Sonamukhi (community development block)

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Community development block
সমষ্টি উন্নয়ন ব্লক
Sonamukhi is located in West Bengal
Location in West Bengal, India
Coordinates: 23°18′00″N 87°25′00″E / 23.3°N 87.416667°E / 23.3; 87.416667Coordinates: 23°18′00″N 87°25′00″E / 23.3°N 87.416667°E / 23.3; 87.416667
Country  India
State West Bengal
District Bankura
 • Total 368.30 km2 (142.20 sq mi)
Elevation 75 m (246 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 158,697
 • Density 430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
 • Official Bengali, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 722207 (Sonamukhi)
722110 (Dhansimla)
Telephone/STD code 03243
Vehicle registration WB-67, WB-68
Literacy 66.16%
Lok Sabha constituency Bishnupur
Vidhan Sabha constituency Sonamukhi

Sonamukhi is a community development block that forms an administrative division in Bishnupur subdivision of Bankura district in the Indian state of West Bengal.


From Bishnupur kingdom to the British Raj[edit]

From around 7th century AD till around the advent of British rule, for around a millennium, history of Bankura district is identical with the rise and fall of the Hindu Rajas of Bishnupur. The Bishnupur Rajas, who were at the summit of their fortunes towards the end of the 17th century, started declining in the first half of the 18th century. First, the Maharaja of Burdwan seized the Fatehpur Mahal, and then the Maratha invasions laid waste their country.[1]

Bishnupur was ceded to the British with the rest of Burdwan chakla in 1760. In 1787, Bishnupur was united with Birbhum to form a separate administrative unit. In 1793 it was transferred to the Burdwan collectorate. In 1879, the district acquired its present shape with the thanas of Khatra and Raipur and the outpost of Simplapal being transferred from Manbhum, and the thanas of Sonamukhi, Kotulpur and Indas being retransferred from Burdwan. However, it was known for sometime as West Burdwan and in 1881 came to be known as Bankura district.[1]



Bankura district has been described as the “connecting link between the plains of Bengal on the east and Chota Nagpur plateau on the west.” The areas to the east and north-east are low lying alluvial plains, similar to the predominating rice lands in the adjacent districts of Bengal. To the west the surface gradually rises, giving way to undulating country, interspersed with rocky hillocks. Much of the area is covered with jungles.[2]

The western part of the district has poor, ferruginous soil and hard beds of laterite with scrub jungles. There are irregular patches of more recent alluvium. During the long dry season large extents of red soil with hardly any trees lend the country a scorched and dreary appearance. In the eastern part the eye constantly rests on wide expanses of rice fields, green in the rains but parched and dry in summer.[2]

There are two are two moderately high hills – Biharinath (in Saltora CD Block) and Susunia (in Chhatna CD Block). While the former rises to a height of 448 metres (1,470 ft), the latter attains a height of 440 metres (1,440 ft).[2]


The district has hilly streams originating in the highland in the east and flowing from the north-east to the south-west. The Damodar forms the northern border with Bardhaman district and then flows into that district. The Sali is a tributary of the Damodar. Amongst the other rivers (flowing paralelly from the north) are: the Dwarakeshwar, the Shilabati and the Kangsabati. The Gandheswari is an important tributary of the Dwarakeshwar.[2]

The Kangsabati Project consists of a dam across the Kangsabati in Khatra CD Block and three pick-up barrages – Shilabati, Bhairabbanki and Tarafeny.[3]


In Bankura district 148,177 hactres or 21.5% of total geographical area of the district is forested. The forests contain the best quality sal (Shorea robusta) trees. Large forest areas exist in Sonamukhi, Joypur, Bishnupur, Khatra and Ranibandh areas.[4][5]


Sonamukhi is located at 23°18′00″N 87°25′00″E / 23.3°N 87.416667°E / 23.3; 87.416667.

Sonamukhi CD Block is bounded by Kanksa and Galsi I CD Block, in Bardhaman district across the Damodar, on the north, Patrasayer CD Block on the east, Bishnupur and Onda CD Blocks on the south and Gangajalghati and Barjora CD Blocks on the west.[6][7]

It is located 43 km from Bankura, the district headquarters.[6]

Area and administration[edit]

Sonamukhi CD Block has an area of 368.30  km2.[8]Sonamukhi police station serves this CD Block. Sonamukhi panchayat samity has 10 gram panchayats. The block has 159 inhabited villages.[9]Headquarters of this block is at Sonamukhi.

