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16 Largest Lakes In India That You Must Explore In 2022

Posted on Wednesday, February 16th, 2022 by Pawanpreet Kaur 2 comments

Largest Lakes In India

India has innumerable lakes that have been supplying water to millions of people. From the largest lake in India to the longest lake in India, the country takes care of several large, medium and small-sized lakes. Also, being one of the countries that boast the most significant number of freshwater resources, India consists of about 251 recognised lakes which also houses hundreds of rare aquatic animals. The total area covered by lakes in India is nearly 2,000 cubic kilometres and also provides protection from floods, water for irrigation and drinking water sources, etc. Whether it’s the largest freshwater lake in India or the highest lake in India, each of them represents a rich ecosystem and supports a diversity of plants and animals. 

Therefore, India being a land of diversities is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and astonishing places to visit in India. So, let’s discuss in detail 16 such blessings from nature to this nation. We have covered everything from the largest lake in India to the smallest lake in India. Hence, keep reading!

Table Of Content

1. Vembanad Lake Kerala2033 km²
2. Chilika LakeOdisha1165 km²
3. Shivsagar LakeMaharashtra891.8 km²
4. Indira Sagar LakeMadhya Pradesh627 km²
5. Pangong LakeLadakh700 km²
6. Pulicat LakeAndhra Pradesh375 km²
7. Sardar Sarovar Lake Gujarat450 km²
8. Nagarjuna Sagar LakeTelangana245 km²
9. Loktak Lake Manipur287 km²
10. Wular LakeJammu & Kashmir259 km²
11. Kolleru LakeAndhra Pradesh245 km²
12. Sambhar Salt LakeRajasthan230 km²
13. Gobind Sagar LakeHimachal Pradesh168 km²
14.Ashtamudi Lake Kerala61.4 km²
15. Dhebar LakeRajasthan87 km²
16. Dal LakeJammu & Kashmir22 km²

1. Vembanad Lake – Kerala

Surrounded by long palm trees and rich vegetation, sailing through the shores of the longest lake in India is definitely a blissful experience. Your flight to Cochin can take you to Vembanad Lake which is extremely spectacular with its natural beauty and stunning backdrops. Covering a total area of around 2,033 square kilometres, the stillness and peaceful rhythm of the Vembanad Lake is just perfect for a tropical escape. 

Three Facts About Vembanad Lake:

  • Vembanad Lake is the longest lake in India and largest in the state of Kerala. 
  • It is referred to by different names in different regions such as “Kochi Lake” in Cochin, “Punnamada Lake” in Kuttanad, and people of Kottayam call it “Vembanadu Lake”
  • Around 1.6 million people are dependent on Vembanad Lake for livelihood.

Location: Kerala 

Depth: 12 m

2. Chilika Lake – Odisha

The second largest lake in India, Chilika Lake is located between Puri and Kalahandi districts in Orissa state. Covering around 1165 square kilometres, this brackish water lagoon turns into a freshwater lake during monsoon season when river waters fill it up with rainwater. Chilika Lake has also been declared as a Ramsar site because it provides habitat for many endangered species. 

Three Facts About Chilika Lake:

  • More than 130 villages are dependent on Chilika Lake for livelihood.
  • The area of Chilika Lake is equal to 52 streams, making it one of India’s largest lakes.
  • Chilika Lake is also recognised as the 2nd largest coastal lagoon in the world. 

Location: Odisha

Depth: 4 m

3. Shivsagar Lake – Maharashtra

One of the biggest lakes in India, Shivsagar Lake spreads across an area of about 891.8 sq km and is located in a serene and picturesque environment. Brimming with greenery and lush vegetation, this serene place is a perfect escape for backwater lovers. From the list of lakes in India, Shivsagar is a zero disturbance place that was formed after the Koyna River was confiscated for the Koyna dam. 

Three Facts About Shivsagar Lake:

  • Shivsagar Lake is one of the top 10 lakes in India and is also an important resource of water for South Maharashtra.
  • Shivsagar lake is one of the major lakes in India that produces electricity, due to which it is also called the “lifeline of Maharashtra.”
  • The lake expands up to 50 km and can also be reached via Mahabaleshwar, Chiplun or Satara. 

Location: Satara District, Maharashtra

Depth: 80 m

4. Indira Sagar Lake – Madhya Pradesh 

From providing drinking water to acting as a reservoir for irrigation projects, Indira Sagar Lake is another biggest lake in India with an area of 627 sq km. Indira Sagar Lake is now known to be an abode to many plants and animals in addition to providing fishing and other commercial activities to people. Today it is one of the largest lake in India that attracts several tourists around India every year. 

