Explore India, from Bollywood and big-city icons to the spiritual heartland of yoga

Follow the famed Golden Triangle on this adventure to India’s premier cities – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Peel back the curtain on Bollywood with a dance class and a film screening in Jaipur infuse this trip with a glamorous twist. Immerse yourself in India’s history and discover the sparkling relics of lost empires, the legendary Taj Mahal among them. After pounding the pavement in the big cities – and tasting rural village life in Suroth – there’s no better way to finish your journey than with three days in sacred Rishikesh, where the Ganges flows from the mountains to the plains and yoga reigns supreme.


Start
Delhi, India
Finish
Delhi, India
Country
India
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
HHSB
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • The Taj Mahal is not only a sumptuous masterpiece of Indian architecture, but also a truly meaningful stop on any traveller’s journey

  • Overlooking the picturesque scene of Moata Lake, the monumental Amber Fort is one sight that will forever be under India’s protection

  • Sample sweet treats and interact with friendly local folk in Karauli, a fascinating snapshot of rural life off the tourist trail

  • A dance class in Delhi and a film screening at Jaipur’s famous Raj Mandir cinema hall make for a thrilling Bollywood experience

  • Head into the stunning foothills of the Himalaya to Holy Rishikesh to practice yoga on the banks of the sacred Ganges

  • For those with limited time, long travel days are kept to a minimum, which is perfect for visiting several icons of northern India

Is this trip right for you?

  • Old Delhi can be very busy and crowded. While it’s an exciting place to see local life moving around you, be aware that on the walking tour you’ll need to navigate through people, tight spaces and walkways.

  • Rajasthan can reach extremely high temperatures in the summer. While we aim to do our walking tours early in the morning when it’s cooler, remember to keep hydrated and to bring a hat, sunscreen, a long-sleeved shirt and anything else that will protect you from the sun.

  • We stay at an Ashram and visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees for both men and women.

  • Long distance and overnight trains can often be delayed and occasionally cancelled due to heavy fog between Dec-Feb. Please see the transport section of the essential trip information.

  • From April 2017, the main dome of the Taj Mahal will undergo mud pack therapy to restore its original colour. It is expected the dome will be covered in iron scaffolding during the process which is expected to last a year.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Namaste. Welcome to India. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Perhaps visit the World Heritage-listed Humayun's Tomb, Qutub Minar or Red Fort of Delhi if you have any spare time.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR500
  • Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure - INR2500
  • Delhi - City Food Crawl Urban Adventure - INR3500
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Join your leader on an excursion through Old Delhi. Ride the city’s metro system, and then hop in a rickshaw to the once water-filled square of Chandni Chowk. Discover the Jama Masjid, Delhi’s oldest mosque, before learning about the history of the Sikh religion at the Sheeshganj Gurudwara. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel to Agra (approximately 3 hours). This is where you'll find the iconic Taj Mahal. Best known as a monument to love and loss, the 17th century Taj is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture, surrounded by trimmed English gardens. Spend some time exploring this marvellous site. Today you also have the option of visiting the Agra Fort, one of the finest forts in the country. This dark red sandstone stronghold is part fortress, part palace and part prison. If you go there you can search through the throne rooms and tiny but incredibly decorated mosques.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Red Fort guided tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Drive to Karauli (approximately 3.5 hours). This delightful town was founded in 1348 and is packed with rural ambience and traditional temples. Take a guided walk around the Old Quarter, interacting with friendly locals and learning about rural Indian life off the tourist trail. Be sure to visit the eclectic market stalls along the way and sample some seasonal local sweets made from Indian ingredients, including petha (pumpkin), jiggery (organic sugar), peanut brittle and gazak (sesame seeds).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Suroth - Village walk
Optional Activities
  • Agra - Additional entries to Taj Mahal - INR1000
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Travel by road into Rajasthan and on to its capital, Jaipur (approximately 5 hours). A friendly, busy town crammed with palaces and bazaars full of jewellery, textiles and folk-based arts, Jaipur is a favourite for many travellers. Visit the Jai Mahal and the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), then head over to Jaipur's Royal City Palace and explore its extravagant rooms and apartments. Later, discover one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur. Tonight you will head to a local cinema to watch a Bollywoood film.
Accommodation
  • Heritage Property (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Choose to take an early morning hot air balloon experience, often a highlight of visiting Jaipur. Ballooning can be done over Jaipur on the morning of day four between September and June. For additional information, please see the Important Notes section of the Essential Trip Information. In the afternoon, at around 2.30pm, visit the Amber Fort. Set on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake, the fort is an authentic example of Rajput architecture and the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) is one of its more spectacular buildings. This evening join in the colour and fun of a Bollywood Dance class with a local instructor.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Bollywood Dance class
Optional Activities
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR400
  • Jaipur - Jantar Mantar Observatory - INR200
  • Jaipur - Balloon Safari - USD250
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy a free day in Jaipur before catching an overnight train to Rishikesh (approximately 13 hours). The train departs Jaipur at around 11pm and arrives in Haridwar (about 20 kilometres away from Rishikesh) at around 12 noon the following day. A sleeper train trip is an essential experience for visitors to this part of the world – a chance to travel as the locals do and experience the real India.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After pulling into Haridwar in the morning, drive to Rishikesh (approximately 1 hour). Check in to your hotel before going on an orientation walk. Aptly named the 'Yoga Capital of the World', Rishikesh is a great place to relax and seek a little enlightenment. In the evening, take a stroll along the holy Ganges River as temple bells ring and the nightly fire ritual of Ganga Aarti begins. We stay in an Ashram for the next 2 nights and it's required both men and women wear modest clothing that cover shoulders and knees.
Accommodation
  • Ashram (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rishikesh - City walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Being sacred, Rishikesh is a dry town and alcohol is prohibited.
Start the day with some early morning yoga. Afterwards, the rest of the morning is yours to roam around Rishikesh. Perhaps tuck into a masala dosa for breakfast before walking it off on one of the trails along the Ganges. In the afternoon, reunite with your group for a walk through the jungle to nearby waterfalls and caves.

