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Sahebganj

Set within the lush green region, the district of Sahebganj with a predominantly tribal population is a part of Santhal Pargana division and forms the eastern most tip of the division. Sahebganj also known as ‘skirts of the hills’ was formed in 1983 when it was carved out of the Santhal Pargana district. The Rajmahal and Pakur subdivisions of old Santhal Pargana district were carved out on 17th May, 1983 to form Sahibganj district. Subsequently Pakur sub-division of Sahibganj district was carved out on 28th January, 1994 to constitute Pakur District.

Geographical Location:-
The district of Sahibganj lies approximately between 24042' north and 25021' north lattitude and between 87025' and 87054 east longitude. Sahibganj is the administrative headquarter of the district and situated on the bank of the river Ganges at 25015' north lattitude and 87038' east longitude . The geographical area of the district is 1599.00 sq. km.

It is bounded on north by the river Ganges and district of Katihar, on the south by the district Godda, on the east by Maldah and Murshidabad districts of the state of West Bengal, and on the west by Bhagalpur and Godda districts. The district of Sahibganj consists of following administrative units:

Physical Aspects:-
A large part of the district is hilly. The vast tract of land enclosed between hill ranges had been assigned a name- Damin-I-koh, which is a Persian word means Skirts of the hills. The region on the bank of the Ganges is fertile and richly cultivated. The district may be divided into two natural divisions on the basis of its geographical location and cultivable land.

First region consists of Borio, Mandro, Barhait, Pathna and Taljhari blocks and lies under Damin-I-koh area. The hills and slopes are covered with forests, once dense but scanty now. The valleys have cultivable lands, yielding mostly paddy. The inhabitants of this region are generally Paharias, Mal Paharias and Santhals. The inhabitants on the hill top cultivate Barbatti and maize using rain water.

The second region consists of Sahibganj, Rajmahal, Udhwa and Barharwa blocks. This plain region consists of the uplands, undulation along ridges and depressions. The Ganges, Gumani and Bansloi rivers flow through this region. This area has plenty of fertile lands and is richly cultivated. The inhabitants of this region are mainly middle class people of different castes, Paharias and Santhals.

Rivers:-
The river Ganges forming the northern boundary of the district enters at its north western corner and journeys eastward up to Sakrigali where it takes a turn to the south and forms the southern boundary of the district up to a little beyond Radhanagar in Rajmahal subdivision. The average width of the Ganges in the district is about 4 and half kilometers.
River Gumani emerges from the southern region of the Rajmahal hills. It flows in a north-easterly direction up to Barhait valley where it is joined by the river Mural. The joint stream takes a south-eastern turn and joins the Ganges a little beyond the district boundary.

Forest:-
Owing to large scale unscrupulous felling the region once known for its thick and extensive forests is now bereft of much of its jungle wealth. The Forest department has undertaken afforestation of these areas.

The most common tree found in the district is sal (Shorea Robusta). Some teak, though not of good quality, is also found. Some other trees found in the district are Jackfruit, Murga, Simal, Bamboo, Asan and Satsal. Sal and Simal logs and Jackfruit are exported in large quantities to the neighboring districts and also to the places outside Jharkhand.

Livestock:-
Despite a large population of cattle, yield of milk in the district is very poor. In order to grade up the cattle quickly and also at low cost, artificial insemination centers and sub-centers have been opened at various places in the district.

Fisheries:-
The extensive bed of the Ganges at Sahibganj and Rajmahal offers one of the best fields in the state for collection of fish spawn and fishing. The spawn of Rohu, Katla, Mirga, Catfish and Hilsa is collected from the Barhait valley.

Mines and Minerals:-
The Rajmahal Hills are the source of building and road stones. Most of the quarrying is done by the side of the loop line of the Eastern Railway. Pakur chips are quite well known and are used extensively all over Jharkhand, Bihar and parts of West Bengal. Kaolin is found near Mangal Hat in Rajmahal subdivision. Bentonite available in some places is used by women-folk as hair washing material and now a days it is getting popular among urban ladies as Multani Mitti.

