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Union Territories of India with Capital and History

Union territories are areas that are directly controlled and administered by the Central Government. They are also known as “centrally administered territories”. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands were the first union territory of India after independence. Check Out details on Union Territories of India 2024.

Union Territories of India 2024

There are 8 union territories in India, which are Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry. India is a union of states that operates under a democratic, socialist, secular, and republican style of government. In India, a sort of administrative division known as a union territory is directly governed by the Union government (Central Government).

It is, therefore, referred to as the “union territory.” The President is the Union’s Executive head according to the Constitution. The President oversees the Union Territories through an Administrator designated by them. Read this article to know all about the union territories of India in detail.

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What are Union Territories?

A union territory is an administrative division in the Republic of India. Unlike the states of India, which have their governments, union territories are federal territories governed by the Union Government of India, in part or whole.

Due to their origin and evolution, India’s union territories have unique rights and status. An Indian subdivision is given the title of “Union Territory” to protect the rights of indigenous cultures and prevent political unrest over issues of governance, as well as other reasons.

How many Union Territories are there in India?

There are eight union territories in India. Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry are the eight union territories of India. Here is the List of 8 Union Territories of India along with their Capitals, Year of Foundation, Population and Area:

Union Territories of India Year of Foundation Capital City Population according to the 2011 census number Area (km2)
Andaman and Nicobar Islands November 1956 Port Blair 3,80,581 8,249
Chandigarh 1 November 1966 Chandigarh 10,55,450 114
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu 26 January 2020 Daman 3,43,709 603
Delhi 1956 New Delhi 1,67,87,941 1,483
Lakshadweep 1 November 1956 Kavaratti 64,473 32
Puducherry 1 November 1954 Pondicherry 12,47,953 479
Jammu and Kashmir 31 October 2019 Srinagar in Summer and Jammu in Winter 1,22,67,013 42,241
Ladakh 31 October 2019 Leh 2,74,289 59,146

Capital of Union Territories of India

With a total land area of 59,146 km2, Ladakh is the largest union territory in terms of size. The largest union territory is Delhi in terms of population. The 2011 Census determined that Delhi has a total population of 16,787,941 people.

Union Territory Capital
Jammu and Kashmir Srinagar (Summer), Jammu (Winter)
Lakshadweep Kavaratti
Chandigarh Chandigarh
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Daman
Puducherry Puducherry
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Port Blair
Delhi New Delhi
Ladakh Leh (summer), Kargil (winter)

Ladakh, Chandigarh, Delhi, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry are the eight union territories in India.

  • Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, was passed by the Indian government in 2019.
  • The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh were created out of Jammu and Kashmir, creating two Union Territories.
  • In 2020, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu will become one Union Territory and be known as only Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Particulars Description
Area 8,249 sq. km
Population 4 lakh (approx)
Capital Port Blair
Languages Hindi, Bengali, , Malayalam, Nicobarese, Tamil, Telugu
  • The union territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has 38 inhabited islands.
  • The union territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is separated from Thailand and Myanmar by the Andaman Sea.
  • An uncontacted tribe named Sentinelese people are located in the Islands.

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2. Dadra and Nagar Haveli & Daman and Diu

Particulars Description
Area 603 sq km
Population 4 Lakhs (Approx)
Capital Daman
Languages Gujarati, Marathi, Portuguese, Hindi, Varli, and Konkani
  • The two union territories of “Dadra and Nagar Haveli” and “Daman and Diu” were merged and a single union territory was established on 26th January 2020.
  • All these territories were former colonies of the Portuguese.
  • Some of the major tourist attractions in Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu are Naida Caves, Diu Fort, Vanganga Lake Garden, BAPS Swaminarayan Temple, Tapovan Tourist Complex, Nakshatra Garden, Vasona Lion Safari, Satmalia Deer Sanctuary and Tribal Museum in Silvassa.

