Glimpses of the 7 Union Territories of India
We are back after a long hiatus with the remaining part of the tapestry that is India, the 7 Union Territories of India in our concluding part of this series about Incredible India and its states and Union Territories. Dear readers, we hope you enjoyed traveling with us as we stole glimpses of the different states of India in our earlier posts, Some Glimpses of The Beautiful Mosaic Called India-Part I, Glimpses of Incredible India: States – Part II, and Glimpses Of Indian States – Part III.
What Are Union Territories
Union Territories are administrative units within the Republic of India which is governed directly by the Union Government. It may be noted that this is unlike the States of the Union which are governed by their own elected governments.
There are 7 Union Territories in India and these are Delhi, the Capital of India, Chandigarh which is the Capital of both the states of Haryana and Punjab. The remaining of the 7 Union Territories include Pondicherry or Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, and Lakshadweep. The Union Territories of India have special rights under the Constitution of the Republic of India.
Delhi the capital of India is a Union Territory and 11 million people call it their home. Delhi is a historic city and has been continuously inhabited since the 6th Century BC. Delhi has withstood the ravages of time with remarkable resilience, having been plundered, ransacked and rebuilt a number of times during the passage of history. The icon of Delhi is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Qutub Minar which is also the world’s tallest free-standing brick Minaret.
The rich heritage and long history of Delhi is evidenced by the fact that apart from the Qutub Minar, there are two other UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city, these are the Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb. Some of the other must see sights in Delhi are; India Gate which is a war memorial built in the 1920’s, Jama Masjid which is a 17th-century Mosque built in the Mughal style and the Lotus Temple built in the shape of a lotus flower.
The vibrant culture and cuisine of Delhi is something one needs to have an immersive experience of and collate memories to cherish for a lifetime.
Chandigarh is a union territory and the capital of the states of Punjab and Haryana but is governed directly by the Union Government. Chandigarh is a city that is located about 260 kilometers north of Delhi. Chandigarh is one of the earliest of planned cities and the credit for its design is attributed to the French architect Le Corbusier. The Capitol Complex of Chandigarh which houses the Government offices is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city is one of the cleanest cities in India. While in Chandigarh one must pay a visit to the unique Rock Garden of Chandigarh, which is one man’s labor of love of transforming waste into art.
Puducherry or Pondicherry as it was earlier known as is a union territory that lies in the southern part of the Indian peninsula. The union territory of Puducherry includes the districts of Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam, and Mahe. The history of Puducherry can be traced as back as 2nd Century AD. The French influence is very evident in Puducherry in its streets and buildings as well as cuisine. Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry is a place which draws spiritual seekers and tourists like a magnet.
On the outskirts of Puducherry is situated a unique commune, called Auroville, an experimental township that is dedicated to ensuring that men and women from of all countries live in peace and harmony.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Two groups of islands in the Bay of Bengal form the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Andaman islands are also home to the only known surviving Paleolithic people who live bereft of contact with other humans.
The capital of the Union Territory is Port Blair and there is a total of about 572 islands in the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The one and only volcano in India, known as Barren Island is located in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands with its pristine beaches, turquoise waters and exotic islands is an ideal getaway for a rejuvenating stay. The rich marine life and the clear waters make the place ideal for diving.
The Cellular Jail, Havelock Island, Barren Island and Neil Island are some of the must-see places in the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Dadra & Nagar Haveli
One of the 7 Union Territories of India, Dadra and Nagar Haveli spans an area of 491 square kilometers and is sandwiched between the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The capital city of this Union Territory is Silvassa which is about 180 kilometers from Mumbai. The nearest railway station to Silvassa is Vapi which lies about 18 kilometers away. Silvassa was under the Portuguese rule and was also known as Vila de Paço d’Arcos, which is also the name of a town near Lisbon in Portugal. A deer park and a tribal museum are important places to visit when in Silvassa.
Daman and Diu
Daman and Diu are another one of the 7 Union Territories of India and it was a part of the Portuguese colony of Goa till 1961. For a period of over 450 years, Daman and Diu along with the regions of Goa and Dadra and Nagar Haveli were under Portuguese rule. Till 1987 Daman and Diu along with Goa were part of a single Union Territory, however after Goa attained statehood, Daman and Diu remained as a single Union Territory.
Daman and Diu are about 150 kilometers from Mumbai and the nearest railhead is Vapi which is about 12 kilometers away. Both Daman and Diu which are separated by the sea are rich in heritage sites that are relics of the Portuguese era. The forts in both Daman and Diu are very intriguing and tell a story in stone of an era gone by. The churches and other monuments of the place are also silent testimony to a history and blending of cultures.
Lakshadweep, one of the 7 Union Territories of India is a group of islands that lie off the South-Western coast of India. Lakshadweep is India’s smallest union territory and the total surface area of the group of islands is just 32 square kilometers.
The capital of Lakshadweep is Kavaratti. The islands have been known to mankind as far back as the first century AD. Only 10 of the islands of Lakshadweep are inhabited and the total population is about 65,000.
Tuna fish happens to be one of the chief exports from this region. Lakshadweep is rich in bio-diversity and marine life and has over 600 species of marine fishes and over 78 species of Corals.
Bangaram island is a spot to be visited for water sports like scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, kayaking etc. Lakshadweep with its seclusion provides an ideal getaway for a relaxed vacation. Lakshadweep can be reached via a cruise ship from Kochi or one could fly from Kochi to Agatti, the only airport in Lakshadweep.
Incredible India with its states and Union Territories is like a glittering crown encrusted with precious gems. an exploration of India is the exploration of the World itself. From east to west and north to south, the country is filled with treasures, some known and many unknown, waiting to be discovered and explored. The vibrant adventure called India is always happening.
This was a brief glimpse of the 7 Union Territories of India. Delhi, Chandigarh, Pondicherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu & Lakshadweep. Did you like this post? Have you been to any of these places? Share your experiences in the comments section.
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