How and where to snap your way around The Golden Triangle.
Jaipur, Agra and New Delhi, which are known as The Golden Triangle in India, offers a delight for the senses and MANY photo opportunities. Whilst we don’t suggest you should travel somewhere “just for the ‘gram”, India offers so much more than just a stunning backdrop, so we have pinpointed some of our favourite locations so you can incorporate them into your trip and tick them off that Instagram bucket list. If you are planning to do The Golden Triangle tour yourself, you could consider booking it through a reliable tour provider such as Gormei Travel (who the Sassy team travelled with) or browse tour options and reviews on Tourdar.
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Hawa Mahal in the Pink City, Japiur, is known as “The Palace of the Breeze” or “The Palace of the Wind”. It was built in 1799 as an extension to the Royal City Palace of Jaipur as a place where the royal ladies (who were not allowed to be seen by the public) could look out on the processions on the street. Whilst the original purpose of the building may be slightly sinister, the five storey, pink-painted facade does make for a monumental scene that could be straight out of a Wes Anderson film.
View the main facade from Hawa Mahal Road or pay to enter the whole palace (visitor rate: 50INR). If you are visiting from the street be prepared for the road to be busy with traffic and other tourists trying to get their shot. For an extra special view buy a drink at one of the rooftop cafes across the road at twilight and watch the stained glass windows come alight.
Hawa Mahal Rd, Badi Choupad, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India, www.hawa-mahal.com
Amer Fort, Jaipur
The Amer fort, situated 11 kilometres from Jaipur, is one of the most famous forts of Rajasthan and a UNESCO World Heritage site not to be missed! The fort, built in 1592 boasts a rich history and a magnificent and fascinating blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Amer Fort is open daily from 8am until 5:30pm and reopens illuminated from 6:30pm until 9:15pm for a light show. The fort can get extremely busy and we recommend allowing plenty of time to take in the whole site, as it consists of a series of courtyards, halls, palaces and gardens – each with their own unique charm and character.
Amer Fort, Devisinghpura, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India
Panna Meena ka Kund, Jaipur
Panna Meena ka Kund is a historic step built to collect rainwater. It also served as a place for local people to gather, and today, the geometric symmetry of the steps makes for a striking scene. Be aware that whether or not you are allowed to enter the steps seems to be dependent on the guard’s temperament and you may have to pay them a fee of around 100INR. Exercise politeness and caution when entering the step well and don’t be disappointed if walking on the steps is not allowed, you can still soak in the scene from the surrounding edges and turrets.
Sassy Tip: Panna Meena ka Kund is close to the Amer Fort, so ask your driver if you can stop there on the way to the fort and arrive early to avoid crowds.
Panna Meena ka Kund, Amer, Rajasthan 302028, India
Patrika Gate at Jawahar Circle, Jaipur
Located at the entrance to Jawahar Circle (Asia’s largest circular park), is Patrika gate, a vibrant and colourful walkway with beautiful hand-painted pillars representing different districts of Rajasthan. The symmetrical walkway with its mix of vibrant, rainbow colours has become a popular Instagram-worthy spot, and while it’s accessible 24/7 you may need to visit early if you hope to get this place to yourself for that picture perfect moment.
Patrika Gate, JLN Road, Jawahar Circle, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302018, India
City Palace, Jaipur
The City Palace, located in the heart of the pink city is the best place to get up close to a pristine example of the famous pink and white city walls (shown in the main image of this article). Think dusty pink walls, outdoor chandeliers, mirrored mosaics and a chic outdoor restaurant and bar. You can visit just the palace for a visitor’s fee of 500INR or pay 2,500INR to visit Chandra Mahal. Chandra Mahal, where some of the Jaipur royal family still resides, contains some of the most beautiful rooms in the palace including Sukh Niwas (“The Blue Room”), Shobha Niwas (“The Gold Room”), Rang Mandir (“The Starry Room”) as well as access to rooftop views.
City Palace, Tulsi Marg, Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India, www.royaljaipur.in
The Gem Palace, Jaipur
The Gem Palace was established in 1852 by the Kasliwal family and is a favourite amongst celebrities and royalty, offering an exquisite range of jewellery (some pieces have the most fascinating history). If you are a jewellery enthusiast or are in the market for a new special piece, this place should not be missed. Not only are the jewels absolutely stunning, the shop is also beautifully decorated, designed by Marie-Anne Oudejans (who also designed Bar Palladio), with vivid pink walls and furniture, hand-painted floral murals, and tents and daybeds on the terrace. As part of the India By Hand Gormei Travel tour we were lucky enough to meet with the Kasliwal family and experience a full tour of The Gem Palace workshop and private atelier.
