The name Sainthia is derived from 'Sain', a Bengali term used to refer to an Islamic priest. Sainthia is also known as 'Nandipur', after the famous temple of Nandikeshwari.
About 160 years ago Sainthia was a small village. Urbanization of this area gained momentum in the recent past, when construction work of the Sahibganj loop line and a bridge over the Mayurakshi River started. Construction of the Khana-Rajmahal section of Sahibganj Loop was completed in October 1859. The first train ran from Howrah to Rajmahal via Khana Junction on 4 July 1860. Construction of the Sainthia railway station was done as part of building the entire line. This large project brought people from different corners of this country to assemble and settle here. Sainthia, an old village trade centre, a place of Pilgrimage has been emerged into a municipal town in the year 1987.
On July 19, 2010, at 02:13 AM the Sainthia train collision occurred in the Sainthia railway station here, when Bananchal express was crashed by Uttarbanga express at platform no. 4.
Sainthia is located at 23.57°N 87.40°E / 23.57; 87.40. It has an average elevation of 54 metres (180 feet). The town is situated in the bank of Mayurakshi River. The soil is generally alluvial and fertile. There was a rich reservoir of groundwater but this stands somewhat depleted due to overuse. The temperature goes very high and it is terribly humid in summer and quite cold in winter.
The Sainthia municipality area spread over 16 km2 (6.18 sq mi) and comprises 16 wards. The north–south dimension of the town is comparatively narrow, stretching from the Mayurakshi River in the north to roughly Pariharpur Village in the south—a span of 2–3 km.
As of 2011, the Sainthia Municipality has a population of 44,601, of which 22,856 are males while 21,745 are females, as per the report released by Census India 2011. The population of children under age 6 is 4511, which is 10.11% of the total population of Sainthia. In Sainthia, the female sex ratio is 951, against the state average of 950. The child sex ratio is around 880, compared to the West Bengal state average of 956. The literacy rate of Sainthia is 79.50%, higher than state average of 76.26%. Male literacy is around 84.70% while female literacy is 74.08%. Out of the total population, 16,485 were engaged in work or business activity. Of this, 13,481 were males while 3,004 were females. In the census survey, a worker is defined as a person who does business, job, service, cultivator, or labour activity. Of the total 16,485 working population, 92.97% were engaged in main work while 7.03% were engaged in marginal work. Sainthia has over 10,229 houses.
Ward number 16 is the most populous ward with population of 3814 and ward number 4 is the least populous ward with population of 1638.
Sainthia is an economically important town and one of the busiest business hubs in the middle part of West Bengal. The economy of Sainthia Municipal area is the central place of Birbhum district. The economy is based on agricultural products and their allied businesses. Rice mills, mastered oil mills, bran oil mills, fried rice mills, galvanized wire product units and other businesses run here. The economy of Sainthia stands tall due to the sales of agricultural products. The town is very much famous for export and import Center for cottege industry and agricultural based different goods. The hinterland of business of Sainthia spreads up to the district of Jharkhand in the west and Kandi of Murshidabad district in the east. The town is well connected to Baharampur, Siuri, Rampurhat, Bolpur, Andal, Asansol, Durgapur and Kolkata through high roads and railroads. That makes the town the business center of all sorts of goods distribution and transportation. Its socio-economical status is quite strong and education ratio is steadily increasing.
Sainthia is an important centre for banking and finance.
The National Highway 114 and State Highway 11 runs across the town. These highways links important cities and towns in West Bengal.
Public transport systems in Sainthia include the Government and private buses, electric rickshaws, taxis and auto rickshaws.
The nearest domestic airport is Kazi Nazrul Islam International Airport. The airport is roughly 74 kilometers from central Sainthia.
The Sainthia railway station serves the entire town and is the most important and key railway station of Birbum district. It also serves as the originating station of 4 important trains . The Sainthia railway station connects to both of Kolkata's two busy rail terminals, Howrah railway station and Sealdah railway station.
The town has a lone government hospital, 8 private hospitals and 1 veterinary hospital.
Sainthia is mainly famous for its temples . Nandikeshwari Temple devoted to Goddess Nandikeshwari is located in this town.
There are two colleges in Sainthia:
Abhedananda Mahavidyalaya -a general stream college under the University of Burdwan, established in 1964.
There is also a homeopathic medical college-Birbhum Vivekananda Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital.Sainthia High School
Sainthia Town High School is a boys' only high school.
Shashibhushan Dutta Girls' High School
Jogeshwari Dutta Girls' High School
Paharhi Baba Vidyapth
Gitanjali Public School
Rastravhasa High School
There is one government-sponsored public library in Sainthia.
The Kamodakinkar Stadium (Jalibagan) is a football and a cricket stadium at Vivekananda Pally, Sainthia, operated by Sainthia Sports Association.