Ramsar Sites in India


Ramsar Sites in India 2023

Ramsar Sites are wetland regions of international importance described under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of UNESCO in 1971 in the city of Ramsar of Iran. The Ramsar Convention was agreed for the declaration of the conservation and wise use of domestic, national, and international wetland regions for attaining sustainable development in the world. In the case of India, the Ramsar Convention came into effect on 1st February 1982. There is also registration of those sensitive wetland regions of international importance where major ecological changes are occurring, have occurred, and are likely to occur in the future due to various factors like environmental pollution, technological and infrastructural development, and other anthropological causes. These sensitive Ramsar Sites are registered under the clause of Montreux Record.

List of Ramsar Sites in India

As per the Reports of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), wetlands have been recognized as one of the most threatened ecosystems in India. Hence there is a need for hours to conserve these wetlands. The nomenclature of wetlands in the form of Ramsar Sites contributes enough to aware people. There is a total of 75 Ramsar Sites in IndiaEleven new wetland sites were declared as Ramsar Sites of India last year. Till now, the state of Tamil Nadu hosts the maximum number of 14 Ramsar Sites in India.

Ramsar Sites in India Complete List

Ramsar Site (State/UT) Inclusion Year Key Notes
Chilika Lake (Odisha) 1981 It is the world’s second-largest coastal lagoon and the country’s first largest lagoon. It is located at the mouth of the Daya River on the eastern coast of India. It was the first Ramsar Site in India. It hosts rare Irrawaddy dolphin species.
Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) 1981 It is a popular avifauna sanctuary situated in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan. It is placed under the Montreux Record due to the danger of water shortage and the growth of invasive grass. It is famous for the migratory bird Siberian Crane.
Wular lake (Jammu & Kashmir) 1990 It is the largest lake among all freshwater lakes in India. It is known for its floating vegetation like Water Chestnut. It also helps the government to earn revenue from its fishing industry, paddy cultivation, etc.
Sambhar lake (Rajasthan) 1990 It is the largest lake among all inland saline lakes in India. It is an important wintering region for migratory birds like flamingos travelling from northern Asia. It has geological importance also as it provides evidence of the Tethys Sea.
Loktak lake (Manipur) 1990 It is considered the largest freshwater lake in the northeastern states of India. The world’s only floating national park is Keibul Lamajo which spreads over it. It is well known for the Phumdis Vegetation. It is the last natural abode of Sangai Deers (Dancing Deers).
Harike Wetlands (Punjab) 1990 It is the largest wetland region in the northern part of the country. It is a shallow water reservoir consisting of 13 islands. It is located near the confluence of two rivers namely Beas and Satluj. It is a breeding zone for various species of Anatidae.
Ashtamudi Wetland (Kerala) 2002 It is a large palm-shaped natural backwater wetland. It makes an estuary with the sea at the point of Neendakara. It is also a popular fishing zone in the state. It is said that the tastiest fish in Kerala named Karimeen comes from this lake.
Bhitarkanika Mangroves (Odisha) 2002 It is in the mangrove forest region near the catchment area of Brahmani and Baitrani Rivers. It is considered the second largest mangrove ecosystem in the country. It is known for Olve ridley turtles and Saltwater crocodiles.
Bhoj Wetland (Madhya Pradesh) 2002 It is made of two lakes namely Bhojtal/ Upper lake and Lower lake in Bhopal. The Upper lake acts as the lifeline of the city of Bhopal as it supports around 40% of its potable water supply. The largest bird of India named Sarus Crane is also seen here.
Deepor Beel (Assam) 2002 It is a permanent freshwater lake which is situated in the former channel of the Brahmputra River. It is the sole big stormwater storage water basin for Guwahati. It serves as the wetlands representative under the Burma Monsoon Forest Biogeographic Region.
East Kolkata Wetlands (West Bengal) 2002 This wetland was named by Dhrubajyoti Ghosh of IUCN. It is a mixture of natural and man-made wetland regions. It helps to treat the sewage of the city of Kolkata. It is an example of a multi-use wetland. It is conserved and maintained with the help of the local community.
Kanjli Wetland (Punjab) 2002 For providing irrigation facilities, it was made by building a barrage across the Bein River which is a tributary of the Beas River. The common reptile found in this wetland is a tortoise.
Kolleru lake (Andhra Pradesh) 2002 It is a large natural eutrophic lake located between the river basins of Godavari and Krishna Rivers. It acts as the natural soaking agent to check the flood-like situations here. It makes the largest shallow lake among all the freshwater lakes in Asia.
Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu) 2002 It is situated along the Palk Strait at Point Calimere which meets the Bay of Bengal. It was constructed for the conservation of the Blackbuck Antelope, and other endemic mammal species. It is known for the congregation of greater flamingos.
