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Lohardaga

Lohardaga district came into existence after Ranchi was split into three districts namely Ranchi, Lohardagga and Gumla way back in 1983. The district is named after the town of Lohardaga, the administrative headquarters of the district which is the only town in Lohardaga district. Lohardaga was given the position of a sub division in 1972 and a district in 1983. In Jain texts there is reference to Lord Mahavir's visit to Lore-a-Yadaga, which means 'river of tears' in Mundari. 'Ain-e-akbari', The famous book on Akbar, also mentions a place called 'Kismate Lohardaga'. The word Lohardaga may be made of two hindi words, Lohar meaning 'ironmonger', and Daga meaning center', which makes the literal meaning of Lohardaga as 'center of iron mining'.

The district is situated in the south western part of Jharkhand State between 23°30' and 23°40' north latitudes and 84°40' and 84°50' east longitudes. The district covers an area of 1491 km² in the tribal belt of Chotanagpur plateau. It has five blocks namely Lohardaga, Kuru, Bhandra, Kisko and Senha. There are 353 villages spread over in 66 Gram Panchayats. Lohardaga had a total population of 3.64 lakh with a population density of 244 per square kilometre. Most of the villages except the hilly pockets of the district are connected with the roads. Electricity is supplied from Patratu Thermal Power Station which is in the Hazaribagh district. Out of 354 villages only 25 have rural electrification. The inhabitants of Lohardaga district mainly depend on agriculture, forest produce and seasonal migration to different parts of the country. 80% of the population depends upon agriculture. The main crop of this area is paddy. The main mineral resources of Lohardaga are laterite and bauxite.

The district is classified into two physical divisions namely the Hilly Tract and the Plateau Region. The hilly tract is extended in the West and North-Western parts of the district which includes the parts of Kisko, Senha and Kuru development blocks. Sal forests accounts for major area in this region. The Plateau region is a part of the Gumla plateau, comprised of entire part of Lohardaga and Bhandra development blocks and some parts of Senha, Kuru and Kisko developments blocks.

In early 1900s Lohardaga was the commissionary headquarters for Chotanagpur. It was only later that the commissionary of Chotanagpur was shifted to Ranchi. The commissioner's office still exists and it houses the Lohardaga Municipality office.The town of Lohardaga has an average elevation of 647 metres (2122 feet). Lohardaga town has a population of 46,204 and has an average literacy rate of 71%, higher than the national average of 59.5%.

Lohardaga district has an annual average temperature is 23 degree centigrade and the district receives an annual average rainfall of 1000-1200 mm. The Major rivers flowing through Lohardaga district includes koyal, sankh, Nandani, sahi, fulshar etc.

Histrory
Lohardaga's history dates way back to age of Lord Mahavira. Jain literature refers to Lord Mahavir's visit to a place called "Lore-a-Yadaga," a term that also appears in Mundari literature. lore-a-Ydaga' in Mundari means river of tears. There is reference to Kismate Lohardaga in 'Aain-e-Akbari' as well.

The ruins of forts and temples of Korambe, Bhandra, and Khukhra-bhakso, are mute testimony to its rich cultural past. Local historians say that Lohardaga was once a major centre for smelting iron ("Lohar" means iron monger, "dagga" means centre).

Around 1765, the British entered this area. In 1833, when 'South West Frontier Agency" was established, the chief agent of the Governor General was resident in Lohardaga. In 1842 the Principal Assistant to the "Agent" was relocated from Lohardaga to Ranchi (then known as Kishunpur). In 1843 a Deputy Commissioner was placed and Courts were established at Ranchi but the Commissioner continued to work from Lohardaga until 1899 despite the fact that in 1854 the South West Frontier Agency was abolished. Bihar government notified Lohardaga as a Sub Division in 1972 and as a district on 17ltl May 1983.

Industry
    In Lohardaga district, small scale industry based on agriculture, forest, mining, machinery fabrication, leather goods, electric, printing press, Kalin Industry, Road transportation etc. Many labors are engaged in these works. Average annual income of each entrepreneur is about Rs. 50000/-. It is known fact that every year thousand of agriculture labors go to other state in search of their livelihood. In addition to the petty contractors, two main aluminum companies’ HINALCO extract bauxite from this area.

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Lohardaga at a Glance 

Latitude

23°30' and 23°40' N

Longitude

84°40' and 84°50' E

Area (in sq. km)

1,490.80 km2 (575.60 sq mi)

Year of formation

1983

Population

461,738

Population (male)

232,575

Population (female)

229,163

Sex ratio

985

Population density

310 Per Sq. K.M

Literacy

68.29 %

Administrative Division

South Chotanagpur division

Headquarters

Lohardaga

Languages

Asuri

Number of blocks

7

Number of villages

353


Transport
The nearest airport is at the state capital Ranchi, 70 km away. Lohardaga is connected to the state capital, Ranchi, by road and rail. The 68 km railway track was converted from metre gauge to broad gauge in 2005. The track is planned to be extended 44 km more to connect with Tori railway station in Chandwa district. This would reduce the railway distance between Ranchi and Delhi and the railway travel time by three hours. However the construction of a tunnel under the hill between Lohardaga and Tori has not been completed even in a decade. The track has been laid only for 14 km from Lohardaga to Barkichampi and laying of the track on the remaining 30 km running through dense forests has been delayed by terrorist actions of maoists.

The inhabitants of this district mainly depend on agriculture, forest produce and seasonal migration to different parts of the country. 80% of the population depends upon agriculture. The main crop of this area is paddy. In the small irrigated area wheat is grown to meet the annual food sufficiency. Also this district is linked with larger vegetable markets like Jamshedpur, Rourkela and Calcutta. There is a cold storage in the district. But profitable vegetable cultivation is being limited to road side non-tribals. Generally, villagers of the district keep plough animals. Also they keep goats and poultry birds as buffer. Although there is a dairy chilling plant in the district head quarter, dairy is practised by very few people mainly non-tribal.

The net sown area is only 55% of the total area of the district. Two blocks i.e. Kisko & Senha have large area under dense forest cover. The forest cover is around 32-35% of the total area of the district. The average land holding per household is 1.65 Ha. The per capita agriculture land is around 0.28 Ha. Net irrigated area is 13.4% of net sown area (0.8% by canals, 7% by wells, 2% by tanks & 3.6% by lift irrigation & others).

Most of the villages except the hilly pockets of the district are connected with the roads. Still some of the hamlets have no linking roads. Electricity is supplied from Patratu Thermal Power Station which is in the Hazaribagh district. Out of 354 villages only 25 have rural electrification. Water supply system is not available in rural area. The villagers get their drinking water from tube wells and dug wells.

In 2006 the Indian government named Lohardaga one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the 21 districts in Jharkhand currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).

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