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Just Back From: India's Golden Triangle

 

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India’s Golden Triangle is comprised of three of the country’s most visited and famous cities: Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Leisure specialist Karina Martinez used this classic itinerary, rich in history and culture, as her intro to this fascinating country.

Why would you recommend the Golden Triangle?
India is so vast and varied, making it difficult to capture in one trip. The Golden Triangle shows you some incredible highlights — a glimpse of the sprawling capital of Delhi, the world famous bazaars of Jaipur and the iconic beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra.

What is on your Must Do?

  1. In Delhi, throw yourself into the madness at Chandni Chowk, the city’s oldest and busiest bazaar. It’s so much fun to ride in a tuk tuk in the middle of it all.
  2. Behind the Taj Mahal, across the Yamuna River, there is a local road that is tourist-free and offers the most amazing views. While I was there, a cremation was taking place near the Taj Mahal which added a spiritual dimension to the experience.
  3. In Agra the beautiful Tomb of I’timad-ud-Dauhlah (aka Baby Taj) is definitely worth a visit.
  4. In Jaipur, don’t miss the Monkey Temple (Galwar Bagh), a pilgrimage site which is built into the Aravalli Hills. Thousands come to bathe in the springs.
  5. Veer outside the Golden Triangle and explore Udaipur, the Venice of the East. Streets are small and winding. Locals and visitors gather behind the Leela Palace to enjoy an unforgettable sunset.
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How was the cuisine?
The street food scene is amazing. I gorged on samosas, kachoris, and deep fried sandwiches stuffed with potato masala! My favorite meal was a simple, traditional breakfast in Jaipur, which our driver picked up for us. We ate aloo paratha and sweet lassi while sitting in the car at 8 am. The parathas were wrapped in newspaper and the lassi came in a terracotta cup. It was the best meal I’ve had in years!  Next time, I’ll definitely fit in a cooking class.

When is the best time of year to visit the Golden Triangle?
November, February and March have the most comfortable weather. Try timing your visit around a major festival. Holi, the famous festival of colors, marks the arrival of spring in March.

What hotels do you recommend?
Many of India’s top hotels are rich in history. The Leela Palace in New Delhi combines opulence with Indian hospitality. In Agra, wake up to perfect views of the Taj Mahal at the Oberoi Amarvilas. Jaipur’s Rambagh Palace is one of the world’s most famous palace hotels and former residence of the Maharaja. And Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur was built as a summer palace for the Maharana.

 

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