Ikop Lake, Manipur

The Ikop Lake, better known as Ikop Pat locally is a large natural water body that has deep embedded relevance in local folk lore. Legend has it that this Ikop Pat was the centrifuge of the budding love story of celebrated lovers in Manipuri culture Khamba and Thoibi of Moirang. Khamba and Thoibi are to Manipuri folk lore and culture what Romeo and Juliet are to the world. If the legend is to be believed Khamba captured a wild bull on the banks of the Ikop Pat and tamed it single handedly thereby winning Thoibi's affection and beginning an eternal love affair. Ikop Pat has a very unique saucer shaped basin like appearance with heavy deposits of silt at its bottom due to a gentle slant which becomes increasingly steeper towards the bottom. However, in recent times much of its water reserve has been eroded and the water content of the Ikop Pat is extremely polluted.

Located at an altitude of 772 m above sea level, the Ikop Pat is spread over a length of 7.5 km and extends to well over 2 km in width during the rainy season. The surface area of the sprawling lake is close to 15 square kilometres and has a volume of around 0.013 cu km. Earlier, this lake was home to diverse platter of wildlife including serving as an incubating ground for migratory birds and was a popular destination for locals as well as tourists for weekend retreat such as a picnic spot. However with recent reports suggesting high concentration of carbon di oxide pollution in the water content, it has rapidly deteriorated in its splendour and flora and fauna reserve.

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