The Disputed Territories of India

September 14, 2020

Map from Wikipedia showing the disputed areas of India.

The Seterra map quizzes of Asian countries prompt occasional feedback from geography enthusiasts, largely because of the disputed territories of India.

Disagreements between India and China, Pakistan and Nepal over the possession or control of land have long plagued the region. In this article, we'll look at four of the major Indian territorial disputes.


Since 1974, Kashmir has been the subject of a territorial conflict between India and Pakistan, with China also playing a part. The dispute has resulted in three wars between India and Pakistan and several other armed conflicts. Currently, India controls a little over half of the land in the Kashmir region. Pakistan controls about 30% of the region and China controls about 15%.

Aksai Chin

A disputed area along the India-China border, Aksai Chin has been problematic for the two nations for a long time. In the 1950s, the People's Republic of China built a road connecting Xinjiang and western Tibet, a part of which ran through the Aksai Chin region claimed by India. China clings to the region as one of strategic importance because of the connection between Tibet and Xinjiang. With a decades-long conflict in full swing, there have been skirmishes as recent as June 2020 between Indian and Chinese troops in the area.


India and Nepal disagree about ownership of the Kalapani territory. It has been administered by India since 1962 and in 2019, India issued a map showing Kalapani as part of India. The political map was rejected by Nepal, and mass protests against India have rocked the region. The governments of India and Nepal continue to disagree over which nation has a rightful claim to Kalapani.

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is a state in Northeast India, but a significant part of the state is claimed by both the People's Republic of China and Republic of China (Taiwan) as part of the region of South Tibet. In 1962, the Sino-Indian War resulted in most of Arunachal Pradesh being temporarily captured by the Chinese People's Liberation Army. The bitter dispute over this region persists.

We hope this overview of the major Indian territorial disputes has been enlightening. Not every Seterra map quiz calls out disputed territories, but our current project is to update all our maps of Asia to identify contested regions.