Golden Triangle Private Tour

I have never in my life had an experience such as the one that I had in India. That trip truly was life changing and I will never look at things in the same way. I absolutely fell in love with India while we were there. I enjoyed the visit to India immensely and would recommend to my friends. Lauren C.

New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur- Visit the most popular historical and cultural sites in three most visited, fascinating cities in 7 days / 6 hotel overnights. Prices include 3-star or 5-star hotels with breakfast on double/twin occupancy basis (supplement for single hotel room occupancy is extra), air-conditioned car with driver, English speaking guide in all monuments, entrances to monuments, Rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk Bazaar in Delhi, Elephant ride in Amber Fort & much more - please call Brij to plan your custom designed Golden Triangle Tour with your choice of hotels!)

Day 01 // Delhi: Arrive in Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. Traditional welcome with fresh flower garland and transfer to hotel. Overnight in hotel.

Day 02 // Delhi:

After breakfast sightseeing of Qutub Minar: its construction was initiated by Qutubudin-Aibak in 1198 CE upon becoming the first Sultan of Delhi. Qubub Uddin Aibak was born in Turkestan of ethnic Mamluk descent. This was a region where youth went out to neighboring countries and joined their armies as mercenaries. Often they were enslaved when the army they were fighting with lost. Qutubuddin was sold to the Qazi (Islamic judge) of Nishapur in Persia. There he became favorite of his master because of his skills of horse-riding and archery among other warrior abilities. Qazi’s sons were jealous and they sold him after the Qazi’s death. Finally he ended up as slave of Sultan Muhammad of Ghur province of Afghanistan. He led Sultan of Ghur’s army in the 1st and 2nd battles of Tarain and was appointed Governor of Lalkot, the capital of the last Hindu Chauhan dynasty kingdom. When Muhammad of Ghur was assassinated, Qutubuddin bin Aibak declared himself sovereign monarch and started the construction of Qutub Jami Mosque (a.k.a. Quwwat ul Islam Mosque) and Qutub Minar. The construction of minaret did not complete in his lifetime and many later Islamic rulers of various successive dynasties left their mark on this monument, which is now 5 stories high and 73 meters or 240 feet tall. The mosque was constructed using architectural elements of 27 Hindu and Jain temples that were demolished to build it. Much of the decorative pillars and facades of walls in the mosque were used without alteration in the new mosque, only the Arabic verses from the Quran were added new, sculpted by Hindu artisans who did not know the Arabic language. They curved the endings of letters as they did with Sanskrit language carvings. Qutub Minar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Later sightseeing of the Second Mughal Emperor Humayun's Tomb - its architecture may have influenced the construction of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Emperor Humayun died just six months after winning the throne of Delhi in 1556 CE. His widow, Hamida Bano Begum (a.k.a. Haji Begum) supervised its construction under Mughal Emperor Akbar’s rule. Having recently returned from Persia and its architect, Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, being a Persian, the monuments has elements of Persian and Hindu architecture blended in it. Many later Mughal rulers are also buried in this mausoleum. Humayun’s Tomb is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Proceed further for sightseeing of India Gate (the war memorial), Parliament House and Presidents House (from outside) and for lunch at Gulati’s Restaurant in Khan Market nearby. The British decided in 1911 to move their capital from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to Delhi. Edwin Landseer Lutyens and his friend Herbert Baker were chosen for designing various buildings in the new capital. In 1914 the First World War started and continued until 1918. During this period the new capital’s construction was halted. Finally after its construction completed, the British capital was moved to New Delhi in 1931. India Gate was originally a monument to honor the fallen Indian soldiers in World War I, but now honors Indian soldiers all subsequent wars.

