India is one of the most amazing countries in the world. It is diverse in so many aspects, but yet there is a beautiful harmony about India. The diversity exists in the various cultures, religions, races and languages. From beaches to ice-capped mountains, from deserts to dense forests – India has it all. You cannot be indifferent to it; however, it is a pretty difficult task to understand it completely as well.
To get a more comprehensive view of States of India, you may refer to the other 2 articles: States of India: Part 1 and States of India: Part 3.
States of India
Orissa or Odisha
Area: 155,707 sq km
Population (2014): 41,947,358
Languages: Oriya and English
Orissa is located on the eastern coast of India with Bay of Bengal waters on the eastern and south-eastern coast. Rivers like Brahmani, Mahanadi and Bansadhara flow across the state and it has river valleys as well as lush green hilly terrain. It is very popular with tourists both for its rich history and the modern areas. Orissa has the famous Sun Temple at Konark and temples of Bhubaneswar and Puri. Odissi is the classical dance form of Orissa. The beaches of Puri, Konark and Gopalpur are worth visiting.
Area: 38, 863 sq km
Population (2014): 33,387,677
Most tourists have Kerala as must visit destination for its well-known reputation of "God's own country". It is on the south-western coast of India with Arabian Sea along its coastline. It has miles of golden sand beaches lined with coconut trees. It is very scenic with beautiful landscapes, a very rich and interesting culture and intriguing customs. Ayurveda, backwaters, jungles are the key features for tourism. Kathakali is the classical dance form of Kerala and is also home to Kalaripayattu which is an ancient martial art form with a scientific and comprehensive system.
Area: 79, 714 sq km
Population (2014): 26, 945, 829
Languages: Hindi, English, Santhali and some other tribal languages
The state of Jharkhand came into existence in the year 2000 from the state of Bihar. Jharkhand is neighbored with Bihar, Chattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal on its north, west, south and east respectively. It shares most of its history with Bihar, like the rule of empires of Maurya, Sungas, Guptas and Nandas. It is home to Tagore Hill, where it is believed that Rabindranath Tagore wrote part of the poem – Gitanjali. Kanke Dam is also a popular tourist destination in Jharkhand. Jharkhand also houses several different tribes which boast of a rich tradition of arts and crafts.
Area: 78, 438 sq km
Population (2014): 31, 169, 272
Languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo and Karbi
Assam is located in the Northeast region of India and has given people of Assam a distinct identity due to various races like Aryans, Negroids, Indo-Burmese, Indo-Tibetians and Mongoloid. It has sprawling tea-estates, paddy fields, Coconut groves, banana plantations and areca nuts. Brahmaputra is the major river in Assam. The other tourist destinations are Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Pabitora and Hajo. The Assam State Museum and Zoo are also must visit places.
Area: 50, 362 sq km
Population (2014): 27,704,236
Languages: Punjabi and Hindi
The name, Punjiab, derived from the presence of 5 rivers which also gives it fertile soil and plenty of water supplies. The rivers are – Indus, Sutlej, Beas, Ravi and Ghaggar and it is here that the Indus Valley Civilization was formed. Agriculture forms the main source of economy. The Golden temple in Amritsar is the most popular tourist spot. Punjabis are foodies and Punjabi food is very popular across India. Bhangra is the folk dance from Punjab and Baisakhi is the main festival which denotes harvesting season.
Area: 44, 212 sq km
Population (2014): 25,353,081
Languages: Haryanvi, Hindi and English
The state of Haryana came into existence in 1966 from the state of Punjab. It is a blend of traditional and modern cultures and was a major contributor in the green revolution. The Yamuna flows through Haryana and is responsible for the good agriculture here. Due to its close proximity to the NCT of Delhi, Haryana has developed into an industrialized state along with agriculture. A lot of places of tourism are present in Haryana including Surajkund which is a sun pool and Amphitheatre, Badkhal Lake, Karna Lake and Japanese garden.
Area: 135, 191 sq km
Population (2014): 25, 540, 196
Languages: Hindi and English
Chhattisgarh was formed from the state of Madhya Pradesh in the year 2000. It is located in the central region of India and has the largest population of Scheduled Tribes in India. A mixture of all races from the country forms the heterogeneous population of Chhattisgarh. The various tourist spots are Amarkantak, Indrawati National Park, Kangerghati National Park and Chitrakoot, etc. The city of Raipur is said to be founded by Kalchuri King – Ram Chandra in 14th century; now it is the fastest growing industrial center in the state.
Jammu & Kashmir
Capital: Jammu (winter capital) & Srinagar (summer capital)
Area: 222, 236 sq km
Population (2014): 12, 548, 926
Languages: Urdu, Kashmiri, Hindi, Dogri, Pahari and Ladakhi
Jammu & Kashmir has been described as Paradise on Earth and is multi-faceted and has a unique cultural blend. It is the northernmost state of India and is surrounded by Pakistan, Afghanistan and China. Due to snowfall, the state has two seasonal capitals. It is a haven for tourists and the list of places to see can run into pages. Agriculture and animal husbandry form the economic base for the state. Tourism is also very popular although it has been affected due to terrorism.
Uttaranchal / Uttarakhand
Area: 53, 483 sq km
Population (2014): 10,116,752
Languages: Hindi, Garhwali and Kumaoni
This state of Uttaranchal / Uttarakhand was formed in the year 2000 from the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is also known as the Land of Gods due to the presence of large number of Hindu temples and pilgrimage places. It is home to holy places like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Due to its geography, there are various adventure activities here like river rafting, trekking, fishing, skiing, paragliding, etc. Jim Corbett National Park is one of most famous tourist spots here.