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Andhra Pradesh

Land: Formed on November 1, 1956 following the reorganization of the States, Andhra Pradesh is the fifth largest State in the country with an area of 2,76,754 sq. km, accounting for 8.4 % of India's territory. The State has the longest coastline (972 km) compared with other States in the Union. Andhra Pradesh is endowed with a variety of physiographic features ranging from high hills, undulating plains to a coastal deltaic environment.
Capital: Hyderabad
Population: 75,727,541
Language: Telugu, the State's official language, was described by C.P. Brown as the 'Italian of the East'.
Literacy: 61.11%
Major cities: Guntur, Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam, Tirupati, Warangal, Nellore, Prakasam

Arunachal Pradesh

Land: Known as the North East Frontier Agency before 1962, Arunachal Pradesh was constitutionally a part of Assam. However it was administered by the Ministry of External Affairs until 1962 and subsequently by the Ministry of Home Affairs, through the Governor of Assam. In 1972, it was constituted as a Union Territory and renamed Arunachal Pradesh. On February 20, 1987 it became the 24th State of the Indian Union.
Capital: Itanagar
Population: 1,091,117
Languages: Tribal
Literacy: 54.74%


Land: Assam is the sentinel of north-east India and gateway to the North-Eastern States. It is home to 16 Scheduled Castes and 23 Scheduled Tribes, constituting 7.4 and 12.82 per cent respectively of the State's population. There are scattered populations of Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains in different parts of the State notable among them being the Buddhists from the Khamti tribes and the Assamese Sikhs of Borkhola in the district of Nagaon.
Capital: Dispur
Population: 26,638,407
Language: Assamese
Literacy: 64.28%
Major cities: Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Jorhat


Land: One of the major States of the Indian Union, Bihar has a total geographical area of about 93.60 lakh hectare. Bounded on the north by Nepal, east by West Bengal, west by Uttar Pradesh and south by Jharkhand, Bihar is irrigated by several rivers such as the Son, Kosi, Gandak, Ghaghara and so on.
Capital: Patna
Population: 82,878,796
Languages: Maithili, Hindi, Urdu, English
Literacy: 47.53%
Major cities: Gaya


Land: On November 1, 2000, a new State - Chhattisgarh - was carved out of the State of Madhya Pradesh.
Capital: Raipur
Population: 20,795,956
Languages: Chhattisgarhi, Hindi
Literacy: 65.18%


Land: The national capital of India was made a Union Territory in 1956 and was granted statehood in 2003.
Population: 13,782,976
Languages: Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, English
Literacy : 81.82%


Land: Situated on the western coast of the Indian peninsula, Goa was liberated from Portugese control on December 16, 1961 and made a composite Union Territory with Daman & Diu. On May 30, 1987 Goa was conferred statehood and today it is a major tourist destination.
Capital: Panaji
Population: 1,343,998
Languages: Konkani, Marathi, Hindi, English
Literacy: 82.32%


Land: Situated on the west coast of India, the State is bounded by the Arabian sea on the west and Pakistan in the north. With the reorganisation of the States, the Union of the States of Saurashtra and the Union Territory of Kachchh along with the former British Gujarat became a part of the biggest bilingual State of Bombay. The present State of Gujarat came into being on May 1, 1960.
Capital: Gandhinagar
Population: 50,596,992
Languages: Gujarathi, Marathi, Hindi
Literacy: 69.97%
Major cities: Vadodara, Surat, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Rajkot


Land: Haryana was made into a full-fledged State with the reorganisation of Punjab on November 1, 1966.
Capital: Chandigarh
Population: 21,082,989
Languages: Hindi, Punjabi
Literacy: 68.57%
Major cities: Faridabad, Ambala, Hissar, Rohtak

Himachal Pradesh

Land: A land of legends and spectacular natural beauty, Himachal Pradesh came into being as a union territory in April 1948. Following the reorganisation of the States in 1966 the hilly areas of Punjab were merged with Himachal Pradesh.
Capital: Shimla
Population: 6,077,248
Languages: Pahari, Hindi
Literacy: 77.13%
Major cities: Kulu, Kangra, Nurpur, Lahul-Spiti, Naggar

