Exploring the Rich Diversity: A List of Tribes in India for UPSC NDA and CDS Exam

A List of Tribes in India:- India, known for its incredible cultural heritage and diversity, is home to numerous indigenous communities and tribes. These tribes, with their distinct languages, customs, and traditions, contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Indian society. In this article, we delve into a comprehensive list of tribes in India, showcasing their unique identities and highlighting their significant presence in the country.

A List of Tribes in India:-

  1. Gond Tribe: The Gond tribe, one of the largest tribes in India, primarily inhabits the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh. They are known for their exceptional artistic skills, particularly in the field of painting. The Gonds have a rich mythology and celebrate various festivals, such as Bhagoria and Gond Utsav.
  2. Santhal Tribe: Predominantly found in the states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Bihar, the Santhal tribe has a rich cultural heritage. They are known for their vibrant music and dance forms, such as the Santhali dance and music, which often depict their agrarian lifestyle. The Santhals have their own language, script, and traditional governance system.
  3. Bhil Tribe: Spread across the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, the Bhil tribe is one of the largest indigenous communities in India. Primarily engaged in agriculture, hunting, and gathering, the Bhils have a deep connection with nature. They have a unique art form called Pithora, which involves vibrant wall paintings depicting their myths and legends.
  4. Nagas: The Naga tribes are situated in the northeastern part of India, primarily in Nagaland, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh. Comprising several sub-tribes, the Nagas are known for their distinct attire, colorful festivals, and warrior traditions. Each Naga tribe has its own dialect and social customs, contributing to the region’s rich cultural mosaic.
  5. Bodo Tribe: The Bodo tribe predominantly resides in the state of Assam. They have a diverse cultural heritage and are known for their traditional dance form called Bagurumba, which showcases their agricultural practices and reverence for nature. The Bodo language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family and has its unique script.
  6. Jarawa Tribe: The Jarawas are one of the indigenous tribes of the Andaman Islands, primarily inhabiting the dense forests. Known for their hunter-gatherer lifestyle, the Jarawas have faced challenges due to contact with the outside world. Efforts are being made to protect their unique culture, language, and traditional practices.
  7. Sentinelese Tribe: Another tribe residing in the Andaman Islands, the Sentinelese are known for their isolation and resistance to outside contact. They are considered one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes, preserving their ancient way of life. The Sentinelese fiercely guard their territory and maintain their self-sufficiency through hunting and gathering.

Tribes and Its States (List of Tribes in India):-

GondMadhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh
SanthalJharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar
BhilRajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra
NagasNagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh
JarawaAndaman and Nicobar Islands
SentineleseAndaman and Nicobar Islands
MundaJharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha
HoJharkhand, West Bengal
GaroMeghalaya, Assam
OraonJharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha
KukiManipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam
SantalJharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar
KoyaTelangana, Andhra Pradesh
RabhaAssam, Meghalaya
KarbiAssam, Meghalaya
ChenchuAndhra Pradesh
KurumbaTamil Nadu
Kuki ChinMizoram, Manipur
TharuUttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, West Bengal
KolMadhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh
TodaTamil Nadu
IrulaTamil Nadu
AdiArunachal Pradesh
NyishiArunachal Pradesh
TangkhulManipur, Nagaland
HajongAssam, Meghalaya
MishmiArunachal Pradesh
NocteArunachal Pradesh

Customs and Traditions followed by tribes:-

Here’s a table showcasing some of the prominent tribes in India, along with their costumes and traditions:

GondColorful attire, headgear, and jewelryGondi language, Bhagoria festival, Gond Utsav
SanthalTraditional dhoti, turban, and jewelrySanthali dance and music, Chhau dance, Sohrai and Karam festivals
BhilTraditional attire with unique patternsPithora art, Bhagoria festival, Gavri dance
NagasIntricate traditional shawls and accessoriesHornbill Festival, Warrior traditions, Morungs
BodoDokhona (wraparound dress) and traditional jewelryBagurumba dance, Bwisagu festival, Dokhona weaving
JarawaMinimal clothing due to isolated lifestyleHunter-gatherer traditions, preservation of ancient lifestyle
SentineleseMinimal clothing due to isolated lifestyleIsolation from outside world, traditional hunting and gathering
MundaColorful traditional attire with headgearKarma dance, Mundari language, Seraikela Chhau dance
HoTraditional dhoti, scarf, and ornamentsSarhul festival, Sohrai festival, Folk songs and dances
KhasiJymphong (traditional attire) and shawlNongkrem Dance, Nongkrem Festival, Matrilineal social structure
GaroDakmanda (traditional dress) and ornamentsWangala festival, Traditional songs and dances
OraonTraditional dhoti, kurta, and headgearKarma dance, Sarhul festival, Folk music and dance
KukiTraditional colorful attire with ornamentsChavang Kut festival, Tengbang dance, Folk songs
SantalTraditional dhoti and scarfSantali music, Chadar Badar dance, Sohrai festival
MizoPuan (traditional attire) and shawlCheraw dance, Chapchar Kut festival, Traditional games
KoyaTraditional clothing made of cottonKoya language, Bison-horn dance, Gussadi dance
WarliSimple attire with unique geometric patternsWarli art, Tarpa dance, Traditional folk songs

Previous Year Questions Asked by UPSC in NDA CDS exam related to List of Tribes in India:-

Here are a few previous year questions related to tribes of India that have been asked in the NDA (National Defence Academy) and CDS (Combined Defence Services) exams:

Which tribe is associated with the traditional dance form called “Bagurumba

Bodo tribe.

The Gond tribe, known for their exceptional artistic skills, is primarily found in which states of India?

Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh.

The Santhal tribe, known for their vibrant music and dance forms, primarily inhabits which states of India?

Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Bihar.

Which tribe is associated with the traditional art form called “Pithora”?

Bhil tribe.

The Nagas, a prominent tribe in northeastern India, are primarily found in which states?

Nagaland, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Jarawa tribe, known for their hunter-gatherer lifestyle, primarily resides in which Indian islands?

Andaman Islands.

Which tribe is considered one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes and fiercely guards their territory?

Sentinelese tribe.

The Khasi and Garo tribes are prominent in which state of India?


Which tribe is associated with the traditional dance form called “Bihu”?

Assamese tribes, including Bodo, Karbi, and Dimasa.

The Santal Rebellion, a significant tribal uprising, took place in which year?

The Santal Rebellion occurred in 1855-1856.

Which tribe is associated with the annual Hornbill Festival, a major cultural event in Nagaland?


The Great Andamanese tribes, including the Jarawa and Sentinelese, are found in which island group?

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The Durga Puja festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm by which tribe in West Bengal?

Santhal tribe.

Which tribe is known for their traditional handloom weaving and exquisite fabrics called “Puan”?

Mizo tribe.

The Irula tribe is primarily found in which southern state of India?

Tamil Nadu.

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