One of the most sought after road trips on anyone's list is one to Leh and Ladakh, and a must visit once you get to the most remotely located paradises there, is the Pangong Tso. Definitely the most popular, and one of the most beautiful lakes in India, especially after the movie 3 Idiots, this salt water lake, located at a height of about 4000 metres is a study in beauty. It creates a striking contrast against the white sand, and appears to change colors when seen from different angles in the sunlight and through various hours of the day. Sunset and sunrise are the best times during the day to witness the true beauty of the Pangong, complete against the picturesque rugged mountains.
Dal Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in India has been dubbed perpetually as 'Srinagar's Jewel' and remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in India. One of the most memorable experiences of those visiting here is the full day shikara ride, waking up and sleeping to the Azaan with the water just about to freeze and the water reflecting whatever shade the sun throws on it. The Dal experience is complete with a tour of the Mughal Gardens, like the Nishat Bagh and the Shalimar Bagh, the Chashme Shahi and the Hazratbal Shrine.
On the way to Mahabaleshwar is the beautiful Venna Lake, which doubles up as a mini vacation spot ideal for some lazing around in the early morning. During the wee hours of the day, this gorgeous waterbody has the clearest undisturbed waters and a view to die for. Fresh local vegetarian produce is sold in the this area and if you're lucky enough to hitch a boat ride around, consider yourself lucky.
A lake in God's Own Country was bound to be one of the masterpieces of nature, right? Vembanad is Asia's longest lake, and quite possibly, the most beautiful lake in all of South India. On any evening that you wish to visit Vembanad, expect a view of back waters and coconut trees blended seamlessly like an oil painting into each other, regal looking houseboats drifting in the water and the sun setting into the horizon and lending a scarlet hue to the waters.
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A camper and trekker's paradise, Chandratal Lake is often referred to as one of the most beautiful lakes located at an altitude of about 4300 m in the mighty Himalayas. The stunning lake is situated on the Samudra Tapu plateau which overlooks the Chandra River. The name "Chandra Taal" (Lake of the Moon) comes from its crescent shape. This lake is also one of two high-altitude wetlands of India that have been designated as Ramsar sites. Once a tentative residence for Tibetan traders traveling to Spiti and the Kullu valley, it attracts thousands of adventure enthusiasts from all over the world.
Chilika Lake, crowned as Asia's largest brackish water lagoon is sheltered in the heart of the coastal Odisha. Chilika is known as one of the most beautiful wetlands in the world because it inhabits a vast variety of birds. Chilika Lake shows tourists a mind boggling display of its avian charms in a million different colors and varieties presented by around 160 species in the peak season between November and February.
Pichola lake is a crown jewel in the Royal city of Udaipur. Watching the sunset from the pier, or taking a boat ride around the lake are some of the small and sweet experiences of the trip to Udaipur. No wonder, Udaipur has been termed as one of the most romantic destinations in India. The lake has four islands on it, Arsi Vilas, which is a bird sanctuary and was previously an ammunition depot, Jag Mandir, Jag Niwas and the Mohan Mandir, from where the King saw the Gangaur festival. Sunset is the best time to visit this place for a breathtaking view and serene surroundings that it has to offer.
Known For : Seven Lakes Bhimtal Subhash Dhara
A beautiful freshwater lake located just in the foothills of the Himalayas and a home to the migratory Himalayan birds, Sattal is a gem hidden in the deeply mysterious oaks and pines and a lesser known getaway in Uttarakhand state of India. The seven interconnected lakes are located at a height of about 1370 metres and regular visitors advise a full boat ride around the lake to soak into the peaceful environs. The names of these seven water-bodies are: Ram Tal, Lakshman Tal, Sita Tal, Nal Damyanti Tal, Panna Tal, Purna Tal and Sukha Tal. One of the more interesting facets is the wide variety of fishes and birds see around this place, especially the rare migratory birds, hence making it a popular spot for birdwatchers as well. Sattal is just 33 km from Kathgodam and Kathgodam is nicely connected by trains with rest of the country. There is a good road connectivity as buses and taxis are easily available for one to reach Sattal from Delhi.
Best Time: April to June, September to December
Truly one of the most memorable southern Indian travel experiences, a trip to the beautiful Berijam Lake is something that will be etched in your heart for a long time to come. About 25 kms long drive into the wilderness, this place is one of the most preserved and maintained water bodies of South India. You need to obtain a permit to be at this place, and without any typical tourist shenanigans like souvenir shops or food outlets, it is a nature traveller's paradise. With much of the water surface covered in lilies and porpcupines nestling in the bushes and a lot of animal watching to do, Berijam is where you want to be if the silent call of nature beckons you.
