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Top 6 Largest Lakes You Must Visit In India 2024

Top 6 Largest Lakes You Must Visit In India 2024

India is a land of wonders, with diverse attractions ranging from scenic landscapes to cultural treasures, from majestic mountains to lush forests. Among its many natural beauties, India boasts some of the most spectacular lakes in the world.


These beautiful lakes are scattered throughout the country, and you must visit them once in your life to enjoy their scenic beauty.

In this article, you will get to know about some of the largest lakes in India,

  1. Vembanad Lake
  2. Chilka Lake
  3. Pangong Tso Lake
  4. Pulicat Lake
  5. Shivaji Sagar Lake
  6. Wular Lake

Let’s see each of these lakes and their unique features.

1. Vembanad Lake

Vembanad Lake
Area2033 km²

Lake Vembanad is both the longest and the largest lake in India. It is 96.5 kilometers long and stretches over an area of 2033 sq. kilometers. It spans three districts: Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Ernakulam, and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

The lake lies at sea level and is separated from the Arabian Sea by a narrow barrier island, making it a freshwater lake. The lake is fed by several rivers and canals, creating a rich ecosystem that supports diverse flora and fauna.


It is also a popular destination for backwater tourism, as visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, canoeing, and picnicking along the shore. The lake looks especially beautiful during sunset when the sky shows different hues of red.

Vembanad Lake is also a haven for bird watchers, as it hosts many migratory birds from different parts of the world. Some species that can be spotted here include kingfishers, egrets, herons, cormorants, and darters. The lake is also home to the endangered Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, which covers 14 acres of land and protects various rare and exotic birds.

One of the highlights of visiting Vembanad Lake is witnessing the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held on the second Saturday of August every year. This is a thrilling spectacle where teams of rowers compete in snake boats, traditional wooden vessels that can accommodate up to 100 people. The race attracts thousands of spectators and celebrates Kerala’s culture and heritage.

2. Chilka Lake

Chilka Lake
Area1100 km²

Chilka Lake is a brackish water lagoon situated in Odisha. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second-largest lagoon in the world. This lake takes up an area of 1100 sq. kilometers and covers parts of three districts.

One of the main attractions of Chilka Lake is the Kalijai Temple, which is situated on an island in the middle of the lake. It is a popular spot and is devoted to the goddess Kalijai, who is said to be the protector of the lake.

Chilka Lake is also home to a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna, especially birds and dolphins.

Near the lakeshore, there is the small village of Mangalajodi. It is famous for its bird sanctuary and is the perfect place for birdwatching. It attracts thousands of migratory and resident birds every year. You can spot flamingos, pelicans, kingfishers, and many other species of birds here. You can even take a boat ride around the lake to see these birds up close.

Another thing that Chilka Lake is famous for is the Irrawaddy Dolphins. At this lake, you can witness them leaping out of the water and diving back in. This is a truly unforgettable experience that you should not miss. The dolphins are mostly seen at the southern end of the lake at the Satapada Sanctuary. 

If you are an adventure lover, you can also indulge in some water sports at Chilka Lake, such as boating, kayaking, canoeing, and more. 

You can also explore Honeymoon Island or Barkuda Island, a small islet that is ideal for couples and honeymooners. This island offers a romantic and secluded getaway amid nature.

3. Pangong Tso Lake

Pangong Tso Lake
Area699.3 km²

This stunning lake lies high in the Himalayas, at 4350 meters above sea level, and covers 699.3 sq. kilometers. It stretches from Eastern Ladakh, India to western Tibet. The lake consists of several smaller lakes and is the highest saltwater lake on Earth.

The lake has a vivid blue color that changes with the sunlight and the seasons. It is believed to have been formed millions of years ago due to the tectonic movements that shaped the Himalayan range. Some locals also believe that a mythical creature called “Lukung” lives in the depths of the lake.


