Indian States
IST

Indian States

India is a federal union comprising twenty-nine states and seven union territories. The states and union territories are further subdivided into districts and further into smaller administrative divisions.

ANDHRA PRADESH

Andhra Pradesh was formed on 1st November 1956 on linguistic basis with Telangana as part of the original state. Currently, Andhra Pradesh consists of two regions – Rayalseema and Costal Andhra. The highest peak of Eastern Ghats is Arma Konda Peak (1680 m) which comes in Andhra Pradesh.

Women usually wear saree and men wear dhoti or lungi with kurta or shirt. Rice is the staple food of Andhra Pradesh. Most of the Andhra cuisine is spicy, as a lot of red chillies are used in their food. Even the pickles are hot and spicy.

CAPITAL

Amaravati is the de facto seat of governance of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located on the southern banks of the Krishna river in Guntur district, within the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region.

LANGUAGE

Telugu is the official language of the state.

ETYMOLOGY

“Andhra” is the name of a tribe mentioned in ancient Sanskrit literature, later used as a synonym for Telugu people; “Pradesh” means province. The earliest extant text to mention the word Andhra is Aitareya Brahmana.

    SYMBOLS OF ANDHRA PRADESH

State Animal Black Buck (Antilope cervicapra)
State Flower Water Lilly (Nymphaeaceae)

State Bird Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis benghalensis)
State Tree Neem (Azadirachta indica)

QUICKFACTS

  • ‘Tirumala Venkateshwar’ temple, in Chittoor district, is the richest pilgrim centre in India.
  • The port city of Vishakhapatnam is known as the ‘Jewel of the East coast’.It is the largest seaport in the country and the oldest shipyard.
  • ‘Venkatanarsimharajuveripeta’ is a railway station in Andhra Pradesh, which has the longest station name in India.
  • Nagarjuna-Srisailam Sanctuary is the largest Tiger reserves of India.
  • Ramoji Film City is world’s largest integrated film studio complex spread over 2,000 acres.
  • Mango Pickle, known as ‘Aaavakay’, is one of the most famous of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Andhra Pradesh is nicknamed as the ‘Rice Bowl of India’ due to the maximum production of the rice in this state. The state is also a leading producer of red chillies and millets.

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ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Arunachal Pradesh forms the north-eastern frontier of India and is the largest among the seven sister states. It was formed on 20th Februray 1987. and is situated on the foothills of the Himalayas.

CAPITAL

Itanagar is the capital of the state.

LANGUAGE

English is the official language of the state.

ETYMOLOGY

“Arunachal Pradesh is derived from Sanskrit word meaning ‘the land of rising sun’ or ‘Land of Dawn-Lit Mountains’. In Sanskrit, aruna means ‘dawn-lit’ and achal means ‘mountains’.

    SYMBOLS OF ARUNACHAL PRADESH

State Animal Mithun (Bos frontalis)
State Flower Foxtail orchid (Rhynchostylis retusa)

State Bird Hornbill (Buceros bicornis)
State Tree Hollong (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus)

QUICKFACTS

  • Arunachal Pradesh has the highest number of regional languages in the Indian subcontinent. There are about 50 distinct languages spoken in the state, due to the diverse ethnic groups living in the region.
  • The ‘Tawang Monastery’, in Arunachal Pradesh, is the largest Buddhist monastery in India. It was founded by ‘Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso’ to fulfill the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama.
  • People of Arunachal Pradesh have a deep connection with orchids. They use orchids for festivals, dances, crafts, and also as medicines.

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ASSAM

Assam is situated on the north-eastern region of the country.

Assamese women wear traditional clothing called ’Mekhala Chador’ that consists of two main pieces of clothing draped around the body. The dhoti-gamosa is traditional dress for the men. ‘Bihu‘ is an important festival celebrated according to the farming calendar. It is a secular and non-religious festival.

CAPITAL

Dispur, a suburb of Guwahati, is the capital of Assam.

LANGUAGE

The official languages of Assam are Assamese, Bengali, and Bodo.

ETYMOLOGY

Most scholars believe that Assam is derived from the Ahoms, who ruled Assam for six centuries. The word Ahom itself may be derived from Shan (syam in Assamese) or from the Sanskrit word “asama” (uneven, in the sense of “unequal” or “peerless”).

    SYMBOLS OF ASSAM

State Animal Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)
State Flower Foxtail orchid (Rhynchostylis retusa)

State Bird White-winged duck (Asarcornis scutulata)
State Tree Hollong (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus)

QUICKFACTS

  • The Kaziranga National Park, in the Golaghat district, is home to two thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinoceros (or Gaur).
  • ’Digboi‘ is known as the oil city of Assam, where Asia’s first crude oil was drilled and the first oil refinery was started.
  • The ’Saraighat Bridge’ is the first rail-road bridge, built on the Brahmaputra river in Saraighat.
  • The state of Assam is the world’s largest tea-growing region.
  • Muga Silk is one of the rarest wild silk in the world found and cultivated only in Assam.
  • In 2007, according to the Guinness World Records, ‘Bhut Jolokia’ was the world’s hottest chilli and is produced in Assam

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BIHAR

Bihar is an eastern state in India. It is the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism and Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism.

Patna, formerly known as ‘Pataliputra’, is the state capital and is one of the oldest cities in the world. It was founded by Ajatashatru, ruler of Magadha Empire. The food in Bihar is predominantly vegetarian, due to the influence of Jainism and Buddhism.

CAPITAL

Patna is the state capital.

LANGUAGE

Hindi and Urdu are the official languages of the state. The other major languages spoken are Bhojpuri, Magahi, and Maithili.

ETYMOLOGY

The word ’Bihar’ comes from the Sanskrit and Pali words ‘Vihara’, which means a ‘land of monasteries’.

    SYMBOLS OF BIHAR

State Animal Gaur (Bos gaurus)
State Flower Kachnar (Phanera variegata)

State Bird House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
State Tree Orchid tree (Phanera variegata)

QUICKFACTS

  • Nalanda University was one of the first universities in the world, founded in the 5th Century BC. At its peak, in the 7th century AD, Nalanda held some 10,000 students and 2000 teachers when it was visited by the Chinese scholar Xuanzang.
  • The Mundeshwari Devi temple is the ‘oldest functional temple’ in the world, dedicated to Lord Shiva and Shakti. It is located in Kaimur district of Bihar.
  • The festival of ‘Chhath’, celebrated in Bihar, is dedicated to the worship of Sun God. This festival is believed to have been originated in Bihar. It is celebrated mainly in Bihar and parts of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
  • Every year, Bihar celebrates March 20th as the ’Sparrow Day’, because the sparrow is the state bird.
  • The Sonepur cattle fair, is the biggest cattle fair in Asia held at Sonepur, in Bihar.
  • The region of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are together known as the ’Cow Belt’ as cows are highly respected in this region.

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CHHATTISGARH

Chhattisgarh is the 26th state, formed on 1st November 2000. It was formed from parts of Madhya Pradesh. It is the 10th largest state of India in terms of area.

The Chhattisgarhi of draping a saree is called ‘Kachhora’. The saree is called ‘Lugda’ and blouse is called ‘Polka’.

