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|Elevation||387 m (1,270 ft)|
|• Official||Hindi, Santali|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Latehar is a town which is also headquarters of Latehar district of Jharkhand state, India. Latehar is known for its natural environment, forest, forest products and mineral deposits. Latehar remained a part of Palamau District as a sub division since 1924. It was elevated from sub divisional status to a district on 4 April 2001, vide Jharkhand Govt. Notification No 946 dated 04.04.2001. Latehar is located on the north–west corner of Jharkhand in the Palamau Commissionary. It is surrounded by Ranchi, Lohardaga, Gumla, Palamau and Chatra district apart from Chhattisgarh state and district headquarters is situated at 84.51198 East Longitude and 23.741988 North Latitude.
It’s a predominantly tribal district with almost 45.54% of the population belonging to the schedule tribes and more than 66% of total population comprises SCs and STs. The total area of the district is 3,622.50 km2 and one of the block headquarters is more than 200 km away from the district headquarters.
The early history of Palamu is shrouded in legends and traditions. Since the district consisted mostly of forest tracts the territory seldom engaged the attention of invading armies, and the area remained outside the pale of influence of empires which were established in other parts of modern Bihar. The area was probably inhabited by autochthonous tribes in the past. The Kharwars, Oraons and Cheros, three oboriginal races ruled over this tract. Inscriptions and other relics which have been found indicate a fairly developed civilization in spite of the jungles and comparative inaccessibility of the area. The Oraons had their headquarters at Rohtas Garh in the then Shahabad district (which included the present district of Kaimur and Rohtas) and there are indications that for sometime a portion of Palamu was ruled from the headquarters of Rohtas Garh. The Cheros reigned in Palamu for nearly 200 years. This included the Chero ruler Medni Rai, who according to tradition made himself lord Paramount of the southern portion of Gaya and of large portions of Hazaribag and Surguja (in Chhattisgarh). His son, Pratap Rai built a fort at Palamu separate from the fort that had been built by his father.
Prior to the domination of Palamu by the Cheros, Rakshel Rajputs held sway over the district. They in turn, had supplanted early Marhatta settlers of whom, however, no trace is to be found now. They have probably been assimilated in the indigenous population.
A factual history of Palamu, begins from the first half of the 16th century. In 1538, Sher Shah Suri had sent one of his officers to control the turbulent chiefs and free the Grand Trunk Road from their clutches who used to exploit the travellers. The Mughal influence extended to Palamu during the reign of Emperor Akbar when it was invaded by Raja Mansingh in 1574. The troops left by him were, however, driven out in 1605 when Akbar died.
In 1629, Emperor Shahjehan appointed Ahmad Khan as the sufedar of Patna. Palamu was conferred to him as his Jagir. Ahmad Khan imposed tax to the tune of ₹ 1,36,000. The non-payment of this mandatory tax by Chero rulers of Palamu led to three successive attacks by the Mughals. The first invasion took place in the reign of Pratap Rai. The Mughal army was led by Shaista Khan the Governor of Bihar. The army reached the fort of Palamu, defeated Pratap Rai and compelled to pay tax of ₹ 80,000. The second invasion was called by internal bickerings. As a result of this Pratap Rai after negotiations agreed to pay an annual tax off Rs. One lakh only On the recommendation of Itaikad Khan, successor of Shaista Khan, Emperor Shahjehan gave Palamu to him as a military chief on a jama of ₹ 2.5 laksh. Despite two invasions the payment of tax by Chero Chiefs were never regular. As a last resort, Daud Khan, Governor of Bihar, left Patna with a strong force in 1660 and in spite of heavy drawbacks and difficult terrain, reached within 3 km of Palamu. There was an engagement and fighting which lasted three days, after which the fort was captured. Palamu was then placed in charge of Muhammadan Faujdar. But this system was done away soon and Palamu was placed under the direct control of the Viceroy of Bihar in 1660. Palamu was again invaded by Subedar Sarballand Khan. But actual fighting was warded off by the payment of one lakh of rupees in cash and in the shape of diamonds.