Jammu & Kashmir

Land: The State was governed by Dogra ruler till 1947 when Maharajah Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in favour of joining the Indian Union on October 26, 1947.
Capital: Srinagar (summer) Jammu (winter)
Population: 10,069,917
Languages: Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, Ladakhi
Literacy: 54.46%
Major cities: Jammu, Poonch, Udhampur


Land: One of the oldest demands for a separate state was fulfilled when the Parliament passed the Bihar Reorganization Bill on August, 2, 2000 to create the State of Jharkhand.
Capital: Ranchi
Population: 26,909,428
Languages: Santhali, Kurukh, Mundari, Nagpuria, Kotha, Kurmali
Literacy : 54.13%


Land: After Independence, a united Mysore state was created in 1956 and was renamed Karnataka in 1973. It lies to the south of Goa and Maharashtra, to the west of Andhra Pradesh, to the west of Tamil Nadu and to the north of Kerala.
Capital: Bangalore
Population: 52,733,958
Languages: Kannada, Tamil, Urdu
Literacy: 67.04%
Major cities: Mysore, Hubli, Mangalore, Belgaum


Land: Situated on the southern tip of India in between the Arabian sea on the west and the Western Ghats on the east, Kerala is fringed by coconut palms and laved by the sea.
Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
Population: 31,838,619
Language: Malayalam
Literacy: 90.92%
Major cities: Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Quilon

Madhya Pradesh

Land: Undivided Madhya Pradesh was founded on November 1, 1956, but it came into existence in its present form on Novemeber 1, 2000 following its bifurcation to create a new State of Chhattisgarh.
Capital: Bhopal
Population: 60,385,118
Languages: Hindi, Urdu
Literacy: 64.11%
Major cities: Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Ujjain


Land: The administrative evolution of the State of Maharashtra is the outcome of the linguistic reorganisation of the States of India, effected on May 1, 1960. The State was formed by bringing together all contiguous Marathi-speaking areas.
Capital: Mumbai
Population: 96,752,247
Languages: Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi
Literacy: 77.27%
Major cities: Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpur


Land: The State is divided into two tracts - the hills comprising of five districts and the plains with four districts. Myanmar attained full fledged Statehood on January 21, 1972.
Capital: Imphal
Population: 2,388,634
Languages: Manipuri
Literacy: 68.87%


Land: The hill State of Meghalaya is predominantly inhabited by the Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garo tribal communities.
Capital: Shillong
Population: 2,306,069
Languages: Assamese, Khasi, Garo
Literacy: 63.31%


Land: The mountainous region of Mizoram became the 23rd State of the Indian Union in February 1978. Sandwitched between Myanmar in the east and the south and Bangladesh in the west, Mizoram occupies an area of great strategic importance in the north-eastern corner of India.
Capital: Aizawl
Population: 891,058
Language: Mizo
Literacy: 88.49%


Land: Situated in the extreme north-east of the country, Nagaland was given the status of State of the Indian Union on December 1, 1963.
Capital: Kohima
Population: 1,988,636
Language: Angami
Literacy: 67.11%
Major cities: Dimapur, Mokokchung


Land: Various princely states in and around Orissa were merged to form the State of Orissa in January 1949. It is situated in the north-eastern part of the Indian peninsula.
Capital: Bhubaneswar
Population: 36,706,920
Languages: Oriya, Bengali
Literacy: 63.61%
Major cities: Puri, Cuttack, Rourkela


Land: Situated in the north-western corner of the country, Punjab, the land of the five rivers, is bound on the west by Pakistan and on the north by Jammu and Kashmir.
Capital: Chandigarh
Population: 24,289,296
Languages: Punjabi, Hindi
Literacy: 69.95%
Major cities; Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala


Land: The present State came into being formally in 1958. The entire western flank of the State borders with Pakistan, on the north and northeast by the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, on the east and southeast by the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and on the southwest by the state of Gujarat.
Capital: Jaipur
Population: 56,473,122
Languages: Rajasthani, Hindi
Literacy: 61.03%
Major cities: Jodhpur, Ajmer, Udaipur, Alwar, Bikaner


