World Wetlands Day 2024: Top 10 wetlands in India to add to your travel list

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Wetlands are one of the most useful natural resource systems which include areas of marshes, fen, and peatland. They also encompass the natural and artificial water bodies whether permanent or temporary, static or flowing. They play a crucial role in biodiversity as the wetlands store water, sediment, absorb the excess, and many more — which is why wetland conservation should top any government’s agenda. India boasts a total of 75 wetlands, which cover inland wetlands, human-made wetlands, and marine or coastal wetlands. Here are the top 10 wetlands of India where you can plan your next visit: (Image: Shutterstock)

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1. Harike Lake | Harike lake is close to the Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, and Kapurthala districts of Punjab. It acts as a home to over 400 avian species. The lake also harbours endangered aquatic mammalian species, including the smooth-coated otter and seven different species of rare freshwater turtles. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

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2. Sambhar salt lake | It is the major source of salt production in Rajasthan. Sambhar salt lake is also India’s largest island lake. The area is a mix of desert soil and salt flats and is located near the state’s capital Jaipur. (Image: Shutterstock)

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3. Chilika lake | Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon Chilika Lake is nestled in the heart of coastal Odisha. The lake hosts birds like white bellied sea eagles, ospreys, golden plovers, sand pipers, flamingos, pelicans, among others. (Image: Shutterstock)

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4. Wular lake | Wular Lake is located in the Kashmir valley. It is the largest freshwater lake in Asia. The Wular is an important habitat for a variety of fishes. Some of the most common species are Cyprinus carpio, Barbus conchonius, Gambusia affinis, and Nemacheilus, among others. (Image: Shutterstock)

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5. Loktak lake | Loktak Lake is located in Bishnupur, Manipur. It is the only floating national park in the world. (Image: Shutterstock)

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6. Vembanad lake | Vembanad lake is located in the centre of Kerala and a tourist hotspot. You can see hundreds of houseboats floating on it as well as numerous resorts on its banks. The fragile ecosystem has over 100 birds as natives. There are about 150 aquatic species in the lake, including mullets, catfish, pearlfish, prawns, catla, and rohu, among others. (Image: Shutterstock)

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7. Point Calimere Natural Reserve | The Point Calimere Natural Reserve was created primarily for the conservation of black bucks in 1967. It is located in Nagipattinam, Tamil Nadu. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

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8. Kolleru lake | Kolleru lake is located in the northeastern region of Andhra Pradesh. It lies between the Godavari and Krishna river deltas near the city of Eluru. It is home to several species of birds that migrate here in the winter between October and March. (Image: Shutterstock)

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9. Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary | The Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary in Gujarat serves a wide range of biodiversity and also offers spectacular views. You can witness over 200 types of birds that land here after travelling about 3,500 km from their nesting ground in Central Europe to spend the winter. (Image: Shutterstock)

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10. Bhoj lake | The Bhoj lake is home to over 700 species. Located in Bhopal, the lake is an important site of avian fauna with more than 150 species of both migratory and resident birds. (Image: Shutterstock)

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