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India's Essential Golden Triangle Adventure

 Overview: This trip can happen year–round and will add India's essentials to your time and other plans while you are nearby. One note (and you will see it repeated below) is to plan your trip so as not to attempt a Taj Mahal visit on a Friday — the only day each week when it is closed. Generally this trip originates in New Delhi. Four days and three nights is just enough time to experience the legendary Taj Mahal and other important area sites such as Agra Fort as well as the ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri. Also visit Jaipur 'the pink city' of Rajasthan famous for its elephants, camels and forts, and don't miss the highlights of India's capital city of New Delhi!

A pleasant drive from the capitol arrives at Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. This magnificent memorial to love is as amazing as you've heard. Across the river from the palace is ancient Agra Fort, your next stop. Enjoy its beautiful views of the Taj Mahal and see its peacock jeweled throne. Next, you're off to visit the ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Fatehpur Sikri. The city ruins are spectacular and you will find it easy to imagine Fatehpur Sikri's splendor in it's heyday. The palace buildings perch atop a ridge overlooking the small modern town found to the south of the old 'ghost' city. After the ancient city, you visit Jaipur to learn about the desert culture of Rajasthan. You return to thriving, colorful Delhi to see many of its many attractions and mysteries. What an experience!

India's Essential Golden Triangle Itinerary Detail:

Day 1:
Delhi to Agra. You can be met on arrival at the airport or at your hotel, as we arrange it in advance. To begin, your car and driver will meet you and drive about five hours to Agra, stopping along the way if you wish, for a delicious lunch. Arriving in Agra, you'll first check-in to your hotel to get settled.

Soon, you'll depart the hotel to visit the beautiful Taj Mahal (closed Fridays). Often described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love, this magnificent palace is indeed the icon of India itself. It was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his second wife Mumtaz Maha. Described by the Indian classical poet Tagore, it is a "tear on the face of eternity." The Taj Mahal is considered as the zenith of Mughul architecture.

Nearby, you'll next enjoy a visit to Agra Fort, constructed in 1565 of massive red sandstone on the bank of Yamuna River. It was founded by Emperor Akbar and was principally a military structure, but later, during Shah Jahan's reign it partially became a palace. Spend a restful night in your hotel in Agra. (No Meals Today)

Day 2: Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur. After breakfast today, drive to Jaipur (about six hours) — visiting World Heritage Site, Fatehpur Sikri, on the way. It was designated as the capital city of the great Emperor Akbar after the childless Mughal was given a son by the blessings of the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chisti. The new capital was built in his home in 1569. While the juxtaposition of the buildings might seem whimsical, they are thoughtfully planned — a perfect example of a Mughal city at the height of the Empire's splendor.

Jaipur is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan and was founded on November 18, 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, after whom the city has been named. Jaipur's population is 3.1 million and it's also known as the Pink City and the Paris of India. Jaipur has a hot semi–arid climate receiving over 26 inches of annual rainfall — mostly in the monsoon months, June to September. On arrival in Jaipur, check-in and overnight at your hotel. (Breakfast)

Day 3: : Jaipur to Delhi. After your breakfast, visit Amber Fort. The palace is a fine example of Rajput Architecture. Set in a picturesque location, the fort is fascinating blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Built in the 16th century of red sandstone and white marble by Raja Man Singh, it sprawls on a hillside. Take an optional Elephant-back ride while enjoying the ancient wonder of Amber Fort.

Next, explore Jaipur starting from the Pink City Palace. The palace now houses a museum with rare manuscripts, paintings and an armory. The Palace of Winds and (World Heritage Site) Jantar Mantar Observatory, with its astronomical instruments built by Jai Singh in 1728 are close-by. Jai Singh's passion for astronomy was even more notable than his prowess as a warrior. Each construction has a specific purpose, such as calculating eclipses. This is the most significant, most comprehensive, and the best preserved of India's historic observatories. The most striking instrument is the sundial — still used to predict monsoon rains!

After a fine tour of Jaipur, it's time to drive back to Delhi (about five hours). Once back in Delhi, check-in to your hotel for the night. (Breakfast)

Day 4: : New Delhi. Following breakfast, enjoy a morning tour of New Delhi. The capital of India, was founded in 1911 as a symbol of British dominance over the Indian subcontinent. Designed by an imaginative British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, the city took 20 years to finish.

Drive past the President's Palace (Rashtrapati Bhawan) and India Gate, a World War I memorial. Lutyen's city is characterized by its wide, tree-lined avenues, parks and palaces built for important Indian princes. Next, Humayuns Tomb was built in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum (the Persian-born senior wife of Humayaun, the second Mughal emperor). This is another early example of expressive Mughal architecture.

Return to your hotel to check-out or continue with additional travel plans as you arrange with us. (Breakfast)

Travel Details: This itinerary is meant only as a guide to what our days will be like. Changes will almost surely occur as you travel. These will be based on local conditions, acclimatization, health and fitness levels. Please refer to the booking information section of our application form for more information.

India's Essential Golden Triangle • Administrative Details:

(+) Land Cost (land cost as itinerary has described):

$500USD typical, each, double occupancy

(+) In-Trip Airfare Estimate (none applicable):

+  $ NONE

(=) Total Program Cost (for the above itinerary):

$500USD per person

Trip Deposit (submit with application):

$500USD (or payment in full with options)

Optional Supplement (longer stays, more services):

$Per Request (optional, please ask us)

Maximum Group Size:

Two or more, as you wish

Other Cost & Need Considerations:

Passport, Visa(s), Physicians Visit, Emergency Medical & Evacuation Insurance, International travel to/from New Delhi, Meals Beyond Above Itinerary, Beverages, Spending/Personal Money (usual requirements for our main trips, nothing extra is required for this addition). General tourist bus from/to the city included (or options for a car & driver or air & jeep additional).

Trip Activity–Level:

Mild: Accommodation is in a comfortable jungle lodge. Activities are usually mild and can include walks and long drives. Other options available per your interest.

Registration Deadline:

Four weeks before date. ($100USD late fee thereafter)

India's Essential Golden Triangle Printable Itinerary:

India's Essential Golden Triangle

Trip Application:

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