On February 2, 2021, Chennai will house India’s first Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management. In our country, 42 wetlands are of international importance and have been identified as Ramsar Sites. Ramsar Sites are declared wetlands of international importance.

The term was coined in 1971, at the formation of the International Treaty for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands in Ramsar, Iran. The topic ‘Ramsar Sites of India’ is critical for future UPSC examinations.

In this article, you will be reading about Ramsar wetland sites in India, which right now is a trending topic for the UPSC exam.

Ramsar Sites in India – UPSC Topic

Read the sections thoroughly to learn everything about the Ramsar Sites of India. What, when and how it was formed? Or the list of Ramsar sites? The sections below cover everything.

What is Ramsar Sites in India?

The Ramsar Convention hosted its 50th anniversary on February 2, 2021, which is also known as World Wetlands Day. On this day, India founded the country’s first Center for Wetland Conservation and Management. It is administered by the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change and is headquartered at the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) in Chennai (MoEF&CC).

Sambhar Lake has been in the headlines due to the deterioration caused by salt mines. In India, Sambhar Lake is a Ramsar Site.

New Addition to the List of Ramsar Sites 

The Tso Kar Wetland Complex was introduced to India’s Ramsar index in December 2020. This involves the high-altitude wetland range of two connected lakes in Ladakh, Startsapuk Tso and Tso Kar.

Maharashtra: Lonar Lake (November 2020)

Uttarakhand: Assan Barrage (November 2020)

Bihar: Kanwar Lake or Kabal Taal (July 2020)

Sur Sarovar, also known as Keetham Lake, will be completed in November 2020 in Agra (Uttar Pradesh).

Kolkata: Sunderban Reserve Forest (Sunderban Wetlands) Ayeyarwady in Manipur is being considered as a possible Ramsar site in February 2020

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Some Interesting Facts for IAS Aspirants

Ramsar sites are among the world’s most important protected areas.

There are presently over 2400 Ramsar sites worldwide, occupying an area of 2.5 million square kilometres. kilometres

The Cobourg Peninsula in Australia was designated as the world’s first Ramsar site in 1974.

The United Kingdom has the most Ramsar sites in the world, with 175.

Since the Ramsar Convention was concluded on February 2, 1971, February 2 is observed as International Wetlands Day.

The Ramsar Convention is supported by the following organisations:

#International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

#Birdlife International.

#International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

#Wetlands International.

#Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)

#WWF International

As of October 2019, the Ramsar Convention had 171 contracting parties.

List of Ramsar Sites in India

The Ramsar Convention was adopted in 1971 with the goal of “conservation and wise use of wetlands through local, national, and international cooperation for overall global sustainable development.”

The Ramsar sites are kept in the Montreux Record to monitor any important environmental changes that may have an impact on any of the wetland sites, either positively or negatively.

On February 1, 1982, India ratified the Ramsar Convention.

Wular Lake, Jammu & Kashmir

Freshwater Lake

18,900 ha

The Jhelum Basin’s largest freshwater lake with flood security for the Kashmir Valley.

Hokera, Jammu & Kashmir

Freshwater marsh

1,375 haHaven for waterbirds

Surinsar-Mansar Lakes, Jammu & Kashmir

Freshwater lake

350 ha

Several animals of high conservation importance can be found in this wildlife sanctuary and sacred site.

Tsomoriri, Jammu & Kashmir

Freshwater-saline lake

12,000 ha

The endangered black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis) and bar-headed geese breed here (Anser indicus)

Chandertal, Himachal Pradesh

Freshwater lake

49 ha

The alpine region’s natural habitat for endangered species of flora and fauna

Pong Dam lake, Himachal Pradesh


15,662 ha

Pong Dam produced Maharana Pratap Sagar, which supports a wide range of waterbird ecosystems.

Kanjli, Punjab

Impounded stream

183 ha

Irrigation storage area

Harike Lake, Punjab


4,100 ha

It is Indira Gandhi’s primary source of water for irrigating Rajasthan.

Ropar, Punjab

Freshwater lake

1,365 ha

This is a great place to go bird watching and boating.

Renuka, Himachal Pradesh

Freshwater Lake

20 ha

Freshwater springs in a protected wetland

Sambhar Lake

Saline lake

24,000 ha

India’s second-largest breeding ground for flamingos

Keoladeo National Park (KNP), Rajasthan

Freshwater swamps

2,873 ha

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is known as a World Heritage Site.

Upper Ganga River (Brijghat to Narora Stretch)

River stretch

26,590 ha

Any of the mammalian species present here include Ganga river dolphins, crocodiles, and otters.

Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat

Freshwater lake

4,100 ha

With about 250 species of water birds, it is Gujarat’s largest wetland bird sanctuary.

Bhoj Wetland, Madhya Pradesh


3,201 ha

Bhopal’s only source of water

Deepor Beel, Assam

Freshwater lake

4,000 ha

Supports a large number of migratory waterbirds

Loktak Lake, Manipur

Freshwater marsh

26,600 ha

The Manipur brow-antlered deer’s only known natural habitat

Rudrasagar lake, Tripura

Freshwater lake

240 ha

Riverine fish populations thrive in this habitat.

East Kolkata Wetlands, West Bengal

Sewage fed fish ponds

12,500 ha

These wetlands treat waste as well as provide fish and vegetables for the area.