Accommodation
  • Ashram (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rishikesh - Yoga class
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Start the day with some early morning yoga. Then check out of our ashram and move to our campsite by the river where we will stay for our final night in Rishikesh.
Accommodation
  • Camping (basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rishikesh - Yoga class
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After another free day (more yoga anyone?) say goodbye to beautiful Rishikesh and make the long journey back to Delhi. Your train departs at around 6 pm from Haridwar and arrives in Delhi at around 11 pm. Transfer to your hotel and check in for your final night of the trip.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end on arrival in New Delhi this morning. If you're staying longer, extra accommodation can be arranged. Whether you're a foodie, a history buff or just curious, you might like to join an Urban Adventure for a short and sharp day trip across this mind-boggling metropolis.
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure - INR2500
  • Delhi - City Food Crawl Urban Adventure - INR3500
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Car, Cycle rickshaw, Metro, Private vehicle, Shuttle Bus

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Ashram stay (2 nights), Heritage Property (1 night), Hotel (6 nights), overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Included activities

  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Red Fort guided tour
  • Suroth - Village walk
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema
  • Jaipur - Bollywood Dance class
  • Rishikesh - City walk
  • Rishikesh - Yoga class

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A Single Supplement is available on this trip. See under the Single Traveller section of your Trip Notes for more information.
The single supplement is available for all nights on tour with the exception of the overnight train on night 7.

JAIPUR HOT AIR BALLOON FLIGHTS
Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate mornings from September to June and morning and evening from September to March.
Morning flights depart around sunrise and evening flights late afternoon and last 60 mins. Return transfers, tea and coffee plus light refreshments and a certificate of flight are included in the cost.
You can register your interest and pay your tour leader at your joining meeting on day 1 of your trip.
Payment must be made by cash in either INR/AUD/USD/GBP only and is USD$250pp (subject to change)
Flights are subject to weather conditions and tickets are fully refundable in case of poor weather.

TAJ MAHAL DOME RESTORATIONS
The main dome on the Taj Mahal will undergo mud pack therapy due to begin in April 2017. It is likely the entire dome will be obscured by iron scaffolding. Portions of the white marble façade will be covered in mud and plastic sheets during the cleaning process. The restorations will be carried out in sections and the work on the dome is expected to last one year.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Golden Triangle: Yoga & Bollywood Edition trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 6 reviews in the last year.

Golden Triangle - Yoga & Bollywood Edition, November 2017

john berry

Golden Triangle - Yoga & Bollywood Edition, November 2017

Laura Edwards