Three Facts About Indira Sagar Lake:

  • Indira Sagar Lake was formed after blocking up the Narmada River, which is the 5th largest river in India.
  • Indira Sagar lake being one largest freshwater lake in India is a prominent source of water and electricity in the villages nearby. 
  • The name Indira Sagar was named after the late leader Indira Gandhi, as she placed the foundation stone. 

Location: Narmada Nagar Village, Punasa Tehsil, Khandwa District, Madhya Pradesh

Depth: 92 m

5. Pangong Lake – Ladakh 

An endorheic lake lying between Ladakh and West Tibet, Pangong Lake is a pristine blue lake that is also another largest lake in India. Surrounded by beautiful mountains, and a thrilling atmosphere, Pangong Lake in Ladakh is a major tourist attraction and one of the most photographed locations in Ladakh. The best time to visit this lake is during summers as the lake gets frozen in winters.

Three Facts About Pangong Lake:

  • Pangong Lake is a natural saline lake with a total area of 700 sq km. 
  • The location is a disputed territory and only one-third of its part is assigned to India.
  • Besides being one of the highest lake in India, Pangong Tso is also known for its colour changing potential from blue to green and sometimes red. 

Location: Leh District, Ladakh

Depth: 100 m

6. Pulicat Lake – Andhra Pradesh

A stunning lake that has an amazing atmosphere and surroundings, Pulicat Lake is known for being the largest area for brackish water in India. This stunning freshwater lake in India is a paradise for bird watchers and now houses more than 400 species of birds. The total area of the lake spreads over 45 sq km while the water area might increase or decrease depending upon the seasonal rainfall. 

Three Facts About Pulicat Lake:

  • Besides being India’s largest lake, Pulikat lake is a Ramsar Site, a wetland of international importance as recorded by UNESCO. 
  • Around 500 migratory birds visit the Pulicat lake every year. 
  • Pulicat Lake is the 2nd biggest brackish water lake in India and acts as a haven for nesting birds and fishes. 

Location: Coromandel Coast, Andhra Pradesh – Tamil Nadu Border

Depth: 10 m

7. Sardar Sarovar Lake – Gujarat

Located in the state of Gujarat, Sardar Sarovar Lake has a significant impact on the lives of people across the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and small parts of Maharashtra. The lake lies on the river Narmada and is one of the largest man-made lakes in India. Today, more than a million people are dependent on Sardar Sarovar Lake for livelihood and play a major role in trade activities.

Three Facts About Sardar Sarovar Lake:

  • Four states of India like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Gujarat are dependent on Sarovar Lake for electricity and livelihood.
  • The construction of the lake was opposed by various parties, protests, and Supreme Court stays. 
  • This largest lake in India also offers protection from flood to the surrounding area of around 30,000 hectares. 

Location: Kevadia village, Gujarat

Depth: 140 m

8. Nagarjuna Sagar Lake – Telangana

The deepest lake in India, Nagarjuna Sagar Lake is an artificial freshwater lake that is surrounded by lush green hills and valleys. The Nagarjuna Sagar lake covers an area of about 285 sq km which makes it one of the largest freshwater lakes in India. The lake supplies water for drinking and irrigation needs and electricity in around two states of India. Book your flights to Hyderabad now stroll through this one of the highest lakes in India. 

Three Facts About Nagarjuna Sagar Lake:

  • Nagarjuna Sagar Lake has a water storage capacity of up to 11.47 billion cubic metres.
  • Apart from national importance, the Nagarjuna Sagar Lake also represents religious importance as it’s been said that Buddhist used to visit this place in the 3rd century AD for prayers.
  • Nagarjuna Sagar Lake is a multi-purpose site that is also used for hydro-electric projects in India. 

Location: Nalgonda district, Telangana

Depth: 124 m 

9. Loktak Lake – Manipur

The lake is the largest freshwater lake in India and one of its kind with floating phumdis that cover about 40 per cent of the total area. Covered with natural vegetation, this lake also holds a very important position as it’s a major source for drinking water and hydel power generation. This lake situated at an elevation of 490 metres above sea level spreads over an area of 287 sq kilometres. 

