India is a country filled with natural beauty that leaves people’s eyes in awe and wonder. Lakes are one of the natural sources that play a significant role in its beauty. The sight of beautiful lakes is enough for a person to forget the bustle of the city and relax their soul. If you want that kind of leisure and calmness, then you must visit the 11 most famous lakes in India.
List of 11 Most Breathtaking Lakes in India
- Dal Lake
- Pangong Lake
- Lake Pichola
- Vembanad Lake
- Chilika Lake
- Gurudongmar Lake
- Tsomgo Lake
- Hemis Lake
- Loktak Lake
- Wular Lake
- Manasbal Lake
1) Dal Lake
Dal Lake is a treasure that embodies the essence of nature’s artistic mastery located in the Himalayan embrace. This delightful lake in the center of Srinagar and Jammu & Kashmir beckons visitors with its timeless charm. Dal Lake covers 15.5 square kilometers and is more than simply a lake, it is a canvas on which Shikaras depict serene scenes against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks.
Dal Lake has a long history that dates back to the Mughal dynasty. Dal Lake has been a muse for poets and a retreat for emperors. It now serves as a representation of Kashmir’s enduring beauty. The lake supports a vibrant community of houseboats, called “Shikaras” in the local dialect, and is more than just a picturesque location. Visitors can enjoy a unique and immersive experience from these floating homes.
In summer, lotus flowers turn the lake into a floating garden, resulting in a riot of hues that reflect the colorful culture of Kashmir. But Dal Lake’s charm isn’t limited to the summertime. In the winter, pure snow covers the area around it, giving the scenery a mystical quality.
Do not miss the Mughal Gardens, such as Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh, that line Dal Lake’s banks and add to its royal allure. Dal Lake, a site where every ripple tells a tale and every sunrise adds a new chapter to the stunning scenery of Kashmir, boasts a harmonious blend of natural beauty and cultural legacy.
Also read: Snowfall Places in India
2) Pangong Lake
Pangong Lake is a shimmering treasure in the Ladakh area which is a breathtaking example of the majesty of nature at a height of 4,350 meters above sea level. This high-altitude lake, which stretches 134 kilometers over the borders of China and India, has around one-third of its length in Indian territory. The emerald waters of Pangong Lake envelop a surreal splendor, accompanied by towering mountains that appear to reach the heavens.
Pangong Lake varies in color from deep blue to turquoise and is a sight that enthralls everyone who sees it. The lake’s appeal was increased when it made an appearance in the Bollywood film “3 Idiots,” which brought it international recognition.
Pangong Lake was an important stop along the historic Silk Road and continues to be strategically essential today. Although the lake is salty, it freezes over completely in the bitter cold of winter, creating an otherworldly white environment.
The stark beauty of the surrounding barren mountains frequently captures the attention of visitors to Pangong Lake. The area has seen a rise in tourism, drawing in nature lovers, adventure seekers, and those looking for a quiet getaway.
Travelers can leave a lasting impression on their souls from Pangong Lake, whether they choose to camp by the lake, ride a yak, or just enjoy the peace.
3) Lake Pichola
Lake Pichola is a peaceful place to visit among the royal displays of Udaipur and a tribute to the architectural and scenic splendor that defines the City of Lakes. Built by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1362 AD, Lake Pichola is a magnificent man-made freshwater lake that reflects the beauty of its surroundings.
With a surface area of around 4 square kilometers, Lake Pichola is surrounded by breathtaking structures such as the Aravalli Hills, Jag Mandir, City Palace, and Jag Niwas, also referred to as the Lake Palace. Together, these structures create an incredibly stunning landscape. The lake was first constructed to supply the city and surrounding areas’ demands for irrigation and drinking water.
Lake Pichola boat trips provide an engrossing journey through history. The attraction is enhanced by the islands of Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas, which are ornamented with exquisitely constructed palaces. The Lake Palace appears to float on the lake’s surface, creating a picture-perfect scene that has appeared in countless vacation magazines.
