India is such a land where you have plethora of options of coming in the lap of nature. You have immense opportunities to see the wildlife in the Indian jungles, bask in the sunny beaches or doing trekking in the high altitudes. Similarly if you long for enjoying the ripples of large lakes you plan for India tour packages. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari a number of Indian states provide you the chance to explore the virgin beauty of the largest lakes in India.
1.Loktak Lake-The largest fresh water lake of India-
located in the Manipur state of India around 55 kilometers from the capital city Imphal, Loktak is the largest fresh water lake of India. This lake encompasses a large land mass of 500 square kilometres in the peak rainy season ,even in the driest months the lake measures around 250 square kilometres. Since time immemorial the Loktak has been the backbone of Manipur people providing income to thousands of fishermen. The lake is fed by the Manipur river and the enormous mountains surrounding the lake,One peculiar character of Loktak are the floating”Phumdis”these are floating bio mass with even have people living on them. A national park “Keibul Lamjao national park”is based on one of these Phumdis. The Keibul Lamjao national park is famous for Eld’s deer this is an endangered specie of deer regarded as a State antler in Manipur
2.Vembanad Lake – One of the Largest lakes in India
This is one of the largest lake in India and the longest one. It is situated in Kerala state and covers an area of 2030 kms. It has depth of 40 feet. This lake is known by the other name as Punnamada. After Sunderbans this is the second largest Ramsar site in India. This is the backwater paradise where you can enjoy with your family and friends and take instagram worthy pictures.
3. Pangong Lake
Pangong is one of the Largest lakes in India and is a lake which is situated on a very high altitude (4225 m). It is famous for its clear pristine waters with all natural surroundings. The scenery at Pangong is amazing, it became famous after it featured in many Bollywood movies thus the people swayed by the natural beauty of Pangong started thronging the inhospitable habitat of the pangong lake which remains frozen during the winter season. Even during the summers you have to scale high passes like chang la or Khardung la to approach this lake, there are water crossings on the roads, the water in these water crossings swells up as the glaciers and the snow peaks melt during summers and more so during hot day time. This lake is the divide between India and China, India controls around 40 % area of the lake. The larger part of the lake has saline water.
The tourists who come to Pangong lake either have to move back the same day or there is tented accommodation available at the lake. There are some small home stays also available at the lake Pangong. The lake has no availability of modern facilities like ATM, no mobile network works at lake Pangong. Just enjoy the natural surroundings at the Pangong and the pristine beauty of the lake. Hardly it rains at this lake while in winters the lake freezes and no one can approach this Lake in the winter months.
The saline part of Pangong has absolutely nil flora and fauna while the part which has sweet natural water has some life as you can see some ducks and swans there. The lake has true blue colour which is very emphatic and can be seen in the movies where the lake has been show cased. The night environment at the lake is truly amazing as in absence of artificial light you can assimilate easily with very bright stars and the Milky way which is very pronounced here, this experience is real amazing.
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4.Chandratal – One of the Largest Lakes in India
Chandratal is a freshwater lake around 20 kms from the high Kunzum pass on the road joining Manali with the spiti valley. The lake is known for its pure and natural environment, the clear waters and the unpolluted pristine and natural surroundings. The road to Chandratal is more of an off road and it’s better to ride in a 4×4 off road vehicle, you can also hike all the way to the Chandratal, the vehicles are not allowed near the lake and 2 kms before you have to leave the motor transport. The tented accommodation is available 2 kms before the Chandratal lake. The lake is a crescent shaped fresh water lake whose colour changes during different times of the day, it appears perfect blue in the morning while changing to brownish orange in the evening. The sight and the wilderness of the lake is perfectly amazing and is very popular among st those interested in adventure tourism the trekkers and the hikers.
The lake is open to the tourists only during the summer season, late may to early October. In the winters the conditions here are very adverse and inhospitable. The temperature goes down to -30 Degree celcius. Ice cold strong winds sway this area .
