Bankura district, situated in Burdwan division is a district of West Bengal with its administrative headquarters located at Bankura city. It is like a bridge between the plains of Bengal on the east and Chota Nagpur plateau on the west. The district got its name from various sources. According to KolMundas language, the term Banku means extremely beautiful whereas orah or rah means habitation. Dharmathakur, one of the most influential deities in the district is locally famous as Bankura Roy. The Natives of the district believe that Bankura city was founded by Banku Rai, a chieftain and hence it was named after him. During different periods of time the place was ruled by rulers such as Gupta dynasty, Malla dynasty, Mughals and finally British. In the period of British rule the kingdom of Bishnupur with the Burdwan chakla was ceded to the British in 1760. After sometime, in the year 1787 Bishnupur was united with Birbhum in order to form a separate administrative unit, the headquarters was transferred to Suri and then a rebellious situation was started in this place. Bankura continued to be one district with Birbhum till 1793 when it was transferred to the Burdwan collectorate. At the time it has been emerged as a part ofJungle Mahals. The district acquired its present shape with the thanas of Khatra and Raipur and the outpost of Simplapal being transferred from Manbhum, and the thanas of Sonamukhi, Kotulpur and Indas being retransferred from Burdwan in the year 1879. Sometimes in earlier it was known as West Burdwan but it came to be known as Bankura district from the year 1881. At present the district is a part of Red Corridor.
Shri Jamini Roy, an eminent Indian painter was born on 11th April, 1887 at Beliatore in the district. He was one of the most well-known pupils of Abanindranath Tagore, whose artistic originality and contribution to the emergence of modern art in India can never be denied. He was honoured by the great Padma Bhushan award in 1955. Ramkinkar Baij, an illustriousIndiansculptor, painter, one of the pioneers of modern Indian sculpture and a chief figure of Contextual Modernism was born on 26thMay, 1906 in the Bankura district. He was also honoured by the notable Padma Bhushan award in 1970.
Geographically, the district lies at 23°23'N latitude, 87°07'E longitude and 78 m Altitude.In the year 2021, there was a total 18.59% forest area of total geographical area. The district occupies a geographical area of 6,882 sq km. and it is surrounded by Bardhaman district on the north and north east, Hooghly district on the south east, Paschim Medinipur district on the south and Purulia district on the west. The climate of the district is much drier, in comparison to the eastern and southern Bengal. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season.The actual rainfall in the district was 2320.6 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 3 sub-divisions namely Bankura Sadar, Khatra and Bishnupur. There are 2 Lok Sabha and 13 Assemblyconstituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 12 towns and 3,823 villages. Theadministrative language in the district is Bangali.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 35,96,674 out of which 18,38,095 are males and 17,58,579 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 957 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-11 the population growth rate in the district was 12.65% including 12.35% were males and 12.97% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 84.34% of the total population. The population density in the district is 523 (persons per sq. km.). According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Bengali with 90.67%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 58,485 out of which 29,978 were males and 28,507 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 27,995 out of which 16,754 were males and 11,241 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly based on agriculture. Some of its foremost agricultural products are wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, etc. The district has abundant mineral resources such as mica, china clay, iron ore, zinc, lead, etc. These are also contributes in its economy to a great extent. In the year 2006 theMinistry of Panchayati Raj declared Bankura as one of the country's 250most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2013-14 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 23,61,785 lakhs at current price and Rs. 11,72,933 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2013-14 was Rs. 21,74,809 lakh at current price and Rs. 10,65,068 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2013-14 was Rs. 57,879 at current price and Rs. 28,345 at constant prices in the year 2004-2005.
The district has numerous schools, colleges and other professional educational institutions. Some of its reputed educational institutions are Panchmura Mahavidyalaya, Bankura Zilla School, Bankura Christian College, Bankura Sammilani Medical College, Bankura Unnayani Institute of Engineering, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 70.26% including 80.05% are males and 60.05% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 22,32,992 including 12,99,337 are males and 9,33,655 are females.
Susmita Bauri, a distinguished Indian politician and the member of 14thand 15thLok Sabha from the Bishnupur (Lok Sabha constituency) was born on 5thJanuary, 1975 at Khatra in the Bankura district. She is a member of Communist Party of India (Marxist) i.e. CPI (M).
Bankura, a place rich in traditional and cultural heritage allures numerous population from across the world. Bishnupur, a most admired tourist spot of the district is located 34 km. at a distance from Bankura Town. The terracotta temples, classical music dalmadal, painting and Baluchari sarees of this place attracts the travellers from far distance place. Some of the ancient marvellous temples of Bishnupur are Jor Mandir, Rasmancha, Radhamadhab temple, Kalachand temple, Madan Mohan temple, Radha-Gobinda temple and Shyam Ray temple. Joyrambati,aplace situated 98 kms.Away from Kolkata is a holy place since it was the birthplaceofSree Sree Maa Sarada Devi. Singha Bahani Devi temple and Mayerepukur are the identityof the site. Susunia hill and Biharinath hill of Bankura District is full of mesmerisingnaturalsceneries andperfect destinations for nature’s lovers. Some other renowned centres of attraction in the district are Mukutmonipur, Jhilimili, Durgapur Barrage, Gandoa Dam, Koro Pahar, etc.