Chef Jenny Morris brings more than giggles to Taste of Dubai

Chef Jenny Morris brings more than giggles to Taste of Dubai

Image Credit: There’s not much one can say when Chef Jenny Morris is the midst of giggling. The South African celebrity chef and radio personality, who has taken ‘The Giggling Gourmet’ avatar of hers to new heights, is returning to the UAE for another go at this year’s Taste of Dubai.
The weekend event, which runs from March 7 to 9 at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, will see Morris brandish her cooking skills at the chef’s theatre. And when she has time to spare, Morris won’t hesitate to jet off to sample at kebab or three at Dubai’s most famous eateries.
Gulf News tabloid! chatted up with Morris ahead of her Taste of Dubai appearance.
Tell us about this year’s Taste of Dubai and what are you going to be doing at the event? I will be cooking some of my signature dishes in the Crate and Barrel Chef’s Theatre. I’ll also be conducting baking masterclasses and judging competitions in The Jif Big Baking Tent and the Al Ain Farms & Kibsons Cooking Challenge.
From all the celebrity chefs attending, who are you most excited to meet? Without a doubt, Chef [Masaharu] Morimoto — he is a legend. It is always great to reconnect with [chefs] Tarek Ibrahim and Mohammed Orfali. This year, I’m also looking forward to touch base with [MasterChef Australia judge] Matt Preston again.
Describe the UAE food scene in 3 words… Exciting, current and on trend…If I could add a fourth one, it would be delicious.
Which is your favourite UAE restaurant? A trip to Dubai would not be complete without a visit to Special Ostadi Restaurant also known as Al Ustad Special Kabab located in Al Musallah Road, Bur Dubai. Another hidden gem is the Daily Restaurant, which serves the most delicious Pakistani and Indian cuisine.
Your thoughts on the ‘Giggling Gourmet’ tag? I received the tag back in the day when I had started doing my radio shows and because of all the laughs my colleagues started calling me the Giggling Gourmet and that was it, we registered the name and the rest as they say is history.
Is there one thing you’d like to eat that you haven’t tried before? Puffer Fish — the thought of it frightens and excites me at the same time.
As a published author, is it easy to come up a recipe book? When I write a recipe book, it takes me about a year to do so. I am always developing new recipes for my business and clients which have to be tried and tested and the ones that receive the maximum applause make it to the book. I need to be inspired by fresh ingredients and then the ideas just flow.
I’m always working on a new recipe book, and right now there is possibly a new cooking show in the pipeline as well.
Are you looking to expand your brand in the UAE or the Middle East? Yes and I have already made a small start; I have curated four different DIY Recipe Boxes for Kibsons.
There has been talk of late that the UAE is prime for a Michelin guide. Your thoughts? It wouldn’t surprise me if PierChic was the first to receive a Michelin star. The culinary standard in Dubai is extremely high.
Don’t miss it! Taste of Dubai runs from March 7 to 9 at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. The first day kicks off at 4pm, with the event starting at noon on the second and third days. Standard tickets are priced at Dh95, while VIP tickets start at Dh285. Full schedule on Tasteofdubaifestival.com
More From Events Iron Chef Masharu Morimoto brings Asian flair to Dubai Stars of Ballet comes to Dubai Opera Cosplay star Alodia Gosiengfiao returns to MEFCC Tony Hadley wants spice at Taste of Dubai Trending 9 free and fun things to do in the UAE this weekend Ultimate guide to the Taste of Dubai weekend Sponsored Free Event: Kids food decorating, gardening and more Dubai: 22 free things to do for fun

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Indian Street Food Has Its Own Flare!

Indian food has a Flair like no other and that is one of the reasons that India has got such a versatile variety of food 2 of 4 that even there are certain Street foods that are famous in every City that you go in India like Mumbai is famous for its Pav Bhaji and the bell Puri and vada pav at the same time it is also famous for all the charts and Chowpatty kulfi that Mumbai has to offer for street foods lover while Delhi has got paratha and Delhi Chaat all golgappa to offer with Chole Kulcha as a amazing chat option for the street food lovers and then when you go down south in India you can get delicious Idli or dosa to save your taste Buds and they help you with everything you need as a street food or as a breakfast dish Indian chaat in Fremont is also very famous and that is one of the main reasons why there are so many restaurants that are serving Indian chat in California and around United States of America.
Taj-E-Chaat in Fremont is one such Indian restaurant which is known for the chart that they serve to the neighborhood around and the food is extremely delicious. They have got amazing appetizers to start with right from samosa and pakora they also have got Pav Bhaji and dosa while they also serve bhel puri and Delhi chat they have got delicious Chole kulcha and pani puri to go along with many other delicacies that you would love to eat when it comes to Indian cuisine and Indian food right here in Fremont.
There is so much that Indian food has to offer that you can never have enough of it and it is one of the best comfort foods to try out whenever you are down and not feeling well I think Indian food is something that will go in the best possible ways and help you feel better at the same time.
Nowadays if you are not feeling well you can order food online in Fremont from any of the Indian restaurants and even from Taj-E-Chaat and enjoy the delicious curries and the street food varieties of Indian cuisine that the restaurant has to offer right in the comfort of your own house.

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The 11 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Lynn Trimble
“Welcome to Night Vale: A Spy in the Desert” Ever spotted a cactus cam while driving through Paradise Valley? Turns out, there really are spies in the desert. And storytellers for the Welcome to Night Vale podcast decided they’d make a fabulous theme for a world tour. “ Welcome to Night Vale : A Spy in the Desert” comes to The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 8. The tour features a new story about a surreal desert town filled with secrets, and every performance incorporates the audience into the tale somehow. You’ll never hear it on the podcast, by the way: This particular bit of fiction is only for tour attendees (who need to be at least 13 years old). Tickets are $32.50. Visit thevanburenphx.com . Lynn Trimble Wizards and Witches Beer Festival Initially, the Wizards and Witches Beer Festival was described as an event inspired by a certain fictional character known for his work with wands. It’s unclear if the dark lords of copyright came down to transfigure the name of this party, but the organizers decided to cast a name-changing charm just in case. There will be plenty of photo opportunities, cosplay, food, and Adult Butterbeer, of course.
Drink up from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, at the Monarch Theatre, 122 East Washington Street. Tickets are $35 and will only be sold to those of legal drinking age. For more information, visit rockstarbeer.com . Jason Keil Arizona Aloha Festival Escape to the islands, as the free two-day Arizona Aloha Festival comes to Tempe Beach Park, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway. The festival opens on Saturday, March 9, with a rich lineup of music, dance, art, and cuisine. Learn to make a tiki, lei, or rattle. Watch traditional and contemporary hula dance. Try food offerings from poke to potstickers. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There’s also a 7 to 9 p.m. seminar on tattoos in Polynesian culture happening at the Phoenix Indian School Visitor Center, 300 East Indian School Road (admission is $10). Visit azalohafest.org . Lynn Trimble

