The topic of important tribes of India is crucial to study for your IAS Mains. This topic specifically falls under Human Geography and Culture. It has been a recurring part of the General Science Paper 1 of the mains. If you ask us about how many tribes in India? Then you will be astonished to know the answer. There are approximately 550 tribes in India.

In this article, we will understand the key features of tribes in India, important tribes of India for UPSC and famous tribal groups of India. From the examination’s perspective, we will also cover the major tribes in India.

Key Features of Tribes In India

India is the abode of a sizeable proportion of indigenous people, who still live away untouched by the shadows of modern society.

To identify and distinguish these communities, the Chanda Committee in the year 1960 had laid down 5 standards to include any community/caste in the tribal group.

These standards are broadly categorized into the following: –

#Special Culture

#Geographical Isolation


#Characteristics Of Tribes


There are 550 tribal groups in India out of which 424 are considered as the Schedule Tribes.

Also Read:- Public Administration Optional Previous Year Question Papers: Time to Boost Your UPSC Preparation

The General Features of Tribes Below

A tribe can be defined as a social section within a traditional society that consists of families that are connected through lines of economic, social, blood or religious ties, and also share a common dialect and culture

#Every tribe has certain qualities (social, political, and cultural) that distinguish it from the other

#The tribes in India are also called as  “Adivasis”

#According to the constitution of India, tribal communities have been given recognition as scheduled tribe in Schedule 5.

#Article 366 (25) defined scheduled tribes as “such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this constitution”

#The inclusion of a community as a Scheduled Tribe is an ongoing process

#The total population of Scheduled Tribes in India is 84,326,240 as per the Census 2001. This accounts for 8.2% of the total population of the country.

#The share of the Scheduled Tribe in the urban areas is only 2.4%

More Integral Features of Tribe

#In Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chattisgarh,  Jharkhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka, we have the maximum population of scheduled tribes.

#Of the total Scheduled Tribe population of the country, these stand for a good 83.2%.

#The states of Meghalaya, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Bihar, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, contribute to 15.3% of the total Scheduled Tribe population.

#The share of other states that remain is minimal.

#The STs in India make the largest proportion of the entire population in Lakshadweep and Mizoram, closely followed by the states of Meghalaya and Nagaland.

Integral Part Features of Tribe

#There is the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Tribes in the Lok sabha.

#47 seats are reserved in Lok Sabha For Scheduled Tribes. The 1st schedule to R. P. Act, 1950  as amended vide Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2008 gives the State Wise break up

#The number of seats is decided on the basis of the proportion of Scheduled Tribes in the State concerned to that of the total population

#The provision in Article 330 of the Constitution of India read with Section 3 of the R. P. Act, 1950 validates the above decision

#The largest number of scheduled Tribes are in Madhya Pradesh (Bastar), closely followed by Bihar

#Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, and Pondicherry have no STs.

List Of Major Tribes in India from A to J

In this list below you will get important tribes of India state wise.

#1 Andaman and Nicobar:  Oraons, Onges, Sentinelese, Shompens.

#2 Andhra Pradesh:  Andh, Sadhu Andh, Bhagata, Bhil, Chenchus (Chenchawar), Gadabas, Gond, Goundu, Jatapus, Kammara, Kattunayakan, Kolawar, Kolam, Konda, Manna Dhora, Pardhan, Rona, Savaras, Dabba Yerukula, Nakkala, Dhulia, Thoti, Sugalis.

#3 Arunachal Pradesh: Apatanis, Abor, Dafla, Galong, Momba, Sherdukpen, Singpho.

#4 Assam: Chakma, Chutiya, Dimasa, Hajong, Garos, Khasis, Gangte.

#5 Bihar: Asur, Baiga, Birhor, Birjia, Chero, Gond, Parhaiya, Santhals, Savar.

#6 Chhattisgarh: Agariya, Bhaina, Bhattra, Biar, Khond, Mawasi, Nagasia.

#7 Goa: Dhodia, Dubia, Naikda, Siddi, Varli.

#8 Gujarat: Barda, Bamcha, Bhil, Charan, Dhodia, Gamta, Paradhi, Patelia.

#9 Himachal Pradesh: Gaddis, Gujjars, Khas, Lamba, Lahaulas, Pangwala, Swangla.

#10 Jammu and Kashmir: Bakarwal, Balti, Beda, Gaddi, Garra, Mon, Purigpa, Sippi.

#11 Jharkhand:  Birhors, Bhumij, Gonds, Kharia, Mundas, Santhals, Savar.

From L to S 

#12 Karnataka: Adiyan, Barda, Gond, Bhil, Iruliga, Koraga, Patelia, Yerava.

#13 Kerala: Adiyan, Arandan, Eravallan, Kurumbas, Malai arayan, Moplahs, Uralis.

#14 Little Andaman: Jarawa.

#15 Madhya Pradesh: Baigas,  Bhils, Bharia, Birhors, Gonds,Katkari, kharia, Khond, Kol, Murias.

#16 Maharashtra:  Bhaina, Bhunjia, Dhodia, Katkari, Khond, Rathawa, Warlis.

#17 Manipur: Aimol, Angami, Chiru, Kuki, Maram, Monsang, Paite, Purum, Thadou.

#18 Meghalaya: Chakma, Garos, Hajong, Jaintias Khasis, Lakher, Pawai, Raba.

#19 Mizoram: Chakma, Dimasa, Khasi, Kuki, Lakher, Pawai, Raba, Synteng.

#20 Nagaland:  Angami, Garo, Kachari, Kuki, Mikir, Nagas, Sema.

#21 North-East: Abhors, Chang, Galaong, Mishimi, Singpho, Wancho.

#22 Odisha:  Gadaba, Ghara, Kharia, Khond, Matya, Oraons, Rajuar, Santhals.

#23 Rajasthan: Bhils, Damaria, Dhanka, Meenas(Minas), Patelia, Sahariya.

#24 Sikkim:  Bhutia, Khas, Lepchas.

From T to W 

#25 Tamil Nadu: Adiyan, Aranadan, Eravallan, Irular, Kadar, Kanikar, Kotas, Todas.

#26 Telangana: Chenchus.

#27 Tripura: Bhil, Bhutia, Chaimal, Chakma, Halam, Khasia, Lushai, Mizel, Namte.

#25 Uttarakhand: Bhotias, Buksa, Jannsari, Khas, Raji, Tharu.

#26 Uttar Pradesh: Bhotia, Buksa, Jaunsari, Kol, Raji, Tharu.

#27 West Bengal: Asur, Khond, Hajong, Ho, Parhaiya,  Rabha, Santhals, Savar.

Also Read :- UPSC Mains Result 2020 Name List: Check this Out and Gear Up Yourself for the Interview Round


The tribe is an important part of our population. We often neglect it but it is difficult to skip it if you are preparing for the UPSC examination. For the UPSC examination you have to know all the tribes and what are their uniqueness. Hopefully, this article gave you enough information about the important tribes of India to prepare well for the upcoming UPSC exam. You can level up your preparation even more by enrolling on these amazing courses offered by UPSC Pathshala.

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Important Tribes of India: Check out these Famous Tribal Groups for the Upcoming UPSC Exam
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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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