The Chambal River, called Charmanvati in
ancient times, is the largest of the rivers flowing through and Rajasthan
State. This is a major tributary of Yamuna which is 960 km long. Located in Central India, the river
comprises a significant portion of the Greater Gangetic Drainage System. The
Chambal River runs according to a north to northeasterly itinerary through
Madhya Pradesh, flowing for a considerable distance through Rajasthan,
subsequently creates the border between Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan prior
to twisting to the southeast to meet the Yamuna in the state of Uttar
Pradesh. The total area drained by the Chambal up to its confluence with the
Yamuna is 143,219 sq. km out of which 76,854 sq. km lies in Madhya Pradesh
state, 65,264 sq. km in Rajasthan state and 1,101 sq. km in Uttar Pradesh.
The Chambal basin lies between the longitudes 73°20'
E and 79°15'
E and latitudes 22°27'
N and 27°20'
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Source, Drainage and Mouth of Chambal River
The length of Chambal River is 960 km. The
river has its source near the Singar Chouri crest in the northern sides of
the Vindhyan cliffs, 15 km west to southwest of Mhow in Indore District,
Madhya Pradesh. The origin of the Chambal River lies at a height of around
843 m. It runs initially according to a northward itinerary in Madhya
Pradesh for a distance of around 346 km and subsequently in a typically
northeastward course for a span of 225 km across Rajasthan. The river runs
for a further 217 km amid Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and an extra 145 km
amid Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The Chambal River moves into Uttar
Pradesh and runs for around 32 km prior to meeting the Yamuna River in
Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh at an altitude of 122 m, for creating a
portion of the greater Gangetic drainage system.
From the origin till its meeting with the Yamuna, the river has a downslope
of around 732 meters. Out of this entire downslope, about 305 meters is in
the initial 16 km stretch from its origin. The river plunges an extra 195
meters in the 338 km after that, where the river penetrates the canyon
across the Chaurasigarh Fort. In the following 97 km of its flow from the
Chaurasigarh Fort to the city of Kota, the riverbed descends by an extra 91
meters. In the remainder of its stretch of 523 km, the Chambal River goes
across the plains of the Malwa terrain and subsequently in the Gangetic
Basin. The average slope of the river is 0.21 m/km.
The river is a rainfed river and the overall drainage basin till its meeting
point with the Yamuna covers an area of 143, 219 km2. The shape of the
catchment basin of the river is like a rectangle till the intersection of
the Banas and Parvathi Rivers with the Chambal running beside its main axis.
The river valley is situated amid latitudes 22° 27' North and 27° 20' North
and longitudes 73° 20' East and 79° 15' East. To its east, west, and south,
the valley is surrounded by the mountain ranges of Vindhya and by the
Aravallis to the northwest. Under the meeting point of the Banas and
Parvathi, the drainage basin gets thinner and extended. In this span, it is
bordered by the Vindhyan mountain range to the south and the Aravalli
mountain ranges to the north.
To the northwest, The Vindhyan escarpments
edge the left riverbanks of the Chambal, and then, is mostly sapped by it.
The river is intensifying within around 6 km of the Narmada River, emerges
as an ensuant on the Mesozoic plane, placed on top of the escarpments, and
penetrates directly across them, with succeeding tributaries on the pliable
sedimentary rocks. The river and its tributaries Parbati and Kali Sindh have
generated a triangle-shaped alluvial plateau, around 200–270 m over the thin
channel of the lower Chambal River in Kota. The Chambal River is a
characteristically forward-drainage type river, being quite older than the
Ganges and Yamuna River, into which it ultimately pours.
Tributaries of Chambal River
The Alnia River originates in the north-western slopes of Mukindwara
hills, and flows for about 58 km before joining the Chambal near Notana
village in Kota District. The catchment area of the Alania River is 792 km2.
It originates in the northern slopes of the Vindhya hills. Flowing in
M.P., it enters Rajasthan near Binda village in Jhalawar District. After
flowing for about 145 km in Rajasthan, it joins Chambal near Nonera
village in Kota District. The catchment area of the Kalisindh River is
7,944 km2 and in Rajasthan State, it extends over parts of
Jhalawar and Kota Districts. The Parwan River is an important tributary of
Kalisindh River. The Parwan originates in the Malwa Plateau and after
flowing for about 186 km in M.P., it enters Rajasthan near Kharibor
village in Jhalawar District. It joins Kalisindh near Ramgarh village in
Kota District. The catchment area of the Parwan River is 2,892 km2.
