• The Taj Mahal, Agra, with reflective pool

India’s Golden Triangle Deluxe 8 Night Tour

Our India Golden Triangle Tour is one of the most spectacular ways to experience India, allowing you to really get to know this magical part of the world. The eight-day tour takes you on a whirlwind journey to India’s most enigmatic cities and cultures - where you’ll discover past and present in Delhi, royal resplendence in Agra and fairytale dreams in Jaipur.

This is the perfect introduction to one of the world’s most mesmerising destinations. With knowledgeable guides and a detailed itinerary, our India tour introduces you to the most sumptuous Indian cuisine, enchanting ancient monuments and vibrant cultures. Prepare to dive into a rich tapestry of culture and colour, where each day brings new adventures and perspectives.

As experts in all things tour and travel, rest assured that a Hayes & Jarvis guided tour will leave no stone unturned and no detail unrefined - and wherever you stay, it will be in supreme comfort and luxury. Come prepared for the adventure of a lifetime; leave the rest to us. Spend eight-days traversing India’s famous Golden Triangle, discovering bygone eras and dynamic cities. From the wild energy of Delhi to the charismatic romance of Agra and the colourful exuberance of Jaipur, a whole world of adventure awaits your Golden Triangle tour. Begin your journey here.

Duration
9 days

Guide Price

£1,799 pp
Best time to go
October and November, February and March
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
Humayun's Tomb

Trip highlights

  • Discover the modern and ancient worlds of Delhi
  • Revel in the sheer magnificence of Agra’s Taj Mahal
  • Soak in the picturesque views of Jaipur, Rajasthan’s Pink City
  • Stay in gorgeous Indian hotels, feast on exquisite cuisine and travel in comfort and style

You’ll arrive in Delhi, be met at the airport and then transferred to your hotel, where you’ll stay for two nights. The Taj Palace Hotel offers every comfort and luxury for your stay in Delhi, with a huge swimming pool set in beautiful gardens, well-appointed suites and an array of stylish restaurants and bars.

The first stop on your exciting Golden Triangle itinerary is Delhi, India’s chaotic and captivating capital. An intoxicating fusion of old and new, past and future, there is ample to explore in this city. Wander elegant shops and colourful bazaars; discover colonial-era architecture and ornate mosques; and feast at gourmet restaurants or sizzling street-stalls. Few places have such a fascinating and diverse history as India’s capital.

For your first afternoon in the city, you may want to take to the streets to explore, or simply relax in the hotel. Over dinner in the evening, you’ll meet your Golden Triangle Tour Manager, where you can discuss the itinerary and ask any questions. The following day, the adventure begins.

Humayun's Tomb

After a delicious breakfast, where you may savour some of your first tastes of authentic Indian cuisine, the day discovering Delhi commences. A pick-up will collect you from your hotel at 9 am - first stop, Old Delhi.

Old Delhi is the 300-year-old ancient walled city, built by the renowned Mughal emperor, Shan Jehan in 1648 as his illustrious Mughal Empire capital. The area’s royal mantle has left a splattering of incredible monuments and architectural masterpieces. You’ll explore the magnificent Jama Mosque; a sight to behold in red sandstone and soaring minaret towers. Then, the historic Red Fort, where the Prime Minister addresses the nation on Independence Day. The splendour continues with a trip to Jama Masjid, one of India’s most exquisite mosques, standing tall and beautiful on a hillock overlooking the city. As you move from one masterpiece to the next, you’ll experience Delhi's contrasts: embracing these monuments on all sides, a thriving, modern city, set in a startling medieval setting. The return journey takes you to Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s shrine.

Heritage and culture continue in New Delhi, once the British colonial capital. Here, you’ll find the stunning President’s House - Rashtrapati Bhavan - and the flanking Secretarial buildings; the nerve centre of India’s government. Further along the hillock lies the iconic India Gate, the memorial built to commemorate the heroes of WW1 and the Indo-Afghan War. Taj Mahal’s sublime predecessor, Humayun’s Tomb is spectacular, with infinite arches and immaculate lawns. Built in 1565 by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Hamayun is an early Mughal garden tomb, thought to have inspired the Taj.

The historical highlights don’t end there - a Delhi tour would not be complete without a visit to twelfth-century Qutab Minar, arguably the city’s most well-known monument. Standing tall and narrow at 72 metres, this was Dehli’s first Quwat-ul-Islam (Light of Islam) mosque. The day ends with some Hindu heritage, at the beautiful Lakshmi Narayan temple, built by one of India’s most esteemed families, the Birlas.

After an action-packed day of exploration, you’ll return to the hotel, ready for a good night’s rest before the journey to Agra.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Taj Palace Hotel

Today is a travel day, providing time to reflect on your Delhi experiences and have a look over those epic photographs! A final breakfast and you’ll bid farewell to Delhi, as the Golden Triangle tour moves on to the turrets and terraces of Agra. You’ll be picked up from your hotel at 9 am, and a 4-5 hour scenic drive transports you to the next city on your inspiring India tour.

Arriving in Agra in the afternoon, there’s ample time to wander the city at leisure, perhaps stopping for chai at one of the tea stalls or discovering one of Agra’s boutique cafes. As dusk falls, return to your hotel to relax ahead of another eventful day. You’ll be staying at either the ITC Mughal or Radisson Blu - each providing the best in cuisine, comfort and amenities.

