Help a Reader Travel: “Golden Triangle” of India

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Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! As I’ve mentioned before, I have not been to every destination (unfortunately), but do get questions from friends and other blog readers on all sort of travel destination questions. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to MauiThe Greek IslandsPacific Coast HighwayArgentina /Buenos AiresCosta RicaCape Cod & The IslandsIcelandGenevaCanadian RockiesRomeIsraelPeru, StockholmChicago, ParisHanoiAustinPuerto RicoBrugesSalzburg, Istanbul, and Las Vegas.

So this weeks travel destination includes a portion of India. I received the following email from reader Lauren:

“I will be traveling to India this March and specifically am looking for tips on the “Golden Triangle” cities such as Agra as well as Mumbai. I’ve picked out most of the hotels except for Mumbai and would love tips on restaurants, sights, day trips, etc. Thanks!”

If you’ve ever been to the “Golden Triangle” part of India and have any recommendations, let’s help out reader Lauren by commenting below.

Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!

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11 years ago

I would also love to hear about how to book tours (EXCLUDING air and hotel) from Delhi to Agra, to Jaipur.
It would be helpful if someone can mention the URL of the tour company.

11 years ago

I just moved back to India from the US, and have to say that its changed a lot in the 5+ years I was not here.
1) Don’t expect things to be cheap! Eating at a nice restaurant, going out to a bar is as expensive as New York.
2) Agra: I would leave right after I see the Taj Mahal. From Delhi, there is a new expressway that connects the suburb of Greater Noida to Agra in 1.5 hours by road.
3) The best part of the golden triangle for me has always been Jaipur. Given that you are a girl, you will love it even more due it the amazing shopping you can do there. Go to Choki Dhani for a dinner, its a great experience, all my American friends always loved it.
4) Delhi: I would recommend atleast 3 days as there is a lots to see. If you like eating good food, Delhi is the place to be. From fancy restaurants to amazing street food, you will find everything here. Definitely check out Old Delhi, and the other dozens of monuments including the Akshardham Temple.

You can e-mail me at if you want any specific suggestions.

11 years ago

I respectfully disagree with Ansh on Point #2.

There is a lot more to see around Agra that is of tremendous historical significance. The Taj is simply spectacular and you cannot miss it. Beyond that, here are a few other suggestions.

1. Agra – see Agra Fort
2. Sikandra (on the way to Delhi) – see Akbar’s Tomb
3. Fatehpur Sikri (on the way to Jaipur) – amazing place

The Akshardham Temple would be relatively low on my list of places to go in Delhi. Here are the must see places in Delhi:

1. Central Delhi / India Gate – just drive around and go see India Gate – this is India’s administrative center and the most beautiful part of Delhi with wide tree-lined streets and a feeling for the old Colonial days.
2. Red Fort
3. Chandi Chowk / Sis Ganj Gurudwara / Old Delhi – be prepared for insane crowds
4. Humayun’s Tomb
5. Qutub Minar – at one point, the world’s tallest building
6. Lodi Gardens – also in Central Delhi, very beautiful
7. Lotus Temple – one of the world’s busiest tourist sites if not the busiest

The Akshardham Temple is a pain to get to because it’s across the Yamuna river and it’s got 0 historical significance. It’s more like a Las Vegas casino that tried to emulate a Hindu temple. We should really all be honest with ourselves that all the most beautiful and historically significant Hindu temples are not in North India because they were destroyed by the Mughals. If you have time to see Ajanta and Ellora as a side trip from Mumbai – those are much more historically significant and beautiful.

Furthermore, if you have time, you should add Amritsar / Golden Temple / Wagah Border to your list. Wagah Border is really cheesy and touristy but most of our foreign friends loved it and the Golden Temple, the center of Sikhism, is one of the most serene experiences in the world. India has tremendous religious and ethnic diversity and the list above should allow you to experience many of these components.

Have fun!

11 years ago

Im not going to bother with Delhi as the folks above seem to have it covered. Regarding going to the Taj, it generally opens up at around 5.30 AM. I highly recommend going at the point…after that the place is a mad house and generally not as much fun.

In Bombay, I highly recommend staying at the JW marriott if you can afford to or have the points to. The location is great and all rooms have great views. You can also stay at the Taj Lands End in Bandra, though personally have never stayed there. My personal favorite however is the Westin. While a tad bit in the suburbs, it makes up for it by having direct access to the highway so you can get most places pretty quick. Also if you are an elite, you are treated incredibly well here. And its very reasonably priced. I paid about $110 a night for my 1000+sq ft suite (comp upgrade for being an elite) with 270 degree views of the city on the 31st floor.

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