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If you could choose a holiday for yourself

Friday, March 8, 2019 If you could choose a holiday for yourself The introductory city I would making love to see in India, is Delhi. It is the capital of India and is where most of the historical events take place. There is the Red citadel which is a famous historical monument in Delhi that was built during the eventually days of the McHugh Empire and the British Era. The Delhi Gate, built by Emperor Shah Johan, Is some other must inspect holidaymaker attraction. The Gate links the New Delhi metropolis with the grey-haired walled city of Delhi. And of course, the Quit Minor cannot be a misfireBesides its vast history, there are many other tourist attractions one just experience in Delhi, like the narrow bazaars of old Delhi which gives a feel like you have wondered somewhere medieval. Delis local channel food is a must try. Delis chat and Galapagos in the streets of old Delhi, is what would love to relish The beautiful Tag Mall, in Agar, be one of the 7 wonders and located about three hours away from Delhi, cannot be missed. This is th e worlds most storeyed monument to love.Almost sixty thousand people a day visit the Tag Mall. It is pink at dawn and dusk, dazzling white at noon and pearly silver by moonlight. Since I am a travel lover and it IS my desire to travel and explore the world, I would first want to travel around India as I am an Indian and this way can learn more about this land which has a rich culture full of history, religion, tradition and of course not to close up the variety of mouth watering cuisines in each state, Delhi and Agar being on top of my must visit list Posted by

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23 new books by women authors you should read in 2019

