Surguja district

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Surguja district
सरगुजा जिला
District of Chhattisgarh
Location of Surguja district in Chhattisgarh
Location of Surguja district in Chhattisgarh
Country India
State Chhattisgarh
Headquarters Ambikapur, India
 • Total 15,732 km2 (6,074 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 2,361,329
 • Density 150/km2 (390/sq mi)
 • Literacy 61.16
 • Sex ratio 991
Website Official website
Folk decorative clay figures of Surguja district at the Quai Branly Museum, Paris

Surguja District (सरगुजा) is a district in the northern part of the state of Chhattisgarh in India. The district headquarters is Ambikapur.

The district borders on the states of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, and overlaps the southeastern part of the Vindhyachal-Baghelkhand region of peninsular India.


See also: Surguja State

According to legend, Lord Rama had visited Surguja during his 14 years of exile into the forests. There are many places in connection to epic of Ramayana, which are named after Lord Rama, Laxmana and Goddess Sita such as Ramgarh, Sita-Bhengra and Laxmangarh.[1]

Prior to the arrival of the Mauryas, the area was ruled by the Nandas. In the third century BC the region was divided into tiny kingdoms. Later, a Rajput king belonging to the Rakshal clan, attacked from what is now Jharkhand, and took control of the area. In 1820, Amar Singh was crowned as Maharaja. During the British Raj period, Surguja State was a princely state.[1][2]

The district is currently a part of the Red corridor.[3]


It lies between 23°37'25" to 24°6'17" north latitude and 81°34'40" to 84°4'40" east longitude. 244.62 kilometres (152.00 mi) long east to west and 67.37 kilometres (41.86 mi) broad north to south, this land has as area of about 16,359 square kilometres (6,316 sq mi).[1]

The high-lands of Surguja district have peculiar 'pat formations' – highlands with small tablelands. The Mainpat, the Jarang pat, the Jonka pat, the Jamira pat and the Lahsunpat are the major parts of the district. The average height of area is above 600 metres (2,000 ft). Some of peaks are – Mailan 1,226 metres (4,022 ft), Jam 1,166 metres (3,825 ft), Parta Gharsa 1,159 metres (3,802 ft), Kanda Dara 1,149 metres (3,770 ft), Chutai 1,131 metres (3,711 ft), and Karo 1,105 metres (3,625 ft). There are a number of other peaks. North–west Surguja is hilly in nature, and moving westwards, three distinct steps may be marked out: the first from Shrinagar on the east to the low-lands of Patna and Kharsawan, the second from thence to the uplands around Sonhat and the third beyond Sonhat to above a height of 1,033 metres (3,389 ft). Central Surguja is a low basin through which the Rihand and its tributaries flow.[1]

The soil of the Surguja District can be broadly classified into four major types: red and yellow soils, alluvial soils, laterite soils, and medium blue soils.

Red and yellow soils are derived from the parent rocks of the Gondwana System including sedimentary rocks. They are formed in-situ from the erosion of such rocks caused by rain. This soil is found particularly in east Sitapur, south Ambikapur, central Surajpur and Pratappur blocks. The red color is due to wide diffusion of iron while hydration of ferric oxide results in a yellow color in the soil. This soil is of lighter texture and has a porous and friable structure. Soluble salt is found in small quantities. Lime, kankar and free kankar are totally absent. These soils are poor in potash, nitrogen, humus and carbonate and differ greatly in consistency, color, depth and fertility. On the uplands they are thin and gravelly, sandy, porous and light coloured alluvium, generally transported from elsewhere, are found along river banks in alternate layers of sand and silt in East Ramanujganj, North Ambikapur, and Surajpur, along the river banks of the Rihand, Kanhar, and the Hasdeo rivers and their major tributaries. The colour of the soil is not uniform but varies from yellow to grey. Laterite soils are well developed on the summits of the plateau regions of Samri and Sitapur tehsil including Shankargargh, Kusmi, Sitapur, Batoli and Mainpat blocks of Mainpat, Jamirapat, Lahsunpat and Jonkpat.

