How 29 States in India got their Names: Origin and Interesting Facts

India derived its name from Indus River and the Aryan worshippers referred Indus River as Sindhu. The invaders of Persia converted it into Hindu. Therefore, the name ‘Hindustan’ combines with Sindhu and Hindu. We all know India is a multilingual country with lots of varieties and changes not only in terms of area and population but also culturally or Traditionally, Modernity, Religions and Beliefs etc. That is why we call it as Unity in diversity. Billions of people live together in India in 29 states where Language, History, Rulers etc. of particular regions has also contributed to the names.

But have you ever thought how 29 States of India got their Names.


1. Jammu and Kashmir

It is a beautiful valley known as Valley of Rishi Kashyaya from which Kashmir word is originated. And in Sanskrit “Ka” means water and “shimeera” means to desiccate. Jammu word is originated from the name of its ruler Raja Jambu Lochan.

2. Himachal Pradesh

Its name has a Sanskrit origin i.e. Hima means ‘snow’ and achal means ‘mountain’ which as a whole means The Home of Snowy Mountains.

3. Punjab

The word “Punj” means five and “ab” means water i.e Land of Five Rivers which is an Indo-Iranian word.

4. Uttarakhand

Uttaranchal state is separated from Uttar Pradesh in 2000 which means ‘Northern Mountains’ i.e. Uttar means north and anchal is mountain. Later its name was changed to Uttarakhand which means ‘Northland’.

5. Haryana

Haryana splits in two words i.e. “Hari” means Vishnu or an incarnation of Lord Krishna and “ana” means to come. It is believed that during Mahabharata reign Lord Krishna came to this place and so, got the name Haryana.

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6. Uttar Pradesh

Uttar means North and Pradesh means Province. So, we can say it as ‘Northern Province’.

7. Rajasthan

It is derived from Sanskrit word ‘Raja’ which means King. And earlier it was known as Rajputana means ‘Land of Rajputs’.


8. Bihar

It is derived from a Pali word ‘Vihara’ which means ‘abode’ and has a Sanskrit origin and with time it changed to Bihar. Earlier, it was known as Abode or Vihara of Buddhist monks.

9. West Bengal

It is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Vanga’. And different versions came after it like in Persia it is called by Bangalah, in Hindi as Bangal and in Bengali as Bangla. Word West added to it after the Partition of Bengal in 1905 and in 1947 again partition took place in which West Bengal became a state in India and East Bengal as a separate nation as Bangladesh.

10. Jharkhand

It is derived from a Sanskrit word Jhar which means forest and Khand means land. So, in total it is said as Land of Forest and also known as ‘Vananchal’.

11. Odisha

It is derived from Sanskrit word ‘Odra Vishaya’ or ‘Odra Desa’ and it refers to the Odra people living in Central India.

12. Chhattisgarh

Earlier it was known by the name of Dakshin Kosala but have no concrete evidences regarding its name. Also, it has 36 forts and in Hindi 36 is chattis. So, named as Chattisgarh.

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13. Madhya Pradesh

Madhya means Central and Pradesh means Province. So, Hindi version of Central Province is Madhya Pradesh. Before Independence most of the parts of the state as Central Provinces is administered by the Britishers. In 1950 the Central Province and Berar were combined with Makrai and Chattisgarh which is now known as ‘Central Province’.


14. Gujarat

It is originated from Gujara and this region was ruled by them in 700 and 800 and so known as land of Gujjars.

15. Maharashtra

There are several theories related to the origination of Maharashtra.

a) It is derived from Sanskrit word Maha means Great and Rashtra means Nation i.e. Great Nation.

b) Also, it is said that according to Ashoka inscription it is originated from a clan known as Rashtrika.

c) Rashtrakuta was a dynasty that ruled from 8th to 10th centuries and the word Rashtra originated from ‘Ratta’.

d) Even Rashtra word is also originated from Rathi or Ratha which means Chariotee.

16. Goa

It is not yet clear how and from where Goa name comes. May be it is originated from the Sanskrit word ‘go’ which means Cow. And some believes that it may be originated from the European or Portuguese language.


17. Telangana

It is derived from the word ‘Trilinga’ which means Three Shiva Lingas.

18. Andhra Pradesh

It is derived from Sanskrit word Andhra which means South. In this area there are tribes which are also known as ‘Andhras’. And in past Maurya officials, Satvahanas were known as Andhra-Bhrutya which means ‘Officers of South’.

19. Karnataka

It is derived from Karu means ‘Lofty’ and Naad means ‘Land’ which refers to the Deccan Plateau.

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20. Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu means homeland of the Tamils. Also, Tamil means ‘Sweet nectar’ and Nadu is a Tamilian word means homeland or nation.

21. Kerala

There are some theories related with its name.

a) It is originated from ‘Chernna’ means added and ‘alam’ which means land.

b) The keralam word is originated with the rulers of Chera dynasty from 1st to 5th century AD from word ‘chera alam’ and later it came to be known as Keralam.

c) In Sanskrit keralam word means as the land added on.

d) Geographically, Kerala is originated as an addition of land mass by the sea.

22. Sikkim

It is originated from Limbu origin in which ‘Su’ means new and ‘Khyim’ means palace i.e. New Palace. Also, Sikkim is a Tibetan language known as Denjong.

Now we will see the origination of 7-Sisters (North-Eastern India)


Do you have an idea how the sobriquet The Land of Seven Sisters came in to existence.

This sobriquet originally had been coined to coincide with the inauguration of new states in January 1972 by Jyoti Prasad Saikia who was a journalist in Tripura in the course of a radio talk show later compiled a book on the interdependence and commonness of the Seven Sister States and named it as the Land of Seven Sisters. From this publication only the name came in to existence.

23. Arunachal Pradesh

It is derived from Sanskrit word Aruna meaning ‘dawn lit’ and acha means ‘mountain i.e. Dawn Lit Mountain.

24. Assam

It is derived its name from ‘Ahoms’ rulers who ruled in Assam for about six centuries. And Ahom is also derived from the word Asama which is an Indo Aryan word means ‘uneven’.

25. Meghalaya

It is originated from the Sanskrit word ‘Megha’ which means cloud and ‘Alaya’ means Abode i.e. The land of Clouds.

26. Manipur

It is derived from Sanskrit word Manipur which means The land of Jewels or The Jewel city.

27. Mizoram

It is derived from ‘Mi’ which means people and ‘zo’ meaning highlander.

28. Nagaland

It is originated from the Burmese word ‘Naka’ i.e. Naga which means people with earring or pierced nose. Also, known as The land of Nagas.

29. Tripura

There are several theories related to its origination.

a) It is derived from Kokborok words ‘tui’ which means water and ‘para’ means near.

b) Also, it may derive its name from the diety Tripura Sundari at Udaipur.

c) It is also said that the state came from the name of the king Tripur who ruled this region. Do you know that Tripura is the third smallest state in India in terms of area?

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