The Chambal ki Ghatti needs no introduction and is famously known for its association with the Bandit Queen Phoolan Devi.
Recently when I got an opportunity to explore Chambal with UP Tourism as a part of Travel Writers Conclave 2015, I could not resist and was thoroughly excited. After all it was my dream to see what resides inside this otherwise disconnected area. With each passing year, I heard many horrendous tales which only drew me closer to this uncharted land. I don’t know what intrigued me towards Chambal, maybe the thought that it’s yet untouched and unexplored. But what I saw left me completely astonished and surprised.
With a rich heritage which dates back many centuries the Chambal Valley has much to offer from its breath-taking landscapes, splendid wildlife, rural feel, crumbling ruins, historical relevance and legendary exploits.
Chambal stations the National Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary, which is known to be a habitat to rare and endangered species. The National Chambal Sanctuary is home to the Gharials- a rare species in crocodiles which once was said to be endangered. Rare spotted Gangetic Dolphin, Marsh Crocodiles (Muggers), eight species of Turtles, Indian Striped Hyenas, Golden Jackals amongst others.
An absolute paradise for the bird lovers, the Sanctuary boasts the rapidly increasing and impressive bird list of over 330 species of resident and migratory birds, which is gaining popularity as one of the most reliable places to see the Indian Skimmer, which are categorised as threatened.
This small town is nestled on the banks of Chambal River, which is probably the cleanest river in India.
According to the ancient Indian texts, the river is considered to be cursed which is believed to have originated from the blood of thousands of cows sacrificed by the Aryan King Rantideva.
Maybe its unholy origins have helped Chambal survive and thrive untouched and unpolluted, and it remains one of India’s most pristine rivers. Chambal River is a tributary of Yamuna River which flows through Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
The boat ride on the calm blue waters of Chambal, combined with troupe of intertwining mud cliffs, splendid landscapes and close-up views of the astounding abundance of wildlife are its highlight.
Certainly a magical land far removed from the chaotic madness of modern cities.
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