Loktak Lake is a wonder of nature located in Manipur, India. The lake is famous for its unique ”phumdis”, floating islands of vegetation, which create a magical landscape. The phumdis of the Loktak Lake are home to diverse flora and fauna. They consist of vegetation, soil, and decomposed organic matter that have been thickened into a solid form. Most of the mass of the phumdi lies below the surface, like an iceberg.
Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in northeast India.
The lake plays an important role in the economic life of Manipur. It is vital for irrigation, hydropower energy, and providing drinking water and food supplies. It is even called the ”lifeline of Manipur”. There are also many fishermen making their livelihood from the lake. The unique landscape of the lake attracts tourists as well.
The phumdis are very dense and can support the weight of many people on them. In fact, these green masses can bear the weight of an entire house as they are very sturdy. As a matter of fact, there are many huts on them, providing a great settlement for the fishermen and the visiting tourists. The largest of all the phumdis covers an area of 40km2.
The only floating national park in the world, Keibul Lamjao National Park, is an integral part of Loktak Lake.
Keibul Lamjao is the last natural habitat of the highly endangered Sangai deer, the state animal of Manipur. The park, created in 1966, is currently on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.