There are three river basins in Suguja district – those of the Hasdeo River, the Rihand River and the Kanhar River.[1]

In winters temperature dips to below 5 °C (41 °F) and in summers it rises above 46 °C (115 °F).


About 90% of the working population depends on agriculture, in which 50.36% of working population are of cultivated and about 12.77% of the region are agriculture labourer. Agriculture is directly connected with land and water resources. In Surguja the percentage concentration of cultivated land is maximum in central zone of the district stretching east to west direction. North and south of this one the percentage of concentration decreases, because of several factors, out of them here are two major factors.

The uplands and high lands are mostly covered with rocky wastelands, infertile soil, woods and scrubs, sloppy and forested area. i.Unavailability of water for irrigation over most of area, improper drainage difficulty in digging wells due to rocky basement, undeveloped means of communication, transportation have restricted the extension of cultivated land.

On the other hand, the central surguja is relatively levelled, has got fertile soils and some water is available for irrigation in various ways and means of communication is developed . Double Cropped Area: Double cropped area is generally associated with water supply, natural or artificial and the pressure of population. Wherever the physical condition permits and the pressure more over the land, two crops are raised in a year from the same field. As result, a particular pattern of use of land resources emerges, which helps in the delineation of planning regions on the basis of present available resources and the limit of their utilisation. Of course there is no uniformity in the distribution of double cropped area, but the study of its distribution will be of use in the need as well as the resources. Thus most of the concentration is to be found in two patches: i. Ramanujnagar block ii. Ambikapur & Central North-East of Lundra, Rajpur, Shankargarh, Wadragnagar and Pratappur blocks. Almost whole of the central plain has got medium to relatively high value, with few exception due to local condition. In this part during summer most of the area remains uncultivated. Only in Ambiakpur block here is some concentration of double cropped area due to irrigation facilities. The per capita land is declining due to the increasing in rural population which can be fed by increasing the per acre output through bringing more and more cultivated land under double cropped system, by extending irrigation facilities, using better fertilizers and better culture. Pattern of Crop Distribution : The assessment of physical condition for different crops helps in arranging them so as to derive the optimum return of it, which may be done through the study of their distribution along with the average production. The production of land provided to different crops depends upon physically suitability of soil and availability of water etc. Not only this the local needs is also important in this connection. Roughly 41.67% out of the total geographical area is under cultivation.


According to the 2011 census Surguja district has a population of 2,361,329,[4] roughly equal to the nation of Latvia[5] or the US state of New Mexico.[6] This gives it a ranking of 192nd in India (out of a total of 640).[4] The district has a population density of 150 inhabitants per square kilometre (390/sq mi) .[4] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 19.74%.[4] Surguja has a sex ratio of 976 females for every 1000 males,[4] and a literacy rate of 61.16%.[4]

Major population comprises tribal population. Among the primitive tribes are Pando and Korwa, who still live in forest. The Pando tribe believes themselves as the member of "Pandav" clan of epic Mahabharata. The Korwa tribe believes themselves to be member of "Kauravs" of Mahabharata.[1]


Minerals belts of Surguja :

  • Upper catchments of river or Sitapur-Samri belt : This belt is associated with eastern and south eastern part of the district. It is abound in Bauxite and some amount of Coal.
  • Central-North Surguja (Wadrafnagar-Pal –Pratappur-Surajpur-Ambikapur) belt: The reserve of coal, Pyritic minerals, Sulpher, mica Berylluiim, Byrites, Copper, Galena are reported. Bishrampur, Bhatgaon, Tatapani, Ramkola, Lakhanpur and Basen are main coal fields. Some Fire-clay, Mica, Coal, Galena, silmenite are also reported in Wadrafnagar on U.P. border.

