49 Ramsar Sites in India in 2022

Ramsar Sites in India

  • As of May 2022, there are 49 Ramsar Sites in India.

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

  • The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an international treaty for “the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands”. It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands.
  • It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran where it was signed on 2nd of February 1971.
  • The 2nd of February each year is World Wetlands Day.
  • The number of parties to the convention (COP) is171 (as of May 2021).
  • At the centre of the Ramsar philosophy is the “wise use” of wetlands.
  • Wise use: maintenance of ecological character within the context of sustainable development.

Ramsar Site

  • When a country accedes to the Convention, it must designate at least one wetland as a Wetland of International Importance.
  • The inclusion of a “Ramsar Site” in the List embodies the government’s commitment to take the steps necessary to ensure that its ecological character is maintained.
  • There are over 2,400 Ramsar Sites covering 2.5 million sq km on the territories of 171 Ramsar Contracting Parties across the world.
  • The world’s first Site was the Cobourg Peninsula in Australia, designated in 1974.
  • The countries with the most Ramsar Sites are the United Kingdom with 175 and Mexico with 142.
  • Bolivia has the largest area under Ramsar protection.

Global Distribution of Ramsar Sites (Source)

Ramsar Sites in India 2022, 49 Ramsar Sites in India

State/UT No. of Ramsar Sites State/UT No. of Ramsar Sites
Uttar Pradesh 10 Union Territory of Ladakh 2
Punjab 6 Andhra Pradesh 1
Gujarat 4 Bihar 1
Kerala 3 Assam 1
Union Territory of J&K 3 Bihar 1
Himachal Pradesh 3 Madhya Pradesh 1
Haryana 2 Manipur 1
Odisha 2 Tamil Nadu 1
Rajasthan 2 Tripura 1
West Bengal 2 Uttarakhand 1
Maharashtra 2 Total 49 (as of May 2022)

Ramsar Sites in India, 49 Ramsar Sites in India 2022

Brief Description of Ramsar Sites in India

Ramsar Site

State

Area (km2)

