Incredible India

Largest Freshwater Lake in India – The Walur Lake

The Walur Lake also spelled Wullar is the largest Freshwater Lake in India. It is also known as Wolar in Kashmiri and is one of the largest freshwater lakes in South Asia.

The Lake is located in the Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir. Nestled amid the snow-capped Himalayas, and lush green meadows the lake attracts visitors and tourists from across the world.

The Lake has an area of 189 sq. km but varies seasonally from 30 to 189 square kilometers and the lake basin was formed as a result of tectonic activity.

It is said that the lake used to be bigger in size but much of its water was drained out when willow plantations were built on its shore in the 1950s.

Walur Lake - Largest Freshwater Lake in India
Walur Lake – Largest Freshwater Lake in India (Source)

The Walur lake lies at an altitude of 1,580 m and its maximum depth is 14 meters. It has a length and breadth of 16 km and 10 km respectively

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The lake is fed by the Jhelum River and stream madhumati. 

Wular Lake in ancient times was called Mahapadmasar. It is also mentioned in the Nilamata Purana as Mahapadmasaras

The Kashmiri sultan Zain-ul-Abidin constructed an artificial island ‘Zaina Lank’ in the middle of the lake in 1444.

The Walur lake was included as a Wetland of National Importance under the Wetlands Programme of the government of India in 1986 and as a Ramsar site in 1990.

The Lake is a sustainable wintering site for a number of migratory waterfowl species and many terrestrial bird species.

It is also an important habitat for fish and hundreds of other local villagers are employed by cooperative societies that trade the fish catch. The lake contributes about 60 percent of the fish yield of the Kashmir Valley.

Jammu and Kashmir tourism department in collaboration with Kerala Tourism initiated many activities like boating, water skiing, and water sports around the Walur Lake to promote tourism in the Kashmir Valley.

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