Famous Tribal Groups of India: How Many Tribes are there in India?

Famous Tribal Groups of India

The tribal communities in India have been recognized by the Indian Constitution under ‘Schedule 5’ of the constitution. Hence the tribes recognized by the Constitution are known as ‘Scheduled Tribes’. A tribe is a social division in a traditional society consisting of families linked by religious, social, blood ties, economic,  with a common culture and dialect. Tribes are also known as ‘Adivasis’. In India, there are around 645 distinct tribes. However, in this article, we concentrate only on the famous tribal groups of India and you will also get to know how many tribes in India?

Important Tribes of India Statewise

State Name of important tribes of India for UPSC

Andhra Pradesh

Andh And Sadhu Andh, Bhil, Bhaghata, Dhulia,rona, Kolam, Gond, Thoti, Goundu, Kammara, Savaras, Dabba Yerukula, Sugalis, Nakkala, Pardhan, Gadabas, Chenchus A.k.a Chenchawar, Kattunayakan, Jatapus, Manna Dhora
Arunachal Pradesh Singpho, Monpa, Abor, Sherdukpen, Galo, Apatanis
Assam Khasis, Chakma, Dimasa, Gangte, Garos, Hajong, Chutiya
Bihar Gond, Birjia, Asur, Savar, Parhaiya, Chero, Birhor, Santhals, Baiga
Chhattisgarh Nagasia, Biar, Khond, Agariya, Bhattra, Mawasi, Bhaina,
Goa Varli, Dubia, Siddi, Dhodia, Naikda
Gujarat Patelia, Bhil, Dhodia, Bamcha, Barda, Paradhi, Charan, Gamta
Himachal Pradesh Swangal, Gujjars, Lahaulas, Khas, Pangwala, Lamba, Gaddis
Jammu and Kashmir Balti, Garra, Sippi, Bakarwal, Mon, Gaddi, Purigpa, Beda
Jharkhand Gonds, Birhors, Savar, Mundas, Santhals, Khaira, Bhumji
Karnataka Gond, Patelia, Barda, Yerava, Bhil, Koraga, Adiyan, Iruliga,
Kerala Malai, Aarayan, Arandan, Uralis, Kurumbas, Arandan, Eranvallan
Madhya Pradesh Kharia, Bhils, Murias, Birhors, Baigas, Katkari, Kol, Bharia, Khond, Gonds,
Maharashtra Warlis, Khond, Bhaina, Katkari, Bhunjia, Rathawa, Dhodia.
Manipur Thadou, Aimol, Maram, Paite, Chiru, Purum, Kuki, Monsang, Angami
Meghalaya Pawai, Chakma, Raba, Hajong, Lakher, Garos, Jaintias Khasis
Mizoram Dimasa, Raba, Chakma, Lakher, Khasi, Synteng, Kuki, Pawai.
Nagaland Nagas, Angami, Sema, Garo, Kuki, Kachari, Mikir
Odisha Gadaba, Ghara, Kharia, Khond, Matya, Oraons, Rajuar, Santhals.
Rajasthan Bhils, Damaria, Dhanka, Meenas(Minas), Patelia, Sahariya.
Sikkim Bhutia, Khas, Lepchas.
Tamil Nadu Adiyan, Aranadan, Eravallan, Irular, Kadar, Kanikar, Kotas, Todas.
Telangana Chenchus.
Tripura Bhil, Bhutia, Chaimal, Chakma, Halam, Khasia, Lushai, Mizel, Namte.
Uttarakhand Bhotias, Buksa, Jannsari, Khas, Raji, Tharu.
Uttar Pradesh Bhotia, Buksa, Jaunsari, Kol, Raji, Tharu.
West Bengal Asur, Khond, Hajong, Ho, Parhaiya, Rabha, Santhals, Savar.
Andaman and Nicobar Oraons, Onges, Sentinelese, Shompens.
Little Andaman Jarawa
North-East Abhors, Chang, Galaong, Mishimi, Singpho, Wancho.

How Many Tribes are there in India?

At present, around 461 tribal groups are found in the country, 24 groups out of those constitute Scheduled tribes.

According to the Population Census of India, 2011, the people from Schedule tribe constituted around 8.6 percent of India’s population and distributed all across the country with the highest population living in the Indian state of Mizoram (94.5 percent) and minimum in the state of Goa (0.04 percent). Let us talk about the famous tribal groups in India. Check out the list of major tribes in India.

Also Read: Ancient Indian History Previous Years’ Questions in UPSC Prelims

The Gonds

In Central India in the Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh, the Gond tribes who are known for their valour are mostly found. These are one of the most important tribes of India state-wise and country-wise. The Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, parts of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa are also spotted for their existence. The unique lifestyle of the Gonds can be seen in all these places.

The Bhils

The lifestyle of the Bhil tribes is an absolute contrast to the massive forts and palaces to Jain temples that makes up the royal Rajasthan. The community can be found in some places of Dungarpur and Banswara districts of Rajasthan and also in the Aravali Ranges of Sirohi in Udaipur. This famous tribal group can also be spotted in Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The cultural activities such as Ghoomar dance performed by this tribe in the Baneshwar Fair which takes place in January or February is a major attraction. Whereas the Bhili language, which is an Indo – Aryan language, is one of the most interesting features to experience that makes this tribe stand out among the different tribes in India.

The Santhals

The major tribes of West Bengal, the Santhal tribes are mostly found in Purulia and Bankura districts other than the parts of Bihar, Odisha, Assam and Jharkhand.

Largely dependent on agriculture and livestock, the Santhals are also well versed in hunting. The Santhali dance and music is one of the major attractions of this tribe that ensures its reputation and status as one of the important features of India for UPSC or otherwise.

Famous festivals of the Santhal group are fascinated by travellers. Some of their famous festivals are Karam, Baba Bonga, Maghe, Sahrai, Disum Sendra, Ero, Asaria and Namah.

Great Andamanese Tribes

The first inhabitants of the islands are said to be the great Andamanese Tribe which also includes the Jangil, Jarawa, Onge, and Sentinelese. Presently, a huge number is on the way of extinction and the left part of the population is greatly dependant on the campaign by Survival and Indian organizations.

Strait Island and parts of Rutland Island are the places where these great Andamanese are mostly spotted.

The Angami Naga

The famous Hornbill Festival of the Angami Naga tribes in the farthest corner of North East India, Nagaland is one of the most important pieces of Tribal Culture still existing. Majorly spotted in the district of Kohima, the Angami Nagas are one of the major tribes of Nagaland.

This tribe is famous for its woodcraft, artwork and the Hornbill festival. The Angami Nagas are famous for their stunning cane furniture, bamboo work, powerful machetes and wonderful shawls.

The languages of this group are identified with different names such as Tsoghami, Ngami, Gnamei and Monr. Further, their dressing style – men in white Mhoushu and black Lohe and women in Mechala along with ornaments like Beads, miniature mask pendants, bangles, and bracelets is distinctive.


Hopefully, this article will help you know about the important tribes of India for UPSC and that will eventually make you prepared well for the upcoming CSE. If you want to prepare even better for the examination, check the offered courses by the most amazing online UPSC coaching.

Also Read: What to Study for IAS UPSC? Complete Preparation Guide for UPSC Civil Service Exam

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Famous Tribal Groups of India: How Many Tribes are there in India?
What are the famous tribal groups of India? How many groups are there? Want to know the state-wise tribal list? Click here to know about all the important tribes of India for UPSC.
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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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