Lakes in India: List of Important Lakes in India, Largest Lake in India

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : November 3rd, 2022

Lakes in India are found in several landscapes like plateaus, hilly areas, rift zones, plains, etc. India has fresh water to natural lakes in almost all the states and union territories. Most of the lakes in India have mythological importance and are a center for tourism for their beauty. Even Asia's largest freshwater lake, Wular lake, is a part of Indian geography.

Lakes in India are highly important for the UPSC Exam concerning the geography syllabus. Below you will learn about the types of lakes in India, a list of important lakes, and facts about Indian lakes emphasizing the largest lakes in India and their importance.

Table of Content

Lakes in India

Lake is a surface water body that is surrounded by land. Rivers will be outlets or inlets to the lakes, i.e., lakes take the water from rivers or act as a water source. Lakes are found in landscapes like Hilly areas, plains, plateaus, rift zones, etc. There are many lakes, of which 62 are important lakes in India, i.e., lakes in almost all the states and Union territories.

Type of Lakes in India

India is a land with many water bodies, including lakes, rivers, and other water bodies. Lakes are significant sources that add to the land's natural beauty. The lakes are formed from the water that comes from rain, streams, snow, melting ice, and groundwater seepage. Based on the source of water, the types of lakes in India are as follows:

Lakes in India PDF

  • Freshwater Lakes - They are unsalted water that is usually found in low-lying areas. These are fed from rivers, streams, and runoff from the surrounding area. The largest freshwater lake in India is Wular Lake.
  • Saltwater Lakes - As the name suggests, the saltwater lake contains a concentration of salts and other dissolved minerals significantly higher than most lakes (at least 3 grams per litre of water).
  • Artificial Lakes - It is a man-made lake that is used to store water for public use.
  • Oxbow Lakes - It is formed when a wide meander of a river is cut off. A lake is then formed when the river finds a different shorter course.
  • Crater Lakes - It is created from the collapse or explosive activity of volcanic eruptions.

List of the Important Lakes in India [State-Wise]

Here is a table of the important lakes in India with their location.

Lakes in India

District

State/UT

Types of Lakes

Pulicat Lake

Sullurpet

Andhra Pradesh

Brackish Water

Kolleru Lake

Vijayawada

Andhra Pradesh

Freshwater

Nagarjuna Sagar

Nalgonda

Andhra Pradesh

Freshwater

Haflong Lake

Silchar

Assam

Freshwater

DeeporBeel

Kamrup

Assam

Freshwater (Tectonically formed)

Son Beel

Karimganj

Assam

Freshwater

Chandubi lake

Kamrup

Assam

Oxbox (Freshwater)

Kanwar Lake

Begusarai

Bihar

Oxbox (Freshwater)

Hamirsar lake

Kutch

Gujarat

Artificial

Kankaria lake

Ahmedabad

Gujarat

Artificial

Narayan Sarovar

Kutch

Gujarat

Artificial Freshwater

Thol Lake

Mehsana

Gujarat

Lentic lake

Vastrapur

Ahmedabad

Gujarat

Freshwater

Badkal Lake

Faridabad

Haryana

Freshwater

Blue Bird Lake

Hisar

Haryana

Freshwater

Brahma Sarovar

Thaneswar

Haryana

Freshwater

Damdama Lake

Sohna

Haryana

Freshwater

Karna

Karnal

Haryana

Freshwater

Tilyar

Rohtak

Haryana

Freshwater ((canal inflow)

Chandra Taal

Lahul and Spiti

Himachal Pradesh

Sweetwater lake

Suraj Taal

Lahul and Spiti

Himachal Pradesh

Freshwater (High Altitude)

Maharana Pratap Sagar

Kangra

Himachal Pradesh

Freshwater

Prashar lake

Mandi

Himachal Pradesh

Holomitic (Freshwater)

