Seraikela-Kharsawan district (Hindi: सराइकेला खरसावाँ जिला,Oriya: ଷଢେଇଖଳା ଖରସୁଆଁ ଜିଲ୍ଲା); formerly the princely state of Seraikella/Saraikella is one of the twenty-four districts of Jharkhand state in eastern India. Seraikela town is the district headquarters of Saraikela Kharsawan district. The district is well known for Seraikela Chhau, one of the three distinctive styles of the chhau dance. This district was carved out from West Singhbhum district in 2001.
Members of the erstwhile royal family of Seraikella, the Singh Deo family (patrons of the Chau dance), divide their time between The Palace, Seraikella-833219; a 300 year old heritage palace and historical landmark and their residences in Odisha, West Bengal and abroad. The last ruler of the Seraikella princely state was HH Raja Aditya Pratap Singh Deo (son of HH Maharaja Udit Narayan Singh Deo) and notables of the era include his sons Tikayet Sahib Nrupendra Narayan Singh Deo, HH Maharaja Sir Rajendra Narayan Singh Deo(given in adoption to Patna-Bolangir state, former Chief Minister of Odisha), Patayet Sahib Maharajkumar Bhoopendra Narayan Singh Deo(leading regional politician who supported the popular tribal anti-merger movement with Bihar) and Rajkumar Sudhendra Narayan Singh Deo(Param-Guru of Chau), a Padma Shree awardee.
The Singh Deo royal family remains active in public life(political, cultural and religious)and act as guardians to the Ma Paudi temple located within the Royal residence, host the annual Chau Festival at the Seraikella Royal Palace and retain a hold on the region's real-estate and business. Despite their loss of formal title and privileges, they enjoy public support in the area(comprising the former Seraikella state). Notable members of the royal family who remain active in the public eye include Rajkumar Pratap Aditya Singh Deo, Rajkumar Juga Bhanu Singh Deo,Maharajkumar Jairaj Singh Deo and Rajkumar Rajvikram Singh Deo
The district is currently a part of the Red Corridor.
The district is situated between 22°29'26" and 23°09'34" north latitudes and 85°30'14" and 86°15'24" east longitudes.
In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Seraikela Kharsawan one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the 21 districts in Jharkhand currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).
The district comprises 9 blocks: Seraikela, Kharsawan, Gamharia, Kuchai, Ichagarh, Nimdih, Chandil, Rajnagar and the newly formed, Kukru.
There are three Vidhan Sabha constituencies in this district: Ichagarh, Seraikela and Kharsawan. These are parts of Ranchi, Singhbhum and Khunti Lok Sabha constituencies respectively.
According to the 2011 census Seraikela Kharsawan district has a population of 1,063,458, roughly equal to the nation of Cyprus or the US state of Rhode Island. This gives it a ranking of 428th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 390 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,000 /sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 25.28%. Saraikela Kharsawan has a sex ratio of 958 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 68.85%.
Coordinates: 22°42′00″N 85°55′12″E / 22.70000°N 85.92000°E