Gram panchayats[edit]

Gram panchayats of Sonamukhi block/ panchayat samiti are: Dhansimla, Dhulai, Dihipara, Hamirhati, Kochdihi, Manikbazar, Panchal, Pearbera, Purbanabasan and Radhamohanpur.[10]



As per the 2011 Census of India Sonamukhi CD Block had a total population of 158,697, all of which were rural. There were 81,610 (51%) males and 77,087 (49%) females. Population below 6 years was 18,881. Scheduled Castes numbered 69,646 (43.89%) and Scheduled Tribes numbered 5,560 (3.50%).[11]

As per 2001 census, Sonamukhi block had a total population of 142,305, out of which 73,200 were males and 69,105 were females. Sonamukhi block registered a population growth of 15.07 per cent during the 1991-2001 decade. Decadal growth for the district was 15.15 per cent.[8] Decadal growth in West Bengal was 17.84 per cent.[12]


Large villages (with 4,000+ population) in Sonamukhi CD Block are (2011 census figures in brackets): Dhan Simla (5,995).[11]

Other villages in Sonamukhi CD Block are (2011 census figures in brackets): Kochdihi (3,296), Hamirhati (955), Pear Bera (2,761), Dihipara (1,574), Dhulai (2,607), Panchal (3,266) and Manik Bazar (1,757).[11]


As per the 2011 census the total number of literates in Sonamukhi CD Block was 92,500 (66.16% of the population over 6 years) out of which males numbered 54,107 (75.23% of the male population over 6 years) and females numbered 38,393 (56.55%) of the female population over 6 years). The gender disparity (the difference between female and male literacy rates) was 18.69%.[11]

As per the 2011 census, literacy in Bankura district was 70.26%, up from 63.44 in 2001 and 52.00% in 1991.[13]Literacy in West Bengal was 77.08% in 2011.[14]Literacy in India in 2011 was 74.04%.[14]

As per the 2001 census there were 11 CD Blocks in Bankura district where the female literacy rate was below 50%. These blocks are Saltora, Hirbandh, Chhatna, Ranibandh, Mejia, Patrasayer, Indpur, Bishnupur, Gangajalghati, Onda and Sonamukhi. These CD Blocks come uner the National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level and special programmes have been taken up for the education of girl children.[15]

Normally villages have a primary school within the mouza. However, there is no primary school or sishu siksha kendra within 1 km in 64 mouzas of Bankura district. Amongst the worst affected mouzas are (distance from nearest primary school in brackets): Amghata and Indkata in Dhansimla panchayat (5 km) and Paschim Nabasan in Hamirhati panchayat in Sonamukhi CD Block.[15]

Similarly, a upper primary school or a madhyamik shiksha kendra is more than 3 km away in 23 mouzas. There are mouzas such as Gosaindihi in Puddi panchayat and Lep-am in Barikul panchayat of Ranibandh CD Block where upper primary schools are 13-14 km away.[15]

The Midday Meal Scheme covered all primary schools and sishu siksha kendras by March 2005. Efforts were on to cover the upper primary and high schools. The number of children provided with cooked miday meals was 344,746 in 3,460 primary schools and 453 sishu siksha kendras.[15]

See also – List of West Bengal districts ranked by literacy rate


Bengali is the local language in these areas.[6]


Religion in Sonamukhi CD Block

In the 2011 census Hindus numbered 136,400 and formed 86.00% of the population in Sonamukhi CD Block. Muslims numbered 19,236 and formed 12.13% of the population. Christians numbered 17 and formed 0.01% of the population. Others numbered 2,944 and formed 1.86% of the population.[16]Others include Addi Bassi, Marang Boro, Santal, Saranath, Sari Dharma, Sarna, Alchchi, Bidin, Sant, Saevdharm, Seran, Saran, Sarin, Kheria,[17]and other religious communities.[16]

In 2011, Hindus numbered 3,033,581 and formed 84.34% of the population in Bankura district. Muslims numbered 290,450 and formed 8.08% of the population. Christians numbered 3,865 and formed 0.11% of the population. Others numbered 268,778 and formed 7.47% of the population. In West Bengal, Hindus numbered 64,385,546 and formed 70.53% of the population. Muslims numbered 24,654,825 and formed 27.01% of the population.[16]

Human Development Report[edit]

According to the District Human Development Report of Bankura: It is located in the western part of the state, which is popularly known as Rarh. The district is primarily rural with 92.63% of the population living in rural areas in 2001. It has 3 municipal towns – Bankura, Bishnupur and Sonamukhi – and 22 community development blocks. It had a density of population of 464 persons per  km2.[18]

