Golden Triangle ( DELHI / AGRA / JAIPUR ) (05 NIGHTS / 06 DAYS)
Day 01 :
Arrival at Delhi Airport / Railway Station. Transfer & Check in at the hotel.
India’s capital and a major gateway to the country, contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds - the ancient with the modern. Delhi is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, once the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling havelis and formidable mosques. In contrast, the imperial city of New Delhi created by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. Delhi has been the seat of power for several rulers and many empires for about a millennium. Many a times the city was built, destroyed and then rebuilt here. Interestingly, a number of Delhi's rulers played a dual role, first as destroyers and then as creators.
The city's importance lies not just in its past glory as the seat of empires and magnificent monuments, but also in the rich and diverse cultures. In Delhi, you will discover that the city is sprinkled with dazzling gems: captivating ancient monuments, fascinating museums and art galleries, architectural wonders, a vivacious performing-arts scene, fabulous eating places and bustling markets. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 02 :
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, you will proceed for city tour of Old Delhi & New Delhi.
The tour will begin with a visit to:
Raj Ghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi is a simple black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation on 31 January 1948. It is located on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi, India. A stone footpath flanked by lawns leads to the walled enclosure that houses the memorial. Two museums dedicated to Gandhi are located near by. The memorial has the epitaph He Ram, (literally 'O' Ram', but also translated to 'O God'), believed to be the last words uttered by Gandhi. It has become customary for foreign dignitaries visiting India to pay their respects to Gandhi at the Raj Ghat by laying flowers or wreaths on the platform.
Jawaharlal Nehru's samadhi is to the north of the Raj Ghat and is known as the Shantivan or Shanti Vana meaning the forest of peace. The area has a beautiful park adorned with trees planted by visiting dignitaries and heads of state. His grandson Sanjay Gandhi's samadhi is adjacent to it.
The Red Fort (usually transcribed into English as Lal Qil'ah or Lal Qila) is a 17th century fort complex constructed by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in the walled city of Old Delhi (in present day Delhi, India) that served as the residence of the Mughal Emperors. The fort was the palace for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's new capital, Shahjahanabad, the seventh city in the Delhi site. He moved his capital here from Agra in a move designed to bring prestige to his reign, and to provide ample opportunity to apply his ambitious building schemes and interests. It served as the capital of the Mughals until 1857, when Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled by the British Indian government.The fort lies along the Yamuna River, which fed the moats that surround most of the walls. The construction of the Red Fort began in 1638 and was completed by 1648. The Red Fort has had many developments added on after its construction by Emperor Shah Jahan. The significant phases of development were under Aurangzeb and later under later Mughal rulers. It was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. The earlier Red Fort was built by Tomara king Anangpala, now known as the Qulb Mosque.
Jama Masjid of Delhi is the largest mosque in India. The Jama Masjid stands across the road in front of the Red Fort. Built between 1644 and 1658, Jama Masjid is one of the last architectural works of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The spacious courtyard of the Jama Masjid holds thousands of faithful. Jama Masjid is located on a mound in the heart of the old city and projects beautifully into the Old-Delhi skyline. Jama Masjid Mosque was built in red sandstone and marble by more than 5000 artisans. Originally called the Masjid-i-Jahan-Numa, or "mosque commanding view of the world", the Jama Masjid stands at the center of the erstwhile capital city of the Mughals, Shahjahanbad.
The Jama Masjid was completed under the supervision of Saadullah Khan, the Prime Minister of Shah Jahan. A sum of Rs 10 lakhs was spent on the construction of the Jama Masjid. The Jama Masjid is built on a red sandstone porch. The Jama Masjid is covered with intricate carvings and has verses inscribed from the holy Koran. The grand Red fort (Lal Qila) stands on the eastern side of the Jama Masjid. The main prayer hall of the Jama Masjid is made up of high cusped arches and marble domes.
Qutub Minar is the pride of Delhi. The tall minaret was constructed in 1192 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, and later completed by his successor Iltutmish. The soaring conical tower is an exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture. Qutub Minar is a World Heritage Site and has survived the ravages of time impressively. The Minar of Delhi is surrounded by a lush green garden, which is an ideal leisurely place for visitors. Qutab Minar is the favourite destination of tourists. It is India's most visited monument attracting around 3.9 million visitors every year. Each of the 5 storeys and tower of Qutub Minar has unique designs.
