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Administrative divisions of India: States and Union Territories

Shakeel Anwar

India gained independence on 15 August 1947. It is a Republic country that is the supreme power that resides in the hands of the countrymen. The supreme law of the land is Constitution. 

On 26 November 1949, Constitution was adopted and came into force on 26 January 1950. Currently, India comprises 28 States and 8 Union Territories

In 1956, the States Reorganisation Act was formulated and was a primary force in reorganising the boundaries of Indian states along with the linguistic lines. 

Three new states were formed in November 2000 - Chattisgarh carved out of Madhya Pradesh, Uttaranchal (now Uttarakhand) from Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand from Bihar. Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in June 2014 and received granted individual state status.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 contains provisions to bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories namely Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. On 31 October 2019, the act came into effect.

The constitutional head of the Executive of the Union is the President. The Governor is the representative of the President and is the head of Executive in the states. The government system in states resembles closely that of the Union. Union Territories are administered by the President through an Administrator appointed by him/her. 

The states differ as to the size of the territory, population, languages, as well as historical, economic, and cultural development.  Delhi, the capital of India, is the largest metropolis in India. It has its own Legislative Assembly, Lieutenant Governor, Council of Ministers, and Chief Minister.

List of States of India

S.NO State Capital
1 Andhra Pradesh Amaravati
2 Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar
3 Assam Dispur
4 Bihar Patna
5 Chhattisgarh Raipur
6 Goa Panaji
7 Gujarat Gandhinagar
8 Haryana Chandigarh
9 Himachal Pradesh Shimla
10 Jharkhand Ranchi
11 Karnataka Bengaluru
12 Kerala Thiruvananthapuram
13 Madhya Pradesh Bhopal
14 Maharashtra Mumbai
15 Manipur Imphal
16 Meghalaya Shillong
17 Mizoram Aizawl
18 Nagaland Kohima
19 Odisha Bhubaneswar
20 Punjab Chandigarh
21 Rajasthan Jaipur
22 Sikkim Gangtok
23 Tamil Nadu Chennai
24 Telangana Hyderabad
25 Tripura Agartala
26 Uttar Pradesh Lucknow
27 Uttarakhand Dehradun
28 West Bengal Kolkata

List of Union Territories of India

S.NO Union Territories Capital
1 Andaman and Nicobar Island Port Blair
2 Chandigarh Chandigarh
3 Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Daman
4 NCT of Delhi Delhi
5 Ladakh Leh
6 Lakshadweep Kavaratti
7 Jammu and Kashmir Jammu(winter), Srinagar(summer)
8 Puducherry Puducherry

Area wise the four largest states in descending order are: Rajasthan> Madhya Pradesh> Maharashtra> Andhra Pradesh. Goa is the smallest state of India area-wise.

Important Facts

  • The largest district is Kachchh (Gujarat) and the smallest district is Mahe (Puducherry).

• The Indira Point is the southern point of India and is situated on the island of Andaman and Nicobar.

• Barren Island is only India’s active volcano situated in the Andaman Sea about 135 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands.

• Narcondam Island is a volcanic island which is situated in the northern-eastern part of North Andaman.

•  The Ten Degree Channel separates the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands from each other in the Bay of Bengal.

• Duncan pass is located between South Andaman and Little Andaman.

• The Grand Channel is between the Great Nicobar islands and Sumatra islands (Indonesia).

• The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are also known as the Emerald Islands.

• The Eight Degree Channel separates the islands of Minicoy and Maldives.

• The Nine Degree Channel separates the island of Minicoy from the main Lakshadweep archipelago.

• The Palk Strait is situated between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu state in India.

• The Adam’s Bridge is situated between Tamil Nadu (India) and Sri Lanka. Pamban Island is a part of the Adam’s Bridge. Rameshwaram is situated on this Island.

Also, Read

GK Quiz on States and Union Territories of India 8, 9, 10 Degree Channels: All you need to know

List of Indian States



In which year was the concept of Union Territory first introduced?

The concept of Union Territory was first introduced in the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.

Name the largest district of India?

Kutch district (Gujarat) is the largest district of India.

How many Union Territories are there in India?

There are 8 Union Territories in India namely Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry.

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