Ballia district (Hindi: बलिया ज़िला, Urdu: بلیا ضلع) is one of the districts of Uttar Pradesh state, India. Ballia district is a part of Azamgarh Division situated in eastern Part of Uttar Pradesh. Main occupation is agriculture. Ballia City is district headquarters and commercial Market of this district. There are six tehsils (talukas) in this district viz Ballia, Bansdih, Rasra, Bairiya, Sikandarpur, and Belthara. Rasra is second major commercial area of district, having one government sugar mill and one cotton weaving industry. Though Ballia’s core occupation is agriculture but there are some small industries are existing. Maniar is known for its bindi (Indian ladies putting on their forehead) industry and major supplier.
Ballia is considered to be an ancient city. Legend has it that many saints and sages of India had their ashrams in Ballia, including Valmiki, Bhrigu, Durvasa, Parashara Muni, and Jamadagni. Ballia was a part of the Kosala Kingdom in ancient times and came under Buddhist influence later. The district was earlier part of the Ghazipur district, but later it was established as an independent district. Ballia. It is also known that Raja Bali was the king of that area and Ballia is renamed after this King, who is famous for his charity.
Sahatwar, Rohua (Village) Sheikhpur, and Sikanderpur are also very old towns of Ballia, populated during the reign of Feroze Shah Tughlaq. At that time, many Muslim saints came and inhabited the area and served Muslims and non-Muslim alike.
Origin of the name Ballia
According to locals, the name Ballia was derived from the name of the sage Valmiki, the celebrated Hindu poet and the author of Ramayana. Valmiki resided here at one point, and the place was commemorated by a shrine (although it has long since been washed away). Another belief about the origin of the name is that it refers to the sandy quality of the soil, locally known as “Ballua” (‘balu’ meaning sand). It was initially called ‘Balian’, and was later transformed to Ballia.