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Just 4 Hours From Delhi, This Homestay Will Give You A Reason To Visit Agra This Weekend


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The locales of Agra are eclipsed by the monstrous glory of the Taj Mahal. Travellers who find their way to this ancient city revolve their plans around the historical attraction and leave without truly experiencing the resilience of its people. An easy way to 'live' in Agra is to opt for a homestay instead of any of the myriad luxury hotels.

The Coral Tree Homestay is run by Vandna and Gopal Singh, government-approved tour guides, who have a passion for hosting people. Their property is only a six-minute walk from the mighty Taj Mahal. The Coral Tree has been developed with the intention of being a home to not just travellers, but also birds and a variety of trees indigenous to the area. Due to the efforts of the owners, who are passionate naturalists, over 100 species of birds such as Indian cormorant, Eurasian-collared dove and brown rock chat can be observed in its environs.

→ Ideal for

Curious travellers who wish to explore the locales around a 'wonder of the world', and experience the hospitality of a dream city from the Mughal era without spending too much.

→ About the property

Photos of The Coral Tree Homestay, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India 1/4 by Sreshti Verma
Photos of The Coral Tree Homestay, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India 2/4 by Sreshti Verma
Photos of The Coral Tree Homestay, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India 3/4 by Sreshti Verma
Photos of The Coral Tree Homestay, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India 4/4 by Sreshti Verma

The homestay is named after the coral tree, which finds several mentions in Hindu mythology for having the most alluring flowers. In the Indian puranas, the trifoliate petals of the coral tree flowers represent the holy trinity. If you wish to witness the coral tree in full blossom, then visit the Coral Tree Homestay in March and April. The bright flowers attract an array of birds, turning the place into a majestic sight.

The Coral Tree Homestay has four spacious bedrooms, located on the ground and first floor. The house is pretty big, and is brightly lit with natural sunlight throughout the day. Its handcrafted garden area is ideal for morning yoga sessions, lazy reading and sun bathing afternoons. The hosts respect the privacy of the guests, but if you want to interact, they are more than happy to keep you company and show what hospitality in Agra is all about.

Photos of  1/2 by Sreshti Verma
Photos of  2/2 by Sreshti Verma

→ Cost

A double room, which accommodates two people, costs Rs 2,400 at the Coral Tree Homestay. The room has an ensuite bathroom and basic amenities such as air conditioning, tea/coffee makers and WiFi. Meals can be requested as well, but charges for it are extra. Guests will also have access to a fully-stocked library maintained by the Singhs. The hosts can also arrange for car rentals, taxis service or shuttle to and fro the airport/railway station (charges extra) or nearby attractions.

Photos of  1/4 by Sreshti Verma
Photos of  2/4 by Sreshti Verma
Photos of  3/4 by Sreshti Verma
Photos of  4/4 by Sreshti Verma

→ Best time to visit

The best time to visit Agra is from November to March; but note that this is also the peak tourist season in the city. The monsoon season is a nice and less-crowded time to visit Agra, as the temperature drops down by the evening, making it more comfortable to explore the city.

Photos of  1/1 by Sreshti Verma

→ How to get here

The nearest metro city to Agra is Delhi.

By air: The Kheria Airport in Agra is not regularly operational. Seasonally, commercial flights by Air India are allowed from New Delhi. The international airport in Delhi is 219km from Agra city, and can be reached in approximately three hours.

By road: Buses from Delhi leave for Agra ISBT on hourly basis. The Agra ISBT is just 12km from the Taj Mahal. If you are driving down from Delhi, then take the Taj Expressway or NH2, which will get you to Agra in four hours, if traffic allows.

By train: There are four major railway stations in Agra: the Agra Cantonment, Raja-ki-Mandi, Agra Fort and Idgah Agra Junction. Express trains from Delhi connect to these stations in Agra daily and frequently.

Note that the host will happily provide taxi services (charges extra) to and fro the railway station or airport.

→ What to do here

Birdwatching: Given that the owners are passionate naturalists, the environs of the Coral Tree Homestay are such that you can spot a number of birds here. Here is the complete list of birds that can be seen in and around the homestay.

The gardens of Mehtab Bagh are under 2km from the homestay. Lying on the flood plains of Yamuna River, the charbagh is situated on the north of the Taj Mahal and overlooks the Agra Fort on the opposite side. An morning walk to Mehtab Bagh is a great way to start your day!

Photos of Mehtab Bagh, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India 1/1 by Sreshti Verma

Situated under 3km from the Coral Tree Homestay, Sheroes Hangout is a pay-what-you-want cafe run by acid-attack victims. It also doubles up as a rehabilitation centre for acid-attack survivors.

Located just 1.7km from the homestay, this is the place where you get to witness the impeccable craftsmanship of the locals. Witness firsthand the art of Pietra Dura, the technique of turning inlaid pictures of stone into marble at Subhash Emporium, opposite the BSNL Grounds on Gwalior Road.

Photos of Subhash Emporium, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India 1/1 by Sreshti Verma

All pictures are taken from the Coral Tree Homestay.

Have you travelled to Agra? Write about it and help the travellers on Tripoto. Got any queries about travelling in India or abroad, ask the community of travellers on Tripoto.

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