Closely flanked by villages on three sides, Manasbal is one the lesser frequented tourists spots, and a hidden gem in the northern-most state of India. During the months of July and August, multitudes of lotus flowers bloom on the periphery of the waterbody and when viewed against the clear waters, have an instantly mellowing and calming effect. A true birdwatcher's delight, the lake has to offer something to a nature lover at all times of the year. The seasonally appearing birds, and the permanent resident birds are all a part of the most diverse range of birds that the state sees throughout the year. One of the bonus attractions nearby is the Mughal Garden which was erected by the empress Noor Jahan and to date is as resplendent as when it was created.
The Hussain Sagar Lake has often been dubbed as the pride of Hyderabad, for being a perfect mini vacation spot for people of all ages and also because of its perfect maintained and tourist friendly locales. Located in Hyderabad, it is one of the most popular and beautiful lakes in India. The statue of Buddha was carved from a single marble boulder, and it took 200 artists about 2 years to complete. A boat ride is a must to see the statue from up close. A complete tourist package, the laser show in the evening is when the lake's beauty is at its peak.
A beautiful man-made lake built in the 11th century, the Upper lake was constructed by Raja Bhoj to cure skin diseases which were otherwise incurable. It is a splendid spot with an attractive royal garden called Kamla Park in the vicinity.
A perfect spot for a camping and bonfire night out in the east, the Tam Dil is about 6-8 hours away from the Aizawl and is a serene spot for frequent travellers. A popular fishing and picnic spot for the locals and tourists alike, Tam Dil is the definitely one of the most beautiful lakes in India. Tam dil is located close to Kolasib, another popular town in Mizoram. Local folklore attributes a rather unusual tale to the origins of Tam Dil. It was believed that a woman whose husband had passed away, asked her to take care of this conspicuously large mustard plant growing right in the middle of their crop. When the woman remarried, the second husband did not approve of having any reminder of the former husband and pulled out the plant from its roots. The lake is said to have slowly spurted and grown from the very spot the plant was pulled out from.
One of the richest waterbodies in the state in terms of history and culture, Wular is also one of the largest freshwater lakes in India and Asia. The best way to make in the most out of this experience is to stay in the local homestays in the village by the side of the lake, when one is on an extended vacation. Due to environmental concerns, Wular is a dying lake in India, but the state's initiatives to salvage it are showing positive effects. A rich variety of birds and fishes are seen at this place, out of which, the fishes found here are the chief suppliers of the state's demand.
Located just 38 kilometres away from Nahan, the Renuka Lake is the perfect place to visit for people who are into nature and the solace it offers. Unlike other lakes in the area that is famous for their pristine beauty and surroundings, the Renuka Lake is renowned for its cultural history. Not only is this the largest natural lake in Himachal Pradesh regarding area (the lake covers a circumference of about 3214 meters); this fantastic water body is shaped in the form of a reclining woman, and hence is considered to be a personification of the Goddess Renuka. Other than its cultural and religious significance, the lake also offers breathtaking views to visitors who reach the ridge of the lake after passing through dense alpine forests.
Rewalsar Lake is a spot of high spiritual importance. Situated 25 km from Mandi, this place is well known for its seven floating islands. It is believed that an act of penance was held by Lomas Rishi here and Lord Shiva impressed by his devotion gave him seven floating islands as reward.
Imagine a paradise in the middle of mist laden hills with just the right amount of sunshine shining through it and lands barren of fresh vegetation but filled with some slow creeping plants and dotted with the most hospitable people in the city. That is just one way to describe how your experience at the Changu lake could be. One of the most beautiful akes in India, Changu is also known as Tsongmo among the locals. On the way to the Nathu La Pass on the India China border, it is a bit difficult to reach owing to the tough terrain, but the drive is worth it. For souvenirs, one can get dressed up in traditional attire and get photographed with the yaks, but not without bargaining.
The most prominent place in Mirik, The Sumendu Lake is beautiful, calm and yet invigorating. The lake also has an 80 foot bridge running over it for people who don't wish to walk around it.
A beautiful and serene known for boating and the lush green and colourful garden on both sides of it. It is best visited in the morning for walks to enjoy some peaceful time.
The Punganoor Lake is one of the most popular artificial lakes in Tamil nadu. The man made lake covers nearly 60 sq. meters of land. There is also a fountain in the middle and boating facilities are available.
A pretty lake that once a European man fell in love with, Naini Lake today serves as a major tourist spot for people from all over the country.
Ooty Lake stays in the heart of Ooty with its L shape construction. It is the best place for boating and the summers are primly wonderful. Several boat races are organized and people have an amazing time relishing the sport and festive feeling.
