Sonbhadra district

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Coordinates: 24°41′23″N 83°3′55″E / 24.68972°N 83.06528°E / 24.68972; 83.06528

Sonbhadra district
District of Uttar Pradesh
Location of Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh
Location of Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh
Country India
State Uttar Pradesh
Administrative division Mirzapur
Headquarters Robertsganj
Tehsils Robertsganj, Ghorawal, Dudhi
 • Lok Sabha constituencies Robertsganj
 • Assembly seats Robertsganj, Ghorawal, Obra, Dudhi
 • Total 6,788 km2 (2,621 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,862,559
 • Density 270/km2 (710/sq mi)
 • Literacy 64 percent
 • Sex ratio 918
Major highways NH 7, NH 75, SH 5A
Website Official website

Sonbhadra or Sonebhadra (Hindi:सोनभद्र) is the 2nd largest district of Uttar Pradesh, India. Sonbhadra is the only district in India which borders four states namely Madhya Pradesh, Chhattishgarh Jharkhand and Bihar. The district has an area of 6788 km² and a population of 1,862,559 (2011 census), with a population density of 270 persons per km².It lies in the extreme southeast of the state, and is bounded by Mirzapur District to the northwest, Chandauli District to the north, Kaimur and Rohtas districts of Bihar state to the northeast, Garhwa district of Jharkhand state to the east, Koriya and Surguja districts of Chhattisgarh state to the south, and Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh state to the west. The district headquarters is in the town of Robertsganj.Sonbhadra district is an industrial zone and it has lots of minerals like bauxite, limestone, coal, gold etc.Sonbhadra is called as Energy Capital of India[citation needed] because there are so many power plants.

Sonbhadra lies between vindhya and Kaimur hills, and its topology and natural environment prompted First Prime minister of India Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru to refer to Sonbhadra as The Switzerland of India.[citation needed]

Jawaharlal Nehru at inauguration of Rihand Dam


Based on evidence from religious and cultural perspectives Ramayana and the Mahabharat, Huyen found here is the cultural symbol. By Jarasandh many rulers in the Mahabharat war was maintained prisoner here. The Valley of Son River abounds in caves which were the earliest dwellings of the primeval inhabitants. It is said that 'Bhars' had settlements along with Cheros, Searis, Kols and Kherwars communities in the district up to 5th century there was the rule of 'Kol' kings on Vijaygarh Fort. This district was famous as second Kashi during 11th to 13th century. In the 9th century B.C., the Brahmadutt dynasty was subdivided by Nagas. In the 8th and 7th century B.C., the present area of the district was in Kaushala and Magadha. Kushans and Nagas also held supremacy over this region before the advent of the Gupta period. After the death of Harshvardhan in the latter half of the 7th century, it remained under the control of the Gurjars and the Pratihars till 1025 before they were driven out by Mahmud of Ghazni. This area was under the administration of various Governors of Mughal emperors. Some of the forts such as Agori Fort were under the control of Madan Shah.

During the 18th century, the district came under the control of the Narayan rulers of Benares State, who built or occupied several fortresses in the district. In the decade after 1775, the British took over administrative control of most of the territory of the rajas of Benares. The British district of Mirzapur included present-day Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts, with all of present-day Sonbhadra district included in Robertsganj tehsil.

In the 1901 census, Robertsganj tehsil had a population of 221,717, with two towns and 1,222 villages.[1] In 1989, Sonbhadra district was divided from Mirzapur district.

The forts Located in the district[edit]

The heroine of Famous Novel Chandrakanta written by Devaki Nandan Khatri was the princess of Vijaygarh and the daughter of king Jay Singh.


The northern third of the district lies on a plateau north of the Kaimur Range, and is drained by tributaries of the Ganges including the Belan and Karmanasha rivers. South of the steep escarpment of the Kaimur Range is the valley of the Son River, which flows through the district from west to east. The southern portion of the district is hilly, interspersed with fertile stream valleys. The Rihand River, which rises to the south in the highlands of Surguja district of Chhattisgarh, flows north to join the Son in the center of the district. The Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar, a reservoir on the Rihand, lies partly in the district and partly in Madhya Pradesh. East of the Rihand, the Kanhar River, which originates in Chhatisgarh, flows north to join the Son.

The district has historic, cultural, and ecological affinities with the Bagelkhand region. Robertsganj is the district headquarters.


Sonbhadra has a relatively subtropical climate with high variation between summer and winter temperatures. The average temperature is 30 °C–46 °C in the summer and 2 °C–15 °C in the winter. The weather is pleasant in rainy season from July to October.


The portion of the district north of the Son River lies in the Lower Gangetic plains moist deciduous forests ecoregion. The portion south of the Son lies in the Chhota Nagpur dry deciduous forests ecoregion.

Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary lies mostly within the district, reaching generally east and west along the spine of the Kaimur Range, and extending to the Son River at its eastern end.


The southern region of Sonebhadra is referred to as the " Energy Capital of India ";[citation needed] this region has many electrical power stations around Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar. NTPC (a leading power generation company in India) has three coal-based thermal power plants.

