Jharkhand State

Introduction :

Jharkhand is a state in eastern India. It was carved out of the southern part of Bihar 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 of 28,833 sq mi (74,677 km˛). The industrial city of Ranchi is its capital. Some of the other major cities and industrial centres are Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Sindri, Deoghar, Hazaribagh and Gumla.

The name "Jharkhand" comes from the Sanskrit word Jharikhanda, which is the ancient name of the region's dense forest.

History :

According to some writers like Gautam Kumar Bera, there was already a distinct geo-political, cultural entity called Jharkhand even before the period of Magadha Empire. Bera's book (Page-33) also refers to the Hindu Mythological book Bhavishya Purana (around 1200 AD), where the reference of Jharkhand is found. The tribal rulers, some of whom continue to thrive till today were known as the Munda Rajas, who basically had ownership rights to large farmlands. During the Mughal period, the Jharkhand area was known as Kukara.


British Rule :

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, the place 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:

The period of revolts of the Adivasis to protect their Jharkhand land took place from 1771 to 1900 CE. The first ever revolt against the landlords and the British government was led by Tilka Manjhi, a valiant Santhal leader in Santal tribal belt in 1771. He wanted to liberate his people from the clutches of the unscrupulous landlords and restore the lands of their ancestors. The British government sent its troops and crushed the uprisings of Tilka Manjhi. Soon after in 1779, the Bhumij tribes rose in arms against the British rule in Manbhum, now in West Bengal. This was followed by the Chero tribes unrest in Palamau. They revolted against the British Rule in 1800 AD. Hardly seven years later in 1807, the Oraons in Barway murdered their big landlord of Srinagar west of Gumla. Soon the uprisings spread around Gumla. The tribal uprisings spread eastward to neighbouring Tamar areas of the Munda tribes. They too rose in revolt in 1811 and 1813. The Hos in Singhbhum were growing restless and came out in open revolt in 1820 and fought against the landlords and the British troops for two years. This is called the Larka Kol Risings 1820-1821. Then came the great Kol Risings of 1832. This was the first biggest tribal revolt that greatly upset the British administration in Jharkhand. It was caused by an attempt of the Zamindars to oust the tribal peasants from their hereditary possessions. The Santhal insurrection broke out in 1855 under the leadership of two brothers Sidhu and Kanhu. They fought bitterly against the British troops but finally they too were crashed down.

Then Birsa Munda revolt, broke out in 1895 and lasted till 1900. The revolt though mainly concentrated in the Munda belt of Khunti, Tamar, Sarwada and Bandgaon, pulled its supporters from Oraon belt of Lohardaga, Sisai and even Barway. It was the longest and the greatest tribal revolt in Jharkhand. It was also the last tribal revolt in Jharkhand. All of these uprisings were quelled by the British through massive deployment of troops across the region.

The 20th century Jharkhand movement may also be seen as moderate movement as compared to the bloody revolts of the 19th century. Having the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act 1908 to protect their lands, the tribal leaders now turned to socio-economic development of the people. In 1914 Jatra Oraon started what is called the Tana Movement. Later this movement joined the Satyagrah Movement of Mahatma Gandhi in 1920 and stopped giving land tax to the Government. In 1915 the Chotanagpur Unnati Samaj was started for the socio-economic development of the tribals. This organisation had also political objectives in mind. When the Simon Commission in 1928 came to Patna, the Chotanagpur Unnati Samaj sent its delegation and placed its demand for a separate Jharkhand State for self-rule by the tribals. The Simon Commission however did not accede to the demand for a separate Jharkhand State. Thereafter Theble Oraon organised Kishan Sabha in 1931. In 1935 the Chotanagpur Unnati Samaj and the Kishan Sabha were merged with a view to acquire political power subsequently.


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 Singhbh

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 in the Latehar district, located 8 km away from Barwadih, covers an area of about 250 square kilometers (96.5 sq mi). The national park has a large variety of wildlife, including tigers, elephants, bisons (which are locally known as gaurs), sambhars, wild boar, and pythons (up to 20 feet (6.1 m) long), spotted deers (chitals), rabbits and foxes. The mammalian fauna to be seen at Betla National Park also include langurs, rhesus monkeys, blue bulls and wild boars. The lesser mammals are the porcupines, hares, wild cats, honey badgers, Malabar giant squirrels, mongooses, wolves, antelopes etc. In 1974, the park was declared a 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 Palamau Tiger Reserves under the Project Tiger. This reserve is abode to hundreds of species of flora and fauna,[6] as indicated within brackets: mammals (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 bamboos (17).

The Hazaribag Wildlife Sanctuary, with scenic beauties, 135 km (84 mi) away from Ranchi, is set in an ecosystem very similar to Betla National Park of Palamu. Jawaharlal Nehru Zoological Garden in Bokaro Steel City is the biggest Zoological Garden in Jharkhand. It has many animal and bird species, spread over 200 acres, including an artificial waterpark with boating facilities. Another zoo is also located about 16 km from Ranchi, and a number of mammalian fauna have been collected there for visitors.