As per archaeological survey, the region existed and was inhabited even in the pre historic times. It was once a part of the kingdom of Malla Dynasty and later the Rajputs from Western India.
Mythologically the forest of Jhargram was the hot spots for "Tantric" activities of the Hindus. The impenetrable, isolated jungles were the ideal place for the sacred Hindu rituals. There were some hermitages in the interiors, there were saints performing "tantra sadhana" or "shakti" worship. Several temples or "Shakti Peethas" were established by the performer of the Shakti rituals for performing the act of tantra sadhana.
Jhargram a subdivision of Midnapur (West) District, studded with Sal, Pial, Shagun, Mahua etc offers an undulating landscape. The region is a dual blend of rolling plateau made up of laterite soil of Gangetic Alluvial Plains, which is highly conducive for cultivation. Hence the economy of the district is mainly agriculture based and about 2,296.05 Sq.Km. of land is cultivated. The dry weather of Jhargram is highly adverse to the agriculture (as except, the monsoon, the dry weather prevails mainly) therefore for irrigation Subarnarekha have been undertaken to induce the agricultural development, which is the backbone of the rural economy.
As most of the land is dry and the rivers are only rain fed, the agriculture is supported neither by rain nor by rivers. Hence irrigation is the only way out for this problem, land with irrigation facilities in the year 2001-02 was 2,296.05 sq.km.
Rice is the major crop, and occupies the gross area, it is produced in the alluvial plains which are suitable for retaining waters. Apart from rice, legumes, wheat, corn etc are also produced.
In recent times, the Government has opened up a number of avenues for the expansion of horticulture (e.g. Vegetables, fruits, and flowers, spices, medicinal and aromatic plants) thereby making it an important source of the district's gross income. As Jhargram is not a rich storehouse for minerals, the industries, which have been developed here, are all agricultural or forest based.
Jhargram "the land of red soil", is also quoted as the land of Sal because the land is dominated by thousand acres of Sal forest, the dense forest of this place has got its own panoramic beauty. There were also remnants of the civilization once colonized in the region, adds profound historical importance to the immense worth of the land. The reminisce of the land is due to its extensive Sal forests.
As per the literacy rate of Jhargram is approximately 60.29% which is not at all upto the mark or of fast rate. However the literacy in the last decade is emphasized through the eradication of the illiteracy. Though in some places like Belphari people still starve today and have malnutrition. New venture has been adopted by the Government to fulfill the national objective of sending all children between 6-14yrs to school by 2010. There are a bunch of primary and high school. Recently the district is making progress in the field of vocational training.
Jhargram is inhabited by a number of people belonging from different civilization, which makes the land a blend of both indigenous and alien culture. The diverse culture of Jhargram from the prehistoric times inspires the poet and its rural society was the focus for the poets of Vaishnav, and Shakta Padabali. However it was the Folk Culture which gets prominence. The folk culture and the tribal dance of Jhargram were specially augmented by the contribution of the bauls, their philosophy & their music. The concept of Baulism emerged as a religiously liberal philosophy & lifestyle which conforms to the ideals of Sahajyan movement, a refined form of Vajrayan movement, also supplemented by the influence of Vaishnavism & Sufism. The bauls who earn their living by singing & collecting alms, accommodate people from all castes & creed. "Baulism"is the true replica of the mixed culture of the land and the truly modern bauls upheld a broader yet liberal perspective of life & culture. Tagore was immensely influenced by the bauls and some of his works are endowed with the "baulian" philosophy.
In addition of being a confluence of Vaishnav, Shakta & Shaiva culture, Jhargram villages also observes the worship of "gramadevata" or the god of village popularly known as the "Dharma Thakur", symbolized by a stone& mainly the tribals like bagdi, dome, hari, bauri worship "Dharma Thakur". The folks of Jhargram are the clear representation of the spirit of rural Bengal.
In spite of being an important tourist center and a prosperous economy based on agriculture, the standard of living in the district in comparison to the other parts of Bengal is substantially very low. Recently Government has adopted measures and insisted on the educational & economic developments of the district.