Umium Lake is located 15 km to the north of Shillong town and is a popular tourist spot here. It is locally known as Bara Pani (Big Water) or Dam Sait. The principle catchment area of the lake and dam is spread over 220 sq km.
Assam State Electricity Board constructed a dam over Umium River in 1960, which resulted in the formation of Umium Lake. This was the first hydel power project in this northeast Indian state. The dam's original purpose was to store water for hydroelectric power generation. However, slowly and gradually, Umium Lake became a tourist spot, and now it is used as a sightseeing point of Shillong. A lot of water activities like boating, kayaking, water cycling, and other adventure activities are available, now adding more fun to this place. Tourists can also enjoy riding paddle boats, rowboats, cruise boats, sailing boats, and speed boats as well.
Apart from storing water for electricity generation, the lake also provides numerous ecosystem services at micro, meso, and macro levels. Downstream irrigation, fisheries, and drinking water cater to local anthropogenic needs.
Umiam Lake is often compared with the beautiful and mesmerizing lakes of Scotland because of its panoramic setting and picturesque surroundings of the lush and lofty East Khasi Hills. The lake also consists of a beautiful garden named Lum Nehru Park near its shores that add to its charms. Moreover, there are small islands that rise from the water that look exceedingly beautiful, and the lake emerges in all its beauty and splendor when glimpsed from the Union Christian College Peak).
It can be visited at any time of the day; however, water activities are open from 09:00 am to 05:00 pm. Tourists mostly opt for paddle boating here and taking pictures of the surroundings. The best view of this area can be seen in monsoons when the clouds add beauty to the greenery.