Baikal Lake – Largest fresh water lake in the world

By Narendra V


Baikal Lakelake-baikal

Baikal Lake is located in Southern Siberia, Russia. It is the largest fresh water lake by volume in the World. It’s also deepest lake in the World. It contains almost 20% of surface fresh water in the World. It is World’s oldest lake, which was formed more than 25 million years ago.


Baikal Lake was formed by rift valley, this is the reason behind its shape which is elongated. It is 636 km in length and 79 km in width. It lies in earthquake prone zone. Due to the rift widening the lake also becoming wide year after year. It is surrounded by Baikal Mountains. It has 27 islands.

Lake Baikal is home to rich variety flora and fauna, there are thousands of animal and plant species which can be seen nowhere else. For example Baikal seal which is one of the rare fresh water seals in the world.

The area was inhabited by Buryat tribes, in 17th century Russia conquered Siberia in which Baikal lake area comes under. In the early 20th century Russians constructed Trans-Siberian Railway which connects Baikal Lake area to rest of Russia.

A Research centre was established to study its geology, ecosystem. Japan, US and Russia jointly conducting research on its unique ecosystem.

Baikal Lake was declared as World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1996. It is attracting tourists all over the World, many hotels and resorts have come up with the increase in tourist arrivals. Mainly tourists come for its scenic beauty and adventure tourists come in winters to cross the frozen lake. In winter the temperature goes below -19c

Its coastal region is dependent on fishing which are exported to worldwide.

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