Birbhum District is situated in the western region of West Bengal
, about 200 km from Kolkata
. It consists of two distinct regions. The western part comprises barren highlands while the eastern region is a heavily populated Gangetic delta area. The Visva Bharati Institution at Shantiniketan
, established by the great Bengali Nobel laureate -
, is an important landmark. The district headquarters is Siuri.
The district, which covers an area of 4,550 sq km, has a population of around 3 million. There are good irrigation facilities. Agriculture is the main source of income for the people, and the major crops are rice, wheat, maize, legumes, sugarcane and mangoes. Ajay, Kopai, and Bakreswar are the prominent rivers. The major industries are cotton and silk weaving, rice and oilseed milling, metal-ware and pottery manufacture. A number of production units for coal, kaolin, and fireclay are also found.
Birbhum is an interesting tourist destination, rich in tradition and culture. Major attractions include Shantiniketan, Tarapith, Kankalipith,
Bakreswar, Masanjore, Kenduli,
Nannur, and Nolhati. Tarapith is qualified as one of the 51 famous pilgrimage centers of
Hinduism. Bakreswar is another important holy place. The hot springs of Bakreswar is considered as a cure for many diseases. The
Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary in Shantiniketan is famous for black buck, spotted deer, foxes, jackals and a range of water birds.