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Chambal River

The Chambal River is not only a significant river of Uttar Pradesh, but is among major rivers of central India. It is a vital tributary of Yamuna River, that originates in a place called Janapav, nearby Mhow (Madhya Pradesh) in the West Central India’s Vindhaya Mountain Range. This river flows to northeast direction through Madhya Pradesh to come into Rajasthan and outlines a boundary between these two states. During its long travel path of 900km, the river crosses numerous terrains and physical features in urge to finally join the Yamuna River at Pachnada, close to Bhareh in Uttar Pradesh. As the name denotes, Pachnada is the junction where five different rivers meet, namely, Chambal, Kwari, Yamuna, Sind and Pahuj.

This is a rain fed river and so during bright summers, its water levels fall down to some extent. But still it manages to hold a drainage basin of around 143, 219sq km. It is also a major source of hydroelectricity and water, which is used for irrigation in regions close to it. For this reason, there are three major dams built on the river such as the Rana Pratap Sagar Dam in Chittorgarh District, the Gandhi Sagar Dam built on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and the Jawahar Sagar Dam near Kota.

The River Chambal is also considered to be pollution free. It hosts incredible aquatic fauna assemblage consisting 8 species of freshwater turtles, 2 types of crocodiles, namely, ghariai and mugger, Gangetic dolphins, sarus cranes, smooth coat otters, skimmers, black-necked storks and black-bellied terns.


The Chambal River flows through three major states of central India, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. It was first declared in 1978 as a river of Madhya Pradesh. But because of its origin and its unique flowing path the river soon became an economic reserve for these three states. Presently, it is used as a major source for water and hydroelectricity required for irrigation purposes by these states.


The River Chambal covers  a flowing distance of 900kms before it finally joins the famous Indian River, Yamuna at Pachnada, nearby Bhareh in Uttar Pradesh. It flows for about 226km on the northeast side in Rajasthan. After this it separates the two states for around 252km by creating a boundary. For further distance of 117km, it marks a boundary between other two states, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Completing all this course, it finally enters Uttar Pradesh and flow separately for 40km before joining Yamuna River.

From its source to its down junction the River Chambal possesses a fall height of 843m. From that point, it moves towards the north side and flows for around 320km to meet with a great deep gorge located at Chourasigarh in Rajasthan. River Chambal meets the Yamuna at an elevated level of 122m. It is also an eminent part of the drainage system of the Greater Gangetic. At distance of about 344km from its origin, the river flows towards deep gorge for about 96km. It then passes through the wide plains. During its long watery journey, the River Chambal is adjoined by many small rivers such as Mej and Banas from its left bank and Kali Sindh, Shipra and Parbati from its right side bank.



Banas is a tributary of Chambal River that initiates its path from Rajasthan and then meet Chambal herein only. The source of this river is the Khamnor hills in the Aravalli mountain range, which is around 5km from the place Kumbhaigarh. It meets Chambal at a village of Rameshwar in the Sawai Madhopur district after flowing across the Mewar region. During its distant journey of 512km, the Banas River is also joined by other small rivers such as Menali, Khari, Dheel, Morel, Kalisil, Bearch, Kothari and Dai.


This tributary of Chambal River holds its origin from the northern side of  the Vindhaya Range in the Sehore district. It generally moves to the north eastern direction in order to cover district of Guna and Rajgarh in Kota, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The overall course covered by the River Parbati is about 354km before it finally meets the Chambal River from its right bank at Palighat.

Kali SIndh

The Kali Sindh River holds origination from the Vindhayan Range that lies in the Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh. Its major tributaries are Ahu, Niwaj and Parwan. It meets the River Chambal in a region named Nonera Village, which is located in district of Rajasthan namely, Baran.


This river is also famous as Kshipra and is a vital sacred river for the Hindu religion. This is because it possesses the location of the famous holy city of Ujjain. The source of this river is Vindhaya Range and after flowing for a desirable distance it finally meets the huge Chambal River.

Religious Significance

During the ancient era, the Chambal River was named as Charmanvati, implying the river where leather has dried on its banks. With time, the river gained fame as the river of ‘charman’ or skin and was thereby renowned as Charmanvati.

In the epic Sanskrit tale of Mahabharata, this river is referred as Charmanyavati. This holds another meaning of taking birth from the blood of innumerable animals, which were sacrificed by the Aryan king Rantideva. Even according to this historic tale, the river was also cursed by Daraupadi and presently it is believed that it is that curse which has still kept behind the individuals of today from entering or polluting the river. So as a result, the river remains untouched, dirt free and therefore turns to be one of the pristine rivers of India.

Economic Significance

The Chambal River holds great economic significance for entire India as three major dams are built on it, namely, Gandhi Sagar Dam, Rana Pratap Sagar Dam and Jawahar Sagar Dam.

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