Agara lake

Bangalore

Karnataka

Freshwater

Bellandur Lake

Bangalore

Karnataka

Freshwater

Karanji lake

Mysore

Karnataka

-

Ulsoor lake

Bangalore

Karnataka

Stale water

Kukarahalli lake

Mysore

Karnataka

Freshwater

Honnamana

Kodagu

Karnataka

Freshwater

Pampa Sarovar

Hampi

Karnataka

Freshwater

Ashtamudi Kayal

Kollam

Kerala

Brackish water

Kuttanad

Alappuzha, Kottayam

Kerala

Brackish water

Vembanad

_

Kerala

Brackish water

Shashtamkotta

Kollam

Kerala

Freshwater

Bhojtal

Bhopal

Madhya Pradesh

Freshwater

Salim Ali

Aurangabad

Maharashtra

Freshwater

Shivsagar

Satara

Maharashtra

Freshwater

Lonar lake

Buldhana

Maharashtra

Crater lake

Loktak lake

-

Manipur

Lenticular freshwater

Umiam

Shillong

Meghalaya

Freshwater

Tam Dil

Saitual

Mizoram

Freshwater

Chilika lake

Puri

Orissa

Brackish water

Kanjia lake

Bhubaneswar

Orissa

Freshwater

Harike

Ferozepur

Punjab

Freshwater

Rupar

Rupnagar

Punjab

Freshwater

Kanjli

Kapurthala

Punjab

Freshwater

Sambhar lake

Sambhar Lake-town

Rajasthan

Saltwater

Rajsamand

Rajsamand

Rajasthan

Freshwater

Tsomgo lake

East Sikkim

Sikkim

Freshwater

Khecheoplari

West Sikkim

Sikkim

Freshwater

Ooty lake

Nilgiris

Tamil Nadu

Freshwater

Chembarambakkam

Chennai

Tamil Nadu

Artificial lake

Hussain Sagar

Hyderabad

Telangana

Artificial lake

Badrakali lake

Warangal

Telangana

Freshwater

Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar

Sonbhadra

Uttar Pradesh

Man-made lake

Belasagar

Kulpahar

Uttar Pradesh

Freshwater

Bhimtal

Nainital

Uttarakhand

Freshwater

East Calcutta wetlands

Calcutta

West Bengal

Brackish water

List of Important Lakes in Indian Union Territories

The given list provides you with a list of famous lakes in Indian Union Territories:

State

Lakes in India

District

Type of Lakes

Facts/Description

Chandigarh

Sukhna Lake

Chandigarh

Reservoir

-

Ladakh

Tso Moriri or Lake Moriri

Ladakh

Brackish

Known as 'Mountain Lake'

Tso Kar

Ladakh

Fluctuating Salt Lake

-

Pangong Tso

Leh

-

-

Jammu & Kashmir

Dal lake

Srinagar

Warm monomitic

Remnants of the past glacial period

Nageen Lake

Srinagar

Eutrophic Lake

Seldomly considered to be a part of Dal Lake

Pangong Tso

Ladakh

Endorheic Lake (saline water)

Indo-China Border

Wular lake

Bandipora

Tectonic lake (freshwater)

The largest freshwater lake in India

TsoMoriri

Ladakh

Saltwater

High altitude lake

West Bengal

East Calcutta wetlands

Calcutta

Brackish water

Ramsar wetland

Puducherry

Bahour Lake

Puducherry

-

The second largest lake in Puducherry

Ousteri Lake

Puducherry

Man-Made Lake

(Important Wetlands in India)

It is also called Ossudu Lake as it is located in the village named Ossudu.

It is the largest lake of Puducherry.

Velrampet Lake

Puducherry

-

-

Nallambal Lake

Karaikal

Artificial Lake

Famous Lakes in India

A few of these important lakes of India are explained below:

  • Kolleru Lake - It is located in one of the largest freshwater lakes located between Godavari and Krishna delta in Andhra Pradesh. It is home to many migratory birds, with Atapaka Bird Sanctuary at its belt.
  • Sambhar Lake - It is the largest inland salt lake in India in Rajasthan. This lake has mythological meaning. As per Mahabharat, this lake was part of king Brishparva's kingdom.
  • Wular Lake - The Wular lake is situated in Jammu Kashmir, covering an area of 10km in breadth and 24km in length. It is the largest freshwater lake in India and stands second on the list of Asia's largest freshwater lakes.
  • Pulicat Lake - It is situated in Andhra Pradesh. Along with the lake, Pulicat Bird Sanctuary, with birds like kingfishers, flamingos, sight storks, etc., is a source of tourism.
  • Pushkar Lake - It is another Hindu sacred lake in Rajasthan. It is described as the Tritha-Guru in Hindu scripts.
  • Sasthamcotta Lake - It is Kerala's largest freshwater lake that is surrounded by hills on three sides. Along with the lake, the ancient Sastha temple is the center of attraction for tourists.
  • Vembanad Lake - The Aranmula temple, the Vaikom, and Thyckkal beaches along the side of the Vembanad of Kerala have importance in terms of tourism. The park along it accounts for attracting people to the beauty.