Mej River originates in Mandalgarh Tehsil in Bhilwara District and joins
the Chambal River near Bhaius Khana village in Kota District. The
catchment extends over Bhilwara, Bundi, and Tonk Districts, with the total
area being 5,860 km2.
The Chakan River is formed by the confluence of many small rivulets. The
river flows in a south-easterly direction and joins the Chambal near
Karanpura village in Sawai Madhopur District. The catchment is situated in
Sawai Madhopur, Tonk, Bundi and Kota Districts 789k m2 area.
The Parwati River originates in the northern slopes of the Vindhyan
hills in M.P. where it forms a boundary between MP and Rajasthan for about
18 km, and then enters Rajasthan near Chatarpura village in Baran
District. Thereafter, it flows for about 83 km in Rajasthan before again
forming the boundary between MP and Rajasthan for a distance of about 58
km up to Pali village in Kota District, where it joins the Chambal. The
river catchment in Rajasthan is situated in Kota and Jhalawar Districts.
Major tributaries of the Parwati River are Lhasi, Berni, Bethli, Andheri,
Retri, Dubraj, Bilas and Kunu.
The Kunu River originates north of Guna town in MP. It flows for 48 km
in M.P. before entering Rajasthan near Museri village in Baran District.
The river re-enters M.P. again and flows for about 24 km. It then again
enters Rajasthan near Gordhanpura village in Kota District and joins
Chambal River. The catchment in Rajasthan lies in Baran District. The
catchment area of the river is 726 km2. The tributaries of the
Kunu River are Karal and Rempi.
The Banas River originates in the Khamnor hills of the Aravali range
(about 5 km from Kumbhalgarh) and flows along its entire length through
Rajasthan. Banas is a major tributary of the Chambal River, the two rivers
meeting near village Rameshwar in Khandar Block in Sawai Madhopur
District. The total length of the river is about 512 km and the catchment
area is 45,833km2. The main tributaries of the Banas River are
Berach and Menali on the right bank, and Kothari, Khari, Dai, Dheel,
Sohadara, Morel and Kalisil on the left bank. The Banas River itself has
many big tributaries.
The Berach River originates in the hills
northeast of Udaipur city. It flows northeast for about 157 km in
Udaipur, Chittorgarh and Bhilwara Districts before joining Banas near
Bigod village in Mandalgarh Tehsil of Bhilwara District. The catchment
area of the river is 7,502 km2, which lies between 73°25'
E longitudes and 24°29'
N latitudes. The Berch flows in a hilly region up to Badgaon reservoir
and then through plains. This river receives flow from Ayar, Wagli
Wagon, Gambhiri and Orai Rivers.
The Mashi River, a tributary of the Banas originates near Kishangarh in
Ajmer District. The catchment area of the river is 6,335 km2.
It flows east and then south for about 96 km in partly hilly and partly
plain areas of Ajmer and Tonk Districts before joining Banas River near
Khari is another tributary of the Banas which originates in the hills
near Deogarh in Rajsamand District. Its catchment area is 6,268 km2.
It flows northeast for about 192 km through Udaipur, Bhilwara and Ajmer
Districts before joining the Banas River near Chosala village in Ajmer
District. Another tributary of the Banas River, the Dai River originates
in the southeastern slopes of the Aravali range, near Nasirabad Tehsil
of Ajmer District. Its catchment area is 3,015 km2. It flows
southeast for about 40 km and east for about 56 km in Ajmer District and
for a short reach through Tonk District, before joining the the Banas
River near Bisalpur village in Tonk District.
The Morel River is a tributary of the Banas River which originates in
the hills near Dharla and Chainpura villages in Bassi Tehsil of Jaipur
District. The catchment area of the river is 5,491 km2, lies
E longitudes and 26°14'
N latitudes. It flows southeast for 29 km, then southwest for 35 km, up
to the confluence with the Dhund River, and then southeast for 83 km in
Jaipur and Sawai Madhopur Districts, before joining the Banas River near
Hadoli village in Karauli Tehsil of Sawai Madhopur District. The Dhund,
Kankrauli and Kalisil are the major tributaries of the Morel River.
