East Gate, Taj Ganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
Cheap, and even cheaper service
Went there because this was the top budget choice from Lonely Planet. The latest Lonely Planet India isn't the best, by the way. Lots of missing important information, on top of bad judgement.
Anyway, got a reservation there months ago. Warned them we'd be late. Got an AC room, assuming it might be better, even though it was winter.
The train from Delhi turned out to be late by three hours, so we got there about 1:30 or 2 AM. I had tried to call them, but both their ph numbers were mysteriously out of service. I had also sent them an email form Delhi as soon as I found out about the delay. We get there and everyone was sleeping, but on top of that, they had given one of the "AC" rooms to someone else, but still charged us for it, just because we were late, in spite of me trying to warn them. Of course, they had no soap in the shower, intermittent hot water in the shower, and obviously no heat, even though it was freezing cold. The bathrooms open into the adjoining bathrooms through a vent, and you can hear the neighbors going about their duties, singing, etc., and even complaining they don't have hot water, because you were taking a hot shower. It was our turn to not have hot water the next time.
As the others say, it is in a quiet place, compared to the other cheap places in the Taj Ganj area, and also the courtyard is ok. But I wouldn't go there again, because they are extremely unreliable, and in my opinion, took advantage of the fact that we got delayed. They probably gave away our room to someone else who had come in earlier and complained. They knew we had no place else to go, in the middle of the night.
Hotel Sheela has got an excellent location, only a few minutes away from the Eastern Gate of Taj Mahal (but tickets are bought many hundred metres in the opposite direction). It is a quiet place and there is a nice garden.
There are rooms in different categories. I got a simple room with a fan and a bathroom for Rs 400 (July 2010). After I had checked in I got a towel, toilet paper, soap and a top sheet. It was mostly clean but there was a furry sofa I didn’t put anything on.
In the evenings you can sit in the restaurant or on the porch outside your room. The bad thing with the restaurant is that there is no roof over the outdoor area to protect you from rain, and inside the air condition is too cold.
Hotel Sheela is a popular budget hotel so it is good to reserve in advance. I booked via email about a week in advance.
A budget place that looked OK to me
Again, we stayed at the Trident in Agra, and were very satisfied. I really wasn't looking for more budget accommodations on our trip. However, I know that a lot of people on VT are interested in finding bargains options for lodging. From what I saw externally of the Hotel Sheela, located 800 meters from the east gate of the Taj Mahal, it may be a good choice.
The Rough Guide to India claims that the restaurant at the hotel is dependably hygienic, but I can't say anything to that end. The hotel does look to be acceptably safe and clean to my eye. If saving money is a necessity on your Indian journey, this is where I'd look to reside during my time in Agra.
When you look at the photos below, please note... the picture of the Sheela is from THEIR website. The photo is, to my recollection, an accurate look at the hotel entrance. The other photo is one that I took of the Taj Road. In this photo, I am probably standing about in front of the Sheela, and am looking back at the East Gate of the Taj Mahal. This lets you see the neighborhood.
The Sheela seems to be a secure and clean place. As for the neighborhood, it'd be OK by day... I'm not sure I'd wander around alone at night. If you want to go into Agra, do take a cab. :)
Directions: Eastern Gate Taj Mahal (opp. Jalma, near Shilpgram Parking) | Agra 282001
Great place close to Taj Mahal
This place is very close to the eastern entrance of the Taj Mahal and is very quiet and peaceful with some of the rooms set around a courtyard. The first room I had here (Rs400) had a squat toliet and no hot water shower so I asked if they had a better room, which they had for Rs500, and this was much better. The room was twice the size plus the bathroom (which was also considerably larger) had a western toilet plus a great hot water shower all for just Rs100 more! The rooms are very clean and the staff here are helpful and the food served in the courtyard is pretty good. I would recommend booking ahead to avoid not being able to get a room.
VERY close to the taj (accomodation in agra)
very basic, but very pleasant accomodation - only a stone's throw from the "taj mahal's main gate." relax in the open courtyard-type surroundings, with standard guest house services. food available - and not too bad.
reasonably priced and overall, a very pleasant stay.
Unique Quality: uber-close to the 'taj mahal'
Directions: around the corner from the main gates of the 'taj mahal.'
