Home   »   Geography   »   Wetlands in India

Wetlands in India List, Map, Types, Importance and Threats

Wetlands in India

Wetlands are regions where water plays a major role in regulating the surrounding ecosystem, along with the plant and animal life that it supports. Where the water table is at or close to the surface of the land, or where the land is submerged in water, they develop.

Wetlands are characterized as “lands bridging terrestrial and aquatic eco-systems when the water table is typically at or near the surface or the land are covered by shallow water.”

List of Wetlands in India

Here is the List of Wetlands in India

S. No. State/Union Territory Wetland Year of identification
1 Andhra Pradesh Kolleru 1987
2 Assam Deepar Beel 1994
Urpad Beel 2006
Sone Beel 2008
3 Bihar Kabar 1988
Barilla 2004
Kusheshwar Asthan 2004
4 Gujarat Nalsarovar 1988
Great Rann of Kachh 2004
Thol Bird Sanctuary 2004
Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary 2004
Little Rann of Kachh 2004
Pariej 2004
Wadhwana 2004
Nanikakrad 2004
5 Haryana Sultanpur 2004
Bhindawas 2004
6 Himachal Pradesh Renuka 1988
Pong Dam 1994
Chandratal 1997
Rewalsar 2004
Khajjiar 2006
7 Jammu & Kashmir Wullar 1987
Tso Morari 2002
Tisgul Tso & Chisul Marshes 2002
Hokersar 2002
Mansar-Surinsar 2002
Ranjitsagar 2004
Pangong Tsar 2002
Gharana 2008
Hygam 2008
Mirgund 2008
Shalbugh 2008
Chushul & Hanley 2008
8 Jharkhand Udhwa 2005
Tilaiya Dam 2006
9 Karnataka Magadhi 2004
Gudavi Bird Sanctuary 2004
Bonal 2004
Hidkal  & Ghataprabha 2004
Heggeri 2006
Ranganthittu 2006
K.G. Koppa wetland 2006
10 Kerala Ashtamudi 1987
Sasthamkotta 1988
Kottuli 2005
Kadulandi 2005
Vembnad Kol 2005
11 Madhya Pradesh Barna 2004
Yashwant  Sagar 2004
Wetland of Ken River 2004
National Chambal Sanctuary 2004
Ghatigaon 2004
Ratapani 2004
Denwa Tawa wetland 2004
Kanha Tiger Reserve 2004
Pench Tiger Reserve 2004
Sakhyasagar 2004
Dihaila 2004
Govindsagar 2005
Sirpur 2008
12 Maharashtra Ujni 1987
Jayakawadi 2006
Nalganga wetland 2006
13 Manipur Loktak 1987
14 Meghalaya Umiam lake 2008
15 Mizoram Tamdil 2004
Palak 2004
16 Odisha Chilika 1987
Kuanria wetland 2006
Kanjia wetland 2006
Daha wetland 2006
Anusupa 2008
17 Punjab Harike 1987
Ropar 1992
Kanjli 1988
Nangal 2008
18 Rajasthan Sambhar 1987
19 Sikkim Khechuperi  Holy Lake 2006
Tamze Wetland 2006
Tembao Wetland Complex 2006
Phendang  Wetland Complex 2006
Gurudokmar Wetland 2006
Tsomgo wetland 2006
20 Tamil Nadu Point Calimere 2003
Kaliveli 2004
Pallaikarni 2004
21 Tripura Rudrasagar 1998
Gumti reservoir 2008
22 Uttar Pradesh Nawabganj 2004
Sandi 2004
Lakh Bahoshi 2004
Samaspur 2004
Alwara Wetland 2006
Semarai Lake 2006
Nagaria   lake 2006
Keetham  Lake 2006
Shekha wetland 2006
Saman Bird Sanctuary 2006
Sarsai Nawar 2006
Patna Bird Sanctuary 2008
Chandotal 2008
Taal Bhaghel 2008
Taal Gambhirvan & Taal Salona 2008
Aadi jal Jeev Jheel 2008
23 Uttarakhand Ban Ganga Jhilmil Tal 2004
Asan 2008
24 West Bengal East Kolkata Wetland 2002
Sunderbans 2003
Ahiron Beel 2004
Rasik Beel 2004
Santragachi 2005
Patlakhawa-  Rasomati 2008
25 Chandigarh (UT) Sukhna 2006
26 Puducherry ( UT) Ousteri lake 2008

Types of Wetlands in India

Coastal Wetlands

Coastal wetlands can be found in places like shorelines, beaches, mangroves, and coral reefs that are between the land and the ocean but are not affected by rivers. The mangrove wetlands that can be found in protected tropical coastal locations are a good example.

