Boating in Loktak Lake: Places to visit in north east India
A unique lake in the heart of Manipur, Loktak Lake is considered the lifeline of Manipur. The lake is beautiful and unique due to the floating islands within it. These islands are made out of natural waste and our home to the fishermen who reside on them. A boat ride in the lake will get you close to these floating islands and give you a chance to spot the rare and endangered marine life of the lake.
Loktak Lake: the largest freshwater (sweet) lake in North -East 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. Considering the ecological status and its biodiversity values, the lake was initially designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on March 23, 1990. It was also listed under the Montreux Record on June 16, 1993, “a record of Ramsar sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur”.