Qutab Minar is a great masterpiece of Mughal architecture. The base of the Qutub Minar measures 14.32 meters and the top of the structure measures 2.75 meters. The bird eye's view of Delhi city from the top is amazing. The tower is so high that around 379 steps are needed to be climbed to reach the top. This is a tower of victory, a monument that signify the might of Islam, or a tower for keeping a check for defense.
Humayun died in 1556, and his widow Hamida Banu Begam, also known as Haji Begam, commenced the construction of his tomb in 1569, fourteen years after his death. It is the first distinct example of proper Mughal style, which was inspired by Persian architecture. Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian, was the architect employed by Haji Begam for this tomb. The tomb proper stands in the centre of a square garden, divided into four main parterres by causeways (charbagh), in the centre of which ran shallow water-channels. The square red sandstone double-storeyed structure of the mausoleum with chamfered corners rises from a 7-m. high square terrace, raised over a series of cells, which are accessible through, arches on each side.
The mausoleum is a synthesis of Persian architecture and Indian traditions-the former exemplified by the arched alcoves, corridors and the high double dome, and the latter by the kiosks, which give it a pyramidal outline from distance. Although Sikandar Lodi's tomb was the first garden-tomb to be built in India, it is Humayun's tomb which set up a new vogue, the crowning achievement of which is the Taj at Agra.
At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triomphe" like archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart, it commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. The memorial bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919.
The foundation stone of India Gate was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and it was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The monument was dedicated to the nation 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. Another memorial, Amar Jawan Jyoti was added much later, after India got its independence. The eternal flame burns day and night under the arch to remind the nation of soldiers who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971. The entire arch stands on a low base of red Bharatpur stone and rises in stages to a huge moulding. The cornice is inscribed with the Imperial suns while both sides of the arch have INDIA, flanked by the dates MCMXIV (1914 left) and MCMXIX (1919 right). The shallow domed bowl at the top was intended to be filled with burning oil on anniversaries but this is rarely done. During nightfall, India Gate is dramatically floodlit while the fountains nearby make a lovely display with coloured lights. India Gate stands at one end of Rajpath, and the area surrounding it is generally referred to as 'India Gate'.
Rashtrapati Bhawan (Drive Pass):
The splendour of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is multi-dimensional. It is a vast mansion and its architecture is breathtaking. The present day Rashtrapati Bhavan was the erstwhile residence of the British Viceroy. Its architect was Edwin Landseer Lutyens. The decision to build a residence in New Delhi for the British Viceroy was taken after it was decided in the Delhi Durbar of 1911 that the capital of India would be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi in the same year. It was constructed to affirm the permanence of British rule in India. This building gave the impression, in the words of a critique, the setting of a perpetual Durbar. The building and its surroundings were supposed to be 'an empire in stone', 'exercising imperial sway' and containing in it, "the abode of a disinterested elite whose rule was imposed from above". That 'empire in stone' and the perpetual Durbar was transformed to be the permanent institution of democracy on 26th January 1950 when Dr. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India and occupied this building to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of India. It was from that day that this building was renamed as Rashtrapati Bhavan - the President's House. The most prominent and distinguishing aspect of Rashtrapati Bhavan is its dome which is superimposed on its structure. It is visible from a distance and the most eye-catching round roof with a circular base in the heart of Delhi. Overnight stay at Hotel
Day 03 :
Delhi to Agra (230 Kms / 5 ½ Hrs)
After breakfast at the Hotel, check out and depart by road for Agra. Upon arrival, Check in at the hotel.
Agra, once upon a time was the capital of Mughal Empire for centuries & become city of architectural wonders. Agra in terms of ambiance is still associated with its Mughal period. The Mughals besides being great rulers were also great builders and they preserved their best architectural wonders for Agra & its neighborhood. It has many wonderful monuments and the Taj Mahal, the greatest of them all, is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture at its best. The massive but elegant Agra Fort, the delicate artistry of Itimad-ud-daulah’s tomb, the magnificent Taj and Akbar’s deserted capital, Fatehpur Sikri, are each unique and outstanding. Their architectural genius can also be seen in the forts, palaces and aesthetically laid out gardens - each one a silent witness to a grand style of a golden era.
