Gumla district is one of the twenty-four districts of Jharkhand state, India, and Gumla town is the administrative headquarters of this district.
Gumla began as a hamlet. A week-long “Cow Fair” (Gau-Mela) took place every year, where items in daily use (utensils, ornaments, grain and sometimes cattle) were sold or bartered. Since these items were only available at the fair, people would keep lists during the year of what they needed. The hamlet’s population grew, and it became a village named “Gumla” (a derivative of Gau–Mela).
During British rule in India Gumla was in Lohardaga district, and in 1800 there was a revolt against the Raj. In 1807 the Oraons of Barway (west of Gumla) murdered their landlord from Srinagar, and the uprising spread throughout Gumla. In 1843, Gumla became part of Bishunpur province. The province, which was abolished in 1899, was later named Ranchi; in 1902, Gumla became a subdivision of Ranchi district.
During the medieval era, the Chhotanagpur region was ruled by the kings of the Naga dynasty and Baraik Devenandan Singh ruled the Gumla region. During the Kolh Reble in 1931–32, Vaktar Say reportedly played a prominent role. Ganga Maharaj, who built the Kali Temple at Sri Ramnagar, was active in the Quit India Movement in 1942; for his contribution to Indian independence, he received a pension from the government.
On May 18, 1984, Gumla District was established by Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra. Dwarika Nath Sinha was appointed the first deputy commissioner of the new district.
Gumla is in the southern part of the Chota Nagpur Plateau, which forms the eastern edge of the Deccan Plateau. Three rivers flow through the area: the South Koyel, the North Koyel and the Shankh.