Three Facts About Loktak Lake:

  • Loktak Lake is well connected by the road and is just 39 kilometres away from the Manipur city centre. 
  • The lake consists of Keibul Lamjao National Park that is the only floating national park globally. 
  • Around 425 species of animals. 57 species of waterbirds and 28 species of migratory waterfowls have been recorded at the Loktak Lake.

Location: Moirang, Manipur

Depth: 490 m

10. Wular Lake – Jammu & Kashmir

One of India’s largest freshwater lakes, Wular Lake is a natural phenomenon that covers an area of 259 sp km. The Wular Lake is one of the largest lakes in Asia and is also designated as the Ramsar Site. The lake also consists of a Zainul Lank island that is densely covered with Eucalyptus, mangroves, and coconut grooves. The water from Wular lake is used for providing drinking water to nearby towns. 

Three Facts About Wular Lake:

  • Wular Lake, the largest lake in India preserves a huge population of birds such as short-toed eagle, Himalayan golden eagle, rock dove, etc.
  • The construction of island Zaina Lank in the Wular Lake was started by the Kashmiri sultan Zain-Ul-Abidin in 1444. 
  • Wular lake attracts a large number of tourists who come here to enjoy boating on this largest freshwater lake in India. 

Location: Bandipora Town, Bandipora District, Jammu & Kashmir

Depth: 14 m

11. Kolleru Lake – Andhra Pradesh

Lying between Krishna and Godavari districts, the lake is situated in the state of Andhra Pradesh near the city of Eluru. The Kolleru Lake provides natural scenic beauty for people living around, which allows tourists from all over India to come here and enjoy its calm and clean environment. Covering an area of 245 sq km, the Kolleru lake is one of the largest lakes in India. 

Three Facts About Kolleru Lake:

  • Beside being the biggest freshwater lake in India, Kolleru Lake is recognised as the largest shallow freshwater lake in Asia. 
  • Kolleru Lake has rich flora and fauna and a huge flock of migratory birds can be seen between October and March. 
  • The lake is believed to be found during the 15th century under the reign of Eastern Ganga rulers.

Location: Krishna and West Godavari District, Madhya Pradesh 

Depth: 2 m

12. Sambhar Salt Lake – Rajasthan

Among the popular name lakes in India, Sambhar Salt Lake spreads an area of over 230 sq km with depth reaching up to 3 metres. Sambhar Salt Lake is also one of the largest salt lakes in India that takes water from 6 rivers as Rupangarh, Khandela, Mantha, Samod, Medtha and Khari. Get your flights to Jaipur booked and explore the site that also has great economic importance as it takes care of Rajasthan’s salt production.  

Three Facts About Sambhar Salt Lake:

  • The largest salt water lake in India, Sambhar Salt Lake is recognised as the Ramsar Site as it is the wintering area of thousands of birds. 
  • It alone produces 9% of India’s salt production by bringing out 196.000 tonnes of clean salt each year. 
  • Sambhar lake is one of the important lakes in India and has also been mentioned as “Sambhar Lake” in Mahabharata. 

Location: West Jaipur, Rajasthan

Depth: 3 m 

13. Gobind Sagar Lake – Himachal Pradesh

Located in the Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh, Gobind Sagar Lake is amongst the major lakes in India that stretches over an area of 168 sq km. The lake is also famous for various water sports activities like boating, swimming, rowing, kayaking, surfing, river rafting and much more. The best thing is that even non-experienced individuals can also take part in these water sports and enjoy the thrilling experience. 

Three Facts About Gobind Sagar Lake:

  • This biggest lake in India was constructed in 1962 after a hydel dam at Bhakra was built, 
  • The Gobind Sagar Lake takes care of the electricity requirements of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh. 
  • The name Gobind Sagar Lake was given in the honour of the 10th guru of Sikhism religion, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. 

Location: Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh

Depth: 163 m

14. Ashtamudi Lake, Kerala

One of the largest freshwater lake in India, Ashtamudi Lake is a beautiful paradise that lies in the Kollam district of Kerala. Tourists from all over India take flights to Thiruvananthapuram to visit Ashtamudi lake and take a boat or cruise from Kollam to Alappuzha. The lake is recognised as of national importance and thus has been designated as one of the Ramsar Sites. Today, this lake is a source of livelihood for many people. 

Three Facts About Ashtamudi Lake:

  • Ashtamudi Lake is the deepest lake of Kerala and is recognised as one of the largest lakes in India. 
  • The year of inception of Ashtamudi lake is 19th August 2002. 
  • Ashtamudi Lake has two islands i.e. Munroe Island and Chavara Thekkumbhagom.  