Bhitarkanika Mangroves, Odisha

Mangrove swamps

65,000 ha

Gahirmatha beach is home to endangered saltwater crocodiles and the world’s largest recognised Olive Ridley sea turtle nesting site.

Chilika, Odisha


1,16,500 ha

One of the two lagoons with an Irrawaddy dolphin population. Its abundant fishing opportunities support a population of 0.2 million fishermen.

Kolleru Lake, Andhra Pradesh

Freshwater lake

90,100 ha

It serves as a flood-control reservoir and was once known for its sightings of spot-billed pelicans.

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Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu

Coastal swamps and salt pans

38,500 ha

Supports a large number of different types of aquatic birds.

Vembanad-Kol, Kerala

Floodplain estuary complex

1,51,250 ha

Backwater tourism is common, and the area is rich in live and sub-fossil slug deposits.

Ashtamudi, Kerala


61,400 ha

A palm-shaped aqueduct with eight branches serves as a gateway to Kerala’s canals.

Sasthamkotta Lake, Kerala

Freshwater lake

373 ha

Water supply for half a million residents in Kollam City and its environs.

Sundarban Wetland, West Bengal 

Hundreds of islands and a labyrinth of rivers, rivulets, and creeks make up the world’s biggest mangrove area.

423,000 ha

It covers over 60% of India’s total mangrove forest area and is home to 90% of the country’s mangrove species.

Nandur Madhameshwar, Maharashtra

Lakes, marshes and riparian forest.

1437 ha

It is a bird sanctuary and was formed by the shallow backwaters of the Nandur Madhmeshwar dam.

Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve, Punjab

A mosaic of natural marshes, aquaculture ponds and agricultural wetlands

343.9 ha

A community-managed wetland that provides food for local residents while also supporting biodiversity.

Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh

Perennial lowland marsh.

799 ha

Six interconnected lakes rely heavily on monsoon rains and are home to endangered bird species.

Parvati Agra Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh

A permanent freshwater environment consisting of two oxbow lakes

722 ha

About 100,000 birds roost and breed here, and it’s also a haven for some of India’s endangered vulture species.

Sarsai Nawar Jheel, Uttar Pradesh

A permanent marsh

161 ha

An example of human-wildlife coexistence and the preservation of the endangered Sarus crane.

bWhat is Ramsar Sites in India? Here’re Some Must-know Facts about Ramsar Site for UPSCNangal Wildlife Sanctuary, Punjab

A human-made reservoir

116 ha

It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, along with the Indian pangolin, Egyptian vulture, and leopard.

Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh

A shallow marshland

225 ha

With 25,000 waterbirds regularly registered, it is known as a bird haven.

Sandi Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh

A freshwater marsh

308.5 ha

In 2018, over 40,000 waterfowl were counted in this common Indo-Gangetic plains wetlands and habitat.

Beas Conservation Reserve, Punjab

A stretch of the Beas River

6428.9 ha

Islands, sand bars, and braided channels provide a diverse ecosystem that supports significant biodiversity and is home to India’s only confirmed population of endangered Indus river dolphins.

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Saman Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh

A seasonal oxbow lake on the Ganges floodplain

526.3 ha

Many refugees, including the greylag goose, use this area for winter.

Asan Conservation Reserve, Uttarakhand

A stretch of the Asan River running down to its confluence with the Yamuna River

444.4 ha

There are 330 different bird species here, including the red-headed vulture, white-rumped vulture, and Baer’s pochard.

Kabartal Wetland, Bihar

Also known as Kanwar Jheel located in the Indo-Gangetic plains

2,620 ha

Along the Central Asian Flyway, this is a significant stopover.

UPSC Questions on Ramsar Sites in India

1-In India, which state has the most Ramsar Sites?

Ans. In India, Uttar Pradesh has the most Ramsar Sites. It has eight Ramsar sites out of the 42 Ramsar sites in India, with Punjab having 6 Ramsar sites.

2-Who declares the Ramsar Site and how is it declared?

Ans. Ramsar Sites in India are designated by UNESCO under the Ramsar Convention, which was founded in 1971. In India, a location is designated as a Ramsar Wetland Site if it satisfies any of the nine requirements outlined in the Wetland Convention.

3-How many Ramsar Sites in India?

Ans. There are 42 total Ramsar Sites in India and 2400 Ramsar sites all over the world.

4-Which is India’s largest Ramsar Site?

Ans. Sundarbans is India’s largest site of Ramsar.

5-What is the first site for Ramsar of India and the world?

Ans. First site of Ramsar of India: Chilika Lake

The first site of Ramsar of the world: Cobourg Peninsula


Like this topic, there are various more topics related to our country in the UPSC curriculum. An aspirant must keep a track of all the current affairs related to India as well as other countries. You can read daily newspapers or go through the news available on the internet. This regular habit can be beneficial for you to crack the UPSC exam.

For similar UPSC topics like Ramsar Sites in India, go through the blog section of UPSC Pathshala.

Good luck!!!

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Madhurjya Chowdhury

Madhurjya Chowdhury, a web content writer in Ufaber EduTech has a very strong passion for writing and alluring the readers. You can find him writing articles for the betterment of exam aspirants and children. With immense interest in research-based content writing and copywriting, he likes to reach out to more and more people with his creative writing style. On the other side, he is an Electronics and Communication Engineer from LPU, Jalandhar. In his leisure time, he likes to play badminton or read about space discoveries. Apart from this, he is a pro gamer on PC, PS and Mobile gaming platforms.

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