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The Best Things to Do in India's Golden Triangle

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Some of the sights have always been a part of your dream travel list: the white marble of the Taj Mahal, the stunning tower that is the Qutub Minar, the sandstone exterior of the Red Fort. But India's Golden Triangle--Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur--offers so much more. The region has museums both grand and small (one with a focus on block printing), layers of history, and, even on the busiest of streets, the always surprising appearance of that most treasured of animals, the cow.
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City Palace, Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Kanwar Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002
Spread out over several acres in the heart of Jaipur’s old town, the rose-hued City Palace complex reflects the influence of several rulers, starting with the 18th-century Maharajah Jai Singh II, who planned and built the outer walls, and...
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Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
The Taj Mahal is referred to as "the jewel of Muslim art in India,” by UNESCO in its listing on the World Heritage Site registry. The Mughal ruler Shah Jahan  had the truly magnificent white marble...
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Krishna Nagar, Brahampuri, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India
When Maharajah Jai Singh II—the founder of Jaipur—built this hilltop fort in 1734, he did so both to create a royal retreat and to further fortify the burgeoning city below, connecting the complex with other structures like Jaigarh...
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Anokhi Haveli, Near Badrinath Temple, Kheri Gate, Amber, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302028, India
Hand-printed textiles are one of Rajasthan’s signature artisan crafts, and the Anokhi shops—found all over India—are some of the best places to stock-up on rolls of printed fabric and clothing, home furnishings, stationery,...
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Rashtrapati Bhawan, President's Estate, New Delhi, Delhi 110004, India
As befits the presidential residence of the largest democracy in the world, the Rashtrapati Bhavan complex houses an inspiring collection of spaces, from the private residence and public ceremonial and performance halls to acres of gardens laid...
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Janpath Rd, Rajpath Area, Central Secretariat, New Delhi, Delhi 110011, India
What began as an exhibit of Indian art in London in 1947 grew to become this New Delhi museum, now one of the largest in India. The pieces in the permanent collection (which stretches to some 200,000 items) span the globe—don’t miss...
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Netaji Subhash Marg, Lal Qila, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Red Fort, located in New Delhi, is a treasure trove of cultural history. You can spend hours wandering among the various buildings, learning much about the history of India. Tucked away within the walls...
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Mandir Marg, Near Gole market, Gole Market, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India
The Laxminarayan Temple (also called the Birla Mandir) is an elaborate Hindu temple of red and white columns, artificial mountains, and waterfalls. The temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi with the condition that the site would be open to all...
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Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Kanwar Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India
Janta Mantar, a Jaipur park for the space-and-time-inclined, was built in the early 1700s by the Maharaja Singh. The UNESCO World Heritage site, located in the old city, contains 20 large stone astronomical instruments designed...
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Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Amer Fort is known for its artistic Hindu style elements. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake. It is the main source of water for the Amer Palace. Constructed of red sandstone and marble,...
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Hawa Mahal Rd, Badi Choupad, J.D.A. Market, Kanwar Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India
One can only imagine the royal gossip exchanged behind the pink sandstone screen of Jaipur's Hawa Mahal when women of the royal household gathered on the upper floors of the five-story palace to watch street festivals below while they remained...
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Mehrauli, Seth Sarai, Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi 110030, India
Delhi's Qutub Minar, at 72.5 meters or 238 feet tall, is the tallest tower in India. Built as an Islamic monument in the early 13th century of red sandstone and marble, the minar is not without controversy. Some believe the tower...
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Birla House, 5, Tees January Marg, Tees January Road Area, Motilal Nehru Marg Area, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India
Gandhi Smriti, previously called Birla House, is now a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, the man many consider the "Father of Indian Independence." Gandhi lived in the house during the last several months of his life and was assassinated...
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Kaccha Bagh Area, Old Delhi, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
Rickshaw rides are common in Chandni Chowk, the vast and crowded market in the Old Delhi quarter, but book a comprehensive rickshaw tour for an immersive experience that lasts longer than 15 minutes. Witness the architectural marvels,...
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Meena Bazaar, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque, was commissioned by Shah Jahan, the same emperor who built the iconic Taj Mahal for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Completed in 1656, the courtyard of Jama Masjid can accommodate 25,000...