Lakes in India play a significant role in the country’s ecosystem by preserving biodiversity, providing drinking water, irrigation, and supporting livelihoods. From a UPSC Civil Services Exam perspective, understanding the geographical location, characteristics, and significance of these lakes is vital.
Important Lakes of India
Located in Jammu and Kashmir, Wular Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia. It’s fed by the Jhelum River and plays a significant role in the valley’s hydrography.
Also in Jammu and Kashmir, Dal Lake is known as the ‘Jewel in the crown of Kashmir’ or ‘Srinagar’s Jewel.’ The lake is famous for its floating gardens and ‘Shikaras’ – the wooden boats.
Situated in Odisha, Chilika Lake is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest in the world. It’s recognized as a ‘Ramsar Site’ due to its rich biodiversity, hosting numerous species of birds, especially during the winter migratory season.
Located in Manipur, Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India. It’s notable for the floating ‘phumdis’ (mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matter) and is home to the Keibul Lamjao, the world’s only floating national park.
Sambhar Lake, situated in Rajasthan, is India’s largest inland saltwater lake. It’s a key source of salt production in India.
Vembanad Lake, located in Kerala, is the longest lake in India. It’s known for hosting the famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race and is a part of the Vembanad-Kol wetland system, recognized as a Ramsar site.
Straddling the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake is the second-largest brackish water lake in India. It hosts the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, home to many migratory birds.
Located in Hyderabad, Hussain Sagar is a man-made lake built by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali in 1562. It’s known for the monolithic statue of Buddha installed in the center of the lake.
|No.||Lake||State/UT||Type||Area (Sq km)|
|1||Vembanad||Kerala||Natural – Half Brackish, Half Freshwater||2,033|
|5||Sardar Sarovar||Gujarat||Artificial Freshwater||375|
|6||Pulicat||Andhra Pradesh||Natural Brackish||450|
|7||Indira Sagar||Madhya Pradesh||Artificial Freshwater||627|
|8||Pangong Tso||Ladakh||Natural Saline||700|
|9||Nagarjuna Sagar||AP, Telangana||Artificial Freshwater||285|
|10||Kolleru||Andhra Pradesh||Natural Freshwater||245|
|11||Wular||Jammu & Kashmir||Natural Freshwater||259|
|12||Sambhar Salt||Rajasthan||Natural Saline||230|
|13||Gobind Sagar||Himachal Pradesh||Artificial Freshwater||168|
|14||Dal||Jammu & Kashmir||Natural Freshwater||22|
|18||Deepor Beel||Assam||Natural Freshwater||40.1|
|19||Bhojtal||Madhya Pradesh||Artificial Freshwater||31|
|20||Veeranam||Tamil Nadu||Artificial Freshwater||25|
A thorough understanding of the important lakes in India is crucial for aspirants preparing for the Civil Services Examination. These lakes are not only geographically significant but are also linked with the culture, economy, and biodiversity of the regions, making them an integral part of the UPSC syllabus. Aspirants should keep themselves updated on any recent developments concerning these lakes for a well-rounded preparation.