This is my seven-day schedule in the Golden Triangle.
Day 1:New Delhi: Arrive
Day 2:Explore Old Delhi
Day Three Explore New Delhi
Day 4: Explore South Delhi
Day FiveTrain to Agra, Rickshaw tour of Agra
Day SixContinue on to Jaipur, stopping at Fatehpur Sikri or Abhaneri
Day SevenFull Day in Jaipur
I flew from the U.K. to India and knew that I would likely be jet-lagged my first few days. I recommend taking a few days off to adjust to the new country. It was also obvious that Delhi had so many things to see. I realized this when I created a list of all the things I wanted to do, and it would take me several days to complete it all.
You can, however, see all of Agra and all of Jaipur within a single day, so you don’t have to spend as much time there. You can also visit Agra and TajMahal in a shorter time frame or visit Jaipur on a single day. Although it would be difficult to see the entire region, and you will be tired afterwards. One day could be spent in Delhi and then go to Agra for a day. Then, you can take a one-day trip to Jaipur. It’s all there! It was done in just three days. However, it seems like a sure way to have a bad time.
Here is how I divided my time more precisely:
Day 1: Arrive in New Delhi
My rule is to relax on my first day in a new location. For your first time in Delhi, I recommend staying in South Delhi. Tatvamasi Guesthouse was a wonderful place to stay. We were treated very wonderfully by the owner, who drove us about and escorted us to all of the main sights. He also showed us where he likes to have breakfast.
South Delhi is a middle-class, chilled-out neighborhood. It’s the ideal place to start your explorations for the Golden Triangle, depending on when you arrive in Delhi. Take a stroll, explore the parks, observe the people on the streets and visit a local cafe.
Enjoy an evening with a guide on a street food tour. This will offer you an introduction to Delhi’s dining scene and the courage to go it alone. The tour was quite informative, and I learnt a great deal about Delhi from her.
Day 2: Explore Old Delhi
Old Delhi is probably what you see when you think of India’s chaos. Streets are jammed full of motorbikes, rickshaws, cows, goats, street food, and so much noise.
You may begin your day by visiting the Red Fort right when it opens. Without the visitors, it will be a peaceful start to your day.
You can climb up to one of the minarets to get a great view of Old Delhi.
For some peace and reflection, Gandhi’s memorial is a good place to start. Then take a deep breath before heading into Old Delhi. You’ll need to bring your camera with you, as there will be so many things going on that it’s difficult to capture them all in one frame. However, it’s enjoyable trying.
Day Three: Explore New Delhi
It’s all about New Delhi today. Start by visiting your first step well in India. Stepwells are one of my favourite things to photograph, and Agrasenki Baoli was one of my favourites. It is claimed to be one of Delhi’s most haunted locations.
Then proceed to India Gate. This memorial pays tribute to the 170,000 British Indian Army personnel who died during War. Although it is crowded with tourists, school kids from the local area, families enjoying picnics and tons of street vendors, it is still an impressive structure.
Humayun’s Tomb is likely to be one of the most memorable sights in New Delhi. This red sandstone tomb, which was built in 1570, was the inspiration for the TajMahal. You can see the entire complex in about an hour, depending on your desire to stay and take plenty of time to enjoy the atmosphere. It was a wonderful place to visit.
Next, head to Lodhi Garden. It’s another favourite place in the city. It is a beautiful park.
Take a walk through Lodhi Colony to end your sightseeing day. This neighbourhood has been turned into a street art area. It’s an excellent spot to search for murals since they’re large and colourful.
Day Four: Explore South Delhi
Enjoy a stroll through South Delhi to end your stay in Delhi. Start your day with a stroll around the Lotus Temple, an open-air Sydney Opera House-esque place of worship.
Next, visit Qutub Minar. This impressive minaret, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is at the height of 73 meters and is surrounded by many interesting ruins and monuments. It was my favourite spot in Delhi, and I know this is a common sentiment. On the grounds, I spent more than an hour photographing.
Afternoon, go to the PVR Directors Cut cinema for a Bollywood film. This luxury cinema is located in South Delhi and features comfortable seats that can be reclined, blankets, pillows, air purifiers, waiters, and food delivery.
