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Map of Sundargarh districtSituated between the 21º36’ N to 22º32’ N latitude and 83º32’E to 85º22’E Longitude, Sundargarh, literally meaning the “Beautiful place” covered with a canopy of dense forests and myriad colorful tribes, verily accentuate its name. The district was constituted on the 1st January, 1948 out of the two ex-States of Gangpur and Bonai, which merged with Orissa on that day. 43% of the entire landmass of the district is under vegetation, thus making it the district with the thickest cover of forests. The district also sitting pretty over vast tracts of the Chot Nagpur Plateau regions, offers great mining potentialities. The district is bounded by Ranchi District of Jharkhand on the North, Raigarh district of Chhatisgarh on the west and North-West, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur and Angul District of Orissa on the South and South-East and Singhbhum District of Jharkhand and Keonjhar District of Orissa on the east.


Geographically, the district is not a compact unit and consists of widely, dissimilar tracts of expansive and fairly open country, dotted with isolated peaks, inaccessible forests, river valley and mountainous terrain. Broadly speaking it is an undulating table-land of different elevations broken up by rugged hill ranges and cut off by torrential hill streams and the river lb and Brahmani. The general slope of the district is from north to south. There is a open well-cultivated plain country along the valley of the lb river particularly in the south. The rest of the Sadar sub-division consists of undulating table-land about 700 ft. in average height, dotted here and there with hills and peaks rising to about 2000ft., in the western most tracts at Hemgir in the north there is a gradual rise to the table-land of Chhotanagpur. The portion occupied by Bonai sub-division to the south-east has rugged forest and hills intersected by gorges and passes and having a narrow valley of the Brahmani River and its tributaries. For a short spell of time during the rainy season the rapid current of the hill-streams cut off communication. The east and west of the Brahmani valley is filled with high range of mountains, Chheliatoka (3331 ft.) and Bichakani (2964 ft.) in the east. The last hill has acquired importance as it contains million of tonnes of iron-ore for use in Rourkela steel plant.The territory of Sundargah and Panposh sub-divisions comprising the ex-states of Ganagpur is about 700 ft. above the sea level. Bonai sub-division comprising ex-State of Bonai is about 800 ft. above the sea level.

Forests of Sundargarh

Sundargarh forestThe forest of the district is of northern tropical dry deciduous type, mainly containing Sal, Assan and Kurum. The eastern half of Bonai and Rajagangapur contain better quality of vegetation. The forest area is mostly studded with rich mineral deposits, like iron ore, manganese, limestone, lead; also forest products like bamboo, timber and kendu leaf which are export-oriented. The district was a very inaccessible tract having no proper communication till a few years back. The tribal people living in the area used to subsist for the most part of shifting cultivation which resulted in denudation of forest The forest occupy an area of 3534.92 sq.kms which includes 2664.64 sq. kms. under reserved forest and 612.07 sq.kms. under protected forest. The forests are of northern tropical dry deciduous type. Sal is the dominant species. The eastern half of Bonai contain better quality of vegetation. The principal forest produce are timber, kendu-leaf and bamboo besides minor product like sabai grass. lac, tassar, myrabolan, mahua, kusuma seed, resin, tamarind, gum and sal seed. The export of forest produce is mainly done through road and railway. The forest produce alone provided a revenue of Rs 161.55 lakh to the State Government during the year 1980-81. Consequent upon the State Government policy to increase the revenue from the kendu-leaf through Government trade, Orissa Forest Corporation, a State Government undertaking operates a trade in kendu-leaf and revenue of Rs 110.42 lakh was received during the year 1980-81. Simultaneously emphasis has been laid down on afforestation through different program like D.R.D.A. and N.R.E.P sponsored by the government in the recent past.


The district of Sundargarh enjoys extreme climate. The summers are extreme with temperature crossing 45°C quite often. The months of April , May and June are particularly oppressively hot. The region receives abundant rainfall in the monsoon months. The winters start in November and continue up to January. Winters can be exceedingly cold with temperature dropping to 7-8 °C at times.