Raigarh district is a district of Chhattisgarh state with its administrative headquarters located at Raigarh city. Moreover, it is well known as the cultural capital of the Chhattisgarh state since its history is full of cultural activities. During the period of British rule, Raigarh was a princely state thus not directly under the control the British but rather by a local ruler. After India got its independence, Raigarh was the first state to join the union of India and emerged a separate district in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Madan Singh is the one who established the Raigarh state. At that time Raigarh State was a part of the Sambalpur State and Madan Singh was a “Samant” of the King of Sambalpur State. But it was the effort of Madan Singh that the place of Raigarh came out as a separate state from the Sambalpur State. The he was succeded by Takhat Singh, Beth Singh, Dilip Singh and Jujhar Singh, Devnath Singh, Ghanshyam Singh, Bhupdev Singh and Chakradhar Singh became kings one by one. In this way the place was ruled by different rulers during different periods of time. Finally, Chakradhar Singh Maharaj was the last king of separate Raigarh State. Even today also one can feel the Royal touch in the place but due to some internal conflicts, the royalty of the place is slowly and gradually fading away. Furthermore, the palace-Moti Mahal in the district is not in a good condition. Recently, the state government of Chhattisgarh declared it as a significant heritage site of India.
Geographically, the district lies at 21°90'N latitude and 83°40'E longitude. The altitude in the district is 219 m. In the year 2021, there was a total 37.02% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 7,086 sq km. and it is bounded by Surguja district on the North, Jashpur district on the North East, Korba district on the North West, Mahasamund district, Chhattisgarh and Orissa on the South and Korba district and Janjgir Champa district on the East. The climate of the district remains extremely hot during the summers and fairly cold during the winters. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1149.5 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 9 sub-districts, 10 towns and 1,466 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 14,93,984 out of which 7,50,278 are males and 7,43,706 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 991 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 18.05% including 18.23% were males and 17.87% were females. The population density in the district is 211 (persons per sq. km.). As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 95.25% of the total population. As per 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Hindi and Odia with 84.40% and 9.52%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 28,872 out of which 14,872 were males and 13,994 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 12,359 out of which 7,231 were males and 5,127 were females.
The economy of the district is dependent on both the agricultural as well as industrial sectors. Raigarh is famous for its 'kosa' or tasar, a kind of fine silk formed out of the silk worm which is feeding on mulberry fruit. Raigarh has also numerous sponge iron plants. Now-a-days it is developing very fast as an industrial hub for the steel market. Jindal Steel and Power Limited in the district operate the world's largest sponge iron and steel plant, located at a distance of 8 km from the Raigarh city. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. In terms of agricultural product, the district is rich in rice production. Most of the population in the district earns their livelihood from agriculture. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. In the year 2006-2007 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 4,12,962 lakh at current price and Rs. 3,17,923 lakh at constant prices in the year 1999-2000. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2006-07 was Rs. 3,72,548 lakh at current price and Rs. 2,87,039 lakh at constant prices in the year 1999-2000. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2006-07 was Rs. 26,344 at current price and Rs. 14,142 at constant prices in the year 1999-2000.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its most recognised educational institutions are Kishori Mohan Tripathi Government Girls College, Maa Chandrahasini Institute of Technology, Jindal Institute of Technology, O.P. Jinal College, P.D. Commerce and Arts College, K.G. Arts and Science College, Swami Balkrishna Puri Law College, Aricent College, O.P. Jindal Community College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 73.26% including 83.49% are males and 63.02% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 9,51,639 out of which 5,42,756 are males and 4,08,883 are females.
Nand Kumar Patel, a veteran Indian politician and an important member of the Indian National Congress was born on 8th November, 1953 at Nandeli Village in the district. He was elected in the legislative election from the Kharsia Assembly Constituency for five times consecutively i.e. (1990, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008).
The district has some attractive places which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Ram Jharna, a mesmerizing natural waterfall is situated at a distance of 18 km. from the Raigarh city. In the year 2018, there were 4,76,078 domestic tourists who visited the above places. An interesting mythological story is also associated with the waterfall. According to the story, Lord Ram had drunk water from the waterfall during his exile period. Thus it is named as Ram Jharna after the Lord Ram. It is a perfect destination for picnic and nature’s lovers. Gomarda Abhayaranya, situated about 60 km. away at the Sarangarh Tehsil in the district encloses a total area of 278 sq km. It is rich in a great variety of fauna and flora. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Gaurishankar Mandir, Shayam Mandir, Pahadh Mandir, Kamla Nehru Park, Haritima, Indira Vihar and many more.