Day Five: Agra
You can take the Gatimaan Express train to Delhi from Delhi. Arrive in Agra at around noon. After checking into your homestay (I stayed in this beautiful one) and making arrangements for a driver the next day, it’s now time to go out and find a rickshaw driver who will take you around the city for the day.
You will be amazed at the sprawling Agra Fort if you make it your first stop. It was amazing that I could spend over an hour exploring the complex. I found it to be far more impressive than Delhi Red Fort. The fort offers many views of the TajMahal, so be sure to keep your eyes open as you wander through the grounds.
Next on your list is the ItimadUdDaulah tomb, also known as Baby Taj. It’s not very crowded. You can relax and take photos from many angles of the garden’s tiles and structures.
Inquire about being brought to the TajMahal viewpoint, which is on the opposite side of the river and overlooks the tomb.
It’s time for the main event. If you’re visiting Agra in the winter, I recommend seeing the TajMahal at sunset. This will keep the fog from rolling in every morning. It’s a destination you’ll spend hours investigating, and even if you believe it’s overrated, you won’t be disappointed.
Day Six: Travel Day From Agra to Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri & Abhaneri
You will be leaving at daybreak this morning if you opt to forgo the TajMahal at sunset the day before. Why not combine the two? Despite my desire to watch the morning once more, I chose to sleep. It will be time to hop in the car and drive to Jaipur after a short breakfast.
Fatehpur Sikri will be your first stop on the journey, approximately an hour from Agra. Because there is so much to see, you’ll probably spend at least two hours here. This walled city goes back to the 16th century and served as the Mughal Empire’s capital for slightly over 10 years. It was quickly abandoned after that, but the red sandstone buildings remain perfectly intact today.
You’ll arrive in Abhaneri after two hours of driving. Here you can take a look at India’s largest stepwell. It’s also known as Chand Baori, and it’s India’s largest stepwell.
It was built in 800 AD and had 3500 steps. The 100-foot drop makes it one of the deepest in all of India. Stay at Le Fort Homestay for the night. The hotel offers great breakfasts and is close to many excellent restaurants. Also, the owner is very helpful. It is located right up against the fort, making it a very cool spot. It was a wonderful place.
Day Seven: Exploring Jaipur
This beautiful, pink-coloured city has so many things to see. Fortunately, you can easily visit all the tourist attractions within a single day. Amber Fort should be your first stop. You’ll want it to open as soon as possible to avoid crowds. I would aim to leave Jaipur by 7:30 AM and then take an Uber to reach Amber Fort for its opening time.
You’ll want the best of what the fort has to offer. So, prioritize seeing the most popular areas. The Hall of Mirrors is frequently crowded, so get there early. Make your way to Jaigarh Fort after you’ve strolled through all four regions of Amber Fort and spent an hour shooting photographs on its walls.After seeing the main attraction, take an Uber to Jaipur and stop at the lake palace.
It’ll then be back to Jaipur. Grab a ricksha and ask the driver for directions to HawaMahal. Rather than rushing, snap shots on both sides of the street and go inside to observe what’s going on. To get the best view of the HawaMahal, grab a chair at the Wind View Cafe.
You can also enjoy taking photos of the pink buildings while you are in the old town. If you just have a limited amount of time, I suggest bypassing the City Palace. It was, for me, the most boring part of Jaipur.
You can still feel energized if you head to Nahargarh Fort for a stunning view of the city. A great way to see the sunset over Jaipur is to visit.
ALTERNATIVE DESTINATIONS IN GOLDEN TRIANGLE
You can visit many other places if you don’t have as much time or don’t want to devote yourself to Delhi.You might visit Ranthambore National Park on your way to or from Agra or Jaipur. This wildlife reserve was once a royal hunting ground. On safari, it is one of the greatest spots to watch wild Indian Tigers. Although you are not guaranteed to see them on safari, it would be worthwhile if there are a few extra days. If you are a keen birdwatcher, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Keoladeo Ghana National Park can be incorporated into your journey to Jaipur.
Travel tips & advice for the Golden Triangle
Uber and Ola are great options for getting around
Uber and Ola, India’s counterpart of Uber, have changed the way people travel in India. Uber was a more popular option for us as we could easily pay via the app. Ola requires you to pay in cash as it doesn’t accept foreign credit cards. However, prices will be slightly lower.