23 new books by women authors you should read in 2019 1 of 23
More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are by Elaine Welteroth Starting at $12.99 ( Release Date: June 11, 2019, available for pre-order ) Becoming the youngest and first black editor of Teen Vogue may be the reason many of you know her name, but it was not the end of her story. After being a transformative force to the publication’s brand, she set out to conquer new goals and any self doubt that tried to convince her she wasn’t enough. Part memoir, part self-help, this read will remind you that you’re enough as well.
The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditationsby Toni Morrison
Starting at $14.99
Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison put her mark on 2019 with the release of her latest book, The Source of Self-Regard. The powerful collection of essays, speeches and meditations is broken down into three parts: a powerful prayer for the victims of 9/11, a searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr. and a heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin. It even includes some critical commentary on her own works. This is sure to be an excellent addition to any book collection.
Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolderby Reshma Saujani
Starting at $12.99
The founder of “Girls Who Code,” Reshma Saujani, is back with a book, this time for an older audience. Brave, Not Perfect challenges to women to let go of the quest for perfection they’ve been conditioned to strive for, and learn to embrace failure.
With the Fire on Highby Elizabeth Acevedo
Starting at $9.99 ( Release Date: May 7, 2019, available for pre-order )
Elizabeth Acevedo’s latest book is on everyone’s radar after the success of her first book, The Poet X. In her new book, With the Fire on High, we meet Emoni, a teenager who was forced to go grow up fast after getting pregnant her freshman year of high school and becoming a caretaker for her grandmother.
Queen Bey: A Celebration of the Power and Creativity of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter by Veronica Chambers
Starting at $14.99 (Release Date : March 5, 2019)
Queen Bey celebrates not only the musical contributions, but the cultural shifting power her impact has had on not only women, but society as a whole. The impressive collection of essays includes works from popular cultural critics to outspoken academics.
Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchenby Yasmin Khan
Starting at $14.87
Food travel writer Yasmin Khan is passionate about sharing people’s stories through food. In this book she explores the complexities and rich tradition of Palestinian cuisine in a way that is at times educational, and at other times relatable to the human core. Feast your eyes on this one.
by Angie Thomas Starting at $7.09
After writing the widely popular The Hate U Give that was turned into a feature film, On The Come Up was highly anticipated by fans. In the book we meet Bri, a sixteen year old aspiring rapper who is the daughter of a late underground rap legend. Unexpectedly she gets a viral hit, which puts her on a controversial roller coaster she never saw coming.
by Helen Oyeyemi
Starting at $13.99 (Released: March 5, 2019)
Londoners may have an appreciation for gingerbread, but for Harriet Lee’s family, gingerbread is like the bridge to their homeland. This lovely book explores a family legacy and shows what happens when the inheritance is not money, but a recipe.
BUY IT NOW>> Gingerbread: A Novel
PHOTO: Amazon
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversationsby Mira Jacob
Starting at $11.99 (Release Date: March 26, 2019)
Mira Jacob’s latest book tells the story of a half-Jewish, half-Indian six-year-old boy struggling to understand his identity in midst of the tense 2016 election. Acclaimed author Celeste Ng describes this book as, “By turns hilarious and heart-rending, it’s exactly the book America needs at this moment.”
Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: A Memoirby T Kira Madden
Starting at $11.49
T Kira Madden’s memoir shares what it was like to grow up as a biracial, queer teen in the affluent town of Boca Raton, Florida. Struggling with a host of personal traumas, addictions in her family and destructive behaviors all around her, she finds community in a group of girls who happen to be fatherless.
by Fiona Barton
Starting at $12.99
The bestselling author of The Widow is back with another page-turner. Journalist Kate Waters is on the case when two teen girls go missing in Thailand, creating an international frenzy. As a parent whose son has been missing for two years, this story is closer to home than she thinks. BUY IT NOW>> The Suspect
PHOTO: Amazon
by Arabelle Sicardi (Author), Sarah Tanat-Jones (Illustrator)
$20.69 (Release Date: May 7, 2019)
A bold, beautiful book that celebrates the achievements of LGBTQ artists, writers, innovators, athletes and activists.
BUY IT NOW>> Queer Heroes
PHOTO: Amazon
by Helen Hoang Starting at $9.99 (Release Date: May 7, 2019)
When a mother sees that her son Khai is struggling to find love in America, his mother returns to Vietnam to find the perfect wife. Esme Tran, a poor, mixed-race woman, jumps at the opportunity to come to America but struggles to build a connection with Khai. As their time together slips away, they begin to learn more about each other.
BUY IT NOW>> The Bride Test
PHOTO: Amazon
Where Reasons End: A Novelby Yiyun Li
Starting at $12.99
A heart-wrenching and creative approach to grief, Where Reasons End creates a world where life and death are not limitations, and a mother can engage in poignant conversations with her daughter that took her own life. Acclaimed authors rave that the novel is intelligent, insightful and expansive.
by Sophie KinsellaStarting at $12.49
Bestselling author Sophie Kinsella is back with an irresistible and empowering story about a young woman juggling a complicated family, a handsome suitor and a life-changing IOU.
by Angie Kim
Starting at $13.99
The thrilling debut novel by Angie Kim asks readers how far would they go to protect their families. Set in rural Virginia, the Yoo family is accused of murder when the experimental medical chamber they’re running explodes, killing two people inside. What ensues is a series of twist and turns they never saw coming.
BUY IT NOW>> Miracle Creek
PHOTO: Amazon
You Know You Want This: “Cat Person” and Other Storiesby Kristen Roupenian
Starting at $12.99
The author of the viral New Yorker essay “Cat Person” is back with a collection of stories you’re going to love. Spanning a range of topics from mundane to the supernatural, Kristen Roupenian will no doubt grab your attention, making you feel a times uncomfortable and at other times understood.
The Atlas of Reds and Blues: A NovelBy Devi S. Laskar
Starting at $9.50
The Atlas of Reds and Blues is a both escalating and sobering story that grapples with the complexities of the second-generation American experience.
by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Starting at $12.99 (Release date: April 2, 2019, available for pre-order)
