Giridih district, a part of the North Chota Nagpur division is a district of the Jharkhand state with its administrative headquarters located at Giridih town. The meaning of the term Giridih is “the land of hills & hillocks”. The Hindi word giri means hills and another word dih is the local dialect which means lake. During different periods of time the place was ruled by different rulers of the great dynasties. Prior to the year 1972, the place, Giridih was part of the Hazaribagh district. Thus, the history of Giridih district is a part of the history of its parent district, Hazaribagh and Chota Nagpur Plateau as well. According to the history of Giridih district, Chota Nagpur division including the district of Giridih was remain unexploited. When Akbar came to the throne of Delhi in 1556 AD, a new chapter was opened in the history of Jharkhand. At that time, the region was first introduced as a revenue administration of Mughal. The conquered provinces as they were then called were formed into a British district which comprised Ramgarh, Kendi, Kunda and Kharagdiha (which together constituted the old district of Hazaribagh comprising Giridih) and the whole of Palamu. As a result the Kol rose in the year 1931 but it did not seriously affect Giridih, whereas the administrative structure of the territory was, however, changed. Finally, after sometime Giridih was carved out from the Hazaribagh district and emerged as a separate district in the map of the Jharkhand state in the year 1976. But some of the parts of Giridih district came under the Bokaro district in 1999. At present it is a part of the Red Corridor.
Sir Jnan Chandra Ghosh, an eminent Indian chemist well-known for his contribution to the development of scientific research, industrial development and technology education in India was born on 14th September, 1894 at Giridih. He was also famous for the development of anomaly of strong electrolytes and the ionization theory. The Government of India honoured him with the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award.
Geographically, the district lies at 24°18'N latitude and 86°31'E longitude. The altitude in the district is 1351 m. In the year 2021, there was a total 18.26% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 4,962 sq kms. and it is bounded by Bihar on the North, Bokaro district and Dhanbad district on the South, Deogarh district and Jamtara district on the East and Koderma district and Hazaribagh district on the West. The famous Parasnath Hills are located in the district. The two principal rivers flows through the district are namely, the Barakar River and the Sakri River. The climate of the district generally remains dry and hot in the summers but comparatively pleasant in the winters. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1412.9 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 13 community development blocks namely Bagodar, Bengabad, Birni, Deori, Dhanwar, Dumri, Gandey, Gawan, Giridih, Jamua, Pirtand, Suriya and Tisri. Moreover, it comprises 12 towns and 2,749 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 24,45,474 including 12,58,098 are males and 11,87,376 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 944 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 28.41% out of which 30.96% were males and 25.81% were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 75.90% and 20.80% of the total population. The population density in the district is 493 (persons per sq. kms.). As per 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Hindi and Urdu with 83.13% and 7.47%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 48,068 out of which 25,958 were males and 22,110 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 8,124 out of which 4,581 were males and 3,543 were females.
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 agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, wheat, maize, sugarcane, pulses, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. The district is also rich in mineral resources. Some coal mines of Central Coalfields Limited, a subsidiary of Coal India Limited are located on the southern side of Giridih, in Beniadih. It is the largest industry in the district which contributes to the economy of the place remarkably. Recently, a number of small scale industries have set up in the place, Giridih. Most of it small scale industries are related to Metals, Sponge Iron (DRI) Units, Induction Furnaces & Rolling Mills namely Lal's, Mongia, Bharat Alloys, Atibir, Saluja Power and Steel limited, Sri Ram Steels, Bhardwaj, Salasar, Allied, Shivam Group, Gaurishanker Electro castings and many more. In 2006 the Indian government declared Giridh 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. 3,64,419 last at current price and Rs. 2,65,318 last at constant prices in the year 1999-2000. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2008-09 was Rs. 3,20,085 lakh at current price and Rs. 2,43,348 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. 14,879 lakh at current price and Rs. 11,312 lakh 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 Giridih College, R.K. Mahila College, Adarsh College, Sri Ram Krishna Mahila College, Vananchal College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 63.14% including 76.76% are males and 48.72% are females. The total number of literates in the districts is 12,53,475 out of which 7,83,736 are males and 4,69,739 are females.
Babu Lal Marandi, a veteran Indian politician and the first Chief Minister of Jharkhand was born on 11th January, 1958 at Giridih. He is the founder and national president of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik). In the year 2009 he was elected as the Member of Parliament from the Kodarma (Lok Sabha constituency). He was also severed as the Minister of State, Forests & Environment, Government of India in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts country as well as world. Jharkhand Dham, located near Dhanwar in the Giridih district is a significant temple devoted to Lord Shiva. A unique feature of the place is its roofless buildings. The place is crowded by the pilgrims on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri. Sri Sammeta Shikharji also popularly known as the Parasnath Hills is a major Jain pilgrimage destination in the world. Pilgrims from different parts of the country come to this place in order to offer their prayers. Usri Falls, situated at a distance of 13 kms. from the Giridih town is one of the most famous picnic spots in Giridih. The Usri River falls at a 40 feet steep gorge in three separate streams. The place is enclosed by dense forest of Parasnath Hills. It is a perfect destination for nature’s lovers. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Langta Baba Samadhi Sthal, Khandoli Dam, Harihar Dham, Dukhiya Mahadev Temple, Sri Kabir Gyan Mandir and many more.