CAPITAL

Raipur is the capital of Chhattisgarh.

LANGUAGE

Hindi is the official language of the state. Chhattisgarhi, a dialect of Hindi is mostly spoken in this region. Other languages like Bhojpuri, Kosali, Oriya, and Telugu are also spoken.

ETYMOLOGY

Chhattisgarh comes from two Hindi words – ’Chattis’ means 36 and ‘garh’ means ’fort, city or home’. It is believed that name Chhattisgarh is derived from the 36 pillars of the Chhattisgarhi Devi’ temple. Other historians believe that Chhattisgarh is the corrupt form of ‘Chedisgarh’, meaning ‘Empire of the Chedis’.

    SYMBOLS OF CHHATISGARH

State Animal Wild buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)
State Flower Rhynchostylis gigantea

State Bird Hill myna (Gracula religiosa)
State Tree Sal (Shorea robusta)

QUICKFACTS

  • The ‘Kutumsar cave’ in Kangar Valley National Park, is formed from stalactites and stalagmites and is the largest natural cave in the world.
  • Indian state which produces highest amount of Tendu Leaves, which are used to wrap bidi, the poor man’s cigarette.
  • ‘Nagar Ghadi’ (the City Clock), in Raipur, is a singing clock that sings Chattisgarhi folk songs every hour. It was constructed in 1955.
  • The ‘Bhoramdeo Temple’ in Bhoramdev is known as the ‘Khajuraho of Chattisgarh’, as it resembles the Khajuraho architecture.

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GOA

Goa is situated in the Konkan region present in between Maharashtra and Karnataka. It is the smallest state in India. It was liberated from the rule of Portuguese, in the year 1961. In 1987, Goa was formed as a separate state. India’s smallest state but top ranked for best quality of life in India by a National Commission. We see many Portuguese settlements and their influence on Goa’s culture. The largest city is Vasco-da-Gama, named after the Portuguese explorer.

CAPITAL

The capital of the state is Panaji.

LANGUAGE

Konkani is the official language of the state. Portuguese and Marathi are other languages spoken.

ETYMOLOGY

In ancient literature, Goa was known by many names, such as Gomanchala, Gopakapattam, Gopakapuri, Govapuri, Govem, and Gomantak. According to Mahabharata, this region was known as ‘Goparashtra’ or ‘Govarashtra,’ which means ‘a nation of cowherds’.

SYMBOLS OF GOA

State Animal Gaur (Bos gaurus)
State Flower Not designated

State Bird Ruby Throated Yellow Bulbul (Pycnonotus gularis)
State Tree Matti (Terminalia elliptica)

QUICKFACTS

  • Konkani is the only official language written in five scripts – Devanagiri, Kannada, Malayalam, Perso-Arabic, and Roman English.
  • Goa has only 2 districts – North Goa and South Goa.
  • The natives of Goa, who are of Portuguese origin, can apply for a Portuguese passport.
  • The first printing press of Asia was installed at St.Paul’s college in Goa.
  • Known for low beer and wine prices due to very low state excise duty on alcohol.
  • The first full-length Konkani film was ‘Mogacho Anvddo’ released on 24th April 1950. Hence, 24th April is celebrated as ‘Goa Film Day’. Goa is the first state in India to host the international Film Festival.

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GUJARAT

Gujarat is a state located in the western part of India. It is also known as the’ Jewel of the West’. The history of the land of Gujarat dates back to around 2500 B.C. with the settlements of the Indus Valley Civilisation.

Gujarati men wear Chorno and Kediyu, while the women wear Chaniyo and Choli.

CAPITAL

Gandhinagar is the state capital.

LANGUAGE

The official languages of Gujarat are Gujarati. The other spoken languages are Kutchi, Marwari, Marathi, Urdu and English.

ETYMOLOGY

Gujarat gets its name from ‘Gujjar Rashtra’, the land of Gujjars, a migrant tribe who came to this region in the 5th century.

    SYMBOLS OF GUJARAT

State Animal Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica)
State Flower Marigold (Tagetes)

State Bird Greater Flemingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
State Tree Banyan (Ficus benghalensis)

QUICKFACTS

  • ’Dholavira’ is the site of the world’s oldest reservoir and ‘Lothal’ contains the ancient ruins of the world’s first dockyard.
  • The world’ s largest ship breaking yard is in Gujarat at Alang. 50 percentage of world’s vessel dismantling is done here.
  • World’s largest oil refinery is at Jamnagar, Gujarat.
  • Asia’s biggest dairy (Dudhsagar Dairy) is in Anand.
  • India’s first, vegetarian Pizza Hut store was opened in Ahmedabad.
  • There is a 400 year old Jain temple in Ahmedabad that was built underground, to prevent it from being demolished by Aurangzeb’s generals.

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HARYANA

Haryana was a part of the Punjab Province until the British rule. It became a separate state on 1st November 1966.

Men wear Dhoti, Kurta and Pagri while women are dressed in Daaman, Chunder and Kurti.

CAPITAL

Chandigarh is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.

LANGUAGE

The official languages are Punjabi, Hindi, and English. ‘Haryanvi’ is the most spoken language in this region.

ETYMOLOGY

The word ‘Haryana’ is derived from two Sanskrit words –‘Hari’, the name of Lord Vishnu, a Hindu god and ‘ayana’ means ‘home’ . Haryana thus means the ‘Abode of God’.

    SYMBOLS OF HARYANA

State Animal Black buck antelope (Antilope cervicapra)
State Flower Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)

State Bird Black francolin (Francolinus francolinus)
State Tree Pipal (Ficus religiosa)

QUICKFACTS

  • The great battles of Mahabharata (at Kurukshetra) and 3 battles of Panipat were fought here.
  • Bhagavad Gita was revealed to Arjuna by Lord Krishna Himself in the battlefield of Kurukshetra (in present-day Haryana).
  • ‘Rakhigari’, in Haryana, is the oldest site of Indus Valley Civilisation.
  • The city of Karnal gets its name from the character of Karna from Mahabharata, who is believed to have found this city.
  • Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian woman to travel to space, was born in Karnal, Haryana.
  • The ’Asirgarh Fort’ in Haryana, built by Prithviraj Chauhan in the 12th century, is one of the oldest forts in India.

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HIMACHAL PRADESH

Himachal Pradesh is located to the south of Jammu and Kashmir. It is surrounded by the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains that provide water to this region. Himachal Pradesh was a Union Territory, formed in 1950. However, on 25th January 1971, Himachal Pradesh was declared as a new state.

The general attire of the local people is long salwar-kameez for women and Kurta-pyjama for men. Sometimes men wear indigenous caps known as ‘Pahari topis’. ‘Dham’ is traditional food festival held during the occasion of a marriage or on any religious day. It is specially cooked by community called Botis.

CAPITAL

Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh.

LANGUAGE

Hindi is the official state language of Himachal Pradesh. Apart from that, people in the hilly region speak ‘Pahari’ (or Pahadi), which has different dialects.

ETYMOLOGY

Himachal comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Hima’ meaning ‘snow’ and ‘achal’ meaning ‘lap’. Himachal Pradesh means state located on the lap of snowy mountains.

