Breathtakingly Beautiful Lakes of India

Tripoto

There are plenty of lakes in India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, both man-made and natural. We have both salt water and fresh water lakes in India and these water bodies attracts many tourists. These breathtaking lakes make us want to forget everything and get lost in their beauty. We have prepared for you a list of the most unique and picturesque lakes in India.

One of the most stunning lakes in India, got the attention of the average Indian tourist after the movie 3 idiots. Now people can’t stop making plans of visiting this lake. It got the name Pangong Tso from a Tibetan word banggon co that means a narrow and enchanted lake. You would be captivated by its beauty once you visit it. The 134km long lake lies in two countries, India and China. Because of its location you also need to get an Inner Line permit to visit it.

Photo of Pangong Lake by Rohit kumar Singh Jadon

How to get there: To reach Pangong Lake you have to take a scenic 6-hour drive, passing through Chang La. Another route to reach Pangong is via Khardung La through Shyok Valley (preferred if you want to cover Nubra Valley as well)

Best time to visit: June to October is the best time to visit Pangong, for the rest of the year the lake is either frozen or inaccessible because of snow.

Where to stay: Ladakh Galaxy Camp, Pangong Escapes Camp and TIH Pangong Lake View Cottages and Camps are some good options to stay.

Click here for a complete guide to Pangong Lake

Located at an altitude of 12,310 feet in Sikkim, this glacial lake is also known at Changu lake, a famous attraction just 35km from Gangtok on the highway to Nathu La. Its name, Tsomgo literally translates to ‘source of water’. The crystal clear water of this high-altitude lake becomes even more attractive on a clear day, when you can see the reflection of nearby peaks in it. It is a one kilometre long oval-shaped lake, which is fed by melting snow from nearby mountains. You can take rides on ponies and yaks along the lake, also there is a ropeway nearby that will take you to the nearby mountain top, which will give spectacular views of the lake.

How to get there: Tsomgo Lake is in a protected area, so you will need a 'Protected Area Permit' to get here. It is two hour from Gangtok by car on Jawaharlal Nehru Road to Nathu La and you need to travel in a SUV because the road condition is not really good. Getting a private jeep to the lake costs about ₹4000-5000 and shared jeep costs about ₹500/person.

Best time to visit: Tsomgo Lake can be visited anytime during the year. Although summer months starting from June to September are considered to be the best time as the road condition is quite good. During winters the road sometimes gets blocked but you get to see a snow-covered lake.

Where to stay: There are no accommodation options available at Tsomgo Lake. You will have to stay in Gangtok. Hotel Green Park, The Di-Lac Retreat and Silk Route Residence are some great options to stay in Gangtok.

Click here for a complete guide to Tsomgo Lake

The Tarsar and Marsar lakes justify Kashmir being called as jannat. Located at a maximum altitude of 13,500 feet they are only accessible by trek. Just looking at the lakes in between the velvety grassland of Kashmir feels like a dream. You have to trek through beautiful meadows, pine tree forests and multiple hamlets for seven days to reach the heavenly glacial lakes. The grade of trekking is moderate to difficult but as the famous saying goes, "The best view comes only after the hardest climb". The trek begins from Aru and ends at Aru.

How to get there: The only way to reach Tarsar-Marsar Lake is by trekking. A lot of trek organisers like Indiahikes and Adventure-nation organise this 33km trek.

Best time to visit: July to September. The trail is covered in snow for the rest of the year.

Where to stay: There are no accommodation options available at the lakes, you will have to pitch your own tents.

Click here for a complete guide to Tarsar-Marsar Lake.

It is not only Asia’s biggest saltwater lake but also home to a huge number of bird species. The lake is spread over an area of one thousand square kilometres with many prominent populated islands within it. Because of having such rich bio-diversity and its socio-economic importance, Chilika Lake has been designated as a Ramsar Site. Not only is this a paradise for bird watchers, the lake is also famous for Dolphin small sightings.

How to get there: Chilika Lake is around 60km from Bhubaneshwar and it takes around one and a half hours to reach by road. You can get plenty of taxis, but the best option is to take an Odisha Tourist Development Corporation Bus which takes about ₹400 per person.

Best time to visit: October to March is the best time to visit Chilka, because all migrating birds visit during that time. The weather during the rest of the year is very hot and humid.

Where to stay: Panthanivas Rambha link?, Daaven's Island Resort and Swosti Chilika Resort are some great options to enjoy the best of Chilika Lake.

Click here for a complete guide to Chilika Lake.

At an altitude of 17,100 feet, this is one of the highest lakes in the world. The splendid beauty of this lake attracts a lot of tourists from India and abroad. Gurudongmar Lake has a lot of religious significance attached to it, there is a temple of Guru Padmasambhava right next to it and it is believed to be blessed by the guru. The closest town to it is Lachen, which lies in the North Sikkim area. A night stay is recommended in this town before visiting the lake.

How to get there: Being close to the Tibetan border, a special permit is required to visit the lake. You will have to reach Lachen, which is 120km from Gangtok. From Lachen there is a road that takes you to the Gurudongmar Lake which takes about 3 hours.

Best time to visit: The lake can be visited anytime during the year because of good connectivity by road. But June to November is the best time to visit the lake as the weather is pleasant and not very cold. During winter time the lake freezes and surroundings get covered in snow.

Where to stay: There are no accommodations options available at the Gurudongmar Lake, the nearest stay option are at Lachen. Bayul Inn and Delight Lachen Heritage are some good options to stay in Lachen.

Click here for a complete guide to Gurudongmar Lake.

This is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and also known as the only floating national park in the world. It is formed of floating swamps, home to lots of birds, animals and aquatic plants. The lake is very important for the economy of Manipur as it is the main source of income for the people living nearby, primary source of water for the state and is important for hydro power generation as well. Loktak Lake is only a couple of hours away from Imphal, the capital city of Manipur and is gaining popularity amongst tourists because of it rich bio diversity and serenity.

How to get there: You have to reach Moirang, a small town at the border of the lake, roughly 30km by road from Imphal. There are options of both shared taxis and private taxis. From Moirang you have to take shared taxis for Thanga, which is a peninsula on Loktak Lake.

Best time to visit: Best time to visit Loktak Lake is from November to early March, during the rest of the year the weather is hot and humid.

Where to stay: Sendra Park & Resort By The Classic and Maipakchao Family HomeStay are some great options to stay in Loktak Lake.

Located at the heart of the backwaters, this is the longest lake in India, covering several districts of Kerala. The lake is like an emerald pool with coconut trees around it. Thousands of tourists come here from around the world to enjoy the spectacular beauty of this lake. The famous snake boat race is also hosted in the Vembanad Lake during the festival of Onam. A boat ride in this tranquil lake will leave you with a memorable experience for life.

How to get there: Vembanad Lake is easily accessible from all modes of transport. The nearest railway station is Kottayam, which is only 13 kilometres away. The nearest airport is Cochin which is only 63 kilometres away. You can get taxi from all the big cities of Kerala to reach the lake.

Best time to visit: The best time to explore Vembanad Lake is from November to March since the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities.

Where to stay: Houseboats and Kumarakom Lake Resort are the best places to stay in Vembanad Lake.

Click here for a complete guide to Vembanand Lake.

Have you been to any of the lakes from this list? You could also tell us about your experience by writing about it on Tripoto.

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