India is a very large country in terms of area and is the 7th largest country in the world. This land is so big that it contains a huge channel made by a lot of rivers that pass through this land. These rivers have made some large freshwater lakes throughout the Indian land. There are some artificial lakes too that were made by humans but they are also a result of water from these rivers.
India’s largest lake is Vembanad that has an area of 2033 sq km and a depth of 12m. Vembanad is located in Kerala and is a half fresh half brackish. Brackish is a water that is slightly saline but lesser than sea water. In this article, we are covering only freshwater lakes so some large lakes like Vembanad, Chilika, Pangong Tso and Pulikat lake would be out of the list due to the saline nature of there water. So’ here is a list 10 largest freshwater Lakes in India.
1. Shivaji Sagar Lake
Shivaji Sagar is the largest artificial freshwater lake in India and is located in Maharashtra. It has a surface area of 891.78 km2 (344 sq mi) and a maximum depth of 80 m (260 ft) making the whole water volume in Shivaji Sagar 2,797,400,000 cubic meters. It is basically a water reservoir which is a result of the construction of the Konya dam Konya river. Konya dam was constructed in 1964 and its construction resulted in the largest artificial freshwater lake in India. Shivaji Sagar is named after legendary Maratha ruler Shivaji. Shivaji Sagar is located near Mahableshwar.
2. Indira Sagar lake
Indira is another artificial freshwater lake in India and is second largest coming after Shivaji Sagar in terms of Surface area. It has a surface area of 627 sq. km. It is also a water reservoir and is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is built as a result of Indira Sagar Dam on Narmada river. Indira Sagar is one of the most important dams in India, it helps in irrigation of 1,230 square kilometers of land and produces a power of 1000 MW. Its construction began in the year 1992 and was finalized in 2005. It is named after late Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi.
3. Sardar Sarovar lake
Sardar Sarovar is also a man-made freshwater lake located in Navagam in the state of Gujarat. It is a result of Sardar Sarovar Dam, which is also built on the river Narmada. It is also a water reservoir that provides water to four states Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan. It was completed in 2017 and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This water reservoir irrigates 18,000 km2 (6,900 sq mi) of land. There are total 30 dams built on Narmada river and Sardar Sarovar is largest of them.
Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeastern India and some considered it to be the largest too but its argued due to the several small floating islands on this lake. It is located in the state of Manipur and has a surface area of 287 sq. km. It is a relatively shallow lake has an average depth of 4.6 m. It is located on a height of 768.5 m (2,521 ft). Loktak produces 1,500 tonnes (6,600,000 lb) of fishery every year and it has 1,00,000 people living around it. Loktak has reported being home of 425 species of animals out of which 249 are vertebrae.
5. Nagarjuna Sagar Lake
Nagarjuna Sagar is another artificial freshwater lake and it is also a water reservoir. It is located in the Nalgonda district of Telangana State. It is a reservoir of Nagarjuna Sagar Dam which is one of the tallest and biggest Masonry dams in the world and was built in 1967. Nagarjuna Sagar lake is 285 sq. km making it the fifth largest freshwater reservoir in India. It is built across the Krishna river. This lake provides irrigation water to the Nalgonda, Suryapet, Krishna, Khammam, Guntur, and Prakasam districts. Nagarjuna Sagar is also a famous tourist spot near Hyderabad.
6. Wular Lake
Wular lake is considered as the largest natural freshwater lake in India but its area changes drastically from season to season. It can be 12 square miles (30 square kilometers) to 100 square miles (260 square kilometers). Its water came from Jhelum river and it is located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Wular lake has a maximum depth is of 12 meters. Wular lake is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Jammu and Kashmir and is known for boating and water skiing. Wular has also lost some of its surface areas due to Willow plantations.
7. Kolleru Lake
Kolleru lake is located in the state of Andhra Pradesh and is a natural freshwater lake. It has a surface area of 245 sq. km and is a shallow lake with an average depth of 1 m and a maximum depth of 2 m. It also has an island in it which is named as Kolletikota and also called as (Heart of Kolleru Lake). This lake is also a tourist attraction due to the immigrant birds coming there in winters. In 1999 Kolleru lake and area around it were declared as wildlife sanctuary which has an area of 308 km2. The total population of the birds in this lake can reach 20 million in winter.
8. Gobind Sagar
Gobind Sagar is an artificial freshwater lake located in the state of Himachal Pradesh in district Bilaspur and Una. It has a depth of 163.07 m (535.0 ft) and an area of 168 sq. km. It is built on the Sutlej river and to maintain the flow of Beas river it was connected to the Gobind Sagar in 1976 by Beas-Sutlej link. This lake has ferries and water sports as its main attraction. This reservoir is very large it has a length of 56 km and 3 km breadth. Speedboating is one the popular water sports that Gobind Sagar offers.
9. Dhebar Lake
Dhebar lake is located in Udaipur district of the state of Rajasthan. It is one of the oldest artificial freshwater lakes and was built in 17th century by Rana Jai Singh back then it was the largest artificial lake in the world. It has an area of 87 km2 (34 sq mi) and a maximum depth of 102 ft (31 m). It gets its water from Gomati River. It was created due to the large marble dam built across the Gomati river to fulfill the irrigation needs of nearby areas. Dhebar lake has three islands on it.
10. Kanwar Lake
Kanwar lake is located in the state of Bihar and is also known as Kabar Taal lake. It is a natural freshwater lake and has an area of 67.5 km2. In 1987 Kanwar Lake became a bird century that is home to 106 species of birds, 60 of them are immigrant from central Asia that came to India during winters. Some of the birds that come to Kanwar lake are the Oriental white-backed vulture, the Long-billed vulture, Greater Adjutant (Leptoptilos dubiu), Greater spotted eagle (Aquila clanga), Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) and Sarus crane (Grus Antigone). Presence of these birds makes Kanwar lake a perfect place for bird watchers.