Hilton Destinations

The Allure Of Agra

Written By Ambika Anand When someone mentions Agra, the first thing that pops into anyone’s mind is the ‘Taj Mahal’. And Taj Mahal indeed describes what Agra stands for: Romance and Beauty. With a historic past and monuments to prove it, Agra is a city which has thrived for millennia and had been the home to royalty for centuries.

In Agra, I met Raisuddin, the son of late Zardozi artist Shamsuddin. Raisuddin told me about his father’s work and 3D embroidery, which his father invented in the year 1950. My chat with Mr Raisuddin also made me realise that education can indeed take you very far. Even though his father is an artist, Raisuddin, who is a lawyer by profession, is the one who carried this art forward by getting it patented. He now runs the workshop which Shams built.

Apart from Zardosi, Marble Inlay is also one such art that has been passed down from centuries. I met Rafiquddin, who is a National Award winning Inlay artist. He told me about the process of the work and the history of the art.

Furthermore, staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Agra was a delight in itself. I ate some amazing Italian dishes at North 27, a multi-cuisine restaurant in the hotel offering sumptuous delights from around the globe. Here are some of my favourites:

Ambika’s Must Try List

  1. Gnocchi: The aroma could be sensed wafting from the dish as the waiter brought it to the table. Classic Italian flavours paired with chef's special recipe, the gnocchi was melt in the mouth with the creamy sweetness of the potatoes tying in perfectly with the tangy tomato and garlic sauce.
  2. Ravioli in mushroom sauce: Paper thin pasta, ricotta filling, creamy mushroom sauce is just a physical description of the dish. A hearty Italian dish loaded with cream and butter, this plate is a full meal in itself. The subtle taste of mushroom in the sauce and the ricotta filling in the ravioli is the perfect example of authentic Italian cuisine at North 27

All in all, I left Agra satiated and content. And of course, I took a little bit of the Taj back with me by taking some of Rafiquddin’s inlay plates back home. Agra will stay with me for a long long time.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

About Us

India with its diversity is any traveller's delight. From breathtaking mountains to serene beaches, from sky diving to scuba diving, chances are if you are planning a holiday of your dreams, there is a perfect destination waiting for you in some part of this country.

You could be a conventional traveller looking to follow the map or someone not afraid to  tread on the path less taken. Either way, there will always be new perspectives and new stories worth sharing. On Hilton Destinations, we aim to capture the various hues that a place has to offer and highlight how the same place can offer different experiences to different people. In this leg of the journey we pick three of the country's most visited cities - Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, famously known as the Golden Triangle. Explore these three cities with us and discover the known and little treasures that define these places and make them such a draw for tourists from within and outside India.