Bauxite : In Surguja Bauxite deposit have been found in tertiary rocks. Due to decay and weathering of aluminium rich rocks, Felspar usually kaolinised under tropical monsoon conditions, the weathering goes a step further and results in a residue rich in hydroxides of aluminium together with oxides of iron, manganese and titanium with sufficient contraction of aluminium hydroxides, economic deposits of bauxite originates. This process of 'Bauxitisation' as it is called thrives well on a topographically elevated well drained plateaus of low relief. The recoverable reserves of bauxite in Surguja is 57.54 million tonnes, which is around 57% of total state reserve.

Out of 57.74 million tones, 42.21 million tones are under proved category, 13.56 million tones under probable category and remaining 1.76 million tones under are possible category. About 51 million tones of the total reserves are of metallurgical grade and the grade particular of 6 million tones are not known.

The economical deposits are located at entire pat (local name given to plateau or pleatux) region of eastern and south eastern Surguja including Mainpat,Samari and Jamirapat.

  • Mainpat :Bauxite is of good and thickness varies from 4–5 meters.
  • Jamirapat & Samripat

Bauxite deposits of these areas are metallurgical grade I. These two major reserves are centred in Samri tehsil and adjacent plateaus – Jamripat, Jaranpat, Lahsunpat, Jonkapat and other small hill rocks.

Coal: Most of the coal in the Gondwana is found in barakar series. Coal as a solid stratified rock composed mainly of hydrocarbon and capable of being used as a fuel to supply heat or light or both. The coal fields of Surguja belongs to Gondwana coal fields. The coal of this area is of good quality stream and gas coals. The coal fields of Surguja can be classified as:-

  • Middle Gondwana Coal Fields: Tatapani-Ramkola, Jhilmili and Sonhat
  • Talchir Coal Fields: Bisrampur, Bansar, Lakhanpur, Panchbhaini and Damha-munda.
  • Mahanadi Valley: Hasdo-Rampur.


Languages spoken include Bharia, a Dravidian vernacular spoken by at least 200,000 members of the Bharia tribe and written in the Devanagari script.[7]

Surguja University, Ambikapur established on 2 September 2008 has the following departments:

Department of Environmental Sciences

Department of Farm-Forestry

Department of Biotechnology

Department of Pharmacy

Institute of Law and Legal Studies

Department of Functional Hindi

Department of Computer Science

Dr. (Prof.) B.L.Sharma is the Hon'ble Vice Chancellor of Sarguja University and Prof. Madhur Mohan Ranga is the coordinator of University Teaching Departments. He is also the Dean of Students' Welfare of the University. Mr. R.K. Chauhan is the acting Registrar of the University.


The first Asian film to win a Green Oscar, The Last Migration, was filmed in Surguja by the wild life film maker Mike Pandey. Sonabai is a clay sculptor famous for her tribal and folk artform.

The famous book on the truth of fake saints specially of so-called Asaram Bapu/Asharam Bapu was written in this district 14 years ago i.e. in the year, 2000 by First Chartered Accountant, Author, BJP Leader and Social worker CA. Somraj Agarwalji. The name of the book is 'KADUA SACH'. Second elaborated edition of the book was published in the year, 2008.


-Surguja ka ek Adhyaan, by Samar Bahadur Singhdeo, 1957 Varanasi. Dr.Sanjay Alung-Chhattisgarh ki Riyaste/Princely stastes aur Jamindariyaa (Vaibhav Prakashan, Raipur1, ISBN 81-89244-96-5)

Dr.Sanjay Alung-Chhattisgarh ki Janjaatiyaa/Tribes aur Jatiyaa/Castes (Mansi publication, Delhi6, ISBN 978-81-89559-32-8)

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Surguja". Surguja district administration. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  2. ^ "Surguja (Princely State)". Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  3. ^ "83 districts under the Security Related Expenditure Scheme". IntelliBriefs. 2009-12-11. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  5. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. Latvia 2,204,708 July 2011 est. 
  6. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. New Mexico - 2,059,179 
  7. ^ M. Paul Lewis, ed. (2009). "Bharia: A language of India". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (16th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 23°07′N 83°12′E / 23.117°N 83.200°E / 23.117; 83.200