Undeniable feminine power that sprawls across generations. Indigenous Latina narratives. Deep connection to homelands. Sabrina & Corina has all of that, as Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s words breathe life into the main characters living in Denver.
BUY IT NOW>> Sabrina & Corina: Stories
PHOTO: Amazon
by Esmé Weijun Wang
Starting at $9.99
Wang’s moving, intimate essays on the mental illness will help you not only understand schizophrenia, but also why managing mental health can be such a challenge. A former lab researcher at Stanford, Wang seamlessly balances her analytical leanings with a personal narrative.
by Sarah Moss
Starting at $9.99
This unique book introduce you to a family in Northern England that lives like they’re in the Iron Age. “A story at once mythic and strikingly timely, Sarah Moss’s Ghost Wall urges us to wonder how far we have come from the “primitive minds” of our ancestors.”
Elsey Come Home: A Novelby Susan Conley
Starting at $12.99
Elsey Come Home tells the tale of one woman’s odyssey back to self. A visit to a yoga retreat instigated by her husband’s ultimatum leads her down a journey to confront the root of her pain and bravely heal.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girlsby Anissa Gray
Starting at $12.99
When the proud matriarch of the family is arrested, the Butler family is in disbelief. This is literally and figuratively the biggest trial they’ve ever faced, and the family is faced to pick up the pieces.
More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are by Elaine Welteroth Starting at $12.99 ( Release Date: June 11, 2019, available for pre-order ) Becoming the youngest and first black editor of Teen Vogue may be the reason many of you know her name, but it was not the end of her story. After being a transformative force to the publication’s brand, she set out to conquer new goals and any self doubt that tried to convince her she wasn’t enough. Part memoir, part self-help, this read will remind you that you’re enough as well.
The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditationsby Toni Morrison
Starting at $14.99
Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison put her mark on 2019 with the release of her latest book, The Source of Self-Regard. The powerful collection of essays, speeches and meditations is broken down into three parts: a powerful prayer for the victims of 9/11, a searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr. and a heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin. It even includes some critical commentary on her own works. This is sure to be an excellent addition to any book collection.
Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolderby Reshma Saujani
Starting at $12.99
The founder of “Girls Who Code,” Reshma Saujani, is back with a book, this time for an older audience. Brave, Not Perfect challenges to women to let go of the quest for perfection they’ve been conditioned to strive for, and learn to embrace failure.
With the Fire on Highby Elizabeth Acevedo
Starting at $9.99 ( Release Date: May 7, 2019, available for pre-order )
Elizabeth Acevedo’s latest book is on everyone’s radar after the success of her first book, The Poet X. In her new book, With the Fire on High, we meet Emoni, a teenager who was forced to go grow up fast after getting pregnant her freshman year of high school and becoming a caretaker for her grandmother.
Queen Bey: A Celebration of the Power and Creativity of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter by Veronica Chambers
Starting at $14.99 (Release Date : March 5, 2019)
Queen Bey celebrates not only the musical contributions, but the cultural shifting power her impact has had on not only women, but society as a whole. The impressive collection of essays includes works from popular cultural critics to outspoken academics.
Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchenby Yasmin Khan
Starting at $14.87
Food travel writer Yasmin Khan is passionate about sharing people’s stories through food. In this book she explores the complexities and rich tradition of Palestinian cuisine in a way that is at times educational, and at other times relatable to the human core. Feast your eyes on this one.
by Angie Thomas Starting at $7.09
After writing the widely popular The Hate U Give that was turned into a feature film, On The Come Up was highly anticipated by fans. In the book we meet Bri, a sixteen year old aspiring rapper who is the daughter of a late underground rap legend. Unexpectedly she gets a viral hit, which puts her on a controversial roller coaster she never saw coming.
by Helen Oyeyemi
Starting at $13.99 (Released: March 5, 2019)
Londoners may have an appreciation for gingerbread, but for Harriet Lee’s family, gingerbread is like the bridge to their homeland. This lovely book explores a family legacy and shows what happens when the inheritance is not money, but a recipe.
BUY IT NOW>> Gingerbread: A Novel
PHOTO: Amazon
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversationsby Mira Jacob
Starting at $11.99 (Release Date: March 26, 2019)
Mira Jacob’s latest book tells the story of a half-Jewish, half-Indian six-year-old boy struggling to understand his identity in midst of the tense 2016 election. Acclaimed author Celeste Ng describes this book as, “By turns hilarious and heart-rending, it’s exactly the book America needs at this moment.”
Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: A Memoirby T Kira Madden
Starting at $11.49
T Kira Madden’s memoir shares what it was like to grow up as a biracial, queer teen in the affluent town of Boca Raton, Florida. Struggling with a host of personal traumas, addictions in her family and destructive behaviors all around her, she finds community in a group of girls who happen to be fatherless.
by Fiona Barton
Starting at $12.99
The bestselling author of The Widow is back with another page-turner. Journalist Kate Waters is on the case when two teen girls go missing in Thailand, creating an international frenzy. As a parent whose son has been missing for two years, this story is closer to home than she thinks. BUY IT NOW>> The Suspect
PHOTO: Amazon
by Arabelle Sicardi (Author), Sarah Tanat-Jones (Illustrator)
$20.69 (Release Date: May 7, 2019)
A bold, beautiful book that celebrates the achievements of LGBTQ artists, writers, innovators, athletes and activists.
BUY IT NOW>> Queer Heroes
PHOTO: Amazon
by Helen Hoang Starting at $9.99 (Release Date: May 7, 2019)
When a mother sees that her son Khai is struggling to find love in America, his mother returns to Vietnam to find the perfect wife. Esme Tran, a poor, mixed-race woman, jumps at the opportunity to come to America but struggles to build a connection with Khai. As their time together slips away, they begin to learn more about each other.
BUY IT NOW>> The Bride Test
PHOTO: Amazon
Where Reasons End: A Novelby Yiyun Li
Starting at $12.99
A heart-wrenching and creative approach to grief, Where Reasons End creates a world where life and death are not limitations, and a mother can engage in poignant conversations with her daughter that took her own life. Acclaimed authors rave that the novel is intelligent, insightful and expansive.

