India | Jammu and Kashmir

Wular Lake

Wular Lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia, situated 50 km from Srinagar, in Jammu and Kashmir. Its area is spread over 200 sq km, but its actual surface area tends to change during the year. Jhelum River merges into the lake at Babyari, about 40 km downstream from Srinagar and again separates it at Ningli.

The flood water of the Jhelum River is absorbed by the wetland, which acts as a huge reservoir. The lake’s catchments area supports coniferous forests, alpine pastures and orchards, which adds the natural beauty and biodiversity of the wetland area.

The north-eastern side of the lake is surrounded by high mountain ranges. Mota Khon, the deepest part of the lake is known as Mota Khon (the 'Gulf of corpses'), since the bodies of people drowned in the lake were all supposed to be washed to this place.

At one time there was an artificial island on the lake, where boatmen could shelter if the weather turned bad, but silting on that side of the lake has joined the island to the lakeside. It's now a popular picnic spot.

Migratory and resident birds dwell in this area. The lake is also home to over 50 species of aquatic inhabitants.

Wular Lake has social and economic importance in the valley of Kashmir. The lake provides sustenance to thousands of people living in and around the lake.

Updated on 18th July, 2005

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