Pong Dam lake (Himachal Pradesh) 2002 It is also called Maharana Pratap Sagar Lake. It was constructed by having the highest embankment dam in the country on the Beas RiverMahseer Angling fish found in this wetland is considered to be the only one of its type in the country.
Ropar Wetland (Punjab) 2002 It is a man-made wetland that was built by having a barrage for diverting the water from the Satluj River. It is a well-recognized breeding place for hog deer, sambar, smooth-coated otter, etc.
Sasthamkotta lake (Kerala) 2002 It is called the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala. It is named after the primitive pilgrimage center Sastha Temple situated on the banks of this lake. The smallest migratory birds named common teal/ dabbling duck are seen here.
Tsomoriri (Ladakh) 2002 It is considered to be the sole breeding zone in India for the bar-headed geese. It is the only breeding region outside China where the endangered black-necked crane is spotted. The Barley field of Karzok located here is believed to be the world’s highest cultivated land.
Vembanad Kol Wetland (Kerala) 2002 It is the largest lake in the state of Kerala and the longest lake in the country. It is considered the second largest Ramsar Site in India. It is situated below sea level and is known for the exotic fishes and unique paddy fields. The famous boat race happens over it.
Chandra Taal (Himachal Pradesh) 2005 It is situated near the origin of the Chandra River on the Samudra Tapu plateau. It is called one of the highest Ramsar Sites in India. It is home to several species like the golden eagle, snowcock, red fox, Himalayan ibex, etc.
Hokera Wetland (Jammu & Kashmir) 2005 It is situated at the back of the Pir Panjal ranges of Himalayan Mountain. It is a natural perennial wetland site that is next to the Jhelum River Basin. It is considered to be the only region having the remaining parts of the reedbeds of Kashmir.
Renuka lake (Himachal Pradesh) 2005 It is the largest lake areawise in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is named after the deity named Renuka (Mother of Sage Parshuram). There is the beautiful sight of freshwater springs and inland karst formations.
Rudrasagar lake (Tripura) 2005 It is that wetland in the northeast region of India where three perennial streams meet. These streams discharge into the Gomti River. It is a lowland sedimentation reservoir.
Surinsar- Mansar lakes (Jammu & Kashmir) 2005 It is situated in the semi-arid zone of the Jammu area. It covers the catchment area of the Jhelum RiverMansar site is fed by mainly surface run-off while Surinsar site is rain-fed without having permanent discharge.
Upper Ganga River (Brijghat to Narora Stretch) 2005 It is a shallow stretch of the Ganges RiverSix species of turtles are found here. It is home to the Ganges River Dolphins, Gharial, Crocodiles, etc.
Nalsarovar Bird sanctuary (Gujarat) 2012 It is the largest natural wetland site in the biogeographic region of the Thar Desert. It is a large natural freshwater lake. It is said to be the lifeline for the endangered Indian Wild Ass population.
Sarsai Nawar Jheel (Uttar Pradesh) 2019 It is a permanent marshy region of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. It is a bird sanctuary designated as Ramsar Site to conserve the waterbirds like the vulnerable Sarus Crane here.
Sunderban Wetland (West Bengal) 2019 It is the largest Ramsar Site in India in terms areawise. It is situated in the world’s largest Mangrove Forest ecosystem. It is a deltaic region formed by the confluence of rivers namely Padma, Meghna, and Brahmaputra.
Beas Conservation Reserve (Punjab) 2019 It is a 185 km long stretch of the Beas River and is situated in the northwestern part of Punjab. It is the last abode of the Indus River Dolphins in India.
Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve (Punjab) 2019 It is a composite wetland where natural marshy lands and agricultural fields are present. It is influenced by human interference. There are fishponds and crop fields for lotus and chestnut.
Nandur Madhameshwar (Maharashtra) 2019 It spans the riparian forest and marshy region of the Deccan Plateau. It is a bird sanctuary which is also called the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary of Maharashtra. It is near the confluence of the Godavari and Kadva rivers.
Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary (Punjab) 2019 It has historical importance also as Panch Sheel Principles were signed by both Indian PM and Chinese counterpart. It hosts many floras and faunas like Indian Pangolin, Egyptian vultures, etc.
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary (Uttar Pradesh) 2019 It has been renamed the Shahid Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary. It hosts species like lesser adjutant, golden jackal, Palla’s sea eagle, etc. The invasive species of common water hyacinth poses threat to the ecosystem.
Parvati Arga Bird Sanctuary (Uttar Pradesh) 2019 It is a permanent freshwater lake having two oxbow lakes. It provides both breeding grounds as well as roosting sites for several waterbirds. It is a refuge for the Egyptian Vultures, Indian Vultures, White-rumped Vultures, etc.
Saman Bird Sanctuary (Uttar Pradesh) 2019 It is a type of oxbow lake that is seasonal in nature. It is located in the Ganges floodplain which receives rainfall during the southwest monsoon. Various threatened species like the greater spotted eagle, greylag goose, etc can be seen here.
Samaspur Bird Sanctuary (Uttar Pradesh) 2019 It is a perennial lowland marshy region which is situated on the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The majority of species found here are exotic in nature. It harbors Palla’s sea eagle, common pochard, Egyptian vulture, etc.
Sandi Bird Sanctuary (Uttar Pradesh) 2019 It is a freshwater marshy land on the Indo-Gangetic Plain that is heavily dependent on monsoon rainfall for its water. It is also an Important Bird Area (IBA) recognized by Birdlife International.
Asan Barrage (Uttarakhand) 2020 It is located in Doon Valley on the border of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. It is at the confluence of the Asan River and Yamuna River. Around 49 fish species are found here. It is also home to red-headed vultures, Baer’s pochard, etc.
Kanwar Lake or Kabal Taal (Bihar) 2020 It is one of the 18 wetlands situated on the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Several times, the water of this lake causes floods in Bihar. It is a stopover in the stretch of the Central Asian Flyway.
Sur Sarovar (Uttar Pradesh) 2020 It is also called Keetham Lake. It was built for providing water supply to the city of Agra. More than 60 fish species are found here. It harbors species like wallago catfish, greylag goose, greater spotted eagle, etc.
Lonar Lake (Maharashtra) 2020 It is an endorheic lake that is circular in shape. It is also called the Lonar crater which was made by a meteorite impact in the basaltic rock. It is recognized as the Geo-Heritage Monument of India.
Tso Kar Wetland (Ladakh) 2020 It is a fluctuating saline lake on the Rupshu Plateau. It is a high-altitude wetland situated in Ladakh. It consists of two lakes namely Startsapuk Tso and hypersaline Tso Kar. It is home to the Snow leopard, Asiatic wild dog, etc.
Sultanpur National Park (Haryana) 2021 It is situated in the Gurugram district of Haryana. It is considered a paradise for birdwatchers. This protected area was highlighted by Peter Jackson who was a bird lover.
Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary (Haryana) 2021 It is a man-made wetland site that houses freshwater lakes. It is considered the largest wetland areawise in the state of Haryana. It is under the ecological corridor across the Sahibi River.
Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary (Gujarat) 2021 It is a shallow freshwater lake that is a human-made wetland site. It is situated on the Central Asian Flyway. So many species like Sociable lapwing, Sarus crane, and White-rumped vultures rest and recharge here.
Wadhvana Wetland (Gujarat) 2021 It is a man-made water reservoir situated in the semi-arid agricultural zone of Gujarat. It is surrounded by rice and wheat fields. During the winter season, the rare red-crested pochard duck is spotted here.
Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary (Gujarat) 2021 It is a unique wetland site as it comprises the nature of both wetlands namely freshwater and saline water lakes.
Haiderpur Wetland (Uttar Pradesh) 2021 It is situated within the Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is a man-made wetland site created by building the Madhya Ganga Barrage on the Gangetic floodplain.
Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary (Uttar Pradesh) 2022 It is the largest wetland in India in terms of the natural floodplain. It gives secure wintering grounds for various species in their path of the Central Asian Flyway.
Karikili Bird Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu) 2022 It is that protected area in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Andu where around 100 species have been spotted recently.
Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest (Tamil Nadu) 2022 It is a freshwater marshy region in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is believed to be the only surviving wetland region of the city of Chennai. It is one of the last natural wetlands left in southern India.
Pichavaram Mangrove Forest (Tamil Nadu) 2022 It is counted as one of the largest mangrove forest ecosystems in the country.
Pala Wetland (Mizoram) 2022 It is Mizoram’s largest natural wetland site. It is surrounded by green woodland forest.
Sakhya Sagar Lake (Madhya Pradesh) 2022 It is an important ecological part of Madhav National Park of Madhya Pradesh.

11 New Ramsar Sites Added in India

Eleven wetland sites have been included recently in the list of Ramsar sites in India. It has increased the total number of Ramsar Sites to 75. These 75 Ramsar Sites are coincidentally in line with the celebration of the 75th Year of Independence in India. These total Ramsar Sites cover an area of 13,26,677 hectares in India. The 11 new wetland sites recognized as the new Ramsar Sites in India are tabulated given below. Of these new Ramsar Sites, four are from Tamil Nadu, three from Odisha, two from Jammu and Kashmir, and one each from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

S.No. New Ramsar Site  State/UT
1 Tampara Lake Odisha
2 Hirakud Reservoir Odisha
3 Ansupa Lake Odisha
4 Yashwant Sagar Madhya Pradesh
5 Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
6 Suchindram Theroor Wetland Complex Tamil Nadu
7 Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
8 Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
9 Thane Creek Maharashtra
10 Hygam Wetland Conservation Reserve Jammu and Kashmir
11 Shallbugh Wetland Conservation Reserve