India’s Golden Triangle – getting the most out of it

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
2
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
9
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
3
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
2
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
10
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
10
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
60 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Asia
country
India
Length of time
Around a week
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 750
Time of year visited
November
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
204th/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 70% SUMMARY RATING: Worth doing

Summary

The Golden Triangle is viewed as the classical India trip – fly into the nation’s capital of Delhi, then to the country’s most famous site of the Taj Mahal, dip your toe in the highlight state of Rajasthan in the Pink City of Jaipur, and then a short ride back to Delhi.  All sites within around 200km / 125miles of each other, a very relaxed week-long itinerary or a rapid 4/5 days.  It will certainly give you a feel of India . . . BUT . . . it’s only major downside is that it only really includes one highlight of India and that is the Taj Mahal.  Delhi is a big dirty Indian city that I would struggle to put in a highlights reel of India and Jaipur, whilst nice to wander around the Pink City and visit the Amber Fort, is a far distant second to the outstanding highlights of the wonderful Rajasthan (Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur in particular)

 

My suggestions to enjoy your week in this part of India:

  • You will naturally fly into Delhi, but don’t spend too much time there.  The Red Fort is worth checking out, but other than that it is a big polluted Indian city
  • The Taj Mahal in Agra is a must and lives up to the hype.  One of the 7 Wonders of the World and described as “a tear drop on the edge of eternity”, you will find yourself staring at it, for hours, happily soaking up its perfect geometrical beauty.  Cheesy indeed, but I surprised myself by just how much I enjoyed just staring at it.  See the individual review here – The Taj Mahal
  • Fatehphur Sikri – before heading over to Rajasthan from Agra (or maybe just on the way), give yourself half a day to see the ghost city of Fatehphur Sikri, the magnificent ancient city that was the former capital of the Mughal Empire.  See the individual review here – Seeing the abandoned former Mughal capital at Fatehphur Sikri
  • Spend only a short time in Jaipur, or skip it altogether.  Walking through the Pink City is nice and so is the nearby Amber Fort, but deprioritise behind Rajasthan’s real highlights. See the individual review here – The pink city of Jaipur
  • Visit the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort and Blue City of Jodhpur – that view of the the bright white memorial of Jaswant Thada, with Mhrangarh Fort and the blue city of Jodhpur peering out in the background must be one of the most dramatic in all of India.  Combined with the exotic vibe of the Rajasthan desert, this one of the unmissable highlights of India and is in a different league to Jaipur.  See the individual review here – Viewing the Jodphur’s Blue City from the spectacular Mehrangarh Fort
  • If you have the time, make sure to visit Jaisalmer and Udaipur – other than the Taj Mahal, they, along with Jodhpur, are the highlights of this part of India

highlights

#1 Staring at the simply gorgeous Taj Mahal. One of the 7 Wonders of the World and something you can spend hours taking in

#2 Walking over to the bright white memorial of Jaswant Thada in Jodhpur for those magnificent views of Mehrangarh Fort in the background

#2 Wandering through the Blue City of Jodhpur, especially after seeing just how beautiful it looks from above from views from the Fort

#4 Exploring the magnificent ancient city of Fatehphur Sikri that was the former capital of the Mughal Empire 

#5 Visiting the central government buildings of India's Capital

#6 Seeing some of the historic and ornate buildings within the Pink City of Jaipur

#7 Visiting the wide open courtyard of Delhi's Jama Masjid Mosque

The route

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone