Last Updated: December 26, 2019 Kamlesh Nayal
With seas of jostling crowds and sky-high costs, lake retreats can be more frustrating than fun, which is why we’ve compiled a list of quintessential Indian lake vacation where you can do boating, fishing and numberless activities to satisfy your adrenaline adventure rush. If you are a passionate traveller and enjoy nature, visiting some of the lakes from our list can be an extraordinary and a once in a lifetime experience. Whether you’re searching for serenity or want to make a splash, here’s a list of places where you can enjoy a perfect lakeside vacation.
Lakes in North India
Jammu and Kashmir:
Dal Lake, Srinagar
We will go with the saying “heaven falls right here”. Situated amidst the beautiful Kashmir, Dal Lake is definitely a place worth a visit. Do it your way, either hire a house boat or be on a Shikara. This lake is the 2nd largest in Kashmir and is surrounded by the beautiful Mughal Gardens which will make your ride an affair to remember. There are stunning shikaras which are loaded with fresh flowers and reminds you about the gondolas of Venice. One can also enjoy various water sports like kayaking, water surfing and licensed angling. During the winter season the lake sometimes freezes over. The best time to visit the Dal Lake is during the months of July and August.
Wular Lake, Kashmir
Located in Jammu and Kashmir, this lake is considered as the largest fresh water lake in India. The water reservoir is surrounded by farms of small vegetation; plus you can experience some interesting sites like mountains, vegetation, flowers etc. Mountain skiing, and hiking facilities are also available on the bank of the lake. So put on your adventurer hat and witness the fabled beauty of Kashmir. The best time to visit the Wular Lake is during the months of June and August.
Nagin Lake, Srinagar
This lake is known as the ‘jewel in the ring’ because the water reservoir is covered with many trees, which encircle the small, deep blue lake. One can enjoy swimming, boating and water skiing as well. The best time to visit the Nagin Lake is during the months of June and August.
Mansar Lake, Jammu
Time to take a dip in this holy lake! Mansar is considered as a divine site because the temple of snake god is located on the bank of the lake. Two ancient temples of Umapati Mahadev & Narsimha are situated in the vicinity of the Mansar Lake. A holy dip in the Mansar Lake is assumed to purify one’s sins. The lake, which is covered with dense forest, has facility for boating. Best time to visit this lake is during the month of April and October.
Pangong Tso Lake, Ladakh
Want to witness a lake where you can see your reflection? Do you remember that scene in 3 idiots where all the people meet in the last scene? Yes, I am talking about Pangong Tso Lake. This beautiful place in my bucket list is famous for its huge monasteries that cover an entire mountain range and vast expanse of extreme mountain ranges. You can spend your entire day on the bank of this quaint lake and observe the beautiful mirages as well. This astonishing salt water lake seems like a huge ocean and is about 5 kms wide. Various shades of blue colour offered by this lake make this place utterly romantic as shown in Bollywood film songs. Best time to visit this place is between May and August.
Renuka Lake, Mandi
This Lake is regarded as the embossment of Renukaji, the wife of sage Jamadagini and mother of Parshuram, one of the ten Avtars of Lord Vishnu. Shaped like a profile of a woman, this lake is considered as the largest in Himachal. This is the perfect year around destination that beckons every traveller. The best time to visit Renuka Lake is during April to June and September to November
Rewalsar Lake, Mandi
Want to discover a water reservoir which is square shaped? Then, you ought to see this shimmering pool called Rewalsar. From a mythological point of view, this lake is a divine centre for the Hindu, Sikhs and Buddhist. The major attraction of the Rewalsar Lake is the statue of Guru Rinpoche that overlooks the lake. The best time to visit Rewalsar Lake is between March and October.
Prashar Lake, Mandi
Prashar Lake is located high above in the mountains and offers a panoramic view. Located at a height of 2730 m above sea level, this pool is a treat for the eyes, especially in the month of June because a traditional fair is organized here during this time. If you’re looking forward to some weekend gateway, then this place is a perfect treat. Best time to witness this breath-taking pool is from April to July and September to November.
Suraj Tal Lake, Lahaul Spiti
This reservoir is considered as the lake of the sun god. Lahaul Spiti valley is a common destination for Indian and foreign tourists for road trips, trekking and motorcycling. Best time to enjoy here at Suraj Tal Lake is during summers.
Nainital Lake (Naini Lake)
Aha! I have been to this place ‘n’ no of times but have never got bored. The best part about Naini Lake is that it located right in the middle of town and offers a spectacular view of the hills. The 3.5 kms long lake captures the essence of nature and offers an amazing view of the town. Nainital Lake is a year-round destination, but the ideal time to visit is between the months of March and June. Come what may, this place is must a visit for all the lake lovers.
About 22 kms from Nainital and nestled in a beautiful pristine valley, this gem of this lake is the largest around Nainital. The beauty is enhanced by a small island surrounded by crystal blue water. Bhimtal offers ultimate rejuvenation and you can enjoy the view of the shimmering sun dancing on the water. The best time to visit Bhimtal is from February to April and August to November.
This lake offers excellent boating facility and numberless adventure activities. The best time to visit Sattal Lake is between March and June and from September to December.
Kalagarh Dam Lake, Corbett
Looking forward to something bewitching? Kalagarh or Ramganga Dam is an ideal place for you. This lake is witnessed by many wildlife enthusiasts. The best time to visit Kalagarh Dam Lake, Corbett is between November to June.
