Prominent Lakes of Kashmir Division (J&K)

Jammu & Kashmir State is well known for its charming scenery. There are beautiful springs, lakes, rivers and their tributaries. All these add to its scenic beauty. The lakes of Kashmir valley are bounded on all sides by Himalayan Mountains. These lakes are irreplaceable natural water bodies aboding a rich and diverse gene pool.The valley is having numerous lakes and wetlands at different altitudes
These fresh water lakes play an important role in the socio-economic set up of the valley and no doubt due to over exploitation of natural resources by way of human interference, these lakes and their catchment areas are under great stress. The lakes of Kashmir valley have always served as enchanting recreational areas. In recent times the water bodies have come under a vicious two prolonged attack. One is in the form of overexploitation and the other environmental pollution, where in the first has added and abated the other whish has resulted in total extinction or eutrophic status to the lakes.

  1. Wular Lake: Wular Lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes of Asia. It plays a significant role in the hydrographic system of Kashmir valley and act as a huge absorption basin for the annual flood waters. Wular with its extensive surrounding marshes is the natural habitat for wild life. It is also an important fish resource accounting for about 60% of the total fish production in the state. The lake is situated at a distance of about 50 kms from Srinagar at an average altitude of 1570m amsl. The lake is balloon shaped with a maximum length of 16 kms and breadth of 7.6 kms with an average depth of 5.8m. In the north and east the lake is surrounded by high mountain ranges which are fairly dense conifer forests and pastures. Besides Jhelum which passes through the lake, the lake is directly fed by two important streams of Erin and Madhumati.
  2. Dal Lake: It is a world famous lake lying east of Srinagar city. It is Kidney shaped with an area of 11.20 Sq.kms. as determined through the satellite imageries of the year 1994 and 1995. The area determined through G.T. sheets of 1965 survey is 15.86 Sq.kms. The area figure adopted for Dal is 11.20 sq. kms.
  3. Ahansar Lake: Ahansar Lake is a rural water body situated at a distance of about 30kms from Srinagar city. The Ahansar is one of the fresh water wetlands situated in the flood plains of river Jhelum. It is an ox bow type of water body and has probably originated by the meandering of the alluvial deposits. The exact age and origin of the lake is not known. Although it is thought that as a result of earthquake a crate is formed and in meanwhile that crate got filled up with water from river Jhelum.
  4. Anchar Lake: Anchar lake, a shallow water body which is located 10 Kms north- west of Srinagar city at an altitude of 1585 m.a.s.l. The lake is a typical sub urban eutrophic water body with both rural and urban charactertics in a typical rural environment. The lake is a single basined, open drainage type water body fed by a network of channels from the Sind nallah. A small channel connects Anchar Lake with Khushal sar lake which in turn is connected with the Nigin lake. The lake is also fed by the springs in the basin and along the periphery.
  5. Nilnag Lake: Nilnag lake is a fresh water lake situated at a distance of about 41 Kms to the west of Srinagar city. The exact age of the lake is not known, although Zutshi 1980 reports it to of Pleistocene origin and has probably come into existence due to tectonic activity. The water body is about 7 meters deep and is fed by two main streams on its north western side. The water level in the lake is regulated by the two outlets on its south eastern side through which excess water is drained out.
  6. Sheikhsar Lake: Sheikhsar Lake is a shallow fresh water closed type single basined valley lake located near Sumbal at a distance of 26 Kms North West of Srinagar. The lake covers an area of 28 hac with a maximum depth of 1.8 m. The agricultural runoff and disposal of the village are discharged directly into the lake. The lake supports a rich macrophytic growth.
  7. Waskursar Lake: This is a small water body situated at a distance of 30 Kms from Srinagar city and is located in Ganderbal tehsil. The lake is a semi-drainage type having an outflow channel and no inflow channel. The water retention time is high in the water body. The lake is mainly fed by springs within the lake body and in its periphery. The lake lies in the flood plains of river Jhelum.
