That’s the thing about lakes in India; it sparkles in the sunshine and are usually complemented with lush green surrounding and playful birds. The tweets and breeze around it make the lake a peaceful spot for unwinding. Sometimes, you don’t need constant movements and loud honks of the city.
Sometimes all you need is to do is behold the sight of ripples shattering the reflection of the surrounding. Lakes are indeed a magnificent creation of God, and human. Here in this blog, we will talk about some of the best lakes in India. Some of these lakes are popular for history, some for the thriving wildlife, some for birds and some for their high altitude.
Lakes in Leh Ladakh
Pangong Tso Lake
The sparkling blue Pangong Lake is one of the natural wonders of Ladakh. Snuggled amid the ‘land of high passes’ the lake lies at an altitude of 4350 m. Stretching between India and Tibet, this scenic lake with a backdrop of the barren Himalayas is one of the highest in the world.
Of special note is the charm of the lake changing colors. It displays every shade of blue. Camping along Pangong is a special delight as is watching the sunrise. A mention of the most beautiful lakes in India deserves a mention of Pangong Lake.
Tso Moriri meaning the ‘Mountain Lake’ is among the highest lakes in India. The beautiful location of Ladakh contributes much to its charm. It is nestled in the Rupshu Valley, a part of the Changthang Plateau. A picturesque view is what lures you for a visit but the view of colorful birds at such heights is truly spectacular.
Go camping by the lake, bird watching, enjoying the sunset and take a break from life amid bliss. Changspa, the nomadic herd in Ladakh are often spotted here with their lifestyle stock.
Tso Kar Lake
One of the high altitudes lakes in Ladakh, Tso Kar is among the most beautiful lakes in India. Also known as ‘White Lake’ it is very popular for thrilling bird watching opportunities and blessed wildlife. The backdrop of mountains as far as the eye can see only enhance its beauty!
Go offbeat the beaten path in Ladakh to get to the lake and soak in its bliss.
Suraj Tal Lake
Located in the popular Lahaul and Spiti Valley, this beautiful lake is the third highest lake of India. In fact Bhaga River originates from Suraj Tal, which further joins other rivers and in Jammu & Kashmir people call it Chenab River. This lake is a must visit for trekkers and bikers who love to spend precious time in the outback.
This sapphire gem, amid lush grasslands and beside the pagoda-like temple looks like a dream. Parashar Lake is considered to be divine and is dedicated to Sage Parashar. The temple is too is dedicated to him and dates back to thirteenth century; legend says a baby built it from a single tree. Located at an elevation of 2730 meters the lake offers a picturesque panorama to behold.
Lying at an elevation of 4300 meters in Kullu (Himachal Pradesh), Bhrigu Lake is a treasure for the trekkers. No human settlement across miles makes it an unspoiled and tranquil place to relax. The lake is named after Sage Maharishi Bhrigu, who (according to legends) used to meditate here. People believe it has been purified and thus never freezes completely. This is one of the best lakes in Himachal Pradesh.
The largest lake of Himachal Pradesh, Ranuka lake get their name on Goddess Renuka is bound with legends that claim this lake is sacred. Soaring green hills in the background and lilies floating upon the glistening lake add to the picturesque panorama. Travelers have to option to go for, zoo visit or lion safari here. Renuka Fair held annually near the lake takes place on the eve of Pradodhini Ekadashi. People from different parts of the country come to pay homage and witness the divine meeting of Lord Parshuram and his mother Renuka Ji.
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Lakes in Uttarakhand
This pear-shaped freshwater lake is located on the foothills of Kumaon Hills. Naini lake in Nainital one of the top attractions in Uttarakhand and amongst the most popular lakes of India. People come here to enjoy boating and the soulful panorama of gigantic hills with flourishing vegetation. Enormous number of flora and fauna species prevails in this lake’s vicinity.
Supporting immense aquatic life around it, this lake happens to be a sojourn of Trans Himalayan birds during winter. The islet in the center is one of its major attractions. Boating in Bhimtal lake is ideal especially when the sun sets down, beyond the lofty hills and leaves behind a brilliant tinge in the sky.
Mystery Lake is Roopkund’s Lake another name owing to a hundred human skeletons found at its edge. This is an ideal destination to visit in Uttarakhand for offbeat travelers or trekkers, as this lies at a high elevation of 5029 meters. Its mysterious mischief does not make it look any less beautiful by any means; the vicinity is still regarded as a picturesque and popular tourist destination of Garhwal District.
