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The Largest Lakes in India – How Many Do You Know About?

9 mins. read

“Find a calm lake and wait for the twilight in silence! There, existence will visit you with all its magnificence!”

- Mehmet Murat Ildan

Have you ever fantasised about sitting by a tranquil lake, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, or bordered by pine trees for as far as the eye could see? Hear the endless chirping of birds or track the movement of fishes and other water bodies as you slowly drift across the lake on a kayak.

Blinking at your reflection on the surface, watching the light play on the water, especially at dawn and dusk. Feel the silky water on your skin as you dip your fingers in the glittering water – always pulsing with life and energy. The serenity and peace accentuated by calm waters, cool air and breathtaking landscapes is a vibe that needs to be experienced.

There is something so peaceful and effortlessly inspiring about sitting by a lakeshore. In Hinduism, lakes are more than just bodies of stagnant water; they are the resting place for many gods and goddesses. For Indians, lakes offer mystery and are a tantalizing source of drama for people with imagination as the life beneath the surface is invisible and not fully known.

Perhaps this is why lakes in India are so enthralling and admired by so many people, locals and tourists alike. Being near open water creates a sense of weightlessness and freedom. Also, when you see and appreciate its creation, you begin to realise that there is more to life than what is in front of you.

Fun Fact: During the early Victorian era, doctors would often prescribe an extended stay in the countryside near lakes for a variety of illnesses and ailments.

  • Aao Tumhe Lake-e Chalein!
  • Vembanad Lake, Kerala
  • Chillika Lake, Odisha
  • Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim
  • Pichola Lake, Udaipur

Aao Tumhe Lake-e Chalein!

When we think about holiday destinations with water as the main element of attraction, many of us immediately imagine sitting on the beaches of Kerala, sun baking in Goa, the effortless fall of the many waterfalls in India or even gazing into the inky depths of the Indian Ocean on the Kanyakumari beach.

Despite the rush of pleasure these images invoke, the beauty of water bodies does not end there. From relaxing on star-lit nights to fun-filled days spent boating on the water, it's difficult to imagine a better way to spend a vacation than at one of the riveting lakes in India.

Lakes are an excellent choice for your next vacation, whether it is a fun weekend getaway or a family trip, spending time at the lake is unquestionably a good idea. And doctors from the Victorian era can attest to it.

Vembanad Lake, Kerala 

Vembanad Lake Kerala

Vembandau, Punnamada or Kochi Lake, whichever name you prefer to call it, Vembanad Lake is a tranquil spot for those looking to relax and enjoy their vacation. As the longest and the biggest lake in India, Vembanad spans several districts and is framed as one of the most prominent backwater destinations in India.

Spread across an area of 2033 sq. km, Vembanad is 39 ft. deep and 96.5 km long which makes it the longest lake in India. It has a diverse landscape that includes coastal backwaters, lagoons, mangroves and marshes and is an ideal spot to observe natural beauty at its best from one of the houseboats tied to the lakefront.

As the largest lake in India, Vembanad is a sight to behold. Visitors are welcome to stay a night at one of the resorts or set sail in one of the houseboats through the canals that connect the lake.

Onam is the ideal time for tourists to immerse themselves in South Indian culture. During the festival, the lake transforms into a spectator of Vallam Kali, the world-famous snake boat race. With hundreds of oarsmen rowing their boats in unison and singing at the top of their voices, it is indeed a magical and thrilling sight to witness.

Chillika Lake, Odisha

Regarded as the largest wintering ground for migratory birds like white-beaked common coot, northern pintail, white-bellied sea eagles, flamingos, and other migratory species, Chilika Lake is one of the popular eco-tourism destinations in Odisha.

Covering an expanse of 1165 sq. km and 13.8 ft. deep Chilika Lake is the biggest lake in India after Vembanad.  Studded with small islands and spread across Puri, Ganjam and Khurda districts, it is the largest saltwater lake in India.

Aside from the presence of exotic wildlife, the lake and its environs have diverse flora with an abundance of aquatic and non-aquatic plants. It is also well-known for being home to the only known population of Irrawaddy dolphins. Boating is one of the most popular activities at Chilika. The lake can be visited all year round, but the months of November to February are especially beautiful because of the birds migrating from across the world, which makes exploring the eaters even more exciting.

Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim

As the highest freshwater lake in India and across the globe, Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim lies to the north of the Kanchenjungha Range close to the Tibetan border. The lake has a surface area of 290 acres and a perimeter length of 5.34 kilometres. It is without a doubt the most beautiful and highest point on the North Sikkim tour. The lake is serene, and the scenery is breathtaking. It is not an overstatement to call it a paradise in the middle of nowhere.

Bordered by snow-clad mountains reflected on the surface of the glittering lake, Gurudongmar is surrounded by local lore. It is believed that the lake was blessed by Guru Nanak Dev. Since then it has become one of the most revered places for Sikhs.

The best time to visit Gurudongmar Lake is from March until June. Since the weather is pleasant and one can see clear crystal blue skies, with lush greenery in the surroundings along with the beautiful and divine Gurudongmar Lake late summers are ideal for a visit. Visitors can stay in Lachen, Lachung, or Yumthang Valley for easy access to the lake. These idyllic and dream-like small towns where tourists usually stay on their way up to the Lake or down to Gangtok offer the most beautiful views of cloudy skies covering the mountain tops and colourful houses.

Pichola Lake, Udaipur

Pichola Lake Udaipur

One of the largest manmade freshwater lakes in India, Pichola is nestled in the heart of the beautiful Udaipur city of Rajasthan. Created in 1362 AD by Pichhu Banjara, Pichola Lake is one of the oldest and biggest lakes in India. It is home to the well-known Gangaur Ghats and other tourist attractions. This breath-taking and serene lake provides an ideal setting for visitors to immerse themselves in its irresistible charm of Rajasthani culture and beauty

The tranquil setting with the Aravalli Range in the background looks like something out of a postcard.

Flanked by palaces, temples, Ghats, and cosy cafes, the lake has something for everyone. On a regular day, you can sit on the steps of the Gangaur ghat and enjoy the peacefulness of the lake or take a boat ride down to one of the many palaces and mandirs situated on the lake.

At 30 feet deep and spread across a surface area of 1,720 acres, Pichola appears more enchanting with its scenic surroundings, and the breathtaking views of sunrise and sunset from the lake are something to look forward to.

Lakeside vacations are ideal for getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Travellers have the ideal opportunity to put down their phones and enjoy the peaceful scenery of nature. Stand beneath the endless blue skies and watch them reflect on the calm waters. At Veena World, we have curated a list of tour packages that will help you explore these lakes in India and many more touristy waterfronts in India. Explore all India tour packages and curate one that suits you best.

It is time to return to the primitive and the peaceful.

April 07, 2023


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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