Administrative Divisions of India – The Complete Guide

Administrative Divisions of India

India or the Republic of India is, geographically, the seventh largest nation in the world. It is also the second-most populated nation and the world’s most populous democracy.

India comprises of 28 states and 8 union territories. All states and the union territories of India having partial statehood namely the National Capital Region of Delhi, Puducherry, and Jammu & Kashmir have their executive councils of ministers, elected government, and legislature.

The central government directly governs the remaining five union territories through nominated administrators. The States Reorganisation Act of 1956 reorganized states on the basis of their primary languages. These governing bodies are further divided at the city, town, block, district, and village levels for administration and development convenience.

It is also home to multiple cultures with ethnic, religious, linguistic, and geographical diversities. The governance of a country so large and diverse is no child’s play! To assure the administration of India as a democratic country, it is pertinent that the area is divided up into sections of administrative convenience.

To discuss this is the main purpose of this article on Administrative Divisions of India.

Basic Tiers of Administrative Divisions in India

For a long time now, India has had the concept of administrative divisions. But how many of us know the names of the basic tiers of the administrative system in India? Before we examine these in more detail, let us quickly look at the divisions given below.

State or Union Territory

To have a more clear understanding of the States Reorganization Act, read our blog on All About 7th Amendment of Indian Constitution.


Indian states have been divided into 6 zones, each with its advisory council (or zonal council) and with the goal “to foster a culture of cooperative working” among them. These zonal councils were established under Part-III of the States Reorganisation Act of 1956. Each Zonal Council has a Branch Office for Administration and Councils. The Council’s chairman should be the Prime Minister.

The composition of Zonal Councils in India is largely determined by the state’s geographical location. These zonal councils handle matters affecting the state, including those involving minorities and inter-state transport. Zonal councils also address disputes arising as a consequence of state reorganization, infrastructure, and other issues.

The 6 zonal councils division is given below.

  1. Northern Zonal Council – Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh.
  2. North Eastern Council – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim.
  3. Central Zonal Council – Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh.
  4. Eastern Zonal Council – West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Bihar.
  5. Western Zonal Council – Maharashtra, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Goa, Gujarat.
  6. Southern Zonal Council – Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana.

Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are not participants in any Zonal Councils. They do, however, now have a special invitation to the Southern Zonal Councils.

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States and Union Territories


India currently consists of 28 states. Each state has a capital. In certain states, all three governmental functions—administrative, legislative, and judicial—are housed in the same capital. There is a Chief Minister in charge of each state.

Given below are the names and capitals of these 28 states that make up India.

Andhra PradeshAmaravati
Arunachal PradeshItanagar
Himachal PradeshShimla(Summer Capital) and Dharamshala(Winter Capital)
Madhya PradeshBhopal
MaharashtraMumbai and Nagpur(Winter Capital)
Tamil NaduChennai
Uttar PradeshLucknow
UttarakhandBhararisain and Dehradun(Winter Capital)
West BengalKolkata

If you want to read more about States & Capitals of India, our blog on the same topic will help you out.

Union Territory

India comprises of 8 Union Territories, of which Delhi is the NCT (National Capital Territory). Administrators picked by the Indian President are in charge of the union territories.

Jammu and Kashmir, Puducherry, and Delhi are three of these regions that have received partial statehood, including elected legislatures and executive councils of ministers with fewer powers. The names of these Union Territories with their capitals are given below.

Union TerritoriesCapital
Andaman and Nicobar IslandPort Blair
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and DiuDaman
NCT of DelhiDelhi
Jammu and KashmirJammu and Srinagar

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A division is at a lower level than states in India. A senior IAS officer of India known as a Divisional Commissioner leads each division, which has formal administrative governmental standing.

Currently, there are 102 divisions in total belonging to 18 of the 28 states and 3 of the 8 union territories. Let us take a look at these divisions:

