Ballia

About Ballia

Bhrigu Temple of Ballia

Ballia district is the easternmost part of the Uttar Pradesh state and borders on Bihar State. It comprises an irregularly shaped tract extending westward from the confluence of the Ganga and the Ghaghra, the former separating it from Bihar in the south and the latter from Deoria and Bihar in the north and east respectively.

The boundary between Ballia and Bihar is determined by the deep streams of these two rivers. It is bounded on the west by Azamgarh, on the north by Deoria, on the north-east and south-east by Bihar and on the south-west by Ghazipur. The district lies between the parallels of 25º33' and 26º11' North latitudes and 83º38' and 84º39' East longitudes.

History of Ballia

In ancient times the region covered by the present District of Ballia, lay in the kingdom of Kosala. It is probable that the river Ganga, in its sweep towards the north-east of present town of Ballia, formed the boundary of Kosala which included the whole of the present Ballia district as far as the junction of the Sadanira and the Great Gandakil.

The back-strewn mounds and fragmentary remains of structural character, which evoke memories not only of mythology but also of history, are found at a number of places in the district. The ruins in the neighborhood of Barhmain and Hanumanganj, consisting of a large mound called Mira Dih, covered with broken bricks and pottery of a dark hue, are probably the remains of an ancient city.

Khaira Dih, near Turtipar in tehsil Rasra which is also a ruined site of a very ancient city named Bhargavapur. is presumed to have been the place where the rishi a Jamadagni lived. The excavations carried out under the auspices of the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, have brought to light relics of the black and red ware civilization (1450-1200 B.C.) at various sites such as Bhumapardih, Bijulipur, Godabirgarh, Lovika-katopa, Maira Dih, Pakka Kot and Vainagadho, indicating that the tract enjoyed settled life and civilization from this early time.

Popular legends also bear witness to the antiquity of these sites, one such being that of the village of Karon, (in tehsil Ballia), its name being considered to be a corruption of the word Kam-anaunya. The legend is that Siva, being enraged at the attempts of Kamdeo (the god of love) to beguile him from his meditations, burnt him to ashes at this spot.

Ballia itself is supposed to have derived its name from Valmiki, that of the great sage who is said to have had his hermitage or to have dwelt here for some time. It is also associated with Bhrigu, another renowned sage who, according to a local legend, came and dwelt here because of the sacredness of the place Other rishis Like Garga Parasar, Vashishta and Atri are traditionally believed to have visited the neighborhood of Ballia attesting to the sacredness of its environs extending to a circuit of about 16 km.

According to tradition, Hansnagar (town of swans) a village 9.6 km. east of Ballia, is said to take its name from the legend that a swan turned into a man and a crow into a swan by drinking the water of the holy river Ganga at this place.

At a distance of about 137 km. from Ballia, there is an ancient tank named Dharmaranva Pokhara where an excavation is said to have revealed that thousands of rishis practiced austerities there and that to the north and east it there were traces of the previous existence of and ancient forest probably a remnant of the ancient Aranya. Some other places of this district are also associated the Vedic sages: Bhalsand (in tehsil Ballia) is said to have derived its name from Bhardwaja who resided there for sometime and Dhuband (also in tahsil Ballia) to be a corruption of Durvasa-ashrama, signifying the abode of Durvasa, a celebrated rishi. The early political history of this region is complex.

According to the Puranic tradition, the solar dynasty of Kshatriyas, founded by one Manu, was the earliest known dynasty which gave Kosala (to which the tract forming the district became subject) a systematic form of government and of which Ikshvaku, the eldest son of Manu, famed in Vedic tradition, was the first ruler.

The line that descended from produced a number of illustrious kings till the accession of Rama who was the greatest ruler of this dynasty. Lakhnesar Dih, in tahsil Rasra, is named after Lakhsmana, the brother of Ram, who is said to have visited this place and built a temple at this spot in honour of Mahadev. The remains of an ancient town are still to be seen on the high band of the river in the form of immense piles of ruins, from which numerous pieces of sculpture have been obtained from time to time which bear testimony to the fact that even in those early times it was a settled abode with a flourishing population Lakhshmana's son.

Chandraketu, entitled Malla (valiant) in the Ramayana, established a kingdom known as the Malla state, of which some portion of this district formed a part, It is probable that the territories of the Mallas touched those of Kasi in the south, Magadha in the south-east and Kosala in the south-west, of which an area of the present day Ballia district, then formed a part. It came to be the biggest and the most important of the autonomous states of Kosala in respect of territorial extent and political influence. In the sixth century B.C., Kosala came to be known as one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas (great kingdoms). At the time it was ruled by the powerful king. Mahakosala His son, Prasenjit the last great monarch of the solar dynasty of Kosala, was an important figure of his time.

Culture of Ballia

Contribution of Ballia to Hindi Literature is immense as many prominent scholars hail from Ballia like Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, Parshuram Chaturvedi, Amar Kant to name a few. Ballia is surrounded by two major river Ganges and Ghaghra (Saryu) that make this land more fertile.

Ballia is also considered as a holy Hindu city. It has big and small temples. Bhrigu temple in Bhrigu Ashram is considered to be a famous temple where Bhrigu Muni was supposed to reside. Bhrigu muni is the one who according to Hindu Mythology hit Lord Vishnu on his chest. Behind Bhrigu Ashram earlier River Ganges used to flow. Famous Dadri Mela (fair) is still held annually in winter season and people from all around the Ballia and neighboring districts come here to visit it. It lasts about a month.

Languages

Languages include Bhojpuri, a tongue in the Indo-Aryan language group with almost 40 000 000 speakers, written in both the Devanagari and Kaithi scripts.Bhojpuri language generally spoken by the commoners in the district.

Urdu is another prominent language in the district used largely by Muslims but the fact is that despite a fashion of using Hindi, Urdu & English the lingua franca of the district is still bhojpuri among the common people.

But the bhojpuri spoken in ballia is unlike bhojpuri of Bihar or the bhojpuri of Gorakhpur, it is different in tone from these distinct areas in its accent and vocabulary. People of Ballia like to call their language as Balliyavi rather than Bhojpuri.

Places to visit

  • Surha Taal
  • Sahid Smarak
  • Brigu Mandir
  • Dardari Mela
  • Basant Vihar Jeera Basti, Botanical Garden type
  • Sri. Chain Ram baba Temple, Sahatvar Ballia
  • Sri. Khapdia Baba Temple, Lalganj, Ballia
  • Sri. Vigyan Dev Jee Maharaj Temple, Poor Pakdi, Ballia
  • Sri. Kameshwar Dham ,Karron , Ballia
  • Sri. Jangli Baba mandir
  • Mangla Bhawani mandir, Ujiwar, Ballia
  • Jai Prakash Nagar Samark, Jai Prakash Nagar, Ballia

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