Dodital Situated at a height of 3024 meters above sea level, Dodital Lake is a freshwater lake in Uttarakhand. Legend says Lord Ganesha chose this place to be his abode, and his temple brings further divinity in the ambiance. There are a couple of rest houses around the lake where you can book a stay by taking permissions from the Forest Office in Uttarkashi.
In a short trek from the villages of Mastura and Sari lies Deoria Tal encircled with woods, greenery and snowcapped peaks. Its name owes to the belief that devas (gods) used to bathe in this lake. Also, it is believed that the Pandavas were asked questions here by Yaksha. Above all, the lake is renowned for sheer pleasure it provides with its serene.
Somewhere near Nainital lays a small hill-station, Naukuchiatal; and its lake is one of its prime attractions. Naukuchiatal Lake is the deepest of all in Nainital Region (175 feet deep). View of the soaring hill and the chirps of birds around the lake make it a perfect spot for rejuvenation. Also tourists can try their hands on rowing, paddling and yachting as well.
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Lakes in Rajasthan
Situated in the City of Lakes, Udaipur, Lake Pichola is a historic creation dating back to 1362 AD. Remnants of Maharajas like the Lake Palace and Jagmandir on small islets located on the lake make whole landscape worth beholding. Tufted ducks, coots, kingfisher; indeed a rich biodiversity is a priceless possession on and around the lake. Lake Pichola is considered to be one of the most romantic lakes of India; thanks to its refreshing and pleasing aura.
Located in the only hill-station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu, this lake is a perfect place to tackle the heat amid refreshing surrounding and picturesque panorama. Hindu legends are associated with Nakki lake and it is believed that it was dug out using nails. The ancient and sacred lake is beloved by large number of tourists visiting Rajasthan.
One of the most precious attribute of this lake is that it is located amid the popular Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary of Rajasthan. The park is also popular for its wildlife attractions, which includes boar painted storks, sambar, jacanas, fishing eagles, pied kingfisher, Siberian crane etc. Other attractions around Bharatpur Lake are Bharatpur Palace, Lohagarh Fort, Deeg Palace and Bharatpur Museum.
Pushkar Lake is located in Rajasthan and Hindu scriptures describe it as Tirtha Raj, which means the king of all pilgrimage sites. The lake is associated with Lord Brahma, the creator of universe; whose prominent temple stands in close proximity to the lake. Ancient coins dating to 4th century BC have mentions of this lake.
One of the lakes in the City of Lakes (Udaipur), Rajsamand is mainly fed by Gomti River. The Nau Chowki in its embankment (nine pavilions), was built by Maharana Raj and is a delight to behold. The structure has carvings and sculptures of chariots, sun, gods, birds etc. It is known to be one of the longest etchings in India and the history of Mewar has been inscribed on its marbles.
Fateh Sagar Lake
Fateh Sagar Lake is located in The City of Lakes, Udaipur. Within the lake, there are three islands which have Nehru Park, Udaipur Solar Observatory and another public park each. It was constructed in 1687 by Maharana Jai Singh. The lake overlooks hillocks of the Aravali Mountain Ranges and the rugged ruins of the erstwhile rulers.
While heading to Sariska Tiger Reserve, stopover at Siliserh Lake. With a beautiful backdrop of Arvali Hills, this lake sprawls over 7 sq km. The Lake Palace is one of the most notable sights around the lake and it looks even more beautiful from its terrace.
Dating back to 1159 Balsamand Lake is a popular picnic spot and was originally built as a water source for the people of Mandore. Lush green landscapes woven by groves of trees like plum, mango, pomegranate, papaya and guava surround the lake. Also, an expansive wildlife calls this area home.
Man Sagar Lake
With a beautiful palace situated amid, Man Safar Lake is amongst the most popular attractions of Jaipur. This picturesque panorama of the area attracts tourists and photographers. However boating and other activities are not performed on the lake, but you can feed wheat-balls (available near the lake) to the fishes of the lake.
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Lakes in Haryana
Badhkal Lake is a manmade lake in Faridabad (Haryana), amidst Aravalli Mountain Range. Every spring season, The Flower Show is held here that intensifies the number of tourist visits of this lake. This is a popular tourist attraction of Faridabad where you can find many eateries around. Also, Peacock Lake in the close proximity is a worth-visiting spot as well.
As the suns starts to ascend hundreds of migratory and local birds are found around this lake, chirping and frolicking. Sultanpur Lake is located in Sultanpur Ntional Park, Haryana. The lake and its surrounding are ideal for lovers of bird-watching. Lush greenery and pleasant ambience is magnet for these beautiful birds. Especially during winter season, tourists from different parts of the country visit the place and easy accommodation are also available for them.
A popular picnic spot and an ideal getaway from Delhi, Damdama Lake is located in Haryana, 60 kilometers from the National Capital. This is the biggest natural lake in Haryana and is indeed one of the most popular picnic spots of the state. With Aravali Hill Range spread in the background it feels pleasurable to indulge in enormous activities like boating, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, cycling, angling, parasailing etc.
Lakes in Gujarat
A lake with a full-fledged resort and lush green hills, this is a perfect spot for a happy family time. When you are not boating on the lake, you have wider options like swimming pool, theater, museum, parks, museum, and ropeway; or to simply lay back and sip a cup of tea in your hotel room. You can hop in the Artist Village to get the taste of heritage, or to the sanctuary, gardens, Sunset Point, Sunrise Point and Gira Falls at a short distance.
Nal Sarovar Lake
Sprawling over 115 km sq, Nal Sarovar Lake is a seasonal lake in Gujarat. It is known for water birds which have called it home. Flamingoes are found around the lake having a peaceful time. Storks, kingfisher, cormorants, jacanas, moorhens, coots, grebes, ducks, egrets and several others birds can be sighted here in abundance.
Lakes in Madhya Pradesh
Upper Lake, Bhopal
Also known as Bhojtal, Upper Lake is a major source of drinking water for the people in Bhopal City. Fishing and tourism are two other main activities associated with it. Boat Club established in its eastern side serves visitors with various activities like boating, canoeing, rafting, water skiing, parasailing etc. On its south-eastern side is Van Vihar National Park; another delight for tourists.
Lakes in Bihar
Kanwar Lake, Bihar
What makes Kanwar Lake worth your while is the fact that this acts as a haven for thousands of birds, even those belonging to far-off regions. This meandering lake is amongst Asia’s largest freshwater lake, and covers 67.5 km sq of area. The lake is three times the size of Bharatpur Sanctuary of Rajasthan. This indeed is one of the best places for bird-watching in Bihar.
Lakes in Maharashtra
Lonar Crater Lake
This unusual Lake has its history dating back to 50000 years, when a million-ton weighed meteorite hit earth’s surface and created a 150 meters deep impression. It has a diameter of 1.83 km and is world’s third largest crater. Profusely endowed with large variety of flora and fauna around it, this lake is situated far away from the screeches of city.
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Lakes in Kerala
Vembanad Lake in Kerala is the largest lake in south India, with the popular Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the east coast. Usually travelers spend their pleasurable time skimming upon it, aboard a kettuvalam (the traditional houseboats of Kerala). This is a perfect lake to enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding. Fishing is also one of the most common activities in Vembanad Lake.
Located in the Kollam district in Kerala, Ashtamudi Lake is the most visited backwater and lake in Kerala. The lake is palm-shaped and acts as an entrance to Kerala Backwaters; traditional houseboats (Kettuvalam) cruise on the lake and that’s what makes it more popular. Profusely encircled with rich vegetation, Ashtamudi Lake is the very spot for you if you long peace.
Acclaimed for the expansive paddy fields encircling it, Kuttanad Lake is one of the best lakes in Kerala. This is one of the few places in the world where plantation is performed below sea level, and it is the major rice granary of Kerala. Also there are four rivers that flow in the vicinity, viz. Pampa, Manimala, Meenachil and Achankovil.
Set amid the popular Periyar National Park of Kerala, this lake is an ideal way to experience wildlife in their natural habitat. 35 species of mammals, 265 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles and 40 species of fishes are found in and around the lake. And as the national park is located at a high elevation the climate always stays pleasant and the temperature does not go above 31 degrees Celsius.
Lakes in Tamilnadu
Located in Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal Lake is one of most popular tourist attractions of Kodaikanal. There are varied boating activities that are in full swing round the year to keep the travelers engaged. Every summer season boat pageant and flowers shows are held that attracts more tourists from different parts of the world.
Making up to its name, Emerald Lake of Ooty is located in a region called Silent Valley. Different species of fishes and birds make the lake stand out. Emerald Lake is an important attraction of the region notable for sunrise and sunset view points. It is profusely surrounded by tea plantations where visitors can buy some of the best tea leaves of India. At a short distance is Red Hill Nature Resort that offers everything from accommodation to adventure tours.
The second largest brackish lakes in India, after Chilika Lake; Pulicat Lake is located on the Coromandal Coast. It borders Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The lake quenches the thirst of several resident and migratory birds and this caused to the formation of Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary.
Lakes in Andhra Pradesh
Husain Sagar Lake
The pride of Hyderabad stretching over 5.7 kilometers, Hussain Sagar Lake is adjacent to many other highlights of the city. The monolithic statue of Lord Buddha has been standing amid the lake since 1992. Then there are thriving gardens for picnics like Lumbini Park that has boating facilities, auditorium and musical fountain; and Sanjeevaiah Park that has won the Best Open Landscape Award. Different other architectural marvels can be found in close proximity like Tomb of Saidani Maa Saheba and Birla Mandir. Being this said, it would be easy to conclude that Husain Sagar Lake is far more than just a lake.
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Nagarjuna sager Lake
Third largest man-made lake of the world, Nagarjuna Sagar is located in Hyderabad. With the construction of one of the world’s tallest masonry dams came the birth of Nagarjuna sager Lake in Hyderabad. The lake is named after a Buddhist Monk Nagarjuna, who worked around the vicinity during 2nd century. Ancient Buddhist remnants are strewn around the lake painting a soulful panorama.
Lakes in Odisha
The largest wintering ground for the migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent, Chilika Lake also happens to be home to a large number of endangered species of plants and animals. Wildlife Protection Act declared Nalaban Island (Amid the lake) of the lake as a bird sanctuary. This island disappears in the monsoon season, which is quite an interesting phenomenon. This is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the largest lagoon of the world.
Lakes in North East India
Loktak Lake (Manipur)
The largest freshwater lake of North-East, Loktak Lake covers an area of 40 km sq. A large number of locals from about 55 urban and rural hamlets call this lake a source of livelihood and get benefitted in different ways. In fact, other than humans, 99 species of avifauna, 425 species of animal and rich vegetation find this lake tremendously significant.
Gurudongmar Lake (Sikkim)
With the flutters of vibrant Tibetan prayer flag and ripples of this lake, the panorama filled with snow capped mountains look even more indulging. In a short distance from Indo-China Border, this lake can be found. Gurudongmar lake is the highest lakes of the world, located at an altitude of 17100 feet. This freshwater lake has some religious significance as well, for both Hindus and Buddhists. So, not just sheer serenity, divinity too is one of its major attributes.
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Tsogmo Lake (Sikkim)
Also known as Changu Lake, Tsongmo lake is a high altitude lake of India that freezes in winters and otherwise its royal blue water magnetizes many visitors. It is located in East Sikkim, in a short distance from Indo-China Border. The lake is considered to be a scared spot by Buddhists and Hindus. Many migratory, local birds and a huge variety of flora & fauna call this lake home.
Mirik Lake (Darjeeling)
Mirik Lake is the lowest point of Mirik, a beautiful town in Darjeeling district. The climate here is always pleasant and refreshing. So, boating on this lake is a delightful experience. The lake is fed by perennial streams and is prettified with a floating fountain in its center. The reflection of world’s third highest peak Kanchenjunga flickers in the lake. On the west of the lake is a lush forest with thousands of Cryptomaria-Japanica trees.
Umiam Lake (Shillong)
Also known as Bara Pani, Umiam Lake was formed in 1972 due to the Umtru Hydro Electric Power Project and covers an area of 10 kilometers square. This is a popular venue for adventure activities water cycling, kayaking, scooting and boating. The Lake holds a special significance in providing means of livelihood to the vast ecosystem around it.
Tam Dil Lake (Mizoram)
Spend some time on the lap of Mother Nature and just let your weary soul heal for a moment. This lake takes its name from mustard (Tam) and Dil means lake. The lake sprawling over 7 km spells magic with lush greenery and downright tranquility.
Dumboor Lake (Tripura)
Derived its name from the dumboor (pellet drum) of Lord Shiva, this lake is located in Tripura. The lake has an area of 41 sq km with 48 islands inside it. Travelers come here to enjoy water-sports facilities and to savor the sight of colorful migratory birds. River Gomti originates near the lake and that’s where you can find a hydel project as well.
Rudrasagar Lake (Agartala)
Carrying with its national significance in terms of preservation of bio-diversity and socio-economy; Rudrasagar Lake is located in Tripura. It is also known as Rudijala. Three rivers, viz. Noacherra, Kemrali Cherra and Durlavnaraya form the lake. In the middle of the lake is Neer Mahal, which dates back to 1930. This white structure has a timeless charm. The magnificent design is made beautiful by addition of small domes.