Sahibganj is an integral part of Santhal Pargana division in the state of Jharkhand. Forming the eastern most tip of the division, Sahibganj is spread over an area of 1,599 sq km and is bounded by Katihar, Godda, Malda, Murshidabad and Bhagalpur districts. The town of Sahibganj is the administrative headquarters of the district, located on the banks of the River Ganges.
Sahibganj District was created out of the Rajmahal and Pakur subdivisions that were carved from old Santhal Pargana District on 17th May, 1983. The history of Sahibganj District is rich, which exists in the form of ancient testimonies such as Rajmahal, Teliagarhi Fort and remains at Sahibganj town. The region was previously known as Santhal Pargana with its headquarters at Dumka, which is linked with the history of Godda, Dumka, Deoghar and Pakur districts.
According to historians, the region was inhabited first by the Malers or Mal Paharia. After the visit of Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang in 645 AD, it became evident that the place was a Buddhist Vihar. During medieval times in the 13th century, Teliagarhi became the chief gateway allowing access to Turks and other Muslim invaders. With the battle of Rajmahal on 12th July 1576, the foundation of Mughal rule was laid in Bengal.
The town of Sahibganj offers a variety of options for sightseeing. These range from religious to historic as well as natural. The most popular among them include Rajmahal, Kanhaiyasthan, Bhagwa Kuan, Teliagarhi Fort, Udhwa Lake Bird Sanctuary, Palamau Tiger Reserve, Leela, Mangalhat, Shivgadi Temple, Binduvasini Temple, Shukravasini Temple, Raksisthan Temple, Bhoganadih and Panchkathiya site and the Moti Jharna.
Rajmahal is situated on the right bank of River Ganges and used to be seat of the government during the Mughal period. This town is home to the Rajmahal Fort, along with several other attractions like Singhi Dalan, Akbari Masjid, Tomb of Maina-Bibi and Tomb of Miran. Another important village situated near Sahibganj Town is Kanhaiyasthan. This village is mainly famous for Kanhaiya Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Krishna.
Sahibganj Town is also home to Bhagwa Kuan and Teliagarhi Fort. The Teliagarhi Fort is also situated near the Raksisthan Temple, which is said to have been built in 1819. Several other temples near the town include Shivgadi Temple, Binduvasini Temple and Shukravasini Temple.
Sahibganj District also comprises the Udhwa Lake Bird Sanctuary and Palamau Tiger Reserve. Udhwa Lake Bird Sanctuary is famous as a habitat for migratory birds, as well as for its Berhale and Pataura lakes. Palamau Tiger Reserve is the only Project Tiger reserve of Jharkhand.
Sahibganj also witnessed British rule in the 18th century. Santhal Pargana was formed as a separate district in 1855 by ceding portions of Bhagalpur and Birbhum district, as a result of Santhal Hul or Rebellion of 1854-55. Santhal Pargana division also contributed in the freedom movement of 1942. This Santhal Pargana is presently known as Sahibganj District.
The destination is frequented by travellers for its sightseeing attractions such as Sahibganj Fort, Palamu Tiger Reserve, Akbari Masjid, Raksisthan Temple and Shukravasini Temple. The most frequented tourist place in and around the region is Udhwa Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary comprises several bird species along with migratory birds from Siberia.
The rich culture of the destination can be seen in its festivals, folklores, music and dance. Hal Punhya, Bhagta Parab and Bandna are the prominent festivals celebrated in Sahibganj. The popular folk music of the region is Akhariya Domkach, Janani Jhumar, Faguwa and Udasi. Folk dances such as Chaw, Jadur, Karma, Choukara, Santhal, Sohrai and Lurisayro are performed during festivities and special occasions.
Sahibganj can be reached by air, rail and road. The nearest airport to the town is situated at Ranchi. The railhead of Sahibganj has frequent connections with cities such as Kolkata, Barmer, Varanasi, Rajgir, Dibrugarh, Guwahati and Delhi. Besides, Sahibganj can also be reached by buses and cars.
The destination has extremely hot summers, during which the region remains dry. Due to the favourable conditions in winters, October to March is the best time to visit Sahibganj.