Singhbhum was sometime a large district in the present-day Indian state of Bihar. Chaibasa was the district headquarters of the erstwhile Singhbhum district. Earlier this area was a part of Orissa's Gajapati Empire. In the 19th Century this area became a part of the Chota Nagpur Division of Bengal Presidency in British India.
That district has in recent decades been divided into three smaller districts, being East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Saraikela Kharsawan. All the three are currently part of Jharkhand state of India. The major Indian languages spoken in this region are Oriya, Hindi, Kurmali, and tribal languages.
The literal meaning of Singhbhum or Singhbhumi is Land of lions: Singh in Oriya means lion and Bhum or Bhumi indicates land. This appears to be apt as more than 50% area of the district is covered by dense forests and mountains, where wild animals once roamed freely. However, the lion is not found in these forests any more.
Singhbhum is known for its iron ore deposits and it provides for the iron ore requirements of the IISCO steel plants located at Hirapur, Kulti and Burnpur.
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