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, Deoghar, Hazaribagh and Dhanbad once a part of West Bengal.
Jharkhand is also popularly known as Vananchal (vana plus anchal, meaning land of woods). Jharkhand is famed for its mineral wealth and forestry products.
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.) Later, during the Mughal period, the Jharkhand area was known as Kukara. 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
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
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. Around 42% of the state population speaks Bengali.