Rising early in the morning, you’ll meet Agra’s most iconic and memorable feature: the resplendent Taj Mahal. The first rays of sun cast a pink and gold glow on the shimmering walls of the Taj; a magical spectacle. This time of day provides unmatched romance of setting, and the opportunity to explore the mausoleum with fewer tourists. Built by the emperor Shan Jahan in 1560, to enshrine his queen Mumtaz Mahal’s remains, the Taj Mahal is a sight that can only be truly appreciated in person. Perfectly proportioned, an edifice of white marble that took 20,000 craftsmen and 17 years to build, your Taj Mahal tour provides fascinating insights into this astonishing building and the stories behind it.

Returning to the hotel thoroughly awestruck, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous breakfast. Later that day, you’ll visit Agra Fort - a huge, imposing sandstone fort, telling tales of the grandeur of the Mughal Empire. Highlights of the fort include the exquisite Dewan-e-Am, where the Emperor conducted his subjects, and the opulent Dewan-e-Khas, where he received foreign dignitaries. As dusk settles over the city, you’ll return to the Taj (once just isn’t enough!) - this time savouring the views from the immaculate lawns of Mehtab Bagh park, directly opposite. Expect an astonishing sunset.

Suggested Accommodation

  • ITC Mughal or Radisson Blu

The next location on your whistle-stop India tour is Rajasthan's legendary Jaipur, landscaped in palaces and innumerable pink buildings. After breakfast, you’ll set off to the Pink City - a five-six hour drive - pausing on the way at Fatehpur Sikri. This mysterious and deserted city was built in 1569 by Emperor Akbar, in honour of the great Saint Sheikh Salim Christi, who blessed Akbar and prophesied three sons to the heirless Emperor. Once Akbar’s capital, the city was abandoned due to shortages of water, soon falling to neglect. Roam the ‘Ghost City's’ spectacular and remarkably well-preserved buildings, including Jama Masjid, the Salim Chisti tomb and Panch Mahal Palace. Each building, and the embracing arches and ponds, illustrate the splendour of the ancient Mughal Empire.

The drive continues through the expanses of Rajasthan’s rust-hued desert, the pink promise of Jaipur winking on the horizon. Spend the evening with a delicious dinner at the elegant ITC Rajputana Hotel.

Your day in Jaipur begins in style at the iconic Amber Fort. This utterly magnificent fort comprises a sprawling palace complex, with other-worldly interiors: marble arches and pink sandstone terraces; walls embellished with precious stones and mirrors; and an abundance of the region’s traditional miniature paintings. Inside the Amber Fort resides the Jag Mandir, or Hall of Victory, with the famous Sheesh Mahal room - all four walls and ceiling coated in glittering mirror fragments, specially imported from Belgium. En route to the fort, the tour will make a brief stop at Hawa Mahal, a palace composed of countless stacked terraces, all the quintessential Jaipur pink.

The afternoon continues in royal form at the Maharaja's City Palace - the former royal residence. A spread of courtyards, buildings and gardens covering one-seventh of the entire city’s landscape, this incredible palace is situated at the centre of the Old City. The on-site museum houses a huge collection of ancient armoury and weaponry. Further intrigue is found later in the day at Jantar Mantar, an impressive observatory with an array of strange-looking sculptures and astronomy instruments.

Suggested Accommodation

  • ITC Rajputana Hotel

After numerous days watching shifting scenery as you journey through India and taking in the country’s most majestic monuments and colourful cities, this part of your India tour offers a respite from travelling and the opportunity to enjoy some authentic experiences in Jaipur.

There are a number of different experiences you can join, each unique and rewarding - all optional. The cooking demonstration - and dining - with a local family takes your tastebuds on a rich and exotic tour of India’s most exquisite cuisine. Gain insights into the myriad flavours and colours, and gain tips from the experts, with opportunities to join in preparations - kneading the dough for chapatis or preparing traditional gravies. After the hard-work, settle down for a feast! (Cost: USD 5 per person).

In the morning or afternoon, you can take part in an art workshop with local artisans. These exceptional workshops are entirely bespoke, led by Jaipur’s finest artisans and craftsmen. Art is a significant and renowned part of the Rajasthani culture, and this is a unique way to connect with the local community, learning skills and techniques that have been passed down for centuries. The workshops include a huge range of hands-on creative activities, including Blue Pottery, Kite-making, Puppet-making, Tie Dye, Miniature Painting and Meenakari (jewellery) work. (Cost: USD 62 per person).

An option for your evening in Jaipur is a traditional Aarti ceremony at the sparkling, white-marble Birla Temple. Elaborately costumed idols of Lord Ram and Sita are presented, and there is much chanting and singing. (Cost: USD 5 per person).

Suggested Accommodation

  • ITC Rajputana Hotel

A last breakfast in Jaipur, and it’s time to wave goodbye to the beautiful Pink City. A five-six hour journey takes you back to Delhi, where your epic adventure first began. Once you’ve checked in at the hotel - again, a superior suite at the Taj Palace Hotel - you have the rest of the day to spend as you like. Enjoy a last spicy Indian meal, do some last-minute shopping, or simply relax at the hotel, reminiscing over the events of your Golden Triangle Tour.

The final morning of your India tour! A transfer will take you to the airport in the morning, where you’ll board your onward or return flight from Delhi.

Included

  • Accommodation as detailed in twin or double bed with private facilities (alternative but similar hotels may be used at certain times of year)
  • Meals included as detailed
  • Private air-conditioned transport
  • Services of a qualified English-speaking local guide
  • Airport assistance and transfers
  • All site entrance fees while touring as appropriate
  • International flights

Not included

  • Visa fees
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Beverages during meals
  • Tips for the driver/guide
  • Excursions not detailed