Loktak Lake, The largest freshwater (sweet) lake in northeast India, also called the only Floating lake in the world due to the floating phumdis (heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matters at various stages of decomposition) on it, is located near Moirang in Manipur state, India. The etymology of Loktak is Lok = "stream" and tak = "the end". The Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is the last natural refuge of the endangered sangai or Manipur brow-antlered deer (Cervus eldi eldi), one of three subspecies of Eld's Deer, covering an area of 40 km2 (15 sq mi), is situated in the southeastern shores of this lake and is the largest of all the phumdis in the lake.
This ancient lake plays an important role in the economy of Manipur. It serves as a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. The lake is also a source of livelihood for the rural fisherman who live in the surrounding areas and on phumdis, also known as “phumshongs”. Human activity has led to severe pressure on the lake ecosystem. 55 rural and urban hamlets around the lake have a population of about 100,000 people.
A view of Sendra Tourist Home on a large Phumdi in Loktak Lake
World Environment Day 2012 observed in the middle of Loktak Lake.
View of Loktak Lake and Phumdis
|Type||Fresh water (lentic)|
|Primary inflows||Manipur river and many smallrivulets|
|Primary outflows||Through barrage for hydropower generation, irrigation, and water supply|
|Catchment area||980 km2 (380 sq mi)|
|Max. length||35 km (22 mi)|
|Max. width||13 km (8 mi)|
|Surface area||287 km2 (111 sq mi)|
|Average depth||2.7 m (8.9 ft)|
|Max. depth||4.6 m (15.1 ft)|
|Surface elevation||768.5 m (2,521 ft)|
|Islands||Thanga, Ithing, Sendra islands. Also many floating islands called phumdis or phumshongs|