List of union territories of India

India, a vast and diverse country, is not just known for its 28 states but also for its seven Union Territories. But what exactly are Union Territories, and what makes them different from regular states? Let’s take a journey through these unique regions and learn about each one.

The Union Territories of India are the regions that have no regional governments and are governed directly by the central government. Unlike states, which have their own governments and legislatures, UTs are under the jurisdiction of the President of India, who appoints an Administrator to govern each UT.

These regions in India are growing into hubs of tourism, as these places have beautiful locations and exceptional architecture. The Union territories are now frequented by not only businessmen and traders but also by travelers. These seven Indian divisions are an embodiment of the diverse and rich Indian heritage and culture.

Also see: Monuments In India You Must Visit

Union territories of India

This holiday season, plan a trip to one of these and you are sure to be amazed by the sights you are going to be greeted by.

1. National Capital Territory, Delhi

National Capital Territory, Delhi
Image by Shouvik Raychowdhury from Pixabay

Surrounded by Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, the capital of the country offers exciting travel itineraries for all kinds of tourists. With a population of over ten million, the National Capital Territory, or the NCT has been granted partial statehood and has a legislative assembly, along with a high court and a council of ministers.

With an area of 1,484 square kilometers, Delhi is the largest city in the country. And once you land in the national capital, you should surely check out the various heritage sites that dot the landscape. The Humayun’s Tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a garden tomb of the Mughal Emperor with stunning architecture. Also, on the itinerary should be the India Gate, a patriotic landmark, the Red Fort built in the 1600s where the flag is hoisted every Independence Day, and the Qutub Minar which is a seventy-three-meter high tapering tower. One can also visit the iconic Lotus Temple, the famous Jama Masjid, and the various Hindu temples such as the Akshardham. The house of the Indian President, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, has a museum showcasing the history of the place and is open to visitors on weekdays.

The best time to visit is from October to March. Buses, trains, and flights to Delhi are available from almost all the cities in India, and if you are living abroad, you can fly into Delhi from anywhere in the world.

2. Chandigarh

Titled the ‘City Beautiful’, Chandigarh is the cleanest and greenest city in India and the capital of both Haryana and Punjab. Designed by the renowned architect Le Corbusier, it’s known for its modern urban planning and beautiful gardens.

This city has an area of 114 Square kilometers and is home to various beautiful sites. Although the design of the city is attributed to the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, it was originally planned by Maciej Nowicki and Albert Mayer, but Mayer stopped working on the project after Nowicki died in a plane crash. Though most of the buildings are designed by Le Corbusier himself, many components have been built on the ideals of Mayer and Nowicki.

The Capitol Complex in Sector 1, Chandigarh is sure to take your breath away, as it houses not only the Secretariat Building and the Punjab and Haryana High Court but also the Palace of Assembly, the Open Hand Monument, and the Rock Garden. The Capitol Complex also has an unfinished Martyrs Memorial and the Geometric Hil, but it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016. Once in Chandigarh, don’t forget to visit the peaceful Sukna Lake and the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden.

The best time to visit is from October to March. Chandigarh is accessible by air from various Indian cities and trains and buses are also available. Any foreign visitors can fly into Delhi and then take another flight to Chandigarh, or take a cab to Chandigarh.

3. Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli

These two UTs were merged into one in 2020. Dadra and Nagar Haveli are located near Gujarat, while Daman and Diu are along the Arabian Sea coast. They are known for their scenic beauty and historical landmarks.

This union territory lies in the West and consists of two regions- Daman and Diu, both separated by the Gulf of Khambhat. The lands of Daman and Diu are 650 kilometers from each other by road, and they were a part of the Portuguese colonies until 1966.

Sun-kissed beaches are very common in both Daman and Diu, which include Jampore Beach, Jalandhar Beach, Chakratirth Beach, Devka Beach, and many more. One can also visit the various Catholic churches, the St. Paul’s Church, and the Bom Jesus Church. The Naida Caves, which are a store of unique rock formations, the Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple, a beach temple in Diu, the INS Khukrj Memorial, an Indo-Pakistani war memorial, the Diu Museum, the Jetty Garden also make for wonderful visits.

The best time to visit Daman and Diu is from October to March.

To reach Damn, one can take a train to Vapi, a railway station only fifteen kilometers away from the town. The Nani Daman had a domestic airport that anyone could fly into from Indian cities. The Nearest International Airport is in Mumbai, which is more than 170 kilometers away. To reach Diu, you can either fly into Diu Airport or take a train to Somnath and Veraval. Diu is also well-connected by buses.

The Dadra and Nagar Haveli are sandwiched between the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat and are spread over an area of 492 square kilometers. The capital of the Union Territory is Silvassa. About 43% of the area of Dadra and Nagar Haveli consists of forests, which makes Dadra and Nagar Haveli a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.

Nature lovers can explore the various species of wild cats and birds at the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Wildlife Sanctuary, enjoy with lions at the Silvassa Vasona Lion Safari, explore the beautiful Nakshatra and Hirwa Van gardens, and visit the Satmaliya Deer Park and the Butterfly Park Khanvel. The Madhuban Dam is also a part of these lands as are various temples.

