Situated at a distance of fifty kilometers in Jammu and Kashmir
, the Wular Lake is one of the largest fresh water lake in Asia and the largest lake in India. The cities of Sopore and Bandipore are located on the banks of the Wular Lake. The lake was formed as a result of tectonic activity.
The lake is spread over an area of two hundred square kilometers, but the surface area of the lake varies from season to season. The Jhelum River evacuates into the lake at Babyari, which is forty kilometers downstream from Srinagar and again separates at Ningli. The floodwater of the Jhelum River
acts as a natural reservoir.
In the northeastern side of the lake there are high mountain ranges. The deepest part of the lake is known as Mota Khon that means the `Gulf of corpses`. The artificial island of the lake is a famous picnic spot. The lake is the home to several migratory and resident birds and as many as fifty species of aquatic animals. The catchment area of the lake is covered with coniferous forests, alpine pastures and orchards, which adds to the scenic beauty of the lake.
The Lake is of immense significance to the people of the Kashmir Valley. In 1986 the lake was designated as a Wetland of National Importance under the Wetlands Programme of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India for the purpose of conservation and management. In 1990, it was assigned as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.