Damdama Lake, Sohna
Damdama Lake offers numerous adventure camping sites. Over and above, the other attractions here include, kayaking, parasailing, angling, cycling, fishing, hot air ballooning, rowing and nature walks. Exhibiting scenic beauty, this place is one of the best picnic spots in the area. There are various exciting activities like hot air ballooning, para sailing, rock climbing, cycling, angling, trekking and camping that one can indulge in here.
Lakes in Central India
Upper Lake (Bhopal)
Commonly known as Bhojtal, this pond is considered as the largest in the western parts of India. The lake also provides facilities like sailing, paddling, cruise and more.
Lakes in East India
Famous for all the good reasons on this earth, this lake is considered as the queen of natural beauty. Chilika Lake is one of the largest brackish water lake in Asia covering an area of over 1,100 sq. km. This pear shaped lagoon is considered as the ‘Asia’s largest salt water lagoon’. Best time to enjoy the serenity of this place is in between the months of October and June.
Sumendu Lake, Mirik Darjeeling
One of the major attractions of Mirik, Sumendu Lake is located right between the pine trees and lush gardens. One can try fishing and boating on the quaint shikaras. Best time to enjoy the stillness of this place is in between the months of September and February.
Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim
Considered as one of the highest lakes in Sikkim and amongst the 15 uppermost in the world, Gurudongmar Lake is located at an altitude of 17,100 ft (5,210 m). Don’t you find this interesting? One can experience the adrenaline rush as the China border is a few kms away and this reservoir is situated between striking snow capped mountains. The blessed water of the lake is believed to posses miraculous powers. Boating on this beautiful lake will definitely be an experience to remember. The best time to visit the lake is November to June.
Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake
Just imagine a lake at an altitude of 12,000 ft above sea level? Well, hold down the imagination and welcome the reality. Such a place is located in India and goes by the name of Tsomgo Lake. This is one of the most visited places in Gangtok. Oval in shape, this small river is just 1 km long and worth a visit. Best time to experience this captivating beauty is between April and July as you can experience the beautiful flowers blooming by the lakeside.
Tamdil Lake, Aizawl
Last but not the least on my bucket list is Tamdil Lake. Pick up your picnic basket and head towards this place. Go ahead and witness the various types of birds, fauna and flower. If you want to enjoy the enchanting view, then pay a visit during the months of October & March.
Sela Lake, Tawang district
Witness this shimmering lake amidst large snow capped mountains. Sela Lake is a grand sight chiselled out between the rock jagged-mountains. The lake water frozen even at noon looks azure and it is a wonderful treat after a cold ride. The best time to visit Tawang is from April to October.
Have you ever seen small ponds in large lakes? If not, then witness Loktak Lake as it is considered as the only floating lake in the world. From guest houses to floating houseboats, this small pool is an ultimate spot for relaxation. There are small islands spread across the water and they are called phumdis. One can witness the sunlight dancing on the water and experience the serenity of nature. The best time to visit Loktak Lake is from November to early March.
Lakes in West India
Nakki Lake, Mount Abu
Often called the “lake of love”, Nakki is the largest manmade lake in India and holds importance for all the cupids. This picture perfect lake is surrounded by mountains, gardens and rock formations. Monsoon season is the best time to enjoy the enchanting view of this pool with your loved ones.
Pichola Lake, Udaipur
This lake is situated in Udaipur, and thanks to the Indian government is considered as the “city of lakes”. If you’re in Udaipur and don’t go for a boating at Pichola lake then you have definitely committed a sin. Boats depart from Rameshwar Ghat in the City Palace gardens. You can also explore Fateh Sagar Lake by hiring a paddle or motor boat from the bottom of Moti Magra hill. The best time to visit Pichola Lake is between the months of October and March.
Venna Lake, Mahabaleshwar
This lake is an integral part of the socio-cultural landscape and hence, offers an insightful peek into nature. You can indulge in boating, fishing and even pony riding. Flanked by lush greenery and blooming flowers, the placid Venna Lake is counted amongst the major tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar.
The picturesque lake Saputara is located on the foothills of Sahyadri range. This lake is the perfect site for boating, paddling and many more activities. March to November is the best to visit this place.
Lakes in South India
Berijam Lake, kodaikanal
Berijam Lake is a scenic freshwater reservoir that is hidden amidst dense forests near the beautiful hill station of Kodaikanal. 21 kms from Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, this lagoon is a perfect example of South India serenity and beauty. This lake offers best view of hills which is mesmerising and enchanting.
Punganoor Lake, Yelagiri
This location is a treat for all those boating enthusiast out there in the vicinity of the lake; you can find beautiful flower gardens along with kid-friendly rides. The artificial lake is around 57 sq meters in area and is an excellent place for rowing.
If you visit Kerala, you must live by its waters! This pond is an enchanting picnic spot and provides services like fishing, sightseeing etc. The Vembanad Lake also offers houseboat cruises to make your stay a special one. This serene place comes into the limelight during onam season.
Seems like my bucket has overflown but this is just not enough. Whether you’re looking for relaxed afternoons that can be spent lazing around on the deck of a house boat or want to indulge in some exploration activity, all these places in India aim to do so. What are you waiting for? High time people! Pack your bags and explore these places. From north to south, east to west, these places can be found everywhere. One final thing, don’t forget to click selfie with clean water!
Published: 06 Nov, 2014