Industry
The traditional cottage and village industries practiced by the Santhals and the Paharias constitute tasar rearing, village black-smithy, carpentry, handloom weaving, rope making, bidi making, earthen ware making, stone ware making, etc. There is no large-scale industry available in the area mainly due to lack of infrastructure support. A number of small-scale industries have been set up in the district. Most of these are based on mining and related querrying activities. There is a good potential for setting up china clay industries.

Trade and Commerce:-
Sahibganj is by far the most important place for trade and commerce in the district. Wholesale trading in foodgrains is mostly carried on in Sahibganj. The main imports of the districts are linseed, mustard seed, tobacco, raw cotton, sugar, refined and unrefined molasses, salt, kerosene oil, coal, coke, gunny bags, gram, wheat and maize. The main exports are paddy, jawar, sabai, grass, stone chips, hides, fibers, kaolin and bentonite.

Electricity and Power:-
The district receives most of the power supply from the Super Thermal Power Station at Kahalgaon. While all the main areas of the district have been electrified still the supply of power in the rural areas is not yet sufficient and is an area of major concern.

History
This district was carved out on 17 May 1983 by separating Rajmahal and Pakur sub-divisions of erstwhile Santhal Parganas district. Pakur sub-division was again separated on 28 January 1994 to form Pakur district.

The territory of the present district was a part of Bengal Subah of the Mughal Empire. Rajmahal, a place located in the district was made the capital of Bengal Subah in 1592 by Raja Man Singh, a general of the Mughal Emperor Akbar for the first time. It again became the capital of Bengal Subah in 1639, when Shah Shuja was appointed the Subahdar and it remained so till 1660.

Sahibganj at a Glance -

Latitude

24042’North to 25021’North

Longitude

87025’ East to 87054’ East

Height from sea level

37.185 m.

Area (in sq. km.)

1599.00 Sq. Kms.

Temperature (in degree centigrade)

 

Rainfall (in mm)

 

Climate

 

Literacy rate

53.73%

Main Tribes

 

Main minerals

 

Main crop

 

Languages spoken

Angika

Important Rivers

Ganga

Nearest Railway Station

 

Nearest Airport

 

National Highway passing through District

 

Population density

719

Number of blocks

9

Number of villages

1819

Population (Total)

1,150,038

Population (male)

590,390

Population (female)

559,648

Sex ratio

948

Administrative Division

Santhal Pargana Division

Headquarters

Sahibganj

Year of formation

17th May, 1983

Forest Area

28425.74 Hec.

Places to see –
Udhwa Lake
Udhwa Lake
A natural twin-lake at Sahebganj, Udhwa Lake, attracts tourist for not only its beauty alone. A large number of birds of different species inhabit here. Even migratory birds visit this lake every year in large number.

 

Kanahiya Sthan
Kanahiya SthanSituated on the bank of the river Ganges, is a village situated about 13 km. north-west of Rajmahal town and owes its name to the temple of Lord Krishna (Kanhaiya). It is believed that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu once stayed here on his way to Brindaban from Bengal and got the vision of Lord Krishna. Footstep of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is also preserved here.

Shiva Temple

 

 

Shiva Temple
This Shiva temple is located in the Barhait block 8 K.M north of Barhait and is inside the cave. Water from the mountain drips continuously on the Shivling. Devotees gather here in large numbers on Mahashivratri and whole of Shravan month.
For pilgrims there are several temples in the neighboring area of Sahebganj. There is a Shiva Temple in Barhait, Binduvasini Temple near Barharwa railway station, Shukravasini Temple at Mirzapur village and Raksisthan that is considered sacred both by tribal and non-tribal.

