Regions in India
India is administratively divided into 28 states and 7 union territories. The states are broadly demarcated on linguistic lines. They vary in size; the larger ones are bigger and more diverse than some countries of Europe. The union territories are smaller than the states—sometimes they are just one city—and they have much less autonomy.
These states and union territories are grouped by convention into the following regions:
Map of India’s regions and states
Himalayan North (Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand)
Mountainous and beautiful, a tourist destination for the adventurous and the spiritual. This region contains some of India’s most visited hill-stations and religious places. Includes the exquisitely scenic states.
The Plains (Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh)
The country’s capital Delhi is here. The rivers Ganga and Yamuna flow through this plain. Many of the events that shaped India’s history took place in this region.
Western India (Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan)
Miles and miles of the Thar Desert. Home to the colorful palaces, forts and cities of Rajasthan, the country’s most vibrant and biggest city Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), wonderful beaches and pristine forests of Goa and Bollywood.
Southern India (Andaman and Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu)
South India features famous and historical temples, tropical forests, backwaters, beaches hill stations, and the vibrant cities of Bangalore, Kochi, Chennai and Hyderabad. The island groups of Andaman & Nicobar (on the east) and Lakshadweep on the west are included in this region for convenience, but they are far from the mainland and have their own unique characteristics.
Eastern India (Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Sikkim, West Bengal)
Economically less developed, but culturally rich and perhaps the most welcoming of outsiders. Features Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), once the capital of British India, and the temple cities of Puri, Bhubaneswar and Konark. Geographically it stretches from the mountains to the coast, resulting in fascinating variations in climate. It is also the mineral storehouse of India, having the country’s largest and richest mines.
North-Eastern India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura)
insular and relatively virgin, the country’s tribal corner, with lush, beautiful landscapes, endemic flora and fauna of the Indo-Malayan group and famous for Tea Gardens. Consists of seven tiny states (by Indian standards, some of them are larger than Switzerland or Austria) popularly nicknamed as the Seven Sisters.