Singhbhum.-District in the south-east of the Chota Nagpur
Division of Bengal, lying between 21° 58' and 22° 54' N. and 85° o'
and 86° 54' E., with an area of 3,891' square miles. It is bounded
on the north by the Districts of Ranch! and Manbhum ; on the east
by Midnapore ; on the south by the Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, and Bonai
States; and on the west by Ranch! and the Gangpur State. The
boundaries follow the crests of the unnamed hill-ranges which wall
in the District on every side, save for short distances where they are
marked by the Subarnarekha and Baitaran! rivers.
Singhbhum ('the land of the Singh family' Of PORaa.KT) comprises
the Government estate of the KOLHAN in the south-east, the revenue-
paying estate of Dhalbhum (Dhal being the zaminddr's
patronymic) in the east, and the revenue-free estate Physical
of Porahat in the west, while the States Of SARAIKKLA
and KHARSAWAN lie in the north, wedged in between Porahat and
Dhalbhum. The District forms part of the southern fringe of the
Chota Nagpur plateau; and the western portion is very hilly, especially
in the north, where the highest points have an altitude of more than
2,500 feet, and in Saranda fir in the south-west, where the mountains
culminate in a grand mass which rises to a height Of 3,500 feet. Out-
lying ranges stretch thence in a north-easterly direction to a point
about 7 miles north-west of Chaibasa. Smaller ranges are frequently
met with, chiefly along the northern marches of Saraikela and Kharsa-
wan and in the south of Dhalbhum on the confines of the Mayur-
bhanj State; but in general the eastern and east-central parts of the
District, although broken and undulating, are comparatively open.
The Singhbhum hills present an outline of sharp-backed ridges and
conical peaks, which are covered with forest wherever it is protected
by the Forest department; elsewhere the trees have been ruthlessly
' This figure, which differs from that shown in the Censais Peport of igor, was
supplied by the Surveyor-General.