One of the most celebrated tour circuits in India happens to be the golden triangle tour circuit. Golden Triangle refers to the 3 of the most popular tourist destinations in India – Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur.For those looking forward to having a dash of history, heritage, and wildlife along with a rendezvous with modern India, these 3 destination offers more than enough to keep even the fussy travelers on their toes. Why is it that the tour comprising these three destinations is referred to as the “golden triangle?”Let’s have a look at them each one by one:
Delhi: A Bricolage of Past and Present
|Delhi is where the ancient and medieval heritage brush cheek with the modernity
How many of you know that Delhi is home to 8 medieval cities without counting many other minor cities that were founded here? Yes officially there are 8 cities of Delhi but unofficially or historically, there are more than 14 cities that were founded here.
Starting from the ancient city of Indraprastha (founded by Pandavas and now the site where Old Fort or Purana Qila is located), the last of the pre-Independence city of Delhi was the Shahjahanabad founded by Shah Jahan, the last of the mighty Mughal emperor of India.
In between, some important cities to be founded in Delhi included Qila Rai Pithora which later became the site of Qutb Minar Complex, Siri founded by Alaudin Khilji, Tughlaqabad founded by Ghiyath-ud-Din Tughlaq, Firozabad founded by Firuz Shah Tughlaq and the modern city of New Delhi designed by Edwin Lutyen’s which is even now referred to as Lutyen’s Delhi.
With a legacy as rich as Delhi and the profound impact on the framework of the city’s spirit that the interactions that these rules left has what bestowed its unique cosmopolitan character.
Now add to these the fact that Delhi is now one of the largest and fastest growing megalopolis in the world. Excellent infrastructure, Delhi Metro, buzzing couture clubs, malls, and multiplexes, and the vibrant shopping scene along with the variety of cuisines, restaurants, and five-star hotels make Delhi a cultural melting pot.
With the “Old” jostling shoulder to shoulder with the “New”, Delhi encapsulates the best of the two worlds. And that is what gives Delhi its appeal among both Indian and overseas tourists.
Delhi is home to 3 UNESCO inscribed World Heritage sites and the status of the entire city as a World Heritage Site is pending before UNESCO. In every nook and corner of the city, visitors could find relics of the bygone era.
Visitors could choose to admire the magnificent architecture of Humayun’s Tomb which was the first Charbagh to be designed in India, or they may choose to stroll amidst the sprawling green of Lodi Garden which is also home to tombs of Sayyids and Lodi rulers of Delhi.
Then there is Red Fort in Old Delhi which stands testimony to the might and eventual fading away of the Mughal Empire which visitors could combine with a trip to a medieval flavored bazaar at Chandani Chowk and Jama Masjid.
The Old Delhi area is also home to the famous Karim’s, one of the oldest restaurants serving eclectic Mughlai cuisines, Kebabs, and curries as well as the Parranthewaali Gaali renowned for stuffed chapatis and delicious lassis and tantalizing chutneys.
Delhi is also renowned for its flea market and shopping buffs could head to Sarojini Nagar Market, Lajpat Nagar, Janpath, or Palika Bazaar for bargain shopping.
If you are in Delhi, do look out for modern structures like Lotus Temple (Baha’i House of Worship), India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, and Akshardham Temple. And if it is a dash of history you are looking for watch out for the heritage walks or plan one yourself. Mehrauli Archaeological along with Qutb Minar Complex is a good place to start with a heritage walk.
Yet another good heritage walk comprises of Humayun’s Tomb and nearby monuments along with a visit to Nizamuddin Dargah. Visitors may also include Safdarjung’s Tomb and Lodi Garden if it’s a day trip you’re looking for. Combine it with delicious food and shopping at Khan Market and you have a great day in Delhi.
Yet another tourist activity could include a trip to Purana Qila or the Old Fort which is the most ancient site in Delhi combined with Delhi Zoological Park especially if you have kids. Family with kids could also opt for Adventure Island with its numerous fun rides and fine dining options.
Special mention to those looking to retrace the days of the British Raj. Embark on a heritage trail along Delhi Ridge (North Delhi or Kamla Nehru Ridge) and visit the relics of the 1857 Uprising of Indian Sepoys against the East India Company.
Recently Delhi has gained notoriety when it comes to safety concerns, especially for women. One of the foremost questions asked nowadays is “if India safe for traveling?“Do check out our tips on how to ensure your safety if you are a woman traveling alone in India. Interested in top things to do in Delhi? Here’s our post on the top 10 attractions in Delhi.
Best time to visit Delhi
Although people visit Delhi throughout the year, for those planning holidays in Delhi or the golden triangle tour, November till the last of February is the best time for planning vacations in and around Delhi.
During summer, it becomes almost impossible to do heritage walks or local sightseeing because of the scorching heat.
How to get around in Delhi
Delhi Metro is one of the best options to commute in Delhi and most of the places mentioned in this post are accessible by Delhi Metro.
HOHO Bus is something most tourists aren’t aware of. It is an air-conditioned Hop on Hop off-bus service which covers most of the historical monuments in Delhi. HOHO Bus service also travels to major malls, museums, and bazaars (flea markets) in Delhi.
With a one-time ticket, tourists could get on the bus and get off at any monument of their choice, explore it and catch another HOHO Bus. The frequency at each stop for HOHO Bus service is 10 minutes and the service starts from Baba Kharak Singh Marg in Connaught Place.
DTC Bus is yet another option for getting around in Delhi but for that, you need to be well-versed with the Bus Numbers and Routes which is a tedious task. There are 3 categories of Buses flying in Delhi: Red, Green, and Orange out of which Red is air-conditioned.
Where to stay
With so many tourists coming to Delhi from all parts of India and the world, hotels in Delhi caters to all kind of taste, preferences and budget of tourists. There are some of the finest luxury hotels in Delhi by renowned hospitality brands catering to jet setters and elite travelers.
Budget hotels are also not hard to find near Connaught Place, Karol Bagh, Paharganj, or even South Delhi and near Indira Gandhi International Airport (Mahipalpur Area). Recently quite a few boutique hotels have also come up to cater to the connoisseurs of fine living and those looking for distinct experiences.
Hostels and cheap accommodations are available near the Paharganj area but it is always wiser to stay at a comfortable and safe accommodation and to compromise on the budget for visitors’ own safety concerns.
Do you now agree with us when we recommend Delhi as one of the 3 gems of the Golden Triangle Tour in India?
|Golden Triangle Tours – Agra|
- Highlights: Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Red Fort.
|Golden Triangle Tour – Jaipur|
- Highlights: City Palace, Jantar-Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, etc.