    SYMBOLS OF HIMACHAL PRADESH

State Animal Snow leopard (Uncia uncia)
State Flower Pink rhododendron

State Bird Western tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus)
State Tree Deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara)

QUICKFACTS

  • ‘Bhey’ is a famous item cooked by the Pahari (hilly region) people using lotus roots.
  • Himachal Pradesh is known as the ‘Fruit Bowl of India’ because of plenty of orchards.
  • Himachal Pradesh is also known as the ‘apple state of India’ for the maximum number of apple cultivation throughout the country.
  • Chail, in Himachal Pradesh, has the highest cricket ground in the world. It was built in 1893, by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala.
  • Kalka-Shimla railway track (96 Km) passes through 102 tunnels & crosses 860+ bridges.

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JAMMU AND KASHMIR

Jammu & Kashmir is the northern most state in India situated along the Himalayan Mountains. The state consists of three main regions – Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. ‘Pheran’ is a comma traditional dress worn by both men and women of Kashmir. Men wear turbans while women wear a headdress known as ’Kasaba’ that is pinned together with ornaments.

‘Pheran’ is a comma traditional dress worn by both men and women of Kashmir. Men wear turbans while women wear a headdress known as ’Kasaba’ that is pinned together with ornaments.

According to Hindu Mythology, Kashmir was a lake, until Sage Kashyap drained all the water by making a valley between two hills. The ‘Shankaracharya’ hill was formed first. Thus, Kashmir became a valley between the Himalayan Mountains and ‘Pir Panjal’ Mountains, where great sages once resided.

CAPITAL

The state has two capitals. Jammu is the winter capital and Srinagar is the summer capital.

LANGUAGE

Although Urdu is the official language of Jammu and Kashmir, people also speak Kashmiri in Kashmir, Ladakhi in Ladakh, and Dogri in Jammu.

ETYMOLOGY

The name ’Jammu’ is believed to be derived from Raja Jambulochan, the son of Kush and grandson of Lord Rama. He discovered the city in 14th century B.C. and named it ‘Jambupora’. Kashmir comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Kasmira‘, which is made of two other words ’Kasyapa’ and ‘Mira’. It means the ‘the mountain of sage Kasyapa’.

    SYMBOLS OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR

State Animal Hangul (Cervus elaphus hanglu)
State Flower Rhododendron ponticum

State Bird Black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis)
State Tree Chinar tree (Platanus oreintalis)

QUICKFACTS

  • The state is known for production of Saffron, Cricket Bats and Pashmina Shawls.
  • Dal Lake, in Srinagar has a floating post office, which allows people to send mails and goods. Along with this, floating healthcare units have been introduced.
  • The famous musical instrument Santoor belongs to this State.
  • During weddings, a meal of thirty-six courses is prepared. It is called the ’Kashmiri Wazwan’.

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JHARKHAND

Jharkhand became the 28th state of India on 15th November 2000. It was formed from the southern parts of Bihar. Most of the region of Jharkhand is located in the Chota Nagpur Plateau.

CAPITAL

Ranchi is the capital city of Jharkhand and Dumka is the sub-capital.

LANGUAGE

Hindi is the official language of Jharkhand. People also speak various other languages m different regions. Some of them are English, Oriya, Bengali, Santali, Mundari, Korwa, Paharia, and many others.

ETYMOLOGY

In Sanskrit ‘jhari’ means ‘dense forest’ and ‘khand’ means ‘land’. Hence ‘Jharkhand’ is means ‘Land of forests’.

    SYMBOLS OF JHARKHAND

State Animal Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
State Flower Palash (Butea monosperma)

State Bird Asian koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)
State Tree Sal (Shorea robusta)

QUICKFACTS

  • Dhanbad, in Jharkhand, is known as the ’coal capital of India’. One-third of the nation‘s coal deposits are found in Jharkhand.
  • Bokaro in Jharkhand has Asia‘s biggest steel plant.
  • Rugda is a kind of vegetable that is unique to Jharkhand and is one of the main food items.
  • The word BETLA in ‘Betla National Park’ located in Palamau district is an acronym of Bison, Elephant, Tiger, Lion, and Axis-Axis.

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KARNATAKA

Karnataka is situated in the southwest region of India, along the Western Ghats and western coastal plains. The state was formed on 1st November 1956 and hence every year, this day is celebrated as Rajyotsava day. Karnataka was previously known as the State of Mysore. The name was changed to ‘Karnataka’ in the year 1973.

CAPITAL

The capital of the state is Bengaluru, also known by many other names such as ‘Garden City of India’, ‘Silicon Valley of India’, ‘Electronic city of India’, and ‘Space city’.

LANGUAGE

Kannada is the official language of the state and is one of the classical languages. People of Karnataka also speak Tulu, Kodava, Konkani, and Marathi.

ETYMOLOGY

The name ‘Karnataka’ is derived from the Kannada words ‘Karu’ and ‘Nadu’, meaning ‘elevated land’ or the ‘black land’, because of the presence of black soil in this region.

    SYMBOLS OF KARNATAKA

State Animal Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
State Flower Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)

State Bird Indian roller (Coracias indica)
State Tree Sandalwood (Santalum album)

QUICKFACTS

  • Pampa’ is considered to be the first Kannada poet.
  • ‘Kittur Rani Chennamma’ was the first woman to lead and fight against the British.
  • Gomateswara Statue at Shravanabelgola is world’s tallest made out ofsingle stone (57 feet).
  • Karnataka has contributed a lot to Indian classical music (Carnatic and Hindustani styles).
  • The birthplace of ‘Masala dosa‘ is the Udupi district in Karnataka. It was invented by the Udupi hotels and is considered to be one of the world’s most delicious dishes.
  • The first outlet of ’Café Coffee Day’ was setup in Brigade road in Bengaluru in 1996.

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KERALA

Kerala is situated along the Malabar Coast, in the southwestern region of India. The highest peak of Western Ghats is Anamudi (2695 m) which comes in Kerala State. According to Hindu mythology, Sage Parashurama threw his axe into the sea and the water drew back to form the land of Kerala. Hence, Kerala is also known as ‘Parashurama Kshetram’ (The Sacred Land of Parashurama).

CAPITAL

Thiruvananthapuram (also known as Trivandrum) is the capital of the state and the largest city in Kerala.

LANGUAGE

Malayalam and English are the official languages of the state.

ETYMOLOGY

The word ‘Kerala’ is derived from ‘Cheral’, the oldest ruling dynasty In the region. ‘Keralam’ is also known as the ’land of Kera’ which means ’land of coconuts’. This is because coconuts are grown abundantly throughout Kerala and it is also a state symbol.