Proceed for City Tour of Agra visiting:
Taj Mahal, the pinnacle of Mughal architecture, was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658), grandson of Akbar the great, in the memory of his queen Arjumand Bano Begum, entitled ‘Mumtaz Mahal’. The Taj Mahal is the mausoleum of both Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan. Mumtaz Mahal died in the year 1630, after giving birth to Shahjahan’s 14th Child. The construction of the monuments started in the years 1631 AD & took almost 22 years to complete. The largest and one of the most spectacular structure of the world was completed in the year 1653 AD.
Taj Mahal means “Crown Palace” and is in fact the most beautiful tomb in the world. The marble wonder is the largest and the most extravagant mausoleum built for the sake of love by a person. The grandeur & glory of Taj has reached every corner of the world. This timeless piece of art has been the inspiration for many artists & architects, ever since its creation. Taj, the wonder of the world was the result of hard efforts of 20,000 people who worked day & night, to create this marble beauty. The material was brought in from all over India & central Asia & it took a fleet of 1,000 elephants to transport it to the site. Ustad Ahmad Lahori was the chief architect of the project. The dome in white marble is set against the plain across the river & it is this background that changes the view of the marble structure. The background of water works its magic of colours through their reflection. The colour change at different time of the day & during different seasons. The Taj sparkles like a jewel in moonlight when the semi – precious stones infixed into the white marble structure on the main mausoleum catch the glow of the moon. The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening & golden when the moon shines. The “Symbol of eternal love”, Taj Mahal has a life of its own that leaps out of the marble glory (Taj Mahal remain closed on Friday)
Agra Fort is located on the right bank of the river Yamuna in the city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the most important and robustly built stronghold of the Mughals, embellished with number of richly decorated buildings encompassing the imposing Mughal style of art and architecture. It was constructed by the third Mughal emperor Akbar on the remains of an ancient site known as Badalgarh. Sikandar Lodi (1487-1517) was the first Sultan of Delhi to shift his capital from Delhi to Agra. After Sikandar Lodi who died in 1517, his son Ibrahim Lodi held the fort for 9 years until he was defeated and killed in the battle of Panipat in 1526. Several palaces, wells and a mosque were built in the fort during the Lodi period. Overnight stay at Hotel
Day 04 :
Agra to Jaipur (235 Kms / 6 Hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Drive to Jaipur by surface enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted red sandstone city, built by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. It was abandoned soon after it was built when the local wells went dry and it remains today in much the same condition that it was over 300 years ago. It is complete with palaces and mosques and used to be a town larger than London when it was originally constructed. Now it is an extraordinary place to wander around with its buildings in near perfect condition. Akbar (1556-1605), grandson of Babur, shifted his residence and court from Agra to Sikri, for a period of 13 years, from 1572 to 1585 to honour the Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chishti, who resided here (in a cavern on the ridge). Akbar revered him very much as the Saint had blessed him with a son who was named Salim in 1569. He raised lofty buildings for his use, and houses for the public. Thus grew, a great city with charming palaces and institutions. Akbar gave it the name of Fathabad and which in later days came to be known as “Fathpur Sikri”.
Continue drive to Jaipur. Upon arrival in Jaipur check into your hotel.
Capital of Rajasthan - the 'Pink City'. Jaipur means "the city of victory" & was founded in 1727 by king Sawai Jai Singh and designed by architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya in accordance with the principles of town planning set down in "Shilp Shastra" an epochal treatise on the Hindu architecture. This colorful city is enriched with royal tradition & culture, attractive monuments, Forts , Palaces- like the Magnificent City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Amer, Nahargarh and Jaigarh fort which are some of the most exquisite blend of Hindu architecture. Feel at-home, in a foreign city. Barely 262 kilometers from New Delhi, Jaipur is well connected by road, rail and air. Unexpected and spectacular beauty awaits as you will be all excited to discover the rich history, old buildings and breathtaking landscapes of the Pink City. Ride camel trains to desert forts while visiting the "Venice of the East". The city is best explored on foot and the adventurous visitor willing to go into the inner lanes can discover a whole new world. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 05 :
Breakfast at the hotel. Later proceed for the excursion to Amber Fort.
