Uttar Dinajpur district, a part of Jalpaiguri division is a district of West Bengal state with its administrative headquarters located at Raiganj town. Earlier, the place was a part of the erstwhile West Dinajpur district. But later it was carved out from the West Dinajpur district and on 1st April, 1992 the Uttar Dinajpur was emerged as a separate district on the map of the West Bengal.The history of the district is not very clear. During different periods of time the place was ruled by different dynasties namely Pundras, Mauryans, Pala dynasty, Turkish, Mughal, etc.Then the British came to India and the place Uttar Dinajpur came under the control of the East India Company in 1765.
Geographically, the district lies at 25°61'N latitude, 88°13'E longitude and 53 m Altitude.In the year 2019, there was a total 7.48% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 3,140 sq km. and it is bounded by Panchagarh, Thakurgaon and Dinajpur districts of Bangladesh on the east, Kishanganj, Purnia and Katihar districts of Bihar on the west, Darjeeling district and Jalpaiguri district on the north and Malda district and Dakshin Dinajpur district on the south. The climate of the district remains pleasant throughout the year. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1205.9 mm in the year of 2019-2020.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 2 sub-divisions namely Raiganj and Islampur. Moreover,itcomprises 9 towns and 1,494 villages.Theadministartive language in the district is Bangali.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 30,07,134 out of which 15,51,066 are males and 14,56,068 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 939 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 23.15% including 23.13% were males and 23.18% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 49.31% and 49.92% of the total population. The population density in the district is 958 (persons per sq. km.).According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Bengali and Hindi with 68.06% and 17.46%.In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 77,016 out of which 38,139 were males and 38,877 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 12,434 out of which 7,734 were males and 4,700 were females.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. A core part of its economy is also comes from the forestry or the forest resource. 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, mustard, jute, chili, tomato, brinjal, ginger, cabbage, potato, linseed, sugarcane, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these agricultural products helps in its economy to a great extent. The forest-based industry is the principal industry of the district which provides employment to its rural population. The humid tropical climate of the district favours in the rapid growth of the mixed deciduous forest.In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared the Uttar Dinajpur 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 2013-14 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 14,26,429 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 6,84,300 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2013-14 was Rs. 13,32,490 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 6,31,923 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2013-14 was Rs. 39,720 at Current Price and Rs. 18,837 at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad B. Ed College, Sree Agrasen Mahavidyalaya, Dr. Meghnath Saha College, Raiganj Surendranath Mahavidyalaya, Kaliyaganj College, Islampur College, etc.As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 59.07% including 65.52% are males and 52.17% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 14,89,667 out of which 8,53,495 are males and 6,36,172 are females.
Palas Barman, an eminent Indian politician and elected as a member of the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Lok Sabha from the Balurghat constituency in West Bengal was born on 1st January, 1929 in the Dinajpur district. He was a member of the Revolutionary Socialist Party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary also popularly known as Kulik Bird Sanctuary is located near the Raiganj in the Uttar Dinajpur district. According to some natives, it is the second largest bird sanctuary in Asia. The shape of the sanctuary is just similar to that of the English alphabet “U”. Sap Nikla Forest, situated at a distance of 22 km. from Islampur in the district is aperfect destination for nature’s lovers. The construction of an eco-park in the place is underway.