Lakes in India UPSC Notes [Download PDF]

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India is famous for its diverse natural resources. There are plenty of resources in which reservoirs have substantial control over the natural attractiveness of our country. Lakes are one of the principal sources of natural beauty in India and there are many lakes in almost every state.

This topic carries great significance for UPSC, SSC, NTPC and all other government exams including state-level exams in India. Important Lakes of India fall under static GK in the UPSC and all other competitive exams. You can check more articles on other static GK topics from the below link.

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What is Lake?

• A body of water that is surrounded by land is known as the Lakes.

• Lakes are found in the mountains and deserts, in the fields, and in the climate near the coast.

• Small lakes are often referred to as ponds. Other lakes are so large that they are called seas. In Europe and Asia, the Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world, with an area of more than 371,000 square kilometers.

Types of lakes in India

♦ The lakes of India have different origins. Here we provide 8 types of lakes, according to their origin.

Tectonic Lakes

• Formed due to the faults ad fractures in the earth’s crust.
• Most of the lakes are in the hilly areas of Kashmir and Kumaun.
• Example: Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso (Ladakh)

Crater Lakes

• Formed when the craters and calderas filled with water.
• Example: Lonar Lake of Buldhana (Maharashtra)

Glacial Lakes

• Formed due to glacial erosion.
• Tran is a small mountain lake, especially one that collects in a cirque basin behind rises of rock material.
• Found in Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh.
• Example: Gangubal lake (Kashmir)

Fluvial Lakes

• Rivers create a variety of lakes through their erosion and accumulation.
• Rivers are the destroyer of the lakes.
• Fluvially originated lakes are generally temporary and soon obliterated.
• Fluvially originated lakes include, Plunge pool lakes (in front of a waterfall), Ox-bow-lakes, Alluvial fan lakes, Delta lakes, Flood plain lakes, and rift dammed lakes.

• Mainly found in the middle and lower courses of the Ganga and Brahmaputra Rivers.
• Lakes formed by the meandering of rivers in the plains of the gentle gradient are known as Alluvial lakes.
• Example: Gogabeel and Kanwar lake (Oxbow lake)

Aeolian Lakes

• Small temporary hollows or depressions lying on the windblown sand surface.
• Western Rajasthan has several lakes of these types.
• Desert lakes are generally high in salt and are often referred to as salt lakes.
• Example: Dhand (Rajasthan)

Dissolution Lakes

• Formed due to a depression of the surface by the underground dissolution of soluble rocks like limestone and gypsum.
• Example: Bhimtal (Kumaun), Garhwal (Uttrakhand)

Lagoons Lakes

• These are formed by deposition sandbars along the sea coast.
• Example: Chilka of Odisha, Pulicat (Andhra Pradesh), Vembanad, Asthamudi and Kayalas of Kerala.

Landslide lakes

• Produced by landslides and rockfalls causing obstruction in the course of streams.
• Example: Gohna Lake of Garhwal region

Types of Lakes

List of Important lakes in India

Here is the list of important lakes in India with states.

1.Kolleru LakeAndhra Pradesh
2.Pulicat LakeAndhra Pradesh and
Tamil Nadu Border
3.Deepor BeelAssam
4.Halflong LakeAssam
5.Kanwar LakeBihar
6.Sukhna LakeChandigarh
7.Nal Sarovar LakeGujarat
8.Hamirsar lakeGujarat
9.Suraj TalHimachal Pradesh
10.Chandra TalHimachal Pradesh
11.Dal LakeJammu and Kashmir
12.Wular LakeJammu and Kashmir
13.Mansabal LakeJammu and Kashmir
14.Mansar lakeJammu and Kashmir
15.Tso MoririLadakh
16.Pangong TsoLadakh
17.Ulsoor LakeBangalore, Karnataka
18.Bellandur LakeKarnataka
19.Asthamudi LakeKerala
20.Vembanand LakeKerala
21.Shasthamkotta lakeKerala
22.Kuttanad LakeKerala
23.BhojtalBhopal, Madhya Pradesh
24.Salim Ali LakeAurangabad, Maharashtra
25.Lonar LakeBuldana, Maharashtra
26.Loktak LakeManipur
27.Umiam LakeMeghalaya
28.Chilka LakeOdisha
29.Sambhar Salt LakeRajasthan
30.Pichola LakeUdaipur, Rajasthan
31.Gurudongmar LakeNorth Sikkim
32.Cholamu LakeSikkim
33.Kodaikankal LakeDindigul ,Tamil Nadu
34.Keetham Lake
Sur Sarovar
Agra , Uttar Pradesh
35.Bhimtal LakeNainital, Uttrakhand
36.Roopkund LakeChamoli, Uttarakhand
37.Deoria TalNear Mastura village
38.East Calcutta WetlandsKolkata ,West Bengal
39.Rabindra SarobarKolkata , West Bengal
40.Pushkar LakeAjmer , Rajasthan