Latehar is located at  It has an average elevation of 327 m (1,073 ft)..
The economy of the people revolves round the forest, agriculture and minerals.
(a) Agriculture: - A large number of people are engaged in agricultural activities. Cultivation of paddy, maize, cereals, wheat, oil seeds etc. are common. The people are either working as agricultural labourers or cultivators. Kharif and Rabbi are the main agricultural seasons. Karma festival is celebrated for good production of crops.
(b) Forest: - Out of total geographical area of 4211–2508 km2, forest area covers nearly 2010.2245 km2 The tribal economy revolves around using forest products, by products and minor products. Kendu leaves, Bamboo and its manufactured products, Mahua, fruits, leaves (used is the making of dona, pattal), lac etc. play a role in the economic activity of the people. People also hunt animals for food and ‘Jani shikar’ festival is related to this hunting habit.
(c) Mines and Minerals: - The geological reports say that the district is very rich in various mineral deposits. There is abundance of deposit of Coal, Bauxite, Laterite, Dolomite, and Graphite etc. Granite, Quartz, Fireclay, Felspar etc. The excavation and exploration of these minerals have provided job opportunities to the inhabitants of this hinterland to some extent because these minerals have not been fully explored at large scale and there are no mineral based industries in the district.
(d) Animal Husbandry: -The quality of livestock is very poor. Cow, goats etc. are of local variety and the average milk yield is very less. There is a vast scope in the field of animal husbandry in Latehar.
(e) Trade and commerce: - In place of old Mahajans and landlords, various banks are operating their branches is the district but it is a matter of fact that most of the villages are so scattered that the system of primary trade in the hands of vyaparis and village sahukars still continues. Paddy thrashing, dona pattal making, bamboo basket making, selling of mahua flowers. Lacs, kendu leaves and other minor forest produces are main components of trading activities. In the absence of major industries and employment opportunities, the options of economic development are limited. Animal husbandry, piggery and fisheries etc. have good potential, but this sector has still remained unexplored.
Betla National Park
Situated in the district of Latehar, 8 km awyfrom Barwadih is spread over an area of 979sq. km. The core area of 232 km2 of the sanctuary was declared as Betla National park in September 1989. The park occupies the western parts of the Chotanagpur plateau and was constituted in 1960 as an extension of the Hazaribagh National park. Barwadih has the distinction of being the forest where the world's first tiger census was enumerated in 1932. The park became one of the earliest 9 tiger reserves in India under 'Project Tiger' in 1974.
The forests of the park have a range of vegetation consisting of tropical wet evergreen forests in the lower reaches, mixed (moist and dry) deciduous forests in the middle and temperate alpine forests in the upper reaches including Sal and bamboo as the major components along with a number of medicinal plants. The river Koel and its tributaries run through the northern portion of the park. There are grasslands in the river flowing area. It has waterfalls and hot springs too. Once the seat of Chero kings, there are two historical forts, one of them belonging to the 16th century deep inside the forest. The main sentinel of the old fort is visible high up on the hill with defences in three directions and three main gates.
1) Netarhat Sunrise Point
2) Netarhat Sunset Point
3) Lodh waterfall
4) Upper Ghaghri Waterfall
5) Lower Ghaghri Waterfall
6) Sugha bandh waterfall
7) Mirchiya waterfall
8) Indra waterfall
9) Betla national park
10) Cave of tubed
11) Palamu Fort
12) Nagar temple
13) Vaishno durga mandir
14) Tattha pani
15) Netarhat school
16) Tappa Hill
17) Tree house betla
18) Netarhat dam
19) Lalmatiya dam
20) Jhariya dam
21) Maa Vaishno Temple
As of 2011[update] India census, Latehar had a population of 8,64,677. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Latehar has an average literacy rate of 61%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 70%, and female literacy is 51%. In Latehar, 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Latehar
- "Census of India 2011: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.