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Ara, Ara Zila
Arrah City View
Arrah City View
Arrah is located in Bihar
Location in Bihar, India
Coordinates: 25°33′27″N 84°40′12″E / 25.55750°N 84.67000°E / 25.55750; 84.67000Coordinates: 25°33′27″N 84°40′12″E / 25.55750°N 84.67000°E / 25.55750; 84.67000
Named forAaranya Devi Temple
 • TypeMunicipal Corporation
 • BodyArrah Municipal Corporation
 • MPRaj Kumar Singh
190 m (620 ft)
 • Total261,430 [1]
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
802301, 802302 & 802312
Telephone code+91-6182
Vehicle registrationBR-03
Arrah written in Kaithi Script
Collectorate Pond in Ara on a May evening
Gandhinagar Road in Arrah

Arrah is a city and a municipal corporation in Bhojpur district in the state of Bihar, India. The name is also sometimes transliterated as Ara.[2] It is the district headquarters of Bhojpur district, located near the confluence of the Ganges and Sone rivers, some 24 miles from Danapur and 36 miles from Patna.[3]


According to a Jain inscription found in Masarh village near the town, Arrah is mentioned there as Aramnagar. So probably Arrah is derived from ARAMNAGAR.[4][5]

According to mythologies, the word "Arrah" or "Ara" is derived from the Sanskrit word 'ARANYA', which means forest. It suggests that the entire area around modern Ara was heavily forested in the old days. According to mythology, sage Vishwamitra, the Guru of RAMA, had his 'Ashram' somewhere in this region,Rama killed the demon Taraka somewhere near Arrah.[6][7]



Arrah has mentions in Ramayana, According to mythology, sage Vishwamitra, the Guru of RAMA, had his 'Ashram' somewhere in this region,Rama killed the demon Taraka somewhere near Arrah.[8][9]

In ancient India, it was the part of Magadha. In 684BC Arrah was the part of the region ruled by Haryanka dynasty. During Chandragupta Maurya Arrah was the part of the great Magadh empire. The Lion capitals of Ashoka are found at the Masadh village in Arrah town.[1] During 200 CE it was part of Gupta dynasty. Bhojpuri Folktales of Vikramaditya like Singhashan Battishi, Baital pachisi are still famous in the town and other Bhojpuri speaking area. It was also the part of Pala Empire and Chero empire. Bihiya and Tirawan were the capitals of Chief Ghughulia and Raja Sitaram Rai respectively.


In 14th century Chero lost the Western Bihar along with Arrah to Ujjainiya Rajputs under the leadership of Hunkar Shahi.[10] They named the tertiary "Bhojpur" on the name of their ancestor Raja Bhoj.In 1607, a number of Chero chief combined to launch a spirited attack against Ujjaniniyas. One of the descendants of Sitaram Rai, Kumkum Chand Jharap drove out Ujjainiyas from Bhojpur region and capture major parts of territory.[11] In 1611, Ujjainiyas defeated Cheros and again recaptured the lost region. Sher Shah Suri also defeated Chero during the early 16 century and made Sasaram its capital after defeating the Mughals. In 1604 Chieftain Narayan Mal got a land grant from Jahangir after that Raja Horil Singh shifted the capital to Dumrao and established Dumraon Raj.


After Battle of Buxar British took control over Arrah. Arrah was one of the centre of revolt of 1857.

Defence of Arrah house

During the Indian rebellion of 1857, a group of 18 British civilians and 50 Indian soldiers was besieged in the Little House at Arrah, by a band of 2500–3000 armed soldiers and around 8000 others under the command of 80-year-old Veer Kunwar Singh, the Zamindar of adjacent Jagdishpur. A British regiment, despatched to their assistance from Danapur, was repulsed,[12] but the group withstood the siege for eight days until relieved by other East India Company troops.[13]


Arrah is located at the elevation of 192 m from the sea level at the bank of Son river, Ganga River and Gangi River.[14] Arrah lies at the confluence of the Ganga and the Son river, other small rivers that flow in the town are Gangi River, Badki Nadi and Chhotki Nadi.

During the British Raj Arrah was the part of Bengal presidency. The land of the city is fertile and most used for cultivation with very low forest cover. The main crops that are grown here are rice, mango and mahuaa.


The climate is characterised by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The Köppen Climate Classification sub-type for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical Climate).[15]

Climate data for Arrah
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 23
Average low °C (°F) 11
Average precipitation mm (inches) 15
Average precipitation days 1.4 1.7 1 0.7 3 10.1 14 15.1 8.1 4 0.8 0.6 60.5
Source: Weatherbase[16]

Civic administration[edit]

Currently, Arrah is the headquarters of the Bhojpur District. It is administered by Arrah municipal corporation which divides the city in 45 wards. Each ward elects it's ward commissioner and, the Mayor is chosen through indirect election in which ward commissioners from respective wards cast their votes.

Police in Arrah is headed by a Police Commissioner, who is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.

Arrah is the home to Arrah Civil Court.


Schools in Arrah are either government-run or private schools. Schools are affiliated by Central Board of Secondary Education and Bihar School Examination Board.

