Lake: Natural & Artificial (List of Lakes in India)

lake is an area of variable size filled with water, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land, apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drain the lake.
Lakes lie on land and are not part of the ocean (except for sea lochs in Scotland and Ireland), and therefore are distinct from lagoons which are shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by barrier islands or reefs.
Lakes are also larger and deeper than ponds, though there are no official or scientific definitions.  Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams, which are usually flowing. However most lakes are fed and drained by rivers and streams.
Lakes can be broadly divided into two:-
 (i) Natural Lakes
(ii) Artificial Lakes

Natural lakes are generally found in mountainous areas, rift zones, and areas with ongoing glaciation. Natural Lakes are formed through a number of processes.
(i) A tectonic movement of a mountain range can create bowl-shaped
depressions that accumulate water and form lakes.
(ii) Landslides or glacial blockages lead to lake formations.
(iii) Salt lakes form where there is no natural outlet. Here the water table has a
higher than normal salt content.
(iv) Ox-bow lakes. are formed by a meandering river that flows across a flood
plain and gets cut-off.
(v) Spits and bars form lagoons in the coastal areas.

Artificial Lakes are constructed for industrial or agricultural use, for hydro-electric power generation or domestic water supply, or for aesthetic or recreational purposes.
Guru Gobind Sagar is an example of an artificial lake. It supports the Bhakra Nangal Hydel Project.

Lakes whether they are natural or artificial are of great value to human beings.
(i) A lake helps to regulate the flow of a river.
(ii) It prevents flooding and promotes agriculture.
(iii) During the dry season, it helps to maintain an even flow of water and provides water for domestic proposes.
(iv) Lakes are used for developing Hydro-electric power.
(v) They influence the climate in the surrounding region.
(vi) Lakes maintain the aquatic ecosystem.
(vii) They enhance natural beauty and help develop tourism and provide recreation.

List of Famous/Major/Important Natural & Artificial Lakes in India

1. Kolleru Lake - Andhra Pradesh
One of the Largest fresh water lake in India.
Located between Krishna and Godavari delta.
Atapaka Bird Sanctuary is a located on the Kolleru Lake.

 2. Sambhar Lake - Rajasthan
India's largest inland salt lake.
It is a bowl shape lake encircles historical Sambhar Lake Town located 96 km south west of the city of Jaipur (Northwest India) and 64 km north east of Ajmer along National Highway 8 in Rajasthan.
Mahabharata mentions the Sambhar lake as part of the kingdom of the demon king Brishparva.

 3. Pushkar Lake - Rajasthan
Located in the town of Pushkar in Ajmer district of the Rajasthan.
Pushkar Lake is a sacred lake of the Hindus.

 4.Wular Lake - Jammu Kashmir
Largest Freshwater lake in India.
Wular lake can spread over nearly 200-sq-kms but its actual surface area tends to vary during the year.
The Jhelum River flows into the lake, 40-km downstream from Srinagar, and then out again. 
Lake basin was formed as a result of tectonic activity and is fed by the Jhelum River.

5.Pulicat Lake- Andhra Pradesh
Second largest brackish – water lake or lagoon in India.
The large spindle-shaped barrier island named Sriharikota separates the lake from the Bay of Bengal. 
The island is home to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre,the launch site of India's successful first lunar space mission, the Chandrayaan-1.

6. Loktak Lake -Manipur
Largest freshwater lake in North -East India
Keibul Lamjao the only floating national park in the world floats over it,which is the last natural refuge of the endangered sangai or Manipur brow-antlered deer.

7. Sasthamcotta Lake - Kerala
Largest fresh water lake in kerala.
The purity of the lake water for drinking use is attributed to the presence of large population of larva called cavaborus that consumes bacteria in the lake water. 

8. Vembanad Lake -Kerala
Vembanad (Vembanad Kayal or Vembanad Kol) is the longest lake in India, and the largest lake in the state of Kerala.
It is known as Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad and Kochi Lake in Kochi.
The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is conducted in a portion of the lake.

9. Chilka Lake -Odisha
Chilika Lake is a brackish water lagoon, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha state on the east coast of India, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal, covering an area of over 1,100 km2.
It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest lagoon in the world.
Chilika Lake is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds, on the Indian sub-continent.

