Hi! I am Donatella Semie from Germany. Recently I was in India for a long tour with my friend Smith, a hardcore travel junkie. One of the tour packages he booked was the Golden Triangle Tour with Darjeeling with the best Travel Agency. Thankfully, we had an amazing experience with the company and tour package.
I would certainly recommend the tour to my friends, especially those who wish to experience the magic of beautiful Darjeeling and combine with three most sought after cities of India – City of Love - Agra, Capital city Delhi and Pink City Jaipur. Darjeeling is a beautiful Victorian town encompassing vast fragrant tea gardens and the setting that has efficiently preserved the old world charm.
Here is a brief description of our trip to Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, and Darjeeling:
Day 01 – Our Arrival in Delhi
The day started with our arrival in Delhi, the capital city of India. The travel company had sent a comfortable cab with a chauffeur. We met him at the airport. Jamal, the chauffeur was a nice man. He was dressed accordingly and carried an identity card too. He dropped us to the hotel on time. After relaxing for some time, we went to sleep.
Day 02 – A Tour of Delhi City
After a nice breakfast in the hotel, we proceeded for a sightseeing tour of Delhi. Our guide Sachin Talwar accompanied us. He spoke English really well. We were told that the city is divided into two parts:
- Old Delhi
- New Delhi
So we were on our way to Old Delhi. As a travel buff, I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. It is the oldest part of the city. The first destination was Chandni Chowk. It is the most famous and historic street of Delhi. Constructed three centuries ago, I was mesmerised with the energy of vibrant streets. Everything from the streets to shops lined and interconnected to each other and the people spread positive energy all around. The vibes of this place are simply irresistible. We had an amazing treat at the Paranthey Wali Gali. The street food in Chandni Chowk was delectable. We also visited vibrant bazaars and shopped for ancient artifacts and jewellery.
Jama Masjid is another attraction of Old Delhi. Also known as the last work of Emperor Shah Jahan, the construction of this largest mosque of India started in the year 1650 and completed in 6 years. A visit to Jama Masjid helped us relive the Mughal or Mogul history of Delhi. This is how we felt while passing through the splendid corridors of this mosque from ancient times.
Now it was time for us to visit the Red Fort. Also known as Lal Qila, it is the most magnificent ancient building of Delhi, which was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1638. Designed by the Mughal architects Ustad Hamid and Ahmad, Red Fort is an important symbolic monument in India even today. Some of the most captivating building it encloses are Diwani-am, Diwani-Khas, Rang Mahal, The Pearl Mosque etc. The place still bears the reminiscence of ancient era. Most of the attractions of Old Delhi are exquisite, incredibly photogenic and worth spending your time and efforts. Right from visiting the ancient tombs and monuments to relishung the lip smacking cuisines of Mughal era, you will enjoy every bit of the trip.
The trip to New Delhi was an exciting affair too. It was super fun to get acquainted with the modern side of the capital city of India. The best thing about it is the beautiful and effortless amalgamation of modernity and ancient charm which is clearly visible during the tour. The places we covered during the tour included Qutub Minar (a humungous structure), Rajpath, Humayun’s Tomb, India Gate, the President’s Residence, Parliament House, and the Diplomatic Enclave.
After dinner at a very nice restaurant in Connaught Place, we went back to the hotel.
Day 03 – A Visit to Agra
We got up early in the morning and reached the railway station to board the superfast air conditioned train. Breakfast was served in the train. We reached Agra on time. From here, we were taken to the hotel. I would like to make a special mention that the hotels provided by this company were very comfortable and beautiful to look at. The staff was cordial and very helpful.
After breakfast, we went for a visit to the Agra Fort, Diwan-i- am (hall of public audience), and Diwan-i-Khas (hall of private audience).
Next, we paid a visit to Sikandra tomb. This is one of the best examples of a structure that proposes communal harmony. Hence, it blends architectural styles of various religions, including Hindu, Islamic, Christian, Buddhist, Jain styles of architectures. The structure is in a combination of red sandstone and marble. The guide informed us that the building served as the residence to Emperor Akbar’s daughters.
In the evening, we explored the beautiful handicraft markets of Agra.
Day 04 - Agra to Jaipur
The day was dedicated to the drive to Jaipur from Agra by road. Prior to that, we visited the beautiful Taj Mahal for sunrise view. After that we returned to the hotel. We enjoyed a breakfast drive to Jaipur.
Next. It was time to visit Fatehpur Sikri. Also, known as the , “ghost town” Fatehpur Sikri is a must visit for all.
Late in the evening, we reached Jaipur. From here, the cab transferred us to the hotel. The entire journey was covered in 5 hours drive.
Day 05 – A Beautiful Day in Jaipur
We had a relaxing sleep in the hotel. After a delectable breakfast served in the hotel, we proceeded for a morning excursion to the famous Amber Fort. Special elephant ride ascent to the fort was arranged.
