This is a large water body located beside the Guwahati Shillong main highway. Umiam is the village lying northeast of the lake. This is one of the biggest and most beautiful lakes in Northeast India, located at an altitude of 1520 meters. The lake is popularly referred to as Barapani (big water).
The lake was built in the 1960s by constructing a dam on the Umiam river. It was created to solve the water crisis of the local people during the summer months. This was also the first hydroelectric project in northeast India. The water body created by the dam is spread over an area of around 220 square kilometres. With time, the place has become a popular tourist spot because of its serene beauty and breathtaking views of the East Khasi Hills.
The lake has tourist facilities for boating, water cycling and scooting. There are several eateries and restaurants that have cropped up near the popular viewing points around the lake. Some of the best resorts in North East are also located overlooking the lake. The unique location of the lake just about 2 hours' drive from Guwahati and just half an hour from Shillong has also helped in popularising the place.
Nature lovers can go for a small trek on Union Christian college peak and enjoy the great view of Small Island which rises from the water. This is also a wonderful place for photography.
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati (98 kilometres in approx 3 hours) is the nearest airport and the nearest railway station is also Guwahati. The Shillong airport is located very close to Umiam lake at a distance of about 12 km. However, connectivity to Shillong airport is much less compared to Guwahati airport.