The average size of holdings in the district is 1.02 acres. The marginal land holding class owning an average of 0.53 acres forms 67 per cent. Another 21.94 per cent forms the small land holding class. Add to this the poor irrigation facilities, low fertility and the resultant low productivity. All of it adversely affects the quality of life in a mainly agrarian economy. In 2001, 32.6% of the people in Bankura district were farmers, 37.1% were agricultural labourers and 30.3% were engaged in non-agricultural occupations.[18]

In Bankura district 41.52% of families were living below poverty line. It was much higher than the state level (27.02% in 1999-2000). There is an uneven distribution of poverty in the district. The economically backward areas are mostly located in the western and southern portions of the district. These are in the hilly and lateritic zone. Towards the north-west the undulations become more prominent. The annual rainfall varies between 1,100 mm and 1,400 mm, it comes mostly during a four-month period of June to September and is erratic. Fluctuating rainfall with inermittent spells of drought takes a heavy toll of the agricultural output. On the other hand, the entire Bishnupur subdivision and some of the CD Blocks in the eastern part of the district, such as Gangajalghati, Barjora, Onda, Simlapal and Taldangra, have extensive flat rice fields with the promise of rich harvests.[18]

Out of the total geographical area of 687,387 hecatares in the district 241,992 hectares are under single crop, 106,748 hectares are under double crop, 119,214 hectares are forested, 20,712 hectares have open forest, 50,784 hectares have degraded forests and 33,002 hectares have eroded lands. The primary source of ground water is rainfall. Both Kangsabati and Damodar irrigation projects provide good surface irrigation but with the passage of time the canal system has lost much of its efficiency. The 88 km long west bank canal from Durgapur Barrage passes through Barjora, Sonamukhi, Patrasayer and Indas police station areas. The Kangsabati Project, with a designed irrigable area of 153,462 hectares in Bankura district, covers 13 CD Blocks in Bankura district, 20 CD Blocks in Paschim Medinipur and 2 CD Blocks in Hooghly district. CD Blocks covered in Bankura are: Bankura, Bishnupur, Kotulpur, Joypur, Onda, Indpur, Khatra, Hirbandh, Raipur, Sarenga, Simlapal, Taldangra and Ranibandh. Under the minor irrigation programme, 2,703 hectares are irrigated from dugwells, 50,293 hectares from shallow tubewells, 3,496 hectares from deep tubewells, 59,787 hectares from surface flow, 10,758 hectares from surface lift in Bankura district.[18]

Migration has been observed in the following CD Blocks of Bankura district: Bankura I, Chhatna, Saltora, Indpur, Ranibandh, Hirbandh, Khatra, Raipur and Sarenga. Although authentic figures are not available, a sample survey has been done. According to the sample survey, around 54.5% to 85.4% of the families on an average migrate from these blocks. Another study shows that around 23 % of the people from the under-privileged blocks in the western and southern Bankura migrate. Those migrating belong mostly to the SC or ST population. They migrate for periods varying from 15 days to 6/8 months. Most people migrate to meet their food deficit and go to Bardhaman and Hooghly districts but some go to Gujarat and Maharashtra as construction labour.[18]

(Note: Certain topics, such as Geography, Literacy, Education, Healthcare etc., are not/not fully covered here and are covered elsewhere in this page.)



In 2003-04 net area sown Sonamukhi CD Block was 17,348 hectares and the area in which more than one crop was grown was 14,119 hectares.[19] Upto 15 July 2006, Sonamukhi CD Block had 4,051.2 hectares vested land, out of which 3,266.17 hectares was distributed amongst 9,454 persons.[20]

Handloom industry[edit]

The handloom industry engages the largest number of persons in the non farm sector and hence is important in Bankura district. The handloom industry is well established in all the CD Blocks of the district and includes the famous Baluchari saris. In 2004-05 Sonamukhi CD Block had 79 silk looms in operation.[21]


Bankura district is well-known for the artistic excellence of its pottery products that include the famous Bankura horse. The range of pottery products is categorised as follows: domestic utilities, terracota and other decorative items and roofing tiles and other heavy pottery items. Domestic utilities include cooking utensils, pitchers and water containers. These are produced in the following CD Blocks: Indpur, Gangajalghati, Ranibandh, Khatra, Hirbandh, Sonamukhi, Indus, Mejia, Raipur, Sarenga, Onda, Saltora, Chhatna, Joypur, Bankura I, Bankura II, Taldangra, Simlapal, Barjora, Bishnupur and Patrasayer. The terracotta and decorative items include horse, elephant, tiger, ox, flower vase, Mansa Saj, ash-tray and other items of religious use. These are produced in the following CD Blocks: Taldangra, Sonamukhi, Sarenga, Bankura I and Bankura II. Roofing tiles and well rings are produced in Saltora and Simlpal CD Blocks. Around 3,200 families were involved in pottery making in the district in 2002. 76 families were involved in Sonamukhi CD Block.[22]


