Published By: Nirtika Pandita

Did you know about the indigenous tribes of India?

They are unique to the country and hold a great value in the ecosystem

India is the land of religions, traditions, cultures, and ethnic groups unique to the state and the country. Among these particular customs and cultures are also the tribal people who are also part of India. Living far away from the concert jungle, there are groups and tribes of people who are different in every way. In total there are 700 tribal groups in India that have maintained their lifestyle, culture, and traditions for years. So here are a few of the tribal groups of India that you need to know about.

Bhil or Bheel

This is an ethnic group from West India and is a subgroup of the Indo-Aryan languages. And as of 2013, the Bhils are the largest Adivasi in India. The Bhil tribal people are from the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, and Tripura. The Bhils are further divided into territorial divisions, which in turn have a number of clans and lineages. The term Bhil is used to refer to various ethnic communities living in the forests and hills of Rajasthan. The term not only represents the group of people but also highlights the popularity of the usage of bow and arrow as a weapon among these groups.


This is a sub-group of the tribal group Bhil and speaks the language Meena. According to historical accounts, this tribal group belongs to the Matsya tribe and is descend of the Indo-Aryan tribe. Tracing their origin, the Meenas were originally a nomadic tribe and were seen as a semi-wild and hill tribe.


This is an Austroasiatic tribal ethnic group from east-central India and they speak the Kharia language. The Kharia tribe in itself is divided into three groups the Hill Kharia, DelhiKharia, and the educated community - DudhKharia. The DudhKharia and DhelkiKharia speak an Austroasiatic language, Kharia, and have formed one compact tribe. The Hill Kharia speaks the Indo-Aryan language, KhariaThar.


These are tribal groups from the eastern-most regions of India and are the largest ethnic group in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region and the second-largest in Mizoram. According to records, around 60,000 Chakma people live in Arunachal Pradesh. These are the first generation that migrated to the state in 1964 after the Kaptai Dam tragedy. And there are another 79,000 Chakmas who live in Tripura and 20,000-30,000 who live in Assam.

A few other tribal groups of India are Gonds, Mundas, Santhals, Bodos, Khasis, Garo, Ho, Irulas, Khasas, Asurs, Baigas, Birhors, Bhumijs, Kotas, Todas, and Tharus.