Latehar is a district located in the Indian state of Jharkhand, situated in the Chota Nagpur Plateau region. It is surrounded by Gumla district to the east, Garhwa district to the west, Palamau district to the north, and Ranchi district to the south.
Latehar was a part of the Magadha empire during the Mauryan period. Later, it was ruled by the Chero dynasty, followed by the Mughals and the British. During the British Raj, Latehar was a part of the Chota Nagpur Division of the Bengal Presidency.
The district played an important role in India's struggle for independence. Latehar was a center of the Birsa movement, led by Birsa Munda, who fought against the British for the rights of the Adivasi people.
Latehar district covers an area of 3,703 square kilometers, and it is situated at an average altitude of 410 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by hills and forests and is rich in natural resources like coal, bauxite, and iron ore. The major rivers flowing through the district are the Koel, Auranga, and North Koel.
The district is divided into three subdivisions: Latehar, Barwadih, and Mahuadanr. The Latehar subdivision is further divided into seven blocks: Latehar, Chandwa, Balumath, Barwadih, Garu, Manika, and Mahuadanr.
As per the 2011 census, Latehar has a population of 725,673, out of which 51.98% are males and 48.02% are females. The district has a literacy rate of 54.31%, with male literacy at 65.26% and female literacy at 42.30%.
The majority of the population in Latehar is Adivasi, with the Oraon tribe being the largest. Other tribes living in the district include the Munda, Kharia, and Santal. Hindi is the official language of the district, but the local dialects spoken include Oraon, Mundari, and Kharia.
The economy of Latehar is primarily agricultural, with around 85% of the population engaged in farming. The major crops grown in the district are paddy, maize, wheat, and pulses. Apart from agriculture, the district has mineral resources like coal, bauxite, and iron ore, which contribute to its economy.
The district is also known for its forest resources. The Latehar forest division covers an area of 2,332.52 square kilometers and is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Timber, bamboo, and medicinal plants are some of the forest resources that contribute to the local economy.
Latehar has a rich cultural heritage, which is reflected in its festivals, music, and dance. The Oraon tribe has a unique dance form called "Sohrai" that is performed during the harvest season. The Santal tribe has a traditional dance called "Chhou," which is performed during religious festivals.
Apart from dance, the district is also known for its folk music, which includes "Jhumar" and "Karma" songs. The traditional musical instruments used in Latehar include the "Mandar," "Dhol," and "Jhanj."
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