In the afternoon stop by the Red Fort for photography from outside - the massive sandstone fort built by Shah Jahan on the banks of river Yamuna. The fifth Mughal Emperor Shahjahan moved his capital from Agra to Delhi in 1636 and started the construction of the walled “Shahjahanabad” city with 14 gates. The most important gates, Mori, Lahori, Ajmeri, Turkman, Kashmiri and Delhi Gates still exist along with some remnants of the wall. Within the city there were many monuments constructed but the most ambitious project was the Red Fort – according to a horoscope done to determine the auspicious time for starting its construction, the work on building the Red Fort started on May 12, 1639. In the Emperor’s Balcony in Diwan-i-Am or the Hall of Public Audience, there are a set of marble panels that were made in Pietra Dure art by the Florentine jeweler, Austin de Bordeaux. The most famous of these is the one depicting Orpheus playing the flute. There are many other palaces in the fort that were decorated with inlay of semi-precious stones in marble. Red Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jama Masjid - is the largest mosque in India and stands across the road from the Red Fort, built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan 1650-56 CE. It was originally called "Masjid-i-Jahannuma" or world reflecting mosque. Its construction was supervised by Vazir Saadula Khan and its chief architect was Ustad Khalil. About 25,000 people can pray here at a time

End the day with thrilling Rickshaw Ride in narrow lanes between Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk Bazaar. Overnight in hotel in New Delhi.

Day 03 // New Delhi – Agra (165 kilometers or 103 miles in about 2 hours)

After breakfast transfer to Agra on the Yamuna Expressway and on arriving stop at the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah. This is the mausoleum built under supervision of Empress Nurjahan for her parents, Mirza Ghiaz Beg and Begum Asmat in 1628 CE almost 7 years after her father's death. Mirza Ghiaz Beg received the title of Itmad-ud-Daulah or ‘Lord of Treasure of the Empire’ from Emperor Jahangir. Upon arrival check in to the hotel.

In the afternoon sightseeing of Agra Fort. Emperor Akbar moved his capital to Agra from Delhi in 1558 but the construction of the Agra Fort started in 1565. It was built on the ruins of an earlier fort named Badalgarh. The first Mughal Emperor Babur had occupied this fort after his victory in the battle of Panipat in 1526 CE. His son, second Mughal Emperor Humayun was crowned in the old fort of Badalgarh in 1530. With about 4000 laborers and craftsmen toiling for 8 years the fort's construction was completed in 1573.

The entire fort was built with narrow flat brick masonry work and laminated with red sandstone from the stone quarry at Sikri village west of Agra. According the Emperor Akbar's official biography written by his trusted friend, Abul Fazl, there were about 5000 buildings in the fort. Some of these buildings were demolished to make way for white marble palaces of Emperor Shahjahan, facing the Yamuna River, on the eastern side of the fort. Most of the buildings in western side were converted in to soldier’s barracks by the British East India Company. The western part of the fort is still occupied by Indian military. Emperor Akbar's style was greatly influenced by the architecture of the states of Gujarat and Bengal. It is also very unique because it reflects Emperor Akbar's tolerant religious philosophy. The best of example of his architecture is visible in the palace popularly called Jahangiri Mahal. In 1666 the great Maratha warrior, Shivaji met with Emperor Aurangzeb but the Mughal Emperor broke his promise and arrested him. He managed to escape in a spectacular manner by hiding in fruit baskets for distribution to poor. The Jat and Maratha ruler occupied Agra Fort in later years. Finally in 1803 the British East India Company captured it and demolished most of its monuments, only about 30 monuments have survived in the south-eastern side of the fort. In 1983 the Agra Fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Monument.

Later view the demostration of Pietra-Dure (inlay of semi-precious stones in marble) art work that is used in the decoration of the Taj Mahal in the city's oldest establishment. Some of the art work on display that is not for sale in this place is the finest of its kind in the world. View how descendents of the craftsmen who decorated the Taj mahal do this unique art work using hand operated tools similar to those used by their forefathers. Overnight in hotel in Agra.

