Skip to content

India’s Golden Triangle and Ranthambore by Kirsty Alston

If you would like to find out more about Kirsty’s amazing adventure to India, call her on 01622 762141 or pop into our Maidstone branch and see her!

I recently undertook an amazing trip, courtesy of Titan Tours to India.  The tour, India’s Golden Triangle and Ranthambore is a great introduction to the main cities of Northern India (Delhi, Jaipur and Agra) with the additional highlight of visiting the national park in search of tigers, bears, leopards, monkeys, deer and many colourful birds. Get ready for a trip that is noisy, colourful, emotional and sometimes spicy!!

Itinerary – 

1 night Delhi, 2 nights Agra, 2 nights Ranthambore, 2 nights Jaipur and 1 night back in Delhi

The tour started with the Titan VIP door to door transfer to take me to London Heathrow airport. Titan have a fleet of small mini buses they use to transport guests to the airport in comfort. My driver was smart, courteous and on time!  The Virgin Atlantic flight to Delhi is only 8hrs 45 mins and offers economy, premium and upper class.

The first thing you notice in India is that the way to drive any vehicle is 1 hand on the steering wheel and 1 hand on the horn. Permanently! This is the first assault on the senses! 

Delhi is by far the biggest and busiest city we visited with around 8 million people. Transfer time is 40 mins to 1hr to get to our first hotel. All the hotels used by Titan are 4-5* and therefore very comfortable, with spacious rooms, swimming pools and extensive buffet for breakfast and dinner. 

Tip – Don’t worry if curry or spicy food is not your first love, there will always be something for you to eat and no need to worry if you have any dietary requirements, they are also easily catered for.

Highlights in Delhi – the city is divided into New Delhi where we visited the India Gate memorial, Qutub Minar with its world famous minaret and drive by the presidents house. The following day it was the turn of Old Delhi for a visit to Humayun’s Tomb, the Ghandi memorial and Jama Masjid Mosque. We also had a bicycle rickshaw ride around the streets which was an experience! After lunch we started our journey to Agra which is around 3.5hrs but our coach was clean and comfortable, has air conditioning and cold water on board and has an emergency toilet!

The highlight of Agra is of course the Taj Mahal , memorial to Shah Jahan’s favourite wife. So, to avoid the crowds we were up and out before 0530. For many this is a bucket list moment to see it in all its majesty as the sun rises. The intricate design across the whole building is made of crushed precious stones so its just as impressive close up.

Tip – Head to the bench for the infamous Diana pose

Later on we visited Agra Fort, a walled city of palaces inhabited for over 900 years! Next we start our journey to the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri, built with highly decorated palaces, pavilions and residences and then quickly abandoned. Much of the decoration though is very well preserved given its age. Next stop Bharatpur train station for the 2.5hrs journey to Ranthambore National Park.

The trip includes 3 game drives in total each one is a few hours long. There are around 80 tigers in a park over 1300 sq km but spotting this elusive animal isn’t easy to the untrained eye! Thankfully the game drives are accompanied by an expert guide who usually knows where to look or where they have been spotted that day already. In the meantime, the wildlife is abundant but the journey around in a canter (open air jeep for around 16 people)  can be uncomfortable so be prepared for a bad back and bruises!!

Note – we saw 5 tigers and a bear!!!!!!!

Final stop before heading back to Delhi is the pink city of Jaipur, where many of the buildings have been painted a terracotta colour. The city is prettier and a bit less hectic than Delhi. The highlight of the city is the Amber Fort, built up on a hillside and reached by rickshaw. Also, the facade of the Palace of Winds. (We missed out on the observatory visit due to local government elections)

Note – Elephants give rides at Amber Fort  but this is not recommended due to ethical reasons.

Useful facts

*Electronic visa is required and cannot be applied for until within 30 days of arrival into India and costs $25 US

*Flight time 8hrs 45 mins

*Dress code – you only need to be covered at the mosque and an outfit is provided, otherwise dress comfortably for the weather and activities.

*Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water, take a hat and sun cream and medicines to combat “Delhi belly” are highly recommended!

*Try the paneer (cheese) tikka masala available in all the hotels. Its delicious! and the garlic naan bread! But If a local person tells you the food isn’t spicy, don’t believe them!

*Best time to go – November to February. These are the busiest months. I went in mid April and we were advised it is a good time to see tigers but the average daily temperature was around 36 degrees!

*The tour involves some early starts and long journeys but the transport was always clean and comfortable. If you wish to extend the holiday and have a beach stay before returning home, this is possible.

*The currency is closed so you cannot obtain rupees in the UK. Take sterling and change it at the airport on arrival or in the hotels. Current exchange rate is 96 rupees to £1.00

*Is India safe? Yes, its safe but be prepared at all the main sites to be completely accosted by vendors selling tourist trinkets. They drive a hard bargain and wont take no for an answer. Unless you wish to purchase something do not engage with them at all, even to say “no!”

Also, the local people are fascinated by Europeans and always ask for selfies, especially with their children! If you don’t feel comfortable with this just firmly say no or try not to make eye contact.

Would I go back to India? YES, I cant wait to return and explore another part of this fascinating country!

author avatar
Amy Sharp