The Kothari River, another tributary of Banas, originates in the eastern
slopes of the Aravali range near Horera village in Bhilwara District.
The catchment area of the river is 2,341 km2, lying between
East longitudes and 73°47'30"
North latitudes. The river flows through Rajsamand and Bhilwara
Districts for about 51 km in a hilly region, and 100 km through plains,
before joining the Banas near Nandrai village in Bhilwara District.
The Chambal is the most significant river of the Malwa flat terrain. The
river basin is a portion of the ditches, floodplain, and gorges. In
Rajasthan, the Hadauti terrain emerges in the upper drainage basin of the
Chambal River to the southeast of the Mewar valley. The river basin emerges
in the Malwa terrain to the east. Geographically, it can be categorized into
the Deccan Lava (Malwa) terrain and Vindhyan escarpment area. As stated by
Heron in 1953, the pediplain in the east, emerging amid the Vindhyan terrain
and the Aravalli mountain range, holds a narrow thin layer of quaternary
deposits, altered top soil and river canal materials. In any case, two worn
down layers can be identified in the pedi plain region from the Tertiary
period. The Vindhyan plateau, the neighboring Chambal basin, and the Indo-Gangetic
alluvial territory (older alluvium) are of Pleistocene to Sub-recent period.
Badland landscape is a typical attribute of the Chambal basin, on the other
hand, kankar has comprehensively built up in the older alluvial deposit.
The mean annual rainfall over the Chambal Basin was computed as 797 mm, of
which about 93% falls during the four Monsoon months (June-September).
There are 7 Major (Gandhi Sagar, Rana Pratap Sagar, Jawahar Sagar, Kota
Barrage, Parwati Pick-up Weir, Harish Chander Sagar and Gudha Dam), 12
Medium and 134 Minor irrigation projects in Chambal River Basin, as well as
some small irrigation systems (covering less than 20 ha) constructed and
operated by Panchayat Samities (PS). The river waters are used for
hydroelectric power creation. agar Dam, and the Rana Pratap Sagar dam.
The Gandhi Sagar Dam
This is the oldest of the four dams constructed on the Chambal River. The
Gandhi Sagar Dam is situated on the boundary of Madhya Pradesh and
Rajasthan. The dam is a 64 meter tall stonework gravity dam, with a existing
storage facility of 6,920 Mm³ and a drainage basin area of 22,584 km², of
which merely 1,537 km² is situated in Rajasthan. Construction of the dam was
finished in 1960. The hydroelectric power facility consists of five power
generating divisions of 23 MW capacity each. The water discharged following
electricity generation is used for supplying to agricultural lands via Kota
The Rana Pratap Sagar Dam
This dam is situated 52 km downstream of Gandhi Sagar Dam over the Chambal
River close to Rawatbhata in the district of Chittorgarh, Rajasthan.
Construction of the dam was finished in 1970. The dam is the second in the
sequence of Chambal Valley Projects. The dam is 54 meters tall. The source
of power is situated on the left corner of the channel for water overflow
and is made up of 4 divisions of 43 MW each, with steady power creation of
90 MW at 60% load element. The overall drainage basin of this dam is 24,864
km², of which just 956 km² is located in Rajasthan. The live storage
capacity of the dam is 1,566 Mm3. The open drainage basin beneath the Gandhi
Sagar Dam covers an area of 2,280 km.
The Jawahar Sagar
This dam is the third dam in the succession of Chambal Valley Projects,
situated 26 km downstream of Rana Pratap Sagar Dam and 29 km upstream of
Kota city. It is a stonework gravity dam, which is 45 meter tall with a
length of 393 m, producing 60 MW of hydroelectric power with an installed
capacity of 3 divisions of 33 MW. The construction of the dam was finished
in 1972. The overalll drainage basin of the Jawahar Sagar Dam is 27,195 km²,
of this just 1,496 km² is in Rajasthan. The open drainage basin beneath the
Rana Pratap Sagar Dam covers an area of 2,331 km².
