Largest city :
338/km² (875/sq mi)
Jharkhand is a state in eastern India. It was carved out of the southern part of Bihar state on 15 November 2000. Jharkhand shares its border with the states of Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to the west, Orissa to the south, and West Bengal to the east.
The industrial city of Ranchi is its capital. Some of the other major cities and industrial centres are Jamshedpur, Bokaro, Sindri, Giridih, Gumla, Simdega, Deoghar, Daltonganj, Hazaribagh and Dhanbad.
The name "Jharkhand" means "The Land of Forests". Jharkhand accounts for 40% of the mineral resources of India.
Jharkhand is now improving much faster than its northern counterpart (Bihar). Its poverty rate declined 2% per year from 1994-2002. Unlike some other Indian states, Jharkhand's poverty reduction was faster in the rural areas than in the urban areas. Its percentage of children immunized improved from 9% in 1998-99 to nearly 50% now according to UNICEF. Jharkhand has made primary education so accessible that 95% of children ages 6-11 are enrolled in school as opposed to 56% in 1993-94.
The demand for a separate Jharkhand state can be traced back to the early 1900s, when Jaipal Singh, an Indian Hockey captain and Olympian, suggested the idea of a separate state consisting of the southern districts of Bihar. The idea did not become a reality, however, until August 2, 2000, when the Parliament of India passed the Bihar Reorganisation Bill to create the state of Jharkhand, carving 18 districts out of Bihar to form Jharkhand state on 15 November 2000. It became the 28th state of India.
However, according to some historians there was already a distinct geo-political, cultural entity called Jharkhand even before the period of Magadha Empire. According to a legend, Raja Jai Singh Deo of Orissa was accepted as the ruler of Jharkhand by its people in the 13th century. The Singh Deo's of Orissa have been very instrumental in the early history of Jharkhand. The local tribal heads had developed into barbaric dictators who could govern the province neither fairly nor justly. Consequently, the people of this state approached the more powerful rulers of Jharkhand's neighbouring states who were perceived to have a more fair and just governance. This became the turning point in the history of the region wherein rulers from Orissa moved in with their armies and created states that were governed for the benefit of the people and involved their participation, thus ending the barbarism that had marked the region for centuries. The good tribal rulers continued to thrive and were known as the Munda Rajas, and exist to this day. (These are regions which are still semi- autonomous, the degree of autonomy depending on the size of each specific Munda Raja's domain.) After the year 1765, it came under the control of the British Empire and became formally known under its present title, "Jharkhand" - the Land of "Jungles" (forests) and "Jharis" (bushes). Located on Chhota Nagpur Plateau and Santhal Parganas, has evergreen forests, rolling hills and rocky plateaus with many places of keen beauty like Lodh Falls.
The subjugation and colonization of Jharkhand region by the British East India Company resulted in spontaneous resistance from the local people. Almost one hundred years before India’s First War of Independence (1857), adivasis of Jharkhand were already beginning what would become a series of repeated revolts against the British colonial rule:
-1772-1780 Paharia revolt
-1780-1785 Tilka Manjhi led the tribal revolt and managed to injure the British army Chief. In 1785, Tilka Manjhi was hanged to death in Bhagalpur
-1795-1800 Tamar revolt
-1795-1800 Munda revolt under the leadership of Vishnu Manaki
-1800-1802 Munda revolt under the stewardship of Dukhan Manaki of Tamar
-1819-1820 Munda revolt in Palamu under the leadership of Bhukan Singh
-1832-1833 Khewar revolt under the leadership of Bhagirath, Dubai Gosai and Patel Singh
-1833-1834 Bhumji revolt under the leadership of Ganga Narain of Birbhum
-1855 Santhals waged war against the permanent settlement of Lord Cornwallis
-1855-1860 During late 1850s Sidhu had accumulated about ten thousands Santhal to run parallel government against British rule. The basic purpose was to collect taxes by making his own laws. British Government had announced an award of Rs. 10,000 to arrest Sidhu and his brother Kanhu
-1856-1857 Martyr Sahid Lal, Vishwanath Shahdeo, Sheikh Bhikhari, Ganpatrai and Budhu Veer led a movement against the British Government during India’s First War of Independence, 1857, also called Sepoy Mutiny
-1874 Kherwar Movement shot into fame under the leadership of Bhagirathi Manjhi
-1895-1900 Movement against the British raj led by Birsa Munda (born 15 November 1875). Birsa Munda was captured by British forces and declared dead on 9 June 1900 in Ranchi Jail, due to Cholera, according to records of the British colonial government.
All of these uprisings were quelled by the British through massive deployment of troops across the region.
In 1914 the Tana Bhagat resistance movement started, which gained the participation of more than 26,000 adivasis, and eventually merged with Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha and Civil Disobedience movement.
Geography and climate
Most of the state lies on the Chota Nagpur Plateau, which is the source of the Koel, Damodar, Brahmani, Kharkai, and Subarnarekha rivers, whose upper watersheds lie within Jharkhand. Much of the state is still covered by forest. Forest preserves support populations of tigers and Asian Elephants.
Soil content of Jharkhand state mainly consist of soil formed from disintegration of rocks and stones, and soil composition is further divided into:
Red soil, found mostly in the Damodar valley, and Rajmahal area
Micacious soil (containing particles of mica), found in Koderma, Jhumeritilaiya, Barkagaon, and areas around the Mandar hill
Sandy soil, generally found in Hazaribagh and Dhanbad
Black soil, found in Rajmahal area
Laterite soil, found in western part of Ranchi, Palamu, and parts of Santhal Parganas and Singhbhum
Flora and Fauna
Jharkhand has a rich variety of flora and fauna. The National Parks and the Zoological Gardens located in the state of Jharkhand present a panorama of this variety.
