What types of lakes are found in India? Give suitable examples.
India has many lakes. They differ in size and other characteristics. Most lakes are permanent, whereas some contain water only during the rainy season. There are lakes which are formed by the action of glaciers and ice sheets, while the others have been formed by human activities.
- Salt water lakes: Spit and bars form lagoons or salt water lakes in the coastal areas like the Chilika lake, Pulicat lake and the Kolleru lake. Sometimes salt water lakes are formed with island drainage like Sambhar lake in Rajasthan. Its water is used for producing salt.
- Freshwater lakes: Most of these are in the Himalayan region. They are of glacier origin. They are formed when glaciers dug out a basin, which was later filled with snow melt. The Wular lake in Jammu and Kashmir is the largest freshwater lake in India. Other freshwater lakes are the Dal, Bhimtal, Nainital, Loktak and Barapani.
- Man-made lakes: The damming of the rivers for the generation of hydel power has also led to the formation of lakes. These lakes are formed to drain excessive water of the river during floods and adding water to the rivers during the dry season. Such lakes are the Guru Gobind Sagar (Bhakra Nangal Project), Nizam Sagar, Nagarjuna Sagar, Rana Pratap Sagar, etc.