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9-Day India Golden Triangle with Varanasi

9-Day India Golden Triangle with Varanasi

By Nora OuUpdated Sep. 2, 2023
Explore India's Holiest City with an Ancient Spiritual Legacy

This 9-day tour of India's Golden Triangle and Varanasi is ideal for first-time visitors who want to explore the country's most iconic monuments and experience its holiest city with a spiritual and religious legacy of nearly 3,000 years.

On this journey, you will see the jewel-encrusted white marble Taj Mahal along with other incredible sights including teeming bazaars, immense forts, and colorful streets. You will also gain a deeper understanding of India's spirituality by observing daily life along the Ganges River, a holy river where many Hindu rituals are performed to cleanse all earthly sins and prepare for the soul's final journey to liberation.

  • Days:
  • Best For:First-timers
  • Departure date: up to you
  • Sample price:US$1,749 each (2 per room)*
  • Flights:The ones mentioned are included (international on request)

Suggested Route for a Golden Triangle Tour

India tour map

Tour Highlights

Here are the awesome attractions, the most must-do activities selected by Asia Highlights (AH Hand-Picked), and exclusive cultural experiences offered by Asia Highlights (Only With AH) included in this tour:

Explore the legendary Old Delhi with its Mughal-built monuments and congested bazaars.

Jama Masjid

Observe the evening aarti ritual when worshipers pray and give offerings to the Ganges at dusk.

Ganga Aarti Ceremony

Enjoy a heritage walk along the Ganges River to have an insider's look at the local life.

the local life along the Ganges River

Immerse yourself in the grandeur of Rajput Royalty during your feature stay in Jaipur's heritage hotel.

Rajput Royalty

Discover the vibrant pink city of Jaipur, whose historic architecture is as magnificent as the city's colorful streets.

pink city of Jaipur

Bask in the fascinating colors of the Taj Mahal and admire the art of its pietra dura mosaics.

Taj Mahal

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Itinerary in Detail

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Arrive in Delhi

Welcome to Delhi, India's capital, where the sounds are lively and the colors vibrant. When you arrive at the India Gandhi International Airport, you will be met by our representative and take a private car to your hotel.

Explore Old Delhi and Have an Authentic Culinary Experience
  • Commence at the majestic Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,  which showcases the architectural brilliance of the Mughal era.
  • Visit Jama Masjid, which is India's largest and most magnificent mosque. Built from sandstone and marble, this iconic structure stands as a testament to the rich Islamic heritage of Delhi.
  • Embark on a walk to the famous Chandni Chowk, located in the north of Old Delhi. Chandni Chowk is renowned for its vibrant street life, where you can find everything from traditional jewelry and textiles to delectable street food.
  • Explore Humayun's Tomb, the first great example of a Mughal garden tomb. Marvel at its impressive architecture and admire the beautiful gardens surrounding the mausoleum.
  • Visit Qutub Minar, a soaring tower of historical significance dating back to the 12th century. Admire the intricate carvings and delicate detailing of this magnificent structure.
Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid
Delhi to Varanasi and Attend the Ganga Aarti
  • Take a morning flight from Delhi to Varanasi. This ancient city has served as a beacon for saints, poets, and pilgrims for countless generations.
  • In the late afternoon, set out for a captivating boat ride on the majestic Ganges River. Cruising along the sacred waters, you will witness a mesmerizing spectacle as pilgrims gather along the ghats to perform ancient rituals.
  • Proceed to the revered Kashi Vishwanath Temple to immerse yourself in the highly choreographed Ganga Aarti ceremony. As the ceremony unfolds, you will witness a mesmerizing sight as people begin waving incense in the air, creating fragrant clouds that permeate the ambiance. The rhythmic movements of devotees circling large lamps, also known as diyas, add a touch of mysticism to the atmosphere.
the Ganga Aarti ceremony
Witness the Ganga Aarti ceremony
A Boat Ride at Sunrise and Varanasi to Jaipur
  • Take a serene boat ride at sunrise, where you can witness the magic of morning light bathing the temples along the river. During the boat ride, you will witness the riverbanks come to life as locals engage in their daily activities.
  • Spend the rest of the morning exploring the sacred site of Sarnath, which holds immense significance for Buddhists. One of the key attractions in Sarnath is the Dhamekh Stupa, an ancient structure built at the very site where the Buddha is believed to have delivered his sermon.
  • To delve deeper into the rich history and culture of Buddhism, visit the Archaeological Museum in Sarnath to learn the thriving Buddhist civilization that once existed in the region.
a boat ride on Ganges River
Enjoy a morning boat ride on Ganges River
The City Washed in Pink
  • Explore the oulent 16th-century Amber Fort. Mughal architectural elements can be observed throughout the fort, exemplified by the ornately carved silver doors, elegant alabaster relief work, and stunning glass inlays that adorn the buildings.
  • Head to magnificent Ganesh Pol, which serves as the gateway to three stunning palaces nestled around the picturesque Aram Bagh, a Mughal-style garden.
  • Visit the central area of the 'Pink City' of Jaipur. Here, you will encounter the enchanting Hawa Mahal, a mesmerizing architectural gem that beckons you with its delicate beauty.
  • Continue your exploration of Jaipur with a visit to the nearby Jantar Mantar Observatory. Described as 'the most realistic and logical landscape in stone,' this fascinating observatory showcases India's astronomical prowess.
the pick Hawa Mahal
Hawa mahal's ornate pink facade has become an iconic site
Jaipur to Agra with a Stop in Fatehpur Sikri
  • Begin by rising early and embarking on a journey to Agra.
  • Visit Fatehpur Sikri, a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds great historical significance. Fatehpur Sikri is a city predominantly constructed from mesmerizing red sandstone and was founded in the 16th century by the renowned Mughal Emperor Akbar. This architectural marvel stands as a testament to the grandeur and legacy of the Mughal dynasty.
  • Drive to Agra. On arrival, spend the rest of the day relaxing at your hotel.
 the birds in Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Unlock the stories of Akbar's leadership in Fatehpur Sikri
Heritage of the Imperial Mughal Court
  • Make your way to the magnificent Taj Mahal. The shimmering morning light illuminates the pristine white marble, creating a mesmerizing display that makes the monument appear ethereal and magical. Marvel at the art of pietra dura, a technique employed in the construction of the Taj Mahal.
  • Enter the Agra Fort. Within the fort's premises, you will discover the Khas Mahal, an enchanting marble hall that offers splendid views of the iconic Taj Mahal situated across the Yamuna River.
  • Take some time to have a walk in the village near Mehtab Bagh. As you stroll through the village streets, greet the local villagers with a warm hello. As the day draws to a close, head to Mehtab Bagh to witness a breathtaking sunset view of the Taj Mahal.
 the Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is one of the world's most famous buildings
Agra to Delhi
  • Before concluding your excursion in Agra and heading back to Delhi, you will have the opportunity to visit the exquisite Itmad-ud-Daula, often referred to as the "baby Taj Mahal." This architectural gem is sure to leave you in awe as you marvel at its intricate inlaid patterns and fine craftsmanship.
 the Qutub Minar
Admire the thousands of beautiful inlaid patterns of Itmad-Ud-Daula
Delhi Departure

A private car will take you to the Indira Gandhi International Airport to catch your flight home.

Ideas for Making This Trip Uniquely Yours

Special experiences can be added to brighten a honeymoon trip, a family vacation, a birthday, or satisfy personal interests.

A Romantic Dinner in Amber Fort
A Romantic Dinner in Amber Fort

For couples

painting on hand
Heena Painting on Hands and Feet

For culture fans

Taj Mahal and moon
Moonlights Tour of Taj Mahal

For couples

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Hand-Picked Hotels

We select hotels with style and local features. Let us know your preferences and we'll find your ideal hotel.

the courtyard of hotel
Heritage hotel in old Delhi
heritage hotel in Jaipur
Heritage hotel in Jaipur
Hotel with the veiw of Taj Mahal
Hotel with a view of Taj Mahal
Hotel with the river view
Hotel with the river view

Our Service Includes:

9 days from
US$ 1,749
per person (based on 2 persons and 4-star hotels)
  • Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
  • All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
  • 4-star accommodations for 8 nights
  • Flights and private transfers between cities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary
  • Governmental taxes

Tour code: ah-in-72

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Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)

  • Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
  • Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
  • Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.

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