Largest Lake in India

The largest lake in India is the Vembanad Lake. It is the largest lake in India, situated in the district of Kerela, with an area of 2033 sq. km. The top 10 largest lakes in India, along with the states, are as follows:

List of Biggest Lakes in India

State/UT

Area covered (Increasing order)

Wular lake

Jammu and Kashmir

260 sq km

Loktak Lake

Manipur

285 sq km

Nagarjuna Sagar Lake

Telangana

287 sq km

Sardar Sarovar Lake

Gujarat

375 sq km

Pulicat Lake

Andhra Pradesh

450 sq. km

Pangong Lake

Ladakh

627 sq. km

Indira Sagar lake

Madhya Pradesh

700 sq. km

Shivaji Sagar Lake

Maharashtra

891.7 sq km

Chilika Lake

Odisha

1165 sq km

Vembanad Lake

Kerala

2033 sq km

Uses of Lakes in India

India has about 4% of the global freshwater, but unfortunately, the country is facing the worst water crisis ever. In such a scenario, the lakes hold a great deal of importance to India. Here are some of the importance that the lakes in India provide to us:

  • Drinking water
  • Irrigation
  • Navigation
  • Water storage
  • Livelihood (fishing, etc.)
  • Home to aquatic animals
  • Impact on microclimate, etc.

Lakes in India UPSC Facts

Lakes in India UPSC is an important segment of the IAS Exam. Here are some of the commonly asked questions about Lakes in India. Read the essential facts about the famous lakes in India.

CriteriaName of the LakeState/UT
Largest freshwater lake in IndiaWular LakeJammu and Kashmir
Largest Artificial Lake in IndiaGovind Vallabh Pant SagarSonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh
Highest lake in India (Altitude)Cholamu lakeSikkim
Largest Saline water lake in IndiaChilka LakeOdisha
Longest Lake in IndiaVembanad lakeKerala

Lakes in India UPSC Questions

A few questions have been asked in the UPSC Prelims and Mains exam from Lakes of India UPSC topic. Some of the questions asked are as follows-

Question - Which of the following is valid about lakes in India?

  1. Most of the lakes in the world are freshwater lakes.
  2. In regions of low precipitation and intense evaporation, lakes are saline.

Select the correct answer from the following codes

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer - C

Question - Consider the following statement with respect to Wular Lake.

  1. It is located in Kashmir
  2. It was created by Tectonic activity
  3. It is fed by the river Jhelum

Select the correct option:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer - D

Question - What are the famous lakes in India, and how are they important? Explain any five of them. [UPSC Mains]

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FAQs on Lakes in India

  • There are a lot of famous lakes in India spread across different states and union territories. A few among them are Bhimtal Lake- Uttarakhand, Loktak Lake- Manipur, Chilika Lake- Odisha, Pushkar Lake- Rajasthan, Dal Lake- Jammu and Kashmir, Damdama Lake- Haryana, and Bhojtal Lake- Madhya Pradesh.

  • The largest lake in India is the Vembanad Lake situated in three different districts of Kerala. It covers an area of about 2033 sq. km. It is famous for photography, birdwatching, and backwater house-boating.

  • The biggest brackish water lake in India is the Chilka Lake in Odisha. It is a brackish water lagoon that is spread over the Khurda, Ganjam, and Puri districts of Odisha and covers an area of 1165 sq. km. It experiences a large number of migratory birds during winters.

  • Sasthamkotta lake, a wetland located 29 km from Kollam, is called the Queen of lakes in India. It is a pilgrimage centre and is named after an ancient temple of Hindus- Sastha temple.

  • Sambhar Salt Lake is the largest saltwater lake in India. Sambhar lake or the ephemeral salt lake is situated in the west of Jaipur and east-central of Rajasthan with an area of 230 sq. km.

  • Udaipur is known as the city of lakes in India. Udaipur has a lot of palaces built around beautiful lakes by the kings to enjoy nature’s beauty. The few famous lakes of Udaipur include Swaroop Sagar, Rajsamand Lake, Jaisamand Lake, and Pichola Lake.

  • The important freshwater lakes in India are :

    • Wular Lake (Jammu and Kashmir)
    • Shivaji Sagar lake (Maharashtra)
    • Indira Sagar Lake (Madhyapradesh)
    • Sardar Sarovar Lake (Gujarat) etc.

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