The area of the district is 2110 km², with a population of around 861,000. The district is without any rail link, the nearest railway station being Barahat. The main economic activity of the people is agriculture, and major crops are paddy, wheat and maize.
Godda is the land of a tribe called Santhals. Godda is not only a land of tribes, the local inhabitants also include the non-tribal and urban people.
Godda was a part of undivided Santhal Pargana district until 1981 census. Later the old Godda sub-division of Santhal Pargana was separated and formed as a new district. As a consequence of the Santhal rebellion of 1845-55 the district of Santhal Paragna was created from portions of Bhagalpur and Birbhum. Godda district at present comprises eight Blocks: Meherma, Mahagama, Boarijor, Pathargama, Godda, Sundurpahari, Poraiyahat and Thakur Gangati. Godda is the only town in the district. There are 2311 villages in the district.
Godda district is devoid of any railway track. Many villages are still deprived of electricity and people suffer from lack of water for farming. Most of the inhabitants are farmers.
Godda is located at 24.83°N 87.22°E. It has an average elevation of 77 metres (252 feet). Godda came into existence as the 55th district of undivided Bihar on May 25, 1983. After the bifurcation of Bihar into Jharkhand state on November 15, 2000, it was one of 18 districts of Jharkhand.National Highway 133 (NH 133) passes through the city of Godda.
As of 2011 India census, Godda had a population of 1,311,382. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Godda has an average literacy rate of 57.68%, lower than the national average of 74.4%: male literacy is 69.56%, and female literacy is 44.90%. In Godda, 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The parliamentary constituency is Godda. The assembly constituencies are Madhupur, Jarmundi, Poraiyahat, Mahagama, Godda and Deoghar. Godda was in Dumka Parliamentary constituency in 1957.
Godda is mostly famous for the Rajmahal coalfield in Lalmatia. It is an integral part of Jharkhand and is known for its hills and small forests. The mine present here is an integral part of ECL coalfields and is among the biggest in whole Asia.
Until the late 1980s Godda was full of forests and was a remote place far from science and technology and was living in a dark age as other districts of Jharkhand. The entire scenario changed after coal was first discovered in abundance under the Rajmahal Hills by a team of the Geological Survey of India. Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Ltd. conducted a detailed survey of the area. The Rajmahal Opencast Coal mine project was conceived in early 1980s, initially to supply coal to Farakka Super Thermal Power Project of NTPC, with an initial annual capacity of 5 million tonne. For expansion of this coal mine project to 10.5 million tonne per annum, an agreement was signed between Coal India Limited and Canadian Commercial Corporation in January 1989 where MET-CHEM Canada Inc. was designated as the Canadian Executing Agency for implementing the project. The Project was completed in July 1994 and is being run by Eastern Coalfileds Limited personnel. This mine is producing 11.5 million tonne coal per annum. This is being expanded further to 17 million tonne.
Two more opencast coal mine of Eastern Coalfields Limited are coming in Godda district, Chuperbhita opencast coal mine project (capacity – 4 million tonne) and Hurra ‘C’ opencast coal mine project (capacity – 3 million tonne). Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Lalmatia, DAV Public School Urja Nagar, St. Thomas School Godda and High School Godda are among famous and best school in godda district.
In 2006 the Indian government named Godda one of the country’s 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the 21 districts in Jharkhand receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).
Godda district consists of 09 Blocks. The following are the list of the Blocks in Godda district:
There are three Vidhan Sabha constituencies in this district: Poreyahat, Godda and Mahagama. All of these are part of Godda (Lok Sabha constituency).
Basic health facilities in the town are available at government run Sadar Hospital and few private medical practitioners. The E.C.L. Hospital in Urjangar serves the people who come from nearby districts for various treatment as the hospital has all the modern facilities. Jindal Industries also has established a private hospital in the city. A multispeciality hospital has recently been set up in Asanbani. It has facilities for eye check ups, CT-Scanning, cancer treatment, physiotherapy, dialysis etc. Medical practitioners from various parts of the country come here every month. Medical practitioners from the city of Godda include Dr. A.K.Jha, Dr. B.K.Bhagat, Dr. AjayJha, Dr. Mandal, Dr.V.S.Murmu, and Dr.U.K.Choudhary.