10. Dal Lake - Jammu Kashmir
Dal Lake is a lake in Srinagar and is integral to tourism known as  the "Jewel in the crown of Kashmir" or "Srinagar's Jewel".
Asia's largest Tulip garden is on the banks of Dal Lake.
Mughal gardens, Shalimar Bagh and the Nishat Bagh are on the banks of Dal Lake.

11. Nalsarover Lake- Gujarat
The Nalsarovar Lake in Gujarat is probably the largest water bird sanctuary in the country.
The Nalsarovar Lake is mainly inhabited by migratory birds in winter and spring, it is the largest wetland bird sanctuary in Gujarat, and one of the largest in India.
   It was declared a bird sanctuary in April 1969.

12. Tsomgo Lake - Sikkim
Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake, is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim.
The lake is the venue for the Guru Purnima festival in which Jhakris of Sikkim assemble at the lake area to derive benefits from the healing qualities of the lake waters.

13. Bhimtal Lake - Uttarakhand
Bhimtal Lake is a lake in the town of Bhimtal, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, with a masonry dam built in 1883 creating the storage facility
It is the largest lake in Kumaon region, known as the "lake district of India".
"C" shaped lake.

14. Barapani Lake- Meghalaya
Barapani or Umiam Lake is in Shillong .
The origin of Lake in 1965 is due to the Umiam Umtru Hydro Electric Power Project ,the first Hydel power project in the North-east region of India.

15. Nainital Lake - Uttarakhand
Nainital Lake, a natural freshwater body, situated amidst the township of Nainital in Uttarakhand State of India
Kidney shaped or crescent shaped.

16. Periyar Lake -Kerala
Periyar Lake is formed by the construction of the dam across the Mullaperiyar River in 1895.
The notable elephant reserve and a tiger reserve, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the banks of Periyar lake.
 
17. Hussain Sagar Lake - Telengana
The lake is in Hyderabad, built by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali in 1562, during the rule of Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah.
Connects the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
A major attraction at the Hussain Sagar is the 16 meter high, 350 tonne monolithic Buddha statue on the 'Rock of Gibraltar' installed at the center of the lake.

18. Salim Ali Lake - Maharashtra
It has been renamed after the great ornithologist, naturalist Salim Ali and also known as birdman of India.
Salim Ali Sarovar (lake) popularly known as Salim Ali Talab is located near Delhi Gate, opposite Himayat Bagh, Aurangabad.

19. Kanwar Lake- Bihar
Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary comprising water ponds, marshes and forests is a home for different species of wild animals, birds, plants etc.
The Kanwar Taal or Kabar Taal Lake is Asia's largest freshwater oxbow lake.

20. Nakki Lake - Rajasthan
It is a very ancient sacred Lake, according to the Hindu legend. It is called by this name because it was dug out from Nails (Nakh). 
'Nakki Lake is situated in the Indian hill station of Mount Abu in Aravalli range.
Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were immersed in this Holy Lake on 12 February 1948 and Gandhi Ghat was constructed.

21. Bhojtal Lake- Madhya Pradesh
Also known as Upper Lake lies on the western side of the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal.
It is a major source of drinking water for the residents of the city, serving around 40% of the residents with nearly 30 million imperial gallons (140,000 m3) of water per day.
Bada talaab, along with the nearby Chhota Talaab, meaning small lake in Hindi, constitute Bhoj Wetland, which is now a Ramsar site.
Largest artificial lake in Asia.
 
22. Surajkund- Haryana
23. Ulsoor lake- Bangalore, Karnataka
24. Sambhar lake- Rajasthan
25. Pichola lake- Udaipur,  Rajasthan
26. Pangong lake- Ladakh,  Jammu and Kashmir

Facts Related to Lakes
Fact
Name of the Lake
Deepest lake in the world
Baikal (fresh water) in Russia
Largest fresh water lake
Lake Superior, between Canada and the USA
Largest lake in the world
Caspian Sea, bounded by Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan,
Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan
Saltiest lake in the world
Dead Sea bounded by Israel, Jordan and West Bank
Lowest lake in the world
Dead Sea between Israel and Jordan
Largest lake in India
Sambhar lake in Rajasthan
Largest fresh-water lake in India
Kolleru lake in Andhra Pradesh
Largest coastal lagoon in India
Chilka lake in Orissa
Sriharikota island is located in
Pulicat lake in Andhra Pradesh
Country known as land of thousand lakes
Finland
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