History of Ballia

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.

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 'Ballian', and was later transformed to Ballia.