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There’s so much more to underrated Cheltenham than a day at the races

There’s so much more to underrated Cheltenham than a day at the races Harriet O’Brien This is an elegant gem of a destination that oozes cultured charm – istock More And they’re off – or very nearly so. Tens of thousands of people are preparing to descend on Cheltenham for one of the biggest fixtures in British horse racing. The Cheltenham Festival runs from March 12-15 this year, and each of its four days typically attracts crowds of some 60,000. Yet for all the buzz at the race course, the Regency heart of this Cotswold town remains pretty much empty during Festival days. Which is a shame, for this is an elegant gem of a destination that oozes cultured charm. Cheltenham looks terrific in the watery sunshine of early spring. The glory of the town is in its early 19th-century buildings, so the first thing on your list should be an architectural wander. It’s remarkable how much the pillars, porticos and pediments of the past have an uplifting effect. Start in the Tivoli and Suffolks area to the south – the Earl of Suffolk developed this from farmland in a flurry of construction in the 1830s – for some of the most refined residences in town, complete with wrought-iron balconies and big, beautiful windows. Heading north to the town centre, saunter through the gracious Montpellier district where caryatids – Grecian-style pillars of sculpted females – add funky flourishes to several properties. Just up from a proud parade of these embellishments is the Grade I-listed Rotunda building, which evolved from a spa established in 1809, and which since December 2017 has been home to The Ivy restaurant. In the 19th century Montpellier Spa was one of six or so places where the great, the good and the sick flocked to take Cheltenham’s mineral waters and this route will take you past the well-clipped Montpellier Gardens and neighbouring Imperial Gardens, where many of the town’s other festivals take place – jazz in May, science in June, music at the end of June and literature in October. Next is a stroll along the Promenade, an avenue built in the 1820s which still exudes grandeur. Take a stroll along the Promenade to see Neptune’s fountain Credit: istock More Cheltenham offers a generous choice of cafes, from Carluccio’s to Cotswolds favourite Huffkins. Head down Regent Street for a stop at The Find which, neatly, is a sort of 21st-century version of a Regency coffee house . With its period cornicing and zany wallpaper it’s a chic social hub that serves locally sourced food (even wine from nearby Poulton Hill vineyard) and also provides co-working desk space on its top floor. Nearby, just off the sweep of the Royal Circus, is the town’s museum, The Wilson, which is renowned for its Arts & Crafts collection – a room of exquisite furniture and homeware by Ernest Gimson, William Morris and more – which you can easily get lost in for a good hour or so. It would be impossible not to get sidetracked here: by the founding collection of Flemish art, by a wonderful Stanley Spencer, by an absorbing archive room with changing exhibitions of local history, and most of all by the poignant watercolours and story of Edward Wilson. Scientist, artist and explorer, Wilson was born in Cheltenham in 1872 and died with Captain Scott on his fateful Antarctic expedition in 1912. The surrounding countryside isn’t too shabby either Credit: Getty More Story continues Another national hero was born in Cheltenham just two years after Edward Wilson. The composer Gustav Holst spent his early life at 4 Clarence Road, a relatively modest Regency house 10 minutes’ walk from The Wilson. The name of the Holst Birthplace Museum doesn’t convey the charm and scope of this little establishment. Of course you see Holst memorabilia, from the composer’s music scores to his gramophone and even the piano on which he composed The Planets. You also get an absorbing insight into life in the town at the time – the tiny third-floor bedroom of the maid, and the back-breaking labour evidently involved in running the basement kitchen and laundry, is particularly striking. Rather interestingly, in Holst’s lifetime Clarence Road and the surrounding area were known as ‘the Anglo-Indian’s paradise’ because of the number of retired employees from the East India Company – and subsequently the British Raj – who had taken up residence there. In keeping with Cheltenham’s resourceful spirit, there’s a Curry and Colonels walking tour that takes place in spring and summer. This involves being led by ebullient actor Phil Collins, dressed as 18th-century entrepreneur Henry Skillicorne, who established the town’s first spa. Among other locations, the tour stops the Queens Hotel, site of the Imperial Spa, and the ornate Pittville Pump Room, where Cheltenham’s mineral water can still be sampled – at no cost. The trip ends, rather suitably, with a tasting of Indian cuisine at the Spice Lodge restaurant. The ornate Pittville Pump Room Credit: istock More If you want to ring the changes from Regency riches, this year you can join a walking tour that marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Brian Jones. The Rolling Stones founder was born and grew up in Cheltenham and this trip provides a feel of the town in the 1950s and 60s, with stops including the site of the Odeon cinema where the Stones played in 63 and 65, and St Mary’s Church where Jones’s funeral took place. For an up-to-the-moment take on the town, call in on Dunkertons Organic Cider on the eastern edge of Cheltenham. The stylish shop and cider mill offers guided tours and is a family business that moved here from Herefordshire in late 2018. It’s partly owned by Julian Dunkerton, who co-founded the fashion label Superdry in Cheltenham and who has made a huge impact on the town with his boutique hotel group Lucky Onion . This has several sleek new properties in the pipeline; a welcome development for the town since hotel beds are in short supply, particularly during the March horse events. Be sure to book ahead if you fancy attending next season’s Cheltenham Festival – and enjoy the Regency glories of the town as well as its equine activities. Essentials The Cheltenham Festival starts on March 12 and culminates with the Gold Cup National Hunt race on March 15 ( jockeyclub.co.uk/Cheltenham/ ). The Cheltenham Jazz Festival runs from May 1-6 ( cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz/ ). What to see The Wilson, Clarence Street; free; Tues-Sun ( cheltenhammuseum.org.uk ). Bet on a good day at the Cheltenham Festival Credit: Getty More Holst Birthplace Museum, 4 Clarence Road; adults £6, children £2; March Fri and Sat, April to mid December Tues-Sat ( holstmuseum.org.uk ). Take a tour Curry and Colonels two-hour walking tour plus restaurant tasting – selected Saturdays in April, May, June, July and August; £60 per person ( visitcheltenham.com ). Brian Jones 50th Anniversary Walking Tour – selected Saturdays in March, April, May and June; adults £10 ( visitcheltenham.com ). Dunkertons Organic Cider guided tours, London Road, Charlton Kings – selected Saturdays and Wednesdays; adults £20 ( dunkertonscider.co.uk ).

