Largest Lakes in India, Big Lakes in India

by Surojit Palmal
Largest Lakes in India

Water bodies are always a fascinating thing to witness and enjoy. From small ponds to lakes to rivers, seas and oceans each of the water bodies have their own importance. Maybe that is the reason why the topography of the land contains different kinds of water bodies. They serve different purposes and possess different characteristics. India as a country is home to millions of lakes. Moreover lakes are water bodies that lie completely in land. These are water bodies which are surrounded by land on all sides. These are fixed water bodies much bigger in size than ponds. However there are some of the largest lakes in India that are big and popular tourist spots as well.

These big lakes in India are a source of fresh water for many people in the surroundings. They can be artificial or manmade, saltwater or brackish. However in this article I will mention the top 10 largest lakes in India. You can keep this list of largest lakes in India handy when you are travelling. Surely these lakes deserve all the love and you need to visit them as well. So keep on reading about the largest lakes in India.

10 Largest Lakes in India

Vembanad Lake

Vembanad Lake
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Location: Kerala

Area: 2033 sq km

Vembanad Lake is the largest Indian lake that covers a huge area and is divided into three different districts of Kerala. Moreover this lake also shares its bank with Kumarakom, which is one of the popular tourist destinations there. Other than being one of the largest lakes in India it is also the longest as well and has a length of 96.5 km. This lake has different names like Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha, Kuttanad and Punnapra, Vembanadu Lake in Kottayam and Kochi Lake in Kochi. Furthermore this lake is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kerala.

One of the major highlights of this location is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race. In one portion of this lake this race takes place. Other than that this is a location for other water sports like snake boat races. This is one such lake that is fed by 10 rivers of Kerala. Out of the rivers 6 are major rivers in Kerala like Periyar, Manimala, Meenachil, Pamba, Achankovil and Muvattupuzha. As it shares its bank with Kumarakom it is one of the major attractions for people visiting there. You can also find the Kumarakom Bird sanctuary located on the northern side of the village of Kumarakom.

Also this lake is famous for its backwaters and houseboats. It is one of the major activities on this lake and many resorts are also located on the banks of the lake as well. So make sure you visit this picturesque location whenever you are in Kerala. Also don’t forget to enjoy the backwaters there.

Chilka Lake

Chilka Lake

Location: Odisha

Area: 1165 sq km

This is one of the largest lakes in India that is made of a total of 52 streams. Other than that this is the largest brackish water lagoon that is spread across districts of Puri, Ganjam and Khordha in Odisha. The length of Chilka Lake is 64 km. One of the major attractions of this lake is that it is one of the hotspots for migratory birds. During the winter season a number of birds visit this region along with some threatened species as well. The lake has recorded more than 160 varieties of birds here that come from various regions. Some of these birds even fly a distance of 12,000 km to reach the Chilka Lake. From Ladakh and even the Himalayas birds come here during winters.

Furthermore this lake is a rich source of fishery as well. More than 132 villages with more than 150, 000 fishermen sustain on this lake. Almost around 225 species of fishes and 350 species of non aquatic plants are present here. Activities like boating are extremely popular here. These boats can take you to places where you can even spot dolphins. Also the bird sanctuary located on Nalaban Island is a major point of attraction for tourists.

Shivaji Sagar Lake

Location: Maharashtra

Area: 891 sq km

The next name in the list of the largest lakes of India is the Shivaji Sagar Lake. This is basically an artificial lake that was created when the Koyna River was dammed. It has a length of 51 km and a depth of 80 metres. This lake is not much commercialised like many other lakes. However you can enjoy activities like boating, scooter boating and speed boating here. It can be one of the ideal destinations to spend some quality time alone amidst nature. Moreover the verdant greenery, fresh air as well as the serene ambience will win over your heart for sure.

Indira Sagar Lake

Location: Madhya Pradesh

Area: 627 sq km

This is the second largest artificial lake that came into being after damming the Narmada River. Moreover this is one of the largest lakes in India that is responsible for the supply of water for irrigation purposes. The nearby villages are completely dependent on this lake for the supply of water.

