“When you run on the earth and with the earth, you can run forever.”
The Chambal Challenge race route is meticulously designed keeping in mind incorporation of winding hilly roads, tarmac and trails. The run begins from Green Valley Resorts on the outskirts of Kota and goes on through the famous Kota Hanging bridge over the Chambal river.
The route traces its path along the river to the Grand Canyon of India, ‘Garadiya Mahadev’,
a temple, which affords spectacular views of the Chambal river and then crosses through the Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve.
The route takes you through a thick forest up on a hilltop overlooking the Jawahar Sagar Dam before taking you downhill over a rugged, broken down road through the Jawahar Sagar colony to cross the dam while delighting runners with an unobstructed view of the river.
It then enters into the thick reserved forest (no entry without a permit) on to a rugged jungle trail (sharp stone edges, undulated and uneven ground surface) for 16 km (no barefooting even if you are a hardcore barefooter). This area is heaven for Ultrarunners as this is as natural as it can be. It offers some of the most spectacular views of Chambal on one side with huge rock faces on the other side. Before long you would realize that you are running through a gorge along with the river. The area is home to several species of deer, sloth bears, and leopards and a 600-year-old Ambarani Mandir, which anecdotally is known as the place where dacoits used to split their booty.
This delightful feeling is soon replaced by a dare with a 4 km steep uphill that takes you on the hill top on the other side of the river to the Borabaas village. You can take a much needed respite and a midcourse replenishment here.
From Borabaas route takes you through three wildlife sanctuaries: Darrah Wildlife Sanctuary on left, Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary on your right, and Jawahar Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary you left behind in a series of ups and downs, twist and turns till you reach 10th Century Baroli Temple.
It consists of temple structures built in the Gurjara-Pratihara architectural style, with exquisitely carved stonework. There are 8 major temples in Baroli which are of great architectural interest.
From Baroli temple you enter into the Rawatbhata Town and cross the main town market with shops, eateries and a crowd of fascinated onlookers wondering what’s happening. The race is about to finish and by this time most runners are tired, hurt and moving slow when they suddenly encounter the most spectacular and magnificent view of Chambal while crossing the Rana Pratap Sagar Dam. The finish line is just after crossing the Dam at the Erector’s hostel whic gives you birds eye view of the Dam and the Rawat Bhata Atomic Power Plant.
The race crosses the mighty Chambal River thrice and keeps you captivated and engaged till the last 100 meters by constantly providing an opportunity to witness several species of endangered animals, birds, Gharial, historical monuments, spectacular landscapes and gigantic man made structure (dams) that control the flow of the river.