Shallow lakes and ponds

These wetlands are regions with little flow and persistent or semi-permanent water. Vernal ponds, spring pools, salt lakes, and volcanic crater lakes are among them.


These are characterised by herbaceous (non-woody) flora that is acclimated to moist soil conditions and are occasionally saturated, flooded, or ponded by water. Tidal marshes and non-tidal marshes are further classifications for marshes.


Trees and shrubs predominate above them, which are mostly nourished by surface water sources. Swamps can be found in saltwater or freshwater floodplains.


Bogs are wet peat soils found in former lake basins or other natural depressions. Bogs receive almost all of their water from rainfall.


A very diverse range of biodiversity can be found in the region where rivers meet the sea and the water transitions from fresh to salt. These wetlands consist of salt marshes, tidal mudflats, and deltas.

Total Number of Wetlands in India

On the occasion of Independence Day, India classified 11 additional wetlands under the Ramsar Convention or the Convention on Wetlands, increasing the country’s total number of Ramsar Sites from 64 to 75 with a 13,26,677-hectare area coverage (ha).

Wetlands in India Map

Wetland in India
Wetland in India

Classification of Wetlands in India

There are two main classifications for wetlands:

Inland Wetlands

Inland wetlands are bodies of water and other areas that are frequently or continuously submerged in water as a result of poorly draining soils. Inland wetlands include places like marshes, ponds, lakes, fens, rivers, floodplains, and swamps.

Coastal Wetlands

The term “coastal wetlands” refers to all wetlands within coastal watersheds, which is the region from which tidal streams flow into the ocean or inland seas. Here are a few instances of coastal wetlands:

  • Salt marshes
  • Freshwater marshes
  • Seagrass beds
  • Mangrove swamps
  • Forested swamps

Importance of Wetlands in India

Nearly two thirds of the world’s fish are caught in wetlands, which are very productive environments. The ecology of the watershed depends heavily on wetlands. The formation of organisms that serve as the foundation of the food web and provide food for numerous species of fish, amphibians, shellfish, and insects is made possible by the combination of shallow water and high amounts of nutrients.

Microbes, plants, and wildlife found in wetlands are involved in the world cycles of water, nitrogen, and sulphur. Instead of releasing carbon dioxide into the sky as carbon monoxide, wetlands store carbon within their plant communities and soil. Wetlands serve as natural barriers that hold back and gradually release floodwaters, rainwater, snowmelt, and surface water. Additionally, wetland vegetation minimizes soil erosion and flood heights by slowing down flood flows.

The survival of humans and the world depends on wetlands. 40% of all species on earth live and breed in wetlands, and more than a billion humans rely on them for their livelihood. Food, raw materials, genetic resources for pharmaceuticals, and hydropower are all crucially dependent on wetlands. They are crucial for transportation, tourism, and people’s cultural and spiritual wellbeing.

Many of them maintain a broad variety of life, supporting plants and animals that are unique to that area, and they serve as habitat for both animals and plants. Many wetlands are important to Aboriginal people and are regions of natural beauty that encourage tourism. Wetlands benefit industry in a significant way as well. For instance, they are essential to the commercial and recreational fishing sectors and provide as nurseries for fish and other freshwater and marine organisms.

Functions of Wetlands in India

Source of Water

Our principal source of fresh water comes from wetlands. Over 95% of all available freshwater is contained in aquifers, making it the most significant source of drinking water and agriculture. Numerous wetlands support groundwater recharging and precipitation absorption. Freshwater is utilized for irrigation, drinking, and residential purposes.

Flood and Storm Buffer Zone

Wetlands serve as a drought barrier and a flood buffer. In the upper reaches of a basin, wetlands function like sponges, soaking precipitation and snowmelt and allowing water to slowly seep into the soil. Coastal wetlands including mangroves, coral reefs, mudflats, and estuaries can act as physical barriers to reduce storm surges and tidal waves.