    SYMBOLS OF KERALA

State Animal Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus)
State Fish Green chromide (Etroplus suratensis)
State Tree Coconut tree (Cocos nucifera)

State Bird Great hornbill (Buceros bicornis)
State Flower Kanikonna (Cassia fistula)

QUICKFACTS

  • Kochi is called the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’ as it was the trading centre on the west coast during the 14th century.
  • ‘Technopark in Trivandrum is the first IT Park in India and has become the largest IT Park in India.
  • The first Juma Masiid in India was ’Cheraman Juma Masjid‘ at Kodungalloor, which was set up under the patronage of the Raja of Kodungalloor.
  • The ’Banasura Sagar’ dam, in Wayanad, is the largest earth dam (dams made by compacted earth) in India.
  • ‘Kalariyapattu’ is considered as ‘the mother of all martial arts in the world’ and is practiced in Kerala even today.
  • Kerala is highest rubber producing state of India.
  • Kerala has highest literacy among all Indian states.

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MADHYA PRADESH

Located in the central part of the country, ‘Madhya Pradesh’ gets its name because of its location. This landlocked state was formed on 1st November 1956. It is the second largest state in the country. The state is nicknamed as the ‘heart of India’.

CAPITAL

The capital of Madhya Pradesh is Bhopal. Indore is the largest city of Madhya Pradesh.

LANGUAGE

Hindi is the official language of the state.

ETYMOLOGY

During the British rule, the region was known as the ‘Central Province’. After independence, the term “Central Provinces” was translated to Hindi as Madhya Pradesh.

    SYMBOLS OF MADHYA PRADESH

State Animal Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii)
State Tree Banyan (Ficus benghalensis)

State Bird Indian paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)
State Fish Mahasheer (Tor tor)

QUICKFACTS

  • Rudyard Kipling’s famous work, ‘The Jungle Book’, is inspired by the ‘Pench Tiger Reserve’ in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The tributaries of the river ‘Chambal’ are also home of the most endangered species of reptiles called the ‘Gharial’.
  • The ‘Bhimbetka’ rock caves near Bhopal are known to be from the era of Mahabharata.
  • Indore is the only city in India to have an IIM and an IIT.
  • Khajuraho temples are known for the exquisite carvings and some erotic art outside the temple.
  • The great ‘Stupa’ at Sanchi is a buddhist monastry that is more than 1700 years old.
  • Karondi Village of Madhya Pradesh is the geographical centre point of India.

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MAHARASHTRA

The state of Maharashtra was formed on 1st May 1960 and hence, 1st May is celebrated as ‘Maharashtra Day’. Maharashtra has two capital cities; Mumbai is the state capital and Nagpur is the winter capital.

The state capital Mumbai was formerly known as ’Bombay‘. This city was gifted to the British King, Charles ll as a dowry during his marriage to the Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza. Mumbai was made up of 7 islands. It took 60 years to merge those islands and create a land mass.

CAPITAL

The state capital is Mumbai.

LANGUAGE

Marathi is the official language of the state. Other languages spoken are Hindi and English.

ETYMOLOGY

The name ‘Maharashtra’ is derived from two Sanskrit words ‘Maha’ means great, while the word ‘Rashtra’ could refer to the word ‘Nation’ or to the Ratta tribe that once ruled the region.

    SYMBOLS OF MAHARASHTRA

State Animal Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica)
State Flower Pride of India (Lagerstroemia speciosa)
State Butterfly Blue Mormon (Papilio polymnestor)

State Bird Yellow-footed green pigeon (Treron phoenicoptera)
State Tree Mango (Mangifera indica)

QUICKFACTS

  • The Ajanta and Ellora caves, in Maharashtra, are one of the oldest caves that was discovered in India and it date back to around 10 B.C.
  • ‘Bibi-Ka-Maqbara’ is the tomb of Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb’s wife, Dilras Banu Begum, located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. It resembles Taj Mahal in Agra.
  • Powada is a kind of folk song or ballad that narrates historical events, especially the heroic stories of Chhatrapathi Shivaji, the famous Maratha ruler.
  • The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences is the first rural medical college in India. It is located in a place called Sevagram, which was once Gandhiji’s ashram.
  • Bollywood, the hindi film industry based in Mumbai, is world’s largest film industry. Releases more movies in a year than released in Hollywood.

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MANIPUR

Manipur is referred to as the ’Switzerland of India’ because of its exotic landscape of hills, valleys, lakes and dense forests.

CAPITAL

Imphal is the capital City of Manipur.

LANGUAGE

The official languages of Manipur are English and Meeteilon (also known as Manipuri).

ETYMOLOGY

Manipur means ‘a jewelled land’. Manipur gets its name from ‘Manipureshwar’ (Lord of the Mannipur). In the past, Manipur has been known by different names such as ‘Kangleipak’, ‘Meeteilepak’, and many others.

    SYMBOLS OF MANIPUR

State Animal Sangai (Rucervus eldii eldii)
State Flower Siroi lily (Lilium mackliniae)

State Bird Nongyeen (Syrmaticus humiae)
State Tree Uningthou (Phoebe hainesiana)

QUICKFACTS

  • The game of polo originated in Manipur. It is known as ‘Sagol Kangjei’, which was adapted and modified into Polo.
  • Imphal has the oldest polo ground in the world.
  • ‘Loktak Lake’ is the largest freshwater lake in North-east India.
  • ’Keibul Lamjao National Park’ is the only floating park in the world. lt is found in the South-western part of Loktak Lake’.

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MEGHALAYA

The northeastern region of India consists of seven states known as the ‘ seven sisters’, namely Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura. These seven states are connected to India through a narrow strip of land known as ‘Chicken’s Neck’.

Meghalaya was formed from two districts of Assam, Khasi – Jainthia hills and Garo hills, on 21th January 1972.

The three major tribes in Meghalaya are-the Garos, the Khasis and the Jainthias. Among Jainthias, the traditional clothing of women is called ‘Jainsen’. Garo women put on a blouse and a long indigenous skirt known as ’Dakmanda’. The popular dishes of the Khasis and the Jainthlas are ’Ki Kpu’, ‘Tungrymbai’, and ‘Jadoh’.

CAPITAL

The capital of Meghalaya is Shillong.

LANGUAGE

The official language of the state is English.

ETYMOLOGY

‘Meghalaya’ comes from two Sanskrit words ’Megha’ and ’Alaya’ meaning ‘abode of clouds‘.

    SYMBOLS OF MEGALAYA

State Animal Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)
State Flower Lady’s Slipper Orchid (Paphiopedilum insigne)

State Bird Hill myna (Gracula religiosa)
State Tree Gamhar (Gmelina arborea)

QUICKFACTS

  • Mawsynram, in Meghalaya, gets the highest rainfall in India and is credited with being the ‘wettest place on earth‘.
  • People living in the deep forests of Mawsynram use grass as a way of sound proofing in their huts, to protect themselves from deafening rains.
  • Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is also known as the ‘Scotland of the East’ as it reminded the European settlers of Scotland.
  • Matrilineal system is mostly followed in which the family linage is taken from the mother’s side.

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MIZORAM

Mizoram, one among the seven sister states, became the 23rd state of India on 20th February 1987 and was formed from parts of Assam. The inhabitants of Mizoram are called Mizos.

CAPITAL

Aizawl is the capital of Mizoram.

LANGUAGE

English and Mizo are the official languages of the state. The other languages spoken are Lushai, Bengali and Lakher.

ETYMOLOGY

The name ‘Mizoram’ is derived from ’Mi’ (People), ’Zo’ (hill), and ’Ram’ (land). Thus, Mizoram means ’land of the hilly people’.

