|Ballia, Utaar Pradesh
|Elevation||159 m (522 ft)|
|Languages Hindi, Bhojpuri|
|• Official||Hindi, bhojpuri|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||UP 60|
Ballia (Bhojpuri: बलिया, Hindi: बलिया) is a city with a municipal board in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh bordering Bihar. The eastern boundary of the city lies at the junction of two major rivers, the Ganges and the Ghaghara. The city is situated 159 km (99 mi) from Varanasi. Bhojpuri, a dialect of Hindi, is the primary local language.
Due to its significant contribution to India's freedom struggle, Ballia is also known as Bagi Ballia (Rebel Ballia). The launch of The First Indian War of Independence - 1857 by Shree Mangal Pandey (born at village Nagwa Ballia district of India) brought Ballia into the public eye. During the Quit India Movement of 1942, Ballia gained independence from the British for a short period of time when the district overthrew the government and installed an independent administration under Chittu Pandey. Former Prime Minister of India Chandra Shekhar was a native of Ibrahimpatti in Ballia district.
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.
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.
Surha tal (Tal meaning lake Bhojpuri language) is a lake with a circumference of about 25.6 kilometres (15.9 mi). It is a natural Oxbow lake  which has an area of 34.32 sq. km. and is located about 17 km. north from the city along the river Ganges. It was declared a Bird Sanctuary in 1991.
The junction of the Ganges and the Ghaghara rivers marks the eastern boundary of Ballia, and the fairgrounds are at this point.
In 1901, Ballia had a population of 15,278. According to the 2001 Indian census, Ballia had a population of 102,226. Males constituted 54% of the population and females 46%. Ballia had an average literacy rate of 65%, which was higher than the national average of 59.5%, with 58% of the males and 42% of females being literate. 11% of the population was under six years of age.
According to the provisional data of the 2011 census, Ballia has a population of 111,287, of which 59,340 are male and 51,947 are female. The literacy rate was recorded as 86.65%.
Ballia has a major railway station by the same name, catering to about 35 trains daily (including 2 Rajdhani express) Other prominent railway stations in Ballia are: Belthara Road Suraimanpur and Rasra. Belthara Road is connected to Gorakhpur by several trains like Dadar Express, Chauri Chaura Express, Gorakhnath Express etc. Suraimanpur in the rout of Ballia-Chhapra.
Many road roundabouts in Ballia feature statues of leaders of the Indian Independence Movement.
Dadri Mela (fair)
Dadri Mela is the second largest cattle fair of India, which is held 5 km (3.1 mi) from Ballia town, near NH 31 and 3 km (1.9 mi) from the bus station of Ballia city. The fair starts with people taking a holy dip in the river Ganges on the full moon of Kartik Poornima (October–November). This fair is held annually in the honor of Dadar Muni, the disciple of Maharishi Bhrigu.
This one-month-long fair is organized in two phases. The first phase starts ten days before the onset of Kartik Poornima, during which traders bring some excellent breeds of cattle from across India for sale/purchase. On or after Kartik Poornima, various cultural programs are organized and one can find here a large number of makeshift shops of various items during the next fortnight.
- Bhrigu Maharaj - a popular Brahmin saint from this district known for his spiritual devotions, which is why Ballia is also known as भृगु-क्षेत्रे.
- Chandra Shekhar - 8th prime minister of India
- Kedarnath Singh - He was awarded the Jnanpith Award(2013), Sahitya Akademi Award(1989) in Hindi for his poetry collection, Akaal Mein Saras
- Chittu Pandey - freedom fighter
- Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, Amar Kant - Hindi novelist, literary historian, essayist, critic and scholar
- Janeshwar Mishra (Chhote Lohia ) - politician
- Jayaprakash Narayan - Indian independence activist and political leader
- Mangal Pandey - freedom fighter
- Neeraj Shekhar - U.p Rajay shabha
- Shri Murli Manohar- (born 15 December 1895), was an Indian politician from Uttar Pradesh state, and the member of parliament in 1962 for the Ballia Lok Sabha constituency from the Indian National Congress.
- Shri Kedarnath Singh - (born July 7, 1934) is one of the most prominent modern poets writing
Freedom Fighters of 1942
- Jagannath Ojha - (Ghuran Ojha Ke chapara, Ojhawallia, Brahmain.)
- Mahanand Mishra
- Radha Mohan Singh
- Rajeswar Tiwari
- Pt. Ramanant Pandey( Taiya Tola,Kharouni)
- Tarkeswar Pandey
- Viswanath Choubey
- Vandana Chaturvedi
- "Page 1".
- "District Profile".
- "Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Ballia".
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ballia". Encyclopædia Britannica 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
- "Indian Railways Ballia/BUI map". India Rail Info.
- "List of Trains for Ballia".
- "Dadri Mela, Uttar Pradesh".
- "Dadri Mela, Ballia".
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Ballia.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Ballia.|