River floodplains serve as a kind of natural storage facility, distributing extra water across a wide area and lowering the depth and speed of the water. The shoreline is stabilized and erosion is prevented by coastal wetlands and mangroves. The entire coastline was devastated by the 1999 Kalinga super storm, which hit Odisha. Villages with mangroves were found to have fewer casualties when compared to those with little to no mangroves.

Wetland Products

Fish, one of the most significant sources of animal protein, is produced by nearly two-thirds of coastal wetlands. A variety of plants, animals, and minerals can be found in well-managed wetlands. More than 75 percent of Asia’s rice comes from wetlands. The Sundarbans are one of many mangrove swamps that generate honey. There are many different wetlands plants, and many of them have medicinal properties. Many people, especially those who live along their shorelines, depend on wetlands as a source of income.

Water Purifier

Wetlands help to purify water by encasing pollutants in plants and sediments. High levels of pollutants, such phosphorus and nitrogen, which are commonly linked to agricultural runoff, can be significantly reduced by wetlands.

Many wetland plants can get rid of the toxic substances that come from pesticides, industrial waste, and mining. Water hyacinth, duckweed, and azolla are examples of floating plants that can store iron and copper from wastewater in their tissues. On the other side, continual rubbish discharge that exceeds wetlands’ carrying capacity may cause environmental disasters.

Wetland for Research and Education

Wetlands are important locations for study and learning about aquatic ecosystems. They are perfect for multidisciplinary studies of nature-society connections due to their diversity of habitats, complexity of ecosystems, and wide-ranging social and cultural ties. Example: The Bhoj wetlands in Madhya Pradesh and the Bhitarkanika Mangroves in Odisha.

Recreation Property of Wetlands

Because of their natural beauty and variety of plant and animal life, wetlands provide ideal getaways. A recreation area is Mandawali village in New Delhi.

Combat Climate Change

Along with other ecosystems, wetlands are threatened by climate change. On the other hand, these ecosystems can assist in limiting and adapting to climate change. Some wetlands, like mangroves and salt marshes, act as carbon sinks, limiting the atmospheric influx of dangerous greenhouse gas emissions.

For the habitat of aquatic creatures affected by climate change, wetland conservation is especially important. Future predictions indicate that the water supply in wetlands will fluctuate more frequently. Wetlands’ essential capacities to absorb and store water as well as control floods and storms can help lessen the effects of climate change. Ashtamudi Wetlands in Kerala, Chilika Lake in Odisha, etc..

Habitats of Migratory Birds

Migratory birds stop over at wetland areas for feeding, resting, and building their nests. To avoid the harsh winters of the arctic and temperate zones, about 2,000 bird species regularly move thousands of kilometres between breeding and non-breeding locations throughout the year. Wetlands in India connect the East Australasian and Central Asian Flyways. Example: Ashtamudi marshes and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary Kerala.

Biodiversity Hotspots

A diversity of endemic and nearly extinct species can be found in certain wetlands. The grasslands and marshes of Assam are home to Kaziranga National Park, where more than 70% of the Great Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) population, which is endangered, is found. The Brow-antlered Deer’s sole known natural habitat is Keibul Lamjao, a floating national park south of Loktak (Rucervus eldii).

One of only two lagoons in the world where the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins may be found, Chilika is home to a sizable number of them (Orcaella brevirostris). The largest remaining populations of the critically endangered Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) can be found in Central India along the River Son, Girwa, and Chambal. For instance, Tamil Nadu’s Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary.

Wetland Plants

The term “wetland plants” refers to plant species that are found in all forms of wetlands, either in or on the water’s surface or where the soil has been inundated or saturated for long enough for anaerobic conditions to arise in the root zone. Here is an illustration of a wetland plant:

  • Swamp mahogany
  • Swamp paperbark
  • Swamp she-oak
  • Shrubs like the swamp banksia,
  • Tea trees and ferns

Threats to Wetlands in India


Wetlands close to metropolitan centers are increasingly being developed for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes. Urban wetlands are crucial for maintaining the availability of public water.