Chandra Tal fairy-.This area since time immemorial has been known to local people as an abode of fairies as a local folk lore a shepherd once married a very beautiful nymph who took promise from the shepherd that he will never reveal the truth of the Chandra tal fairy to any outsider,this shepherd used to move to his village in the winter times he also had a family in the village .He used to live with the fairy during the summer months but unfortunately once he told the truth of the fairy to his wife it is said after this revelation the fairy disappeared and never ever met the shepherd again.
5. Dal Lake Srinagar
This one of the largest lakes in India is located in the capital city of Kashmir is actually the life line of the city of Srinagar. The lake has a coast line spanning around 15 kms. This lake is the jewel in the crown of Kashmir. The house boats on the lake Dal orate a story not to be heard anywhere else. This lake has been the focus of the Indian Bollywood industry as so many movies and song sequences have been filmed on the Dal lake. The Dal lake is also famous for its Shikaras (Sleek boats used by the locals for transport and tourists activity).
These Shikaras also hours small movable shops selling various items of daily use and tourism. The Mughal rulers of India in the medieval times got enthused by the cool environs of the Kashmir, they made beautiful gardens on the banks of the Dal lake. The Shalimar gardens, the Nishat bagh even today entice the tourists with their ecstatic beauty. A picture of Dal lake evokes memories so dear to millions of tourists who have visited Kashmir. It’s a true picture of the Kashmir valley.
6. Naini Lake
An English man in the early nineteenth century discovered the Naini lake and a city around it was developed by the English, the name Naini comes from the Naina Devi deity temple on the banks of Lake Naini.
One of the largest lakes in India is situated in the lower Himalayas, the nearest railway station is at Kath Godam while the nearest city in the plains is Haldwani, Naini is connected by good roads with all parts of India. The city developed on the banks of Lake Naini is famous hill station of Naini Tal. This lake is fed by the rain water collected through the hills of snow view, Tiffin top and Naina devi surrounding the Naini lake. Nainital is famous for the surreal view of Naini lake with umpteen water even in the summer time the boats on the lake Naini are a favorite picture. The one and half kilometer long bank of Naini Lake is famous in the tourist circuit as the mall road of Nainital. The lake is around 100 feet deep at its deepest end. The high tourist’s inflow to the city of Nainital is a threat to the Nainital lake as the effluents from the city are polluting the Naini Lake. These pollutants are threatening the aquatic life of Naini lake. The lake offers a variety of water sports to the tourists and the enthusiasts.
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7.Gobind Sagar Lake
This lake is a man made reservoir which came in to existence because of the construction of Bhakra Nagal dam. The lake is vast 90 kms long and it engrosses a total area of 170 sq kms. The lake falls in the footsteps of Himalayas in the Himachal districts of Una and Bilaspur. It is an eye catching spot for fun and adventure seekers, there are variety of adventure water sports available at the Gobind sagar lake. The lake is nestled in lush green confines of Himalayas. The surrounding mountains add plethora to the beauty of wild animals and birds, even fishing is possible at the hydel reservoir.
You can enjoying rowing, kayaking water surfing etc at this lake. The lake is just an hour drive from the city of Chandigarh and is well connected with motor able roads. The nearest airport is at Chandigarh. The Bhakra Nangal dam was inaugurated by the then prime minister of India Pandit Jawahal Lal Nehru in 1963, The reservoir came in to existence in 1976.
8. Lake Pichola
The city of Udaipur is famous for its lakes, the desert state has this city nestled in the lush green Aravali hills and lots of stories to tell, but above all are these lakes which not only entice but paint a surreal picture of the city beautiful. The most beautiful in the list of lakes of Udaipur is the lake pichola it’s a man made lake famous for the grandeur attached to it.On one side is the astounding city palace overlooking the lake pichola while the amazing luxury hotel Taj lake palace is situated on an island of the lake.
Apart from this island there are three more islands Jag Mandir, Mohan Mandir and Arsi Vilas. Mughal emperor Shahjahan while he was a prince spent years on the banks of this lake, perhaps the penchant for beauty he inculcated while living in Udaipur motivated him later to build the Taj Mahal . The lake Pichola has numerous hotels suiting all budgets on its banks, you can choose any of then to enjoy the never to forget view of Udaipur.
