India is a federal nation that consists of 28 states and 8 Union territories. Every State has its own cultural identity that makes it stand different from the rest. From Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, there is diversity in every corner. Interestingly, multiple cultures exist within a state.
The Union territories of India are regions within the state that are administered by the central authorities. Currently, there are 8 Union territories with Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir being the latest addition to the list.
These Territories are known for their exquisite landscapes, cultural history and heritage which make them desirable places for both domestic and International tourists. Every year tourists flock to these regions. Let’s know these places briefly!!
Table of Contents
- Jammu & Kashmir – Union Territories
- Ladakh – Union Territories
- Chandigarh – Union Territories
- Delhi – Capital and Union Territories
- Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli – Union Territories
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Union Territories
- Puducherry – Union Territories
- Lakshadweep – Union Territories
1. Jammu & Kashmir
Fondly referred to as India’s heaven, Jammu and Kashmir ceased into union territory after their special status was revoked on 5th August 2019. The natural beauty and picturesque location make it a preferred destination for tourists in India and around the world.
While Jammu is the abode of Mata Vaishno Devi temple, Kashmir is home to several valleys, lakes and gardens. The alpine meadows, crystal clear lakes, and amber hues of trees add to its beauty.
Together, they are a melting point of different cultures that have existed on this land. Some of the best places to visit in Jammu & Kashmir are:
- Vaishno Devi Mandir
- Gurez valley
- Martand sun temple
The cultural history of Jammu and Kashmir can be found in its cuisine which is both colourful, warm and delicious.
Some of the most famous delicacies offered here are Rogan Josh, Dum aloo, Wazwan (it is a collection of 32 veg and non-veg dishes), Heather, Novroze and Yakhni. The best time to visit the place is from March to August.
Also known as La-dvags (inTibetann), Ladakh became a Union Territory along with Jammu and Kashmir. This untouched beauty is situated at a height of 11,400 ft, sandwiched between the Karakoram mountain range in the North and the Himalayas to the South.
Buddhism is the most followed religion here. The landscapes and buildings in this territory tell the story of the monks and travellers who have faced harsh and rugged terrains. Some of the best spots to visit in Ladakh are:
- Hemis Monastery
- Karma Dungyud
- Matho Monastery
- Rangdum Gompa
- Lamayuru Monastery
- Phyang Gompa
- Likir monastery
- Sumda Chun
- Rizong Monastery
- Tso Kar lake
- Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
The cuisine of Ladakh is heavily influenced by Tibetan culture and geographical location. Some of the top cuisines to try in Ladakh are Momos (every Indian’s favourite street food), Thukpa, Chhutagi, Tingle, Churpe(dried yak cheese) Butter tea Chang. If you wish to visit Ladakh then June to September is the ideal time to explore this beauty.
Also Read: Ladakh – A Must See Place For Adventurers
Derived its name from the Goddess Chandi, Chandigarh is known to be the first Smart city in India. Built by French architect Le-Corbusier, the town is the capital of both Punjab and Haryana.
The city has spacious streets that connect you with landscapes and mountains. Some of the places worth visiting in Chandigarh are:
- Rose Garden (also known as Zakir Hussain Rose Garden)
- Rock Garden (Nek Chand Saini’s Rock Garden)
- Sukhna lake
- Sector-17 market
- Capitol Complex
- Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological park
- Pinjore gardens
- Elante mall and
- Botanical Garden
If you love to go to clubs at night then Chandigarh has some of the best clubs such as Blue blazers; Hope & Grains and the peddlers.
The best time to make a tour of this well-planned city is when the monsoons are over i.e. from September to November.
One of the most populated Union territories, also the Capital of India, Delhi has a history of more than 900 years. It holds historic and political significance along with the touch of modern ethos that makes it a special place for every Indian whether he or she is a politician, historian, traveller or student.
The best time to visit Delhi is from October to March.
Some of the worth visiting places in Delhi are:
- Amar Jawan Jyoti at India gate
- Akshardham temple
- Lotus temple (also known as Bahai temple)
- ISKCON temple
- Jama Masjid
- Humayun’s tomb
- Red fort
- Kalka ji Temple
- Birla Mandir
- Qutub Minar
- Jantar Mantar,
- Safdar Jung Tomb
- Mehrauli Archaeological Park
- Hauz Khas Village
- Ahimsa Sthal
- Tughlaqabad Quila
- Purana Quila
Delhi is best known for its street food such as Chole bhature, Kebabs and Tikka and also for the Chandni chowk and Sarojini Bazaar that offer you a variety of goods at affordable cost.