Veer Kunwar Singh University is located here. Harprasad Das Jain College, Maharaja Collage, Sahajanand Brahmarshi College, Jagjiwan College, Mahila College are some of the premier institutions for higher education.

The list of Colleges in Arrah are:

In 2018, Bihar government has opened Government Engineering Colleges in each district of Bihar under the Department of Science and Technology. Government Engineering College, Bhojpur runs in the campus of Bakhtiyarpur College of Engineering and its own campus will be completed by 2020.[17]


Cricket is the most popular sport, however other sports such as volleyball, basketball, and athletics are also played.

Veer Kunwar Singh Stadium is the stadium situated in the Ramna Maidan which hosts various cricket, football, and hockey tournaments. Other grounds in the town are Ramna Maidan, Maharaja college ground, Airport Ground, and Jain Collage Ground.

From 5-7 December 2019, East Zone Inter University Kabaddi championship took place in the premises of Maharaja College in which 47 universities of 12 different states participated.[18]


As per the 2011 census, Arrah Municipal Corporation had a total population of 261,099, out of which 139,319 were males and 121,780 were females. It had a sex ratio of 874. The population below 5 years was 34,419. The literacy rate of the 7+ population was 83.41 per cent.[19]

Bhojpuri is spoken as the regional language, however Hindi is used for official purposes.


Arrah's native language is Bhojpuri, a language derived from Magadhi Prakrit. Bhojpuri festivals and cuisine is followed here. Food of Bhojpuri cuisine includes Litti-Chokha, Makuni (Paratha stuffed with roasted gram flour), Dal pitthi, Pittha, Aaloo Dum, Jaaur (Kheer) and main snack and sweets are Khurama (sweets made of Paneer),Thekua, Pudukiya, Patal ke Mithai, and Anarsa. Some of the drinks are Satuā, Amjhor, Taadi and Māthā.

The festivals celebrated here are Holi, Durgapuja, Chhath, Diwali, Teej, Jiutiya, Gai Dadh (Govardhan Puja), Jamdutiya, Eid, Christmas, etc.

Notable people[edit]

Notable places[edit]

Aranya Devi Temple[edit]

This is a temple of Aranya Devi (Forest Goddess). She is said to be the deity goddess of Ara town. Here one statue is of Adi Sarti and the second is established by the Pandavas. The temple is very old and draws many devotees every day. It is situated at the top of stone boulders.[20]

Karbala Masjid[edit]

This Masjid was built around 1817 with Aurangjeb's assistance. It is situated at Maula Bagh muhalla at Ara. This mosques is also mentioned by British officers in their writings.[21]

Koilwar Bridge[edit]

Koilwar Bridge connects Arrah and Patna, and is the oldest railway bridge of India. It was built in 1862 and is 157 years old.

Arrah–Chhapra Bridge[edit]

Arrah–Chhapra Bridge is also called Veer Kunwar singh Setu which connects Arrah and Chhapra is the longest multi span extradosed bridge in the world with a length of 1920m.[22]

Maharaja College, Ara[edit]

The present Maharaja college premises is an important historical site.


Masarh is a village 10 km from Arrah, the Lion capitals of Mauryan period have been found here.Masarh has been identified by Cunningham with Mo-ho-so-lo of the Chinese pilgrim Huen Tsang,

Popular references[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Arrah City Population Census 2011–2019 | Bihar".
  2. ^ "Bhojpur district full information".
  3. ^ "Maps, Weather, and Airports for Ara, India".
  4. ^ (PDF) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Singh, Rana (September 2019). "Masarh : A Great Archaeo-Historic Site of Bihar". J. P. University, Chapra. , 63.
  6. ^ "History | Welcome To Bhojpur District | India". 18 October 2019.
  7. ^ Sinha, Nishi. Tourism Perspective in Bihar. APH Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 9788170249757.
  8. ^ "History | Welcome To Bhojpur District | India". 18 October 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  9. ^ Sinha, Nishi. Tourism Perspective in Bihar. APH Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 9788170249757.
  10. ^ Surendra Gopal (22 December 2017). Mapping Bihar: From Medieval to Modern Times. Taylor & Francis. pp. 289–295. ISBN 978-1-351-03416-6.
  11. ^ Surinder Singh; I. D. Gaur (2008). Popular Literature and Pre-modern Societies in South Asia. Pearson Education India. p. 77. ISBN 978-81-317-1358-7.
  12. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Arrah" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 642.
  13. ^ Halls, John James (7 July 1860). "Two months in Arrah in 1857" – via Google Books.
  14. ^ "About District | Welcome To Bhojpur District | India". 18 October 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Arrah, India Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.
  16. ^ "". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on 31 July 2013.
  17. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Jagran Josh".
  19. ^ "Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  20. ^ "Places of Interest | Welcome To Bhojpur District | India". 18 October 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  21. ^ Halls (1860). Two months in Arrah.
  22. ^ "Arrah-Chhapra Bridge". Structurae. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  23. ^ "The ancient heritage behind our railway bridges". Rediff.
  24. ^ Banerjee, Arnab (25 March 2017). "Anarkali of Arrah movie review: Bold, beautiful and endearing". Deccan Chronicle.

External links[edit]