Description

1 Ashtamudi Wetland Kerala 614
  • It is a natural backwater in the Kollam district.
  • River Kallada and Pallichal drain into it.
  • It forms an estuary with Sea at Neendakara (a famous fishing harbour in Kerala).
  • National Waterway 3 passes through it.
2 Beas Conservation Reserve Punjab 64
  • It is a 185-kilometre stretch of the Beas River.
  • The stretch is dotted with islands, sand bars and braided channels.
  • The Reserve hosts the only known population in India of the endangered Indus River dolphin (EN).
  • In 2017, a programme was initiated to re-introduce the critically endangered gharial.
3 Bhitarkanika Mangroves Odisha 650
  • It is part of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • The core area of the sanctuary was declared Bhitarkanika National Park.
  • Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary is adjacent to the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • It is famous for:
  • Olive ridley turtle (VU
  • Saltwater crocodile (LC)
  • The core area of Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary was declared Bhitarkanika National Park.
  • Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary includes Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary.
4 Bhoj Wetland Madhya Pradesh 32
  • The Wetland consists of two lakes located in the city of Bhopal.
  • The two lakes are the Bhojtal and the Lower Lake.
  • It is a human-made reservoir.
  • The largest bird of India, the Sarus crane (VU) is found here.
5 Chandra Taal Himachal Pradesh .49
6 Chilika Lake Odisha 1165
  • It is a brackish water lagoon at the mouth of the Daya River.
  • It is the largest coastal lagoon in India.
  • Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Central Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here.
  • In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • Nalbana Bird Sanctuary is the core area of the Ramsar designated wetlands of Chilika Lake.
  • The Irrawaddy dolphin (EN) is the flagship species of Chilika lake.
  • Chilka is home to the only known population of Irrawaddy dolphins in India.
7 Deepor Beel Assam 40
  • A permanent freshwater lake in a former channel of the Brahmaputra River.
  • It is a few kilometres to the left of Guwahati whereas Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is around 35 km to the right.
8 East Kolkata Wetlands West Bengal 125
  • It is a multiple-use wetland that serves the city of Kolkata.
9 Harike Wetland Punjab 41
  • It is a shallow water reservoir at the confluence of the Beas and Sutlej rivers.
10 Hokera Wetland Union Territory of J&K 13.75
  • It is only 10 km from Srinagar.
  • It is a natural perennial wetland contiguous to the Jhelum basin.
11 Kanjli Wetland Punjab 1.83
  • The stream is considered to be the most significant in the state from the religious point of view, as it is associated with the first guru of the Sikhs, Shri Guru Nanak.
12 Keoladeo National Park Rajasthan 28.73
  • A complex of ten artificial, seasonal lagoons, varying in size.
  • Vegetation is a mosaic of scrub and open grassland that provides a habitat for breeding, wintering and staging migratory birds.
  • The invasive growth of the grass Paspalum distichum has changed the ecological character of large areas of the site, reducing its suitability for certain waterbird species, notably the Siberian crane (CR).
13 Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve Punjab 34
  • The Site is an example of wise use of a community-managed wetland, which provides food for people and supports local biodiversity.
14 Kolleru Lake Andhra Pradesh 901
  • A natural eutrophic lake situated between the river basins of the Godavari and the Krishna.
  • It was previously a lagoon, but now it is several kilometres inland due to the coastline of emergence and delta formation.
15 Loktak Lake Manipur 266
  • Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in the north-eastern region of the country.
  • Keibul Lamjao the only floating national park in the world floats over it.
16 Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary Gujarat 123
  • A natural freshwater lake (a relict sea) that is the largest natural wetland in Gujarat.
  • The wetland is a lifeline for a satellite population of the endangered Indian Wild Ass (NT).
17 Nandur Madhameshwar Maharashtra 14
  • Construction of the Nandur Madhameshwar Weir at the confluence of the Godavari and Kadwa Rivers helped create a thriving wetland.
18 Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary Punjab 1
  • Located in the Shiwalik foothills of Punjab.
  • It supports abundant flora and fauna including threatened species, such as the endangered Indian pangolin and Egyptian vulture.
  • It occupies a human-made reservoir constructed as part of the Bhakra-Nangal Project in 1961.
  • The site is of historic importance as the Indian and Chinese Prime Ministers formalized the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence” there in 1954.
19 Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh 2
  • It was renamed Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary in 2015.
20 Parvati Arga Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh 7
  • It is a permanent freshwater environment consisting of two oxbow lakes.
  • The Sanctuary is a refuge for some of India’s threatened vulture species: the critically endangered white-rumped vulture and Indian vulture.
21 Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu 385
  • One of the last remnants of Dry Evergreen Forests.
  • Habitat: Dry Evergreen Forests, Mangrove & Wetlands.
22 Pong Dam Lake Himachal Pradesh 156.62
  • It is also known as Maharana Pratap Sagar.
23 Renuka Lake Himachal Pradesh .2
  • A natural wetland with freshwater springs and inland subterranean karst formations.
24 Ropar Wetland Punjab 13.65
  • A human-made wetland of lake and river formed by the construction of a barrage for diversion of water from the Sutlej River.
25 Rudrasagar Lake Tripura 2.4
  • It is a reservoir fed by three perennial streams discharging to the River Gomti.
  • It is an ideal habitat for IUCN Red listed Three-striped Roof Turtle (CR).
26 Saman Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh 5
  • It is a seasonal oxbow lake on the Ganges floodplain.
27 Samaspur Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh 8
  • It is a perennial lowland marsh typical of the Indo-Gangetic Plains.
  • The Sanctuary harbours threatened species such as the endangered Egyptian vulture.
28 Sambhar Lake Rajasthan 240
  • The Sambhar Salt Lake is India’s largest inland saltwater lake.
  • It is a key wintering area for tens of thousands of flamingos.
29 Sandi Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh 3
  • The wetland is typical of the Indo-Gangetic plains.
30 Sarsai Nawar Jheel Uttar Pradesh 2
  • It is a permanent marsh.
  • It is an example of the cohabitation of humans and wildlife.
  • The site’s name is derived from the large non-migratory Sarus crane (VU).
31 Sasthamkotta Lake Kerala 3.73
  • It is the largest freshwater lake in Kerala, situated in Kollam district.
  • River Kallada had a unique replenishing system through a bar of paddy field.
  • The lake is now depleting due to the destruction of the replenishing mechanism.
32 Sundarban Wetland West Bengal 4230
  • Sundarban Wetland is located within the largest mangrove forest in the world.
  • It is the largest Ramsar Site in India.
  • The Indian Sundarban, covering the south-westernmost part of the delta, constitutes over 60% of the country’s total mangrove forest area and includes 90% of Indian mangrove species.
33 Surinsar-Mansar Lakes Union Territory of J&K 3.5
  • Freshwater composite lake in semi-arid Panjab Plains, adjoining the Jhelum Basin.
34 Tsomoriri Union Territory of Ladakh 120
  • A freshwater to brackish lake lying at 4,595m above sea level.
  • The site is said to represent the only breeding ground outside of China for one of the most endangered cranes, the Black-necked Cranes (NT) and the only breeding ground for Bar-headed geese in India.
  • The Great Tibetan Sheep or Argali and Tibetan Wild Ass are endemic to the region.
  • With no outflow, evaporation in the arid steppe conditions causes varying levels of salinity.
35 Upper Ganga River (Brijghat to Narora Stretch) Uttar Pradesh 265.9
36 Vembanad-Kol Wetland Kerala 1512.5
  • The largest lake of Kerala, spanning across Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Ernakulam districts.
  • It is the second-largest Ramsar Site in India after Sundarbans.
  • It is also the Longest lake in India.
  • It is below sea level and is famous for exotic fish varieties and Paddy fields that are below sea level.
37 Wular Lake Union Territory of J&K 189
  • It is the largest freshwater lake in India.
38