If you are planning a trip to the Dadra and Nagar Haveli, be sure to do so I’m the months from November to March, as these months have pleasant climates. To reach, you can fly into Mumbai and then take a cab to Dadra and Nagar Haveli, or you can take a train to Vapi Railway Station, which is only eighteen kilometers away. The nearest cities are Mumbai, Surat, and Nashik.

4. Pondicherry

Image by Nkarthi from Pixabay

Puducherry, formerly known as Pondicherry, is on the southeastern coast of India. It has a unique blend of Indian and French cultures, with French architecture and a rich colonial history.

This land, spread over an area of 492 square kilometers in the Eastern Ghats, is a former French colony that is surrounded by the state of Tamil Nadu. It is home to many colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues, which include the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, and the Basilica of Sacred Heart of Jesus among many others. The ornate and beautiful temples- Matrimandir and Sri Manakula Vinayagar also deserve a visit. If you’re visiting, be sure to plan the visit sometime between October and March and also head to the wonderful Puducherry Botanical Gardens. A small domestic airport is situated in Pondicherry, but it has limited flights, so it’s better to fly in. Chennai, which is 135 kilometers away. The nearest railway station is the Villupuram Railway Station and buses from Chennai, Thanjavur, Trichy, Coimbatore, Bangalore, and Madurai ply regularly.

5. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Located in the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are known for their stunning beaches and lush forests. These islands are a popular tourist destination and are rich in biodiversity.

The Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands are separated by a channel, and in total, there are about 572 islands out of which only 37 are inhabited. Most of the lands have unique tropical evergreen forests with over 2,000 varieties of flora and fauna. The capital of these islands is Port Blair, an inhabitation which boasts of having its own airport.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with their sandy beaches, tropical rainforests, and mangroves, are ideal destinations for parasailing, bird watching, diving, snorkeling, and scuba. The Cellular Jail, which was known as ‘Kala Pani’ by freedom fighters and was used by the British, to imprison Indian convicts also stands on these islands and is now a National Memorial.

If you have had enough adventure and want to relax, you can do so on the beautiful beaches, and visit the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, along with a visit to Baratang Island, famous for its mud volcano.

The best time to visit is from October to May. To reach Port Blair, you can fly in from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bangalore. Alternatively, you can ride a ship from Vizag, Chennai, and Kolkata.

6. Lakshadweep

Image by veetrag from Pixabay

Lakshadweep is a group of islands in the Arabian Sea. It is the smallest Union Territory in India in terms of both area and population. The clear blue waters and coral reefs make it a paradise for divers and beach enthusiasts.

The smallest Union Territory in India, Lakshadweep is slowly becoming very popular as a tourist destination. Located off the Kerela Coast, this small group of islands covers an area of only 32 square kilometers. Out of the ten islands, only the Bangaram island allows the consumption of alcohol. The Lakshadweep Islands are adventure spots, known for their scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing spots.

The capital Kavaratti has dozens of mosques, as the majority of the population is Muslim. One can also visit the Kavaratti Aquarium, which is home to various species of fish, sharks, and corals. The Minicoy Island Lighthouse in Lakshadweep is also a tourist spot, as it showcases the history of the island when it was a British Colony.

If you’re thinking of going to Lakshadweep anytime soon, you need to remember a few things. It’s good to travel between October and May. A permit is required for anyone who wants to travel, also foreign nationals are not permitted to visit certain islands. To reach, you can fly into the airport on Agatti Island from Kochi or Bangalore. Alternatively, you can take ships from Calicut or Kochi.

7. Ladakh

Ladakh, one of India’s newest Union Territories, is a region of breathtaking beauty and unique cultural significance. It gained Union Territory status on October 31, 2019, as part of the historic reorganization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Here, we delve deeper into what makes Ladakh special.

Ladakh has a rich cultural heritage that reflects the influence of Tibetan Buddhism and its unique geography. The majority of the population in Ladakh practices Tibetan Buddhism, and the monasteries or gompas are an integral part of its cultural landscape.

Ladakh has become a popular tourist destination, known for its unique landscape and adventurous opportunities. Tourists flock to Ladakh for activities such as trekking, mountaineering, river rafting, and wildlife spotting. The region is home to the elusive snow leopard, making it a sought-after destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

The high-altitude lakes of Ladakh, including Pangong Lake and Tso Moriri Lake, are renowned for their surreal beauty and are popular attractions for visitors. The stark contrast between the deep blue waters and the arid mountains creates a mesmerizing spectacle.

Read more, List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

The Indian Union territories, even though they have smaller areas than the states, are places that make for great holidays, whether you want to travel, relax or explore. These places house the most traveled, the most popular, and yet the most unexplored spots in the country.

Interestingly, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands house the Sentinel Islands, which is the most uncontacted place on Earth. Though it is illegal to land anywhere within the five-kilometer range of the island, the history of the island makes it a spectacle in itself. A place like the Sentinels continues to amaze anyone who visits these Union territories.