We recently hosted a lovely group from Egypt in association with one of our Egypt travel partners East West Travel, which consisted primarily of women. A vibrant group, they chose the popular Golden Triangle Tour as their itinerary, which comprises of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
The group arrived in the capital city Delhi which is rich in history and architecture. We started the first day with visiting Qutab Minar, the tallest brick minaret in the world, build by Qutab-ud-din-Aibak (1st ruler of the Delhi Sultanate) in 1193 , and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The group also visited the beautiful and serene Lotus Temple. Built in the shape of a lotus and set amongst lush green landscaped gardens, it is the last of the seven major Bahai temples built around the world. We ended the day with shopping at the modern Ambience Mall in Vasant Kunj.
The next day we drove to the "Pink City" Jaipur in a luxury coach, which was our mode of transport for the entire tour, escorted by two lady guides who were with us throughout the holiday. The rest of the evening was for relaxing at the hotel.
Our first halt on the next day was Amer Fort, Rajasthan's most famous fort, which was also its capital before Jaipur. It comprises of a palace complex build from pale yellow and pink sandstone. We had lunch at 1135 AD, the famous restaurant in Amer Palace which makes diners feel like royalty. It has an open air courtyard, a formal dining room and a private dining space, Sheesh Mahal, crafted entirely silver and gold. The kitchens proudly recreate the centuries-old local royal recipes that were closely guarded by palace cooks.
We then visited the City Palace, which used to be the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the head of the Kachwaha Rajput clan. The tourists were captivated by its regal architecture and the insight it offered into the bygone era of Rajasthani royalty.
We had planned a surprise for the guests in the evening. We gifted our guests saris and had some girls from a local salon come to the hotel to drape them. The women carried off the local Indian wear with so much grace and elegance. All dressed up, we headed out for the gala dinner at Konata. The guests were welcomed at the venue by regal elephants, horses and camels and Rajasthani dhol (a musical instrument which is a large drum slung over the shoulders, played with sticks). They were given the typical Indian welcome of garlands, tika and aarti. They enjoyed their dinner while watching folk dances and music. As they were getting ready to leave, we had another surprise for them - 10 minutes of colorful fireworks lit up the sky!
The next day we headed to Agra. We stopped at Bharatpur for lunch and then reached Agra by the evening and called it a day. Day 6 of our tour started with a visit to the magnificent monument of eternal love, the Taj Mahal. The guests were spellbound by the beauty of this wonder of the world, a mausoleum built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his favorite queen Mumtaz Mahal.
We then went to see Itmad-Ud-Daulah, also known as "baby Taj" built by Shah Jahan's mother Nur Jahan in memory of her father. No trip to Agra is complete without shopping, and we ended our day with shopping at local bazaars for marble artifacts.
We then came back to Delhi to start our second leg of touring the capital city. The highlight of our day was exploring the bustling lanes of the iconic market of Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk, by cycle rickshaw. The rickshaw also took us to Jama Masjid and the spice market. We then drove past the Red Fort to move towards Central Delhi. Here we saw the Parliament House, India Gate, the famous Gurudwara Bangla Sahib and Birla Temple. After the long day, we retired to our hotel for some rest and sumptuous dinner at the lovely Tamra restaurant at Shangrila Hotel.
The last day of our tour had no agenda and the guests were free to explore the city, shop or relax before flying back to Egypt with unforgettable memories!