Numerous wetlands have been transformed into paddy fields. The hydrology of the nearby wetlands was considerably changed by the construction of numerous reservoirs, canals, and dams for irrigation purposes.


Natural water filters are provided by wetlands. However, they are only able to remove fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural runoff and not other types of pollutants, such as mercury from industrial sources. Concern over how industrial pollution affects wetlands’ biological variety and drinking water supplies is on the rise.

Climate Change

Wetlands may also be impacted by rising sea levels, changes in precipitation patterns, more frequent storms, droughts, and floods, as well as increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.


The removal of debris from a riverbed or marsh. The water table in the area is decreased and nearby wetlands is dried up by stream dredging.


By digging ditches into the earth, which collect and convey water out of the marsh, water can be removed from wetlands. The wetland dries up and the water table drops as a result.

Introduced Species

Indian wetlands are at danger from invasive, introduced plant species like salvinia and water hyacinth. They obstruct rivers and out compete local plants.


Stalinization was brought on by excessive groundwater extraction.

Wetlands in India FAQs

Q How many wetlands are in India?

Ans. India adds 11 more wetlands to the list of Ramsar sites to make total 75 Ramsar sites covering an area of 13,26,677 ha in the country in the 75th year of Independence.

Q How many wetlands are there in India 2022?

Ans. On the occasion of Independence day, India has designated 11 more wetlands under the Ramsar Convention or the Convention on Wetlands, taking the total number of Ramsar sites in India to 75 from 64 with area coverage of 13,26,677 hectare (ha)

Q Where is the largest wetland in India?

Ans. The largest wetland in India is the Sunderbans. Sunderban Wetland is also a part of the largest mangrove forest in the world. It consists of hundreds of islands, a maze of rivers, creeks nestled in the delta of the Ganga River and Brahmaputra on the Bay of Bengal in India and Bangladesh.

Q Which is the 47th wetland in India?

Ans. Haiderpur Wetland in Uttar Pradesh has been added as the 47th Ramsar Site in December 2021

Q Which state has highest wetland?

Ans. India has 19 types of wetlands. Gujarat has the maximum area followed by Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal


Other Indian Geography Topics

Seasons of India Mountains of India
Mangrove Forests in India Important Mountain Passes in India
Monsoon in India
Indus River System
Climate of India
Rivers of India
Tributaries of Ganga
National Parks in India
Important Dams in India
Wildlife Sanctuaries of India
Tiger Reserves in India
Northern Plains of India
Physiography of India
Important Lakes of India
Wetlands in India
Biodiversity in India
Natural Vegetation in India Earthquakes in India
Types of Soil in India
Ramsar Sites in India
Brahmaputra River System
Hydropower Plants in India
Nuclear Power Plants in India
Major Ports in India
Biosphere Reserves in India
Waterfalls in India

Other Fundamental Geography Topics

Solar System Types of Clouds
Structure of the Atmosphere Himalayan Ranges
Component of Environment
El Nino and La Nina
Coral Reef
Continental Drift Theory
Endogenic and Exogenic Forces
Indian Ocean Region
Pacific Ocean
Indian Ocean Dipole
Air Pollution
Environmental Impact Assessment
Tropical Cyclone
Western Disturbances
Types of Rocks


Sharing is caring!


How many wetlands are in India?

India adds 11 more wetlands to the list of Ramsar sites to make total 75 Ramsar sites covering an area of 13,26,677 ha in the country in the 75th year of Independence.

How many wetlands are there in India 2022?

On the occasion of Independence day, India has designated 11 more wetlands under the Ramsar Convention or the Convention on Wetlands, taking the total number of Ramsar sites in India to 75 from 64 with area coverage of 13,26,677 hectare (ha)

Where is the largest wetland in India?

The largest wetland in India is the Sunderbans. Sunderban Wetland is also a part of the largest mangrove forest in the world. It consists of hundreds of islands, a maze of rivers, creeks nestled in the delta of the Ganga River and Brahmaputra on the Bay of Bengal in India and Bangladesh.

Which is the 47th wetland in India?

Haiderpur Wetland in Uttar Pradesh has been added as the 47th Ramsar Site in December 2021

Which state has highest wetland?

India has 19 types of wetlands. Gujarat has the maximum area followed by Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *