India’s Golden Triangle consists of three amazing destinations: Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. It makes a fantastic introduction for the first-time visitor wanting to dip their toes into India and represents the amazing array of culture, heritage and kaleidoscopic colours that can be embraced whilst travelling here. Begin by discovering the sights of the capital, Delhi, with its bustling souk-like bazaars, crumbling Mughal remains and colonial charm. Continue to Agra to marvel at the Taj Mahal, before heading to the colourful Pink City of Jaipur in Rajasthan, where you’ll soak up splendid architecture, bright Indian saris, decorated elephants and a rich, romantic history. As specialists in private tours of this region, luxury tours of India’s Golden Triangle are something we do best. The one we’re about to describe here is merely a starting point to share a flavour of the possibilities: it can be tweaked or completely transformed into your ideal luxury Golden Triangle tour. From the length to the sights to the luxury hotels, every detail will be designed around you to perfectly suit your tastes, schedule and budget.
Arrive in Delhi (stay at The Imperial, Delhi)
Your luxury Golden Triangle tour of India kicks off on your arrival in Delhi, where you will be met by a member of our team and chauffeured to the Imperial hotel. Centrally located in the heart of New Delhi, this landmark hotel was built in 1934 and designed by Lutyen’s assistant, Bromfield. It evokes the days of the British Raj and exudes style and elegance. Take it easy this afternoon to relax, settle in, and recuperate from your international journey. Depending on the time of your arrival, if you’d like to begin exploring this afternoon you can let us know anytime – your chauffeur is always on hand and we’re only a quick call away on your complimentary mobile phone.
A guided tour of both Old and New Delhi today will introduce you to the Jama Masjid, Qutab Minar, India Gate, Parliament House, Humayun’s Tomb and the Sikh temple. The itinerary we’ve prepared in advance is a guideline and is completely flexible to your preferences on the day – you may let your guide know your interests and he will tailor the day to better suit your tastes (we’re known for our flexible approach, allowing you complete control over the pace of your trip). After exploring the bustling capital, you’ll return to the Imperial in the evening, though your chauffeur remains available if you’d like to dine out (we’d recommend the award-winning Indian Accent or Bukhara).
Delhi to Agra (stay at the Tajview, Agra)
This morning you’ll proceed to the next stop on your luxury Golden Triangle tour – Agra, home of the magnificent Taj Mahal – for an overnight stay at the Tajview. After having had the chance to freshen up over lunch, you’ll be met by your guide to explore Agra Fort, followed by the Taj Mahal in its most beautiful light – glowing a warm orange at sunset. Back at the Tajview hotel this evening, your Superior Room affords a wonderful view of the monument. Without the restriction of visiting hours, you can catch the Taj Mahal glittering in the moonlight after dark or a peachy pink at dawn. Or, for a truly special experience, we’d recommend upgrading to the Oberoi Amarvilas – one of the most beautiful luxury hotels in India’s Golden Triangle, offering your own private balcony overlooking the Taj Mahal.
Agra to Jaipur, via Fatehpur Sikri or Abhaneri (stay at Samode Haveli, Jaipur)
This morning brings an optional sunrise return to the Taj Mahal. After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll later be chauffeured to Jaipur, with the option of stopping en-route at your choice of Fatehpur Sikri (a 16th-century Mughal fort-palace built by Emperor Akbar and abandoned after just 14 years) or Chand Baori (an impressive stepwell in the small village of Abhaneri, dating back over a thousand years).
When arriving in Jaipur later today, you’ll be assisted with checking in to Samode Haveli for a three-night stay. This charming haveli exudes local character and, at over 175 years old, it offers the opportunity to experience one of India’s charming heritage hotels. The Samode Haveli is well located too, in the centre of the Pink City, so it’s ideal for those who’d like to be in the heart of the action or explore further on foot (you may like to read about our own recent stay by clicking here). For a truly royal experience, ask to upgrade to the Taj Rambagh Palace – a former Indian palace. Here you can unleash your inner Maharaja or Maharani at one of the most luxurious hotels in India’s golden triangle. Those who’re seeking more understated luxury would be happier at the Oberoi Rajvilas, whilst the SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace is a boutique-lovers delight.
