History of Dhanbad

Dhanbad, also known as ‘The Coal Capital of India’ is an epitome of rapid development and modernization. It is known for its coal reserves and urbanization. This coal city of Jharkhand has been ranked as 96th fastest growing city in the world. At present, it has perfect connectivity with all major cities through rail and road. In fact, Dhanbad Railway Station is most famous for its huge revenue generation and that is the result of numerous industrial establishments in the city.

History of Dhanbad

Early history of this city is mostly unknown due to mysterious circumstances of this region in the past. Well, there are some historic sites and temples in the city which have many folklores associated with them. In the past few years, this city has developed and become one of the most famous industrial cities in India. Thus, most of the past and present of this city belongs to its industries and some historic sites including old villages and ancient temples.

Origin of the name

Dhanbad was formerly called Dhanbaid which is supposed to be derived from word ‘Dhan’ which means ‘Paddy’ and ‘baid’ which means ‘The land’. Thus, Dhanbaid means ‘The Paddy Land’. Over the span of time, it became obscure and changed to Dhanbad, present name of the city. Dhanbad was earlier part of Manbhum district and ancient history of that region is not widely available.

It is said that Manbhum was formerly occupied by Mundari or Kolarian tribes or races during seventh century A.D. in the forested area of then undivided southern part of Bihar. Some other information has been also collected from the account of the travels of Hieun Tsang which has narration of this region. As per this account, it is believed that there was existence of a powerful kingdom in early times which was ruled by Sasanka and Manbhum district and its other adjoining areas were part of his reign.

Evolutionary History of Dhanbad

When it comes to find out the early historical events of Dhanbad, there is no specific or trusted information available. Dhanbad was formerly part of Manbhum district which was situated in Chotanagar Plateau. History of Chotanagar Plateau is almost shrouded in mystery and that is the main reason why there is no specific information available about early history of later period of this region including Dhanbad as well.

Historical accounts of Dhanbad

According to folklore, it is also famous that Dhanbad was basically a small village of Manbhum ruled by Raja Man Singh and thus it got its name Manbhum from him. Manbhum was part of the territory which was gifted to Raja Man Singh by Emperor Akbar as a reward for his victory in a certain battle. It was then divided into three different parts for administrative purposes. These three parts were named as Manbhum, Birbhum and Singhbhum. These are some historical events that took place in Dhanbad in the past.

Dhanbad during 19th Century

History of coal mines of DhanbadMore information about even later periods is not available. Settlement Report of Manbhum (1928) states the unavailability of any literary or numismatic sources relating to the region. The oldest authentic documents produced were all on paper and barely even a hundred years old. As per these mysterious circumstances, the District Gazetteer for Dhanbad (1964) has only reproduced the chapter of history mentioned in the Settlement Report for Manbhum (1928).

Earlier, Dhanbad was in Manbhum district of undivided Bihar from 1928 to 1956. In 1956, Dhanbad district was constituted by carving out Chandankiyari and Chas police stations of the Sadar sub-division and old Dhanbad division of erstwhile Manbhum district. Dhanbad district had no effect of re-organisation of all states in Bihar after 1971. Dhanbad is still police district since 1928. Thereafter, Chas subdivision of Dhanbad district was carved out along with Bermo sub-division of Giridih district to form Bokaro district in 1991.

Dhanbad was declared district on 24th October 1956 on recommendation of the State Reconstitution Commission vide notification 1911 and remained in Bihar from 24th October 1956 to 14th November 2000. Then it came into newly formed Jharkhand state on 15th November 2000 and at present, it is one of the twenty four districts of Jharkhand. It is the most populous city of Jharkhand state.

Archeological and Religious Sites in Dhanbad

In the early times, Dhanbad district was divided into two sub-divisions named Dhanabd Sadar and Baghmara. Formerly, there were 6 blocks in Dhanbad that reduced to four blocks later enclosing 1654 villages, 30 nagar palikas and 228 panchayats. But, due to vastness of district, two police headquarters were formed at Dhanbad and Bokaro respectively.

At present, Dhanbad has just one sub-division known as Dhanbad Sadar and 8 blocks including Dhanbad, Baghmara, Jharia, Nirsa, Baliapur, Govindpur, Tundi and Topchanchi. These blocks consist of 1348 villages and 181 panchayats.

Religious structures in Dhanbad

Dhanbad has some famous historic and religious sites that have been witness of historical events in this city. Gopalpur village have ancient pillars dated back to Rule of Emperor Asoka and one stone image of Emperor Asoka himself. Chati-Gobindpur village is famous for its two ancient pillars, one of which is said to be belonged to Emperor Asoka and other is associated with Afghan Chief Sher Shah. 

These all villages attract many historians, archeologists and visitors for their historical importance and study as well. Panra village has famous folklore about it that Pandavas spent a period of time hiding here during their exile. One of the temples of this village is also known as Pandeshwar Mahadev which is devoted to Lord Shiva. 

Kalyaneshwari Temple was built in 19th century and is one of the most popular religious sites in Dhanbad. Shakti Mandir is famous for its eternal flame that is said to be brought from the revered 'Jwalaji Shrines' of Himachal Pradesh and that is why people come to visit this temple from far places.
Dhanbad is coal mining and industrial city which has gone through rapid development and urbanization along with major industrial establishments in past several years. At present, Dhanbad is one of the busiest commercial hubs and industrial cities in India. 'The Coal Capital of India' has become one of the fastest growing cities in the world due to effect of these commercial activities.

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