Ballia is in Uttar Pradesh province of India. Ballia is an ancient city. Many great 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. It also came under Buddhist influence for some time. Earlier the district was a part of Ghazipur district, but later it was created as an independent district.
Sahatwar, Sheikhpur and Sikanderpur are also very old towns of Ballia, populated during the reign of Feroze Shah Tughlaq where famous Muslim saints came and inhabited the area and served Muslims and non-Muslim alike.
The origin of the name Ballia, has long been a matter of dispute. It is locally said to have been derived from the name of the sage Valmiki, the celebrated Hindu poet and the author of Ramayana, whose having resided here was commemorated by a shrine, which has long been washed away. Another belief about the origin of the name is that it has been derived from the sandy nature of the land of the place, locally known as "Ballua" (balu meaning sand). It was initially named as 'balian', later transformed to Ballia.
Ballia is also known as Baghi Ballia (Rebel Ballia) for its significant contribution in India's freedom struggle. During the first Independence War of India in 1857, Ballia came in picture in front of the world and Shree Mangal Pandey was that first freedom fighter of that war who was born in village Nagwa Ballia district of India. During the Quit India Movement of 1942 Ballia gained independence from British rule for a short period of time when the district overthrew the government and installed an independent administration under Chittu Pandey.
Roads from Varanasi Gorakhpur and Patna are very good, although it is worth checking whether a train will get you there faster as, for example, a drive from Varanasi would take about 4 hours. The road to Ballia passes through small towns such as Nagra and Sikanderpur before it reaches Ballia.
Bhrigu Mandir Surha taal Van vihaar Khakhi Baba aashram
- Dadri Mela (fair). Dadri Mela is the second largest cattle fair of India which is located at 5 KM from Ballia town nearby NH 19 and 3 KM from Bus station of Ballia city. The fair starts on full moon of Kartik Poornima (October–November) with Holy dip in Ganges. This fair is held annually in the honour of Dadar Muni, the disciple of Maharishi Bhrigu.
This fair is celebrated for more than one month and is organized in two phases. The first phase starts before 10 days of Kartik Poornima in which traders bring some excellent hybrids of cattle from across India for sale/purchase. On or after Kartik Poornima, various cultural programs are organized and one can find shops of different items at one stop during the next Fortnight.
While in Ballia, you can try out some of the local favorites (Baati-Chokha would be the best), quite different from your normal naan and curry. Sattu are famous as turant bhojan, kind of fast food.
Accommodations are fairly reasonable, you just need to look around.