  8. Mansbal Lake: It is situated about 30 kilometers north west of Srinagar in the direction of Wular Lake and is connected with Jhelum river by a canal. It is oblong in shape in east west direction. It is about 4.5 kms in length and about 300 meters in width.
  9. Nilnag Lake: It is an oval shaped small lake and 19 meters in length and about 18 meters width on the southern side of Kashmir valley, about 6 Kms from Charari-Sharif.
  10. Nilsar Lake: A small lake in the Panjal range formed by Glacial action about one and a half Kms long and 1 Km broad.
  11. Kounsarnag (Konsar Nag) Lake: This mountain lake lies between the peaks of Panjal range in the extreme south west of Kashmir Valley. It is about 3.5 Kms long and 2 Kms broad.
  12. Chandasar Lake: It is the small lake lying on the high mountains in between Kashmir valley and Sind River. The lake is circular in shape with 0.5 km in diameter and is situated about the south- west end of Zajimarg.
  13. Demansar Lake: A mountain lake in the south of Kashmir valley just east of Tosha Maidan pass at the upper end of Tsenimarag and area of the lake is 16.25 hec.
  14. Didufnag Lake: This lake lies on the eastern side of the chain of mountains between Khompara, Merdwa Wardan.
  15. Gaditar Lake: A mountain lake lying on the eastern side of Panjal Range about Tosh Maidan on the Poonch path.
  16. Gadsar Lake: A small lake known as Yemsar lies in between lofty mountains of Sind valley and Tilail. It is a tarn oval shaped about 1 Km in length. This is a high altitude lake in the north-west to south-east direction on the Sind Tilail pass.
  17. Gangabal Lake: It is a high altitude lake on the north- east slopes of Harmukh mountains at an elevation of 12000 ft. the lake is about 2 Kms long and about 300 meters wide. It is about 45 Kms north of Srinagar on way of Wangat village.
  18. Gogisar Lake : A mountain lake lying on the eastern side of the watershed between Kashmir and Mardwa Wardwan valley.
  19. Gumsar Lake: A small lake situated near Shipkour.
  20. Marsar Lake: A high altitude lake situated on the southern side of high mountains forming a watershed between Kashmir and Sind Valley. This lake is about 2.5 Kms long and about 1 km wide. This lake is source of Dachigam Nallah.
  21. Shishnag Lake (Or Sheshnag): It is a small lake, situated at the north- eastern side of Dachnipora in a long valley enclosed by high mountains. The lake Shishnag is about 2 Kms long and 1 Km broad. It is connected with another lake called Zamtinag fed by a vast glacier.
  22. Sonasar Nag Lake: A small lake situated amid of the mountains at the north eastern end of Dachnipora about 3.5 Kms south- west of Shishnag. It is midway between Phalgam and Sukins villages in Mardwa Wardwan valley.
  23. Ratansar Lake: It is a small lake lying in the plains at the southeast end from sopore.
  24. Tarsar Lake: It is a high mountain lake situated between Sindh valley and Kashmir.
  25. Vethnar Lake : It is a shallow lake situated on the left bank of river Jhelum about 4.5 Kms south- east of Srinagar city. The lake is also called Nagat Nambal.
  26. Vishansar Lake: This lake is situated between Tilail and Sindh valley amidst of high mountains. It is bear shaped lake with 1.5 Kms length and 0.5 Kms.
  27. Zamtinag Lake: A small lake situated in lofty mountains at the north eastern end of Dachnipora village fed by glaciers.
  28. Kounnag Lake: A small lake lying to the north-west of Schkach mountain close to the pass between Astan Marag and Panjtarni valleys.
  29. Narkura Sar: The waterbody owes its name to the Narkura village, which lies to its south. The waterbody has its banks spread upto a number of villages viz; Nadur, Gurvaith, Omipora and Humhama.
  30. Achabal Spring: It is the largest magnificent spring of Kashmir which rises at the foot of the Achabal Thung mountains The main stream being carried through a garden which has been built by the Emperor Shah Jehan and is a famous tourist destination.
