JAN 08,2016 - JAN 15,2016 (8 DAYS)
I am Catherine Melissa from Philippines. Last year, my friend best friend Priyanka got married. And how could I not be there with her! So this was my first tryst with India. She lives in Uttar Pradesh. Since I had planned some sightseeing tour to India, one of the travel agencies suggested me to book Golden Triangle package. I liked the idea and after the wedding ceremony, the tour started. I was on my own (I like it that way). And here's how I managed to collect some beautiful memories.
Day 01 – Arrival in Delhi
Just as all of the triangle tours, mine too started with arrival in Delhi. I would recommend you to find out more about golden triangle tour packages and book one that fits into your plan. You can also customize it according to your own convenience. Well, upon arrival, I had a meeting to assist at the airport. From here, I was transported to the hotel.
The dinner was served in the hotel. After a nice Indian dinner, it was time for me to sleep tight. After all I needed to gather energy to be able to enjoy a sightseeing tour of Delhi the following day!
Day 02 – Delhi Tour
A palatable breakfast was served by the hotel after which I proceeded for sightseeing tour of Old & New Delhi. I had read a lot about the capital city of India and its role during the freedom movement of the country. This increased my interest in the city even more. Old Delhi is a beautiful place. I would like to say a special 'thank you' to the golden triangle tour providers for that amazing tonga ride through the streets of old Delhi. It was a 'wow' experience. And yes, how could I not mention the culinary tour of the place? The street food here is irresistible! I visited the Chandni Chowk market, Jama Masjid, and Raj Ghat, the memorial site where Mahatma Gandhi.
Now the New Delhi tour! This is an advanced version of old Delhi. Very modern, very chic and very sophisticated! I had memorable visits to the famous places here, including Humayun’s Tomb, the Qutub Minar, and a memorable drive along Rajpath, the ceremonial avenue. Other sites I enjoyed visiting include the towering India Gate, Parliament House, and the President’s Residence. After buffet at a 5 star hotel, I returned to my room. The comfortable setting and tiredness of the day rocked me to sleep as I lay myself off that soft bed!
Day 03 - Agra
After early morning tea, it was time for pick up from hotel and transfer to the railway station. I boarded the superfast air-conditioned train to Agra. A nice fresh and hot breakfast was served in the train. The arrival in Agra was on time. The driver was a nice experienced chap who transferred me to the hotel on time and made sure I was comfortable all through the way.
After relaxing for some time, I set out for a visit to the most beautiful monument of India, the magnificent Taj Mahal. Also referred to as one of the seven wonders of the world, this amazing monument is a must visit for all Indian tourists. The guide was patient enough to answer all of my queries regarding the monument. I was literally touched by the love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz. This beauty stands tall on the banks of the river Yamuna and mesmerises all of its visitors. I didn't get tired clicking pictures of this architectural marvel.
I also visited the famous Diwan-I-Am (hall of public audience) and Diwan-I-Khas (hall of private audience). After piping hot, delectable dinner it was time to return to the hotel and sleep tight. The sights of Taj Mahal kept haunting me in my dreams.
Day 04 – Jaipur
Early morning after breakfast, I was ready for a drive to Jaipur. The entire journey took around 5 hours. On the way, the cab stopped for an en route visit to Fatehpur Sikri. This city is listed among the World Heritage Sites and ranks among the most visited spots in India. The guide explained me about the bright history of Mughal empire and the way it played a place of paramount importance during that time. Fatehpur Sikri fort complex comprises of some of the crucial sites to visit including the Buland Darwaza, Fatehpur Sikri Fort, Tomb of Salim Chishti, and the Panch Mahal. I must say that all of these places are architectural marvels of that era. I took pictures of the exceptionally beautiful paintings on the main fort structure.
Buland Darwaza is the highest in the world and its magnanimous size was a treat to the eyes. There are around100-150 stairs. Akbar built a fort here. The marble art of Salim Chisti Dargah was done by Jehangir. The Dargah of Salim Chisti was the best thing after Buland Darwaza. One can pray and tie a knot to make a wish here. It is said that Akbar also wished for a child here got it fulfilled. Even today people make wishes here.
After Fatehpur Sikri, I continue the drive to Jaipur. Upon arrival in Jaipur, I was transported to the hotel. In the evening I did some shopping in the local market and returned to the hotel after dinner.
Day 05 - Jaipur
After a nice Indian breakfast, I resumed my tour of Jaipur. So it was time for me to visit the grand Amber Fort. The guide (he was good at his job and English) showed us the entire fort with detailed explanation. This fort is also known as Amer and is quite a popular tourist attraction in Jaipur. Situated at 11 km from Jaipur, it was constructed by Raja Man Singh I. A huge place with a lot of things to see, I personally liked the Sheesh Mahal. It is a mirror palace within the fort designed in a way that it artificially creates a cool climate as the wind blows over the cascades of water.
There is a temple of Sila Devi inside the fort, which is very close to Ganesh Gate. According to our guide, it has an interesting story behind it. The guide informed us that head of Sila Devi is now not straight. The reason behind this is that she got angry as no human males are sacrificed in the palace, which earlier used to be the ritual. Roaming around the fort is an enjoyable act. I had a great time. Mounted on a caparisoned elephant at the foot of the hill, the slow yet steady climb up to the main gate was amazing.
It was time to visit the famous City Palace. After having lunch, we visited City Palace. The major part of this palace is now converted to ‘Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum’. A huge dress of this king is displayed in the museum. He was the 10th King of Jaipur. The beautiful palace is very intricately carved. One of the interesting facts about the king is that he used to drink water brought only from holy Ganga. Special vessels made from silver were used to store and serve water. These vessels are displayed in the palace and recorded in the Guinness Book of World record for being the largest silver vessels in the world. City Palace is also home to a nice dancing area. This is where professional dancers used to perform for the king.
After finishing the visit to City Palace, it was time to move to Hawa Mahal located just on the main road. Also known as “Palace of the Winds”, it is incredibly beautiful! A visit to the open air Jantar Mantar Observatory followed the visit to Hawa Mahal. Watching the vast astronomical instruments here is a unique experience on its own.
In the evening, I visited the Johri Bazaar and local markets of Jaipur. Shopping in Jaipur is fun! After dinner, I returned to the hotel.
Day 06 – Adieu India
After breakfast, I left the hotel for airport for onward flight to Delhi.
What an amazing and memorable tour it was! Enjoyed it thoroughly!