Indulge in luxury on this Golden Triangle holiday, staying in beautiful Oberoi hotels throughout. Starting in Delhi, you’ll taste spicy street food and learn about the different religions of India, before heading to Agra, home of the majestic Taj Mahal. Watch the sun set over the famous minarets and enjoy the breath-taking view over the Taj from your hotel room at the Oberoi Amarvilas. Look for tigers in the forests of Ranthambore National Park, sleeping in luxury tents before heading to Jaipur. Finish your holiday with a hot air balloon ride over the Pink City, with the majestic architecture of this Mughal city below. See the best of the Golden Triangle with Oberoi India.
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
On arrival in Delhi, you will be met and taken to your hotel, checking in for two nights. After you settle in a rest for a while, you’ll embark on a fascinating introduction to Delhi, learning about three of the many religions of India – Christianity, Sikhism and Hinduism. You’ll learn the basics of each religion, explore their places of worship and take a crash course in the idiosyncrasies of each one. Be blessed by a priest in Birla Temple, stop in at Sacred Heart Cathedral and visit Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, where they feed thousands of devotees every day. It’s a wonderful way to begin your journey through India.
Today you’ll enjoy a tour of this magnificent city, starting in Old Delhi this morning. This ancient walled city became the capital of the Mughal Empire in 1650 and since then has thrived as a centre for architecture and art. Start your day with a cycle rickshaw ride past the Red Fort, through twisting lanes, small streets and crowded bazaars. You’ll also visit Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi and Chandni Chowk, the bustling market in the heart of the old city.
Next, you’ll head to New Delhi – designed and built by the British in the 1920s, it is a city of wide boulevards and impressive Government buildings. After King George V transferred the capital from Calcutta to Delhi, the royal architects designed palatial buildings and tree-lined avenues with fountains and pools. Your guide will show you the incredible buildings of Humayun’s Tomb and the Qutub Minar.
In the afternoon, we’ve included a food walk with a renowned chef through the crowded markets of Old Delhi, a unique chance to understand and savour the delicious street food available in the city. You’ll visit around 9 different food joints, tasting spicy kulhe ki chaat, a cool mango lassi and fresh paratha.
After breakfast, you’ll be driven to Agra, around a 4 hour drive. In the 17th Century, Akbar the Great made this city a leading centre of art, science, commerce and culture, which culminated in the building of the Taj Mahal, masterminded by Sha Jehan. On arrival, you will check into your hotel for two nights. Located just 600 metres from the Taj Mahal, this beautiful hotel is the perfect place to stay while visiting Agra. The décor was inspired by Mughal palace designs, with fountains, terraced lawns, reflection pools and pavilions while every room boasts unrestricted views of Taj Mahal.
In the late afternoon, you’ll visit Mehtab Bagh, on the other side of the river – this is the perfect spot to watch the sunset behind the Taj Mahal, with pink clouds and silhouetted minarets reflected in the peaceful water. Your guide will give you some information about the construction and history of this magnificent building whilst watching the sky change colour above you.
This morning you’ll head out to the Taj, spending the morning exploring this mighty building. As you learnt a lot about the history of the mausoleum last night, today you’ll be free to wander through the complex alone and really soak up this awe-inspiring wonder of the world. Built by an emperor in memory of his beloved queen, it took 18 years to complete, with craftsmen working around the clock on the intricate and romantic design. With perfect proportions and distinct femininity, legend says that once the construction was completed, Shan Jehan ordered the architect’s hands cut off, and blinded, so he would never be able to duplicate the structure.
Later today, you’ll take a tour of Agra Fort, where you’ll wander through the chambers of this ancient royal residence. The country was once governed from here, as well as containing the largest treasury and mint. Dignitaries and ambassadors from far off lands would be brought here, each one participating in the history of India.