The yearly Mewar Festival, which attracts both locals and tourists, revolves around Lake Pichola and features illuminated boats, fireworks, and cultural events. Its allure is not limited to the daytime, an evening boat trip reveals Udaipur’s sparkling city lights on the lake, evoking a romantic ambiance.
Lake Pichola is a storehouse of natural beauty, history, and culture and is still a well-known attraction that beckons tourists to experience the majestic atmosphere of Udaipur’s lakeside wonders.
4) Vembanad Lake
Vembanad Lake is the largest lake in India. It is a vast, calm lake that winds through the scenic backwaters of the region. This brackish lagoon, which stretches across an astonishing 2,033 square kilometers, is an essential component of the rich ecology and cultural history of the picturesque backwaters of Kerala.
Vembanad Lake, which is made up of multiple rivers that combine to form the Arabian Sea, is essential to the villages that surround it. The lake contains a vast network of houseboats and traditional Kettuvallams, providing visitors with a unique and mesmerizing experience, besides being a source of livelihood for fishermen and farmers.
The lake and its surroundings comprise the Vembanad Wetland, which has been named a Ramsar site, underscoring the importance of biodiversity to the world. The lake is a refuge for nature lovers and birdwatchers because it is home to a wide variety of flora and wildlife, including various types of fish, crabs, and migrating birds.
The lake is the site of the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race, which draws thousands of people each year to see the amazing sight of snake boats racing over the water. The occasion is a celebration of the dynamic culture of the area and proof of the lake’s significance in Keralans’ daily life.
Vembanad Lake is a symbol of Kerala’s ageless charm and ecological diversity, whether you are taking in the natural grandeur of the surroundings, taking in the yearly boat race, or just relaxing on a peaceful houseboat trip.
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5) Chilika Lake
Chilika Lake is situated in the state of Odisha on India’s eastern coast and spans an expansive 1,100 square kilometers. Renowned as the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest in the world, Chilika is a dynamic ecosystem that seamlessly blends freshwater with seawater, creating a haven for diverse flora and fauna.
The barrier beach, a thin stretch of sand, divides this lagoon with brackish water from the Bay of Bengal. Because Chilika Lake is an important stopover location for migratory birds traveling the East Asian Flyway, it has been designated as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. In winter, millions of birds, including flamingos, pelicans, and several wader species make the lake their temporary home.
Apart from its bird population, Chilika is home to the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. The lake sustains fishing villages with a long history, and you can see fishermen utilizing trained otters for fishing, among other unique methods.
Many islands surround Chilika Lake, one of which, Nalabana Island, is designated as a bird sanctuary. This adds to the lake’s attractive appeal. Tourists can watch the colorful bird life and enjoy the attractive appeal of the surroundings by taking one of the lake’s boat tours.
Besides attracting tourists with its natural beauty, Chilika Lake is an important center for biodiversity protection, sustainable lifestyles, and an alluring getaway for those who love the outdoors.
6) Gurudongmar Lake
Located in the northeastern state of Sikkim, Gurudongmar Lake is a pure gem amidst the rugged landscapes of the Himalayas. Located approximately 17,800 feet (5,430 meters) above sea level, this high-altitude lake is not only the highest in India but also has great religious significance for Sikhs and Buddhists.
Gurudongmar Lake gets its name from the great Sikh figure Guru Dongmar. It is said that part of the lake’s water never freezes, even in the chilly winter months. Devotees regard the lake as sacred, and these unusual phenomena are regarded as miraculous. According to legend, the lake was sanctified by the Buddhist saint of the eighth century, Guru Padmasambhava, to keep it from freezing over completely.
The trip to Gurudongmar Lake is an amazing experience, requiring passing through difficult landscapes and breathtaking scenery at high altitudes. Trekkers and environment lovers are drawn to the stunning view created by the snow-capped peaks encircling the lake.
Apart from its religious and aesthetic value, Gurudongmar Lake provides the area with fresh water, which is essential. The lake receives its water from the melting glaciers and is a major contributor to the Teesta River, which supplies water to West Bengal and Sikkim.