Land: Bounded by Bhutan in the east, Tibet in the north, Nepal in the west and the State of West Bengal in the south, Sikkim lies in the heart of the towering eastern Himalayas.
Capital: Gangtok
Population: 540,493
Languages: Nepali, Lepcha, Bhutia
Literacy: 69.68%

Tamil Nadu

Land: The State is the successor to the old Madras Presidency, which in 1901 covered the bulk of the southern peninsula. The composite Madras State was later reorganised and the present State was formed.
Capital: Chennai
Population: 62,110,839
Language: Tamil
Literacy: 73.47%
Major cities : Coimbatore, Conoor, Madurai, Salem


Land: Tripura has a long historic past and a unique tribal culture. It is strategically situated between the river valleys of Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Capital: Agartala
Population: 3,191,168
Language: Kakbark, Manipuri, Bengali
Literacy: 73.66%

Uttar Pradesh

Land: The British combined Agra and Oudh into one province and called it United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. The name was shortened to the United Provinces in 1935. In January 1950 the United Provinces was renamed as Uttar Pradesh, which is the largest State in the Union.
Capital: Lucknow
Population: 166,052,859
Language: Hindi, Urdu
Literacy: 57.36%
Major cities: Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Agra, Aligarh, Bareilly, Mathura, Meerut


Land: On November 8, 2000, Uttaranchal became a full-fledged state of India after it was carved out of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous State in India.
Capital: Dehradun
Population: 8,479,562
Languages: Garhwali, Hindi
Literacy : 72.28%

West Bengal

Land: The land frontiers of the State touch Bangladesh in the east and is separated from Nepal in the west; Bhutan lies in the north east while Sikkim is in the north.
Capital: Kolkata
Population: 80,221,171
Language: Bengali
Literacy: 69.22%
Major cities: Darjeeling, Kharagpur, Murshidabad

- Compiled from State Government websites

Union Territories

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Land: The Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar has been divided into 2 districts - District of Andamans and District of Nicobars. Port Blair, the capital of this territory, is also the headquarters of Andaman District, which is the Northern part of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and comprises of 550 islands, islets and rocks out of which only 26 are inhabited. As per the provisional Census of 2001, the Islands have a population of 3,66,265. There are four primitive tribes in Andaman District and they have been recognised as belonging to the Negrito stock, namely Great Andamanese, Onges, Jarawas and Sentinelese.
Population: 356,265
Languages: Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Nicobarese and English.
Literacy: As per the provisional Census figures of 2001, the Union Territory has a literacy rate of 81.18 per cent.


Land: Chandigarh was constituted as a Union Territory on November 1, 1966. It serves as the joint capital of both Punjab and Haryana States. It is bounded on the north and west by Punjab and on the east and south by Haryana.
Population: 220,451
Languages: Punjabi, Hindi, English
Literacy: 81.76%

Dadra & Nagar Haveli

Land: Surrounded by Gujarat and Maharashtra, it consists of two pockets, namely, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The territory's capital is Silvassa.
Population: 220,451
Languages: Gujarati, Bhili, Hindi, English
Literacy: 60.03 per cent

Daman & Diu

Land: A colony of the Portugese, it was made an integral part of India in 1961. It is bound on the east by Gujarat, on the west by the Arabian sea, on the north by the Kolak river and on the south by the Kalai river. Diu is an island connected by two bridges.
Population: 158,059
Languages: Marathi, Gujarathi, Hindi, English
Literacy: 81.09%


Land: The Laccadives, Minicoy and Amindivi group of islands were renamed as Lakshadweep in 1973. Lakshadweep, a group of coral islands consist of 12 atolls, three reefs and submerged sand banks. Of its 36 islands only 11 are inhabited. The capital is Kavaratti.
Population: 60,595
Languages: Malayalam, Hindi, English
Literacy: 87.52%


Land: The territory of Pondicherry comprises the former French establishment Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam, which lie scattered in South India. The capital Pondicherry was the original headquarters of the French in India.
Population: 973,829
Languages: Tamil, French, Hindi, English
Literacy: 81.49%

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