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The 10 Largest Cities in India

With over 18 million people, Mumbai is the largest city in India.

India has the second highest population among the countries of the world, with more than 1.2 billion inhabitants. As of 2011, the country had 27 cities with populations exceeding one million. These cities comprise about 43% of the country’s urban population. This list describes the ten most populated cities in India.

10. Jaipur - 3.1 million people

#10 Jaipur - 3.1 million people

Jaipur city is the largest city in Rajasthan state and its capital as well. It is built on 187.12 sq mi of land, and it is home to 3.1 million people. It is the tenth most populated city in the country. Jaipur is a popular destination for tourists not only in India but Asia as a whole. It is part of India’s Golden Triangle along with Delhi and Agra. The city is also called ‘the Pink City.’

9. Surat - 4.5 million people

#9 Surat - 4.5 million people

Surat is a port city in India and the capital of Surat district. It is located in the state of Gujarat, and it dominates the economy of the state. The city’s income comes mainly from the food, diamonds and textile industries. More than 90% of the rough diamonds in the world are polished in this city. Surat is India’s third cleanest city. Globally, it is ranked the fourth fastest growing city. The city sits on 126.068 square miles of land, and its habitation is about 4.5 million residents. 65% of the city’s population is connected to the internet. Surat is set to become India’s first smart IT city.

8. Pune - 5.0 million people

#8 Pune - 5.0 million people

Pune is the capital of Pune District in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is the second largest city in the state after Mumbai. Pune covers 281 square miles of area, and its population was 5,057,709 as at 2011. The city boasts some of the most renowned and best performing educational institutions in the eastern part of India. An estimated 50% of the total population of international students in India study in Pune. Research, automobiles and manufacturing industries dominate the city’s economy. The sport of badminton originated in the city.

7. Ahmedabad - 6.3 million people

Photo credit: Sira Anamwong / Shutterstock.com.

Ahmedabad was the former capital city of Gujarat state. Currently, it functions as the governing headquarters of Ahmedabad district. It is the largest city in Gujarat. Around 6.3 million people live in the city. It has the country’s second oldest stock exchange market and the second largest cotton industry as well. It is a fast-thriving city, and in 2010, Forbes named it as the third fastest growing city of the decade. Old Ahmadabad or the Historic City of Ahmadabad became the first UNESCO World Heritage City in India in July 2017.

6. Hyderabad - 7.75 million people

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Hyderabad is the official capital of the state of Telangana. It also functions as the de jure administrative seat of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh since it was the capital of the state until it was moved to the newly formed Telangana state in June 2014. The city is about 250 square miles in area. Its population is approximately 7.75 million people. Hyderabad is the economic powerhouse of Telangana. The service sector employs 90% of the labor force in the city. Historically, the city played a crucial role in pearl trade. It was the sole trading center for Golconda Diamonds globally until the 18th century.

5. Bangalore - 8.5 million people

#5 Bangalore - 8.5 million people

Bangalore lies on the extensive Deccan Plateau in the southern region of India. It is the administrative seat of the state of Karnataka. The official name of the city is Bengaluru. Its area is 274 mi2 while its population as of 2011 was 8,520,435. The city has the second fastest growing economies in India with an average economic growth of 10.3%. There are more IT firms in Bangalore than in any other Indian City. Between 2006 and 2007, these companies constituted 33% to the country’s IT exports. It is also a biotechnology hub of the country.

4. Chennai - 8.7 million people

#4 Chennai - 8.7 million people

Chennai city is the capital of Tamil Nadu. In 2015, it was voted India’s safest city. The larger Chennai Metropolitan area covers 459.07 mi2 in area and it is home to about 8,653,521 people. The city receives more health tourists than any other city in India, earning it the title of "India’s Health Capital". More than 33% of India’s automobile industry is based in Chennai. It also has a large expatriate population, estimated to surpass 100,000 as of 2016. The city had the third highest per capita GDP in India in 2015.

3. Kolkata

#3 Kolkata

Until 2001, the official name of the city was Calcutta. It is the administrative capital of West Bengal. Kolkata had a population of 14,035,831 people as of 2011. It is the third most productive as well as third most populous city in the country. Kolkata plays a very critical role in the economic and military activities in the eastern region of India since it is the only city with an international airport in the area. It is also a cultural hub in the country with deep roots in art, drama, theatre, film, and literature.

2. New Delhi - 16.3 million people

#2 New Delhi - 16.3 million people

New Delhi is a union territory or administrative division in India, meaning that is governed by the country’s Central Government. The official name of the city is the National Capital Territory of Delhi. It has the second highest population after Mumbai, with about 16.3 million inhabitants. New Delhi’s wealth as a city ranks second in the country after Mumbai. In 2016, it was among the two most productive metro areas in India. Delhi has an area of 573.0 sq mi. The city has 11 districts, amongst them New Delhi, the capital of India.

1. Mumbai - 18.4 million people

#1 Mumbai - 18.4 million people

Mumbai is the capital of the State of Maharashtra in India. Its official name was Bombay until 1995. Mumbai comprises two regions, the city district which covers an area of 233 square miles and the more extensive Mumbai metropolitan area with a total area of 1681.5 square miles. The city has a population of about 18.4 million inhabitants, and it is the most populated city in India. Its wealth also surpasses that of any other Indian city as it is home to the highest number of Indian millionaires and billionaires.

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