State or Union TerritoryDivision
Arunachal Pradesh1. East
2. West
Assam1. Upper Assam
2. Lower Assam
3. North Assam
4. Central Assam
5. Barak Valley
Bihar1. Patna
2. Tirhut
3. Saran
4. Darbhanga
5. Kosi
6. Purnia
7. Bhagalpur
8. Munger
9. Magadh
Chhattisgarh1. Surguja
2. Bilaspur
3. Durg
4. Raipur
5. Bastar
Haryana1. Hilsar
2. Gurgaon
3. Ambala
4. Faridabad
5. Rohtak
6. Karnal
Himachal Pradesh1. Kangra
2. Mandi
3. Shimla
Jharkhand1. Palamu
2. North Chotanagpur
3. South Chotanagpur
4. Kolhan
5. Santhal Pargana
Karnataka1. Bangalore
2. Mysore
3. Belgaum
4. Kalaburagi
Madhya Pradesh1. Bhopal
2. Indore
3. Gwalior
4. Jabalpur
5. Rewa
6. Sagar
7. Shahdol
8. Ujjain
9. Chambal
10. Narmadapuram
Maharashtra1. Amaravati
2. Aurangabad
3. Konkan
4. Nagpur
5. Nashik
6. Pune
Meghalaya1. Tura
2. Shillong
Nagaland1. Nagaland
Odisha1. Central
2. Northern
3. Southern
Punjab1. Patiala
2. Faridkot
3. Firozepur
4. Jalandhar
5. Rup Nagar
Rajasthan1. Jaipur
2. Jodhpur
3. Ajmer
4. Udaipur
5. Bikaner
6. Kota
7. Bharatpur
Uttar Pradesh1. Agra
2. Aligarh
3. Ayodhya
4. Azamgarh
5. Bareilly
6. Basti
7. Chitrakot
8. Devipatan
9. Gorakhpur
10. Jhansi
11. Kanpur
12. Lucknow
13. Meerut
14. Mirzapur
15. Moradabad
16. Allahabad
17. Saharanpur
18. Varanasi
Uttarakhand1. Kumaon
2. Garhwal
West Bengal1. Presidency
2. Medinipur
3. Malda
4. Burdwan
5. Jalpaiguri
Delhi1. Delhi
Jammu and Kashmir1. Jammu Kashmir
Ladakh1. Ladakh

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Regions are parts of a state in India that don’t have a formal administrative governmental standing. These are only geographical areas; some of them belong to former nations, states, or provinces.

They are usually comprised of three divisions, however, there may be one or more. The divisional borders and the regional boundaries, however, don’t always line up perfectly.

For example, Assam is divided into 4 regions based on their shared historic past. These are the Assam Proper region, Goalpara region, Kamrup region, and Barak Valley region.

Similarly, Gujarat is made up of 5 regions that are purely based on climatic and geographic factors. They are Central Gujarat, Kutch, Saurashtra, North Gujarat, and South Gujarat.


States and Union Territories are divided into further administrative divisions called districts. An IAS officer posted as the District Magistrate heads the District and its development activities. Currently, India has 775 districts. Given below are the names of states or union territories and the number of districts they have.

State or Union TerritoryNumber of Districts
Andhra Pradesh26
Arunachal Pradesh25
Himachal Pradesh12
Madhya Pradesh55
Tamil Nadu38
Uttar Pradesh75
West Bengal23
Andaman and Nicobar Islands3
Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu3
Jammu and Kashmir20

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As the name suggests, subdistricts are sub-sections of districts in India. In essence, they are made up of clusters of villages for development and administration convenience. The names assigned to denote sub-districts change according to the state. Let us just peek into these names used in each state and the number of subdistricts in totality.

State or Union TerritorySubdistrict NameNumber
Andhra PradeshMandal664
Arunachal PradeshCircle149
Himachal PradeshTehsil109
Madhya PradeshTehsil367
Tamil NaduTaluka201
Uttar PradeshTehsil350
West BengalSubdivision69
Andaman and Nicobar IslandsTehsil7
Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Daman & DiuTaluka3
Jammu and KashmirTehsil55
PuducherryCommune Panchayat10

Also read:

  1. Difference Between Village and City.
  2. Difference Between Town and Village.
  3. Difference Between City, Town and Village.

Rural Area

In rural areas, the sub-district or tehsil level is further divided into 3 tiers for better rural development programs – block, gram panchayat, and village.

Blocks are often a district’s planning and development units. A block is a small, condensed region for which Gram Panchayats create and carry out efficient plans for rural development. The further level of subdivision at the village and sub-village level helps in rural development purposes and administrative purposes.

Urban Area

Urban areas, like satellite cities and towns, are administered through Municipal Corporations and Municipalities, the former found in metropolitan cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai city, etc.

This distinction is based mostly on the ratio of habitations and the subsequent administrative convenience. They take care of administrative matters of importance to the lowest level of administration – the city and its inhabitants. Clean water availability and access to education can be areas dealt with at this grassroots or lowest level of subdivision.

Read Also: Difference Between Village Life and City Life.


In the administrative structure of India, a block is a sub-district level administrative unit that is used in some states, particularly in the eastern and southern parts of the country. A block is also known as a community development block or a panchayat block.

A block is responsible for the administration of a group of villages within a district, and is typically headed by a Block Development Officer (BDO). The BDO is responsible for implementing various government schemes and development programs in the area, such as rural electrification, water supply, health care, education, and agriculture.

