Wular Lake in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir state is the largest fresh water lake in India. Jhelum River feeds Wular Lake. The size of the lake varies according to seasons; from 30 square kilo meters to 260 square kilo meters (or from 12 sq. miles to 100 sq. miles). Wular Lake was known by name “Mahapadamsar ” in ancient times.
The Jhulam river feeds the Wular lake. The Jhulam river flows into the Wular lake at around 40 kilometers down from Srinagar city, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state. The Jullam river flows out of Wular lake at the southern part of the lake in Sopur, at around 35 kilometers North – West of Srinagar. Sopur is at around 16 kilometers South – West of Baramulla city. National Highway, NH 1, connects Sopur with Srinagar.
Government of India jointly with Jammu & Kashmir State Tourism department and Kerala State Tourism department have recently introduced water ski and water sports along with boating facilities in Wular Lake.
Wular lake is designated as a “Ramsar site” as per the “Ramsar Convention” held at Ramsar (Iran) in 1971, where an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, was signed initially by 21 counties. Currently, 168 countries are signatories to this treaty and around 2000 ‘Ramsar sites’ exists internationally, United Kingdom leads the list with 170 ‘Ramsar sites’. Bolivia has the Largest Area (140,000 square kilometers) in terms of ‘Ramsar sites’.
There was an artificial island in the middle of the lake built in the 14th century. Later on, this island has joined with the lake shores due to slitting and is a picnic spot now.
The Tulbul Project, (work was started in 1984) is a barrage (partly constructed by India) at the mouth of Wular Lake. Tulbul Project was planned to control the flow of water into the the Jhulam river to maintain the required water level, mainly for navigational purpose (boating). The project work was suspended in 1987 due to objection from Pakistan on grounds of violation of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.
What is the ideal time to visit Wular Lake, the Largest Fresh Water Lake in India?
Wular lake is known for dangerous winds and waves! Tourism is at its peak during the months of June, July and August and these months are considered as the ideal time to visit the Wular lake.