Day 4 // Agra:

Before sunrise visit the world famous Taj Mahal in the golden glow of sunrise. Ample time in the vast complex for photographing and viewing the intricate Pietra Dure (inlay of semi-precious stones in marble art work, used in the exterior and interior of the monument.

Prince Khurram (later Emperor Shahjahan) and his father Prince Salim met their favorite future queens in a mock market called Meena Bazaar to celebrate the Persian new year festival of Nowroz in Agra Fort. Prince Salim wanted to marry Mehr un Nissa Begum, the daughter of Mirza Ghiaz Beg but Emperor Akbar did not want Shiya influence in the royal family so he asked Mirza Ghiaz Beg to marry his daughter to an Afghan commander and had him posted in Bihar. Prince Khurram was third eldest and not initially in direct line of succession. He was betrothed to Arjumand Bano Begum on April 5, 1607 but Prince Salim delayed his marriage. After death of Emperor Akbar, Prince Salim ascended the throne with the title of Emperor Jahangir and it was only in May 1610 that Mehr un Nissa, the widow of the Afghan commander finally agreed to marry him. He honored her with the title of Nurjahan (light of the world) after his marriage. One year later on May 10, 1612, Prince Khurram was finally allowed to marry his beloved Arjumand Bano Begum, who was the niece of Mehr un Nissa (her brother’s daughter and granddaughter of Mirza Ghiaz Beg). She received the title of Begum Mumtaj Mahal after her marriage with the Mughal prince. Begum Mumtaj Mahal was 19 years when they married. She was his constant companion and most trusted advisor. During their 19 years of marriage she gave birth to 14 children of which only 3 daughters and 4 sons survived. The youngest son, Aurangzeb fought a war of succession against his elder brothers. One after the other he won against all of them, had all the brothers killed and then put his father, Emperor Shahjahan, under arrest in his own palaces in Agra Fort. Queen Mumtaj Mahal died on June 17, 1631 while delivering her 14th child, a daughter, Gauhar Ara Begum, who survived and lived in Shahjahanabad to a ripe age of 75 years. The site of the Taj Mahal mausoleum was a palace of the Maharaja of Amber, Mirza Raja Jai Singh. The Emperor asked him to give the palace back to him and gave him other properties in lieu. The queen was temporarily buried in Burhanpur where she died in an army encampment. The body was transferred to Agra and again temporarily buried in the northwest section of the garden of Taj Mahal where a red sandstone enclosure still marks the site of her temporary burial. The Taj Mahal mausoleum was completed in 1648 according to an inscription on its main gate. The tomb was built exclusively for Queen Mumtaj Mahal, so her grave stone is in the center of the grave chamber. Emperor Shahjahan died on January 16, 1666 in Mussamam Burj Palace in Agra Fort. He was buried by the queen’s side and his grave stone is the only architectural feature in this mausoleum that is not symmetrical. Taj Mahal, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the way back to the hotel view the demostration of the Zerdosi embossed embroidery. In the afternoon sightseeing of Sikandara, Mughal Emperor Akbar’s tomb. Its construction started in the third Mughal Emperor’s lifetime in 1604 CE and finally finished in 1613 CE during the reign of Emperor Jahangir, who married Mehr-un-Nissa, the daughter of his courtier of Persian origin. She may have had influence in the design and decoration of the main gate of this Mausoleum that displays Persian motifs. The main gate of the mausoleum is more impressive than the monument itself. Inside the main mausoleum there are still remains of the some beautiful paintings done using golden colors.

Later drive further north for sightseeing of the Dayalbagh Temple which is actually a memorial of the first Guru (Teacher) of the Dayalbagh religious organization. Sir Shiv Dayal Sahab established this group in 1861. Its basic tenets are unity of God and its philosophy blends elements of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Islam. The construction of Dayalbagh Temple started in 1905 and was finally completed in 2018. It is now open to public. It has some of the finest sculptural elements in white and colored marble as well as very special Pietra Dure art work. After sightseeing return to hotel. Overnight in hotel in Agra.

Day 5 // Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Jaipur:

After brealfast drive one hour to Fatehpur Sikri for sightseeing of Mughal Emperor Akbar’s deserted capital and the tomb of Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chistie in the courtyard of the grand mosque.

Emperor Akbar did not have a male heir to his throne for a long time. He came to the Sikri village to seek the blessings of the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chistie, who prophesied that Emperor Akbar would have three sons. The emperor moved with his Hindu queen, Jodha Bai, to Sikri village to live with the saint and started building an alternative capital at the site which was earlier a query for red sandstone. The construction of the new Mughal captal was between 1569 and 71and the Emperor lives there only up to 1585. The entire capital was built with red sandstone from the ridge on which it is located. The first born son was named Salim after the Sufi saint. The second was named Murad or the longed one. The third son was named Daniel, probably influenced by the Jesuit priests from Goa who were invited by the Emperor to teach him about Christianity. Emperor Akbar developed the philosophy of “Sulah Qul” – living in harmony with all religions. Later he developed his own religion, Din-i-Ilahi or faith of God. His dear friend and official biographer, Abul Fazl, was among the first to convert to the new religion which he described in “Akbar Nama”.

Visit the grand Friday “Jama Masjid” and the mausoleum of Sheikh Salim Chistie, which was renovated using the white marble by later Mughal Emperors. After Emperor Akbar moved away from this capital, living there only 14 years, the capital was deserted for more than 400 years until Lord Curzon, British Viceroy of India ordered the Archaeological Survey of India to restore this fascinating capital and this renovation work is still going on. The palaces were all covered with wild forest and wild animals lived in the palaces. The “Dargah” or mausoleum of the saint was never deserted and people from Agra and nearby villages have been coming there to seek the saint’s blessings for centuries. In 1986 Fatehpur Sikri was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site. After sightseeing drive further to Jaipur.

After arrival in Jaipur enjoy demonstrations of Wooden Block Textile Printing and Cutting & Polishing of colored precious stones for jewelry. Overnight in hotel in Jaipur. Jaipur city has recently been declared the UNESCO World Heritage City.

Day 6 // Amber and Jaipur:

After breakfast drive through the walled pink city to Hawa Mahal, which is mere facade with about 3 feet deep balconies behind stone carved, latticed screens where royal family women used to sit to watch the royal processions on the street in front.

After photographing drive further through the pink city to Amber Fort, the ancient capital of Kachwaha Maharajas before Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh designed India’s first planned city in ca. 1727 CE.

Enjoy a royal ride on decorated Elephants to the hilltop palaces of Amber Fort. The two main palace complexes in the fort belong to the reigns of Mirza Raja Jai Singh (1621 – 1667 CE) and Maharaja Man Singh (1589 – 1614 CE). Maharaja Man Singh already as a prince was in the service of Mughal Emperors. He established a life-long friendship with Emperor Akbar already in his younger years and was honored as one of the nine “Navratnas” (the 9 Jewels of Emperor’s court). He was governor of Bengal under Emperor Akbar and brought back the idol of Shila Devi that is now in the Kali Temple in Amber Fort. The descendants of the priests who accompanied the idol to Amber still serve in this temple.

Mirza Raja Jai Singh served as a courtier and commander under Mughal Emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan. The first palace entering from the Ganesh Pol gate was constructed during his reign and has influence of Mughal architectural style. It is most famous for the flat and convex mirror decorations on its walls and ceilings. After sightseeing descend by Jeeps and return to Jaipur city with stop on the way at Jal Mahal Island Palace for photographing.

In the afternoon visit the City Palace of Jaipur.

