I live in Australia, and I have not taken an especial interest in the states of India.
So. Data point. States I’ve heard of.
- Assam. Because tea. (Also, in my case, because I know a linguist that worked on Assamese languages.)
- Goa. Because Portuguese colony. And something to do with hippies.
- Gujarat. Because, um, major ethnic group.
- Kashmir. Because fabric, and flashpoint with Pakistan.
- Kerala. Because communists, and very good education.
- (I’ve heard of Nagaland, and I honestly don’t know why. Probably because of that Assam linguist.)
- Punjab. Because, um, major ethnic group.
- Rajasthan. Because tourist attractions.
- Tamil Nadu. Because Tamils.
- West Bengal. Because, um, major ethnic group.