Dhalai district is a district of Tripura state with its administrative headquarters located at Ambassa town. It was carved out from the North Tripura District and emerged as a separate district on 14th April, 1995 including a part of the Amarpur Sub-Division of the South Tripura district. At the very beginning, there are only three districts in the state of Tripura but later the district of Dhalai was created by considering the point of administrative exigency of providing development & good governance to the largely Tribal and inaccessible areas. The district got its named from the Dhalai River which originates in it.
Geographically, the district lies at 23°85' N latitude and 91°91' E longitude. The altitude in the district is 84 m. In the year 2021, there was a total 82.38% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 2,400 sq km. and it is bounded by Unakoti district and Bangladesh on the North, Bangladesh on the South, North Tripura District on the East and Khowai district and Gomati district on the West. The principal rivers in the district are Manu, Dhalai and Khowai. The climate of the district is neither so hot in summers and nor too cold in winters. The actual rainfall in the district was 1539.7 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 sub-divisions namely Kamalpur, Ambassa, Longtarai Valley and Gandachera. Moreover, it comprises 5 sub-districts, 4 towns and 152 villages. The administrative languages in the district are Bengali and Kokborok.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 3,78,230 out of which 1,94,544 are males and 1,83,686 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 944 (females for every 1000 males) and child ratio of 968 (females per 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 22.85% including 22.28% are males and 23.47 are females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 81.20% of the total population. The population density in the district is 158 (persons per sq. km.). As per 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Bengali and Tripuri with 44.16% and 41.57%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 8,476 out of which 4,419 were males and 4,055 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 3,040 out of which 1,811 were males and 1,229 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on both the agricultural and industrial sectors. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are rice, jute, pineapple, etc. From the very beginning, the district is dependent on rain fed farming since it has heavy rains in the monsoon and also in winter which makes sufficient supply of water in the summer. Another important irrigation system for its agricultural field is pond. Industrially, also the district is quite well developed. Micro and small scale industrial units likewise, latex processing, metal article fabrication, bakery, saw mill etc. are available in the district. .Tripura Bamboo Mission has been introduced for incense sticks, basketry, etc. and also encourages the bamboo cultivation at some places namely Manu, Kamalpur, Ambassa, Salema and Ganganagar. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Dhalai as one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640) and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).
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 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Radhamohan Memorial Ashram School (run by Tipura Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society), St. Arnold's Schools, Holy Cross High School, Dhalai District Polytechnic, Industrial Training Institute, Government Degree College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 85.72% including 91.31% are males and 79.79% are females. The total literate population in the district is 2,76,217 out of which 1,51,643 are males and 1,24,574 are females. The total illiterate population in the district is 1,02,013 out of which 42,901 are males and 59,112 are females.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Dumboor Lake, a beautiful water body located in the Gandacherra sub-division at a distance of 70 km. from Ambassa is look like a tabour shaped small drum and hence it is named "Dumboor". The lake is the confluence of rivers Raima and Sarma that covers an area of 41 kms. Longtharai temple, a unique and ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is associated with a mythological story. Natives of the district believe that Lord Shiva on his return from Kailash rested here for some time in the hill of Longtharai. Therefore, the hill got its present name, Longtharai. Pilgrims from far off places comes to this temple every on the occasion of Maha Shiva ratri in order to offer their prayers. Kamaleswari Mandir, situated at Kamalpur Nagar Panchayat in the district is devoted to the Goddess Kali. Kamalpur the largest sub-divisional town in the district is named after the Kamaleswari temple. Manu Eco Park, a marvellous forest park developed by Forest Department is a nice place for walking with some wooden huts to rest. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Plantations at Kathalcherra, Setrai Water Falls and many more.