Pangong Tso Lake

Pangong Tso Lake

Location: Ladakh

Area: 700 sq km

This lake is again one of the largest lakes in India however a lot about this lake is special. It is one of the most scenic lakes that you can find in India. However 60% of this lake is a part of China while the rest lies in Ladakh. At the broadest point of this lake it is about 5 km wide. During the winter season this lake is fully covered in snow and remains frozen despite being a saline water body. An Inner Line Permit is required to visit this lake as it is located on the Sino India Line of Control.

In recent years this place has become a major tourist hot spot after this lake was featured in many Bollywood movies. What makes it even more alluring is that the lake is situated at an altitude of 4340 metres. The ideal time to visit here is from May to September when the ambience and temperature both remain in favor. Moreover the changing colour of the lake with the time is one of the most attractive things to notice here. However there is no permission for boating here for specific security reasons. Only with an official guide groups can enter the area. But this can ideally be one of the most amazing experiences to explore one of the largest lakes in India.

Pulicat Lake

Location: Andhra Pradesh

Area: 450 sq km

This is one of the largest lakes in India as well as the second largest brackish lake in India. However some parts of this lake lie in Andhra Pradesh while the rest of it lies in Tamil Nadu. One of the major attractions of this lake is bird watching. It can be a paradise for bird watchers and you can actually witness a variety of bird species here. From October to March mainly a huge number of migratory birds visit this location. One of the notable among them is flamingos as they are most suitable for inhabiting marshlands. Other than that you can also spot kingfishers, spoonbills, ducks etc here. At one time during the British time this region was a notable fishing village. And even today this is a major fishing spot. You can surely visit here if you have an inclination towards bird watching.

Sardar Sarovar Lake

Location: Gujarat, parts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra

Area: 375 sq km

This is again one of the artificial lakes as well as one of the largest lakes in India. The lake was created after damming Narmada River near Kevadiya, Gujarat. This lake is extremely important as it is responsible for supplying water as well as electricity to states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. This is also one of the popular tourist places in the region. A lot of popular tourist places are located nearby that makes it an even popular spot.

Nagarjuna Sagar Lake

Location: Telangana

Area: 285 sq km

This is one of the largest lakes in India and one of the lakes with prime importance as well. It is an artificial lake that was created after damming the river Krishna. Moreover this was a big project to boost the Green Revolution as well. This lake is of prime importance when it comes to supply of water in the nearby regions. However at present this lake is also one of the most popular tourist destinations as well. With activities like boating and picnic this is a lively spot to spend some time with family and friends.


Loktak Lake

Location: Manipur

Area: 287 sq km

This is a popular and one of the largest lakes in India. One of the specialities of this lake is the Phumdis which are floating vegetation that looks like islands. Additionally this is a freshwater lake which is largest in South Asia. This lake is one of the most important sources of water for the people of Manipur. Other than that for generation of hydro power, and irrigation this one serves as an important source. However this lake is presently facing a lot of threats due to human misuse. There had been actions in order to save this lake from these issues as well.

Wular Lake

Location: Jammu and Kashmir

Area: 260 sq km

Tectonic activities are the reason behind the formation of this lake in Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the largest lakes in India along with being the largest freshwater lake in India. Moreover, it is one of the most picturesque lakes ever that offers gorgeous views. You can spot a variety of birds here like rock dove, Himalayan Monal, woodpecker, golden oriole etc. With a variety of water activities this is one of the most popular tourist destinations as well.

Wrapping Up!

All these largest lakes in India are not just astonishing sites for their sizes. They are also one of the richest sources of water for the people habituating nearby as well. Alongside being big lakes in India they are also responsible for the water supply and so many people depend on them. You need to keep this list of largest lakes in India handy with you. And whenever you get time make sure you include them in your itinerary. Let me know if you have visited any of these lakes already. Also let me know if this particular article is helpful for you to know about the largest lakes of India.

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