The Amer Fort is situated in Amer, which is 11 kilometers from Jaipur. Amer, originally, was the capital of the state before Jaipur. It is an old fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh. This fort is also very popularly known as the Amer Palace. The Amer Fort was built in red sandstone and marble and the Maotha Lake adds a certain charm to the entire Fort. Though the fort is quite old and may even look so from the outside, it is beautiful on the inside and boasts of various buildings of prominence like the 'Diwan-i-Aam', the 'Sheesh Mahal' and even the 'Sukh Mahal'. The Amer Fort has influences of both Hindu and Muslim architecture. This fort also has the 'Shila Devi' Temple and the 'Ganesh Pol' which is a gate that leads to the private palaces of the kings. The Amer Fort has many pavilions and halls of great interest and other popular attractions.
Sheesh Mahal in English means "Palace Of Glass". This place was built by King Man Singh Ji In 16th century & completed In 1727 which was the Foundation Year of Jaipur. This whole wall Is completely carved with beautiful paintings & flowers & that too made with pure glass. The reason why it was made of glass was, the Queen was not allowed to sleep in open air during the ancient times. But she loved to see the stars shining. To this the King ordered his architects to make something which could solve the purpose. To this the architects made a room complete of very small & big glasses. After that they burnt two candles & the reflection converted that small light into thousands of stars in those small & big glasses. This as how the queen became happy. Previously this room was open for all but now entry is restricted as people has spoiled the glasses by breaking them. But still from outside we can see the amazing glass work.
Continue your journey: with the city tour of Jaipur visiting:
Maharaja's City Palace:
Located in the heart of the Pink City Jaipur, the City Palace was where the Maharaja reigned from. This palace also includes the famous 'Chandra Mahal' and 'Mubarak Mahal', and other buildings which form a part of the palace complex. The palace is located towards the northeast side of central Jaipur and has many courtyards and buildings. The palace was built between 1729 and 1732 AD by Sawai Jai Singh II. He ruled in Amer and planned and built the outer walls of the palace and later rulers added to the architecture of this palace. These additions have been known to take place right up to the 20th century. The urban layout of the city of Jaipur was commissioned to Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. The architectural styles are largely based on a fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European styles. Today, the 'Chandra Mahal' has been turned into a museum which is home to unique handcrafted products, various uniforms of the rulers and many more things pertaining to the royal heritage of the City Palace.
Between 1727 and 1734 Maharajah Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five astronomical observatories in west central India. The observatories, or "Jantar Mantars" as they are commonly known, incorporate multiple buildings of unique form, each with a specialized function for astronomical measurement. These structures with their striking combinations of geometric forms at large scale, have captivated the attention of architects, artists, and art historians world wide, yet remain largely unknown to the general public. Jantar Mantar presents the observatories through a variety of media and information sources, making it possible to explore and learn about these historic sites through interactive panoramic "VR" photographs, time lapse sequences, and 3D models as well as articles, drawings, and historic texts. It is a comprehensive resource for exploring the observatories in depth.
During the tour you will also have a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal - the Palace of Winds.
The renowned 'Palace Of The Winds', or Hawa Mahal, is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Jaipur city. Located in the heart of Jaipur, this beautiful five-storey palace was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh who belonged to Kachhwaha Rajput dynasty. The main architect of this palace built of red and pink sandstone, is Lal Chand Ustad and the palace is believed to have been constructed in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Considered as an embodiment of Rajputana architecture, the main highlight of Hawa Mahal is its pyramid shape and its 953 windows or 'Jharokhas' which are decorated with intricate designs. The main intention behind the construction of the Mahal was to facilitate the royal women and provide them a view of everyday life through the windows, as they never appeared in public. Read further to know more about Hawa Mahal, its history, architecture and its visiting hours. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 6 :
Jaipur to Mumbai Departure
Breakfast at the hotel & check out. Transfer to Jaipur Airport / Railway Station for onward journey.