    SYMBOLS OF MIZORAM

State Animal Himalayan serow (Capricornis thar)
State Flower Red Vanda (Renanthera imschootiana)

State Bird Mrs. Hume’s pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae)
State Tree Indian rose chestnut (Mesua ferrea)

QUICKFACTS

  • ‘Tlawmngaihna’ is a Mizo code of ethics, which every Mizo has to follow: ‘Every Mizo should be hospitable, kind, unselfish, and helpful to others.’
  • Indian state which has maximum percentage of tribal population.
  • The ‘Palak Lake’ is the biggest lake in Mizoram. Local people believe that there is a village that remains submerged deep inside.
  • ’Pukzing cave’, located near Aizawl, is the largest cave in Mizoram. According to legends, a strong man by name ‘Mualzavata’ carved this cave from the hills using a single hair pin.
  • Indian State which faces the problem of Rat flood every 48 years.

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NAGALAND

Nagaland became the 16th state of India, on 1st December 1963. It is situated on the edges of the country, sharing its border with Myanmar. Mount Saramati is state’s highest peak (Height: 3,840 m) which forms a natural barrier from Myanmar. Kohima , the capital of Nagaland, was built by the British in the 19th century for administrative purposes.

CAPITAL

The capital of Nagaland is Kohima.

LANGUAGE

The official language of Nagaland is English.

ETYMOLOGY

The origin of the word ‘Naga’ is uncertain. But one theory states that the word ’Nagas’ comes from the Burmese word ‘Nakas‘ , which means ‘people with pierced nose’.

    SYMBOLS OF NAGALAND

State Animal Gayal or mithun (Bos frontalis)
State Flower Tree rhododendron (Rhododendron arboreum Sm.)

State Bird Blyth’s tragopan (Tragopan blythii)
State Tree Alder (Alnus nepalensis)

QUICKFACTS

  • Kohima does not have a single cinema theatre. The ’Indian Panorama film festival’, held in Kohima, is run on a hired projector and a makeshift screen.
  • On 12th May 2014, the first, all women post office was inaugurated in Nagaland. It is the fourth all women post office to be inaugurated in the north-east region.
  • The only Indian state which has population drop between 2001 to 2011 census.

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ODISHA

Odisha, formerly known as Orissa, is an Indian state situated along the Bay of Bengal. The state of Odisha was formed on linguistic bases on 1st April 1936 and hence, this day is celebrated as ’Utkala Divas’ every year.

CAPITAL

Bhubaneshwar is the current state capital while the former capital of Odisha was Cuttack.

LANGUAGE

‘Odia’ is the official language of the state and is one of the oldest languages in the country to have originated from Sanskrit.

ETYMOLOGY

‘Odisha’, is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘Odra Desa’, that referred to the Odra people who inhabited the central part of the region. Sanskrit and Pali literatures mention the Odra people as odrah and oddaka.

    SYMBOLS OF ODISHA

State Animal Sambar deer (Cervus unicolor)
State Flower Asoka (Saraca asoca)
State reptile Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)

State Bird Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis)
State Tree Aswatha (Ficus religiosa)

QUICKFACTS

  • The world’s oldest coins dating back to 1000 B.C. were discovered in Sonepur, in Western Odlsha.
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, ‘Baula Kumbhira’ (crazy crocodile), a 23 feet crocodile is the world’s largest crocodile, which lives in Bhitarkanika Sanctuary in Odisha.
  • Sand art, one of the most popular forms of art in the world, was developed at Puri.
  • Ib, a railway station in Odisha, has the shortest name amongst all the station names in India. lt gets its name from the lb River that flows in this region.
  • Chilika Lake is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest lagoon in the world.
  • Kitchen of Jagannath Temple in Puri is considered as the largest and the biggest kitchen in the world.It has got the capacity to cook for a lakh of devotees on a day.
  • Hirakud Dam built across Mahanadi River, is the world’s longest dam. Entire dam is 25.8 km and main section 4.8 km long.

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PUNJAB

Punjab is located in the northern part of India. Punjab was the north-western province, before the partition of India. After partition, a few parts of the Punjab region became part of Pakistan. The Punjab region of India was divided into Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana in 1966

Women wear Salwar kameez with the Patiala salwar , men wear Punjabi Kurta and ‘Tamba’.

CAPITAL

Chandigarh is the joint capital of Punjab as well as Haryana.

LANGUAGE

Punjabi is the official language.

ETYMOLOGY

The state of ‘Punjab’ gets its name from two Persian words -‘Punj’, meaning ‘Five’ and ‘aab’, meaning ‘rive’. Hence, Punjab is known as the ‘Land of five rivers’.

    SYMBOLS OF PUNJAB

State Animal Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra)
State Flower Gladiolus (Gladiolus grandiflorus)

State Bird Baj (Accipiter gentilis)
State Tree Sheesham (Dalbergia sissoo)

QUICKFACTS

  • Punjabi is the largest producer of wheat in India. Hence, it is nickname as the ‘Wheat Granary of India’.
  • Punjabi is the 11th most popular language in the world. It is written in ‘Gurumukhi’ script.
  • ’Zakir Hussain Rose Garden’, in Chandigarh, is the largest garden Asia. It is named after the former president of India, Zakir Hussain.
  • Rupnagar, in Punjab was the first archaeological site, which revealed the remains of the Harappan civilisation in India.
  • Takshashila University (c. 800 BCE – 550 CE), oldest in its time, was here that also had scholar Chanakya as a teacher.
  • 84 % of land in Punjab is under cultivation.

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RAJASTHAN

Rajasthan, located on the western side of India, is the country’s largest state in terms of its area. The state was formed on 1st November 1956, when the region of Rajputna became a part of India.

Men wear a frock-like Kurta called ‘Angarakha’ with dhotis or pyjamas. Women wear an ankle length skirt known as ‘Ghaghra’ along with a blouse known as ‘Choli’.

CAPITAL

The capital of Rajasthan is Jaipur, which is also the largest city in the state. It is also known as the ‘Pink City. Even Punjabi is spoken in some parts of the state.

LANGUAGE

Though Hindi is the official language of the state, Rajasthani is widely spoken in the state.

ETYMOLOGY

Rajasthan, in Hindi, means ’the Abode of Kings’ or ‘Land of Kingdoms’. It was formerly known as ‘Rajputana’ meaning the ’Land of the Rajputs’.

    SYMBOLS OF RAJASTHAN

State Animal Camel and chinkara
State Flower Rohida (Tecomella undulata)

State Bird Indian bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps)
State Tree Khejri (Prosopis cineraria)

QUICKFACTS

  • The ‘Bhil’, one of the oldest communities in India, are known to be skilled in archery and are residents of the southern parts of Rajasthan.
  • In a town called Bikaner, there is a Karni Mata temple where rats are worshipped. The Prasad is eaten by these holy rats.
  • Rajasthan is the largest producer of sandstone and marble.
  • The ’Pushkar Camel Fair’, is the world’s largest camel fair held in a town called Pushkar.
  • Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the largest palaces in the world.
  • Indian state which is known for its handicrafts all over the world.