Although I love the rickshaw ride, it is frustrating to have to haggle and deal with drivers. They may also misunderstand our directions, leading to us being taken to the wrong location. Plus, open-air driving can be so polluting that it’s not good for your lungs.
Uber was great at giving me a price limit for negotiating with rickshaw drivers. If you show drivers the Uber rate on your smartphone, they will usually match it. It’s also cheap! It was amazing to see that a 90-minute drive from Delhi cost only $10.
For trains, 12Go Asia offers:
There were many horror stories about travelling by train in India in the past. You could spend hours waiting to get tickets, end up in a packed carriage with no seats or be scammed by agents when trying to purchase tickets.
Like Uber, 12Go Asia has greatly improved train bookings in the country by allowing you to book online up to four months ahead of time and using your debit cards at home. While 12Go earns a commission from sales, it was worth it to me to have the peace of mind knowing that everything was booked.
Redbus for buses:
While in India, I took three buses and was impressed with their quality. Buses might be a more cost-effective alternative than trains if you are on a limited budget. You should check the seat map before you travel. Some buses have double beds on one side and one on the other. Solo female travellers out there, you will want to ensure that you reserve a single bed to avoid sharing one with someone else. Redbus was my booking agent.
English is widely spoken:
There are no language barriers in India. English is spoken widely throughout the country, especially in the Golden Triangle. You can communicate with everyone you need if you are doing any touristy activities.
On Fridays and Mondays, several attractions are closed
The TajMahal is closed on Fridays, in case you didn’t know. Although I did not know this before I arrived in the country, I could go on Tuesday because I had planned to.
However, on Monday, my last day in New Delhi, I was able to schedule a visit to the Lotus Temple. It was no longer open. I would have done my homework ahead of time and planned it into one of my other sightseeing days.
Make sure to do a quick Google search of opening hours for any attraction or museum you are interested in when planning your India itinerary. Mondays are the most popular day for museums and attractions to close.
Get a SIM Card:
It is easy to obtain a SIM card for India. An Airtel representative will be at the New Delhi airport arrivals area. They’ll scan your passport and insert the SIM card for you. Once activated, they’ll also activate it. India’s data costs are very affordable. 1.5GB of data with unlimited local calls is 900 rupees ($13) if purchased at the airport or 250 rupees in an Airtel shop in Delhi. You’ll have to go through a more involved procedure for this.
You can haggle, but you also don’t care:
India is a country where bargaining is anticipated. The costs, though, are so cheap that it’s crucial to keep in mind what you’re fighting for. For five minutes, I tried to persuade a rickshaw driver to reduce his fare by 50 rupees. That’s the equivalent of 70 cents in US dollars. It was just absurd! What’s more, guess what? It makes no difference if a dollar deceives you. Your money is more important to the drivers than it is to you.
You can pay with your card to get a discount:
Most tourist attractions in India offer discounts if you use your card instead of cash. Although it isn’t much, it adds up over time. Our British debit cards were accepted at all attractions.
Preparation for pollution by purchasing an N95 mask
There is a lot of pollution in this section of India. Make sure you’ve got a N95 mask handy. I bought a mask from Amazon after doing a lot of research. Because the new coronavirus is frequently costly and out of supply, it isn’t worth connecting to masks.
N95 masks screen out 95% of tiny particles smaller than 2.5 microns, which can be harmful to your health. It’s critical to make sure your mask fits snugly. If you can feel air flowing out of your sides, you’re still breathing hazardous chemicals. Breathing will be quite tough, and you’ll know it’s working. Although they were not the most comfortable, they were nonetheless quite simple to wear and use.
Avoid street dogs while
I was in India when a rabies outbreak occurred, and I have since promised to convey knowledge about the disease’s hazards. I’ve learnt a lot in the previous month. Rabies can be transferred through the saliva of infected animals. This isn’t to say that a dog with frothing gums should bite you. It can be transmitted even if the animal shows no signs of illness. It can also be transmitted by bites and scrapes. By smearing saliva on your eyes, nose, and mouth, you might contract rabies.
