8 Union Territories of India 2020

Incredible India comprises twenty eight states and eight union territories. Until 2020, there were nine union territories but on January 26, 2020, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu became as one territory.

So, what’s different about these union territories ? They run by the central government unlike the states of India that have a Chief Minister and a State Government.

However, there is exception for three such union territories namely Delhi, J & K, and Pondicherry. These three union territories have their own legislation.

However, all have a region called area of administration taken as a capital.

These areas are remarkably smaller to most of the other states. They are attractive and some are the top tourist attractions in India. They house historically significant monuments, old churches, an active volcano and even a prison Here are a details about everything you want to know about the 9 union territories in India.

1. National Capital Territory of Delhi

India’s capital is one of the most ancient and famous regions of historic India. Famous for the monuments, the tallest pillar called Qutub Minar, the ultra-modern destinations, new religious places, to the crowded shopping streets of Delhi.

This cosmopolitan region has everything a tourist would like to explore from a top class metro system to crowded hyper shopping malls with international brands. The ‘City with a Heart’ also houses the oldest shopping zone called Chandni Chowk.

Some of the top attractions in Delhi include Red Fort, Raisina Hill, Rajpath andIndia Gate especially shining when the evening lights up at Amar Jawan Jyoti. The cuisine is amazing and traces back to Mughalai era. There are nature parks, unexplored regions, etc. that you have to see in the crowded place.

Year of Union Territory Declared: “The States Reorganization Act, 1956 created the Union Territory of Delhi from its predecessor, the Chief Commissioner's Province of Delhi. The Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991 declared the Union Territory of Delhi to be formally known as the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

National Capital Territory of Delhi

Best Time to Visit: February to March

Winter months have heavy smog affecting visibility. Summers after March-May are scorching, while monsoons sees heavy rainfall, so better avoid in these months.

Other Top Attractions:

  • Hauz Khaz Village
  • Delhi Zoo
  • Akshardham Temple
  • Garden of five senses
  • Humayun’s Tomb
  • Red Fort

Suggested Tour:

2. Dadra and Nagar Haveli / Daman and Diu

On January 26, 2020, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu became as one union territory. The capital of this region is Daman. Each place is significant for various reasons. Daman & Diu is one of the most famous weekend getaways from Mumbai and Gujarat.

Moreover, it is combined with Portugal and Indian culture owing to the Portuguese rule till 1961. This lovely tiny city lies amidst two states – Gujarat and Maharashtra and has the great Arabian Sea alongside. It is also one of the best shopping areas in India selling handicrafts to leather products and even exquisite liquor.

There are beautiful beaches to watch out for, a resort offering a view of the beach from inside, temples, forts, a Dominican monastery although most of it is ruins, ancient churches preserved well, and even zoo in the wetlands. Daman & Diu is one of the off-beat tourist destinations to visit in India.

On the other hand Dadra is a smaller region situated in the state of Gujarat while Nagar Haveli lies in between the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. They were free from Portuguese rule in 1950s.

This is an amazing place for nature lovers as you can witness the glory of Western Ghats with sparkling lush greenery, animals alongside the slopes, and hilly terrain. This was also under the Portuguese rule and makes a great destination for the history buffs. You can capture some great pics here in the nature – abundant place with great things to see and do here.

daman and diu

Year of Union Territory: “This Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli was merged into the Union of India in the year 1961.” The Union Territory of Daman and Diu came into existence on 30th May 1987 until then it was merged with Goa before it attained statehood”.

However on January 26, 2020 both the Union territories came into one Union Territory of India.

Best Time to Visit: October – April

Avoid during monsoons as rains are heavy and dangerous and experiences tropical climate all around.

Other Top Attractions:

  • Mirasol Lake Garden
  • Jerome Fort
  • Jampore Beach
  • Lighthouse, Daman
  • City Shopping
  • Devka Beach
  • Dominican Monastery
  • Temple at Moti Daman

3. Jammu and Kashmir - Paradise on Earth nestled amidst snow capped mountain ranges

Set amidst the beautiful Himalayan mountain ranges as well as Karakoram, and Pir Panjal ranges, this snow blanketed region is great for most adventure sports and tourists. You can spot some famous peaks, monasteries, snow forests, lovely water bodies, glaciers, and great blue lakes.

It is scattered with pine trees, green meadows, and lakes. It is a great place for tourists and pilgrims as there are top pilgrimage sites in India such as Vaishno Devi and Amarnath.

This picturesque place will be etched in your memory forever. There are so many things to shop for at various places in J & K including local handicrafts, flowers, fruits, etc.

Jammu and Kashmir

Year of Union Territory: Re-organized as Union territory on October 31, 2019

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year tourists will be around Jammu and Kashmir. Try to avoid in monsoons.

Other Top Attractions:

  • Rose Garden
  • Gulmarg
  • Vaishno Devi
  • Srinagar Patnitop
  • Kashmir Valley
  • Dal Lake
  • Khardung La Pass

Suggested Tour:

4. Chandigarh - First Planned City in India serving as Capital city for two states

This beautiful city serves as the capital for both the states of India – Punjab and Haryana. You can find the most ancient people who are completely into tradition and culture as well as the modern educated working class people here.