Location: Kollam district, Kerala

Depth: 6.4 m 

15. Dhebar Lake – Rajasthan

One of the largest man-made lakes in India, Dhebar Lake was constructed by Maharana Jai Singh in 1685. Also referred to as “Jaisamand Lake”, this astonishing lake stretches over an area of 61.4 sq km with a vast variety of marine life. Being one of the major lakes in India, Dhebar Lake is a habitat for over 220 species of birds including migratory ones too. The best time to visit Dhebar Lake is from November to March.

Three Facts About Dhebar Lake:

  • Dhebar Lake consists of 3 islands, namely Baba Ka Magra and Piari, measuring 10 to 40 acres each. 
  • The tribal people of Rajasthan (Bhil Manas) can also be seen near the Dhebar lake, one of the biggest lakes in India. 
  • The Dhebar Lake was inaugurated on June 2, 1961, and on this day, Maharana Jai Singh distributed gold equal to his body weight in charity. 

Location: Udaipur District, Rajasthan

Depth: 31 m 

16. Dal Lake – Jammu & Kashmir 

Located in Srinagar, Kashmir the Dal lake can be seen at depths ranging from 5 to 6 metres. Besides being the smallest lake in India, Dal Lake plays an integral part in Jammu and Kashmir’s tourism. Also referred to as “Srinagar’s Jewel”, “Lake of Flowers”, and “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir”, Dal Lake is a prominent source of livelihood for people nearby. The best time to book flights to Srinagar to visit Dal Lake is from May to November. 

Three Facts About Dal Lake:

  • Dal Lake houses many varieties of fishes including Brown Trout and Golden Mahseer. 
  • Dal Lake is originally formed from the water of 5 lake basins like Nehru Park, Hazratbal, Nagin, Brari, and Nishat. 
  • The lake gets filled with floating lotuses and flowers during the period of June and August. 

Location: Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir

Depth: 6 m

Cheap domestic flights

So, these were the top 16 largest lakes in India. Whether you want to visit the biggest lake in India or the longest lake in India, you’ll definitely be amazed by the stunning beauties of the major lakes of India. This list of lakes in India makes the surroundings more scenic and increases awareness amongst people about their biodiversity. For more information on the routes to reach these important lakes in India, get in touch with our travel experts at 91-800-023-5865 and book flights at amazing prices. Our team at Travanya as travel agency makes sure to guide the customers with the best information. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which is the largest freshwater lake in India?

A: Vembanad Lake in Kerala is the largest freshwater lake in India, covering a total area of 2033 square kilometres. Also, Vembanad Lake is the longest lake in India stretching over to a maximum length of 96.5 km.

Q: Which is the largest saltwater lake in India?

A: Pangong Tso Lake is the largest saltwater lake in India with a total surface area of 699.3 sq km.

Q: How many lakes are there in india?

A: India has many pristine lakes but there are around 251 which are recognised and named by the Indian government.

Q: Which is the largest brackish water lake in India?

A: Chilika Lake is the largest brackish water lake in India and is located on the Mahanadi river near Orissa.

Q: Which is the largest sweet water lake in India?

A: Wular Lake is considered the largest sweet water lake in India and is also one of the largest freshwater lakes in India. Wular Lake is also one of the largest lake in Jammu & Kashmir.


About Pawanpreet View All Posts

Pawanpreet is a versatile content writer and editor who enjoys experimenting with various niches of writing. Her keen eye for detail and love for thorough research helps her create high-quality content to outweigh clickbait. She extensively works for digital marketing and manages clients that range from travel to luxury goods. Her creativity is fueled by her love for learning new things, travelling, and the environment. Also, she is a free soul and an avid animal lover who believes in doing everything with a smile :)

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  1. Steejay Singh says:

    Liked the detailing of the post. May I know the right route to reach Vembanad Lake?

    1. Pawanpreet Kaur says:

      Hello Steejay,

      Many thanks for the acknowledged comment. Coming to the route to reach Vembanad Lake, you must get your flights booked to Cochin International Airport first. The distance from the airport to Vembanad Lake is 81.6 km which can be covered by cab/taxi or bus.

      Furthermore, you can get in touch with our travel experts at +91-800-023-5865 to book your flights to Cochin and guidance on other details.

      Thanks & Regards
      Team Travanya

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