Sightseeing includes the Royal portraits gallery in the Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience), the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) where the famous “Gangajalis” – the silver urns are on display; these urns were used to carry Ganga river water to London when Maharaja Madho Singh II went there for celebrations of the coronation of King Edward VII in 1901;

the Mor Chowk (peacock) courtyard of Chandra Mahal, the palace where the present head of the Jaipur royal still resides. One of the gates leading into the courtyard has beautiful sculptures of Peacocks giving it the name of Mayur (Peacock) Chowk.

Stepping out the City Palace through its southern courtyard visit the world famous “Yantra Shala” astronomical observatory popularly called Jantar Mantar constructed by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II.

It is the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by the Maharaja. All but one of its 17 instruments are still functional. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The “Brihad Samrat Yantra” or the large sundial here is largest in the world and has an accuracy of 2 seconds. After sightseeing drive back to hotel for overnight in Jaipur.

Day 7 // JAIPUR - DELHI (260 Kilometers or 162 miles in 5 hours): Morning is free to relax. After lunch drive to New Delhi. Farewell dinner and transfer to Indira Gandhi International Airport to board your flight back to USA.

Suggested Hotels(other hotels can be booked and confirmed on request)-Prices are valid up March 31,2021 except from December 5,2020 to January 10,2021.

CITY

3 – 4-STAR HOTELS

5-STAR HOTELS

# OVERNIGHTS

NEW DELHI

JUSTA, GREATHER KAILASH

THE SURYA HOTEL

2

AGRA

TAJ RESORTS

CHRYSTAL SAROVAR

2

JAIPUR

UMAID BHAWAN HERITAGE HOTEL

RADISSON CITY CENTER

2

Price for one single person travelling alone

 USD 1085

USD 1485

 

Price per person for 2 persons travelling together

USD 738

USD 985

 

Price per person for 4 persons travelling together

USD 595

USD 855

 

FAREWELL DINNER

JUSTA GURGAON

ATRIO BOUTIQUE HOTEL

 

ABOVE MENTIONED PRICES INCLUDE FOLLOWING:

  • 6 night’s accommodation in the mentioned or similar hotels inclusive of taxes in double or twin bedroom.
  • Daily buffet breakfast at your hotels.
  • Deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with driver on full time basis.
  • Bottled water 2 per day in vehicle
  • Entrances to monuments
  • English speaking local guides at each city for city tour only as per program
  • Assistance at each city by our company representative
  • 1 Rickshaw ride at Jama Mosque in Delhi.
  • 1 Elephant ride at Amber Fort in Jaipur
  • Farewell dinner in a Gurgaon/New Delhi hotel as mentioned above
  • All taxes, parking fees, interstate taxes, state taxes, driver’s allowance etc.
  • Above prices are valid up to March 31, 2020
    except Dec. 5 to Jan. 10

ABOVE PRICES EXCLUDE FOLLOWING:

  • Round trip international air travel from USA to India (call us to assist you with booking of best air connections)
  • US citizens require their passports to be valid for six months after return date from India.. Visa for travel to India can be applied online at: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/Registration
  • Travel Insurance
  • Supplement for single room occupancy (please contact us)
  • Supplement for single person travelling alone (AS MENTIONED)
  • Supplement for extra bed in your room (please contact us)
  • Cost of lunches and dinners as well as drinks in restaurants and hotels
  • Still and video camera fees at monuments etc.
  • Tips to drivers and guides (please budget about $ 3 per person, each for driver and guide per day - for hotel porters about $ 1)
  • Any personal expenses like laundry, phone call, internet fee or room service in hotels.

PAYMENTS

Payment by personal check in favor of INDIA TRAVELLER as per agreement with you after you approve the itinerary.

