Dumka district, a part of the Santhal Pargana division is a district of the Jharkhand state with its administrative headquarters located at Dumka city. There are two sayings regarding the name of the place, Dumka. As per the first one, the name Dumka is taken from the Santali term sumk meaning "shunted" or "small," since it was a small town as compared to Suri and Bhagalpur during the British Rule. According to the other, Dumka got its name from a Persian word damin-i-koh meaning 'skirts of the hills' i.e. an edge, border or extreme part. The peresent name of the district is assigned to it by the Mughals. In the very begining period, the place was inhabited by some Paharias such as, the Maler and Sauria Paharias. During the medieval era, the place was ruled by many prominent Muslim rulers namely Sher Shah Suri, Akbar and many more. Finally, British came to India and started to rule over the place until India got its independence in the year 1947. At the time of their rule, they declared the current city, Dumka as a Ghatwali police post under Birbhum District of Bengal in 1769. Then Dumka was shifted under the Bhagalpur division in 1775. After being carved out of the Bhagalpur division, Dumka as a separate district came into existance in the year 1865. Later, the city of Dumka was made the administrative headquarters of the entire Dumka district in 1872. The place of Dumka was declared as the divisional headquarters of Santhal Pargana in the year 1983. After sometime in 2000 Dumka became the sub-capital of Jharkhand.
Geographically, the district lies at 24026'N latitude and 87025'E longitude. The altitude of the district is 144 m. In the year 2019, there was a total 15.35% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 3,761 sq kms. and it is bounded by Godda district and Bihar on the North, Jamtara district and West Bengal on the South, Pakur district on the East and Deogarh district on the West. The main river flows through the district is Mayurakshi River. The climate of the district can be characterised as a humid subtropical climate since it has hot and humid summer with mild winter. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 816.8 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 10 blocks namely Dumka, Gopikandar, Jama, Jarmundi, Kathikund, Masalia, Ramgarh, Ranishwar, Shikaripara and Saraiyahat. Moreover, it comprises 10 sub-districts, 5 towns and 2,925 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 13,21,442 out of which 6,68,514 are males and 6,52,928 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 977 (females for every 1000 males). The population density in the district is 351 (persons per sq. km.). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 19.42% including 18.56% were males and 20.32% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 79.06% of the total population. As per 2011 census the principal languages are Santali, Hindi and Bengali with 39.71%, 45.79% and 9.59%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 35,929 including 18,444 were males and 17,485 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 6,968 including 3,480 were males and 3,488 were females.
The economy of the district is basically dependent on both the agricultural and industrial sector. Most of the population in the district are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. Now-a-days most of its farmers are adopting some new methods of agriculture which helps in the production of numerous agricultural crops remarkably. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, maize, linseed, wheat, pulses, mustard, etc. The revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. Industrially also the district is developed well enough. In 2006, the Indian government declared Dumka 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. 3,63,459 lakh at current price and Rs. 2,72,145 lakh at constant prices in the year 1999-2000. In the year 2008-2009 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 3,14,560 lakh at current price and Rs. 2,46,801 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. 15,825 at current price and Rs. 12,416 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 A.N. College, Santal Pargana College, S.P. Mahila College, St. Teresa High School, N.E.L.C. Don Bosco School, St. Joseph’s High School, etc. Most of the colleges in the district are affiliated to Siddhu Kanhu University, established on 10th January, 1992 in Dumka, which later, renamed as Sido Kanhu Murmu University on 6th May, 2003. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 61.02% including 72.96% are males and 48.82% are females. The literate population in the district is 6,72,409 including 4,06,275 are males and 2,66,134 are females.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Baba Basukinath Dham, located around 25 kms. northwest of Dumka is a sacred place and the one of the prominent attraction of the district. Pilgrims from the far off places come to this place in order to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva. Maluti is a historical and religious place is located 55 kms. away from the Dumka district headquarters. The amazing part of the Maluti is its marvellous archaeology and its surrounding natural beauty. Masanjore, a place full of mesmerising natural sceneries is a popular picnic spot in the Dumka district. The pleasing view of the Masanjore dam on the Mayurakshi River draws the attention of many travellers every year. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Baba Sumeshwar Nath, Tatloi, Kumrabad, Kurwa (Shrishti), Chutonath and many more.