India’s rugged Chambal Valley lies at the confluence of the states of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Madhya Pradesh (MP), and Rajasthan; it is only 80 km SE of Agra (in UP), around an hour’s drive from the Taj Mahal.
The jagged ravines and golden sands of Chambal were once notorious for being a much-feared and forbidding region overrun by dacoits and the echoes of gunfire. Today though, Chambal is fast emerging as a different, unique, and exciting destination that holds spectacular landscapes, abundant wildlife, unspoilt habitats, ancient ruins, medieval temples, and centuries-old cattle fairs. Conservation efforts are also on to protect the natural legacy of the Valley’s forests and the wildlife.
A boat safari on the tranquil River Chambal promises to be an unforgettable, rare experience in the wilderness that not only shows off the fiercely beautiful and dramatic terrain but also offers up-close views of the region’s rich wildlife and birdlife – great opportunities for sighting and photography. Walking trails in the ravines and along the River present opportunities to indulge in some fantastic nature watching.
The beautiful River cuts through the tri-state National Chambal Sanctuary (also called the National Chambal Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary) which protects the three highly endangered keystone species of the Sanctuary – the gharial (Indian crocodile so named for the pot-like mass at the end of its long, narrow snout), Gangetic Dolphin, and the red-crowned roof turtle. Other threatened inhabitants of the Sanctuary include the striped hyena, smooth-coated otter, and Indian wolf. The Sanctuary is also home to eight rare turtle species. The Sanctuary is an important bird area and boasts over 300 species of resident and migratory birds such as the Sarus Crane, Pallas’s fish eagle, Indian courser, Indian Skimmer, bar-headed goose, black-bellied tern, greater thick-knee, Lapwing, darters, brown hawk owl, and greater flamingos.
Visitors can explore the 17th century Ater Fort, a beautiful though dilapidated historical site on the banks of the Chambal.
Holxo Tours in Chambal