Ballia district is a district of Uttar Pradesh with its administrative headquarters located at Ballia town. Natives of the district believe that the district got its name Ballia from the name of the famous sage Valmiki who wrote the great epic Ramayana. In the ancient period sage Valmiki resided at this place for this very reason the place was declared by people as a pious place. Some other believes that the name of the district is derived from the local term Ballua meaning sand. It points out the sandy quality of the soil of the district. With the passage of time the name of the district was changed from Ballua to Balian and Balian to the current name Ballia. The early political history of this region is quite confusing. As per the Puranic tradition the solar dynasty of Kshatriyas was established by Manu, the earliest known dynasty which gave Kosala a systematic form of government and of which Ikshvaku, the eldest son of Manu who famed the Vedic tradition was the first ruler. The place of Lakhnesar Dih in Rasra tehsil in the district got its name from the name of Lakhsmana, the younger brother of Ram who is believed to have came to this place and built a temple at this spot dedicated to Mahadev. During different periods of time the place was ruled by prominent different rulers.
Chittu Pandey popularly known as Shere Ballia (Lion of Ballia) was born on 10th May, 1865 at Rattuchak village in the district. He was an eminent Indian independence activist who led the Quit India Movement in Ballia district. He was the follower of Gandhian ideologies. Mangal Pandey, a very courageous sepoy in the 34th Bengal Native Infantry (BNI) regiment of the British East India Company was born on 19th July, 1827 at Nagwa village in the Ballia district. He played a key role in the events that immediately preceding the outbreak of the Indian rebellion of 1857.
Geographically, the district lies at 25076'N latitude, 84015'E longitude and 159 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 0.74% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 2,981 sq. km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the rank of 41st in state and 395th in India. It is bounded by Azamgarh on the west, Deoria on the north, Bihar on the north-east and south-east and Ghazipur on the south-west. The prominent rivers that flows through the district are Ganges and Ghaghra (Saryu). The climate of the Ballia District remains hot and humid in the summer and fairly cold in the winter. Rainfall occurs mostly in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 466.6 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 6 tehsils namely Bairia, Ballia, Bansdih, Belthara Road, Rasra and Sikanderpur. There are 3 Lok Sabha and 7 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 11 towns and 2,361 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 32,39,774 out of which 16,72,902 are males and 15,66,872 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 937 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 17.31% including 18.33% were males and 16.25% were females. The district has a population density of 1,087 persons per sq. km. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 74,775 including 37,370 were males and 37,405 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 26,644 out of which 13,401 were males and 13,243 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 92.73% of the total population. According to 2001 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 98.97%.
The economy of the district is solely dependent on agriculture. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural sector helps in its economy to a huge extent. Most of the people of the district are engaged in agriculture since it is scantily industrialized. But now-a-days some small scale industries are set up in the district, some of its major industries which provides employment facility to its natives are glass, ceramics, horticulture, sugar, manufacturing mechanical equipments and a variety of small-scale industries. In the year 2016-17 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 11,36,648 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 8,71,294 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2017-18 was Rs. 10,35,298 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 7,17,995 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2017-18 was Rs. 29,441 at Current Price and Rs. 20,418 at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is not educationally well developed yet it has numerous educational institutions in the district. Some of its reputed educational institutions in the district are Shri Jamuna Ram Degree College, Gandhi Inter College, Gulab Devi Mahila PG College, Narheji P.G. College, Town Politechnic, Saheed Mangal Pandey Govt. Girls Degree College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 70.94% including 81.49% are males and 59.75% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 19,63,590 including 11,60,960 are males and 8,02,630 are females.
Chandra Shekhar Singh, a distinguished Indian politician and the ninth Prime Minister of India was born on 1st July, 1927 at Ibrahimpatti in the district. During his lifetime, he served as a member of different political parties likewise Congress Socialist Party (before 1964), Indian National Congress (1964-75), Independent (1975-77), Janata Party (1977-88), Janata Dal (1988-90) and Samajwadi Janata Party (1990-2007). Janeshwar Mishra, a prominent politician and a former member of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha) was born on 5th August, 1933 at Ballia town. During 1990-91, he was also served as a minister of state for Railways in the Chandra Shekhar government. He was a member of Samajwadi Party.
During the year 2018, there were 13,56,825 domestic tourists who visited these places of the district. There is a lack of centres of attraction in the district but this place is full of temples and for this very reason it is considered as a holy Hindu area. The Bhrigu temple is the identity of the Bhrigu Ashram. Natives of the district believe that in the ancient period Bhrigu Muni (famous saint) resided in this place. Every year Dadri Melaused, a fair held at this place when Ganges flows behind the Bhrigu Ashram. Ballia is also well-known for Sonadihka mela which generally organizes every year in the month of April for 15 days.