India is a country that is filled with numerous lakes beautiful lakes spread all over it’s land, from north (Kashmir) to south (Kerala) and from west (Rajasthan) to east (Assam). Most of these water bodies are freshwater lakes but at the other hand you can find numerous salt lakes, brackish water lakes and other types of lakes too. In this article we are going to tell you about 10 most beautiful that every tourist or traveler wants to visit at least once in a lifetime as these 10 lakes are amongst the biggest tourist attractions in India.
1. Loktak Lake, Manipur
Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in North-Eastern part of India and is famous for it’s unique ‘phumdis’ that floats over it surface. It is situated in world’s largest floating park called Keibul Lamjao National Park.
Many of you may have never heard of ‘Phumdis’ so let us tell you that Phumdis are a series of floating islands and are heterogeneous masses of vegetation, soil and organic matter, in different stages of decay. The largest phumdi, that covers an area of 40 sq. km, can be seen in the south-eastern part of the lake. It is perfect for family picnics and romantic escapes. Best time to visit it is November to March for its pleasant winters.
2. Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim
This beautiful lake is one of the highest lakes in the world and is located at an altitude of 17,800 ft. in Sikkim, that too just 5 kilometres south of Indo-China border. Awe inspiring Gurudongmar Lake remains milky in color throughout the year and considered a sacred lake by both Hindus and Buddhists. It is not only known for just its beauty but also it’s rare phenomenon where the entire lake freezes, except a mysterious little corner even in extreme winter.
According to a legend this lake used to remain frozen most of the year so it was not possible to use its water for drinking purposes. When Guru Padmasambhava passed by, while returning from Tibet, the local residents approached him for providing source of water. The Guru obliged and a part of the lake touched by him does not freeze in winters. Best time to visit it is during summer months for sheer beauty and during winter months for frozen magnificence. i.e. November to June.
3. Pangong Tso Lake, Jammu & Kashmir
Pangong Tso, one of the largest brackish lakes in Asia, is situated at a height of 4,250 meters, far away in barren land of Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir. In Tibetan language Pangong means “long, narrow, enchanted lake”. This lake is very much popular amongst adventure junkies for adventure trip.
The crystal clear blue lake is situated on the Changtang plateau in eastern Ladakh region and rawls over an area of 100 kilometers across the borders of India and China. That’s why this area falls under army control and requires pass from deputy commissioner of Leh. Best time to visit it is May to September, for its glittering water and November to January, for a spectacular frozen view of this huge brackish water lake in India.
4. Lonar Crater Lake, Maharashtra
One of Maharashtra’s best-kept secrets, Lonar lake is distinguished by the fact that it is the world’s third largest crater. It is located at Lonar in Buldhana district of Maharashtra. It is a popular tourist hub and also attracts scientists from across the world. The oval-shaped Lonar lake was formed after a meteorite hit the Earth some 50,000 years ago. Over the time, the jungle took over, and a perennial stream transformed the base into a tranquil, green locale.
Lonar lake was all over the news as the color of it’s water has recently turned pink, which has not only surprised locals, but nature enthusiasts and scientists as well. The best time to visit this beautiful lake is during the monsoon season (June-September).
5. Sambhar Lake, Rajasthan
When someone talks about the largest inland salt lake in India it means he or she is talking about The Sambhar lake of Rajasthan. It is famous for the production of salt and also houses one of the largest salt manufacturing units in the country. Tourists come here to get a glimpse of the well known ‘Shakambari Devi’ temple and for bird-watching. Flamingoes, pelicans and the waterfowls can be commonly sighted at the Sambhar Lake.
The lake finds mention in the mythological epic, ‘Mahabharata’. According to history the lake was a part of the kingdom of a demon king ‘Brishparva’. The best time to visit the lake and Sambhar Wildlife Sanctuary is from October to March. You should avoid visiting it from June to September, as this is the monsoon season and neither would you find much wildlife then, nor would you be able to witness much of salt production.
6. Pichola Lake, Rajasthan
Located in the heart of the Udaipur city, Pichola Lake is one of the most beautiful and picturesque lakes of India. This artificial fresh water lake was created in the year of 1362.
All around the lake you can see top places of Udaipur city such as palaces including The City Palace, temples including Mohan Mandir, bathing ghats and hills . Eklinggarh Fort, a new eco-tourism site, can be seen from Machhala Magra hill which is situated on the southern part of the lake. Best time to visit Pichola lake is October to March.
7. Vembanad Lake, Kerala
Vembanad lake, also known as Punnamada Lake, is the longest lake of India, and also the largest in Kerala. Since the lake is lesser known it is less crowded and ensures you have a peaceful experience.
The fact that makes this lake special is that it’s a combination of fresh and brackish water, divided by a saltwater barrier. The famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race is conducted in a portion of this lake. On the east coast of the lake, famous Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located.
You can stay in one of picturesque houseboats on Vembanad Lake and soak in the beauty and serenity of this lake as a part of Kerala Backwaters tourism in the best possible way.
8. Chilka Lake, Odisha
In the heart of the coastal Odisha you can witness the beauty of famous Chilka Lake which is Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon with water spread ranging from 1165 sq km in the rainy season to 906 sq km in the summer season.
You may wonder after knowing the fact that Chilka lake is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest lagoon in the world. It is considered as one of the most important wetlands in the world because this lake is home to a phenomenal variety of birds. Best time to visit Chilka Lake is from November to February for its slightly cool and pleasant weather.
9. Dal Lake, Jammu & Kashmir
Srinagar, The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, is the place where you need to go to see this famous lake known as Dal Lake. Tourists and native alike also enjoy relaxing on the water in a houseboat or a shikara boat, often called “the Gondola of Kashmir”.
The shikaras also used by vendors to sell all kinds of Kashmiri handicrafts and trinkets, flowers, fruits and vegetables. 15 kilometer-round Dal Lake is breathtakingly beautiful during both summer and winter, with two very different landscapes to flaunt. Best time to visit Dal Lke is during July and October.
10. Roopkund Lake, Uttarakhand
The Roopkund Lake, locally known as Mystery Lake, is a high altitude glacial lake located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhan. It is accessible by a trekking trail of about 5-6 days. This shallow lake has a depth of about two meters.
It gained popularity because of the human skeletal remains visible at its bottom when the snow melts. There were many theories for the presence of the skeletons. Radiocarbon dating of the bones has shown that they belong to around 850 AD. The best time to visit Roopkund lake is during the summer months; April, May and June.