The closest you can get to the Taj with your bed!
There are plenty of possibilities to stay in the Taj Ganj quarter, but the closest you can get with your bed to the Taj Mahal is the Hotel Sheela. Situated just some meters away from the east gate of the Taj, it offers double room huts. The best thing is that it is in the more quiet part of Taj Ganj - with parks? - at least a lot of "green stuff" around it, but still so close to the dizzling alleys that you have both.
Our room went with "shared" ants, though, and Omed was afraid to harm his Karma, so he really carried all ants out of the room ALIVE! Plus some powder in front of the hut and all problems were gone - and Omed got some really good chances for becoming a saint.....
Ah, by the way, this pic below, that reminds a little bit of a romatic candle light dinner was actually due to another power fall out.....like I said make the best out of it ;-)
Close to Taj
This hotel is 5 minutes from the East gate entrance to Taj Majal. It is very quite and relax after all the noise and heat. In the garden there is a swing. The people in the hotel are quite nice and helpful. The price is 350RS per person and some rupees more if you prefer room with air cooler. it's very clean and they provide soap and sheets but I recommend your own sheet, in general just in case. We chosed the hotel because it's close to the Taj Majal but it's also close to Taj Ganj.
Unique Quality: In this hotel all the rooms are ground floor. Part of them, are in front of a garden, we were in the other side cause we prefer to have air cooler(horrible noise, like a motor plane) because it was really hot(when i say really hot , it's reaaally hot). There is a big garden where you can eat or have breakfast. From the garden you can see Taj domes(very little but it's possible), after the garden there is a "jungle". Some monkeys go to see your food but i prefer the dogs .Two nice dogs, one is very friendly called friendly and the other Tiger.
The area is close to cars...due to contamination so to get to the hotel is only possible by cicloricksaw or ricksaw or special cars.
We stayed here 3 nights.
Is like a paradise in the middle of the chaos at the very entrance of Taj Mahal. Sheela is a little hotel, with rooms around a garden where you can have a good breakfast or eat something or just rest. You will be surrounded here by animals like monkeys and peaceful and a beautiful vegetation.
I must warning you that as you get out of the door you will be surrounded by sellers and rickshaw drivers, cause you are just in at the door of the Taj where all the sellers try to sell theirs things.
As when we went there were no tourist all those sellers came over us every time we get out the hotel … just keep the calm
The rooms were good enought and clean comparing to all what we saw. For the price you pay is the best option just in the best place.
Unique Quality: The rooms are wide. The bathroom have everything very old is not dirty, just oxidized. The cooler are terrible because they make a great noise. Well all these things are normal. The place is fantastic and you will fill really you are at paradise despite all this things
Very Satisfied for the money we paid.
350 R. per night with cooler and bathroom
Directions: At 100 m. of the Taj Mahal entrance.
More about Hotel Sheela
Great for backpackers - Best Location
Great place for backpackers and only a 5 minute walk from the Taj Mahal.
This is a basic place but very good for backpackers - it is clean and good value for money. We paid 900 rupees a night for a room with air con. Room was clean and secure.
There is a good resaurant onsite and the staff were very pleasant and helpful.
Definitely above average for India... relatively clean room and the best location you can get in Agra - literally 2 minutes from the Taj Mahal. Restaurant was great, nice spot to relax at night in the back garden.
If you have a car you will not be able to get to this hostel though, you must take a rickshaw...
My only complaint is that I made a reservation for 1 night online with a hostel booking site and when we showed up they said they have the reservation but they don't get any deposits from the website so we had to pay the full price! (All those sites make you pay a deposit for your booking...) So after arguing with the guy we finally just paid it (really only lost about $1.35cad) but it was the principal!!
Good place for (early morning) visits to the Taj
Stayed there for one night in early September 2007. Room was pretty clean and good for one night, bed a bit too short for me 1,83m but ok. The manager is a nice guy and can arrange for a beer even if the guys in the restaurants say no. Food is ok and clean but nothing special. Walking distance to Taj is unbeatable to make it at 6am in the morning... I felt pretty save in this place and did enjoy sitting in the garden chatting with other travellers. I found this place ok for one night as a single traveller, not sure I would go there with family and children.
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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Sheela Hotel Agra
Address: East Gate, Taj Ganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India