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August 21, 2020 / catherinebwrites

INDIA 25. THE TAJ MAHAL AND THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE

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Delhi, Agra and Jaipur form the Golden triangle. Look on the map and you’ll see why it’s called a Triangle. And Golden because it includes the Taj Mahal and many of the forts and palaces built during the golden age of the Mughul Emprors. Indians say that if you have not seen the Taj Mahal you have not seen India. Despite the hordes of tourists, the Taj Mahal is spell-bindingly beautiful and alone is well worth the trip.

HOW WE DID IT

A friend who works in India suggested The Golden Triangle and advised us to take a tour as it cuts out hassle of buying train / bus tickets / booking hotels and getting to and from the sights. So we googled and googled and googled and kept coming across Noble Tours.

NOBLE HOUSE TOURS PVT LTD 197 FLYOVER MARKETNEW DELHI – 110024 tours@noblehouseindia.org info@noblehousetours.in Tel: +91 98100 26888

We found them efficient and reliable. They offer a range of tour options and hotels. Their charges cover transport and hotels but meals, entrance to sights and tips for guides and drivers you pay yourself.

If it’s your first trip to India and you want to be totally looked after ten this kind of tour is excellent. However, the more independent traveller will find it restrictive.

PLUSES

Your schedule is arranged by the agency

Your driver collects you from your hotel

You travel in a comfortable car

You choose the star rating, they arrange the hotel

You are driven to and from the sites you visit

Guides are arranged at each site you visit

You are brought directly to a shop approved by the agency

MINUSES

Your schedule is full, you can make changes but there is a time constraint on everything.  

You can’t decide to stay on in a place that you want to explore in more depth.

Shopping is very pressured. You only go to one shop. They pressure you to buy.

You get no chance to wander about, talk to local people, check out markets.

By the time you return to your hotel after a day’s visiting you’re too tired to do any more exploring

We chose 4 star hotels. They were generally excellent. Some were magnificent old palaces but the service was very formal.

GUIDES – PLUSES

They speak all the major languages.

They give you lots of information

They arrange entrance tickets so you do’t have to queue

They advise you about dealing with hawkers

MINUSES

They give you so much information that it’s impossible to absorb it  

They had problems answering questions. Perhaps due to a limited knowledge of the language. The answers we got were often irrelevant.

We had a sense of being urged to keep moving on whenever we wanted to linger.

Some guides seemed to have less information than our driver had.

Other tourists

IF I WERE DOING IT AGAIN

All the hotels have a travel desk with someone who can book tickers for you, give travel advice and help with everything from how much to pay for a tuk-tuk to sorting out your return air journey home. I’d arrange my travel through them.

I’d do it without a guide. A decent guide book will give you all the information you need .

I’d give myself the leeway to stay extra time in places I found interesting. Time to wander the town, the markets and shops. Time to talk to people. Indians are like us Irish, we both enjoy talking to strangers.

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. brookebenita / Sep 12 2020 3:19 pm

    Hi Catherine! Lovely stories! Miss you, my friend. Hope you are staying safe and healthy.

    Like

    • catherinebwrites / Sep 12 2020 5:13 pm

      Healthy as a salmon. Decided to paint some bamboo chairs, very Zen, very meditative, very long time, very tired arm!

      Like

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