India’s Golden Triangle

by Lexa Pennington / Sep 16, 2013 /
Lexa Pennington's picture

Are you longing to explore India? While you could never see everything in one lifetime, you can certainly target your travels and get the most out of your journeys. One area of India contains three of the most-visited cities in India – it’s called the Golden Triangle. It consists of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. Let’s take a look…

 

Delhi is known as the Heart of India – and it’s also the capital! Delhi is a city rich in heritage – but that is also hip and modern.  It’s full of unexpected moments, and chaos, and grace. Smells and sights you won’t see anywhere else, that’s for sure. One of my favorite travel songs is Chandni Chowk to China, by Shankar. It seems that anywhere you go, you originate or end up in Delhi.

When you’re in Delhi, visit these three beautiful monuments (among the plethora of things to see):

The Lotus Temple (Bahai Mandir) – a Lotus-shaped temple that is a common place of worship for several religions. At night, the nine pools of water around the lotus petals that shape the temple are lit up!

 

The Lotus Temple, Delhi, India. Photo: Jorge Lascar

The Lotus Temple, Delhi, India. Photo: Jorge Lascar

 

Jantar Mantar – an observatory built in 1724 by Maharajah Jai Singh.

 

Jantar Mantar, Delhi. Photo: McKay Savage

Jantar Mantar, Delhi. Photo: McKay Savage

 

Jama Masjid – the oldest and largest mosque in India! It can hold up to 25,000 people. However, it is a symbol of Indian secularism, because it is visited by so many people from all religions.

 

Jama Masjid, Delhi. Photo: Sourav Das

Jama Masjid, Delhi. Photo: Sourav Das

 

Next, head to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal – the most famous building in the world.  The Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jana as a tomb for his favorite wife, and is a symbol of enduring and eternal love. It combines several different architectural styles, including Indian, Persian, and Islamic. Craftsmen from around the world were employed – and took 20,000 workers to complete! If you want to learn more about the Taj Mahal before you visit, head here for virtual tours, craftsmanship, and more. While you’re in Agra, be sure to visit Agra Fort (the Red Fort), which is another UNESCO World Heritage site. Built in 1565, it is a fort that exemplifies Mughal architecture – and incredible beauty.

 

Taj Mahal. Photo: Christian Haugen

Taj Mahal. Photo: Christian Haugen

 

Lastly, visit the Pink City, Jaipur. Why the Pink City? Well, because so many houses are painted pink!  Whilst there, be sure to visit historical fort palaces – they abound! Check out Hawa Mahal, Nahagarh, Amer, Jaigarh, Moti Doongari, and more. You can see history, shop in the bazaars, enjoy architecture – and also dine well, as Rajasthan is a land rich in traditional cuisines. If you’re a foodie like me, you’ll head there for that express purpose.

 

Pink City - Jaipur, India. Photo: Neverbutterfly

Pink City - Jaipur, India. Photo: Neverbutterfly

 

Getting Around:

You can get flights to India on Emirates, as they have daily flights scheduled. Once there, take advantage of India’s extensive railway system (which can be a unique experience within itself). Or, as with much of the world, you can find various types of local transportation, including the eponymous Indian elephant.