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3. Lakshadweep

Particulars Description
Area 32 sq. km
Population 64,429 ( Approx )
Capital Kavaratti
Languages Jeseri (Dweep Bhasha), Malayalam, and Mahal
  • Lakshadweep islands are located in the Arabian Sea.
  • It consists of 36 islands in the Arabian Sea.
  • The name Lakshadweep in Malayalam and Sanskrit means ‘a hundred thousand islands’.
  • Lakshadweep is also known as Laccadives.
  • The Islands of Lakshadweep is located in the distance between 220 Km to 440 km away from Kochi

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4. Puducherry (Pondicherry)

Particulars Description
Area 479 sq km
Population 12,44,464 (Approx)
Capital Puducherry
Languages Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, English, and French
  • Previously called Puducherry, it was known as Pondicherry.
  • The union territory of Puducherry has former French establishments of Yanam, Karaikal, and Mahe — all scattered in various places in South India.
  • 4 small geographically unconnected parts constitute the union territory of Puducherry.
  • Mahe district is enclosed by Kerala, Yanam district is enclosed by Andhra Pradesh, and Puducherry and Karaikal are enclosed by the state of Tamil Nadu.
  • Puducherry is the third most densely populated union territory.
  • The popular tourist attractions in Puducherry are churches, parks, beaches, temples, etc.
  • The famous Indian Nationalist, poet, philosopher and yoga guru Sri Aurobindo was the residence of Puducherry

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5. NCT of Delhi

Particulars Description
Area 1,483 sq. km
Population 1,67,53,235 (Approx)
Capital Delhi
Languages Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, and English
  • Delhi is a city and a union territory of India.
  • New Delhi is the capital of India.
  • Delhi is on the banks of the Yamuna River, which is unfortunately very highly polluted. The actions taken to clean the Yamuna River are highly inadequate.
  • It shares boundaries with the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
  • It has UNESCO world heritage sites.
  • In history, Delhi was the capital of the Mughal Empire, Delhi Sultanate, and British India.
  • In wealth, Delhi comes in the second-highest number of billionaires in India
  • In the past, Delhi had hosted important sporting events such as the Cricket World Cup, Hockey World Cup, Commonwealth Games, and Asian Games.

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6. Chandigarh

Particulars Description
Area 114 sq km
Population 10,54,686 (Approx)
Capital Chandigarh
Languages Punjabi, Hindi, and English
  • Chandigarh is not only a union territory of India but also the joint capital of the states of Haryana and Punjab.
  • Chandigarh is famously known as “Pensioner’s Paradise”.
  • There are many famous schools and top higher educational institutions located in Chandigarh.
  • It is famous for its urban design, architecture, green belts and tourist parks.
  • Chandigarh is one of the earliest planned cities.
  • It was designed by Le Corbusier, a Swiss-French architect.
  • The capitol complex in Chandigarh was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2016.

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7. Ladakh

Particulars Description
Area 59,146 sq km
Population 2.74 lakhs (Approx)
Capital Leh
Languages Ladakhi, Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman
  • Leh is the capital city of Ladakh.
  • The largest town in Ladakh is Leh.
  • The second largest town in Ladakh is Kargil.
  • The famous Indus, Nubra, and Shyok river valleys are found in Ladakh.
  • After the Government of India passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act in 2019, Ladakh was carved out as a separate union territory.
  • Muslims are the majority in Ladakh, they constitute 46% of the population.
  • Buddhists are 40% of the population, and Hindus are 12% of the population of Ladakh.
  • Ladakh is bordered by the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh to the south, Tibet Autonomous Region to the east.

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8. Jammu and Kashmir

Union Territories India
Capital Jammu (winter), Srinagar (summer)
Area 42,241 sq. km
Languages Urdu, Balti, Kashmiri, Gojri, Dogri, Ladakhi, Pahari, and Dari
  • On 31 October 2019, Jammu & Kashmir was removed from its status as a state and converted into a union territory.
  • Ladakh was separated from Jammu and Kashmir and was designated as a separate union territory.
  • The literacy rate of the union territory is 67.16%.
  • The most important languages of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir are Hindi, English, Dogri, and Kashmiri.
  • The economy of Jammu and Kashmir is mainly dependent on agriculture.
  • Major agricultural exports from Jammu and Kashmir include apples, pears, cherries, plums, saffron and walnuts.
  • Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir is known as the ‘land of sapphire and saffron’.

