Ballia is situated in extreme north-eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. It is surrounded by Azamgarh on the west, Deoria in the north, Bihar in the north eastern part and Ghazipur in the south western part. The city is in an irregular shape and has one of its corners or boundaries at the confluence of two major rivers; Ganges and Ghagra. These rivers separate the city from other neighbouring cities. Like River Ganges separate Ballia from Bihar and River Ghagra separate Ballia from Deoria. The city is just one hundred and thirty five kilometres away from the well known city of Varanasi.
Origin of Ballia
There are two stories behind the origin of the name Ballia. Firstly, it is believed that the name of the city Ballia is derived from the name of one of the famous saints of Indian history, Valmiki. Locals have a belief that Valmiki, the author of Ramayana resided in this city and, hence, there was a shrine built at that place. However, the shrine no longer exists.
According to the second story, the city is named as Ballia due to quality of the soil of the land. Ballia has a sandy soil and this type of soil is known as ‘Ballua’. It is believed that this city was initially called as ‘Balian’ and then was transformed as ‘Ballia’
Climate of Ballia
Ballia experiences very hot climate during the summer months from March to June. The temperature goes as high as 45 degrees in the day time. However, the winters here are cool and pleasant. The temperature falls till 17 degrees during a pleasant day. Hence, if you plan a trip to Ballia, you should plan in the winter months of October to February.
Demographics of Ballia
The population of Ballia has increased tremendously from 1901 to 2011. According to the census data, the population of the district was not more than fifteen thousand; however, in 2011, the population is more than thirty lakhs. Ballia has recorded literacy rate of about 86%.
The local language of the people in Ballia is Hindi; however, the origin of the dialect is Bhojpuri. You will find people talking in Hindi with a touch of Bhojpuri.
Festivals in Ballia
The people of Ballia celebrate various Indian festivals. However, some of the most important festivals for the local people here are Chhat Puja, Gadha Utsav and Dadri festival also known as Cattle fair.
Places to See in Ballia
There are various places in Ballia that you should not miss seeing them. They include the famous Suraha Tal Bird Sanctuary, Hanuman temple, Chitragupta temple, Bhirgu Ashram and temple and few other temples.
How to Reach Ballia
Ballia is well connected by road with major cities like Varanasi, Patna and Gorakhpur. You can reach Ballia via road from any of these routes.
Ballia city is one of the major railway stations of Ballia. However, other railway station include Belthara road, Rasra and Suraimanpur. Some of the trains like Dadra express, Chauri Chaura express and Gorakhnath express pass through Ballia.
The nearest airport to Ballia is Patna and Varanasi. Patna airport is about one hundred and forty kilometres from Ballia and Varanasi airport is about one hundred and thirty kilometres from Ballia. It takes almost two hours via road from each of the airports to reach Ballia.
Shopping in Ballia
There are malls and hyper markets in Ballia from where you can shop for yourselves.
Popular Personalities of Ballia
There are various well-known personalities who were born in the district of Ballia. The list includes freedom fighters, Indian politicians, and novelist. Some of the well known names include the following:
- Mangal Pandey
- Chittu Pandey
- Chandra Shekhar (Prime Minister of India in 9th Lok Sabha)
- Janeshwar Mishra or also known as Chhote Lohia