The Union Territories of India are the regions that have no regional governments and are governed directly by the central government. 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 businessman 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
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 minister. With an area of 1,484 square kilometers, it 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, 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.
Titled the ‘City Beautiful’, Chandigarh is the cleanest and greenest city of India and the capital of both Haryana and Punjab. 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 unfinished Martyrs Memorial and the Geometric Hil, but it has been 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
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 the Jampore Beach, the Jalandhar Beach, the Chakratirth Beach, the 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, that 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 which anyone can 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.
4. Dadra and Nagar Haveli
The Dadra and Nagar Haveli is sandwiched between the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat and is spread over an area of 492 square kilometers. The capital of the Union Territory is Silvassa. About 43% of the area of the 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 them 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.
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, 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, it’s better to fly in to. Chennai, which is 135 kilometers away. The nearest railway station is the Villupuram Railway Station and buses from Chennai, Thanjavur, Trichy, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Madurai ply regularly.
6. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
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 of adventure and want to relax, you can do so in 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.
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 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.
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.