North India

North India
North India Zonal Map 14July2013.png
Country India
States and territories[1][2][3]
Other states sometimes included
Largest cityDelhi
Time zoneIST (UTC+5:30)
Official languages

North India is a loosely defined region consisting of the northern part of India. The dominant geographical features of North India are the Indus-Gangetic Plain and the Himalayas, which demarcate the region from the Tibetan Plateau and Central Asia.

The term North India has varying definitions—the Ministry of Home Affairs in its Northern Zonal Council Administrative division included the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan and Union Territories of Delhi, Chandigarh.[1][4] while the Ministry of Culture in its North Culture Zone includes the state of Uttarakhand but excludes Delhi[2] whereas the Geological Survey of India includes Uttar Pradesh and Delhi but excludes Rajasthan and Chandigarh.[3] Other states sometimes included are Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

North India has been the historical centre of the Mughal, Delhi Sultanate and British Indian Empires. It has a diverse culture, and includes the Hindu pilgrimage centres of Char Dham, Haridwar, Varanasi, Ayodhya, Mathura, Allahabad, Vaishno Devi and Pushkar, the Buddhist pilgrimage centres of Sarnath and Kushinagar, the Sikh Golden Temple as well as world heritage sites such as the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Khajuraho temples, Hill Forts of Rajasthan, Jantar Mantar (Jaipur), Bhimbetka Caves, Sanchi monuments, Qutb Minar, Red Fort, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and the Taj Mahal.

The languages that have official status in one or more of the states and union territories located in North India are Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and English.[12]


Different authorities and sources define North India differently.

States under Northern India Zonal Council in orange

Government of India definitions

The Northern Zonal Council is one of the advisory councils, created in 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act to foster interstate cooperation under the Ministry of Home Affairs, which included the states of Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan.[1][4]

The Ministry of Culture established the North Culture Zone in Patiala, Punjab on 23 March 1985. It differs from the North Zonal Council in its inclusion of Uttarakhand and the omission of Delhi.[2]

In contrast, the Geological Survey of India (part of the Ministry of Mines) included Uttar Pradesh and Delhi in its Northern Region, but excluded Rajasthan and Chandigarh, with a regional headquarters in Lucknow.[3]

Wider definition

Indian press definition

The Hindu newspaper puts Bihar, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh related articles on its North pages.[5] Articles in the Indian press have included the states of Bihar,[6] Gujarat,[9][8] Madhya Pradesh,[7] and West Bengal[11][10] in North India as well.

Latitude-based definition

The Tropic of Cancer, which divides the temperate zone from the tropical zone in the Northern Hemisphere, runs through India, and could theoretically be regarded as a geographical dividing line in the country.[13] Indian states that are entirely above the Tropic of Cancer are Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and most of North East Indian states. However that definition would also include major parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal and minor regions of Chhattisgarh and Gujarat.

Anecdotal usage

In Mumbai, the term "North Indian" is sometimes used to describe migrants from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, often using the term bhaiya (which literally means 'elder brother') along with it in a derogatory sense, however these very people are not considered North Indian by the inhabitants of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Rajasthan.[14] In Punjab, people from the same region (Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) are often referred to as Purabias, or Easterners.[15] The Government of Bihar official site places the state in the eastern part of India.[16] Within Uttar Pradesh itself, "the cultural divide between the east and the west is considerable, with the purabiyas (easterners) often being clubbed with Biharis in the perception of the westerners."[17][18]

Other Languages
العربية: شمال الهند
azərbaycanca: Şimali Hindistan
भोजपुरी: उत्तर भारत
Esperanto: Norda Barato
فارسی: شمال هند
français: Inde du Nord
한국어: 북인도
हिन्दी: उत्तर भारत
hrvatski: Sjeverna Indija
Bahasa Indonesia: India Utara
მარგალური: ოორუე ინდოეთი
नेपाली: उत्तर भारत
日本語: 北インド
português: Índia do Norte
Simple English: North India
српски / srpski: Северна Индија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Sjeverna Indija
українська: Північна Індія
Tiếng Việt: Bắc Ấn Độ
中文: 印度北部