The Kota Barrage
This barrage is the fourth in the sequence of Chambal Valley Projects,
situated around 0.8 km upstream of Kota City in Rajasthan. Water discharged
following electricity generation at Rana Pratap Sagar dam, Gandhi Sagar dam,
and Jawahar Sagar Dams, is rerouteed by Kota Barrage for irrigation in
Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and through inland waterways on the left and
the right sides of the river. Construction of this dam was finished in 1960.
The overall drainage basin of Kota Barrage is 27,332 km², of which the open
drainage basin beneath the Jawahar Sagar Dam is only 137 km². The live
storage capacity of the dam is 99 Mm³. The dam is an earthfill dam with a
channel for water overflow made of concrete. The right and left major
channels have a headworks discharge capacity of 188 m³/sec and 42 m³/sec
respectively. The overall span of the key channels, distribution system, and
divisions is around 2,342 km, supplying a region of 2,290 km² of CCA. The
dam runs 18 gates to regulate surge of inundation and channel water
downstream, and functions as a bridge amid areas of Kota city on the left
and right sides of the river.
Ongoing Surface Water
52 irrigation projects, including 7 Medium projects with a total live
storage capacity of 271 Mm3, are under construction in Chambal River Basin.
An additional area of 502 kha will be irrigated on completion of these
projects, expected between 1997 and 2015.
376 irrigation projects, including 10 Major (Manohar Thana, Parwan Dhanwas,
Kalisindh, Gugar Lift, Soni, Dholpur Lift, Indira Lift, Pipalda Lift and
Chambal Lift), with a total live storage capacity of 1743 Mm3, have been
proposed in Chambal Basin. An additional area of 630 kha will be irrigated
on completion of these projects.
The Chambal River is regarded pollution free,
and is home to a remarkable variety of riverine fauna, which includes 2
types of crocodiles – the gharial and mugger, smooth-coated otters, 8
varieties of freshwater turtles, skimmers, gangetic river dolphins, sarus
cranes, black-bellied terns, and black-necked storks, along with others.
The region is situated
within the partly-barren area of northwest India at the boundary of
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. The flora comprises narrow
valley, thorn jungle, a subcategory of the Northern Tropical Forests
(Sub-set 6B/C2 of the amended taxonomy of Champion & Seth, 1968). This
sub-category usually grows in less barren regions with 600–700 mm
precipitation. A few instances of Saline/Alkaline Babul Savannah (5E/8b), a
category of Northern Tropical Arid broad-leafed forest also grows in this
area. Evergreen riverbank plants are totally missing, with only spare
groundcover beside the rigorously weather-beaten riverbanks and adjoining
The partly barren territory in Madhya Pradesh
is characterized by Chambal drainage basin, stretching up to Betla and
Narmada Rivers. More than 1,000 blossoming plants have been found which
include Pendula, Anogeissus latifoia, Lannea coromandelica, Tectona grandis,
Sterculia urens, Diospyros melanoxylon, Butea monosperma, Mitragyna
parviflora, Boswellia serrata, Emblica officinalls, Hardwickia binata and
Class composition at ground level and bushes
is analogous to that of semi-parched areas of Gujarat. Some trailing plants
of this region include Atylosia, Rhynchosia, Cissampelos, Cocculus,
Pergularia daemia, Ipomoea, Tinospora cordifolia and Pueraria tuberosa
Small trees and thorny bushes usually seen in
this area include Balanites aegyptiaca, Capparis sepiaria, A. nilotica,
Acacia Senegal, Prosopis juliflora, Leucophloea, Maytenus emarginata, Butea
monosperma, Salvadora persica, Tamarix sp, Crotalaria medicaginea, S.
oleoides, C. burhia, Calotropis procera, Clerodendrum phlomidis, Leptadenia
pyrotechnica and Xanthium indicum
In addition, there are trailing plants or
vines coupled with these plants like Pergularia daemia, Maerua oblongifolia,
Ceropegia bulbosa, and herbaceous plants, for instance Farsetia hamiltonii,
Argemone mexicana, Cleome viscosa, Tephrosia purpurea, Glinus lotoides,
Tribulus terrestris, Rivea sp., Sericostoma pauciflorum, Pedalium murex,
Ipomoea sp., Lepidagathis sp, Sesamum mulayanum, Chrozophora sp., Boerhavia
diffusa, and pastures such as Fimbristylis sp., Cyprus sp., Cenchrus sp.,
Brachiaria sp., Dichanthium sp. etc.
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