Visitors to Gurudongmar Lake not only witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the Himalayas but also gain a glimpse into the cultural and spiritual significance that defines this region. Standing beside the holy Gurudongmar Lake is an experience that is nothing short of transcendent, despite the thin air and rough surroundings.
7) Tsomgo Lake
The pure beauty of Tsomgo Lake, also known as Changu Lake, captivates travelers with its enchanting beauty in the breathtaking landscapes of East Sikkim. This glacial lake is situated at an elevation of roughly 12,400 feet (3,780 meters) and is encircled by snow-capped hills and alpine meadows, producing a picture-perfect sight.
Tsomgo Lake is admired by the indigenous cultures and has cultural significance for the local Sikkimese people. The name of the lake means “source of the lake” in the Bhutia language, signifying that the surrounding mountains’ melting snow is where the lake had its start.
Throughout the winter, the lake stays frozen, turning the surrounding area into a wintry paradise. When the ice melts in the summer, the surrounding mountains and turquoise sky are reflected in the pristine waters. The lake’s surface reflects the surrounding scenery, creating an ethereal and enchanting atmosphere.
Tsomgo Lake, which is reachable from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is not only visually stunning but also provides recreational opportunities like yak rides, which lend the experience a bit of unique local flavor. Colorful prayer flags cover the area surrounding the lake, adding to the already stunning natural setting a spiritual feel.
Tsomgo Lake is not only a well-liked tourist site but also a strategically significant location for India and a significant segment of the ancient Silk Route. The lake’s varying moods are visible to visitors all year round, making it a must-visit location for anybody looking for a mix of adventure, natural beauty, and cultural richness in the heart of the Himalayas.
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8) Hemis Lake
Hemis Lake is a hidden gem that enthralls tourists with its natural beauty and isolated charm. It is located in the peaceful surroundings of Ladakh. Located at about 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) above sea level, Hemis Lake provides a peaceful place in the bleak and desolate Himalayan landscape.
One of the biggest and most well-known monasteries in Ladakh, the Hemis Monastery, sits close to this high-altitude lake. Hemis Lake is surrounded by rocky mountains, creating a surreal and rugged panorama that contrasts with the calmness of its crystal-clear waters.
For those looking for off-the-beaten-path attractions, the trip to Hemis Lake is an adventure because it requires traversing over difficult terrain. The lake itself is still largely unexplored by mass tourists, which makes it more appealing to people seeking a calm and unspoiled vacation.
Hemis Lake freezes over in the winter, turning the surrounding area into a wintry paradise. The snow-covered mountains that surround the lake create an amazing background that increases its otherworldly beauty.
Being a component of the Hemis Monastery complex, Hemis Lake is more than just a pretty sight. The region is well-known for its yearly Hemis Festival, a lively and colorful event that draws both locals and visitors.
Hemis Lake is a unique combination of solitude, scenic beauty, and cultural diversity for those who love the outdoors and an exciting trip. Travelers who make the trek to this isolated location are rewarded with a peaceful getaway right in the middle of Ladakh’s breathtaking scenery.
9) Loktak Lake
Loktak Lake is a captivating example of the nature and culture of the northeastern state of Manipur. With a surface area of over 287 square kilometers, it is known as Northeast India’s largest freshwater lake. The existence of floating islands, or “phumdis,” which are masses of plant, soil, and organic matter, is what distinguishes Loktak Lake.
For the people of Manipur, the lake is a vital resource because it offers water for drinking, agriculture, and fishing. The Ramsar Wetland Site designation recognizes its importance for maintaining biodiversity and promoting sustainable resource use.
Besides enhancing Loktak Lake’s biological variety, the phumdis offer a unique environment for customary fishing methods. The distinctive fishing methods used by the community’s fishermen, referred to as “Phumshongs,” include building circular fishing rafts, or “phumsang.”
The endangered Sangai deer, often referred to as the dancing deer, is a vital component of the ecosystem of Loktak Lake and may be found in Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is situated on the southern portion of the lake. It is acknowledged that the park is the only floating animal sanctuary in the world.
