Located in Asia, the subcontinent of India is populated with lakes as diverse as its people. Most of them are natural lakes but some are manmade. The natural lakes can be divided further into freshwater and brackish. Surrounded by stunning vistas, India’s lakes are important to the complex and overlapping ecosystems.
India’s deepest lakes provide recreation and water supply for locals while others have religious significance. Some of the country’s deepest lakes make picture-postcard stopovers for travelers between destinations of interest. Here are the highlights of India’s five deepest lakes.
Pangong Tso is a natural, endorheic lake meaning it doesn’t flow to the sea. It is thought to be one of the world’s largest brackish water lakes. Situated at a height of 4,350 meters (14,270 ft), the deep blue lake has a depth of 100 meters (328 ft). The name is Tibetan for “long, narrow, enchanted lake.”
Located along the border of North India and Southwest China in the Himalayan region, the first thing travelers will notice is the contrast of the brilliant blue waters against the stark surrounding mountains. These panoramas can be recognized in the hit movie “3 Idiots.”
Tea houses and restaurants provide respite after a rough crossing. There are a few tent camps scattered along the lake’s northwestern shore. A warm sleeping bag is a must even in the summer since temperatures often fall below freezing. Boating isn’t allowed on the lake due to border security. Any boats seen are likely military.
These natural twin lakes are among the most beautiful in the hills east of Jammu. The lakes are 10 miles apart and are linked geographically and by Hindu mythology and religious beliefs in Sheshnag, a snake-god with six heads. The lakes have a depth of 38 meters (125 ft).
Mansar is the larger of the two lakes and promoted by the tourism department of the local government. Bus service is offered for tours on a regular basis, and a small hotel and a few guesthouses have been established in hopes of attracting more international tourists.
Indian tourists have long come to the lakes to visit the shrine to Sheshnag and other shrines and temples near the lake. Foreign travelers are impressed by the surrounding beauty of the forested hills. A lighted pathway circles the lake offering stunning views from every angle.
Jaisamand Lake is one of the largest artificial lakes in India. It was created in 1685 by Rana Jai Singh who dammed the Gomati River. Located in the arid area of Rajasthan, the huge reservoir covers 21,500 acres and has an average depth of 31 meters (102 ft). Drinking water and irrigation are provided by canals to several villages and the city of Udaipur 35 miles away.
Favored for swimming, diving, and boating, the lake is considered a part of the romantic city of Udaipur, often called the “Venice of the East.” The nearby Jaisamand sanctuary protects a variety of exotic wildlife including leopards, jungle cats, Indian gazelles, and mongooses.
Visitors can arrange jeep excursions to explore the sanctuary, and travel to the lake is usually arranged by local agencies. Lodging is available at a range of prices.
Rajsamand Lake is another one of the popular Lakes of Udaipur located 40 miles north of the city. The reservoir lake was created by a beautiful marble dam built by Maharana Raj Singh in 1660 damming the Kelwa, Gomati, and Tali Rivers. The lake has an average depth of 18 meters (60 feet). It provides water supply to the small city of Rajsamand.
Nine beautifully carved pavilions, also built by Maharana Rah Singh, adorn the embankment of the lake. The carvings include fascinating depictions of the sun, gods, chariots, and birds along with historic inscriptions.
Rajsamand Lake is a popular stopover for visitors to the Kumbalgarh Fort and Wildlife Sanctuary 10 miles away. Lodging choices include palaces converted into “heritage hotels” as well as more modern hotels.
Fateh Sagar is a 988-acre artificial lake with a depth of 13 meters (44 ft). The lake supplies water to the city of Udaipur. It was built by Maharana Jai Singh in 1678. The ostentatiously rich culture of the Maharanas built the surrounding temples and palaces during their reign. Only one palace, built by Fateh Singh, directly overlooks the lake.
It has been converted into a luxury hotel with stunning views. Several other palaces are also now luxury hotels. Travelers can find more affordable accommodations at other local hotels.
The lake is popular for the attractions located on the three islands of the lake’s surface including parks, children’s playgrounds, a restaurant, a zoo, and an observatory.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!