Betla National Park (Palamu), 25 km from Daltonganj covers an area of about 250 square kilometres. The national park has a large variety of wild life like tigers, elephants, bisons locally called gaurs, sambhars, hundreds of wild boar and 15 to 20 feet long python, herds of spotted deer (cheetals), rabbits and foxes. The mammalian fauna to be seen at Betla National Park also include langurs, rhesus, blue bull and wild boars. The lesser mammals are the porcupine, hare, wild cats, honey badgers, jackals, Malabar giant squirrel, mongoose, wolf, antelope, etc. In 1974, the park was declared Project Tiger Reserve.
Part of the reason for the variety and diversity of flora and fauna found in Jharkhand state may be accredited to the Project Tiger Reserve of Palamu, which is abode to hundreds of species of flora and fauna, as indicated within brackets: mammal (39), Snakes (8), Lizards (4), Fish (6), Insects (21), Birds (170), seed bearing Plants and Tress (97) , Shrubs and Herbs (46), Climbers, Parasites and semi-Parasites (25), and Grasses and Bamboo (17).
The Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary, with scenic beauties, 135 km from Ranchi, is set in an ecosystem very similar to Betla National Park of Palamu.
One Zoological Garden is also located about 16 km from Ranchi, and a number of mammalian fauna have been collected there for visitors.
Jharkhand has a population of 26.90 million, consisting of 13.86 million males and 13.04 million females. The sex ratio is 941 females to 1000 males. The population consists of 28% tribals, 12% Scheduled Castes and 60% others. There are 274 persons for each square kilometer of land. However, the population density varies considerably from as low as 148 per square kilometer in Gumla district to as high as 1167 per square kilometer in Dhanbad district.
Jharkhand has remained a home to a number of tribal communities since time immemorial. In fact, in some of the districts of Jharkhand, the tribal population predominates, the non tribal one. Jharkhand has 32 tribal groups. These are the Asur, Baiga, Banjara, Bathudi, Bedia, Binjhia, Birhor, Birjia, Chero, Chick-Baraik, Gond, Gorait, Ho, Karmali, Kharwar, Khond, Kisan, Kora, Korwa, Lohra, Mahli, Mal-Paharia, Munda, Oraon, Parhaiya, Santal, Sauria-Paharia, Savar, Bhumij, Kol and Kanwar.
The geographical area now comprising Jharkhand was previously part of Bihar. The area has witnessed migration of people from the adjoining areas of Bihar and West Bengal for last several decades. Industrial and mining centres like Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and Ranchi have attracted people from all parts of India. Jharkhand's poverty rate, while still high by Indian standards, has declined by 2% per year between the period of 1994-2002.
Hinduism is the majority religion in the state, with 81.6% of the population practicing the faith. Islam is followed by 13.8% of the population, followed by Christianity with 4.1% of the population. Jainism and Buddhism are religions present in the state as well, all with numbers less than 0.5%. Sikhism is also practiced in the state with 0.3% of the population.
Jharkhand's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $14 billion at current prices. Born out of partition from old Bihar state in 2000, Jharkhand produces about 40% of the output of the old Bihar state. Since it is rich in minerals, the state per capita income is likely to increase in the coming years.
Famous people and places
The current skipper of the Indian Cricket team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni hails from Ranchi and used to play for the Duleep Trophy team from Jharkand.
Jharkhand has a concentration of some of the country’s highly industrialized cities such as Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Bokaro and Dhanbad. It also has several firsts in India, including:
Largest fertilizer factory of its time in India (since shut down) at Sindri
First Iron & steel factory at Jamshedpur
Largest Steel plant in Asia, Bokaro steel plant.
Biggest explosives factory at Gomia
First methane gas well
On the other hand, it has several towns and innumerable villages with sub-standard civic amenities. Urbanization ratio is only 22.25% and the per capita annual income is only US$ 90.
Jharkhand also has immense mineral resources: minerals ranging from (ranking in the country within bracket) from iron ore (1st), coal (3rd), copper ore (1st), mica (1st), bauxite (3rd), Manganese, limestone, china clay, fire clay, graphite (8th), kainite (1st), chromite (2nd), asbestos (1st), thorium (3rd), sillimanite, uranium (Jaduguda mines, Narwa Pahar) (1st) and even gold (Rakha mines) (6th) and silver and several other minerals. Large deposits of coal and iron ore support concentration of industry, in centers like Jamshedpur, Bokaro and Ranchi. Tata Steel, a S&P CNX 500 conglomerate has its corporate office in Jharkhand.
Language, literature & culture
Jharkhand is home to a number of languages belonging to three major language families. Indo-Aryan languages include Angika,Bhojpuri,Khortha, Nagpuri, Sadri, Hindi, Urdu, Oriya and Bengali. Jharkhand is also home to the Munda languages, Kurmali, Korku, Santhali, Mundari, Bhumij, Kharia and Ho, and the Dravidian languages Korwa, Oraon and Paharia (Malto). The primary languages are Hindi and English. A fair part of the state population speaks Bengali. In whole of Santhal Parganas area Angika is the primary language for communication.