On 1 April, 1991, this district was created from the former Palamu district by separating its former Garhwa sub-division. As of 2011 Garhwa district is currently a part of the Red Corridor.
At the time of creation of new district Garhwa, there were eight old blocks namely :-
- Garhwa, 2. Meral, 3. Ranka, 4. Bhandariya, 5. Majhiyaon, 6. Nagar-Untrai, 7. Bhawanathpur, and 8. Dhurki. Later on 6 new blocks were created from old blocks on administrative ground namely 1. Dandai, 2. Chiniya, 3. Kharoundhi, 4. Ramna, 5. Ramkanda and 6. Kandi. Later on 5 new blocks were created from old 14 blocks on administrative ground namely 1. Danda, 2. Ketar, 3. Bishunpura, 4. Bardiha and 5. Sagma.
So presently there are 20 blocks in Garhwa district. There are 196 Gram Panchayats. 916 inhabited villages and 62 un-habited (Bechiragi) villages in this district. This district has two police sub-division named Garhwa and Nagar-Untrai. With eight police stations i.e.
- Garhwa 2. Meral 3. Ranka 4. Bhandariya 5. Majhiyaon 6. Nagar-Untrai 7. Bhawanathpur and 8. Dhurki.
The district contains only one Municipal town at Garhwa head quarter. The Municipal town has a brief history. On 6th May 1924. the Garhwa Union Board was created under the village administration Act of 1922. when it become Union Board. Its board consisted of five elected and two nominated members and they worked under part-IV of the above-mentioned Act. The Union Board administered the function of Conservancy and sanitation including drainage of local area, street lighting and the prevention of public nuisance there in. On 9th August 1957 Garhwa Union Board was abolished and in its place a Notified Area Committee was established by the Government Notification no. 6991-L.S.G., dated 14th June 1957. The N.A.C. area consisted of there villages: Garhwa (Thana No.- 339), Tandawa (Thana No. 338), Sahijana (Thana No. 345), Dipawa (Thana No. 341), Nagawa (Thana No. 340). Pipara Kala (Thana No. 342), Unchari (Thana No-241) and Sonpurawa (Thana No- 242), Later on this N.A.C. got the status of Municipality. It has been working as Municipality since 15 August 1972.
The average elevation of Garhwa district in about 1200 feet above the mean sea level. The hills in the district are widely scattered. There are also low land in Northern and Western part of the district which is suitable for agricultural purposes. The hill which is called Gulgulpath -3819 ft. is said to be second highest peak in Jharkhand or joint Bihar after Paras Nath situated in Bhandriya Block of the district. A village Saruat situated on hill Gulgulpath is well worth a visit by the hikers. The village is occupied mostly by Korwas, a tribal people.
The general line of drainage is from south to north towards the river Koyal and Sone. Koyal forms the eastern boundary and Sone forms northern boundary of the district. There are also a host of smaller streams, most of which are from mountain currents with rock stream beds. Other important rivers of the district are Danro, Sarsatiya, Tahale, Annaraj, Urea, Bai Banki, Bellaiti, Pando, Biraha, and Sapahi. Other notable river is Kanhar which forms south eastern boundary of the district for about 80 K.M. Due to its Geographical formation Garhwa district is rich in water resources.
The climate of this district is on the whole dry and bracing. The year can be divided in to three main seasons, the winter season from November to March, the summer season is from March to May and Monsoon season from June to September; October is a transitional month between Monsoon and Winter seasons. The average annual rainfall for the district as a whole is 1.335 mm/ 52.55 inches. From the onset of the Monsoon by the middle of June, rainfall rapidly increases reaching the peak level in August. The annual variation of rainfall is not much. December and January are the coolest months. By March temperature begin to rise steadily. In May and early part of June the maximum temperature can be as high as 470C on individual days. Humidity is generally normal in this district, except in Monsoon months.
Land Use and Crops
Garhwa lies partially under the rain shadow area and often haunted by drought. Although yearly average rainfall is sufficient for agriculture work but unequal distribution of seasonal rain affects the main crops badly. During summer season water level of the district goes down and large number of villages have to face scarcity of water. Due to drought a section of agricultural labour my grated every year to nearby district of other state for employment and livelihood. But due to development work of the Govt. and Minor & Major irrigational work in recent years agricultural work has developed to a large extent. Rice is the main staple food of the district and it is chiefly grown. Maize and wheat are other notable crops. Sugarcane, Oilseeds, Pulses and vegetables are also grown in the district the seed collection of sal, mahua, semal and other forest produce like lac, kendu leaves, etc are also part of income for some period there are 35730.50 Hector of agricultural land in the district. Approximately per capita land holding is 0.17 Hector.
The Garhwa district is primarily rural and most of the population resides in villages. Tribal population of the district still lives in forest tract. The speed of urbanization has been extremely slow due to rural economy based on agriculture. Total population of the district as per 1991 census was 801239. In 2001 census the population of the district has been recorded 1034151. In 2001 census the rural population was recorded 991492 as against the urban population of 42659. In urban population Garhwa municipality has recorded 36708 and sinduria CT (bhawanathpur) has been recorded 5951 souls. Form previous census 1991 to present census 2001, the rate of urban growth to this district had been 53.72 percent. Which is second highest in Jharkhand state after godda district. The percentage of decadal growth (1991-2001) of the Garhwa district is 29.05, which is highest in the Jharkhand state. Out of total population of the district, scheduled cast consist 26.32% and scheduled tribe consist 19.91%.
The sex ratio is adverse for females in Garhwa like other district of Jharkhand. Garhwa has a sex ratio of 935:1000. In rural area it is 938 female against 1000 male and in urban areas 864 female against 1000 male.