Our Golden Triangle Tour
Due to our missed flight in Kuala Lumpur to New Delhi on day 1 of our swing around tour, we had to decide which of the 3 cities of the Golden Triangle tour in India we’d spend the least time on, given our shortened trip. This was a critical decision, because we still had Nepal as the last leg of our long holiday.
India’s Golden Triangle tour includes Delhi, Agra & Jaipur, the three most visited cities in the northern part of India. They say for first time visitors to India, these are the must see cities to visit because of the enormous amount of cultural and historical heritage that await a traveler here. All three cities are roughly 200-250 km apart, which form a triangle on the map, hence the name golden triangle.
Because of its location, mum & I decided we’d spend least time in New Delhi. We figured it would be easier to explore New Delhi next time we go to India, because of its proximity to the international airport. Jaipur and Agra though are both farther away.
The trip to Jaipur
The following morning after our late night arrival, we briefly met Jawahar, the owner of the tour agency where we booked our tours, and his lovely wife who even cooked breakfast for us. He explained to us the sequence of the golden triangle tour: where we would be staying and what to expect. Jawahar was very helpful from the minute we sent him our email inquiry down to our arrangements during our trip. Even when I texted him that we were delayed because we missed our Air Asia flight to New Delhi, he responded quickly and assured us everything is OK and they have arranged the hotels to accommodate our delayed arrival. We paid for everything before we left his office and together with our driver, mum & I headed to Jaipur.
The drive to Jaipur took us about 8 hours. We arrived in the city past 5pm. Upon entering Jaipur, we began to understand why it was called “Pink City”. The entire city was painted pink in the 1800s as sign of hospitality for the visit of the Prince of Wales at that time.
Jaipur’s historical treasures
In & around Jaipur, here are some of the other interesting sights we saw on our short trip:
Jal Mahal, The Water Palace
This palace is located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur city. We understood from our guide that the water quality of the lake is not clean. You can’t really visit the actual palace (it’s no longer in use), rather you just view it from outside.
Built in the 15th century, Amber Fort, is one of the largest and grandest forts we’ve been too. Located on top of a hill, the fort is very old but still in good condition and a major tourist attraction in Jaipur. It boasts of a beautiful lake, garden and artistic, huge courtyards: a sign of opulence of the royal family who lived there.
Albert Hall Museum
Named after the Prince of Wales, King Edward VII (Albert Edward) who visited Jaipur in 1876. It is the said to be the oldest museum of the state of Rajasthan.
Hawa Mahal or “Palace of Winds” is a palace in Jaipur that was built with red and pink sandstone in 1799.
From outside, the palace looked like honeycomb of the beehive with tiny windows decorated with intricate latticework. This allowed the royal ladies to observe life outside without being seen, because they needed to do strict face cover. Similar to the other structures in India where there’s intricate latticework, the idea for this is to allow the breeze to come through, naturally keeping the inside cool, but maintaining the privacy of the inside.
Have you been to Jaipur before? What’s your favorite tourist site in the Pink City?