  31. Anantnag Spring: The name of the spring has been derived from Anat Nag or Ananta Nag, the spring of Anant , the serpent of Vishnu, and the emblem of eternity, and is a esteemed sacred of the Hindus.
  32. Kantar Nag: A small lake situated on the Pirpanjal range to the north of the Firozepur pass and is 6 kms from Gulmarg.
  33. Kausar Nag: It is an high altitude lake lying between the basaltic peaks of the pirpanjal range at the south west of the Kashmir in Kulgam district. Its length is about 2 miles and its breadth is about one and a half mile. The surface of the water is dark and dull looking and has in many places the appearance of great depth. The stream which is fed by this lake is Vaishau nalla.
  34. Kaun Nag: This is a small lake lying to the north west close to the pass between the Astan Marg and panjtarni valley.
  35. Kukar Nag: The springs are located at the foothills on the south side of the Bringi valley. These springs gushes out at six or seven places at the foothills and forms a stream equal to that of Verinag in volume and far superior in the quality of its waters which is considered the finest in Kashmir.
  36. Hokersar: This wetland is located 16 kms from Srinagar on Srinagar-Baramulla road National Highway,. It is permanent and relatively a shallow waterbody. The main resources wetland is from Doodhanga flood channel. This wetland is a famous game reserve and famous wildlife century.
  37. Naraqnbagh: This lake is located about 25 km from Srinagar city. It is oxbow lake and the main source of this lake is springs within its basin.
  38. Trigam Sar: This waterbody is located about 25 km to the west of Srinagar. This lake is very shallow and terbed due to heavy biotic interference due to the harvesting of fodder and plants and fishing. A part of waterbody has been converted in to a fish farm by department of fisheries.
  39. Mirgund: It is a shallow a wetland and is locate4d about 20 kms south west of Srinagar city. The main resources of this wetland are from sukhnag nalla and the water channel irrigated surrounding agriculture areas. This wetland is a popular waterfall hunting area. This is also a notified wildlife area.
  40. Haigam Jhil: This lake is located 5 kms from sopore town and drains into wullar lake through tarozoo nalla.the main source of water to this lake is from ningli nalla and babakul .it is also a famous water fowl hunting area.
  41. Chatlam Wetland: This wetland is located in pampore area and about 30 kms from Srinagar city. The source of water to this wetland is springs within the basin. It is also a resting cite for migratory water fowl having flying linkage with Dal and Hokersar in particular.
  42. Shalbugh Rakh: This wetland is temporary shallow and is located About 15kms from srinagar and is famous game reserve. The main resource tothis wetland river sindh river.
  43. Khanpur Sar: This is a semi drainage water body and the main re4sources is from surrounding channels.
  44. Narkura Sar (Nadir Sar): This wetland is about 8kms from south west of Srinagar It is a perm anent and deep wetland And know for fishing and folder plants like nymphaea nymphoides.
  45. Kantar Nag: This is amall lake located to the nag of firopur and is about 6 kms from the gulmarg.
  46. Marsar: This lake is suitated on the south of the lofting mountains forming the water shed between kashmir and the sindh valley. This lake is the source of water to Arrah river .It can be approached from the tral valley narastan zoistan, and dachigam National Park by way of Lidarwat.
  47. Shishnagh This : lake is suiated in the north of eastern area of dachinpora. It is connected with the small lake Zamtinagh whi ch is fed by glaciers. This lake is held in great reverence annually visited by thousands of pilgrims on the way to the Amarnath cave.
  48. Sonasar Nagh: This small lake is located between the mountains in the north eastern extremity of Dachninpora which is two miles south west of the shishnagh.
  49. Verinag: The Verinag spring rises in an octagonal stone reservoir situated at the foot of the spur. This spring is the main source of river Jhelum . The water of the spring is very cold and of deep bluish green in colour.
  50. Vishan Sar: This lake is situated amid the mountains of the sindh valley and is fed by a huge glacier. It is the main source of Kishan ganga river.

(Data Source: Directory of Lakes and water bodies of J&K State, 2012).

By:- Dr. Dhyal Singh
Department of Zoology.
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital