Pashchimi Singhbhum, a part of the Kolhan division is a district of Jharkhand state with its administrative headquarters located at Chaibasa town. The term Singhbhum means Land of lions in Bengali. Earlier, it is a part of the Bengal and then the British came to India then conquered over the place of Kolahan in 1837. As a result, a new district was formed which later came to be known as Singhbhum with its headquarters located at Chaibasa. After some time, three districts namely East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Saraikela-Kharsawan have been carved out of the former Singhbhum district. For the first time the West Singhbhum emerged as a separate district in the map of Jharkhand state in the year 1990. At that time there were 9 community development blocks the Eastern part became East Singhbhum district with Jamshedpur as its administrative headquarters whereas with other remaining 23 blocks the larger Western part became West Singhbhum district with Chaibasa as its administrative headquarters. In the year 2001 West Singhbhum was again divided into two parts. There are several stories associated with the origin of the name of the district. Some of its natives believe that the meaning of the place, Singhbhum is the land of "Singhs" since the patronymic of the Singh Rajas of Porahat, the junior branch of whom went on to found the ruling "Singh Deo" family of Saraikela State. On the other hand a second story suggests that the present name of the place is a transformed form of the Singh Bonga, the prominent deity of the tribal population of the district. Currently, it is a part of the Red Corridor.
Geographically, the district lies at 22°57'N latitude and 85°82'E longitude. The altitude in the district is 244 m. In the year 2019, there was a total 46.60% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 7,224 sq. Km. and it is bounded by Ranchi district and Seraikela Kharsawan district on the North East, Khunti district and Simdega district on the North West and Orissa on the South, South East and South West. The principal rivers in the district are Koel, Karo-Koina, Kharkai, Sanjai, Raro, Deo and Baitarini. The climate of the district remains hot and dry during the summers. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 493.3 mm in the year of 2019-2020.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 18 blocks namely Chaibasa, Khuntipani, Jhinkpani, Tonto, Kumardungi, Tantnagar, Jagannathpur, Manjhari, Manjhgaon, Noamundi, Chakradharpur, Bandgaon, Manoharpur, Goilkera, Sonua, Gudri, Anandpur and Hatgamharia. Moreover, it comprises 11 towns and 1,673 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 15,02,338 out of which 7,49,385 are males and 7,52,953 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1005 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 21.75% including 21.00% were males and 22.50% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 28.22% of the total population. The population density in the district is 208 (persons per sq. km.). As per 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Ho, Oriya and Santali with 54.37%, 18.74% and 3.35%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 32,969 including 17,103 were males and 15,866 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 4,998 including 2,962 were males and 2,036 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on agricultural sector. 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, maize, cauliflower, tomato, brinjal, mango, guava, jackfruit, wheat, barley, papaya, custard apple, linseed, rapeseed, mustard, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. But the district is scantily industrialised. The district also rich in mineral resources like chromites, Magnetite, Manganese, Kainite, Lime Stone, Iron Ore, Asbestos, Soap Stone, etc. In the year 2008-2009 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 6,18,776 lakh at current price and Rs. 4,58,073 lakh at constant prices in the year 1999-2000. In the year 2008-2009 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 5,28,434 lakh at current price and Rs. 4,12,435 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. 22,460 at current price and Rs. 17,530 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 Kolhan University, Tata College, Mahila College, G.C. Jain Commerce College, Chaliyama Inter College, ITI and many more. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 58.63% out of which 71.13% are males and 46.25% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 7,27,561 out of which 4,39,273 are males and 2,88,288 are females.
Madhu Koda, a veteran Indian politician who served the Chief Minister of Jharkhand from 2006 to 2008 was born on January, 1971 at Gua village in the Pashchimi Singhbhum. He is a member of the Indian National Congress party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Bidri, a village in the Manjhari block has a beautiful small lake with a hill lock on its periphery towards the eastside. Another waterfall i.e. Thakora waterfall is situated about 6 kms away from this place. Jagannathpur, a village got its name from its founder called Raja Jagannath Singh of Porahat is situated at a distance of 45 kms in the South-West side of Chaibasa. It also has an antique and old temple of Lord Shiva. Pilgrims from far off places come to this place in order to offer their prayers. Kotgarh, a village in the Jagannathpur block has some marvellous fortresses built by Narpat Singh who is said to have been the last king of his dynasty. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Chainpur, Hirni, Jojohatu, Kera, Lupungutu, Mahadebsal, Ponga, Porahat, Ramtirtha, Tholkobad, Benisagar and many more.