Best time to visit the Golden Triangle


With a lot of walking to be done, the best time to visit the Golden Triangle is October to mid-April, with temps between 22-32°C. Freezing spells can hit Delhi January and February, due to a Himalayan influence, while May and June can scorch at 45°C. Monsoon, even if only in short bursts, can lead to floods July to September. October and November are festival time, with Diwali always a delight, as is March, when Holi, brings the famous colour throwing fests.

Things to do in the Golden Triangle


Things to do in the
Golden Triangle…

Think of the Golden Triangle as a piece of Toblerone, solid and sublime, packed with legendary flavours. Heritage is, of course, the honeycomb here, as you travel through periods of princes and palaces, Mughals and Maharajahs. Each trying to outdo the other in terms of architecture, fortitude and craftsmanship. Thankfully now in the safe hands of UNESCO for all to enjoy. Or hoteliers, who have created some of the most spectacular heritage hotels in the world.
Svadist Khana! Which means, enjoy your meal! Because food plays a big part on your journey around the Golden Triangle. If you want to eat chaat, North Indian street food, Delhi is the place to go, especially Chandni Chowk market. Thali is like Indian tapas, with a collection of small bowls of different foods (katori). For epicurean excellence, check out Mughlai or Rajput cuisines, and wash it down with a Rajasthani lassi, or Makhani, made from buffalo butter, essential oils and yoghurt.
Tiger tiger shining bright… Indian royalty feature highly along the Golden Triangle, but the king of India’s jungle, the tiger, still holds court. Thankfully. There are about 60 in Ranthambore National Park, once a hunting ground for Jaipur’s Maharaja, and a popular addition to Golden Triangle itineraries, just 180km from Jaipur. Further away, but equally stunning, Kanha National Park, an overnight train trip from Agra, is home to about a hundred tigers.

Things not to do in the Golden Triangle…

Just travel by car. Having a chauffeur to drive you or going in a minibus is not uncommon on The Golden Triangle trail, but do look at alternative forms of transport. The train network is superb, from the Shatabdi Express between most cities, including AC sleeper trains to luxurious tourist trains such as the Maharajas’ Express. Take the metro in Delhi, a tuk tuk ride just about anywhere, or cycle around the hills that envelop Jaipur.
Get hung up on poverty. It is a tired old cliché and a misconception that India is full of beggars and thieves. Yes, there is poverty, but most lifestyles have changed drastically for the better. Similarly, there are high quality artwork and crafts to buy, fine food and refined artforms to engage with. It is important to buy local as it keeps money in the local tourism chain, and helps deter people from pursuing illegal ways of earning a living. Which, as with anywhere, does still happen sadly.
Ride an elephant. It is a tempting way to get around the likes of Agra or Amber Forts, and it may seem harmless. However, in many cases the elephants are severely mistreated in order to perform or conform, with ‘mahouts’ or elephant trainers shackling them or using a bull hook to tame them. Given the difficulty of breeding elephants in captivity, they are also likely to have been captured from the wild, further depleting wild populations. Read our ‘Elephants in tourism’ guide for more details.

Golden Triangle travel advice


Packing tips

Steph Millington from our supplier, Intrepid, shares her Golden Triangle travel advice: “Take a scarf (or buy one there). It’s a useful garment to cover up with because the heat can be searing, even when least expected, and if you’re visiting religious sites it’s appropriate to go with covered shoulders, so a scarf can come in very handy.”
Shanane Davis, Director of our supplier, True Luxury Tours: “Most travellers come in winter and the difference in temperature between morning and evening can be a lot. So pack a sweater and socks. Also a rain poncho, as umbrellas aren’t practical here with the wind.”

Shopping tips

Shanane Davis: “There are two worlds for shopping in India. Most people just see the low quality handicrafts made for tourists. But there are also the places where Indians like to shop, which sell things handmade in India but very high quality… perfumes, handmade silks and delicate decorative arts such as the traditional and indigenous lacquer work. For high quality, genuine handicrafts in Delhi, go to the state emporium called Baba Kharak Singh Marg in Connaught Place, New Delhi.”

Transport tips

Steph Millington from Intrepid, our leading supplier of holidays in India’s Golden Triangle: “Try out Delhi’s new, modern Metro, an iconic cycle rickshaw or even a hot air balloon ride over the pink city of Jaipur.”
If you'd like to chat about the Golden Triangle in India or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team

01273 823 700

Golden Triangle travel advice


At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Golden Triangle travel advice that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday.

“The most memorable part? Indian train travel. Sumptuous hotels. Beautiful new Delhi. But end of May in India is probably too hot.” – Lydia Walton

“Take plenty of mossie spray and if you get a dodgy tum don't take Immodium - seek medical advice immediately to get the appropriate antibiotic.” Debbie Gilliland

“Being exposed to a completely different world that seems to follow a completely different logic than what I'm used to…Be prepared for the cold in January and make sure to have warm, functional clothes and a sleeping bag.” – Judith Brockmann

“A mixture of cities and wildlife is good.” Stephen Pick

“Plan your holiday to include several 2 or 3 day stops in a tranquil location to relax and absorb your impressions.” - Moyra Williams, on a tailor made holiday to the Golden Triangle

“The guide took all the hassle out of it. He gave us guidelines on costs, he showed us the best value for money places to eat in the location and doing activities as a group meant not only was it sociable, but we got good deals. We travelled at the end of the monsoon season so sometimes it was very wet and overcast, but the plus was that there were fewer tourists. You can opt out of activities so there was nothing I didn't enjoy.” – Hazel Durbridge

“I really enjoyed the overnight train rides to and from Varanassi. It was great to take part in something that it so inherent to Indian life, we met some great people on the train and it was an excellent way to see the countryside.” – Jerrine Barnett
Photo credits: [Temp chart: Priyambada Nath] [Packing tips - Steph Millington: Abhisek Sarda] [Shopping tips: Tom Thai] [Review 1 - Lisa Philips - rupees: Miran Rijavec] [Review 2 - Lesley Craven: Owen Young]
Written by Catherine Mack
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