Nestled at the foothills of Shivaliks, Sukhna Lake is a beautiful lake set amid the picturesque surroundings. Quite popular amid the locals and visitors, the place is a perfect destination for solitude seekers.
The lesser known of the many lakes within the Changtang Wildlife sanctuary, Moriri Tso lake is twin to the Pangong Tso Lake. Located inside the Changtang wildlife sanctuary, this lake offers a scenic place of peace and tranquility. The water body measures about 28 km in length from north to south and about 100 feet average in depth. The lake is surrounded by barren hills, with the backdrop of beautiful snow-covered mountains. Since Moriri Tso lake is the lesser known of the two lakes, the crowd frequency is less too. Pangong lake always has many more people, and is now crowded with little stalls that sell Maggi and tea.
Among the list of most beautiful lakes in India, Gurudongmar lake is an exotic, yet unexplored place in the northern part of Sikkim. One of the highest lakes in the world, Gurudongmar is located at a height of 5,210 metres above sea-level. It is among the top 15 highest lakes in the world and is the second highest lake in Sikkim as well as in India (the first being Cholamu lake at a height of 18000 ft, also located in Sikkim). Associated with few mythological stories as well, Gurudongmar has religious values as well. One can reach Gurudongmar from Lachen in Sikkim via Thangu.
Lying to the north-west of the 'City of Lakes' Udaipur, this is one of the four lakes in the city and the second artifcial one. It is a major tourist attraction where people flock to enjoy boating on the surreal blue waters and look at the scenic beauty. Apart from boating, it has a lot to offer in terms of water sports. It spans over a length of 2.4 km and during monsoons, it covers an area of 1 sq km.
If offbeat travel is your forte, then Nakki, one of the most beautiful lakes in India should be definitely among your travel wishlist. The Raghunath Temple and Maharaja Jaipur Palace are a must visit when going to Nakki Lake. You must also visit he Dilwara Jain temples while you're here in Mount Abu. This lake in India is said to have been dug out using human nails and is a major attraction in Mount Abu. This place is also known for having the huge toad sculpture made completely of stone on one corner, which appears to be jumping into the water.
Perhaps one of the major tourist destinations in India which attracts both Indians and foreigners equally, Pushkar lake is situated in Rajasthan. It is also regarded as a sacred lake for the Hindus. Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats where pilgrims throng in large numbers to take a sacred bath around Kartik Poornima.
Prashar, on the first sight, appears to be a blue mirror fixed into the lush green expanse around it. With a decent amount of mysticism linked to it, the lake is said to have an undetermined depth, and also an island floating in the middle of it. Just about 50 kms away from the town Mandi, Prashar is a moderately popular tourist spot, but one of the most beautiful lakes in India. Right next to it, is a pagoda like temple dedicated to Sage Parashar worth the pit stop and some interesting myths about the waterbody.
Ashtamudi Lake has been recognized as the second largest lake in Kerala. It runs over a length of 16 km and covers almost 30% of the town of Kollam. The name Ashtamudi has been derived from the fact that the lake has eight branches since Ashta means eight and Mudi mean branch. All eight branches converge into a single channel and fall into the Arabian sea. Kallada river is the major river which releases out in the Ashtamudi lake. Coconut and palm trees surround the place adding to its beauty.
Lying at the boundary of the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake is the second largest lagoon in the country. This fantastic destination is a natural beauty and also serves as an asylum for birds under the name of Pulicat Bird Sanctuary. The lake is separated by the Bay of Bengal by the barrier island of Sriharikota, which is also a rocket launching centre. Lying in the midst of scintillating virgin charms and cutting edge technological hotspot, the Pulicat Lake has something for everyone.
If backpacking to distant and quieter locations is your thing then, Loktak is just where you should be for your next vacation. Just about an hour away from the city, the Loktak Lake in north eastern India is one of the most pristine and unaltered water bodies. The floating islands exclusive to this waterbody, also called Phumdis are inhabited and known to change shapes and locations at all times during the year. For a serene retreat from the loud city life, Loktak is where you want to be.
The erstwhile Dhakuri lake is an artificial tank spread over 75 acres and is home to various migratory birds from Siberia and Russia. The lake is surrounded by gardens, children's park an auditorium, making it a popular recreational spot perfect for idyllic picnics.
Just below the Baralacha pass, is a lake, one should not moss while here, especially if they are into photography. The Suraj Tal, is one of the most dream-like and photogenic lakes. The sheer beauty of this place is enough to make the drive seem worth the effort. The lake is fed from the glaciers of Baralacha La and the area around makes for a great trek and biking tour. The lake is at a distance of around 65 kms. from Keylong.
Do you know of more beautiful lakes in India which are still waiting to be discovered? Write to us in the comments section below!