The Golden Triangle tourist circuit attracts worldwide attention. Every year, thousands of travellers make their way to the Indian capital, Delhi, to kick off a journey that spans a variety of cultures and landscapes.
The tour typically takes tourists through the cities of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, three of India’s most historic and iconic cities. While landmarks like Red Fort (Delhi), Taj Mahal (Agra), and Hawa Mahal (Jaipur) are undoubtedly the highlights of any Golden Triangle tour, there are several towns and cities along the way that could make your tour of the Golden Triangle a completely unique one.
While these places may not be as prominent as their glorified neighbours, they have their own share of magic and mysteries, best discovered on a Golden Triangle tour by car!
The fortified city of Fatehpur Sikri is just under 40 km. from Agra, and is the ideal getaway destination on any Agra Varanasi tour . Regarded as one of the masterpieces of Indo-Islamic architecture, the city served as Akbar’s capital from 1571 till 1585. Akbar’s death signalled the end of the city’s glory days, as water shortages became a hindrance to quality of life. The city’s most iconic landmark is the Jama Masjid, with other landmarks like Buland Darwaza, Jodhabai Palace, Diwani-i-Khas and Panch Mahal also popular among tourists. Don’t miss out on this famed UNESCO World Heritage Site at any cost.
Located 57 km. from Agra, the city of Mathura was the birthplace of Hindu God Krishna. Regarded as one among the seven sacred cities in Hinduism, Mathura can be a great getaway on your Agra Varanasi tour, especially if you hold a keen interest in Hinduism, the city comes to life during February/March and August/September, when the festivals of Holi and Janmastami come calling. The numerous ‘ghats’ and temples truly make Mathura a unique religious experience. Popular landmarks in the city include Archaeological Museum, Gita Temple, Kesava Deo Temple, Katra Masjid, and Sati Burj.
An approximate distance of 120 km. separates Agra from Gwalior, a city home to numerous regal monuments and structures. Gwalior rose to its prime under the Scindia dynasty, and many other dynasties ruled the city too. The legacy left behind these dynasties is clearly evident in the cityscape, which is home numerous forts, palaces, and temples. Gwalior is also known for its contributions to Indian music, with legendary musicians Baiju Bawara and Tansen being the city’s most revered musical talents. Gwalior Fort and Jai Vilas Palace are the city’s architectural highlights, with the Man Singh Palace, Sun Temple, Sarod Ghar, Tansen Memorial, and Gujari Mahal also pretty popular with visitors.
Around 140 km. from Jaipur stands the city of Ajmer, a city that holds immense religious importance, particularly to followers of Jainism and Islam. The Aravalli Hills and the Ana Sagar Lake provide respites from what is normally a very chaotic city. However, if you are in Jaipur, consider Ajmer a worthwhile day trip. Famous sights in the city include Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti’s shrine, which is one of the great Muslim pilgrimage centres in India, and the Nasiyan Temple. Other landmarks that might interest you are Akbar’s Palace, Jubilee Clock Tower, and Government Museum.
A further 11 km. from Ajmer lies the Hindu pilgrimage town of Pushkar. If Ajmer is too frenzied and frenetic, try Pushkar for its peaceful vibes. The small town is filled with numerous temples and bathing ghats, and there are constant hums of prayer in the air. Recent years have turned the town a tad commercial, but it still retains its religious and mystical charm. The Pushkar Lake becomes the centre of attention during October/November, as tourists and pilgrims flock to the city in droves.
Visit any or all of the aforementioned places, and you are guaranteed a grand time on your Golden Triangle tour package!