Also Read: Know Amazing Facts About Qutub Minar — Delhi
5. Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli
Formerly a Portuguese colony, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar haveli are four separate geographical entities.
While Daman, Dadra and Nagar are small enclaves located on the western coast of Gujarat and Maharashtra; Diu is a small island off the coast of Gujarat.
The territory is home to some of the exotic monuments of Portuguese architecture. The Unpolluted beaches and sunsets add to the beauty of these regions and make them a perfect destination for both History and nature lovers.
Some of the places that one must visit in Daman, Diu, Dadra & Nagar haveli are:
- Diu fort
- The church of our Lady of pity
- Souvenir shop
- Nakshatra Garden
- Daman ganga river front
These 4 regions offer a variety of delicacies when it comes to their cuisine. They have an influence of both Gujarati and Goan cultures that makes them unique. Khatta meetha bhaat, Jetty roll, Chicken Xacuti (Daman style chicken curry) and Tami ( a locally brewed liquor) are some of its famous delicacies.
The best time to visit Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar haveli is from October to February.
Situated on the southeast coast of India, Puducherry is one of the most heavily populated Union territories. When in 1954, the French settlement left the Indian territories of Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe, Chandanagar and Yanam were merged into India as a Union territory named Puducherry.
Geographically, Parts of Puducherry are in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Some of the places that are worth visiting in Puducherry are:
- Paradise Beach
- Sri Aurobindo ashram
- Arikamedu Aurobindo ashram
- Seaside promenade
- Serenity Beach
- Chunnambar boat house
The Cuisine of Puducherry is a blend of Tamil and French cultures. Some of its most revered delicacies are Prawn Risotto, Kadugu yerra, Tandoori potato, Soya dosa, Podanlangkai and Palpayasam.
If you wish to visit Puducherry shortly then October to March is the best time to travel there.
Also Read: Queen of Nilgiris- Ooty Hill Station
7. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
A tropical paradise amid the bay of Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar is an Indian archipelago of 300 islands. These islands are known for their palm-fringed beaches with spotless stretches of white sand. While some islands have become tourist spots, some are uninhabited and some islands are home to Sentinelese tribes that live away from any contact with other human civilizations. These tribes exemplify the virgin nature.
If you have plans to visit Andaman then these places should be in on your bucket list:
- Ross Island
- Cellular jail
- Radhanagar Beach
- Barren volcano island
- Havelock island
The cuisine of Andaman is influenced by the cultures that have come into contact with the island. Due to its geographical location, seafood is a common delicacy here. Popular dishes that are served in Andaman are Fish curry, Amritsari kulcha, Chilli curry, Macher jhol, Chicken Tikka Masala, Coconut prawn curry and barbecue food.
The months from October to May are perfect for visiting the island as the weather is pleasant, perfect for sightseeing, water sports and beach activities.
The smallest of all the Union territories, Lakshadweep is an archipelago of 36 islands. The literal meaning of Lakshadweep in Sanskrit and Malayalam is a hundred thousand islands. Situated in the emerald region of The Arabian sea, Lakshadweep offers an exotic trip into the sun-kissed beaches and green landscapes.
Interestingly, it is a uni-district Union territory and comprises 12 atolls, three reefs, five submerged Banks and ten inhabited islands. The absence of a rushed and hectic lifestyle in Lakshadweep makes it more special. The simple lifestyle of the people is what attracts tourists to this island territory.
Some of the most famous spots to visit in Lakshadweep are:
- Minicoy island
- Kadmat island
- Kavaratti island
- Pitti bird sanctuary
- Thinnakara island
- Kalpeni island
- Bangaram atoll
- Agatti island
- Amini island
- Andrott island
The blend of traditional spices with sequence ingredients, and cuisines of lakshadweep are equally exotic. You will find the taste of coconut oil and curry leaves in the delicacies as they are highly influenced by Kerala cuisine. Some of the most revered dishes from the Lakshadweep island are Kilanji, Muskavab, octopus fry, and Balta appam. Added to these, there are idli, dosa, aviyal and the famous Malabar parotta.
The best time to visit Lakshadweep is from October to mid-May. However, one must need an entry permit from the administration of the UT as entry to Lakshadweep Island is restricted.