All are familiar with the Gedi culture as well as the cuisine. The union territory lies within 300 km from the national capital and makes one of the best weekend getaways from Delhi. It is home to some exemplary places like gardens, lakes, and zones.

One such is the Rock Garden of Chandigarh that is made from waste of urban area and industry.

Moreover, the amazing rose garden, which is one of the best in Asia, is situated here in Chandigarh. There is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site here free for visitors! Many tourists are attracted to this beautiful city of India.

Chandigarh

Year of Union Territory: November 1, 1966

Best Time to Visit: August to March

Other Top Attractions:

  • Rose Garden
  • Rock Garden
  • Pinjore Gardens
  • Sukhna Lake
  • Shanti Kunj
  • Government museum / Art Gallery

5. Puducherry - French Riviera of the East earlier known as Pondicherry

This former French colony earlier known as Pondicherry or Pondy in short is a blend of both Indian tradition and French influences. This is seen in the buildings and historic structures and their architecture.

Most of the structures in French Quarter of Pondicherry are colored mustered yellow and this is famously called White Town. There are colorful bougainvillea plants creeping over the high walls here. There are cozy little cafes and boutiques serving great French cuisine to its visitors.

The sparkling beaches of Pondicherry lets you have an amazing walk along the seashores. Some beaches offer courses on surfing. The Promenade that runs along the coast with the smell of the salts of the sea and with people catching the fish and preparing this seafood and serving it at the local eateries.

Pondicherry

Year of Union Territory: August 16, 1962.

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year. Many celebrations take place during annual festivals held year round.

Other Top Attractions:

  • Scuba Diving
  • Seaside Promenade
  • Aurobindo Asharam
  • Village of Auroville
  • Paradise Beachside
  • Cafes in Pondicherry

6. Andaman and Nicobar Islands - The Very First Union Territory in India

The hub of clear blue waters around this archipelago of islands with shimmering sands and turquoise waters. This union territory is one of the top tourist destinations in India with only a few islands open to tourists. It is a total of 572 islands but only 37 of such islands are habitable.

The capital city is Port Blair that connects to various destinations on these islands with several ferrying services. The scenic beaches with palm trees lining the beaches have snorkeling and scuba diving for tourists.

These islands are famous for housing the old pre-independence prison for the exiled freedom fighters called Kaala Pani. It is a family destination, good for honeymooners, and adventure enthusiasts alike.

One of the most popular is Havelock island with coconut grovers and several adventure activities including scuba diving, kayaking, and peaceful strolls. It is also known for the relishing cuisine and shopping options.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Year of Union Territory: November 1, 1956

Best Time to Visit: October to May. Monsoons can be dangerous with flooding and heavy downpour.

Other Top Attractions:

  • Cellular Jail
  • Scuba Diving
  • Havelock island
  • Snorkeling / Paragliding
  • Radhanagar Beach
  • Ross Island

7. Lakshadweep Islands - A Hundred Thousand islands in the Arabian Sea

These islands are one of the few places on the planet that is left to natural beauty unspoilt by human hands. These remote islands situated 400 km into the Arabian Sea, has some great beaches, waters, and water sports for tourists. You can also enjoy a peaceful stroll on this exotic location. However, there are only 3 – 4 beaches that are open for tourists.

Everybody including Indian require a permit and only then they can enter the Lakshadweep islands. It is accessible best from Kochi in Kerala. There are five submerged below the ocean and there are three reefs, and twelve atolls. Only ten islands are inhabited by people.

Although the name says ‘hundred thousand’ there are less than 50 islands habitable. The capital city is called Kavaratti islands. Situated in the Lacadive sea it was formerly part of Madras till it received the status of union territory.

Year of Union Territory: Declared Union territory on November 1, 1956

Best Time to Visit: October to May: Avoid during June to September as it is shut.

Other Top Attractions:

  • Minicoy Island
  • Bangaram island
  • Agatti island
  • Kavaratti islands
  • Kalpeni Island
  • Scuba Diving

8. Leh Ladakh - Heaven on earth that resembles a moonscape with white hills

Nestled in between two of the greatest mountain ranges in the world – Karakoram on one side and the Great mighty Himalayan ranges on the other side, there are also the other mountain ranges called Ladakh and Zanskar. The mystique area looks like a portion of the moon on earth with all the white surrounding hilltops.

Moreover, there are also a few gompas here to add to the beauty of the nature and topography. The climate is amazing in such an extreme way that you can get a sunstroke due to the sun and at the same time, get frost bite from the blistering cold.

ladakh leh

Year of Union Territory: This Union Territory of India was Bifurcated on October 31, 2019

Best Time to Visit: March to mid June, for Frozen river Trek from December to February.

Other Top Attractions:

  • Magnetic Hill
  • Zanskar Valley
  • Frozen River Trek
  • Pangong Lake
  • Chadher Trek
  • Tso Morriri
  • Leh Palace

Suggested Tour to Leh Ladakh 

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