Dakhin Dinajpur district, a part of the Jalpaiguri division is a district of West Bengal state with its administrative headquarters located at Balurghat town. Legends believe that in the ancient period of time, the district of West Dinajpur comprised an area, which was a part of the kingdom of Pundravardhana, the country of the Pundras. The discovery of a seal in the year 1931, in the middle of the the ruins of Mahasthangarh had state the fact that in the Maurya period Pundranagara or Mahasthangarh was a centre of Buddhism.Moreover, a few clay seals found during excavations at Bangarh in1937-41 are also perhapsassigned to the Maurya period. In this way number of things were found during the excavations in the region which has proved that the place was ruled by many significant dynasties such as Gupta, Pala, Senas, Muslim rulers, Mughal, etc. In the modern history of the Dakshin Dinajpur district, it is mentioned that at the time of the partition of India the earlier undivided Dinajpur district was split up into two districts namely West Dinajpur district and East Dinajpur. At present the Dinajpur of the Bagladesh was previously known as the East Dinajpur district. When the recommendations of the States Reorganisation Act were implemented then the West Dinajpur district became enlarged in 1956, with the addition of some other areas of Bihar. The district came into existence on 1stApril, 1992 when the erstwhile West Dinajpur district was bifurcated into two districts namely Uttar Dinajpur and Dakshin Dinajpur.
Geographically, the district lies at 25°37'N latitude, 88°71'E longitude and 30 m Altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 3.93% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 2,219 sq. km. and it is bounded by Bangladesh on the North, East and South East, Malda district on the South West and Uttar Dinajpur district on the West. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1233.2 mm in the year of 2019-20.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 2 sub-divisions namely Balurghat and Gangarampur. Moreover, it comprises7townsand 1,631villages. The administrative language in the district is Bangla.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 16,76,276 out of which 8,57,199 are males and 8,19,077 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 956 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 11.52% including 11.28% were males and 11.77% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 73.55% of the total population.According to 2001 census the principal languages in the district are Bengali and Santali with 84.41% and 9.68%. The population density in the district is 755(persons per sq. km.). In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 24,592 out of which 12,526 were males and 12,066 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 9,706 out of which 5,804 were males and 3,902 were females.
Since the district is a “Non Industry” district hence its economy is mainly dependent on agriculture. Most of the lands in the district are under cultivation. The irrigation facility of the district is also good enough due to a number of North-South flowing rivers like Atreyee, Purnabhaba, Tangon and Brahmani. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are rice, maize, tur, linseed, oilseeds, maize, potato, ginger, tea, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these agricultural products helps in its economy to a great extent. In the name of industries the district has a few medium scale industries of tiles, bricks, pipe, wooden furniture, electronic goods, cyber cafe, assembly, computer servicing, offset printing, storage batteries, detergent, automobile servicing, rice mill, etc. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Dakshin 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. 10,57,842 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 4,95,530 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2013-14was Rs. 9,85,920 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 4,56,296lakh at Constant Prices in the year2004-2005. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period2013-14was Rs. 50,991 at Current Price and Rs. 23,599 at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005.
The district has some reputed schools in Balurghat and Gangarampur. An Agriculture College has been established in the district which is affiliated to the Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya at Majhian. Some other recognised colleges in the district are Kotibarsha Institute of Technology and Management, National School of Management Studies, Balurghat College, Balurghat B.Ed College, Dewan Abdul Gani College, Gangarampur College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 72.82% including 78.37% are males and 67.01% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 10,83,685 out of which 5,96,474 are males and 4,87,211 are females.
Ranen Barman, an eminent Indian politician and a member of the 14th Lok Sabha from the Balurghat constituency of West Bengal was born on 2nd March, 1969 in the district. He is a member of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) political party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. The famous international Indo-Bangladesh border check post is known as Hill Block, located in the district. It is a perfect destination for nature’s lovers. Sarongbari, located in the district is a notable picnic spot with mesmerising natural sceneries and the small forest. The College Museum of Balurghat is the well known museum which draws the attention of the visitors by its antique collection of coins, inscriptions, terracotta figurines of the past kings, which bears the testimony of the past heritage of the region. Khanpurisa historically significant site of the district since the Tebhaga Movement originated in the region. Bolla Kali Temple, situated behind it is closely associated with a mythological story. Pilgrims from far off places comes to this temple to offer their prayers.