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SIKKIM

Sikkim is the northeast state located in the Himalayan Mountains. The people of Sikkim belong to three major ethnic groups. Nepali, Bhutia, and Lepcha. Dishes such as thukpa, fakthu and wonton are common in Sikkim. Momos are famous snack in Sikkim. These are steamed dumplings filled with vegetables, buffalo meat or pork, and are served with soup. Bamboo shoot is commonly used in local food.

CAPITAL

Gangtok is the capital of the state.

LANGUAGE

Sikkim has 11 official languages: Nepali (which is its lingua franca), Sikkimese, Hindi, Lepcha, Tamang, Limbu, Newari, Rai, Gurung, Magar, Sunwar and English.

ETYMOLOGY

The name ‘Sikkim’ is derived from the Limbu language -‘Su’ meaning ‘new’ and ‘Khyim’ meaning ‘a palace or a house’. The Tibetan name for Sikkim is ‘Denjong’, which means ‘Valley of rice’. The Lepchas are the first known inhabitants and they call Sikkim as ‘Nye-mae-el’ which means ‘Paradise’.

    SYMBOLS OF SIKKIM

State Animal Red panda (Ailurus fulgens)
State Flower Noble dendrobium (Dendrobium nobile)

State Bird Blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus)
State Tree Rhododendron (Rhododendron niveum)

QUICKFACTS

  • Sikkim is the only state in India that has 11 official languages – Nepali, Sikkimese, Tamang, Limbu, Lepcha, Newari, Rai, Gurung, Magar, Sunwar, and English.
  • Mt. Khangchendzonga (Kanchenjunga), the third highest mountain in the world, is situated at the border of the state.
  • A popular hot spring called ’Reshi‘ hot spring, located on the banks of ‘Rangeet’ river contains sulphur, which is believed to cure various skin diseases.
  • The highest altitude golf course is the Yak golf course at 13,025 feet (3,970m) above sea level in Kupup, East Sikkim.
  • In 2015, Sikkim fully implemented organic farming statewide, becoming India’s first “organic state”.

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TAMIL NADU

Tamil Nadu, meaning the ’Land of the Tamils’, is the southernmost state of indie. It was formed on 26th January 1950. People of this region are called ‘Tamilians’.

Rice, legumes and tamarind are the most important part of the Tamil cuisine. The ‘Chettinad’ cuisine primarily consists of non-vegetarian dishes made of chicken. Saree is the traditional clothing for Tamil women. Men usually wear dhoti or lungi, with a piece of cloth called ‘Angavastram’ draped to cover the upper part of the body.

CAPITAL

Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital of the state.

LANGUAGE

Tamil is the official language of the state.

ETYMOLOGY

In Tamil, ‘nadu’ means ‘homeland’ or ‘nation’. Hence Tamil Nadu means ‘homeland of Tamils’.

    SYMBOLS OF TAMIL NADU

State Animal Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius)
State Flower Gloriosa lily (Gloriosa superba)
State Tree Palm tree (Borassus flabellifer)

State Bird Emerald dove (Chalcophaps indica)
State Fruit Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus)

QUICKFACTS

  • Tamil is the first language in lndia to acquire the status of a classical language.
  • The word ‘Kabbadi’ comes from the Tamil word ‘Kai -pidi’ which means ‘Hold hands’.
  • The Marina beach in Chennai is the world’s second longest beach.
  • Inside the Meenakshi temple in Madurai, there is a place called ‘Meenakshi Nayakkar Mandapam’ (Hall of thousand pillars) which has 935 pillars.
  • Kanyakumari, the tip of India, sees convergence of Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.

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TELANGANA

Telangana is the 29th state of India, formed on 2nd June 2014, from the North-western parts of Andhra Pradesh.

CAPITAL

Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana.

LANGUAGE

The official languages of the state are Telugu and Urdu.

ETYMOLOGY

The word ‘Telangana’ is derived from the word ’Telugu’ and it means ’the land of the Telugu’ speaking people’.

    SYMBOLS OF TELANGANA

State Animal (Spotted deer) Jinka (Axis axis)
State Flower Tangidi Puvvu (Senna auriculata)
State Fruit (Mango) Maamidi Pandu (Mangifera indica)

State Bird (Indian roller) (Coracias indica)
State Tree Jammi Chettu (Prosopis cineraria)
State Fish Korameenu (Channa striatus)

QUICKFACTS

  • Ramappa temple, located near Warangal is the only temple in the world named after its sculptor, Ramappa.
  • ‘Salarjung’ museum, in Hyderabad, is the largest collection of antiques in the world that belonged to one man. One of the items in this museum is a tiffin box made of gold and diamond.
  • ’Durgam Cheruvu’, a freshwater lake in Telangana, is known as the ‘Secret Lake’ as it is hidden between Jubilee hills and Madhapur.
  • After the division of the state, Telangana became the 12th largest state in India’.
  • 1000 (Thousand) Pillar temple which is located in Hanamkonda of Warangal district is famous religious tourist place. This temple was built by King Rudra Deva of Kakatiya dynasty in 11th century.

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TRIPURA

Tripura became Union territory on 1 Nov 1957 and became full fledged state on 21 Jan 1972.

CAPITAL

Agartala is the capital of the state.

LANGUAGE

The official languages of Tripura are Bengali and Kokborok. The other languages spoken in the region are English, Hindi, Manipuri, and Chakma.

ETYMOLOGY

‘Tripura’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘three cities’. It is derived from the ‘Tripura Sundari’, the deity of the ‘Tripura Sundari temple’.

    SYMBOLS OF TRIPURA

State Animal Phayre’s leaf monkey (Trachypithecus phayrei)
State Flower Indian rose chestnut (Mesua ferrea)

State Bird Green imperial pigeon (Ducula aenea)
State Tree Agarwood

QUICKFACTS

  • The Uijayantha Palace or the Ujjoyonto Prashad, in Agartala was named by Rabindranath Tagore.
  • Jaganath Bari is the only temple in Tripura built entirely with stone.
  • Unakoti Hill is a famous tourist spot which contains huge rock cut engraved images of Lord Shiva.
  • Tripura is also called as Home of Bamboo. Bamboo and its associated crafts is found in day to day life and hence bamboo comes as a primary essence of culture of state.

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UTTAR PRADESH

Uttar Pradesh is located in the Gangetic plains with Vindhya Mountains to the south and the Himalayan Mountains in the north. Uttar Pradesh is the fourth largest state in India in terms of its area. It is also the most populous state in India.

Sarees, lehengas, and salwar-kameez are common clothes worn by women. Dhoti-Kurta or Kurta-Pyjama is worn by men. There are two types of cuisines in Uttar Pradesh Awadhi cuisine and Mughlai cuisine. ‘Litti Choka’ is one among the regional delicacies. It is also famous for kababs and food items made of paneer.

CAPITAL

Uttar Pradesh has two capitals. Lucknow is the state capital known for its multiculturalism, while Kanpur is the commercial capital.

LANGUAGE

Hindi is the official language of the state. Urdu is also a widely spoken language, along with Bhojpuri.

