List of Important Lakes in India – You Must Know for UPSC

list of important lakes in India

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

Wular Lake

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.

Dal Lake

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.

Chilika Lake

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.

Loktak Lake

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

Sambhar Lake, situated in Rajasthan, is India’s largest inland saltwater lake. It’s a key source of salt production in India.

Vembanad Lake

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.

Pulicat Lake

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.

Hussain Sagar

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.LakeState/UTTypeArea (Sq km)
1VembanadKeralaNatural – Half Brackish, Half Freshwater2,033
2ChilikaOdishaNatural Brackish1,165
3LoktakManipurNatural Freshwater287
4ShivsagarMaharashtraArtificial Freshwater891.7
5Sardar SarovarGujaratArtificial Freshwater375
6PulicatAndhra PradeshNatural Brackish450
7Indira SagarMadhya PradeshArtificial Freshwater627
8Pangong TsoLadakhNatural Saline700
9Nagarjuna SagarAP, TelanganaArtificial Freshwater285
10KolleruAndhra PradeshNatural Freshwater245
11WularJammu & KashmirNatural Freshwater259
12Sambhar SaltRajasthanNatural Saline230
13Gobind SagarHimachal PradeshArtificial Freshwater168
14DalJammu & KashmirNatural Freshwater22
15AshtamudiKeralaNatural Freshwater61.4
16DhebarRajasthanArtificial Freshwater87
17PushkarRajasthanArtificial Freshwater22
18Deepor BeelAssamNatural Freshwater40.1
19BhojtalMadhya PradeshArtificial Freshwater31
20VeeranamTamil NaduArtificial Freshwater25


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.

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