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“A hidden gem in India”

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Chambal Safari Lodge
Ranked #4 of 193 Specialty Lodging in Agra
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 7, 2011

I often visit India on business, but my wife had never had the opportunity to go, and I wanted to show her one of the highlights, the Taj Mahal. But she also loves animals and birds, and when I realised the Chambal Safari Lodge was just close by, we then had the recipe for a wonderful trip to this part of the world.

Chambal Safari lodge is something of a hidden gem. It is way off the routine tourist trail, but still accessible from Delhi and Agra. We managed to travel from Delhi, take a lengthy tour of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, but still arrive at Chambal in time for a drink around the campfire. To set expectations, the lodge is not a 5-star resort hotel, with all mod cons. However, it is beautifully thought through. Most of the guests stay in cottages dotted around the estate, through which abundant wildlife ambles or flies. Meals are provided around the main house, and the food is fresh and tasty. Electricity is a bit intermittent, but the hotel is all geared up for this with solar lanterns. You have to pick your moment for packing and unpacking, though, and one tip is to bring a torch.

The nature trips are the highlight of this place. As far as we could see, every party has an assigned naturalist, and the levels of enthusiasm and knowledge are high. As many others have noted, the river safari is superb, with sightings of many species of birds, crocodiles and alligators. However, even going around the local fields with 'our' naturalist, we spotted so many different species and got photos we will treasure for a long time.

Service is excellent, and without the over-attentiveness that often irritates in India. The naturalists and other staff are keen to help you see and make the best of your visit, and we had a great time looking though our photos with them, identifying what was what.

The lodge is not cheap, but we thought it was very good value for money, given the sights and experiences available to visitors. Part of the income goes towards conservation, and a lot of it is spent on local goods and services, supporting the rural economy.

Room Tip: All rooms are well within the estate, which is approached via a long drive, and all are well situate...
  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Dew's
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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164 - 170 of 184 reviews

Reviewed November 7, 2011

We stayed here on a group trip and no one wanted to leave! Every small detail from the room decor to the attentive intuitive attention of the staff was absolutely faultless. For me the highlight was the eco policy of Chambal. Can't recommend this place highly enough!! Bird watchers delight too as all the guides are passionate about birding and very well informed.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank dsharmawinter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2011

After catching an amazing glimpse of the Taj Mahal and spending a night in a hotel I will not be reviewing on TripAdvisor, we headed to Chambal. It was like a breath of fresh air after Agra. We spent almost two full days with Dushyant, one of the naturalists, as well as the owners whose hospitality is nearly unmatched! The visit to Bateshwar temples and the river safari are magnificent. And, the homemade food is to die for. On my next trip(s) to India, Chambal will be on my list.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Aimee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2011

Must spend two nights, minimum, and ask the hotel to show you around. Go on their (a) spiritual visit, (b) historical visit, and (c) nature visit.

Room Tip: Closest to the main lobby
  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank deepaksji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2011

I was at the chambal safari lodge in october 2009 with a few friends. We loved the little cootage style rooms. The food was excellent and so was the river safari and the hike to the Ater fort. We had tne option to ride a camel to the fort, my friends did so but i chose to walk.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank Rbanerji69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights as part of a trip mostly focused on birding, but also interested in other wildlife. They provide various expeditions to local areas of interest, particularly river boat rides when you can see muggers, garials and Gangetic river dolphins, as well as birds such as thick-knees and skimmers. There's an excellent young guide who not only knows his birds and where to find them, but can spot even the best camouflaged birds and creatures. The accommodation, in several blocks of "cottages" with their own verandahs, isn't luxurious but is quite comfortable for a short stay (with heaters and hot water bottles provided when needed) and the buffet-style Indian food provided was delicious. As it was winter we all sat round a campfire in the evenings and were able to see a palm civet coming to investigate the kitchen scraps, as well as many interesting birds in and around the grounds. The owners are very eco-conscious, which is unusual in India. Don't expect TV or internet here though!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SJN51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2010

Post our hectic jungle safaris we were looking for something much quieter location with not much to do..and at Chambal Safari Lodge we found the right place.
Mainly visited by foreigners, we were the only Indian family at that time.
Chambal Safari lodge is almost 60 kms from Agra and can be easily accessed by a vehicle. Its like a haveli converted into resort with beautifully decorated rooms. The lodge area has a huge collection (almost 100 variety) of birds and is the best place one can be if you are an avid birder. We were most happy seeing the huge variety of Owls within the resort.
They also have packages for a river safari, blackbuck safaris, Sahas crane watching..or a visit to the village of Bateshwar.
One should not miss the River safari - its almost 3-4 hours where you get to see huge variety of river birds, garials, marsh crocs and gangetic dolphins....
Food is excellent - simple and home cooked..
One can spend time just sitting out of the room and seeing the birds move around you or go for a long walk within the lodge.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank PriyaIyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chambal Safari Lodge

Address: Mela Kothi Road, Agra 283104, India
Location: India > Uttar Pradesh > Agra District > Agra
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 193 Specialty Lodging in Agra
Price Range: $78 - $156 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Chambal Safari Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A family run eco-lodge nestling in 35 acres of reclaimed land. An oasis of peace, tranquility, and gracious hospitality. An opportunity to explore the Chambal Valley. River Safari for Gharials, Marsh crocodiles, Gangetic river dolphins, and Indian skimmers. Jeep safaris for Black-buck & Sarus cranes. Camel safari to Fort Ater, and excursions to the medieval temple complex at Bateshwar - site of the second largest animal fair in India (Sonepur in Bihar being the largest). Nature walks and village walks. ... more   less 
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