Besides being a beautiful location, Loktak Lake has cultural significance. Sendra Island in the lake is a well-liked tourist destination since it provides opportunities for boat rides and broad views. The lake’s natural charm is enhanced by a layer of cultural richness due to its association with the region’s ancient mythology and customs.
The destination of Loktak Lake creates a lasting impact on those who have the honor of witnessing its beauty, as it offers a harmonious combination of peaceful landscapes, dynamic wildlife, and cultural traditions.
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10) Wular Lake
One of the biggest freshwater lakes in Asia, Wular Lake is a stunning body of water that is situated in the northern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. Wular Lake, which occupies an area of roughly 189 square kilometers, is encircled by magnificent mountains, providing a lovely scene that attracts tourists looking for peace as well as natural beauty.
Wular Lake is a major water reservoir for the area and is fed by the Jhelum River. It is located at an altitude of around 1,580 meters. The lake is essential to preserving the hydrological balance and boosting the local economy by facilitating industries like farming and fishing.
It is a birdwatcher’s paradise due to its well-known diversity in bird populations. The lake serves as a haven for migratory birds, including terns, herons, and geese, particularly in the winter. The area’s ecological significance is enhanced by the nearby wetlands and marshes.
Wular Lake is significant not only ecologically but historically and culturally as well. The lake is surrounded by several settlements and is a vital component of the local way of life. It is a well-liked resort for both locals and tourists due to the clean waters and the Himalayan mountains in the background.
Wular Lake’s vast beauty can be seen from a different angle while boating on it, and there are hiking and exploring options nearby. Taking the picturesque road along the edge of the lake is a lovely experience that lets visitors take in the expansive scenes.
While Wular Lake’s natural splendor is undeniable, its role as a vital resource for the region and its cultural resonance with the local communities add layers of significance to this breathtaking destination in the heart of Jammu and Kashmir.
11) Manasbal Lake
Manasbal Lake is a serene treasure that highlights the region’s natural beauty. It is located amid the enchanted landscapes of Jammu and Kashmir. Manasbal Lake, which covers an area of around 4.5 square kilometers, is known for its unspoiled beauty and peaceful surroundings. It is frequently referred to as the “supreme gem of all Kashmir Lakes.”
Surrounded by lush greenery, the lake is fringed by willow and poplar trees, creating a scenic view that changes hues with the seasons. Manasbal’s crystal-clear blue waters serve as a serene haven for anyone seeking comfort in the natural world by reflecting the hillsides around them.
Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, Manasbal Lake is essential to the health of the surrounding ecosystem. Numerous fish species can be found in the lake’s waters, which are abundant in aquatic life. The lake’s surrounding wetlands enhance the biodiversity of the area and serve as a crucial migratory bird habitat.
Manasbal Lake boating is a well-liked activity that enables guests to enjoy the lake’s beauty up close. A hint of traditional wooden boat charm is added to the experience with the Shikara rides. The lake’s environs are a favored spot for both locals and visitors since they provide chances for picnics and leisurely walks.
Manasbal Lake is steeped in history, with the ruins of a fort located on the lake’s eastern shore, adding a layer of cultural significance to the area. The reflection of the fort on the shimmering waters adds a mystique to the overall ambiance.
Manasbal Lake is a picture-perfect location for anyone looking for a calm getaway into the arms of nature. It invites visitors to relax and take in Kashmir’s ageless beauty.
India is home to a lot of beautiful lakes that can take your breath away. As there are so many lakes in India, you might be wondering which one to visit. This article has listed the most famous lakes of India so you can spend some time looking at the beauty of nature and soothe your soul.
What Are the Most Famous Lakes in India?
India is home to numerous beautiful lakes. Some of the most famous ones include Dal Lake in Jammu and Kashmir, Pangong Lake in Ladakh, and Lake Pichola in Rajasthan.
Are There Any Floating Lakes in India?
Yes, Loktak Lake in Manipur is known for its unique floating islands, locally called “phumdis.” These masses of vegetation and organic matter float on the lake’s surface, making it a distinctive feature of this freshwater lake.