National Chambal Sanctuary, also called the National Chambal Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary, is a 5,400 km2 (2,100 sq mi) tri-state protected area in northern India for the critically endangered gharial (small crocodiles), the red-crowned roof turtle and the endangered Ganges river dolphin. Located on the Chambal River near the tripoint of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, it was first declared in Madhya Pradesh in 1978 and now constitutes a long narrow eco-reserve co-administered by the three states. Within the sanctuary the pristine Chambal River cuts through mazes of ravines and hills with many sandy beaches.
The Chambal River is a tributary of the Yamuna River in central India, and forms part of the greater Gangetic drainage system. The river flows north-northeast through Madhya Pradesh, running for a time through Rajasthan, then forming the boundary between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh before turning southeast to join the Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh state.
It is a legendary river and finds mention in ancient scriptures. The perennial Chambal originates at Manpura, south of Mhow town, near Indore, on the south slope of the Vindhya Range in Madhya Pradesh. The Chambal and its tributaries drain the Malwa region of northwestern Madhya Pradesh, while its tributary, the Banas, which rises in the Aravalli Range, drains southeastern Rajasthan. It ends a confluence of five rivers, including the Chambal, Kwari, Yamuna, Sind, Pahuj, at Pachnada near Bhareh in Uttar Pradesh state, at the border of Bhind and Etawah districts.
The Chambal River is considered pollution free,and hosts an amazing riverine faunal assemblage including 2 species of crocodilians -- the mugger and gharial, 8 species of freshwater turtles, smooth-coated otters, gangetic river dolphins, skimmers, black-bellied terns, sarus cranes and black-necked storks, amongst others.
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