Optionally, with an early start this morning you’ll head to the markets with your guide to experience the flurry of activity here as the Pink City wakes up. Stops would include the fragrant flower market, the wholesale milk market, the vegetable market, and the Govind Dev Ji temple, finished off with a delicious cup of chai from the famous but inconspicuous Sahu Chai shop. Having had the opportunity to return to the hotel for breakfast and a little time at leisure, you’ll later be reunited with your guide to explore the old walled area of Jaipur, visiting the City Palace and its little-known private rooms, followed by the Jantar Mantar observatory and elegant Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds).
The morning is yours at leisure to do your own thing (possible additions could include a morning’s hot air balloon ride with Skywaltz or a private block-printing workshop at the nearby village of Bagru). You’ll later be reunited with your guide to explore the 16th-century Amber Fort and the enchanting Jal Mahal, before spending a memorable evening with elephants at Dera Amer(if meeting elephants isn’t your cup of tea, this can certainly be removed or replaced, perhaps with a private cooking class or a special dinner recommendation. For those who are interested in spending time with elephants, Dera Amer is a fantastic and ethical place to do it).
Jaipur back to Delhi (stay at the Trident, Gurgaon)
Like yesterday, the morning’s at your leisure in Jaipur to relax and enjoy the hotel or further explore at your own pace. As always, your chauffeur remains on hand to take you anywhere you may like to go. You might like to take this opportunity to browse for interesting souvenirs in Jaipur’s famous markets and emporiums – when it comes to shopping, Jaipur has something for everyone: from elegant textiles to kitschy wooden camels, even the most frugal visitor is likely to leave the Pink City with one or two pieces tucked in their case! For a souvenir with local fair, we’d recommend a piece of semi-precious jewellery or blue pottery.
Your luxury Golden Triangle tour then brings you back to Delhi for a last night’s stay. We recommend the Trident, Gurgaon – though somewhat lacking in character, it’s conveniently located just a fifteen-minute drive from the terminal; ideal for early morning departures and for avoiding the Delhi traffic. Alternatively, if your flight is departing in the evening, you may prefer to head straight to the airport – or, if you have more time in Delhi, something centrally located (such as the Imperial we began at) would be more appropriate.
To end your time in India on a truly relaxed note and to experience the slow pace of life in rural Rajasthan, you may like to consider slotting in a night or two at the beautiful Samode Palace on the way back to Delhi. Dating back over 150 years, the Samode Palace is nestled within quaint villages and stunning natural landscapes, making it an ideal spot to relax and recharge your batteries before heading back home.
Depart from Delhi
This morning you’ll be chauffeured back to Delhi airport in time for your onward flight.
2019/20 Guide price:
₹149,000 ($2135; £1695) pp
Our journeys are inclusive of accommodation with breakfast, a private car with driver throughout, experienced guides, entrance tickets and excursions. In other words, we offer a seamless and hassle-free luxury golden triangle tour experience where the only thing you need to worry about is soaking up the sights and enjoying your fabulous hotels! This indicative cost is based on a couple travelling between October 2019 and March 2020, sharing a double or twin room. The cost would reduce significantly during the low-season months of April to September, whilst it would be noticeably higher during the peak Christmas and New Year period.
The Luxury Golden Triangle tour India itinerary we’ve described here is merely a starting point to share a flavour of the possibilities, and absolutely every aspect is flexible (from the hotels to the destinations to the length to the sightseeing). It can be taken as-is or can be tweaked into your ideal Indian getaway. For example, if you’re a little short on time, Jaipur can be comfortably accommodated over a two-night stay rather than three. Those interested in wildlife may like to include a stop in Ranthambhore National Park, to spot wild Bengal tigers and bring the Jungle Book to life on a Jeep safari in Ranthambhore. Or, extend your luxury Golden Triangle tour deeper into Rajasthan by exploring Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and/or Udaipur. You could even head up to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Himalayan Foothills in Shimla (it pairs very well with this luxury Shimla tour), or even the bustling city of Bombay. Let us know what you’d like to create and we can make it happen!
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Who are we?
Indian Excursions: the experts in tailor-made tours of Rajasthan. Anything you would like to see or experience in Rajasthan, we can make it happen! All our tours are private, and tailor-made to our guests individual requirements.
212-213 Vardhman Crown Mall, Sector 19 - Dwarka, New Delhi 110075, India.
We're open Monday to Friday 10:00 - 18:00. India is 5.5+ UTC.