The 965km long Chambal is the largest and most important river of western MP. This river was referred to as Punya in the 4th century b.c. epic, the Mahabharata, and as Charmanavati in the Puranas which are ancient Hindu texts.It is said that King Ranti Dev (one of the successors of King Bharata, Lord Rama’s brother) had sacrificed cows to honour his guests. The blood that oozed out of the cows’ charmas (skin) turned into a river named Charmanavati.
The river Chambal originates from the Janapav Mountain in the Vindhya Range, and flows northeast through Ujjain, Ratlam and Mandsaur, before entering Rajasthan. It reenters Madhya Pradesh after meandering through parts of Rajasthan and touches Moraina and Bhind. Here are the infamous Chambal Ravines that have been and still are the safest refuge for dacoits.