Deoghar district, a part of the Santhal Pargana division is a district of Jharkhand state with its administrative headquarters located at Deoghar town. It is a significant Hindu pilgrimage centre with the Baidyanath Temple as one of the twelve Shiva Jyothirlingas in India and one of the 51 Shakti Peethas as well in India. The temple is situated at a distance of 150 kms. from the largest city, Bhagalpur. Earlier Deoghar was a part of the Dumka district. It is the 5th largest city of the Jharkhand state. The district got its name Deoghar from the two Hindi terms i.e. 'Deo' means the Gods and Goddesses ('dev') and ‘ghar’ means abode. Both the words together mean the abode of God and Goddesses. Deoghar is also popularly known as "Baidyanath Dham", "Baba Dham" and “B. Deoghar". The reason behind the derivation of the term Baidyanathdham is lost in the earlier days. In the Sanskrit Texts the name of the place has been mentioned to as Haritakivan or Ketakivan. Most probably after the construction of the great temple of Lord Baidyanath, the place Deoghar got it’s another name “Baidyanath Dham”. Earlier, the place Deoghar was a part of the erstwhile Santhal Parganas district but later it was emerged as a separate district in the map of Jharkhand state on 1st June, 1983.
Dr. Shaileshwar Nath, an illustrious educationist and one of the founder professors of Deoghar Collge was born in the district. He retired as the Principal in the year 1992 from the same Deoghar Collge. He wrote many books on the subject matter of political science and on the India’s freedom movement.
Geographically, the district lies at 24°49'N latitude and 86°70'E longitude. The altitude in the district is 247 m. In the year 2021, there was a total 8.31% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 2,477 sq kms. and it is bounded by Bhagalpur district on north, Dumka on east, Jamtara on south and Giridhi on west. The dullness of the landscape is broken by some hill ranges like Phuljari, Teror and Degaria. The principal rivers flowing through the district are Ajay, Paltro, etc. The climate of the district remains extremely hot during the summers and fairly cool during the winters. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1463.8 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 10 blocks namely Deoghar, Karon, Madhupur, Mohanpur, Palojori, Sarath, Devipur, Margomunda, Sarwan and Sonaraithari. Moreover, it comprises 2 towns and 2,662 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 14,92,073 including 7,75,022 are males and 7,17,051 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 925 (females for every 1000 males). During the period 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 28.03% out of which 27.29% were males and 28.85% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 78.09% of the total population. The population density in the district is 602 (persons per sq km.). As per 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Hindi and Santali with 80.51% and 9.38%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 31,092 out of which 16,579 were males and 14,513 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 3,475 out of which 2,274 were males and 1,201 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on both the agricultural and industrial sectors. Most of the lands in the district are use for agricultural purposes. More than half of its population are engaged in agricultural activities in order to earn their livelihood. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. Industrially also the district is quite well developed. In 2006 the Indian government declared Deogar as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2008-2009 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 3,30,640 lakh at current price and Rs. 2,40,673 lakh at constant prices in the year 1999-2000. In the year 2008-2009 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 2,81,686 lakh at current price and Rs. 2,16,267 lakh at constant prices in the year 1999-2000. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2008-09 was Rs. 21,398 at current price and Rs. 16,428 at constant prices in the year 1999-2000.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its most recognised educational institutions are Indira Gandhi National Open University Regional Centre, Deovalley High School, Ramakrishna Vivekananda Vidyamandir, Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith, Deoghar Utkarsh College, St Francis School, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 64.85% including 76.85% are males and 51.8% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 7,93,538 out of which 4,89,837 are males and 3,03,701 are females. Binodanand Jha, a veteran Indian politician who served the third Chief Minister of Bihar from February, 1961 to October, 1963 was born on 17th April, 1900 in the Deoghar district. In the year 1971 he was also elected to the 5th Lok Sabha from the Darbhanga constituency of Bihar. He was a member of the Indian National Congress.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Babadham, a prominent place in the district which importance increases during the month of Shrawan since at that time a mela called Saawan Mela is organised at this place. During this period, lakhs of devotees come to the Baba Baidyanath temple in order to enjoy the fair. The district is also full of numerous ancient temples and some renowned pious places likewise Ajgaibinath, Baiju Temple, Basukinath, Deva Sangha Math, Dolmanch, Harila Jori, Hathi Pahar or Mahadevatari, Jain Temple, Kailash Pahar Ashram, Kathikund Daninath Shiva Temple, Kundeshwari, Lila Temple, Seva Nikunj, Mansarovar, Nandan Pahar, Naulakha Temple, Pagla Baba Ashram, Rikhia Ashram, Ram Krishna Mission Vidyapeeth, Satsang Nagar & Ashram, Shitala Temple, Shivaganga, Shiv Mandir Chitra, Tapovan, Chitra coalyari (Jamua) Trikuta Parvata and many more.