ETYMOLOGY

‘United Provinces’ was formed by British on 1st April 1937. In 1950, the commonly used initials U.P. were preserved by adoption of the name Uttar Pradesh, meaning ‘Northern Province’.

    SYMBOLS OF UTTAR PRADESH

State Animal Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii)
State Flower Palash (Butea monosperma)

State Bird Sarus crane (Grus antigone)
State Tree Ashoka (Saraca asoca)

QUICKFACTS

  • Largest human gathering in the world happens once every 12 years at Kumbha Mela, Allahabad.
  • Banarasi Silk Sarees are very popular and has demand all over the world.
  • UP is largest producer of foodgrains and oilseeds in country. It leads all the states in production of wheat, maize, barley, gram, sugarcane and potatoes.
  • According to botanists, there is a sacred ’Parijaat‘ tree in the village of Kintoor, in Uttar Pradesh. It is one of its kinds and not found anywhere else in the world.
  • Varanasi, also known as Banaras or Kashi, is one of the oldest, continuously inhabited places in the world.
  • Jalesar, a small town in Uttar Pradesh, is known for producing brass bells and exporting it around the world.

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UTTARAKHAND

On 9th November 2000, parts of the north-western districts of Uttar Pradesh, formed the 27th state of the Republic India called Uttaranchal, which was renamed as Uttarakhand in 2007. It is located in the lower Himalayan region. Hence, we find long and wide valleys called ‘doons’. Dehradun, the state capital of Uttarakhand is one such example.

Men wear Dhoti Kurta or Lungi Kurta. Women wear Gaghra Choli with Orni.

CAPITAL

Dehradun, the state capital of Uttarakhand.

LANGUAGE

Hindi and Sanskrit are the official languages of the state. The other languages spoken are Garhwali, Kumaoni, Punjabi, and Nepali.

ETYMOLOGY

‘Uttarakhand’ is derived from two Sanskrit words – ‘Uttar’ means north and ‘Khand’ means ‘a division or a part’. Thus, Uttarakhand translates to ‘a northern division or part of the country’.

    SYMBOLS OF UTTARAKHAND

State Animal Alpine Musk Deer (Moschus chrysogaster)
State Flower Brahma Kamal (Saussurea obvallata)

State Bird Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus)
State Tree Burans (Rhododendron arboreum)

QUICKFACTS

  • Uttarakhand is the only state to have Sanskrit as one of its official languages.
  • Jim Corbett National park, located in Nainital district, is the oldest national park of India.
  • The Tehri Dam, the highest dam in India, is strong enough to withstand earthquake measuring upto 7.2 on Richter scale.
  • Hemkund Sahib, in Chamoli district, is the highest Gurudwara in the world.
  • Rishikesh is a vegetarian, alcohol-free city by law known for water rafting and adventure sports.

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WEST BENGAL

West Bengal is an eastern state, which shares its ethnicity with the neighbouring country, Bangladesh. During the partition of India in 1947, Western part (West Bengal) came to India. Eastern part (Called East Pakistan later became Bangladesh).

The Bengali women wear Shari (Saree draped differently), while the Bengali men wear Kurta with Dhoti.

CAPITAL

The state capital of West Bengal is Kolkata. It was formerly known as Calcutta and was also the capital of the British Empire.

LANGUAGE

The official languages of the state are Bengali, Nepalese, and English. The other languages are Santali, Nepali, Bhutiya, Urdu, and Oriya.

ETYMOLOGY

The word ’Bengal’ is derived from the word ‘Bang’, a Dravidian tribe that settled in this region, around 1000 B.C. The word might also have been derived from the ancient kingdom of Vanga (or Banga).

    SYMBOLS OF WEST BENGAL

State Animal Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus)
State Flower Night-flowering jasmine (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis)

State Bird White-throated kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
State Tree Chatim tree (Alstonia scholaris)

QUICKFACTS

  • The National Library at Kolkata is the largest library in India. It contains over 2 lakh books and over 86,000 maps.
  • Kolkata is the only place in India that has an existing tram system to this day.
  • West Bengal has longest international land border.
  • The ‘Marble Palace Zoo’, located next to the Marble Palace in North Kolkata and built by Raia Rajendra Mullick, is the first zoo opened in India.
  • Even though known popularly ’Howrah Bridge’, the official name of Howrah Bridge is ’Rabindra Setu’.
  • Siliguri has bases of Indian Army, BSF, CRPF and it is also known as Gateway of North-East India.

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ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLAND

Andaman & Nicobar lslands are a group of 572 islands, located in the Bay of Bengal. Andaman has 550, Nicobar 22 islands. The islands became a part of India in 1950 and were declared a Union Territory in 1956.

CAPITAL

The capital of Andaman islands is Port Blair and the capital of Nicobar islands is Car Nicobar.

LANGUAGE

English and Hindi are the official languages of these islands. The other major languages are Bengali, Nicobarese, Tamil and Telugu.

ETYMOLOGY

A theory that became prevalent in the late 19th century and has since gained momentum is that the name of the islands derives from Sanskrit via the Malay ‘Handuman’, named for the deity ‘Hanuman’.

    SYMBOLS OF ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS

State Animal Dugong or sea cow
State Flower Andaman Pyinma (Lagerstroemia hypoleuca)

State Bird Andaman wood pigeon (Columba palumboides)
State Tree Andaman padauk (Pterocarpus dalbergioides)

QUICKFACTS

  • Out of the 572 islands, only 36 islands are inhabited by people. The rest are covered by forests.
  • The image on the back of a twenty rupee Indian note is that of Mount Harriet and the Port Blair Light House , as seen from the Megapode resort in Port Blair.
  • The famous Cellular Jail, also known as ‘Kala Pani’ (Black water), is located in Port Blair. During the British rule, freedom fighters like Veer Savarkar were sent to this prison.
  • In 2004, Radhnagar Beach in Havelock was voted Asia’s best beach by ‘Times’. Snorkeling, Scuba diving sports are now popular here.

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CHANDIGARH

Chandigarh is one of the Union Territories of India and also the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh was declared as a Union Territory on 1st November 1966.

CAPITAL

Chandigarh is a city and a union territory of India that serves as the capital of Punjab and Haryana.

LANGUAGE

English, Hindi, and Punjabi are the official languages of Chandigarh.

ETYMOLOGY

The name Chandigarh translates as ‘The Fort of Chandi’, derived from the ancient temple, ’Chandi Mandir’.

    SYMBOLS OF CHANDIGARH

State Animal Indian grey mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii)
State Flower Dhak flower (Butea monosperma)

State Bird Indian grey hornbill (Ocyceros birostris)
State Tree Mango tree (Mangifera indica)

QUICKFACTS

  • The city of Chandigarh was designed by Le Corbusier. It is the first city to be designed after Indian Independence.
  • According to a study conducted by the Ministry of Urban Development, Chandigarh is the cleanest city in India.
  • The ‘open hand’ monument, laid by Le Corbusier, is the official emblem of the city. It conveys the message: ‘Open to give and open to receive’.