Asan Barrage

Uttarakhand 4.44

39

Kanwar Taal or Kabar Taal Lake

Bihar, Begusarai 26.2
  • It lies in the Indo-Gangetic Plain.
  • The wetland is an important stopover for the Central Asian Flyway migratory waterbirds.
  • Five critically endangered species inhabit the site, including three vultures – the red-headed vulture, white-rumped vulture and Indian vulture – and two waterbirds, the Baer’s pochard (CR) and sociable lapwing (CR).

40

Sur Sarovar

Uttar Pradesh, Agra district 4.31
  • It was created to supply water to the city of Agra.
  • The wetland is an important stopover for the Central Asian Flyway migratory waterbirds.
41

Lonar Lake

Maharashtra, Buldhana district 4.27
  • It is an endorheic (closed basin) crater lake formed by a meteorite impact.
  • It is high in salinity and alkalinity due to the lack of an outflow.
  • Recently, the colour of Lonar lake water had turned pink due to a large presence of the salt-loving “haloarchaea” microbes.
  • Haloarchaea or halophilic archaea is a bacteria culture that produces pink pigment and is found in water saturated with salt.
42

Tso Kar

Ladakh, Leh district 95.77
  • Tso Kar wetland is India’s 42nd Ramsar site & the second in the UT of Ladakh.
  • The Tso Kar Basin is a high-altitude wetland complex, consisting of two principal waterbodies:
  • Startsapuk Tso, a freshwater lake to the south, &
  • Tso Kar itself, a hypersaline lake to the north.
  • It is called Tso Kar, meaning white lake, because of the white salt efflorescence found on the margins due to the evaporation of highly saline water.
  • Tso Kar Basin is an Important Bird Area according to BirdLife International.
  • It is a key staging site in the Central Asian Flyway.
  • Also, the site is the most important breeding areas of the Black-necked Cranes (NT) in India.
43 Sultanpur NP Haryana 142.5
  • It is located just 15km away from Delhi.
  •  The Sultanpur Jeel inside the part is an important bird area.
44 Bhindawas WLS Haryana 4.11
  • It is a human-made freshwater wetland.
  • It shares its border with Khaparwas WLS (Haryana).
  •  It supports the endangered Egyptian Vulture.
45 Thol Lake Gujarat 6.99
  • It is a shallow freshwater reservoir.
  • It is a human-made wetland that hosts diverse avian fauna.
  • It is also essential during the dry seasons for blackbucks.
  • It lies on the Central Asian Flyway for migratory avian species.
  • The wetland supports the White-rumped Vulture (CR), Sociable Lapwing (CR), Sarus Crane (VU), Common Pochard, etc.
46 Wadhvana Wetland Gujarat 10.38
  • This human-made reservoir is located in a semi-arid agricultural landscape and it is surrounded by wheat and paddy fields.
  • It lies on the Central Asian Flyway for migratory avian species.
47 Haiderpur Wetland UP 69
48 Bakhira WLS UP
  • It is situated 44 km west of Gorakhpur.
  • It provides a wintering ground for birds which migrate on the Central Asian Flyway.
49 Khijadia WLS Gujarat 6
  • It is a freshwater wetland located in Jamnagar District near the coast of the Gulf of Kutch.
  • It was formed following the creation of a bund (dike) in 1920 to protect farmland from saltwater ingress.

Largest and Smallest and Oldest Ramsar Sites of India

Largest Ramsar Sites of India

Ramsar Site

State

Area in Sq. km

1) Sunderbans Wetland

West Bengal

4230

2) Vembanad Kol Wetland

Kerala

1512

3) Chilka Lake

Orissa

1165

4) Kolleru Lake Andhra Pradesh 901
5) Bhitarkanika Mangroves Orissa 650
6) Asthamudi Wetland Kerala 614

Smallest Ramsar Site of India

Renuka Wetland

Himachal Pradesh

0.2

Oldest Ramsar Sites of India

1) Chilka Lake

Orissa

1981

2) Keoladeo Ghana NP

Rajasthan

1981

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11 Comments

  1. Worst maps. totally unclear and very vague. either put a political map and mention wetlands or put a river map with wetlands. cant able to find the state border properly and too many rivers and wetland names.

    please change the map.

  2. Lok tak lake area is much more of aulad,both are fresh water lake,then how wular is biggest fresh water lake in india,as you mention,plz tell.

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