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Fine Indian Food And Service Near New York’s Rock Center Mark The Nineteen-Year-Old Utsav

Color and refinement are the hallmark of Utsav in midtown Manhattan. Utsav
It’s been a bit over three years since I last visited Utsav (from a Sanskrit word meaning “festival”), and my admiration for its cooking has only increased. While the menu hasn’t radically changed from my earlier visit, the food I tasted certainly ranked with the very best Indian cuisine in New York, and the prices—especially in this high rent location across from Rockefeller Center and a block from Times Square—are on average cheaper than a competitor like Junoon. And it would be hard to match Utsav’s consistently fine service staff, whose cordiality and efficiency in delivering successive dishes make dining a pure pleasure, all under the direction of owner Nandita Khanna and Manager Jerry Joseph.
Sunlight during the day makes Utsav very popular for its buffet lunch. Utsav
What also has not changed is the somber décor, whose lighting after dark is flat and drab and whose colors tend towards brown and rust. It’s a much nicer place to be at lunch, when sunshine streams through the tall, wide windows. (The private rooms are much more colorful, and there is a small bar downstairs.)
Our party of four pretty much put ourselves in Joseph’s hands, with the help of our Indian waitress with the unusual name of McQueenie, to choose Chef Avtar Singh’s specialties, and he also recommended a Nebbiolo wine, chosen from a list culled to go well with this food, in addition to Indian beers.
Singh is from Punjab and has worked in several notable Indian kitchens in the U.S., including Bukhara and Diwan in New York.
Spiced lamb sausages are among the generous appetizers at Utsav. Utsav
We began with a series of savory appetizers to nibble on, from tandoori aloo of grilled potato halves, corn, green peas and cashew nuts ($10) to Bombay shredded blue crab, with garlic, cracked black pepper and crispy, crumbled cumin cracker ($16). A rich new dish is butter chicken kulcha, made with stuffed bread and a butter chicken filling ($7), and broccoli battered with cheese, yogurt and spices then seared in the tandoor oven came out impeccably cooked to the bite ($10).
Two lamb dishes showed the versatility of the kitchen: one ua seekh kabab of skewered ground lamb, marvelously spiced and seasoned with mint chutney ($23) and the other nalli ka salan , slow-braised lamb shank falling off the bone and suffused with a very complex reduction ($26).
There was also a chicken malai kabab of boneless breast meat scented with cardamom and cooked with yogurt ($21). I’m not sure I’ve had tandoori Cornish hen ($25) anywhere else, so it was a treat to pick up the pleasantly chewy meat and bones from a generous fat bird. I have had butter chicken all over town, and if Utsav’s is not the very best, it’s still among the contenders—done with a fresh tomato sauce and fenugreek ($20).
Indian restaurants too often flub seafood, often overcooking it and not always buying the best product. This is definitely not the case at Utsav. The large, meaty nawabi prawns ($28) were just barely cooked through, suffused with roasted garlic and spices. But a fillet of sea bass rasa baked in kerala coconut curry, fresh herbs and kaffir lime ($28) was easily one of the most delicious seafood dishes I’ve had in a while, Indian or not.
The steamy Indian breads like naan come in numerous flavorings from Utsav’s tandoor oven. Utsav
Vegetables are a large part of Indian cuisine, and Utsav’s saag paneer of cottage cheese-enriched creamed spinach ($16) is very good, as is achari baigan of eggplant and pickled spices ($17). The biryani rice dishes all have that wonderful fragrance of basmati rice, and come with raita yoigurt. I chose goat ($22) as the meat component, warned it had bones, but it was worth the trouble of picking the tender meat of them.
Of course, Indian breads are among the best in the world, and Utsav has a fine array ($4-$5): tandoori roti, naan, with garlic if desired, aloo paratha spiced potato bread, and an impressive display of the puffed up poori that was exceptionally light and addictive. A variety basket is $12.
Even those not in love with the usual Indian desserts should love the ” Paan Acotta” of Paan -flavored cream, fennel and rose; the sharabi kheer rice pudding with rum-infused raisins and coconut sorbet; and, especially, gulab jamun milk dumplings with a crème brûlée topping (all $8).
Utsav is open daily for lunch and dinner; a la carte or a fixed-price dinner at $38.
UTSAV
1185 Avenue of the Americas (near 46th Street)
212-575-2525
www.utsavny.com

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You are in for a spicy twist at JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru

Event Description You are in for a spicy twist at JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru
Spice Terrace has launched a new menu which echoes the recently appointed Chef Ishant Khanna’s expertise in the regional and local cuisines from the northern parts of the country. The new additions in the menu come with delectable selection of fine Indian dishes from the northern regions of the country. Some of the offerings on the menu are Palak Makai Ki Raab, Rajmah Aur Dhingri Ki Galawat, Bhatti Da Kukkad, Papad Paneer Masala, Dum Ki Machali, Martaban Gosht, Badam Gulab Kheer to name a few.
Chef Ishant promises a range of exciting North Indian dishes; carefully created keeping in mind the authenticity and tradition of various cultures.
Food Event in Bangalore
When : 8th March 2019 to 21st April 2019
Time : 7:00 PM to 11:45 PM
Venue : Spice Terrace – Level H, JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru
For reservation contact : 8884494058 Share
Visited 8 times, 1 Visit today

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What to do this week: Take part in Parramasala, celebrate at the Africultures festival and more.