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DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELI

Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a Union Territory of India, located in the Arabian Sea, along the Konkan coast. In 1799, the Marathas signed a treaty with the Portuguese, to prevent the British from conquering their kingdom. This is how Dadra and Nagar Haveli came under the Portuguese colony in India. On 2nd August 1954, Dadra and Nagar Haveli was liberated from the Portuguese rule. It was established as a Union Territory of India in 1961.

CAPITAL

The capital of the Union Territory is Silvassa.

LANGUAGE

The official languages are English, Gujarati, Hindi, and Marathi.

ETYMOLOGY

Got its name from the towns of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

    SYMBOLS OF DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELLI

State Animal Not designated
State Flower Not designated

State Bird Not designated
State Tree Not designated

QUICKFACTS

  • Among the other tribes of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the Kokna tribe is the only tribe that celebrates ’Akha Tij’.
  • The ‘tribal cultural museum’ in Silvassa exhibits various collections of the tribes. It has masks, musical apparatus and fishing instruments used by the tribes.
  • The ‘Vanganga Lake’, in the region, is created in the Japanese style. There is a central island that connects the garden with the bridges. Vanganga Lake Garden is popular with filmmakers. 40 Hindi film hit songs have been shot here.
  • North Sentinel island is one of the many islands that make up the Andamans. It has never been touched by modern civilisation. The indigenous Sentinelese people continue to live in entirely primitive manner as they live in their own and have no contacts from the outside world.

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DAMAN AND DIU

Daman & Diu, along with Goa, was a part of the Portuguese colony, until 1961. Daman & Diu became a single Union Territory in the year 1987. Daman is surrounded by Valsad district of Gujarat while Diu is surrounded by Junagadh district. Daman & Diu is the second smallest Union Territory after Lakshadweep.

CAPITAL

Daman is the capital of the Union Territory.

LANGUAGE

The official languages are English, Hindi, Gujarati, and Marathi.

ETYMOLOGY

Got its name from the towns of Daman and Diu.

    SYMBOLS OF DAMAN AND DIU

State Animal Not designated
State Flower Not designated

State Bird Not designated
State Tree Not designated

QUICKFACTS

  • A sea shell museum in ‘Nagoa’ is the first museum of its kind in Asia, with a collection of around 2500 to 3000 sea shells. The sea shells are displayed in a magnifying glass.
  • ’Hokka‘ tree is a kind of palm tree found only in Diu and cannot be found in other parts of India. The tree is a native of Africa, brought to India by the Portuguese.
  • There are two forts in Daman on either side of the Damanganga River. These forts were built by the Portuguese. The fort to the north is called St. Jerome’s fort and the one to the south of the river is called Moti Daman fort.

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LAKSHADWEEP

Lakshadweep is the smallest Union Territory in India that lies in the Arabian Sea. It was declared as a Union Territory on 1st November 1956.

The women of this island wear Kanchi, a long unstitched cloth while men wear colourful lungi.

CAPITAL

The capital city of the Lakshadweep is Kavaratti.

LANGUAGE

Malayalam, English, and Mahl are the official languages of Lakshadweep.

ETYMOLOGY

Lakshadweep, in Malayalam and Sanskrit, means ‘a hundred thousand islands’ i.e. ’one lakh islands’.

    SYMBOLS OF LAKSHADWEEP–

State Animal Butterfly fish (Chaetodon falcula)
State Flower Not designated

State Bird Noddy tern (Anous stolidus)
State Tree Bread fruit (Artocarpus incisa)

QUICKFACTS

  • Even though the name of the island means ‘a hundred thousand islands’, Lakshadweep consists of only 36 islands. Only 10 islands are inhabited.
  • Lakshadweep islands are the coral islands of India. It is illegal to take away coral from the beaches of Lakshadweep.
  • The first European to set foot on the Lakshadweep Islands was Vasco da Gama.
  • India’s largest producer of coconuts which are also rich in coconut oil.
  • There are no local courts. It comes under the jurisdiction of the Kerala High Court at Kochi.

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NATIONAL CAPITAL TERRITORY OF DELHI

The National Capital Territory of Delhi is one of the Union Territories of India. New Delhi, the capital of Delhi, is one of the eleven districts of the National Capital Territory. In the year 1911, George V, the British emperor, shifted the capital of the East India Company, from Kolkata to Delhi. From then on, even after independence, Delhi remained the national capital.

Delhi was known as ‘Indraprastha’ in the epic, Mahabharata. Old Delhi has been the capital of the Mughal Empire, while New Delhi is the capital of the British Empire and Independent India.

CAPITAL

New Delhi is the capital of Delhi and it is also the capital city of India.

LANGUAGE

The official languages spoken here are Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu.

ETYMOLOGY

The name ‘Delhi’ is the anglicised form of the Hindi word ‘Dilli’ and is believed to have been named after a former ruler Raja Dhilu. Another story suggests that the word ‘Dilli’ is a short version of its ancient name ‘Dhilika’.

    SYMBOLS OF DELHI

State Animal Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus)
State Flower Not designated

State Bird House sparrow (Passer domesticus)
State Tree Not designated

QUICKFACTS

  • Edward Lutyens and Herbert Baker designed the city of Delhi.
  • Delhi is the largest city by area and second largest city by population in India.
  • The ’Qutub Minar’ in New Delhi is the world’s tallest brick minaret. Its construction was started by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, ruler of the Slave dynasty and was completed by his son, Iltutmish.
  • The wholesale market at Azadpur, is Asia’s largest fruit and vegetable market. Nearly 3,000 trucks bring in fruits and vegetables here daily, for over 30,000 vendors.
  • After Nairobi in Kenya, the Delhi ridge is the world’s second most bird-rich capital city in the world.

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PUDUCHERRY

Puducherry, formerly known as Pondicherry, was given the status of Union territory in the year 1963. Puducherry was a former French colony. The Union Territory of Puducherry consists of Puducherry (Tamil Nadu), Karaikal (Tamil Nadu), Mahe (Kerala), and Yanam (Andhra Pradesh). The city of Puducherry is the capital of the Union Territory.

CAPITAL

Pondicherry is the capital city of Indian union territory of Puducherry. Pondicherry is situated in Puducherry district of the union territory.

LANGUAGE

The official languages are Tamil, French, Telugu, and Malayalam.

ETYMOLOGY

The name Puducherry is derived from two Tamil words – ‘Pudu’ meaning ‘new’ and ‘Cherri’ meaning ‘Town’. Thus, Puducherry means a ‘new town’.

    SYMBOLS OF PUDUCHERRY

State Animal Indian palm squirrel (Funambulus palmarum)
State Flower Cannonball (Couroupita guianensis)

State Bird Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)
State Tree Bael fruit tree (Aegle marmelos)

QUICKFACTS

  • The four districts of the Union Territory are located in different states – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala.
  • Judiciary of Puducherry is itself High Court of Madras at Chennai.
  • Puducherry is the unique among all seven Union territories as it has its own Legislature and elected Chief Minister.
  • The ‘Varadaraia Perumal Temple’, in Puducherry, is one of the oldest temples in the region and dates back to around 600 AD.

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REFERENCE

Symbols of Indian states and territories, Wikipedia. Retrived 31 Dec 2016 & Jul 2017

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