Our first visit in Jaipur was Amber Fort Palace. It is situated in the beautiful land of Amber in Jaipur city. Raja Man Singh I started the construction in 1592. Later on, Raja Jai Singh accomplished the construction of buildings. The beautiful palace has a rugged exterior and exquisite interiors. Artisans cleverly infused a mesmerising blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Inside the palace, you can see the beautiful walls adored with intricate carvings, precious stones and mirror settings.
Now, we headed to the famous City Palace. It is a beautiful palace and an exceptional example of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture. The palace is certainly one of the most loved architectural marvels of the Pink City. It is home to Shri Govind Dev Temple, Chandra Mahal, and the City Palace Museum.
Now we were in Jantar Mantar. It is the largest and one of the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II. The structure houses outsized astronomical instruments preserved and still in use!
Our last stop was Hawa Mahal. It is an ornamental structure. Popular as the “Palace of Winds”, Hawa Mahal makes for a prominent landmark in the Pink City, Jaipur. It is a must visit for all. The five storey structure is built from sandstone and plastered in pink. The entire palace is encrusted with very fine trellis work. The elaborate balconies of the palace make for an eminent feature of Hawa Mahal. It houses 953 windows cleverly woven within. Hawa Mahal was built in 1799 by Pratap Singh.
Day 06 – Journey from Jaipur to Delhi after Sightseeing
This was a very comfortable journey by air conditioned train. After relaxing for some time and enjoying a delectable breakfast, we proceeded for a visit to Jaigarh Fort. This fort is named after King Jai Singh II. We were thrilled to have a look at the exquisitely perched fort on a cliff. It was lined by huge battlements and inside walkways. Much to our an amazement, the fort has preserved military structures of medieval India. It is home to palatial palaces, a huge granary, strategised cannon foundry, and several temples. We saw a tall tower and a giant mounted cannon. Also known as the Jain Ban (Jaivan), it is the largest cannon in the world.
After a nice time at the fort, we proceeded for a visit to Laxmi Narayan Temple. This temple is situated in the southern region of Jaipur. It is one of the many religious sites built by the Birla family of India. We were simply mesmerised by the beauty of the temple. It is made from white marble and home to 3 different each portraying a religion.
We had a break for lunch. I loved the Rajasthani Thali. It was huge and comprised of a wide variety dishes.
From there, we were taken to the Albert Hall Museum. It is a famous museum in Jaipur. Also one of the ancient and immensely popular museums across the city, Albert Hall Museum is certainly a treasure house that encloses some of the unusual and striking items. I liked the design and overall structure of the museum. The colossal building simply stole our heart. We were amazed by the architectural splendor the museum reflected. The guide made us travel through the interior of the museum where we saw miniature paintings of different schools of India, including, Udaipur, Jaipur, Bundi, Kishangarh and Kota.
We had a break for tea and Rajasthani snacks. Thereafter, we left for the railway station and boarded the air conditioned train to Delhi.
The dinner was served in the train. We arrived in Delhi on time. The cab arranged by the travel agency waited for us at the station. The driver transferred us to the hotel.
Day 07 – Visit to Bagdogra
On the seventh day, it was time for us to move to Bagdogra. The flight was on time. The cab was waiting to pick us up from the airport upon exit. A nice gentleman Tamang took us to Darjeeling by road. He was quite acquainted with the roads which made our journey very comfortable and we reached the hotel on time. We had dinner at a nice restaurant before reaching the hotel.
Day 08 – Queen of Hills, Darjeeling
We got up a wake up call early in the morning. The hotel staff reminded about the visit to Trigger Hill. We were quite excited about the early morning proceeding for witnessing the spectacular sunrise. I would like to mention that it is a mesmerising experience to watch the golden sunrise. The sun spread its golden rays on the Mt. Kanchendzonga. The guide told us that it is world's 3rd highest peak.
There is nothing like watching the dawn light break over a panoramic 250 km stretch of Himalayan horizon encompassing Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. It was a unique experience.
After watching sunrise, we proceeded back to the hotel. On our way back, we also visited the famous Ghoom Monastery and Natasha Loop War Memorial. Back at the hotel, we had a relaxing bath. The breakfast was served by the hotel.
Now it was time for us to enjoy a full day local sightseeing. The plan covered the best sites in Darjeeling including the Zoological Garden, Padmajan, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Tibetan Refugee Self help Center, a visit to the Local Market. Later on, we also enjoyed the Toy train joy ride.
After a hectic yet very interesting sightseeing affair, we enjoyed the lip smacking cuisine at a famous restaurant and returned back to the hotel.
The following day, it was time for us to return back to Delhi.
To Sum Up
The tour was amazing. The tour agency helped us enjoy every bit of it.