List of Important Lakes in India Map

List of Important Lakes of India

Fact about important lakes of India

Kolleru Lake

• Kolleru lake is the largest shallow freshwater lake in Asia.
• Kolleru lake is located between the Krishna and Godavari deltas.
• Spans into two districts – Krishna and West Godavari.
• Lake is fed by water from seasonal Budameru and Tammileru streams.
• Declared as a wildlife sanctuary in November 1999.
• Designated as a wetland of international importance in November 2002.
• Important migrated bird species of Kolleru lake – Siberian crane

Pulicat Lake (Andhra Pradesh)

• Pulicat Lake is the second largest brackish water lagoon in India, after Chilika Lake.
• Major part of the Pulicat lagoon comes under the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
• The barrier island of Sriharikota separates the lagoon from the Bay of Bengal.
• Sriharikota is the home to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

Dipor Beel (Assam)

• Here the name deepor beel is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Dipa’ which means elephant
• Dipor beel is located southwest of Guwahati city, in Kamrup Metropolitan district, Assam.
• Dipor beel fed by the Brahmaputra River.
• Designated under the Ramsar Convention in 2002

Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary (Begusarai, Bihar)

• Kanwar Tall or Kabar Taal Lake is Asia’s largest freshwater oxbow lake.
• It was declared as a Ramsar site in 2020
• Kanwar Tall or Kabar Taal Lake becomes the first Ramsar site of Bihar.
• Ornithologist Salim Ali, mentioned about 60 migratory birds here.

Suraj Tal ( Himachal Pradesh)

• SurajTal literally means the Lake of the Sun God
• It lies just below the Bara-lacha-la pass.
• Located in the Lahaul and Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh.
• Suraj Tal Lake is the source of the Bhaga River.
• Bhaga River. is a tributary of the Chandrabhaga or Chenab river

Wular Lake (Jammu & Kashmir)

• The basin of Wular lake was formed as a result of tectonic activity.
• The Wular Lake is fed by the Jhelum River.

Dal Lake (Srinagar)

• Lake of Flowers”, “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel”.

Ashtamudi Lake (Kerala)

• Ashtamudi Kayal – Kollam District – backwater and lake.
• Large palm-shaped/octopus-shaped water body.
• Ashtamudi means ‘eight braids’ (Mudi-‘hair braids’) [Malayalam language].
• Called the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala.
• Well known for its houseboat and backwater resorts.

Shasthamkotta lake (Kerala)

Largest freshwater lake in Kerala.
• It meets the drinking water needs of the Quilon district.
• The purity of the lake water for drinking use is attributed to the presence of a large population of larva called cavaborus that consumes bacteria in the lake water.
• Under Ramsar Convention since November 2002.  

Vembanad Lake (Kerala)

• Vembanad is the longest lake in India.
• Largest lake in the state of Kerala.
• 2nd largest Ramasar site in India after Sunderbans.
• Willingdon Island is located in the Kochi Lake portion.
• Kochi Port is built around Willingdon Island and the Vallarpadam island.
• The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is conducted on a portion of the lake.

Lonar Lake (Buldana, Maharashtra)

• Lonar Lake was created by a meteorite collision impact during the Pleistocene Epoch
• The lake was declared a protected Ramsar site in November 2020

Loktak Lake (Manipur)

• Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India.
• Loktak lake is famous for the ‘phumdis’.
• Phumdis is a heterogeneous mass of vegetation that floats over the water
• The etymology of Loktak is Lok – “stream” and tak – “the end”
• Loktak Day is observed every year on the 15th of October

Chilika Lake (Odisha)

• Chilika Lake is a brackish water lagoon.
• It spread over the districts Puri, Khurda and Ganjam of Odisha, India.
• Chilika lake is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest brackish water lagoon in the world
• The lake is located at the mouth of the Daya River.
• In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

Sambhar Salt Lake (Rajasthan)

• The Sambhar Salt Lake, India’s largest inland salt lake.
• The lake receives water from five rivers: Medtha, Samaod, Mantha, Rupangarh, Khari, and Khandela.

Roopkund (Uttarakhand)

• Roopkund lake is a high-altitude glacial lake in the Uttarakhand state of India.
• Roopkund lake is known as Mystery Lake or Skeletons Lake.