A boat ride at lake pichola is very romantic and makes Udaipur and ideal destination for the honey mooners. This lake has been picturised in many bollywood movies, a Hollywood movie Octopussy was also shot over here in the Taj lake Palace.
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9. Fateh Sagar Lake
Another famous lake from Udaipur constructed by the orders of Maharaja Jai singh in 17th century, its massive water bodies spread on an area of 204 kms, average depth in around 18 feet. There are three islands in this lake respectively housing a children park/ zoo, a public park for the general public and a solar observatory.
The boating at Fateh sagar lake is possible and a sunset at lake fatehsagar is an ideal pastime. Though built by Maharaja Jai singh the name comes from another Maharaja fateh singh who added dimensions to this earlier existing lake.
10. Chilika Lake
A vast lake known as Chilika is located in the state of Odisha it is largest saline water lagoon with connection and continuously fed by the sea water. Chilika is very well known as one of the largest lakes in India and for its vast bio diversity, it is also the most favorite haunt of the migratory birds, every years hundreds of thousand exotic birds fly from as far as Caspian sea, Aral sea, lake Baikal to Lake chilika and spend their winters at lake chilika feeding and breeding in the shallow brackish waters of the lake. There are so many local mythological tales created and associated with this water system. The lake corners an extra ordinary area of around 1100 square kilometers making it the biggest lake of India.
The lake and its ecosystem has on record existence of more than 400 vertebrate species The local fisherman get their livelihood from this lake since time immemorial these fisherman number more than 150,000, chilika is also a great centre for culture of shrimps which are a source of valuable foreign exchange. The chilika lake has been listed in the UNESCO world heritage site list.
10. Kankaria lake Gujarat
This is an old man made lake in the busy capital city of Gujarat. This lake had almost dried due to years of neglect and focus on the urbanization but thanks to a revival scheme by the Ahmadabad municipal corporation, in 2006 a lake front has been created and today the Kankaria lake is a favorite haunt of the locals and the tourists coming to the Ahmadabad city. This lake was dug during the reign of Sultan Qutub –ud –din and it was constructed in year 1454. The name refers to the lime stone pebbles found in abundance in this area.
The lake has a small island connected with a bridge, this island is known as Nagina wadi. In erstwhile times the island had palaces of the kings the architecture of these buildings is worth a visit and is worth an applaud. There is a jogging track and a cycle track around the kankaria lake developed as a part of the lake front project.
The lake also has a children zoo, an amusement park, a dedicated kids city for entertaining the kids, and a toy train to go around the lake. The tourists can also enjoy a balloon ride on their visit to the kankaria lake. Everyday the lake bears a festive look as locals and tourists gather and enjoy plethora of street food available for sale at the lake front.
Kankaria Lake Entrance ticket
The lake has an entrance levied which amounts 25/- for adults, Rs 10 for children , senior citizens and children below 3 are exempted.
Lake Timings :-This lake is closed on Monday and the opening time is from 4 am to 8 am and 9:00 am to 10 PM
12. Sambhar Lake – One of famous Largest Lakes in India
Surrounded by the dense forests and the Aravali hills is the Sambhar lake boasts of being one of the largest lakes in India. This is situated on the outskirts of Jaipur district ranging all the way to the Ajmer district. This shallow salt lake is spread in an area of around 200kms which is the largest after the monsoon season. This lake is known to deliver livelihood to thousands of people as it is a big center for salt production. There is a 5 km long dam bifurcating the lake in to the east and west part, the east part has these large salt pans where water is evaporated to manufacture salt in huge quantities.
The perennial rivers Mendha, Runpargarh and Karian feed this lake. The name probably has been derived from deity Shakambhari who is known to be the presiding deity of the Chauhan clan of Rajputs. From Shakhambhari the name gradually changed to Sambhar lake .
This shallow wet land supports a very rich ecosystem; there are thousands of Pink flamingos flying to the lake Sambhar in the winter season from cold areas of Siberia and central Asia. The habitat is home to millions of water fowl. The surrounding Aravali hills are home to Nilgaai, deer and foxes. The Sambhar lake is a Ramsar wet land.