History of Formation of Indian States

During British period India was divided into administrative units of Provinces (or Presidencies) and Princely states. Provinces were those units which were governed directly by British. princely stated were those units which were conquered/annexed by policy of Subsidiary Alliance and the local king loyal to British was given the autonomy to rule the state. The powers and authority of the local king was very limited and the administration was virtually in the hands of British.

At the time of independence in 1947 there were 11 Provinces and numerous (say 562) Princely states. Few of the main important provinces post independence are – Bombay, Madras, Bengal, Assam and United Province. Some of the princely states were quite big such as – Kashmir, Mysore and Hyderabad while some were very small like Junagadh, Udaipur, Aundh and Cochin.

After independence the British dissolved the treaty relations with the Princely states giving them the right to either accede to India or to Pakistan or remain neutral. Most of the states acceded to India and some to Pakistan. Jammu and Kashmir, Hyderabad and Bhutan choose to remain independent. Hyderbad was annexed to India by armed intervention.

After 1947 most of the princely states were integrated into existing provinces while others organised to new provinces. Rajputana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Bharat and Vindhya Pradesh were made by integrating multiple princely states. Mysore, Hyderabad, Bhopal and Bilaspur were turned to new Provinces from princely states.

States and Union Territories Reorganization Act, 1956

This act was a major instrument which shaped the boundaries of States and Territories after independence. Some of the important outcomes of this act were

  • Andhra Pradesh – Andhra state was merged with telugu speaking area of Hyderbad State (present Telangana) to create Andhra Pradesh.
  • Bomaby State – the state was enlarged by adding the area of Surashtra and Kutch, Nagpur division of Madhya Pradesh, Marathwada region of Hederabad.
  • Kerala State formed by merger of Travancore state with malabar district of Madras state.
  • Madhya Pradesh – was formed by merging Madhya Bharat province, Vindhya Pradesh and Bhopal state.
  • Madras State – Malabar district given to Kerala state, Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi islands separated out to form new territory (later renamed as Lakshdweep Islands in 1973)
  • Mysore State – enlarged by addition of Coorg state and western Hyderabad state. It was renamed later as Karnataka in 1973.
  • Punjab State – enlarged by addition of Patiala and East Punjab States Union
  • Rajasthan State – enlarged by adding Ajmer state and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Bombay state.
  • Union Territories (6 No) – Himachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nikobar Islands, Delhi, Laccadive, Minicoy & Amindivi islands, Manipur and Tripura

Present Scenario of States and Union Territories

India is a union consisting of 29 states and 7 territories. The states and territories are further divided into districts which in turn are divided into smaller administrative units like Tehsil, Taluka or Mandals.

Political map of India showing all 29 States and 7 Union Territories.

history of formation of indian states

Date of Formation of Indian States

State  Created on Capital Official Language
Andhra Pradesh Oct 1, 1953 Hyderabad Telugu
Arunachal Pradesh Feb 20, 1987 Itanagar English
Assam Aug 15, 1947 Dispur Assamese
Bihar April 1, 1936 Patna Hindi, Urdu
Chhattisgarh Nov 1, 2000 Raipur Hindi, Chhatisgarhi
Goa May 30, 1987 Panjim Konkani
Gujarat May 1, 1960 Gandhinagar Gujarati
Haryana Nov 1, 1966 Chandigarh Hindi, Punjabi
Himachal Pradesh Jan 25, 1971 Shimla Hindi
Jammu and Kashmir Oct 26, 1947 Srinagar Urdu
Jharkhand Nov 15, 2000 Ranchi Hindi
Karnataka Nov 1, 1956 Benguluru Kannad
Kerala Nov 1, 1956 Trivendrum Malyalam
Madhya Pradesh Nov 1, 1956 Bhopal Hindi
Maharashtra May 1, 1960 Mumbai Marathi
Manipur Jan 21, 1972 Imphal Manipuri, English
Meghalaya Jan 21, 1972 Shilong English, Garo, Khasi
Mizoram Feb 20, 1987 Aizawl Mizo, English
Nagaland Dec 1 , 1963 Kohima English
Odisha Apr 1, 1936 Bhubaneshwar Odiya
Punjab Aug 15, 1947 Chandigarh Punjabi
Rajasthan Nov 1, 1956 Jaipur Hindi
Sikkim May 16, 1975 Gangtok Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha
Tamilnadu Jan 26, 1950 Chennai Tamil
Telangana June 2, 2014 Hyderabad Telugu, Urdu
Tripura Jan 21, 1972 Agartala Bengali, Tripuri
Uttar Pradesh Jan 26, 1950 Lucknow Hindi
Uttarakhand Nov 9, 2000 Dehradun Hindi
West Bengal Nov 1, 1956 Kolkata Bengali