women traveling alone.
You can cover the Golden Triangle in 6 days, spending two days in each, although Agra is very compact and has less to offer besides the tourist attractions. For this reason, Agra could be done in one day if you are pressed for time. It is better not to rush Delhi, where most people begin, given its size and that you will need time to adjust and may be tired and jet-lagged after your flight.
When Is the Best Time to Visit?
The best time to visit is between October and mid-April when the temperature ranges between 22 and 32ºC. Delhi can be freezing in January and February whereas in May and June it turns scorching with temperatures of up to 45ºC. Monsoon season with its floods is between July and September. October and November is the festive season of Diwali, the festival of light which lasts for 5 days. March is Holi, the festival of colors, with its dye throwing.
Top Tips to Visit India’s Golden Triangle
Here are some top tips for your Golden Triangle visit:
- Bring diarrhea tablets: upset stomach is common in India so be prepared.
- Dress conservatively and remove shoes in temples: India is a conservative and traditional country and it is important to be respectful, especially in religious sites.
- Learn to haggle: the asking price in markets is rarely the price that the vendor expects you to pay. Get into the spirit of bartering for bargains.
- Avoid overt displays of affection: do not be too overly affectionate with your partner in public as this is not the cultural norm in India.
- Beware of pickpockets: pickpocketing is very common around the main tourist sites in the Golden Triangle. Take common-sense precautions such as using inner pockets with a zip where possible.
Before You Go
The Golden Triangle is the way to enjoy the fascinating, decadent and passionate kingdom of the Mughals and the Maharajas. If you are from one of the eligible countries (UK, US, Australia, EU or Canada) then you can apply for the eVisa to India. The application process is easy and straightforward and you only need to fill in a simple application form that can be completed in minutes. Remember the traveler must have a passport valid for at least 6 months at the time of applying.