Past Cities

Arrah, Bihar, India

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Arrah, also known as Ara, is a historic city located in the Bhojpur district of Bihar, India. Situated on the banks of the River Son, Arrah has a rich and diverse history that spans several centuries.

Arrah has a population of approximately 261,430 people as of the 2011 census. The city is known for its cultural diversity, with a mix of various communities, including Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs. The majority of the population is engaged in agriculture, as the fertile plains surrounding the city offer ample opportunities for farming.

The history of Arrah dates back to ancient times. The region was part of the ancient kingdom of Magadh, which flourished during the Mauryan Empire under the rule of Emperor Ashoka. The area witnessed the spread of Buddhism during this period, with several Buddhist monasteries being established in the region.

During the medieval period, Arrah came under the control of various dynasties, including the Guptas, the Pala dynasty, and the Sena dynasty. The city experienced a significant political shift when the Delhi Sultanate took control of the region in the 12th century. The Muslim rulers established their authority, and Arrah became an important administrative center.

In the 18th century, Arrah became a focal point of the struggle between the British East India Company and local Indian rulers. The Battle of Buxar, fought near Arrah in 1764, was a pivotal moment in Indian history. The British forces, led by Hector Munro, defeated the combined armies of the Nawab of Bengal, the Nawab of Awadh, and the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II. This victory solidified British control over Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa and marked the beginning of their political dominance in the region.

During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, Arrah played a prominent role. The city became a stronghold for Indian rebels who were opposed to British rule. Led by Kunwar Singh, a local zamindar, the rebels held off a British siege for several days. The Siege of Arrah became a symbol of resistance against colonial oppression, inspiring other regions to join the rebellion. Eventually, the British forces prevailed, but the rebellion left a lasting impact on the Indian independence movement.

The political environment and geography of Arrah have had significant effects on its history. The city's strategic location on the banks of the River Son made it an important center for trade and commerce. The river served as a vital transportation route, facilitating the movement of goods and people. The fertile plains surrounding Arrah were ideal for agriculture, making the region agriculturally prosperous.

However, Arrah's geography also made it vulnerable to natural disasters. The region is prone to floods, especially during the monsoon season, which has often led to the displacement of people and damage to infrastructure. Efforts have been made to mitigate the impact of floods, including the construction of embankments and reservoirs.

The political environment of Arrah has been shaped by the city's history of resistance against colonial rule. The rebellions and uprisings that occurred in the region fostered a spirit of nationalism and a desire for independence among the local population. Arrah became a center for political activism, with several prominent leaders emerging from the city, contributing to the Indian independence movement.

In contemporary times, Arrah continues to be an important center for commerce and administration. The city has witnessed significant development, with improvements in infrastructure, education, and healthcare. However, challenges such as poverty, unemployment, and inadequate public services still persist, requiring ongoing efforts for improvement.