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National Chambal Sanctuary : Untouched Ravines

Chambal Sanctaury India
National Chambal Sanctuary is located in Etwah district of Uttar Pradesh State in India. It is spread over the areas from which river Chambal passes through. Chambal river passes through 3 states of India: Rajasthan , Madhya Pradesh &. Uttar Pradesh. Sanctuary was first designated as a protected area in 1979 in attempt to revive Gharial population from ongoing poaching. It covers a 400km stretch  with 1 to 5 kms stretch of mud cliffs on both the sides of Chambal river ravines. Total area of 1235 sq km is protected under the National Chambal Sanctuary.

About National Chambal Sanctuary
River Chambal is a perennial river that originates at Manpura in south of Mhow town which is to Indore city. Geographical location is on the south slope of the Vindhya Range in Madhya Pradesh. Chambal river has reference in ancient epics with the name of Charmanyavati. As per local legend, Aryan King Rantideva sacrificed thousands of cows in the region whose blood flown in the region and resulted into the emergence of Chambal river. As  the river originated from the blood of cattle (cows) sacrificed by the King for his own selfish gain, the Brahmins put a curse on his head and everything associated with him, this could explain why the river was not subject to temple towns being built on its banks as normally associated with major Indian Rivers such as the River Ganges. River flows in North-east direction from Rajasthan to Uttar Pradesh converge into Yamuna river.

Due to troubled conditions in the Deccan, he reached Burhanpur (Deccan) on the 1st March 1630, where he stayed for the following two years, conducting operations against Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, and Golkunda. On 7th June 1631, Shah Jahan lost his beloved & favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal at Burhanpur, and her body was buried at first in the Garden of Zainabad, across the river Tapti. Early in December of the same year (1631 AD), the remains of her body were sent to Agra. Fact of Mumtaz's death in Burhanpur at Central India is little known to common tourist who visits Taj Mahal.

Chambal BirdwatchingThe Chambal river nestles healthy population of rare Gangetic dolphin, crocodiles, gharials and turtles which can be found in the exceptionally clean river. Chambal River is counted among most un-populated rivers of India.  The history behind the river may be the reason for non-association of river with pollution-causing reasons that are normally associated with other Indian rivers. This has meant that this ecosystem is among the cleanest in India and, being a protected area, also provides a safe haven from hunting and fishing.

Treasure of Chambal river can be explored through river safari undertaken by small motor boats which are manned by skilled naturalists who navigate the river currents and point out the rich wildlife found along the river banks as well as in the water. The boat ride safaris are a refreshing change to the bumpy jeeps safaris associated with many of India’s wildlife locations and allow you to fully appreciate the virgin beauty of the area.

In addition to the Gangetic dolphins there is a good variety of other wildlife to keep visitors interested. There is about more than 250 resident and migratory bird species, and you have a prime location for all wildlife enthusiasts. One can see tumbling acrobatics of Indian skimmer as a rare sight in most areas. Patna Bird Sanctuary in Chambal is a wetland of Khajur (date) forest covering 1sq. km area, offers great bird-watching of black partridge, cranes, spoonbills, blue-rock pigeons, cormorants etc.

Additional activities in the area add to the diversity of this location and include camel and jeep safari in the surrounding flood plain ravines in search of the land based wildlife which includes wolves, rayino gazelle, blue-bull, jackals, wild cat etc. Visits to historic Bateshwar temples and Ater fort nearby add a cultural dimension to this area.

How to reach Chambal Sanctuary

Chambal Sanctuary is in Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh State. Nearest Airports are in Agra & Gwalior city. Nearest Railway Station is Agra which is very well connected with Delhi, Mumbai and other majoy tourist destinations & cities. Nearest cities are Agra & Gwalior but it is not on Agra-Gwalior road.

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Hotels & Resorts in Chambal Sanctuary

An overnight stay is advisable at a nearby Chambal safari lodge, allowing you to take full advantage of the picturesque scenery which is flooded with colour at sunset. The lodge is located in a 35 acre indigenous woodland and follows a strict eco-tourism ethos, working in partnership with the local communities. A highlight for any traveler visiting the lodge is the outstanding meals which are prepared using local organic produce and served in the wilderness atmosphere of the lodge grounds.

Chambal Flora & Fauna :

Birds -
Partridge (Francolines pondicerianus), Black partridge (Francolines vulgaris), Blue-rock pigeons, Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus), Gray parridge (Francolines Pondicerianus), Gray goose, Red crested Pochard (Rhodonessa rufina), Doves, parakeet,Woodpeckers, Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala), Sparrows, Shrikes, Crows, Rollers, Pochards, Sheldrakes,Barred Buttonquail (Turnix suscitator), Kingfisher, Grey Hornbill, Bater (Coturnix communis), Lava (Perdicula asiatica), Common Quail (Coturnix coutrnix), Common Shelduck (Tadorna), Gadwall (Anas strepera),Garganey Teal (Anas querquedula), Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Aythya ferina), Nothern Shoveller (Anas clypeata), Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) etc.

Reptiles - Crocodiles,Gharials, Turtles, Tortoises, Monitor Lizards, Gosamp, Cobra, Karait etc.

Fish - Rohu, Arwari, Asarh, Moshes, Gangetic Dolphin, Mugri, Dingar, Haren, Bas, Kalwas, Chal, Katiya, Ghegra, Bbighun, Jhingra, Grach, Bam, Papta, Pariyasi, Gudheya, Tengan, Siland, and Jhinga

Flora - Aonla (Emblica officinalis), Arjun (Terminalia arjuna), Ashok (Polyalthia longifolia), Asna (Terminalia alata), Bahera (Terminalia bellirica), Banyan (Ficus bengalensis), Barhal (Artocarpus lakoocha), Bel (Aegle marmelos), Dhak (Butea monosperma), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus tereticornis), Gular (Ficus glomerata),Kaitha (Feronia limonia), Kathal (Artcarpus heterophyllus), Khair (Acacia indica), Mahua (Madhulka indica), Litchi (Naphelim litchi), Neem (Azadirachata indica), Pipal (Ficus religiosa), Teak (Tectona grandis), Silver Oak (Grevilea robusta), Kala siris (Albizia lebbek), Safed Siris (Albizia lebbek) and Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo), Jamun (Suzygium cumini).
Grasses like Dub (Cynedon dactylon), Baib (Enlaliopis bineta), Kans (Saccharum spontaneum), and spear grass also found in the district.

Fauna - Hyena, Wolves, Rayino Gazella, Indian Foxes, Hares, Jackals, Porcupine, Monkey (nigicollis), Wild Cat (Felis chaus), Hares (Lepus ruficandatus), Indian Small Mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), Hedgehog (Hemiechinus mocropus) etc.

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