States of India

Modern India came into existence on August 15'1947 and declared as a republic on January26'1950. Before independence, under the rule of the British, India was a hodge-podge of British provinces and small princely states under British tutelage. Post independence, the provinces and states of British rule were re-organized to evolve a coherent administrative structure. Hence, came into existence 28 states (provinces) and 7 Union Territories. These states are primarily carved or constituted on the basis of the most prominent language of that area.

The states of India can be clustered into 7 group- heads:

Central India States

West India States


Origin & Meaning of the Names of the States of India

  • Andaman & Nicobar Islands : Sanskrit Hanumant, name of Lord Hanuman of the Ramayana. Nicobar : land of the nude or naked peaople.
  • Andhra Pradesh : Hindi andhr & Telugu andhramu: Telugu; Sanskrit pradesh: piece of land or state.
  • Arunachal Pradesh: Sanskrit aruna: dawn-lit; anchal: area; Sanskrit pradesh: piece of land or state.
  • Assam: probably Sanskrit asam: not plain; or Sanskrit asoma: peerless.
  • Bihar: Sanskrit vihara: monastery. Old capital had a major Buddhist monastery.
  • Chandigarh: Goddess Chandi- the Hindu goddess Durga; Sanskrit garh-fortress.
  • Chhattisgarh: Hindi Chhattis: thirty six: Sanskrit garh: forts (for 36 forts located in the state).
  • Delhi: Goddess Dhillika- a local Hindu goddess.
  • Goa: Originated from Gomantaka.
  • Gujarat: Sanskrit Gurjar ( name of an ethnic caste)
  • Haryana: Sanskrit: Hari (Lord Vishnu- a Hindu god and one of the gods of Hindu Trinity); Hindi ayana: home.
  • Himachal Pradesh: Sanskrit hima: snow; Sanskrit anchaal: area; Sanskrit pradesh: piece of land or state
  • Jharkhand: Forest country.
  • Karnataka: Kannada for "lofty land".
  • Kashmir: from Sanskrit kasyapamara: land of Hindu saint Kasyapa.
  • Lakshadweep: Sanskrit laksha: one hundred thousand; Sanskrit dvipa: islands
  • Madhya Pradesh: Sanskrit madhya: central; Sanskrit pradesh: piece of land or state.
  • Maharashtra: Sanskrit maha: great or very large/big; Sanskrit rashtra: state {Great Kingdom}.
  • Manipur: Sanskrit mani: jewels; Sanskrit pur: city or land {Jeweled Land}.
  • Meghalaya: Sanskrit megha: cloud; Sanskrit alaya: home {Home of the clouds}.
  • Mizoram: Mizo: highlanders-an ethnic group; Sanskrit raman: abode (Abode of highlanders)
  • Odisha: Sanskrit Odrah: ethnic name; Sanskrit deshah: state
  • Puducherry: Tamil pudu: new; Tamil cheri: town
  • Punjab: Persian panj: five, aab: river or water (the area is drained by five tributaries of the Indus)
  • Rajasthan: Hindi raja: king,Sanskrit sthan: land or place (formed by the union of 19 princely kingdoms).
  • Tripura: Sanskrit tripurah: three worlds.
  • Uttarakhand: Sanskrit uttar: north/northern; Sanskrit khand: part of land.
  • Uttar Pradesh: Sanskrit uttar: north/northern; Sanskrit pradesh: piece of land or state
  • West Bengal: Western part of Bengal, from Bengali bangla: ethnic name

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