Dhanbad lies in the Damodar River Valley, near the famous Jharia coalfield. Dhanbad is a city and municipality in Dhanbad district in the state of Jharkhand, India. Dhanbad is the district headquarters and famous for its coalmines and coal-based industries; because of this, it has been called the "Coal Capital" of India and the "City of Coal." The Indian School of Mines and Applied Geology, The Central Mining Research Institute as well as Bharat Coking Coal Ltd., a Government enterprise, the leading producer of coal, are all located in the city.
The early history of the greater part of the Chotanagpur plateau is shrouded in mystery and that of Dhanbad district is particularly so. Details of even later periods are difficult to trace as the present district formed but a small and insignificant part of Manbhum. The erstwhile district of Manbhum had it's headquarter in Purulia (now in West Bengal). Manbhum in turn, derived its name from Raja Man Singh who was gifted this territory by Emperor Akbar, following his victory in a certain battle. The district being extremely vast and far-flung soon got divided into Birbhum, Manbhum and Singhbhum, for administrative purposes.
On October 24, 1956, Dhanbad was declared a District on the recommendation of the State Reconstitution Commission vide notification 1911. Its geographical length, extending from North to South, was 43 miles and breadth, 47 miles, stretching across East to West. In 1991, a part of Dhanbad was sliced away for Bokaro district, diminishing thereby its total area to 2995 Sq. Km's.
Dhanbad is located at 23.8o N 86.45o E . It has an average elevation of 222 meters (728feet).
As of 2011 India census, Dhanbad City, had a population of 1161561.