India is a land with several lakes as a part of its water retention. The lakes are water bodies surrounded by land. They are necessarily much bigger than ponds. There are some large lakes in India that are often confused as a river because of its huge area. The difference between a lake and a river lies in the way it flows. Lakes can be natural, man made or artificial, and they can be freshwater or saltwater lakes as well.
So in your next travel plans try to include visiting any of the lakes in India because there is certainly something effortlessly peaceful about it. According to Hindu mythology, lakes were considered as a resting place for several Gods. They are also a part of people’s lives around it. In this article I will share with you the largest lakes of India. If you want to know everything about the top 10 largest lakes in India, then keep on reading this article.
Area Covered: 2033 sq km
Type– Brackish Water
The largest lake in India, Vembanad Lake is spread across three districts of Kerala. It also shares its bank with Kumarakom, which is another famous tourist destination in Kerala. The lake is famous for its backwater and attracts a huge chunk of tourists who enjoy house boating and bird watching there. This lake is not only the largest but also the longest lake in India stretching up to 96.5 km. On the east coast of the lake you will find the famous Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary which is a very famous tourist spot.
Area Covered: 1165 sq km
Depth- 4.2 m
Type- Brackish Water
52 streams coming together form the Chilika Lake. This is the largest lagoon in India. Spread over the districts of Puri, Ganjam and Khordha this pear shaped lagoon is home for many migratory birds during winter season. As many as 132 villages are dependent on this lake for their fishing activities, and that makes this lake an important one. One of the main attractions here is the bird sanctuary on Nalaban Island. There are other islands as well like Breakfast Island, Beacon Island, Honeymoon Island, and Bird’s Island etc. A popular activity here is spotting the dolphins. You can take boat rides and enjoy the scenic beauty in the form of much needed refreshment.
Shivaji Sagar Lake
Area Covered: 891.7 sq km
Depth– 80 m
Type- Freshwater and Artificial
Shivaji Sagar Lake also known as the Shivsagar Lake is the largest artificial freshwater lake in India. After damming the Koyna River this lake is formed. This is not really a travel destination but you can still think of visiting this place to spend some quiet time with yourself or your family and friends along the banks. It’s a perfect spot for picnics and a day out.
Indira Sagar Lake
Location: Madhya Pradesh
Area Covered: 627 sq km
Type– Freshwater and Artificial
The Indira Sagar Lake was formed after damming the Narmada River. This is the second largest artificial lake of India. It is a major source of power in India and is one of the major suppliers of water in nearby villages for irrigation purposes.
Pangong Tso Lake
Area Covered: 700 sq km
This lake is situated at an altitude of 4340 metres. This saltwater lake is one of the saltiest in the world. In spite of its saline content this lake freezes during the winter months. During the winter months all roads leading to this lake are covered in snow. It is ideal to visit here during May to September when the roads are mostly clear. This lake is spread across a huge area and 60% of it lies in China. This lake became famous after it was featured in a lot of Bollywood movies. The lake is also famous for its colour changing with time.
Location: Andhra Pradesh
Area Covered: 450 sq km
Depth- 10 m
Type- Brackish Water
The second largest brackish water lake, Pulicat Lake is also one of the largest lakes in India. A section of this lake also lies in the Tamil Nadu District. The Tamil Nadu side of this lake is more popular as a fishing spot. Bird watching is a popular activity here as this lake is home to many birds that visit here during autumn and spring seasons. You can spot spoonbills, kingfishers, flamingo and ducks here. A Flamingo Festival is held every year during December which is a three day festival and attracts a lot of tourists.
Sardar Sarovar Lake
Area Covered: 375 sq km
Depth– 140 m
Type– Freshwater and Artificial
This lake was formed after Damming the Narmada River in Gujarat. It is one of the most popular man made lakes in India. There are a lot of temples and monuments around the lake but the main attraction here is the Statue of Unity which is situated nearby. The lake is spread across the districts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. This lake is getting popular day by day and a lot of water activities are also under development.
Nagarjuna Sagar Lake
Area Covered: 287 sq km
Type- Artificial and Freshwater
Nagarjuna Sagar Lake was created after damming the Krishna River. The lake spread across the Nalgonda district in Telangana and Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh. This is the tallest masonry dam in India with 124 m height. The dam was made as part of the Green Revolution Project to boost Hydroelectricity Power. This has become a great spot for tourists nowadays. Popular activities here include picnics and boating. One of the nearby attractions for tourists is the Ethipothala Falls.
Area Covered: 285 sq km
Depth– 4.6 m
The Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in North East India. It is mostly famous for Phumdis, which are large masses of floating vegetation that almost look like small floating islands. You will spot a number of wetland birds and other water birds here. One major attraction here is the fruit of the lotus flower known as Rhizome which is edible. The lake is almost on the verge of disappearing because of human misuse. So make sure you visit this lake soonest before it completely loses its charm.
Location: Jammu and Kashmir
Area Covered: 260 sq km
The Wular Lake is the largest freshwater lake in India also known as Wolar in Kashmir. It is also one of the largest freshwater lakes in South Asia. The formation of this lake is due to tectonic activities. The lush greenery, snowy mountains around the sprawling lake attracts a major chunk of tourists. The size of this lake drastically changes every year which is very unique. The lake is also home to several migratory birds like common cuckoo, golden oriole, Himalayan woodpecker, Himalayan monal etc. Water sports like skiing and boating are popular tourist activities here.
The lakes in India are packed with beauty, richness as well as utility. They are the biggest source of water supply in a lot of regions. These largest lakes in India surely deserve a special mention. They are a beautiful sight for travel enthusiasts and if you are someone who enjoys being around water then these lakes are a must visit for you. Have you visited any of these lakes in India? If not then which one are you visiting first? Let me know.
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