The Bankura-Masagram line (formerly Bankura Damodar Railway) of South Eastern passes through this CD Block. There is a station at Sonamukhi, 41.2 km from Bankura. As of September 2016, DEMU services were available between Bankura and Mathnasibpur.[23]

State Highway 8 (West Bengal) running from Santaldih (in Purulia district) to Majhdia (in Nadia district) passes through this CD Block.[24]


In 2013-14, Sonamukhi CD Block had 155 primary schools with 11,196 students, 14 middle schools with 1,426 students, 5 high schools with 2,290 students and 12 higher secondary schools with 10,359 students. Sonamukhi CD Block had 280 institutions for special and non-formal education with 11,066 students. Sonamukhi (municipal town) had a general college outside the CD Block. Sonamukhi CD Block had 9 mass literacy centres.[25]


In 2014, Sonamukhi CD Block had 1 rural hospital and 4 primary health centres with total 72 beds and 5 doctors. It had 26 family welfare sub centres and 1 family welfare centre. 10,588 patients were treated indoor and 229,493 patients were treated outdoor in the hospitals, health centres and subcentres of the CD Block and municipal town.[26]


  1. ^ a b O’Malley, L.S.S. "Bengal District Gazetteers: Bankura". Bankura District Authorities. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d O’Malley, L.S.S., ICS, Bankura, Bengal District Gazetteers, pp. 1-20, first published 1908, 1995 reprint, Government of West Bengal
  3. ^ "Kangsabati Reservoir Project". Irrigation and Waterways Department. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "Official Website of Bankura district". Natural Resources - Forestry. Bankura District Administraion. Retrieved 21 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "Brief Industrial Profile of Bankura District, West Bengal" (PDF). Forests. MSME Development Institute, Kolkata. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c "Sonamukhi Block". onefivenine. Retrieved 21 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Tehsil Map of Bankura". CD Block/ Tehsil. Maps of India. Retrieved 21 August 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Provisional population totals, West Bengal, Table 4, Bankura District". Census of India 2001. Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  9. ^ "District Statistical Handbook – 2004 – Bankura" (PDF). 2.1. Bureau of Applied Economics and Statistics, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 21 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "Directory of District, Subdivision, Panchayat Samiti/ Block and Gram Panchayats in West Bengal". Bankura - Revised in March 2008. Panchayats and Rural Development Department, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c d "C.D. Block Wise Primary Census Abstract Data(PCA)". 2011 census: West Bengal – District-wise CD Blocks. Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  12. ^ "Provisional Population Totals, West Bengal. Table 4". Census of India 2001. Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  13. ^ "Bankura District: Census 2011 data". 2016 Digital Trends. Census Population 2015 Data. Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  14. ^ a b "Provisional population tables and annexures" (PDF). Census 2011:Table 2(3) Literates and Literacy rates by sex. Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c d "District Human Development Report: Bankura" (PDF). April 2007. Pages: 150-120, 121-123, 131. Development & Planning Department, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c "C1 Population by Religious Community". West Bengal. Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  17. ^ "ST-14 A Details Of Religions Shown Under 'Other Religions And Persuasions' In Main Table". West Bengal. Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  18. ^ a b c d e "District Human Development Report: Bankura" (PDF). April 2007. Pages: 1-8, 18, 27- 47, 237-243. Development & Planning Department, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  19. ^ "District Human Development Report: Bankura" (PDF). April 2007. Page: 58. Development & Planning Department, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  20. ^ "District Human Development Report: Bankura" (PDF). April 2007. Page: 104. Development & Planning Department, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  21. ^ "District Human Development Report: Bankura" (PDF). April 2007. Page: 85. Development & Planning Department, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  22. ^ "District Human Development Report: Bankura" (PDF). April 2007. Pages: 83-84. Development & Planning Department, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  23. ^ "Bankura-Mathnasibpur DEMU". Time Table. indiarailinfo. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  24. ^ "List of State Highways in West Bengal". West Bengal Traffic Police. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  25. ^ "District Statistical Handbook 2014 Bankura". Tables 4.4, 4.6. Department of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  26. ^ "District Statistical Handbook 2014 Bankura". Tables 3.1, 3.2, 3.3. Department of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 25 August 2016.