PLEASE NOTE:

All monuments in Jaipur close at 4.30 PM
Red Fort in Delhi is closed on Mondays
Taj Mahal in Agra is closed on Fridays

OPTIONAL EXCURSION TOURS (Please call for details and price):

FROM NEW DELHI:

Nepal Culture Tour- 4 Nights beginning from New Delhi by flight to Kathmandu, sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley including Bhaktapur and Patan, an overnight excursion to Nagarkot Himalayan Mountain Resort and ending with an awesom Mount Everest Flight. Read More

An extra overnight in Delhi to visit one or more of the three important museums of Delhi:

(1) National Museum of artifacts from Indian and foreign antiquity and archaeological excavations, ancient coins, miniature paintings, manuscripts, Buddhist artifacts including the holy relics of Buddha from Kapilvastu where he spent his childhood and youth and/or
(2) National Gallery of Modern Art in the former palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur near India Gate and / or
(3) Craft Museum where you can witness fine traditional crafts in folk painting, textiles, terracotta figurines and pottery, wood carvings etc. and / or
(4) visit the Akshardham Swami Narayan Temple - capital's largest Hindu temple (about 3 hours required for temple sightseeing).
(5) Rishikesh: Is famous for its Yoga Ashrams where we can arrange admission to a Yoga Course. The city is also a haven for white water river rafting, bungy jumping and giant swing bungy jumping.

FROM AGRA:

(1) Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary with Bear Rescue Center that has 256 black Himalayan bears and the Elephant Sanctuary (both these are inside the bird sanctuary) and / or
(2) visit the Archaeological Museum at Mathura that has India's largest collections of Kushan, Gandhar and Gupta period sculptures and /or
(3) Krishna Janmabhumi - the birthplace of Bhagwan Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu and / or the ISCKON. Hare Krishna Temple in Vrindavan.
(4) Gwalior - with one overnight in the luxurious Taj Usha Kiran Palace or Neemrana Deo Bagh Heritage Hotel or in one of its many good 3-star hotels, one can have a full day of sightseeing of Gwalior Fort and Scindia Maharaja's Jai Vilas Palace.
(5) Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur where about 150 Indian species of birds reside throughout the year and another 150 species of migratory birds arrive from Tibet, China, Mongolia, Siberia and even Scandinavia. This requires one overnight in Bharatpur. The best hotel in Bharatpur is the Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel.

FROM JAIPUR:

(1) Chand Baori: About an hour before arriving in Jaipur is the town of Dausa that is quite close to Chand Baori - the world's deepest stepwell and the Hindu temple of goddess Harshat Mata, there is a large collection of sculptures found in the vicinity here.
(2) Sisodia Rani Garden Palace: Just before entering Jaipur in the valley of Aravali Mountains is the Garden Palace of Sisodia Rani (Queen of Sawai Jai Singh belonging to the royal house of Mewar in Udaipur)
(3) Galta Natural Spring and Hindu Pilgrimage Center: further in the same valley is the Hindu pilgrimage center of Galta with a natural water spring and many beautiful Temples.
(4) Samode Palace: A luxurious palace famous for its glass mosaic audience hall is located in a quiet valley and is surrounded by a small village. A walk in the village is interesting to observe rural life in this region. In winter months children are playing Cricket and it may be possible to join in their game.
(5) Nawalgarh: About an hour and a half drive from Samode (94 kilometers) on the way to Mandawa enjoy the sightseeing of the murals and frescos of Anandilal Poddar Haveli and Murarka Haveli. If one wishes to stay overnight there are three heritage hotels: Roop Vilas Palace Hotel or Roop Niwas Kothi or Vivaana Heritage Hotel.
(6) Mandawa: There is a lot to view in the Mandawa Castle itself that is also the best place to stay in Shekhavati region. Following Haveli (aristocratic mansions) are interesting for their murals and frescos: Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, Goenka Double Haveli, Murmuria Haveli, Jhunjhunwala Haveli, Mohanlal Saraf Havei, Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli, Bansidhar Newatia Haveli, Laxminarayan Ladia Haveli and Chowkhani Double Haveli. Just across the road from Goenka Double Haveli is the Thakurji Temple that also has beautiful mural paintings depicting scenes from British East India Company Period and 1857 during the First War of Indian Independence.

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