India’s street dogs are adorable, and I had a lot of fun playing with them. But it was just a case of me being a moron. It’s not going to be worth it. The country with the greatest incidences of rabies, India, is responsible for around 30,000 deaths each year. Keeping your dog company isn’t worth it, no matter how cute they are.
If you come into touch with a dog and it bites your leg or anything else, see a doctor right away for post-exposure therapy. It stops you from getting sick. You don’t want the chance of contracting rabies.
Pay attention to the drains
Although drain covers appear to be sturdy on the street, they might be fragile and open at the sewer. When walking, keep an eye on your feet to avoid this.
How to feel safe as a woman in India ?
In India, I had significantly less trouble than I had anticipated. I was not subjected to any sexual harassment or groping, and I just got a few stares from the locals. Whether I was walking alone or with Dave, everyone treated me with respect. This was a pleasant surprise!
Teenage lads will take advantage of you by requesting your photograph. I originally agreed to take my picture with anybody who asked, but I ultimately got tired of it and began declining requests. I wasn’t asking any local females to photograph me. They want to pretend on social media that they have a Western girlfriend.
My tour guide was Jaipur. He cautioned me about agreeing to photograph local males. I stopped taking pictures with them and only allowed relatives and adolescent females to do so.
You might be shocked to learn that travelling in India as a woman can be a lot of fun. The Delhi Metro has a number of women-only carriages. For the most part, I was able to skip the lines and enter the women’s queue instead. I was always greeted warmly by the local women. I was particularly welcomed by a group of adolescent females who were eager to talk and hang out with me.
As a solo traveller by train, there were many times when locals checked with me to ensure I was safe. They also reassured me that they could help me if I felt unsafe or in danger.
Although many tourists won’t notice you in the Golden Triangle because of their sheer number, you can still practice safety precautions.
Dress modestly, avoid being spotted, remain in well-lit locations at night, keep your valuables close to your body, and don’t put your safety on the line to save money. You can scream at anyone who attempts to touch you, and many other people in the area will assist you. If you’re travelling late at night, I recommend staying at a guesthouse with a good reputation.
Keep in mind that there are far more rapes per head in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. than in India. You’ll be safer in India than in other countries, despite all the media attention that has been given to rape in India.
What is the story about the Delhi belly ?
My biggest fear was Delhi Belly. I was 100% sure that I would get food poisoning here in India. It happens to everyone.
Yet, it didn’t. My boyfriend and I were able to eat anywhere that offered delicious food. We never suffered from food poisoning. Three things kept us safe, in my opinion:
I am going vegetarian!
Many Indians are vegetarians. India has the lowest meat consumption in the world. We switched to a meat-free life. You’ll want to avoid all fruits and vegetables, even if they aren’t cooked or peeled, while you’re there.
In India, many occurrences of food poisoning are caused by general contamination, such as touching bacteria-infested surfaces without washing your hands or touching your lips. I used hand sanitizer every hour or so and avoided touching my face. In restaurants, I also used hand soap to disinfect any knives and forks that had been touched by unclean tap water.
Pudin Hara, Indian peppermint oil capsules — is my new favourite. I take them whenever my stomach gets a bit upset. They can be purchased at any Indian pharmacy, or you can order them online. I had about 100 tablets and a capsule with each meal. These tablets were life-changing and good for settling my stomach. I plan to keep a lot of them with me when I travel. The deliciously minty burps overpowered any curry aromas emanating from me was a bonus.
Where to go after going to the Golden Triangle ?
I strongly recommend that you see more of India than the Golden Triangle.
Although I enjoyed my time in India, I have to admit that I was drawn to India’s next destination. India is a vast country that has so much more than the three most well-known cities.
After finishing up in Jaipur, I went to Rajasthan. I visited Bundi and Pushkar as well as Udaipur and Jodhpur.
Other than Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, you might take the train to Mumbai to visit another Indian city. Another alternative is Varanasi. Goa is always a possibility. Kerala is also stunning. You can even go to the northern highlands.
Yes, why should you go to the golden triangle ?
If you’re still uncertain, this guide will persuade you to go.
If you give yourself enough time to visit everything, you’ll have a fantastic trip. You should not leave India immediately because there is still a lot to see.