Other power stations are at Anpara (UPRVUNL), Obra (UPRVUNL), Renusagar (Hindalco) and Pipri-Hydro (UPRVUNL). NCL (a branch of Coal India Limited) has its headquarters and many coal mines in this region. Hindalco has a major aluminium plant at Renukut.

This region became an industrial heaven from an area of forest and hills. Some of the hills were having limestone and lot of them were having coal. There were some small rivers running through the area and the major was the Son.

Owing to the limestone hills, initially one cement factory was established at Churk in 1956. Later another cement factory started at Dala in 1971 name them Dalla cement factory this Cement plant is Biggest plant in Asia and ancillary unit of Dala got started at Chunar in 1980. The cement factories became the foundation on which other industries were built. A big dam constructed at Pipri in 1961 and named Rihand Dam. The dam produces 300 MW of electricity. Another small dam was constructed at Obra in 1968, 40 km from Rihand dam which generates 99 MW of electricity.

The Birla group then set up an aluminum plant at Renukut, which is one of the biggest aluminum plant of Hindalco. Later, the Birla group set up its own power plant at Renusagar in 1967. This plant has the current capacity of 887.2 MW and supplies the power to Hindalco. The Birlas also started a company in Renukut called HiTech Carbon. Another industrial group initiated a company in Renukut named Kanoria Chemicals, which produces chemicals and later it started own power plant at Renukoot in 1998 which generates 50 MW of electricity.

A big thermal power plant construction was started at Obra in 1967 with support of Russian engineers and was successfully completed in 1971. This had a capacity to produce 1550 MW of electricity.Another power plant was initiated at Anpara in 1980. It produces 1630 MW of electricity and has proposed to extend the capacity to 2630 MW. NTPC's first thermal power plant that it started in Shaktinagar, generates 2000 MW. The plant at Bijpur generates 3000 MW.Dalla super 6 is new plant make by jaypee Group and bought a aditya birla group a plant produced in 8500 MTP in 2012

This region has three cement factories, one of the biggest aluminum plants, a carbon plant, a chemical factory and an energy hub of India, which generates 11000 MW with plans to reach 20000 MW. The whole country is benefiting from this region, which was once full of forests and hills, which seemed like infertile land.

In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Sonbhadra one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[2] It is one of the 34 districts in Uttar Pradesh currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).[2]

Industry timeline[edit]

  • 1956 : Churk Cement Factory, 800 T/day.
  • 1961 : Rihand Dam, Pipri, 300 MW of electricity, Reservoir for power plants.
  • 1962 : Hindalco Aluminium Plant, Renukoot, Alumina refining - 114,5000 TPA, Aluminium metal - 424,000 TPA.
  • 1965 : Aditya Birla chemicals, Renukoot, Acetaldehyde - 10000 TPA, Formaldehyde - 75000 TPA, Lindane - 875 TPA, Hexamine - 4000 TPA, Industrial Alcohol - 225 million litres/annum, Aluminium Chloride - 6875 TPA, Ethyl Acetate - 3300 TPA, Acetic Acid - 6000 TPA, Commercial Hydrogen.
  • 1967 : Renusagar Power Plant (Hindalco), 741.7 MW of electricity.
  • 1968 : Obra Dam, 99 MW of electricity, Reservoir for power plant..
  • 1971 : Dalla Cement factory plant, A UP Govt. But present in Aditya birla Group.
  • 1971 : Obra Thermal Power Plant, Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board (UPSEB), 1550 MW of electricity.
  • 1980 : Chunar Cement Factory, Ancillary unit of Dala Cement Factory.
  • 1980: Vindhaya stone cruising company kuwari.
  • 1980 : Anpara Thermal Power Plant, UPSEB, 2000 MW of electricity.
  • 1984 : Singrauli Thermal Power Plant, NTPC Limited (NTPC), Shaktinagar, 2000 MW of electricity.
  • 1988 : Hi -Tech Carbon, Renukoot, Carbon Black - 1,60,000 MT/annum.
  • 1989 : Rihand Thermal Power Plant, NTPC, Bijpur, 3000 MW of electricity.
  • 1990 : Finding of Gold Mine in Hills, Mirchadhuri.
  • 1998 : Kanoria Chemicals Power Plant, Renukoot, 50 MW of electricity.
  • 2008 : Lanco Anpara Power Limited, 1200 MW of electricity.
  • 2012 : Dalla super six open new plant in dalla
  • 2014: BGR outsourcing company coal mines

Bhaskar group, Reliance Power, Essar Power, Jaypee Power and Aditya Birla Group (Mahan Project) are in erection phase with their power plants.

Tourist attraction[edit]

Salkhan Fossils Park in sonbhadra district

Historical places[edit]

Vijaygarh Fort on the Hill top




By air[edit]

Flights are available to all major Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Agra, Bangalore, Chennai, Patna, Khajuraho, Hyderabad, Gaya, etc. International connections are Bangkok, Colombo, Hong Kong and Kathmandu.