After breakfast, you’ll be driven to Bharatpur, stopping on the way to visit the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. This imperial city was mysteriously deserted just a few years after it was built in the 16th Century and the ruins are still in incredible conditions – it is a joy to explore and learn about this city lost in time. After arriving in Bharatpur you’ll have lunch and be taken to the station, boarding the train to Ranthambhore in the early afternoon, and arriving around 6 pm. You’ll be taken to your lodge and settle in for two nights.
Ranthambore National Park was once the hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur until, in 1980, it became a national park. It is a huge area, but only small portions of the park are open to the public so the wildlife here can prosper and thrive in private. You’ll have an early morning and late afternoon game drives through the park, all the while looking for elusive tigers hiding in the deciduous forests, and leopards keeping cool in the shade of the rocky ridges. Keep an eye out for sloth bears indulging in large termite mounds and porcupines that emerge in the dusky twilight. There is rich birdlife to be found here – hornbills hooting in the dhok trees, green bee-eaters flitting through the air catching insects and pink breasted rollers surveying the landscape from their perches.
You’ll be staying at the Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort, where the luxurious tented accommodation is inspired by the opulent caravans of the royal families. When you’re not out looking for tigers, you can dig into delicious Rajasthani cuisine and relax at the spa.
Take one last game drive through the national park – lookout for mongooses lurking in the morning light and Sambar deer nibbling at the low branches – before indulging in breakfast back at the lodge. After you have eaten, you’ll be driven on to Jaipur, checking into your hotel for three nights.
Jaipur is known as the ‘Pink City’, within the already colourful state of Rajasthan. After you have settled into your hotel, you’ll head out on a unique e-rickshaw tour of the city. Driven by smart and enthusiastic women, all from low-income households, this exciting tour with the Pink City Rickshaw Company will give you a wonderful overview of the city whilst supporting the friendly guides. After your ride through the streets of Jaipur, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of this bustling metropolis, you’ll arrive at a local Indian family home. Here you will get to experience the famous Indian hospitality – ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ – ‘the guest is truly your god’. You will never leave a local home hungry – even the poorest households love sharing their food and home with guests. This afternoon is sure to be a highlight of your trip, as it allows you to connect with and learn about local family life in Jaipur.
After breakfast, you’ll spend the morning exploring the Amber Fort. This marvellous example of Rajput architecture is made up of terraces and ramparts, all a rich terracotta colour that is reflected beautifully in the lake below. Each room within the royal halls is decorated with intricate ivory artwork and exquisite murals, really showing off the pomp and grandeur of a kingdom that was never conquered.
In the afternoon you’ll take a tour of the city – starting at the City Palace Complex, you’ll learn about the local styles of paintings as well as the royal family that still lives in parts of the palace. In the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, you’ll find the Mubarak Mahal. Built in the nineteenth century, you’ll be able to view a huge range of textiles and costumes, including rare pashmina shawls, Benaras silk saris and folk embroidery. Across the road, you’ll look around the famous Jantar Mantar, one of the five observatories in India. Built to indulge the passionate hobby of astronomy by the king, they created complex astronomical instruments made of stone, which still provide accurate information on the heavens above, to this day. It’s a fascinating place to explore and learn about the twinkling skies above.
Today is yours to explore how you wish – you’ll have the car at your disposal with a driver who can take you wherever you wish to go – why not head to another of the city’s fascinating museums or to the market to taste some Rajasthani delicacies. In the afternoon, we have included a hot air balloon ride. You’ll float on the wind above the Amber Fort and the surrounding villages, seeing this beautiful area from a completely new perspective.
After breakfast, you will be driven to Jaipur Airport, for your flight back to Delhi, where you will connect with your flight home.
T&Cs for Oberoi offer
The best time to visit India is from November to March. From April onwards the temperatures rise in preparation for the monsoon rains that follow during the summer months – travel is possible during this time but you should expect high humidity, torrential downpours and possible transport delays.
If you'd like to get a feel for this trip, read our blog post Taj and tigers: the perfect 10 day Golden Triangle India itinerary - written by one of our consultants who has been there.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.