National Chambal

 
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Wetland area symbol © Sumit Sen
National Chambal Sanctuary
 


© Sumit K Sen 2004
Indian Skimmer


Introduction

National Chambal Sanctuary on the River Chambal is a refuge for the rare and endangered Gharial ( Gavialis gangeticus) and Ganges River Dolphin ( Platanista gangetica). The 400 km stretch of crystal clear water also supports Marsh Crocodiles, Smooth Coated Otters, 6 species of Terrapins/Turtles plus 250 species of birds. The Chambal river originates in Kota, Rajasthan and merges with the Yamuna at Bhareh. The river passes through sandy ravines which are famous for its dreaded dacoits. The river can be approached for birding near the town of Bah, Uttar Pradesh where Chambal Safari Lodge provides accommodation and has boating arrangements. Bah is a 5-6 hour drive from New Delhi via Agra.

 © Sumit K Sen 2004
Gharial

A good population of Indian Skimmers is the strongest birding attraction here. This endangered species is easily seen near Bah and is one of the few remaining places where you can get close views of this beautiful bird. Black-bellied Terns, Red-crested and Ferruginous Pochards, Bar-headed Goose, Sarus Crane, Great Thick-knee, Indian Courser, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Pallid Harrier, Greater and Lesser Flamingos, Darters, and the star attraction of Chambal Safari Lodge, the resident Brown Hawk Owl, all add up to an impressive list of birds. 

Bird Images:

Bar-headed Goose & Ruddy Shelduck
Bar-headed Goose
Ruddy Shelduck
Gadwall
Red-crested Pochard
Brown-headed Barbet
Lesser Coucal ~ image by Nik

Brown Hawk Owl
Green Sandpiper
Kentish Plover
River Lapwing
Great Thick-knee & R Lapwing
Osprey ~ image by Nik
Booted Eagle ~ image by Nik
Black-bellied Tern
River Tern
Black Ibis
Jungle Babbler
White Wagtail

How to reach: Chambal Safari Lodge is located 65 Km from Agra on the Fatehabad road at Jarar, 12 KM from the base camp at Chambal river. You can hire cars from Agra or Bharatpur for the round trip.

Where to stay: The Chambal Safari Lodge is the only real choice. Run by a dedicated couple, this tastefully appointed lodge is on the highway to Bah. Chambal Safari Lodge can make arrangements to take you on a river cruise.
Chambal Safari Lodge
Bah, District Agra
email:
rpsjarar@chambalsafari.com

Sanctuary particulars: The only real way to enjoy the attractions of the river is by motorized boat. Arrangements to hire boats can be made with Chambal Safari Lodge who also thoughtfully provide an armed escort in dacoit country. Going up and down the river as it flows through the ravines is a great experience.

© Sumit Sen

Strategy: 1-2 days is recommended. Chambal is close Bharatpur and can easily be combined with a trip to Keoladeo.

Best Time: November to March

Location: 15*15'-26*30'N; 76*40'-78*10'E

Sumit K Sen
Kolkata, India

   
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