 

 

Jami Masjid
The Jami Masjid in Hadaf at Rajmahal was built in 1592 AD, during the reign of Raja Maan Singh. The mosque originally consisted of a large prayer hall to the west and a spacious courtyard in the front. A high compound wall encloses it with arched recesses inside. The Jami Masjid was once considered the most beautiful building in Gaur (Bengal) of which only the southern portion exists today, suggesting what it once was.

Sangi Dalan
SangidalanOn the way to Sahebganj stands Sangi Dalan,part of what was a marble palace built by Raja Maan Singh sometime between 1580 and 1600 AD. The Ganga flows eternally just next to this edifice. There is a popular theory that in those early times a hollow pipe ran below the Sangi- Dalan connecting different forts in the area and was used for 'communication' between them.

 

 

Rajmahal
Rajmahal FortRajmahal, near Sahebganj, a historical city built by the Emperor Akbar way back in the 15th century. It was made the capital of Bengal in 1592 by Raja Maan Singh, Akbar's legendary general. Rajmahal stood witness to several battles and the accession of Shah Shuja, the second son of Emperor Shah Jahan. It was here that Dr. Gabriel Boughten cured Shah Shuja's daughter of an ailment, and the British were quick to establish their trading empire in Bengal.
The town has following important monuments.

i) Singhi Dalan.
ii) Akbari Masjid
iii) Tomb of Maina-Bibi
iv) Tomb of Miran.

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT
Bara Darwaja: Nearby is Bara Darwaza, what used to be a fort built almost at the same time as the mosque. Situated on top of a hillock facing the river, this unique fort had 12 identical doors, built purely on an artistic imagination. The remains of the fort have been declared a heritage site by the Archaeological Survey of India and hopefully it will soon regain its lost glory.

Rampur: A mosque has been made by Samrat Akbar here.

Shukravasini Temple - This temple is located in the Mirzapur Village near Barharwa , this temple is renowned for its mother goddess which is been worshipped here.

Moti Jharna - This spot is considered to be one of the most beautiful picnic spot among these regions, this is situated near Maharajpur.

Leela - This spot is of Christian ethics St. Mary’s Church is located here from the year 1950.

Mangalhat - This location is situated 10 km from Rajmahal, the major attraction here is the Jama Masjid which was built by one of the great ruler Akbar

Teliagarhi :- These are remains of an old fort known as Teliagarhi after its builder a Teli Zamindar, who later embraced Islam during the reign of Shahjahan. It is located near Karamtola station.

Binduvasini TempleBinduvasini Temple : Situated 2 K.M away from Barharwa railway station. Devotees gather in large number on Ram-Navami at this temple during the fair which lasts for 9 days.

Raksisthan : Situated in Mandro block near the Karamtola railway station just west of the Teliagarhi fort. This temple is considered very pious by the tribals and non-tribals. The deity is very ancient. Sutherland has reported about it in his report in 1819.

Bhoganadih and Panchkathiya : The village of Sido and Kanu, the legendary brothers who led the Santhal revolt in 1855, is very sacred for the tribals. There is also a memorial for the brothers in this village. Panchkathiya is a place where these brothers were hanged by the British.

COMMUNICATION:-
a) Roads :- The district has good network of roadways. The river Ganges provides water link also for such purposes. No important place in the district is left unconnected by a metalled road. The Jamtara-Dumka-Sahibganj road provides a link with Assam after ferry across the Ganges. The road between Farakka and Bhagalpur has been upgraded as National Highway.

b) Railways :- The district is deprived of adequate railway communication as it lies on the Howrah-Bhagalpur loop line. Both the sub-divisional headquarters have railway stations. Presently there is rail connection for Howrah, New Delhi and Patna.

c) Waterways :- The only navigable waterways is the river Ganges. There are ferry services across the river Ganges between Sahibganj ghat to Manihari Ghat in Katihar district of Bihar, which is directly linked to the Guwahati highway and between Rajmahal ghat to Manikchak ghat in Maldah district of West Bengal.

The nearest airport will be Ranchi.


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