East Calcutta Wetlands

• The East Calcutta Wetlands are a complex of natural and human-made wetlands.
• It is located in the east of the city of Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
• The name East Calcutta Wetlands was coined by the late Dhrubajyoti Ghosh.
• It is the largest sewage-fed aquaculture in the world.

• The East Calcutta Wetlands were designated as a Ramsar site on 19 August 2002..
• East Calcutta Wetlands is world-renowned as a model of multi-use wetlands.
• The wetlands create an urban facility for the treatment of city wastewater.

• The main feature of this wetland is it utilized the treated water for pisciculture and agriculture, through the recovery of nutrients in an efficient manner.
• The 4,000 ha fish ponds serve as a solar reactor and complete most of their biochemical reactions with the help of solar energy.

• The system has thus been described as “a rare example of environmental protection and development management where local farmers have adopted a complex environmental process for efficiency in resource recovery activities” (RIS).

• The East Calcutta Wetlands also produced 10,500 tons of fish per year.
• It provides livelihoods for about 50,000 people directly and as many again indirectly.

Didwana Lake (Rajasthan)

The famous Didwana salt water lake is located in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan.
• Didwana is a town in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan.
• The lake also touches the eastern border of Jodhpur state.

Area of the Didwana Lake
• The lake is about 4 km long and 3 km wide, surrounded on all sides by sand hills except the west.

• The 5.6 km long and 2.4 km wide Didwana Playa is the second-largest playa in the eastern part of the Thor Desert, which supports commercial salt production.

• It is the second most important and largest lake in Rajasthan after Sambhar Lake which covers an area of 10 sq. kilometers.

Sodium Sulfate in Didwana Lake
• In addition to salt production, sodium sulfate is also produced from the Diwane lakes.

• The sodium sulfate plant and the sodium sulfate unit are two salt-based industries based on this lake.

• Both the sodium sulfate-based industries are owned by the Rajasthan State Government.

Historical facts related to the Didwane Salt lake
. Didwana was a major trading center of the medieval Mughal Empire due to its famous salt lakes, from which salt was made and shipped across India.

. There were several battles between the emperor of Gujarat and the rulers of Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaipur over the rights to this lake.

. Maharana Kumbh of Chittorgarh levied a tax on salt, which is mentioned in the Kirti Pillar inscription.

Man-made Lake of India | Artificial Lake in India

In the below table, we provide the list of Artificial Lakes in India.

Sl. NoLakesLocation
1.Gobind Vallabh Pant SagarUttar Pardesh
2.Sukhna LakeChandigarh
3.Hussain Sagar LakeHyderabad, Telangana
4.Surajkund LakeHaryana
5.Govind Sagar LakeHimachal Pradesh
6.Maharana Pratap Sagar
Pong Dam Lake
Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
7.Bhojtal LakeBhopal, Madhya Pradesh
8.Lake PicholaUdaipur
9.Rabindra Sarobar
or, Dhakuria Lake
Kolkata, West Bengal

List of Important, artificial lakes in India Map

Artificial Lake of India

Important facts about the man-made or Artificial lakes in India

Gobind Vallabh Pant Sagar

• Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar was formed by Rihand Dam.
• Rihand dam is located at Pipri in Sonbhadra District in Uttar Pradesh. (Near the Madhya Pradesh border)
• Rihand dam formed by Rihand river which is a tributary of Son river.
• Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar, is the largest dam in India by volume
• Also Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar, is the largest artificial lake.
• The Catchment area of rihand dam covers the area of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh.

Sukhna Lake

• Sukhna Lake is located in Chandigarh
• It is a reservoir at the foothills of Shivalik hills of the Himalayas.
• The lake was created by Le Corbusier and the Chief Engineer P L Verma.
• Earlier it was known as Chakraborty Lake after Birendra Narayan Chakraborty, Governor of Haryana.

Hussain Sagar Lake

• Hussain Sagar lake was built by Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah in the year 1563.
• It is a heart-shaped lake in Hyderabad, Telangana.
• Hussain Sagar Lake is fed by the Musi River.
• The twin city Hyderabad and Secunderabad are separated by the lakes.

Surajkund Lake

• Surajkund lake is located on the Southern Delhi Ridge of the Aravalli range in the Faridabad city of Haryana.
• The literal meaning of Surajkund is ‘Lake of the Sun’ (Here “Kund” means “lake” or reservoir)
• Surajkund lake was built by the king Surajpal of the Tomara dynasty.

