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Dumka District

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About the Dumka district

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Brief About Dumka District
The district of Dumka , in antiquity known as 'Damin-e-ko' was basically formed into an administrative district by the Britishers to contain the warring Pahadiyas and the local Ghatwal kings. In this process the Santhal Tribes were allowed to infiltrate and settle in large number. After the partition of Bengal, it also played a major role in the settlement of Bengali population and thus a good number of Bengali speaking population soon dominated the social and educational life. In the next phase with the beginning of transport services and a bit of business and educational institutions , a good number of Bhojpuri speaking people made their way to Dumka. Thus the urban population basically constituted of Bhojpuri and Bengali speaking people and the rural sectors specially in the interiors remained dominated by the santhals and the cast backward people. At the same time , people residing on the hills known as Pahadiyas preferred to remain outside the main stream. From the administrative point of view , Dumka become a district way back in 1965 and later on the divisional head quarter of Santhal Pargana in 1982.Till Dumka district consisted of Deoghar, Godda, Sahebgunj,Pakur and Jamtara sub divisions, Dumka remained in the hub of all administrative and Judicial activities. Thus allowing a good number of floating population .But this number of floating population decreased with the division of Santhal Pargana district into 6 new districts viz. Deoghar,Godda,Pakur, Sahebgunj, Jamtara and Dumka.

Profile Of Dumka
Dumka district is at 16" North latitude and 87 15" East longitude. It is situated at the height of 472 ft from the sea level. It The district has an area of 5518.3 sqrkm and consists of only one subdivision namely Dumka. Under Dumka subdivision, there are 10 blocks namely Dumka, Gopikander, Jama, Jarmundi, Kathikund, Maslia, Ramgarh, Raneshwar, Shikaripara and Saraiyahat.

Dumka has predominantly undulating terrain with hard rocks in the underground. Entire district has a topography with high ridges and valleys bounded by mountains and rivers. The fertility of soil is poor due to extensive erosion, acidic character and low retaining capacity.

People & Culture
As the geographical territory of Dumka had been a witness to migration of people from different social and ethnic groups, it is virtually a melting pot of cultural and linguistic amalgamation. Linguistically, it inhabits people from Dravidian , Austric, and Indo-European family of languages. The migration and the initial settlement of variety of people and races gives a display of rare balance and a mix of cultural heritage. A cursory look at the people , their life style ,social and family values, and celebration of festivals only reaffirm the truth that Dumka is virtually a melting pot of a diverse cultural contact in the process of which acculturation has also taken place. Its not only a matter of cultural contact that Dumka has witnessed so far , but change in cultural through contacts with more advanced culture (acculturation) has also taken place specially among the Christian tribals. Though among the present demographical cross-section ,Pahariyas and Ghatwals, constitute the oldest group, they are more or less marginalize groups or having very little social interaction, however they still feel proud of their state at Gando . On the other hand ,unlike the Pahariyas ,the other major ethnic group of the Santals are more mixing and incline to modernization. In fact a sizable section of the Santal population has demonstrated acculturation which is easily noticeable in their life style. The very fact that visiting churches every Sunday, baptisation of children and following the christen way of life reflects a cultural heritage within the Santals themselves of an alien presence in the cultural life of the Santals. Culturally speaking the people in Dumka love festivities and calibrations which is reflected in enthusiasm during Durga pooja ,Saraswati Pooja,Holi,Dipawali, Chhath, Id, Moharrum and Christmas. Besides the Satali and the Christen lifestyle ,the lifestyle and cultural values of the Bangalis and of the Bhojpuri speaking people are also very obvious. All these cultural varieties are best reflected in their system of worship and marriage. This variety can be demonstrated as follows :-

Local Festivals

1) Bandana or Sohorai : This festival is celebrated by the people in the month of January to recall their ancient history and to worship the cows.
2) Baha : This comes in between the month of Feb. and Mar. This is a festival of flower and water. People celebrate this for merry making and singing and dancing and drinking at Jaherthan (God's Place.)
3)Erok Puja : This comes in between the month of Jun and July. It is in the name of sacrifies of fowls and to celebrete sowing time in the Jaherthan.
4) Janther Puja : This comes in between the month of Nov. to Dec.. This is mainly to celebrete the first fruits of winter rise crops.
5) Jomsin : This festival is celbreted in the honour of sun. This not regularly observed . Santal clans : 1)Hansdak 2)Murmu 3)Kisku 4)Hembrom 5)Marandi 6) Soren
7) Tudu.