The Gem Palace, Shop No. 348, MI Road, Jayanti Market, New Colony, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India, www.gempalace.com
Hotel SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace, Jaipur
This five-star hotel is one of the oldest palaces in the “Pink City” and an Instagrammer’s dream. Every room is unique and adorned with patterned wallpaper and textiles referencing regal Jaipur style (why not put on your best striped pyjamas and have breakfast in bed like a Queen). If stopping overnight isn’t in your schedule (or budget) you can visit for afternoon tea or just a cup of chai and enjoy wandering around the dining rooms such as the fuchsia “51 Shades Of Pink” room, the turquoise “Polo Bar” and lavish grounds. Be aware that if you are not staying at the hotel you may be required to book your sitting in advance.
SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace, Sardar Patel Marg, Shivaji Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India, www.sujanluxury.com/raj-mahal
Caffé Palladio and Bar, Jaipur
Caffé Palladio (open in the day and evenings) and Bar Palladio (evenings only) are set at two different locations serving simple Italian food, mezze, coffee and cocktails. However it’s not the food (or the service, for that matter) that’s the star of the show here, but the intricate interiors, including a traditional blue and white room, tropical murals of birds and flowers and a front garden scattered with combanas perfect for cocktails and watching the evening slip away. Calling ahead to book a table or combana is required.
Caffé Palladio Jaipur, 100 JLN Marg, Santha Bagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302004, India
Bar Palladio Jaipur, Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, Kanota Bagh, Narain Singh Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302004, India, www.bar-palladio.com
Taj Mahal, Agra
No doubt the Taj Mahal may be top of the bucket list when it comes to Instagrammable spots to check out on your trip. This spectacular site is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World for a reason, and its beauty is breathtaking from the moment you enter the grounds. With around 50,000 people visiting the iconic mausoleum and memorial each day, pre-purchased tickets, an early rise (gates open at sunrise) and well planned out photo spots are our top tips if you’re looking for that special shot. You will also go through a thorough security check on entry and it’s good to know in advance that many items, such as tripods, drones and selfie sticks are prohibited. For a full list of the dos and don’ts, check out the Taj Mahal website.
Taj Mahal, Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, India, www.tajmahal.gov.in
Taj Mahal (Kau Ban Mosque), Agra
The perfect symmetry of the Taj Mahal means that you can explore the grounds, find an area away from the crowds to take it all in and still get a great shot. We recommend making your way past the gardens when you enter and head to the left side of the Taj Mahal, where you’ll find a red sandstone mosque with beautiful patterned arches which can create a nice frame of the Taj from a less crowded viewpoint. While it’s okay to take photos at this location, be sure to be mindful of the various rules (such as no shoes, no jumping, and no shoots that could be considered to be a fashion shoot) and to be respectful of the guard’s instructions.
Taj Mahal, Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, India, www.tajmahal.gov.in
Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
Humayun’s Tomb is the mausoleum of Mughal Emperor Humayun and a UNESCO world heritage site. The stunning building and grounds are similar to the more famous Taj Mahal and they’re said to have inspired the genre of 16th Century architecture the Taj was built in 80 years later. Arrive early to beat the heat and crowds and take your time to explore the grounds and quiet corners.
Humayun’s Tomb, Mathura Road, opposite Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah, Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Delhi 110013, India
Dilli Haat, Delhi
Dilli Haat is a permanent, open-air market selling Indian homeware, clothin,g crafts and food. It’s the perfect place to stock-up on gifts before the end of the trip and is also a visual feast for creatives. It offers a slightly more orderly and tourist-friendly market experience compared to some other street-markets in Delhi but, as always when travelling, have your wits about you and keep your valuables close to your body.
Dilli Haat, Metro Station, 21, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Dilli Haat, Kidwai Nagar West, Near INA, New Delhi, Delhi 110023, India, delhitourism.gov.in
Lodhi Colony Art District, Delhi
Located in Central Delhi is Lodhi Colony, a neighbourhood that has become a public art district. With over 50 murals created by local and international artists, it works to make art accessible to all. Each of the colourful walls has a story behind it, with the works covering a diverse range of themes from feminism and freedom to nature and social issues. Most of the art can be found between Meherchand Market and Khanna Market.
Lodi Colony, New Delhi, Delhi 110003, India