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9 Must-Visit Lakes in India and the Legends Behind Them

The lakes of India bear a rather rich history. Apart from the glorious organic views, the myths and legends surrounding the lake would keep you in awe of India’s culture. Here are 9 lakes across India that are more than just a sight for sore eyes.

1. Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim

Tsomgo Lake by genobzz via Creative Commons

Located close to the India-China border, Tsomgo Lake is considered sacred by the locals. The centuries-old belief holds that Buddhist monks concentrate and study the colour of the freezing water to foretell the future. It is also a holy site during Guru Purnima, where Jhakris of Sikkim assemble and pray to forge a close relationship with God. While admiring the beauty of this lake, tourists can ride on decorated yaks. If they are lucky, they can catch a glimpse of rare species of birds and the exquisite Red Pandas as well.

2. Pichola Lake, Rajasthan

Pichola Lake by Руслан Кальницкий via Pexels

Pichola Lake is a famous lake in Udaipur that contains numerous tiny islands within it. You might recognise the Lake Palace, which is now a heritage hotel owned by the Taj Group and a temple in the middle of the lake. However, this historically-significant site is tainted by a dark curse - Natini’s curse. Maharana Jawan Singh was intoxicated when he promised a Natani (tightrope walker) half the kingdom if she crossed the lake on a tightrope. However, she fell. Before she drowned to her death, it is said that she cursed the immediate future heirs of the king. The curse was believed to be true after six of the seven future sons were adopted.

3. Wular Lake, Jammu and Kashmir

Wular Lake by Jawadrather (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Wular Lake is one of Asia's largest freshwater lakes. The heavy title is accompanied with an eerie legend. The myth surrounding this lake is based on the tale of a corrupt king named Raja Sudrasen. He often indulged in theft, and his subjects supported him. As though having a mind of its own, the lake rose and submerged his entire kingdom together with his subjects. It is believed that during the colder months when water levels are low, a temple can be seen emerging from the lake.

4. Manasbal Lake, Jammu and Kashmir

Manasbal Lake by Nsheenm (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

‘The supreme gem of all Kashmir Lakes’ is what Manasbal Lake is popularly known as. However, that is not its only feat. It is also known as the deepest lake in the country! Thanks to its impressive depth, it is a frequent spot for various activities such as kayaking and bird watching.

5. Sela Lake, Arunachal Pradesh

Sela Lake by Rajat Chakraborty via Unsplash

Sela Lake, located at an extraordinarily high altitude, is next to the world's second highest motorable road, the Sela Pass! This route connects Tawang, India's second-highest northernmost town, with the rest of the country. Needless to say, getting to this lake is challenging, but the views from up there are beautiful! Under a clear blue sky, your view would be adorned with grazing yaks, natural vegetation, and tall, steep mountains.

6. Renuka Lake, Himachal Pradesh

Renuka Lake by Aryan Nikhil via Unsplash

Renuka Lake was named after the Hindu goddess Renuka Devi whose husband, Maharishi Jamadagni was killed by King  Sahasrarjun.  Engulfed with lust, the king pursued Renuka shamelessly. To escape the king, Renuka jumped into the lake, but fortunately, she did not drown.  She told her son, Parashurama, about the tragedy, and in his rage, he wiped out the entire kingdom. To protect the sanctity of this lake, tourists are not allowed to have their shoes on while riding the boats. The serene views and chilly atmosphere provide the perfect getaway from the hectic city life!

7. Karanji Lake, Karnataka

Karanji Lake by code_martial via Creative Commons

This dazzling lake in the southern part of India is home to many tropical birds and forest life. This lake has to be on top of your list because of its walk-through aviary! The thought of being surrounded by flora and fauna while taking a tranquil boat ride is truly welcoming.

8. Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim

Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim by Sohil Laad via Unsplash

Known as one of the highest lakes in the world, Gurudongmar Lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. Legend has it that when he was passing by the region, the people pleaded to him. It was understood that they did not have any source of drinking water during the winters as the lake would completely freeze up. The Guru agreed to help them and placed his hands in a small area of the lake. Ever since, during the winters, the entire lake would be frozen except for that part.

9. Vembanad Lake, Kerala

Vembanad Lake by Brighton Pereira via Unsplash

We will end off this interesting list of lakes with the longest lake in India! An interesting fact about this lake - due to its length, it is recognised by different names in each city or town through which it travels (Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad, Kochi Lake in Kochi, and Vembanad Lake in Kottayam). It is the site of the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race, and many people claim that it is the location of the world's most magnificent sunset.



Khushi Makasare

Pratha Content Writer


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