Constitutional Provisions for Union Territories of India

  • The union territories are covered by Articles 239 to 241 in Part VIII of the Constitution, and their governmental structure is not standardized.
  • The original Constitution’s Article 239 allowed the President to administer UTs directly through administrators.
  • In 1962, Article 239A was introduced to give Parliament the power to establish legislatures for the UTs.
  • To fulfil the aspirations of the people of these territories for democracy, several UTs were given a legislature and a Council of Ministers. By the Constitution (69th Amendment) Act of 1991, special provisions for the National Capital Territory of Delhi were introduced to Article 239AA of the Indian Constitution.
  • Under Article 240, the President may enact laws to ensure the safety, development, and effective administration of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, and Puducherry.
  • In the instance of Puducherry, the President can only pass legislation after the assembly has been dissolved or suspended.
  • The President’s regulations have the same legal weight as parliamentary acts.
  • According to Article 241, the Parliament may declare any court in any territory to be a High Court for all or any of the purposes of the Constitution or establish by law a High Court for a Union Territory.
  • Only Delhi’s NCT has a standalone High Court.

Need of Union Territory in India

The various justifications for the creation of UTs included the fact that these areas were either too tiny to be autonomous, too distinct (geographically, economically, and culturally) to be combined with neighbouring states, or were either weak economically or politically. Because of the aforementioned factors, they were unable to function as independent administrative entities and had to be governed by the Union Government.

  • Given their location or unique status, several were designated as UTs. While Puducherry was governed by the French, the Portuguese ruled the UTs of Daman and Diu.
  • They have a unique culture compared to the States around them, so additional measures may be needed to protect that identity while still allowing for efficient governance.
  • Lakshadweep Andaman and Nicobar are far from the Indian mainland and are strategically placed.
  • From a national security perspective, it may be deemed necessary for the Union government to have control over them.
  • Chandigarh serves as the administrative centre for Punjab and Haryana whereas Delhi serves as the nation’s administrative center.
  • Delhi’s unique position in Indian politics as the nation’s capital makes union government authority over it necessary.

We had 14 states and 6 UTs in 1956. The number of states rose throughout time to 28 and the number of UTs to 8. Since the 1960s, a number of UTs have expanded into full states, including Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Sikkim, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, and Mizoram.

Difference between State and Union Territory of India

Union Territories of India 2024

The Union Territories are administered by the Lieutenant Governor, who represents the President of India and is chosen by the President on the Prime Minister’s recommendation. The Union Territories are under the direct control of the Central Government. There is no representation for Union Territories in the Rajya Sabha, except Delhi and Puducherry. Each Union territory’s administrator has functional responsibilities apart from those of his counterpart administrators in other Union areas.

For efficient governance, the Union territories are further divided into smaller administrative divisions. The smallest unit of government is a village. Every village has a Gram Panchayat, or representative administrative body. Several villages may be under the administrative supervision of a Gram Panchayat.

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Union Territories of India FAQs

What are the union territories of India?

A sort of organizational division in the Republic of India is the Union Territories. In contrast to states with their own administrations, union territories are national settlements that are partially or entirely under the control of the Union Government of India.

Are there 8 or 9 union territories in 2024?

In India, there are 8 union territories in 2024 which has two different types of union territories.
1. Union territories with functioning legislatures, such as Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, and Pondicherry
2. Andaman and Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Ladakh, and Lakshadweep are examples of Union territory without a government.

Which Union Territories were newly added in India?

Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh have been added to India's Union Territories on October 31, 2019.

How many state and union territories are there in India in 2024?

Currently, there are 28 states and 8 UT in India. India's states each have their own administrative, legislative, and judicial centres, and each state is headed by a Chief Minister.

Who is the constitutional head of the union territories of India?

The President of India is the UTs' main executive, while the Governor is their legal leader. Of the eight union territories of the Republic of India, five are ruled by a lieutenant governor.

How many union territories are there in india?

There are currently 8 Union territories in India, and the President oversees them through an Administrator that has been chosen by those regions. Every Indian Union Territory (UT) has an own culture, history, festivals, attire, demographics, language, etc.

Which union territories of India were integrated into a single UT in 2020?

Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu became one UT in 2020, replacing Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

Which is the largest UT in India?

Jammu and Kashmir is the largest Union Territory in India with an area of 125,535 km2 followed by Ladakh(96701) and Andaman and the Nicobar (8249).

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