By train[edit]

The city is connected by rail to Delhi, Allahabad, Ranchi and Patna. Some notable trains passing through the district are Muri express (Jammu Tawi - Delhi - Tata Nagar), Jharkhand Swarna Jayanti Express/12873(Hatia - Kanpur - Delhi), Triveni Express (Bareilly - Lucknow - Shaktinagar/Singrauli/barwadih) Bhopal Express(Bhopal-Howrah)weekly and Shaktipunj Express/11448(Howrah-Bokaro - Chopan- Jabalpur).Intercity Express/03346 (Singrauli- Chopan-Varanasi).

By road[edit]

Robertsganj, the headquarters of Sonbhadra, is located about 88 km from the city of Varanasi which has the nearest airport. Robertsganj is well connected to Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Gorakhpur, Faizabad, Ambikapur Sasaram & Garhwa by road. Buses are available at all hours of the day from Varanasi and it normally takes 2½ hours to cover the distance. The highway connecting Varanasi and Waidhan passes through the district. Though this is not a national highway it is a very busy road because of the towns Dalla, Renukot, Anpara, Shaktinagar which are sufficiently commercialized areas. National Thermal Power corporation is in Shaktinagar and also National Coalfield different projects like Singrauli, Khadia, Jayant, Dudhichua, amlori, Kakri etc. These areas have several major coal mines which cater a big part of the coal need of the state. Churk a nearby town is situated around 10 km, where Jaypee Group is establishing a thermal power project. One of the main reasons this road is always busy is due to daily transport of around 1000 trucks of grits and sand.


Religions in Sonbhadra District[3]
Religion Percent

According to the 2011 census Sonbhadra district has a population of 1,862,559, of which male and female were 971,344 and 891,215 respectively.[4] roughly equal to the nation of Kosovo[5] or the US state of West Virginia.[6] This gives it a ranking of 254th in India (out of a total of 640).[4] The district has a population density of 270 inhabitants per square kilometre (700/sq mi) .[4] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 27.27%.[4]

Sex ratio and child population[edit]

[4] Sonbhadra has a sex ratio of 996 females for every 1000 males. In census enumeration, data regarding child under 0-6 age were also collected for districts Sonbhadra. There were total 323,092 children under age of 0-6 against 302,834 of 2001 census. Of total 323,092 male and female were 167,870 and 155,222 respectively. Child Sex Ratio as per census 2011 was 925 compared to 956 of census 2001. In 2011, Children under 0-6 formed 17.35 percent of Sonbhadra District compared to 20.69 percent of 2001. There was net change of -3.34 percent in this compared to previous census.

Literacy rate[edit]

[4] literacy rate of 64%. Male and female literacy were 74.92%and 52.14% respectively. Total literate in Sonbhadra District were 985,708 of which male and female were 601,988 and 383,720 respectively.

Sonbhadra District urban population[edit]

Out of the total Sonbhadra population for 2011 census, 16.88 percent lives in urban regions of district. In total 314,342 people lives in urban areas of which males are 167,999 and females are 146,343. Sex Ratio in urban region of Sonbhadra district is 871 as per 2011 census data. Similarly child sex ratio in Sonbhadra district was 868 in 2011 census. Child population (0-6) in urban region was 38,169 of which males and females were 20,434 and 17,735. This child population figure of Sonbhadra district is 12.16% of total urban population.there are 11.7% urban people belong to scheduled casts and 3.2% urban people belong to scheduled tribes.

Average literacy rate in Sonbhadra Urban as per census 2011 is 84.31% of which males and females are 90.73% and 76.93% literates respectively.

Sonbhadra District rural population[edit]

As per 2011 census, 83.12% population of Sonbhadra districts lives in rural areas of villages. The total Sonbhadra district population living in rural areas is 1,548,217 of which males and females are 803,345 and 744,872 respectively. there are 24.9% rural people belong to scheduled casts and 24.2% rural people belong to scheduled tribes.

Literacy rate in rural areas of Sonbhadra district is 59.60% as per census data 2011. Gender wise, male and female literacy stood at 71.37 and 46.89 percent respectively. In total, 752,876 people were literate of which males and females were 468,097 and 284,779 respectively.

Sonbhdra District Population
Total 1,942,955
Males 971,344
Females 891,215
Urban population 314,342
Rural Population 1,548,217
Literacy Rate
Total 64%
Males 74.92%
Females 52.14%
Urban literacy 84.31%
Rural literacy 59.60%
Density of population
per km2 270
Sex ratio
per 1000 males 918 females
Child sex ratio (0–6 age group)
per 1000 males 925 females


Notable people[edit]


  1. The Hindu
  2. Dainik Jagran
  3. Hindustan
  4. Dainik Rastriya Sahara
  5. Amar Ujala
  6. Gaon Giraw
  7. Dainik Baskar
  8. Aaj Tak
  9. The Times Of India
  10. [1]


  1. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 21, p. 303.
  2. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (8 September 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme" (PDF). National Institute of Rural Development. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Sonbhadra District Religion Data - Census 2011". Retrieved 25 March 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  5. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. Kosovo 1,825,632 July 2011 est. 
  6. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. West Virginia 1,852,994 

External links[edit]