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The Perfect Week in India's Golden Triangle

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Take a deep breath. Accept that you can't see every last wonder of India's Golden Triangle without rushing through the region. For your Golden Triangle tour, start with a long weekend in Delhi, before heading to Agra for your date with the Taj Mahal. The last few days, head to Jaipur, the "Pink City," the nickname becoming clear with your first sight of Hawa Mahal or City Palace.
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City Palace, Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Kanwar Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302007
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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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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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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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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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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Jama Masjid Rd, 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...
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Lodhi Gardens, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi, Delhi 110003, India
New Delhi is a bit of a concrete jungle, and the chance to start each morning in the green space that is Lodhi Garden was a welcome way to find balance amid the hustle and bustle. The gardens were built around the tombs of Sayid and Lodhi rulers,...
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Noida Mor, Pandav Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110092, India
Explore 10,000 years of India's history, culture, architecture, and spirituality on over sixty acres of manicured grounds. Akshardham is an elaborate Swaminarayan temple complex that features an IMAX theater, musical fountains, sunken gardens, and...
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Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, 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
Many mysteries surround the Jal Mahal or “Water Palace,” one of Rajasthan's most ethereal palaces. Constructed in the 18th century by Jai Singh ll, the pale sandstone pavilion stands in stark contrast to the deep blue waters of Mansagar Lake,...
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Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
So grateful was Mughal Emperor Akbar to the saint he believed blessed him with three sons that he built a City of Victory 40km west of Agra with Salim Chishti's tomb as its centerpiece. Constructed in the mid-16th century, Fatehpur Sikri was the...
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Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
Known as The Blue City for its many homes painted to denote them as Brahmin residences, Jodhpur is a chaotic hodgepodge of blue blocks at the foot of mighty Mehrangarh Fort. Interspersed with the sacred color associated with Lord Shiva, the city...
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1st Floor, Rambagh Palace, Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302005, India
Formerly the residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur, and now one of Jaipur’s most elegant luxury hotels, the 19th-century Rambagh Palace has had a front-row seat to history—and has hosted a long list of royals, dignitaries, and...
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18, 163A, 6, Shamshabad Road, Vibhav Nagar, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
If a visit to South India isn’t on the agenda this trip, make time to get a taste of the region at this iconic restaurant chain. First started in 1921 in the south, then expanded to New Delhi and beyond in 1979, the Dasaprakash restaurants...
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Rambagh Palace, Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302005, India
Surrounded by acres of manicured gardens, marbled colonnades, and flower-filled pools, the complex of the Taj Rambagh Palace hotel—once the home of the Maharajah of Jaipur—is one of the most serene spots in the Pink City. Even if...
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After a day spent exploring the bustling Chandni Chowk market. or other Old Delhi sites like Red Fort, make like a local and cool off with a thick, refreshing lassi from this popular purveyor. Opened in 1974, and included in every list of the best...
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319, MI Road, Panch Batti, C Scheme, Ashok Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India
Today’s Jaipur buzzes with plenty of modern restaurants serving international cuisine, but that wasn’t always the case—when Niros, which first opened in 1949, started serving Chinese fare in the 1960’s, for example, it was...
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ITC Maurya, Sardar Patel Marg, Akhaura Block, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110021, India
Global celebrities like Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bruce Springsteen have all been spotted at Bukhara. Ranked as one of New Delhi’s top (and priciest) restaurants since 1977, the legendary spot—now located at the ITC Maurya...
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Shop No. 348, MI Road, Jayanti Market, New Colony, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India
For centuries, Rajasthan—and Jaipur in particular—has served as the epicenter of India’s gemstone industry; as far back as the early-1700’s, the skilled craftsmen of this region were cutting, shaping, and polishing about 90...
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100, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Rambagh, Mumbai, Rajasthan 302004, India
Don't be surprised if a peacock wanders into your view during cocktails at the elegant Bar Palladio. The bar feels straight out of a dream and you won't want to wake up. Inspired by some of Italy's most famous restaurants and bars, Bar Palladio...
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Agra Fort, Rakabganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282003, India
Dating back to 1080, the Agra Fort still holds much of its original splendor.
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9 Fatehabad Road Near Man Singh Palace Tajganj Bansal Nagar Tourist Complex Area, Bansal Nagar, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
After traveling in the north of India for two weeks, I do admit that some of the food was starting to feel monotonous. Delicious, yes. But also monotonous. That is why I was so glad to find Dasaprakash on a side street in Agra. This well-kept...
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Amber Fort Road, Jal Mahal, Parasrampuri, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India
Set on pristinely manicured grounds, the Trident Hotel offers a modern alternative to the traditional properties found throughout Jaipur. One of its biggest selling points is its prime location—across from the stunning Jal Mahal and just a...
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Taj East Gate Rd, Paktola, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
If the Taj Mahal were a performance, The Oberoi Amarvilas would be the front-row seats. Just a few steps from the eastern gate of India’s most iconic monument, this luxury hotel—which is often ranked as one of the world’s...
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National Highway 8, D Block, Samalka, New Delhi, Delhi 110037, India
Designed by Thai architect Khun Lek Bunnag—who has garnered a reputation for building luxury resorts that highlight the natural beauty of southeast Asia (Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai; Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve)—the...