Chambal River Safari near Agra



Chambal River Safari Near Agra

Crocodiles and Gharials Chambal River Dholpur

Most travelers visiting Agra go to the Taj Mahal and head back not knowing that there is so much more to do in and around this city than just that. And if you live in a big and crowded city like Delhi where the pollution levels are insane and breathing fresh air is considered a luxury, then a visit to the Chambal River should be on the top of your list of things to do before you, you know die! 


In my previous posts I have talked about the various activities one can do (#gobeyondthetaj) in my city and this specific post covers my recent visit to the Chambal River Sanctuary (1000+ KM of protected waters) that flows through Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and finally Uttar Pradesh where it merges with the Yamuna River. 


So the Chambal River Safari near Agra is no ordinary safari, it's the most 'alive' river eco-system in this part of the country as you get to see gharials (the critically endangered fish eating crocodiles), Indian marsh crocodile, 7 species of turtles, several species of rare and migratory birds, hyenas, jackals, jungle cats, various reptiles and if you're really really lucky, even the Indian River Dolphin. 


Shocked right? So was I when someone first told me about this 4 years ago. I mean on one hand you see a trickle of water and lots of garbage and sewage flowing rampantly in the Yamuna River which flows by the Taj and an hours drive away, you see the water filled and clean Chambal River. The Indian Government has spent billions of rupees in promoting awareness and putting money but nothing much has happened in preventing the further destruction of our so called 'holy' rivers. 


Fortunately for us, the Chambal River is holding strong and has not gone through the carnage most rivers in India have. I would like to thank with all my heart, the Chambal bandits for giving this area a bad name - this area was the equivalent of the wild wild west for decades and was shunted by majority of travelers visiting Agra and other touristy places nearby.


Here are some photos and videos that I took on my recent visit to the Chambal River (Bah in Uttar Pradesh and Dholpur in Rajasthan) both a comfortable one hour drive from Agra with my good friend Ran Yamamori from Israel who I met at the Dudhwa National Park during the Uttar Pradesh Bird Festival recently. Needless to say he was speechless and so was I, despite having done this safari many many times before. 

But then that is the beauty of being in the wild, there is so much change and every visit is a new experience, you never know what you're going to come across next! 


If you want to visit the Chambal River Safari on your next visit to Agra, let me know. I can take you there or get you sent there. The area is still a bit dodgy and it is recommended to be back home or in your hotel before sunset. I know the best naturalists on these rivers, the ones who know their stuff and won't be constantly talking to their wife (or girlfriend) on their mobile phones while on the safari! Weather also plays a huge spoil sport, if it's too foggy then the boats don't operate, if its cloudy then your chances of seeing crocodiles and gharials are slim as they don't come out on the river banks and if it's too hot then you may need to come prepared against the harsh sunrays.

crocodiles and gharials in chambal river
Crocodiles and Gharials in Chambal River

I can organize a day trip to do the Chambal River Safari with experienced and knowledgable guides and boat caption. You can combine this with your visit to Agra. Feel free to contact me on +919717148483 or email kunaljain7@gmail.com

Best time to visit: October to March. Mornings and late afternoons

How to get there: Car is the fastest and most efficient.

Closest train station: Dholpur but Agra has more train options

Safari costs: varies depending on number of people, number of hours, which side of the river and the safari operator. 

Safety: no humans have been attacked while in the boat! All boats are monitored and checked to be in working condition. All safaris have a boatsman and a naturalist. Life jackets are to be worn throughout the time you spend on the boat. No smoking or consumption of alcohol allowed in the Park