With an unexpected half-day in Agra, we decided to take the advice of our good friend Mohit Aggarwal, a birder and the director of Asian Adventures, to take a small boat out on the Chambal River. The recommendation was made because Mohit knew we still had never seen an Indian Skimmer and the Chambal near the town of Bah, southeast of Agra, was one of the best places to find them in Northern India. We made the trip with Trigun Vir Singh Pathania, a friend of Mohit’s who lives near the river and had access to a boat with an outboard motor. The trip from Agra to the Chambal took a little over an hour.
The Chambal River is a 650-mile river flowing from the Vindhya Mountains of north-central India eastward into the Jumna River. The Jumna, in turn, originates in the Himalayas and empties into the Ganges River. The Chambal is one of the few places remaining in India with enough unpolluted water that it can support Ganges River Dolphins. We saw several. And we were surprised at how clear the water looked affording views of the river bottom even in water as deep as five or six feet. And there was little or no human habitation that we could see along the few miles we had time (about three hours) to explore.