The perfect holiday cocktail! Starting off with the sites of India's famous Golden Triangle, this tour concludes in the tropical climate of Goa. Sun, sea, sand and plenty of famed Goan cuisine! You can also try your hand at cooking up a curry or two!
India's Golden Triangle comprises the three most visited cities in the country's north-west - Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, which are all connected to each other by good road and rail links. On the map, these form a roughly equilateral triangle, some 200-250km along each side. This triangle has been dubbed "golden" for the extraordinary wealth of cultural and historical splendour on offer in each of the three cities.
Jaipur, capital of the largely desert state of Rajasthan, is home to some of Asia's best bazaars. You could spend weeks in Delhi, the sprawling, fascinating Indian capital, and not see it all, while Agra, once the heart of the Moghul empire, boasts the unparalleled beauty of the Taj Mahal, which adorns the banks of the Yamuna river. The Golden Triangle is a classic introduction to India: if you've never been to the subcontinent before, start here. Which usually involves a flight into Delhi.
Delhi, being such a large (population around 14 million) and diverse city, absorbs its tourists with ease. Agra and Jaipur both have sizeable numbers of Western tourists roaming around. Jaipur, as capital of Rajasthan, has a role as a commercial and administrative centre that has nothing to do with tourism, and a population of 2.5m. The city's alluringly frenetic old quarter is known as the Pink City after its red-washed buildings, packed with stalls selling everything from silk to milk. Of Jaipur's numerous monuments, the Hawa Mahal - an ornate five-storey façade, designed to allow the women of the royal household to observe the street in anonymity - has become an icon of Rajasthani architecture.
Completing the triangle, Agra - for all its monumental splendour - can be a trial, with the perpetual smog and the hard-sell hawking. It can at times feel like a swollen village: its parks and public spaces have an oddly suburban ambience. Yet it boasts a stupendous Moghul fort in the city centre and the ethereally beautiful Taj Mahal.
The marble mausoleum is by far the most popular tourist site in India - and despite the hype and the cliché it is an astounding and mesmerising building. In addition, Agra offers other jewelled tombs and architectural marvels as well as a medieval-like maze of ancient bazaars, a mass of hooting, tooting traffic and some of the most rapacious shopkeepers in the country. Motorised traffic is banned from the complex surrounding the Taj Mahal.
Day 03:Taj Mahal
Day 04:Fatehpur Sikri
Day 05:The Amber Fort
Day 06:Rural India
Day 09:Sun, sea and relaxation
Day 14:Goa/Fly OutCustomize Trip
Day 1DelhiUpon arrival at Delhi meet with representative of Pink Mountain Treks and Expedition and transferred to hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or independently explore this bustling capital.
Day 2DelhiWe then enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi, taking in the Red Fort, Humayan's Tomb, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque and Raj Ghat - the site of Gandhi’s cremation in Old Delhi, and the Rajpath and India Gate in New Delhi. Tonight, we enjoy a group Namaste Dinner at our hotel
Day 3Taj MahalDelhi - Agra. Departing Delhi, we make our way to Agra, the erstwhile capital of the Mughal empire. Our first stop here is the impressive Agra Fort, which boasts some of India's finest Mughal buildings behind its fortified walls. Later we travel on to the legendary Taj Mahal. Built by the order of Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century in affectionate memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, the Taj Mahal is perhaps one of the most extravagant monuments to love ever built and has no peers
Day 4Fatehpur SikriAgra - Jaipur. En route to Jaipur we visit the ghostly former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, which has been deserted for over four centuries after it was allegedly abandoned due to a lack of water Thanks to the very durable red sandstone from which it was built, Fatehpur Sikri still remains well-preserved and is a fascinating place to explore. Later we drive to Jaipur, the bustling capital of the state of Rajasthan. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at your own leisure.
Overnight: Jaipur | Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5The Amber FortVery early this morning there is the opportunity to sail over the lofy hilltop forts and regal palaces of Jaipur in a hot air balloon, on our Balloon Over Jaipur Bolt-on. We then travel beyond Jaipur to the stunning 16th century Amber Fort where we enjoy a tour of the fort's well-preserved interior and grounds. Later we visit a cotton weaving house to see a demonstration of fabric dyeing and block printing before touring the City Palace and Jantar Mantar - an old yet cleverly designed space observatory.
Day 6Rural IndiaJaipur - Alsisar. Today we drive to the semi-desert Shekhawati region, which lies in a triangular area between Delhi, Jaipur and Bikaner. The small towns in this region were once important trading posts, and today their legacy is carried on through the beautiful painted havelis that were constructed by wealthy merchants here in the 18th and 19th centuries. Later we enjoy a walk through a local village and time to relax.
Day 7DelhiAlsisar - Delhi. This morning we make a quick visit to the children and teachers at a local school in Alsisar (if open) where we operate our ‘Change for Children’ programme, before returning to Delhi. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is free for you to further explore the city. Opt for a meal in the heart of the city or simply relax and chat with group members at the hotel.
Day 8GoaDelhi - Goa. After hotel check-out transfer to the airport for your included flight to Goa. Upon arrival you'll be transferred to your accommodation in Goa.
Overnight: Goa | Breakfast
Day 9Sun, sea and relaxationThe next five days are free for you to enjoy Goa your own way. Thanks to its picturesque location on the Mandovi River, palm-fringed beaches, warm waters and relaxed atmosphere, Goa is one of India’s prime holiday destinations. The local cuisine is delectable and the state’s Portuguese heritage is still evident in its fine colonial architecture, plazas and cathedrals, making it a fascinating place to explore. A fun way of getting around Goa is by renting a bike or scooter. These are easily available, but you must hold an International Drivers License and be able to provide your passport details.
Although best known for its gorgeous stretches of beach, Goa offers many other attractions such as the Portuguese Catholic Church of Old Goa, St. Anne’s Church and the Basilica of Bom Jesus. The surrounding countryside is dotted with luxurious old estates built by wealthy Indians, including the Braganza Palace, which is open to the public.
Why not try your hand at cooking while in Goa? Bolt-on a cooking course in a relaxed atmosphere at our custom–built kitchen, where our expert chefs will teach you Indian culinary skills in a small hands-on group course. Chose from either a 1 day bolt-on with a cooking session; a 3-day bolt-on with two cooking sessions and a market trip; or the 5 day bolt-on with three cooking sessions, a market trip and a spice market trip.
Day 14Goa/Fly OutFriday. Tour arrangements end after breakfast, with hotel check-out and an onward departure transfer to the airport. Unless, of course, you’ve booked another week in the sun!
Kailash Mansarovat tour with Pink Mountain Treks and Expedition let you to feel most memorable adventure trip of the life.…In Detail