Lake and its classification - Major Lakes in India

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 by 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.

Roopkund (Uttarakhand), Satopanth Tal (Uttarakhand), Chandra Taal (Himachal Pradesh), Suraj Tal (Himachal Pradesh and Lake Tsomgo (Sikkim) are some Glacial Lakes 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.

Kanwar lake (Bihar) is the largest oxbow lake in India and in Asia.


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 is a brackish water lake with estuarine character and also the largest lagoon in India.

Pulicat Lake (Andhra Pradesh) and Vembanad Lake (Kerala) are some of the famous Lagoons in India.

Artificial Lakes

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

Popular Man-made Lakes in India are - Bhojtal Lake (MP), Gobind Sagar (HP), Bhimtal Lake (Uttarakhand) and Rana Pratap Sagar (HP).

Major Lakes in India

State Name Type of Lakes Description

Andhra Pradesh
Pulicat Lake (Lagoon) Brackish Water It is shared by Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Kolleru Lake Freshwater -
Nagarjuna Sagar Freshwater -

Haflong Lake Freshwater High altitude lake
DeeporBeel Freshwater -
Son Beel Freshwater Tectonically formed
Chandubi lake Freshwater -
Chapanala Lake - -
Bihar Kanwar Lake Oxbow (freshwater) Asia's largest freshwater oxbow lake;

Hamirsar lake Artificial -
Kankaria lake Artificial During 14th century by Muhammed Shah II
Narayan Sarovar Artificial Freshwater -
Thol Lake Lentic lake -
Vastrapur (वस्त्रापुर) Freshwater Narmada River

Badkal Lake Artificial Freshwater -
Blue Bird Lake Freshwater -
Surajkund Artificial lake -
Brahma Sarovar Freshwater -
Damdama Lake Freshwater -
Karna Freshwater -
Tilyar Freshwater (canal inflow) -

Himachal Pradesh
Chandra Taal Sweetwater lake -
Suraj Taal Freshwater (High Altitude) -
Maharana Pratap Sagar Freshwater -
Prashar lake Holomitic (Freshwater) It has a floating Island
Ghepan lake glaciers feed -

Jammu & Kashmir
Dal lake Warm monomitic -
Wular lake Tectonic lake (Freshwater) Largest freshwater lake in India
Anchar Lake - connected with "Dal Lake" via a channel "Amir Khan Nallah"
Ladakh Pangong Tso (Ladakh) Endorheic Lake (saline water) Indo-China Border
TsoMoriri Saltwater -

Agara lake Freshwater -
Bellandur Lake Freshwater -
Karanji lake - -
Ulsoor lake Stale water -
Kukarahalli lake Freshwater -
Honnamana Freshwater -
Pampa Sarovar Freshwater Tungabhadra river

Ashtamudi Kayal (Lagoon) Brackish water -
Kuttanad - -
Vembanad Brackish Water -
Shashtamkotta (सस्थमकोट्टा) Freshwater -
Madhya Pradesh Bhojtal Freshwater -

Salim Ali Freshwater Birdwatching
Shivsagar Freshwater -
Lonar lake Crater lake -
Manipur Loktak lake Lenticular Freshwater Phumdis (Floating Islands)
Meghalaya Umiam Freshwater -
Mizoram Tam Dil Freshwater -

Chilika lake (Lagoon) Brackish water India's largest brackish water lake; largest lagoon lake
Kanjia lake Freshwater -

Harike Freshwater -
Rupar Freshwater -
Kanjli Freshwater -

Sambhar lake Saltwater Largest inland saltwater (saline) lake in India
Rajsamand Freshwater -
Nakki Manmade lake -
Uday Sagar - -
Didwana (Namak lake) Saltwater -

Tsomgo lake Freshwater -
Khecheoplari (खेचेओपलरी) Freshwater
Tamil Nadu
Ooty lake Freshwater -
Chembarambakkam (चेम्बरमबक्कम) Artificial lake -

Hussain Sagar Artificial lake -
Badrakali lake Freshwater Artificial lake -
Uttar Pradesh Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar (Rihand Dam) Man-made lake -
Belasagar Freshwater -
Fulhar Lake - -
Uttarakhand Bhimtal Freshwater -
Roop Kund - Skeleton Lake or Mystery Lake
Dodital Freshwater -
Arunachal Pradesh Sala Lake - -
West Bengal East Calcutta wetlands Brackish water -

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.

Lakes in the World
Lake Location Notes
Baikal Russia Deepest
Tanganyika Africa Second Deepest and longest fresh-water lake
Superior Lake North America Largest fresh-water lake, near "Duluth" lake
Caspian Sea Largest by area and volume
Great Bear Lake Canada
Lake Michigan US Lies entirely in USA
Lake Huron North America
Lake Erir North America
Victoria Africa
Titicaca Bolvia-Peru
Finger Lake USA
Boiling Lake Dominica
River flower Lake China
Red Lagoon Bolivia
Slave Lake Canada
Lake Urmia Iran
Lake Reindeer Canada
Lake Athabasca Canada

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