Gobind Sagar Lake

• Gobind Sagar reservoir is situated in the Una and Bilaspur districts of Himachal Pradesh.
• It is formed by the Bhakra Dam.
• The reservoir is on the river Sutlej and is named in honour of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru.

Maharana Pratap Sagar

• Maharana Pratap Sagar lake is located in the Kangra district of the state of Himachal Pradesh.
• Maharana Pratap Sagar is also known as Pong Reservoir or Pong Dam Lake
• It is the highest earthfill dam in India located on the Beas River.
• In 2002 the Pong Dam Lake was declared a Ramsar Wetland site.

Bhojtal Lake

• Formerly the Bhojtal lake was known as Upper Lake.
• Bhojtal lake was built by the Paramara Raja Bhoj.
• Bhojtal is situated in the west-central part of Bhopal city.
• The lake is surrounded by Van Vihar National Park on the south.

Pichola Lake

• Lake Pichola is situated in Udaipur city in the Indian state of Rajasthan.
• Pichola lake is an artificial freshwater lake.
• Two islands, Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir are located within Pichola Lake
• The lake feed by the Kotra River originated from the Aravalli range.

Shape of Lake

1.Heart-shaped lakeHussain SaharHyderabad, Bengaluru
2.C-shaped lakeBhimtal LakeUttarakhand
3.Crescent or Kidney-shaped lakeNainaital LakeUttarakhand
4.oxbow lake or U-shaped lakeKanwar LakeBihar
5.Oval shaped lakeLonar lakeBuldana, Maharashtra

Top 10 largest lakes in India (In terms of Area)

1.Vembanad LakeKerala
2.Chilika LakeOdisha
3.Shivaji Sagar LakeMaharashtra
4.Indira Sagar lakeMadhya Pradesh
5.Pangong LakeLadakh
6.Pulicat LakeAndhra Pradesh
7.Sardar Sarovar LakeGujarat
8.Nagarjuna Sagar LakeTelangana
9.Loktak LakeManipur
10.Wular lakeJammu and Kashmir

Most Important Questions about Lakes of India

Sl. NoQuestionAnswer
1.Largest Fresh water Lake in India Wular Lake (J&K)
2.Largest fresh water Lake in North East India Loktak Lake (Manipur)
3. Largest Salt /Brakish water Lake in India Chilka Lake (Odisha)
4.Second largest brackish – water lake or lagoon in IndiaPulicat Lake (Andhra Pradesh)
5.Largest inland salt water lake in IndiaSambhar Salt Lake (Rajasthan)
6.Longest lake in IndiaVembanad (Kerala)
7.Highest lake in IndiaCholamu Lake (Sikkim)
8.National Geo-heritage Monument, saline, soda lake of IndiaLonar Lake (Buldana, Maharshtra)
9.Only lake of India created by a meteorite collisionLonar Lake (Buldana, Maharshtra)
10.Latest lake of India which is recently recognized as a Ramsar sitesLonar Lake (Buldana, Maharshtra)
11.Pushkat Lake is famous for the festivalKartika Poornima
12.The island wich separates Pulicat lake from Sriharikota (satellite launching station of ISRO )Soindle shaped barrier island
13.KeibulLamjao the only floating national park in the world floats over the lake. Loktak (Manipur)
14.Largest freshwater lake in KeralaSasthamcotta Lake
15.Which lake known as the “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel”Dal lake
16.Asia’s largest Tulip garden located on the bank of which lake ?Dal lake (J&K)
17.Nalsarover Lake Bird Sanctuaruy located in the states of?Gujarat
18.Guru Purnima festival is the main attraction of which lake Tsomgo Lake (Sikkim)
19. Largest lake in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, which is known as the “lake district of India” Bhimtal Lake (Uttarakhand)
20.Barapani or Umiam Lake located inShillong (Meghalaya)
21.Hussain Sagar built byIbrahim Quli Qutb Shah in 1563.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1. Which city has the most lakes in India?

Ans. Udaipur

Q 2. Which Indian city is known as the City of Lakes in India?

Ans. Udaipur is known as the City of Lakes in India.

Q 3. Which is the largest saltwater lake in India?

Ans. Chilika Lake

Q 4. Which is the deepest lake in India?

Ans. Manasbal

Q 5. Which is the largest artificial lake in Asia?

Ans. Bhojtar Lake is the largest artificial lake in Asia.

Q 6. Which is the longest lake in India?

Ans. Vembanad Lake in Kerala is the longest lake in India

Q 7. Which is the largest freshwater lake in India?

Ans. Wular Lake in Jammu Kashmir is the largest freshwater lake in India

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