Earlier the name of Ranchi District was Lohardaga. The old district had come into existence after the creation of the non-regulation South - West frontier as a result of the Kol rising in 1831-32. The name of the district was changed in 1899 from Lohardaga to Ranchi after the name of a small village now comprised within the headquarters station.
In ancient times the tract which corresponds to the district of Ranchi and the neighouring parganas was in the undisturbed possession of Munda and Oraon Tribes and was known to Aryans as Jharkhand or the 'forest territory'. The entire tract was presumably beyond the pale of the direct Hindu influence in ancient India. However, Jarasandh, the mighty emperor of Rajgriha in the Mahabharat period might have exercised some kind of loose supervision over the area. Similarly, Magapadmand Agrasen of Magadh, who subdued the entire country upto Orissa , might have gained some control over Jharkhand as well.
Ranchi is located on the southern part of the Chota Nagpur plateau which forms the eastern edge of the Deccan plateau. Ranchi is referred to as the "City of Waterfalls", due to the presence of numerous large and small falls of around the close vicinity of the city. The most popular ones are Dassam Falls, Hundru Falls, Jonha Falls, Hirni Falls and Panchghagh Falls.
The Subarnarekha river and its tributaries constitute the local river system. Dams in Kanke, Rukka and Hatia have been built over these channels to cater to the water requirements of majority the population.
Ranchi has a hilly topography and its combination with dense tropical forests ensures that it enjoys a comparatively moderate climate compared to the rest of the state. Previously, it was accorded a 'hill station' status during the British rule. Rapid population growth and industrialization have caused considerable change in the weather pattern and rise in average temperatures. This has resulted in gradual loss of this "Hill Station" like status.Climate
Ranchi has a humid subtropical climate.However, due to its position and the forests around the city, it is known for its pleasant climate. Its climate is the primary reason why Ranchi was once the summer capital of the undivided State of Bihar. Temperature ranges from maximum 42 to 20 °C during summer, and from 25 to 0 °C during winter.December and January are the coolest months with temperature getting to freezing point in some places of the city.The annual rainfall is about 1430 mm (56.34 inches). From June to September the rainfall is about 1,100 mm.Waterfalls-Ranchi
Hundru Falls’ one of the most picturesque falls surrounding Ranchi.It is 45 kms from Ranchi on Ranchi-Purulia Road.. Here, the Subarnarekha river falls from a height of 320 feet. The pools at the bottom of the falls are favourite picnic and bathing spots.
Jonha Falls : also known as Gautamdhara is around 40 Kms from Ranchi. It is approachable by both Road and train. The fall can be admired by descending around 500 steps. There is a tourist rest house which contains Lord Buddha temple. The river Kanchi flows nearby.
Dassam falls: is 34 kms from Ranchi on Ranchi-Tata Road near a village called Taimara. Here, the Kachni river falls from an altitude of 144 feet. It is also known as Dassam Gagh.
Panch Gagh falls: is on Ranchi- Chakradharpur Road about 6 kms from Khunti.This fall consists of five streams formed in a row due to the breaking up of the Banai river which falls from a good height.Cemented walkways connect the different cataracts, of which stream 2 is the most popular while 5 is the biggest, though a bit inaccessible.
Hirni falls: Another beautiful waterfall amidst forests about 70 km from Ranchi.
Sita Fall: Adjacent to Jonha falls is Sita falls which can be seen at its best early in the morning.Religious Places-Ranchi
Ranchi Hill and Pahari Mandir: is one of the landmark of Ranchi Town. The Shiva temple is situated on the top of the hill also known as Pahari Mandir. At the bottom of the hill is Ranchi Lake.Ranchi lake was excavated by Colonel Onsely in 1842.
Jagannathpur Temple : is 10 km apart from Ranchi town Jagannathpur temple was built in 1691 having resemblance with architectural style of Puri temple. Thakur Ani Nath Shahdeo, of Barkagarh Jagannathpur built the temple. Rath yatra similar to Puri is held every year.
Sun Temple: is situated at a distance of 40 kms on Ranchi Tata Road. It is built in the form of a Chariot with 18 wheels drawn by 7 white horses. It is surrounded by a pond which is used by devotees during Chhath Puja for worshipping of Sun.
Angrabari (Amreshwar Dham) : is a temple consisting of the deity of Lord Shiva, Ram and Sita, Hanuman and Ganesh. It is situated near Khunti at a distance of about 40 kms from Ranchi.The Shankracharya Swami Swarupanand Saraswati, having been captivated by serene, placid and celestial beauty of Angrabadi rechristened it as Amreshwar Dham
Devri Temple: A temple of Solha Bhuji Goddess Durga,is located on right side Ranchi-Tata highway(NH33) at 60 kms from Ranchi.It is the only temple in Jharkhand where the religious rituals are performed by the Pahans(tribal priests) along with conventional Brahmins.
GEL Church: Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chotanagpur , Assam in short G.E.L. Church on 2nd November 1845 by four German Missionaries named Emil Schatz, Fredrik batsch, Augustus Brandt and E. Theodor Janke sent by Fr. Johaness Evangelista Gossner of Berlin. They arrived Ranchi and erected their tents and G.E.L. Church was inaugurated with church service on 2nd November 1845.Other Interesting Places-Ranchi
Gonda Hill and Rock Garden: is situated at a distance of about 4 kms from Ranchi town on Ranchi Kanke Road.Rock Garden is carved out of the rocks of Gonda Hill and resembles its design to rock garden of Jaipur.At the base of the Hill is Kanke Dam.
Tagore Hill : The Morhabadi Hill famous as Tagore Hill is an important tourist spot.The elder brother of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore,Jyotirindranath Tagore has built a house(Shantidham) on the the hill.It is known as Tagore Hill due to its association with tagore family. Rath yatra similar to Puri is held every year.
Nakshatra Van: is situated in the heart of the City.It is divided into various sections. There is a big circle in the center of the park which is divided into arcs.The tree that represents the particular nakshatras in the zodiac has been planted in each of the corresponding arcs.
Muta Crocodile breeding centre : is situated at a distance of 23 km from Ranchi on Ranchi Ramgarh Road near Ormanjhi. There are around 50 crocodiles.
Birsa Jaivik Udyan : is situated at a distance of 16 km from Ranchi in Ranchi Ramgarh Road near Ormanjhi. Many species of animals,trees and plants can be seen here.
Ranchi Lake: Located at the base of Ranchi Hills is excavted in the year 1842.
McCluskigunj : It is famous for European style bungalows and a tribal museum.
Tribal Research Institute and Museum : :Located in Morhabadi . It shows tribal culture of Chotanagpur plateau.