Africultures 2:17 Saada cooks Somali Fried Rice and shares why the dish is so important to her. She’ll be one of the cooks at the Africultures festival in Lidcombe on March 9.
February 28th 2019 9 days ago One of the state’s biggest multicultural celebrations — Parramasala — is back for another year and African food, art and music is on display at the Africultures festival. Here is your event guide for Sydney this week.
FAMILY
PARRAMASALA
One of the state’s largest multicultural celebrations, Parramasala is back for another year from March 15 to 17.
Dive into a melting pot of culture, celebrating South-East Asia, the Middle East, South America, indigenous Australia and more through food, films, music and arts all on offer at Prince Alfred Square in Parramatta.
The free event will open on Friday with a world food market, welcome parade and the First Nations Concert.
Information on the rest of the jam-packed program is available on the event website.
Parramasala, discoverparramatta.com
The Parramasala festival is back for another year to celebrate Australia’s multicultural culture. Picture: AAP Image / Angelo Velardo Source:News Corp Australia
CHALLENGING THE DEEP
Having already delighted more than 120,000 people since opening last year, deep-sea explorer James Cameron’s exhibition has been extended until May 5. See the sea through Cameron’s underwater lens with cinema-scale projections, various artefacts and specimens from his expeditions, including mementos from the design and construction of Deepsea Challenger — the vessel designed by Cameron and built in Sydney. Tickets $12-$50.
James Cameron — Challenging The Deep, sea.museum
AFRICAN CULTURE
The 11th annual Africultures Festival is on today at Wyatt Park in Lidcombe, offering people a chance to enjoy the food, dance, music and fashion of Africa.
There will be more than 45 stalls selling African products, including clothing, homewares and accessories. Take part in dance workshops, or watch performances across two stages by singers, dancers and drummers.
For the athletically inclined, there will be a one-day soccer tournament and a sports zone for AFL, soccer, netball, rugby and wheelchair basketball activities. Bring the young ones alone to the Watotos Corner where there will be face painting, mask making, rock climbing and a jumping castle.
The volunteer-run event aims to acknowledge the diversity of each of the 53 countries on the continent and celebrate their cuisine, art, culture and music.
Africultures Festival 2019, africultures.com.au
Africultures Event is on this weekend to celebrate the diversity of the continent. Pictured: Supplied Source:News Corp Australia
TASTE, SHOP, PLAY
Westfield malls around NSW have a host of activities this weekend as part of Taste. Shop. Play. There will be cake demonstrations with celebrity baker Katherine Sabbath in Burwood, painting with wine at Hurstville, Miranda and Penrith, fermentation classes in Tuggerah and paper flower workshops with Jennifer Tran in the CBD.
Check out the website for all activities and costs. Registration is required.
Taste. Shop. Play. at Westfield, westfield.com.au
FOOD + DRINKS
SEASIDE MEAL
Get a taste of the sea while you relax beachside at Coogee Bay Hotel Brasserie, which has just added four new seafood dishes to its menu: salt and chilli calamari, market fish, prawn pappardelle and tuna poke bowls.
Coogee Bay Hotel, coogeebayhotel.com.au
Coogee Bay Hotel has added a range of new seafood dishes to its menu. Picture: Supplied Source:Supplied
FABULOUS FUSION
Mexican-Korean fusion restaurant Vecino in Canterbury has a new menu. Known for its KFC — Korean Fried Chicken — it is now offering a limited edition fried chicken platter inspired by K-Pop band BTS.
And in keeping with the theme of combining Tex-Mex with traditional Korean cuisine, the new menu also boasts kalbi tacos with Korean honey soy marinated pork, along with kimchi fried rice mozzarella balls, and more.
Vecino, 9718 0343
TASTE OF THAILAND
Chapayom Australia has brought the taste of Thailand’s vibrant streets to Sydney, in a new venue offering traditional street stall staple Thai ice milk tea, along with delicious street bites and desserts.
Chapayom Australia, chapayom.com.au
STAGE
FANTASM
Get immersed into the world of Arabian folklore with the newest production to hit the Chatswood Concourse tonight. Created by Bellydance Evolution, it pulls together more than 20 dancers performing contemporary and traditional Middle Eastern dance styles. Tickets $39-$79.80.
Fantasm, ticketek.com.au
Fantasm will entertain audiences with a diverse range of dance performances at the Chatswood Concourse. Picture: Supplied Source:Supplied
SHAKESBEER
It’s Shakespeare but not as you know it. Bar’d Work produces “Shakesbeer” sessions — short, sharp interpretations of classics performed at the city’s favourite pubs.
Catch Much Ado About Nothing at The Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills today. Tickets $25-$30.
Shakesbeer Sessions, bardwork.com
SHORT & SWEET
It’s Women’s Week in this five-week festival featuring 12 short plays of 10 minutes today and tomorrow, plus wildcard showings in which audiences don’t know what they are about to see. Tickets $24-$27.
Short + Sweet Theatre, shortandsweet.org
ART
JANET LAURENCE
This Museum of Contemporary Art exhibit of the work of leading Sydney-based mixed media artist Janet Laurence features sculptures, installations, photography and video capturing her love for nature.
A highlight is the MCA- commissioned Theatre Of Trees illustrating the artist’s knowledge of plants and their medicinal properties. Free until June 10.
Janet Laurence: After Nature, mca.com.au
Artist Janet Laurence preparing for her exhibition at the MCA. Picture: Jacquie Manning. Source:Supplied
WOMEN IN COLOUR
Curated by Mirri Leven, this exhibition features more than 60 selected works by female contemporary indigenous artists from across the nation — both urban and remote — of all ages, at Cooee Art Gallery in Paddington.
Women In Colour, cooeeart.com.au
THE OTHER ART FAIR
Returning for its fifth year, this art event combines 120 independent artists, selected by a committee of global art experts, with live performances, food and plenty of champagne at the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh from March 14 to 17. Tickets $15-$30.
The Other Art Fair Sydney, sydney.theotherartfair.com
The Other Sydney Art Fair celebrate 120 works from independent artists. Picture: Supplied Source:Supplied
MUSIC
ORIGINAL GIPSY KINGS
Three of the founding members of 1980s flamenco, salsa and pop band The Gipsy Kings will be live at the Enmore Theatre on March 13. Brothers Paul and Canut Reyes together with brother-in-law Chico Bouchikhi will perform with a 12-piece band, including eight guitarists.
The Gipsy Kings were celebrated for their ability to bring Catalan rumba music to worldwide audiences. They will play their classic flamenco tunes such as Bamboléo, Bem Maria, Volare, Djobi Djoba, A Mi Manera along with songs from their new album. Tickets are $90-$125.
The Original Gipsy Kings, ticketek.com.au
SILKROAD ENSEMBLE
The Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble has its first Sydney performance tonight at Sydney Opera House. The group brings together musicians from more than 20 countries to create music that combines international traditions and styles.
The talented group has recorded seven albums, including the award-winning Sing Me Home. Expect a mixture of traditional Vietnamese, Chinese and Kazakh music, Finnish folk songs, Indian classical jugalbandi and popular jazz. The one-night only show costs $85-$130.
Silkroad Ensemble, sydneyoperahouse.com
Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble are set to perform at Sydney Opera House. Picture: Supplied Source:Supplied
CELEBRATING RIHANNA
The Oxford Art Factory dedicates the night of March 15 to pop queen Rihanna’s most popular R’n’B tracks. DJ Dusty will be in charge, playing the singer’s best hits all night. Entry is free for this 18+ event.
RIHANNA Appreciation Night, oxfordartfactory.com
PLAN AHEAD
LANO AND WOODLEY
Australian comedy duo Colin Lane and Frank Woodley bring their sketch comedy and slapstick theatre to Sydney in Fly.
The production won the People’s Choice Award at last year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival and has been dubbed the pair’s finest show yet. It’s on March 23 at Sydney Opera House and tickets are on sale now.
Lano and Woodley: FLY, sydneyoperahouse.com
Lano and Woodley’s new show FLY is inspired by the Wright brothers. Picture: Jason Edwards Source:News Corp Australia
HARVEST FEAST
Enjoy lunch with vineyard views at the Wine Harvest Feast on March 23 at the award-winning Far Ago Hill Vineyard in Canyonleigh.
The cost of $175 per person gets you a delicious lunch made with locally grown produce, plus wine and acoustic music by Lou Bruce and Craig Hooper. Booking early is recommended.
Wine Harvest Feast
Originally published as Dive into a melting pot of culture at the Parramasala festival

