The Golden Triangle is a tourist route connecting the three major cities – Agra, Jaipur and Delhi. Many highways and roads interlink these three cities, and they resemble a closed equilateral triangle. The adjective “golden” is well suited because these three cities are like treasures for India. All the major architectural wonders and rich history left behind by the Mughals and the Hindu Maharajas are concentrated in these three cities. Thus, a journey through the Golden Triangle is like a trip through the heart of India. As such, I’m listing some of the best places to visit in these three cities.
Delhi is the capital of India. Your trip to India will never complete its full circle until you visit Delhi. The capital is like a minuscule India. It is a conglomeration of all the cultures, faith and traditions found all over the country. Hindu Maharajas, Mughals and the British made it their capital, and it remains so till date.
There is a lot to see in Delhi, but I have listed out some significant tourist attractions of Delhi for you in Top 5 Most Popular Attractions in Delhi and Top 5 Local Offbeat Places To Visit in Delhi.
Agra is filled with a history of the Mughal rule in India. All the monuments and tombs that you will find here were made by infamous Mughal emperors. Some of the best among these are listed below.
1. Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is a representation of India in the international sphere. It is one of the seven wonders of the world. It is indeed a miracle. This mighty monument made of white marble stones is an eternal symbol of love.
The story goes on that out of all his wives, Shahjahan loved Mumtaz the most. Her untimely death came as a shock to the king, and he wanted to immortalise his love for her by building a beautiful tomb.
The lane to the Taj Mahal is lined by beautiful trees, and in the middle, a long marble water tank adorns the way. Honestly, seeing Taj Mahal for the first time is a memorable experience. The interiors of the Taj Mahal are studded with mirrors and gems that value in millions.
The king wanted himself to be buried next to his queen, and therefore, their tombs are displayed to the tourists. But actually, these are just replicas of the original tombs which are in an underground chamber under the Taj Mahal. The monument remains closed on Fridays.
2. Agra Fort
Agra Fort, also known the Red Fort, is one of the best forts in the country. You will fall in love with its architecture. It is very close to Taj Mahal and therefore, very easy for you to visit. Read about it in The 6 Oldest Forts in India.
3. Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri is not just a monument; it’s a city. King Akbar built it in the 16th century, and it was the capital of the Mughal empire for some time.
The city will leave you speechless. Nothing can get you a better glimpse of the medieval Mughal culture like this small and beautiful city. It is not only famous for its amazing architecture but also the way in which it is set up. There are grand palaces, monuments, mosques and tombs within the city. It is a World Heritage Site.
Some important things to visit in Fatehpur Sikri are Buland Darwaza, Jodhabai ka Rauza, Tomb of Salim Chisti and Panch Mahal.
4. Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb
It is given the grand title of Baby Taj because of the striking resemblance of its interiors with the Taj Mahal. It was overseen by Nur Jahan, wife of Jahangir.
There are many buildings within the complex. The tomb is made of red sandstone and marble. Trees and beautiful gardens surround the place. It’s truly a spectacular place to visit.
5. Sikandra Fort
You cannot finish your journey in Agra without visiting the tomb of the greatest emperor who ruled India – Akbar. Akbar was the greatest of all the Mughal rulers. Liberal, smart and brave, India flourished in all aspects during his reign. In fact, many tombs and monuments you see today were built by him. Therefore, it’s only right that you pay homage to the final resting place of this incredible man.
The Sikandra Fort is made of red sandstone, and the architecture on its walls are a blend of Hindu and Mughal style. It is a must-visit place.
Jaipur is famous for a large number of forts it houses, some built by the Mughals while some by Rajputs. There are a large number of places to visit in Jaipur, out of which most are forts. So I’m going to list only the best places of Jaipur here.
1. Amber Fort
One of the most important among all these forts is the Amber Fort. Read The 6 Oldest Forts in India to find out why this fort should be first on your list.
2. Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind)
Hawa Mahal is a representation of the scientific advancement in ancient India. The palace was built in 1798 by the Rajput king, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh.
The Palace has an incredible number of 953 windows. Each of these windows is carefully designed with intricate lace work, and they are made in such a manner that no matter the season, the Palace always stays cold from within. Such a mechanism and architecture was truly a great accomplishment. It’s like a medieval air conditioned palace. It is also one of the most visited places in Jaipur.
3. Jal Mahal (Palace of Water)
Another mind boggling piece of architecture is the Jal Mahal. Will you believe if I say that the Jal Mahal stands in the middle of a lake? That’s right.
Built in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake and surrounded by Aravalli Hills in the background, the palace looks like a piece of a fairy tale; only this is real. The palace is filled with Rajputana artwork on its walls. It is five-storeyed, but when the water level of the lake rises, only the top floor is accessible.
You can visit the palace in traditional boats that are always available there. Who wouldn’t like to visit this dream castle?
4. Pink City
When you visit Jaipur, you will begin to notice something very strange. Almost all the buildings in Jaipur, including shops and houses, are all painted in a terracotta pink colour, although now it looks like a grimy pink.
The shocking fact is that it is a legal rule to paint the walls in this particular colour. It was passed about 130 years ago when the British prince, Prince Albert, came to visit India. To impress him, the Rajput king who ruled Jaipur built a large colossal building for him and named it after him. In addition to that, he repainted the entire city with the pink colour to show hospitality.
Now, it has become a unique feature of Jaipur. But most new buildings don’t follow this law anymore. As a result, a small area, termed Pink City is explicitly present in the city. Old houses with their grimy pink colour can still be found here. Entering the area is like going into a pink wave. All you see is pink.
When you go there, don’t forget to visit the infamous City Palace and the majestic Albert Hall that still stands as majestically as it would have when it was built.