The primary functions of a block in Indian administration include:

  1. Implementation of government schemes and programs: Blocks are responsible for implementing various government schemes and development programs at the grassroots level, in order to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people living in the area.
  2. Planning and coordination: Blocks are responsible for preparing plans and budgets for various development programs and schemes, and for coordinating with various departments and agencies to ensure their effective implementation.
  3. Monitoring and evaluation: Blocks are responsible for monitoring and evaluating the progress and impact of various government schemes and development programs, and for providing feedback and suggestions to the government to improve their effectiveness.
  4. Revenue collection and administration: Blocks are also responsible for revenue collection and administration, particularly in rural areas where land records and revenue collection are important functions.

In addition to the BDO, a block also has other administrative staff, such as junior engineers, accountants, and clerks, who assist in the implementation of various development programs and schemes.

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In the administrative structure of India, a tehsil is a sub-district level administrative unit that is used in some states, particularly in the northern and western parts of the country. Tehsils are also known as talukas or mandals in some states.

A tehsil is responsible for the administration of a group of villages or towns within a district, and is typically headed by a Tehsildar or a Talukdar. The Tehsildar is responsible for revenue collection, land record maintenance, and the implementation of various government schemes and programs at the grassroots level.

The primary functions of a tehsil in Indian administration include:

  1. Revenue collection and administration: Tehsils are responsible for revenue collection and administration in their area of jurisdiction. This includes the collection of land revenue, property tax, and other taxes and fees, as well as the maintenance of land records and property ownership documents.
  2. Implementation of government schemes and programs: Tehsils are responsible for the implementation of various government schemes and programs at the grassroots level, such as health care, education, and rural development.
  3. Law and order: Tehsils also have a role in maintaining law and order in their area of jurisdiction. They work closely with the local police and other law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety and security of the people living in the area.
  4. Disaster management: In the event of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, or cyclones, Tehsils are responsible for coordinating the relief and rehabilitation efforts in their area of jurisdiction.

In addition to the Tehsildar, a tehsil also has other administrative staff, such as junior engineers, accountants, and clerks, who assist in the implementation of various government schemes and programs.

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Interesting Facts to Keep in Mind

  1. Bihar and Odisha were the first states to be created on 1 April 1936.
  2. Odisha is the first state to be formed on a linguistic basis before Independence and Andhra Pradesh State is the first to be created on the same basis after Independence.
  3. Shimla in Himachal Pradesh was the summer capital of British India.
  4. The largest district in India in terms of area is Kachchh in Gujarat and the smallest district is Mahe in Puducherry.
  5. Arunachal Pradesh is the largest state amongst the Seven Sisters.
  6. In terms of population, the largest district is Thane in Maharashtra and the smallest is Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh.
  7. Mumbai city is one of the most populated cities in India.
  8. Mumbai city is also an amalgamation of seven islands. Isle of Bombay, Old Woman’s Island, Worli, Mahim, Colaba, Mazagaon, and Parel makeup Mumbai city.
  9. Indira Point is the Indian territories’ southernmost tip, located in the Andaman & Nicobar islands.
  10. Dadra and Nagar Haveli are divided into two distinct geographic regions. Gujarat encircles Dadra, and Nagar Haveli is where Maharashtra and Gujarat meet.
  11. Andhra Pradesh will most probably have three capitals:
  • Amravati – The Legislative Capital.
  • Visakhapatnam – The Executive Capital.
  • Kurnool – The Judicial Capital.

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India’s administrative divisions are an integral part of its governance structure and governmental functions. Indian Constitution meets the diverse needs each state and province has, with administrative divisions running right down the last mile. From the highest to the lowest level, these divisions help in governmental functions and development purposes.

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FAQs about Administrative Divisions of India

What are the administrative divisions of India?

India is divided into 28 states and 8 Union territories. These are further divided into zones, divisons, regions, districts, sub-districts, blocks, tehsils, and villages.

What is a state in India?

A state in India is a political unit that has its own elected government and administrative system. Each state has its own capital, chief minister, and governor.

What is a Union territory in India?

A Union territory in India is a political unit that is under the direct control of the central government. Unlike states, Union territories do not have their own elected government, and are instead governed by a lieutenant governor appointed by the President of India.

What is a district in India?

A district in India is the third-level administrative division, below the state or Union territory and the tehsil. It is headed by a district collector, who is responsible for the administration of the district.

What is a tehsil in India?

A tehsil in India is the second-level administrative division, below the district and above the village. It is also known as a taluka or mandal in some states.

What is a village in India?

A village in India is the smallest unit of administration, and is typically headed by a village headman or sarpanch. India has over 600,000 villages.

How are administrative divisions in India created or changed?

The creation or change of administrative divisions in India is done through a constitutional amendment or a state legislative assembly resolution. In some cases, the central government may also use its executive powers to create or change administrative divisions.

What is the purpose of these divisions in India?

The purpose of administrative divisions in India is to facilitate the efficient and effective delivery of government services to the people. By dividing the country into smaller units, it becomes easier to govern and provide basic services such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

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