Godda basically constitutes schools affiliated to C.B.S.E. New Delhi and many government run schools. Kumar Group of Education Near about HDFC Bank in Godda is basically a private coaching institute for guiding students to crack engineering and medical entrance examinations at national and state levels. The most famous is the DAV Public School situated at Urjanagar in the township of E.C.L. (Coal India Limited).DAV Urjanagar is the regional headquarter of all the DAV Schools located in the nearby districts. This school is one of the most famous schools in the santhal pargana region as it has produced many young athletes who have shown their talent at the national and state levels. The school also has produced many engineers who are today settled in central level public sectors like N.T.P.C, B.H.E.L, O.N.G.C., S.A.I.L., D.V.C. and C.I.L. This school has a unique architecture which was designed by the Canadians in the year 1991. Another school affiliated to C.B.S.E. is Jawahar Navoday School which is a residential public school and has been having a very tough competition with the D.A.V. Urjanagar. Both these schools produce good results every year in class 10 and 12 board examinations. This School is situated close to the Rajmahal coal mines area near the Gangasagar road in Mahagama. There is a central school (Government of India) established in 2007 in the main city of Godda. Delhi Public School (DPS) is located in the Mahespur area of the Godda district. Another DAV Public School is located in Rotara area of the Godda district. This DAV School is located in a sprawling campus of 4 acres in Rotara about 29 kilometers from DAV Urjanagar. Other schools in the city include govt high school, St. Josephs School, St. Thomas School, St. Micheal Anglo Indian School. govt high school, Gyan sthali public school etc. The colleges providing bachelor’s and master’s degrees to the students include The Women’s College (Bhagalpur Road) and The Godda College (near circuit house) in the heart of the city. The Godda College established in the year 1955 is the oldest college in the Santhal Pargana region. The institute is affiliated to Siddu Kanhu Murmu University, Dumka. The institute is completely residential having all modern facilities such as sports complex, auditorium, canteen, basketball court, badminton court, volleyball court and all other facilities of recreation. The institute run by the Government of Jharkhand has modern laboratories and is funded by the government which is awarded to the students as scholarships. The Women’s College is another institute offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees to girls who come here from different districts of Bihar and Jharkhand. The Women’s College is also famous for its architectural designs and lush green garden. Government Homeopathy College and Hospital situated at Paraspani in Pathargama is also offering medical degree to the students who get intake into it through J.C.E.C.E. Medical exam conducted at state level. Godda Agriculture College set by the Government of Jharkhand is also having its construction in full span near Godda College.
Godda has a diverse collection of places of scenic interest.
1. The most popular is the Ratneswar dham situated in Shivpur region. Ratneswar dham similar to Baba Baidyanath Mandir has a rich collection of Shivlings where people from every part of the world come and tribute the holy water to Lord Shiva. The people fetch the water from Sultanganj in Bihar and walk barefoot for about 50 kilometres to reach here every Sawan in June. The place has many temples in its premise and people come and visit them every day. Markets and shops are plenty in number
2. Yogini maa mandir situated in Pathargama is also globally famous. It is believed that Goddess sati bodypart had fallen at this place when Lord Shiva was carrying her body around the world. People from various parts of the world visit the place which is located on a hilltop having around 400 stairs to move to the peak. There is a very small cave where the deity exists. People enter into the cave to have a look at it. It is very difficult to get in and come out. But the person doing is blessed deeply. A ropeway to get on the hill is being constructed. This place again has a pleasant market place situated on both the sides of the road.
3. The Sundar dam is situated along the Godda-Pakur state highway at a distance of around 10 kilometres. This place has a very rich collection of wildlife and has a huge forest reserve. This place is unique in the country. Many waterfalls and breeze have their origin here. It is an excellent Picnic spot and people from other districts and states love to come here every 1st day of January with their relatives.
4. The Lalmatia region of the district also has many hillocks and plains where people come and spend their holidays. It is situated near Mahagama and has roads connecting Godda to Bihar. Lalmatia has the credit of occupying the continents largest open cast mining belt and its coal is supplied to various parts of the world. People come here and visit the loading point where they get to see how coal is extracted from the earth using dynamite whose sound is clearly heard for 17 kilometres. Loading point is 10 kilometres away from the site where blasting occurs and people have to apply for gate passes to go there.
Rice, wheat and maize are the main crops grown in the district, along with vegetables, linseed and khesari.Fruits like mango,banana,jack fruit,plum grow in this district.
Coal is mined extensively across the entire district with Lalmatia Colliery having the reputation for the largest open pit coal mine in Asia. There are no artificial irrigation facilities like dams, tunnel, tube wells. Several floods and droughts have occurred during the last decade. Adani Power is going to set up a thermal power plant in the pathergama region of Godda. The central government has allotted coal blocks for this thermal power plant to be set up. Jindal Steel and Power Limited has set up a power plant having a capacity of 1400 megawatt(around) at Nipaniya about 10 kilometers from godda city.
Data Source: WikiPedia