Located near Agra in Etawah, along the banks of River Chambal, the Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural haven that is home to a vast variety of flora and fauna. River Chambal originates in the Vidhya ranges in Madhya Pradesh and finally meets River Yamuna in Etawah. Owing to this, the rich biodiversity ensured that the 635 sq km of area around it was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1979 that stretching across three states: Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

A highlight of the sanctuary is the fact that it is home to some of the country’s threatened animal species: it is where you can spot the critically endangered gharial, alongside the endangered Ganges river dolphin. After the gharial population was nearly wiped out in India during the 1970s, Chambal was chosen as one of the main areas for the reintroduction of the species into the wild, following a captive breeding and reintroduction programme.

One of the most popular activities at the sanctuary is a boat ride, which is a tranquil experience that lets visitors soak in the peaceful energy permeating the green expanse while spotting some of its wild floral and faunal treasures. Nature walks are also popular, letting travellers explore the vast green landscape on foot.

Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary is also ideal for birdwatching, and boasts over 290 species of resident as well as migratory aquatic and terrestrial birds. Some of the best times in a year to visit the sanctuary, in fact, are determined by the presence of flamingos – from November to May, the area hosts them, while in September you’ll find the rudy shelduck arriving here. Of the resident birds, the Indian skimmers thrive here in vast colonies.

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