The lake is in a disputed territory between India and China, and boat rides are not allowed on it. However, you can still enjoy the stunning views of the lake and its surroundings from the shore. The lake freezes completely in winter, creating a surreal landscape. It is also a great place for birdwatching, as many migratory birds flock to the lake.

Although the weather on the shores can be quite harsh due to its altitude, Pangong Tso Lake is a must-see destination due to its remarkable charm. The contrast between the rugged mountains, the clear blue water, and the fluffy white clouds will leave you speechless. It is a place where you can experience the beauty and tranquility of nature at its best.

4. Pulicat Lake

Pulicat Lake
State/UTTamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh
Area450 km²

If you love nature and wildlife, visit Pulicat Lake, India’s second-largest brackish water lagoon after Chilika Lake. It is located on the Coromandel Coast of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, covering an area of 450 sq. kilometers. It is separated from the Bay of Bengal by the narrow Sriharikota Island, home to India’s satellite-launching facility.

Pulicat Lake is a major reserve and a bird sanctuary, where you can see a variety of avifauna, especially flamingos, pelicans, and seagulls. The lake attracts thousands of migratory birds from different parts of the world during the winter season, making it a paradise for bird watchers.

You can also enjoy exciting boating options from the villages surrounding the lake. You can choose from traditional boats or speed boats, depending on your preference. You can also try some water sports activities or go for treks in the nearby regions. Also, don’t forget to taste some delicious seafood while you are there.

5. Shivsagar Lake

Area891.8 km²

Shivsagar, or Shivaji Sagar Lake, is a reservoir in Maharashtra formed by the impoundment of the Koyna River. It is one of the most beautiful regions in the district of Satara and covers a length of 60 kilometers. It is named after the great Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj, who was born near the lake.


The lake is wrapped in greenery and has a quiet ambiance and an enthusiastic cool breeze. The cool and clear waters look refreshing and rejuvenating. You can explore the area while riding a traditional boat through the waters or enjoy some speed boating if you are into adventure activities. The splashing waters will pump your adrenaline and give you a thrill.

The lake is also ideal for a calming one-day trip. You can even choose the lakeside as your picnic spot. You can relax in nature and enjoy the views of the lake and the hills. You can also visit some nearby attractions, such as the Koyna Dam, Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, and Nehru Garden.

6. Wular Lake

State/UTJammu and Kashmir
Area200 km²

Wular Lake is the largest freshwater lake in India and the second-largest in the entire sub-continent, after Lake Victoria. It is located in the Jammu and Kashmir territory, at the north end of the Vale of Kashmir. To be exact, it is situated at the foothills of the Haramuk mountain. It has a length of 16 km and a width of 10 km, but its area varies from 30 to 260 sq. km, depending on the season.

The Jhelum River feeds the lake and also flows out of it. The lake controls the river’s flow and acts as a flood regulator for the surrounding region. The lake also supports a rich ecosystem of flora and fauna, including various fish, waterfowl, and migratory birds.

The lake has a history dating back to ancient times when it was known as Mahapadmasar. In the heart of the lake, you will see a 15th-century island called the ‘Zaina Lank,’ with ruins built by King Zainul-Abi-Din. The town of Sopur lies on the lake’s southwest shore and is a hub for trade and tourism.

The lake is calm in appearance but, with its dimensions and the extent of water, gives rise to high leaping waves, called Ullola in Sanskrit, in the afternoons. From the lake, the transitioning sky and the sunset look like magic.

Wular Lake is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. You can enjoy boating, fishing, birdwatching, or picnicking along the shore. You can also visit some nearby attractions, such as the Sopur Bridge, the Wular Vantage Park, and Manasbal Lake.

These are just a few of the long list of massive and beautiful lakes in India. You should definitely plan a trip to some of these amazing lakes. There is so much more to discover and experience when you visit them in person.

Relax and rejuvenate yourself in the lap of nature and enjoy the tranquility and splendor of these water bodies.

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