Birds of India

National Chambal Sanctuary

Checklist I Trip Report

The 5,400 sq. km National Chambal Sanctuary on the river Chambal is a refuge for the rare and endangered Gharial ( Gavialis gangeticus), the Red-crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga) and Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica). The 400 km stretch of crystal clear water and the wide swathe of the ravines on both sides of the river also supports Marsh Crocodiles, Smooth-coated Otters, 6 species of Terrapins/Turtles plus 250 species of birds.

Gharials on the Chambal
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.


Indian Skimmers
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 species. 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.

Ruddy Shelduck
How to reach
Chambal Safari Lodge is located 63 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 recommended 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, Uttar Pradesh
Ph: +91-9837415512 / +91-9997066002

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.

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


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