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Lake and its classification - Major Lakes in India

news-details Image Source Apr 21, 2021 13:34 IST , Updated: May 19, 2021 13:34 IST · 9 min read

A lake is a large body of natural water accumulated in a depression. Lake basins are formed due to endogenous geological processes like tectonism and volcanism and exogenous activities like landslides, glaciation, solution, river and wind action.

Classification of Lakes

Lakes are classified based on size, shape, depth and mode of formation.

Tectonic Lakes

These lakes are formed due to the folding and faulting of plates in earth's Crust. Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso (Ladakh) are some examples of such lakes.

Crater Lakes

These lakes are formed when caldera and craters are filled with water. Lonar lake in Maharashtra is one such example.

A caldera or crater is a large hollow that forms shortly after the emptying of a magma chamber in a volcanic eruption.

When large volumes of magma erupt over a short time, structural support for the rock above the magma chamber is lost. The ground surface then collapses downward into the emptied or partially emptied magma chamber, leaving a massive depression at the surface.

Glacial Lake

These lakes are formed to the erosion/melting of glaciers. They are formed when a glacier erodes the land, and then melts, filling the depression created by the glacier.

Most of the glacial lakes are found in the Himalayan region in India.

Ox-Bow Lakes

An oxbow lake is a U-shaped lake that forms when a wide meander of a river is cut off, creating a free-standing body of water

It is formed due to the depositional and erosional activities of the River.


A lagoon is a shallow body of water protected from a larger body of water (usually the ocean) by sandbars, barrier islands, or coral reefs. Lagoons are often called estuaries, sounds, bays, or even lakes.

Chilika Lake, Pulicat Lake are some of the examples.

Artificial Lakes

Formed by Humans for recreational, hydrological, ecological, economical purposes.

Major Lakes in India

State Name Type of Lakes Description

Andhra Pradesh
Pulicat Lake Brackish Water It encompasses Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary;
Satish Dhawan Space Centre located here
Kolleru Lake Freshwater Home to migratory birds
Nagarjuna Sagar Freshwater Artificially constructed;
Krishna river

Haflong Lake Freshwater High altitude lake
DeeporBeel Freshwater Under Ramsar Convention
Son Beel Freshwater (Tectonically formed) Largest wetland in Assam
Chandubi lake Freshwater Migratory Birds (winter);
formed by 1897 earthquake
Bihar Kanwar Lake Oxbow (freshwater) Asia?s largest freshwater oxbow lake;

Hamirsar lake Artificial Situated in centre of Bhuj
Kankaria lake Artificial During 14th century by Muhammed Shah II
Narayan Sarovar Artificial freshwater Pilgrimage site for Hindus
Thol Lake Lentic lake Constructed for irrigation purpose
Vastrapur Freshwater Narmada River;
Picnic spot

Badkal Lake Freshwater Man made
Blue Bird Lake Freshwater Migratory Birds, Wetland Habitat
Brahma Sarovar Freshwater Ancient water pool sacred to Hinduism
Damdama Lake Freshwater Constructed by British government for Rainwater Harvesting
Karna Freshwater Connected to great epic Mahabharata
Tilyar Freshwater (canal inflow) Located inside Tilyar Zoo

Himachal Pradesh
Chandra Taal Sweetwater lake Ramsar wetland site
Suraj Taal Freshwater (High Altitude) Bhaga River inflow
MaharanaPratapSagar Freshwater Ramsar site
Prashar lake Holomitic (Freshwater) It has a floating Island

Jammu & Kashmir
Dal lake Warm monomitic Remnants of past glacial period
Pangong Tso Endorheic Lake (saline water) Indo-China Border
Wular lake Tectonic lake (freshwater) Largest freshwater lake in India
TsoMoriri Saltwater High altitude lake

Agara lake Freshwater Located in southwest part of the city
Bellandur Lake Freshwater -
Karanji lake - Butterfly park
Ulsoor lake Stale water It has several islands
Kukarahalli lake Freshwater Recreational
Honnamana Freshwater Holy lake, place for various festivals
Pampa Sarovar Freshwater Tungabhadra river

Ashtamudi Kayal Brackish water Ramsar wetland site
Kuttanad Backwater paddy cultivation
Vembanad Brackish water Ramsar wetland; boat race
Shashtamkotta Freshwater Ramsar wetland
Madhya Pradesh Bhojtal Freshwater Ramsar site; largest artificial lake in India

Salim Ali Freshwater Birdwatching
Shivsagar Freshwater Koyna dam
Lonar lake Crater lake National Geo-Heritage monument
Manipur Loktak lake Lenticular freshwater Ramsar wetland; Phumdis (Floating Islands); Multipurpose project
Meghalaya Umiam Freshwater Famous for cycling and boating
Mizoram Tam Dil Freshwater -

Chilika lake Brackish water India's largest brackish water lake; lagoon
Kanjia lake Freshwater Wetland of national importance

Harike Freshwater Ramsar wetland site
Rupar Freshwater Manmade riverine lake
Kanjli Freshwater Ramsar wetland site

Sambhar lake Saltwater Ramsar wetland; largest inland saltwater lake in India
Rajsamand Freshwater -

Tsomgo lake Freshwater Winter frozen
Khecheoplari Freshwater Sacred lake for Hindus and Buddhists
Tamil Nadu
Ooty lake Freshwater Boat House
Chembarambakkam Artificial lake -

Hussain Sagar Artificial lake Artificial Gibraltar rock-island
Badrakali lake Freshwater Artificial lake
Uttar Pradesh Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar Man-made lake Rihand dam
Belasagar Freshwater Irrigation lake
Uttarakhand Bhimtal Freshwater Medium altitude lake
West Bengal East Calcutta wetlands Brackish water Ramsar wetland

The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez and dividing Africa and Asia.

The canal is part of the Silk Road that connects Europe with Asia.

It utilizes saveral lakes - from North to South: Lake Manzala, Lake Timsha, Great Bitter Lake and Little Bitter Lake.

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