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2 Days in Agra

written by Vipula March 8, 2019
If there is one defining image of India that is recognizable worldwide then it would be that of The Taj Mahal. Identified by epitaphs such as “The Monument of Love”, “7th New Wonder of the world’ and so on, this marble marvel is often the #1 item on the bucket list of Indian tourism. An estimated 7 to 8 million (!) people visit Agra every year to see the Taj Mahal. And while the mausoleum to undying love is often the highlight of the trip, there are other architectural gems to discover in Agra. After all, it was the capital of the Mughal empire for a long time and is steeped in history.We recommend 2 full days to enjoy the sights of Agra and here is what we suggest that what you do. Day 1: Taj Mahal, Akbar’s Tomb & Agra Fort Start with Sunrise at the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is glorious at any time of the day. However, if you want to avoid the crowds, the heat and get good photographs then we suggest going there early in the morning. As the sun rises the rays bounce off the ivory marble creating an orangish otherworldly glow. I still remember the first time I saw the Taj Mahal. I was a little worried that the hype might not live up to itself. I remember apprehensively following the line of tourists from the entrance to South Gate. A sudden hush fell on the crowd as we entered the arches of the South Gate and the Taj appeared in front of our eyes. I think what really gets you is the scale, symmetry and the sheer brightness of it. And then the view of the gardens, the reflecting pools, and the walkways add to the wonderful vista before your eyes.The history and architecture of Taj Mahal are famous enough, so I won’t’ rehash it here. The most important thing to know is that the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built this mausoleum in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz. They are both buried deep in the basement and the actual graves are off limits. However, at the visitor’s level are two symbolic tombs enclosed inside an open chamber decorated with intricate marble artwork. One can peak inside the gaps in the carving to get a glimpse of the marble coffin and appreciate the detailed inlay work.
The Taj Mahal Complex has several other significant buildings. The most prominent are the identical buildings flanking the Taj Mahal on the east and west side. Symmetry is an important aspect of Mughal architecture hence while the building on the western side is a mosque, architects believe that the identical structure on the eastern side was built only for architectural balance and may have served as a guest house. As mentioned before to avoid the heat and the crowds an early morning trip is recommended. And we mean early, early – like 6.00 AM. There is still a crowd, but the lines are not that long. There is no parking near the Taj Mahal, so take a taxi or a rickshaw to the entrance. You will go through airport-style security. Water bottles are not allowed. If you buy the “Foreign Visitor’ ticket, bottled water would be provided to you as part of the ticket. For more information and ticket and visiting hours, go here The entry to the actual tomb is highly managed by the local security and no photography is allowed inside the structure. Due to the crowds, there is hardly get any time to inside the structure as you are shunted from the chamber to the another. There is no limit to how much time you can spend on the grounds of the Taj Mahal complex. So walk around, take lots of pictures and take your time appreciating this stunning example of Indo-Islamic architecture that is on the roster of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Spend the afternoon rambling in the grounds of Akbar’s Tomb
Akbar’s tomb is in Sikandra – a short drive from the heart of Agra city. While often skipped by the tourist circuit, I highly recommend a visit. The sprawling gardens, the deers prancing on the property, the stunning design of the 4 arched gates that surround the mausoleum; there is much to be admired here. As you enter the complex you pass a small building with intricately carved doors, windows, and walls. This is the Kanch (glass) Mahal used as harem quarters by Emperor Jahangir . A walk down tree-lined avenues will bring you in front of the grand South Gate. Made of red sandstone and inlaid with cut marble, this is a grand example of Mughal architecture and craftsmanship.As you exit through the South Gate , straight down the stone walkway is the front façade of the Tomb. Cooling water runs through the long path down to the tomb and the vast green expanse lay on either side. We were lucky enough to spot peacocks and deers running around in the gardens. For those who are not familiar with Mughal history, Akbar the Great, was one of the most important emperors of the Mughal Empire. He was known for his military conquests, political alliances, financial and religious reform. Akbar’s cenotaph is placed in a giant cavernous room that is accessible by a tunnel-like corridor. The actual body is buried deep in the ground ( well as per historians, nothing remains there anymore as the actual grave was destroyed during a Hindu rebellion). The outer chamber of the tomb is covered in brightly painted frescos with geometric, floral and calligraphic patterns. The chamber entrance itself is made of a beautiful marble ‘jali’ work, much like the one found in Salim Chishti’s tomb.Significantly less crowded, Akbar’s tomb allows you the time to ramble around the property and pose for dozens of pictures against marble and stone arches.
For information on tickets and timings go here. Evening on the ramparts of Agra Fort
Close the day by spending an evening at the Agra Fort. Agra was Akbar’s city and was the center of the Mughal Empire over a hundred years. Agra Fort was not only an important military defense hold but also represented the might and prestige of the Mughal Empire. Today visitors can view a limited section of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The remaining area is occupied by the Indian military.Agra Fort is defined by double ramparts across its entire perimeter. The entrance of the fort is from the grand Lahore Gate . The much grander Delhi Gate is unfortunately closed to the public. Meander through Jehangir’s Palac e and the harem quarters. Enjoy the erstwhile beauty of Khas Mahal where Emperor Shah Jahan stayed with his wife Mumtaz. The intricate marble and gem work on the walls is all but destroyed by invaders and looters, and the Britishers sealed the deal by melting the gold of the walls. Shah Jahan was famously confined in Musamman Burj by his son for eight years. The only solace was the view of the Taj Mahal from his chambers so that he could see the resting place of Mumtaz Mahal in his last days. One of the major highlights of the Agra Fort is the grand Diwan-e-Am with its many marble arches and columns. One can easily spend several hours here.The Agra Fort also has a light and sound show after sunset; stay for that if you don’t have any plans for the evening. For tickets and visiting information, go here ! Meal Options
Traditional Mughlai cuisine from the days of the Akbar rules still survives in the kitchens of Agra. The recipes have been preserved and passed through generations of chefs and have made it to the menu of many, many restaurants. To sample great food, look up Zomato for the most recent recommendations. Pinch of Spice, Peshawari @ ITC Mughal, and Dawat-e-Nawab are a few fan favorites.
Another local favorite is the Petha , a sweetmeat made from pumpkins that is available everywhere. There is no way you can miss the advertisement by the local Petha company, Pannchi. Eating petha is like eating a sticky spoon of sugar or a soft taffy. It’s a bit of an acquired taste but hey, one should try everything once right? Day 2: Fatehpur Sikri and Mehtab Bagh
If you are in Agra for more than a day, then you must make the day trip to Fatehpur Sikri. This town was the short-lived capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. Founded by Akbar (who seems to have made the habit of setting up new cities ), Fatehpur Sikri is situated 40Kms west of Agra. As per historians, Akbar established this town as a tribute to the famous Sufi Saint, Sheikh Salim Chishti, who correctly foreordained the birth of Akbar’s son and heir, Jahangir. Getting to Fatehpur Sikri
When driving in from Agra, you will enter Fatehpur Sikri through Agra Gate (duh!). The access to the Fatehpur Sikri complex is managed by UP tourism and one is be required to park one’s private vehicles at the parking lot near the fort entrance. A government shuttle bus transports visitors to the Sikri palace complex for a minor fee. These tickets are different from the ones that require access to the monument. There are two destination stops for the shuttle service: the Diwan-e-Am and Jodha Bhai entry gates. ( see below). We got off at the entrance near the Diwan-e-Am.
The Palace Complex
We started our exploration from Diwan-e-Am or the ‘Hall of Audience” where the emperor would have listened to the appeals and complaints of the common man. As you pass through the Diwan-e-Am, you enter a giant yard with multiple palace buildings that served queen residences, palace offices, stables for the horses etc. Some of the popular structures to check out are: Birbal’s palace is an excellent example of Indo-Islamic architecture. The domed minarets remind one of the Hindu forts in Rajasthan but Islamic motifs engraved into the red sandstone walls are the hallmark of Mughal design. Birbal was Akbar’s close advisor and the only courtier to get residence in Akbar’s Palace.
Panch Maha l with its five floors and airy layout is sure to catch one’s eye. It is built next to the harem and must have been the resting place for queens and escorts. All five floors are supported by a large number of columns. The open layout creates excellent ventilation which would have provided reprieve in the hot summer months.
Jodha Bai’s Palace – Akbar had several wives, but Jodha Bai was his first Hindu wife. She was also the first in the line of Rajput princess that Akbar would go on to marry to strengthen political alliances and ensure his supremacy all over India. Akbar and Jodha’s relationship has often caught the imagination of historians and writers, and it has been recently captured in a famous Bollywood movie, Jodha Akbar Jama Masjid
As you exit from the palace complex, you will find yourself on the short road to Jama Masjid . This is an active place of worship so you have to follow the local customs, such as leaving your footwear outside the entrance. Climb up the stairs of the Badshahi Darwaza to enter the mosque courtyard. The Jama Masjid is home to the mosque itself and the Tomb of Salim Chishti . Arched corridors line the large courtyard.As you walk through the corridors, you will be accosted by folks asking you to buy a ‘Chadar’ for the tomb. The tomb of Salim Chishti continues to be an important place of pilgrimage for Muslims. As per tradition worshippers will put a “chadar” over the tomb or tie a knot in the latticework and ask for their wish to be fulfilled – especially the wish for a child. This is a matter of faith and its entirely up to you if you want to do to this.The tomb itself is a fine example of Mughal craftsmanship. Made of marble lattices on all sides, this white structure stands out in the otherwise red sandstone of the courtyard. Right across is the tomb is the Bulund Darwaza or the Gate of Victory. This is the crown jewel of Fatepur Sikri. Higher than any other gate in the entire fort it is made of red sandstone it reaches 50 feet into the sky. The gate commemorates Akbar’s conquest of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Bulund Darwaza/Gate of Victory Sunset at Mehtab Bagh
Made ridiculously popular by Instagrammers, the sunset view of the Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh has become an essential bucket list item for any visitor to Agra. You don’t have to deal with the crowds as the sun lights up the sky over the Taj Mahal in hues of pink, orange and yellow. ‘Bagh’ means garden in Urdu and Mehtab Bagh was one of the royal Mughal gardens dotting Agra in the days of the empire. Victim of numerous floodings since then, Mehtab Bagh continues to go through extensive restoration by Archeological Society of India. Disclaimer : So we didn’t actually go to this place coz we were very tired and just wanted to stay in for the evening but if I am ever in Agra again, then we are totally making the visit!
So have you ever visited Agra ? What has your experience been like? What else would you recommend? Please go ahead and share in comments.
For more on travel in India, go here . Related

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