If you are a tourist coming to India you might have some trouble deciding what you want to see here. There is everything here from rolling foothills to deserts to beaches on the sea and even the Himalayan peaks to see. If you are looking to capture India in all its glory it will take you years to really get to know the place. At the same time, if you are looking to touch the diversity and common heritage that binds most north Indians you can do a short circuit popularly known as the Golden Triangle.
This covers the three cities of Delhi (which is India's capital and historically speaking rich with heritage landmarks), Agra (if you are coming to India you have to see the Taj Mahal else it is a wasted trip) and Jaipur (the capital of Rajasthan and the present day home of Indian traditions, which really lets you experience what it was to be royalty in ancient India). The three cities make a triangle on the map of India and so the tourist circuit is called the Golden Triangle. It is one of the most popular tourist routes around these days.
The best way to cover the three cities is to land in Delhi, as most international airlines will connect to the city. Then take a hired cab and do the local sightseeing in Delhi. If you touch just the bare essentials you will be done in about two to three days. Then move ahead in the same rented taxi to Agra. The drive is a mere three an half hours and can be enjoyed with breaks at various places en route. The essential sightseeing in Agra will take you two days. After which you can again hit the road and head out to Jaipur.
Again a couple of days sightseeing should cover the essentials here in Jaipur. After which you are free to go back to Delhi and catch your flight back home. India in a nutshell in a week, that’s what this circuit gives you. If you do have more time to spare you can head for the hill stations of Shimla and Dalhousie, if not for the scenery, then to escape the Indian heat. For those interested in the south of India there is another circuit that they can do. More about that in my next post. Till then get those light cotton shirts out and hop on a plane to do the Golden Triangle.