Siwan district is one of the districts of Bihar, and Siwan town is the administrative headquarters of this district. Siwan district is a part of Saran Division.
The District of Siwan is spanned over the western part of North Bihar alluvial plain's segment of broader Indo-Gangetic Plain. The geographical location of the district is confined between 250 53' to 260 23' North latitudes and 840 1' to 840 47' East longitude. The Deoria district (U.P.) bound it from west, the Gopalganj district from north, the Saran district from east and by the river Ghaghara (Gogra or Sarayu) from south, beyond which lies the district of Ballia (U.P.). The district is constituted of 15 (1991) Anchals (blocks) covering an area of 2219 sq. km. (856 miles) with a population of 2170971 according to 1991 census. This administrative unit embraces only 1.27 percent of area and 2.54 percent of total population of Bihar. It comprises of 1437 inhabited and 101 uninhabited villages. As regards the sex ratio in the district, 1069 female population comes to per 1000 male population.
Siwan, situated in the western part of the State, was originally a sub-division of Saran District, which in ancient days formed a part of Kosala Kingdom. The present district limits came into existence only in 1972, which is geographically situated at 25º35 North and 84º1 to 84º47 east. The total area of the Siwan district is about 2219.00 Sq. Km. with a population of 21,56,428 as per the 1991 census. The district is bounded on the east by the Saran district, on the north by Gopalganj district and on the west and south by two districts of U.P. viz. Deoria and Balia respectively.
Siwan derived its name from "Shiva Man", a Bandh Raja whose heirs ruled this area till Babar’s arrival. Maharajganj, which is another subdivision of Siwan district, may have found its name from the seat of the Maharaja there. A recently excavated marvelous statue of Lord Vishnu at Village Bherbania from underneath a tree indicates that there were large numbers of followers of Lord Vishnu in the area. As the legend goes, Dronacharya of Mahabharat belonged to village ‘DON’ in Darauli Block. Some believe Siwan to be the place where Lord Buddha died. Siwan is also known as Aliganj Sawan after the name of Ali Bux, one of the ancestors of the feudal lords of the area. Siwan was a part of Banaras Kingdom during 8th century. Muslims came here in the 13th century. Sikandar Lodi brought this area in his kingdom in 15th century. Babar crossed Ghaghra river near Siswan in his return journey. In the end of the 17th century, the Dutch came first followed by the English. After the battle of Buxar in 1765 it became a part of Bengal. Siwan played an important role in 1857 independence movement. It is famous for the stalwart and sturdy ‘Bhoj-puries’, who have always been noted for their martial spirit and physical endurance and from whom the army and police personnel were largely drawn. A good number of them rebelled and rendered their services to Babu Kunwar Singh. The anti pardah movement in Bihar was started by Sri Braj Kishore Prasad who also belonged to Siwan in response to the Non Co-Operative movement in 1920. A big meeting was organised at Darauli in Siwan District on the eve of the Kartik Purnima Mela under the leadership of Dr. Rajendra Prasad who had thrown away his lucrative practice as an advocate in the Patna High Court at the call of Gandhiji. In the wake of this movement Maulana Mazharul Haque, who came to stay with his maternal uncle Dr. Saiyyad Mahmood in Siwan, had constructed an ashram on the Patna-Danapur road which subsequently became Sadaquat Ashram
The next phase of the Non co-operation movement known as the Civil Disobedience movement of 1930, was fully implemented in Siwan. In connection with the Satyagrah Movement Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru made a whirlwind tour of the different parts of Bihar. One of the famous meetings he addressed was at Maharajganj. A few persons of present Siwan District who played an important role in the attainment of independence were Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Mazharul Haque, Shri Mahendra Prasad the elder brother of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. Sayyad Mohammad, Shri Braj Kishore Prasad and Shri Phulena Prasad. Uma Kant Singh (Raman jee) of Narendrapur achieved martyrdom during the Quit India Movement. Jwala Prasad and Narmedshwar Prasad of Siwan helped Jai Prakash Narayan after his escape from Hazaribagh Central Jail. One of the most renowed literaturer of this country Pandit Rahul Sankritayayana started peasant Movement here between 1937 to 1938. During his visit to Champaran Mahatma Gandhi and Madan Mohan Malviya visited Siwan and Gandhiji even spent a night at Zeradei in the house of Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The chowki on which he slept then is still kept intact there.
Amarpur: Amarpur is a village situated 3 Kms. West of Darauli, in this village ruins of mosque of red bricks on the bank of river Ghaghara are still available. This mosque was build during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shahjahan (1626-1658) under the supervision of the Naib Amar Singh but the work was left incomplete. The village derived its name from the builder of the mosque Amar Singh.
Faridpur: Faridpur situated just near Andar is the birthplace of Maulana Mazharul Haque who played an important role during the freedom movement. Sadaquat Ashram in Patna, which originally belonged to him. He was a symbol of Hindu Muslim unity.
Darauli: A block headquarter now is said to be have been founded after the name of Dara Shikoh the elder son of the Emperor Shahjahan. It name was Daras Ali, which later on was changed into Darauli. There is reminiscence of Mughal period ruins where a big mela is held every year on the Kartik Purnima.
Don: A village in the Darauli block where there are remnants of a fort, which is said to be connected with the famous hero of the Mahabharat, Acharya Dronacharya the guru of both Kaurav’s and Pandav’s.
After the Buddha's cremation a dispute arose as to how his ashes should be divided. Eventually a brahmin named Dona was given the task and he did it to the satisfaction of all the eight claimants. As a reward for his services he was given the vessel in which the ashes had been collected and from which he had divided and he announced that he would enshrine this vessel in a stupa. This stupa later became a popular destination with pilgrims. When Hiuen Tsiang went there it was already in ruins but it still sometimes emitted a brilliant light. Today Dona's stupa is a large grassy mound with a Hindu temple on it just outside the village of Don. Nearby is an exceptionally beautiful statue of Tara now being worshipped as a Hindu goddess. This statue dates from the 9th century. To get to Don go from Patna to Siwan via Chhapra . Alternatively you can visit Don as a day trip from Kusinara via Gopalganj. Beyond Siwan the road is very bad. The story about Dona's division of the Buddha's ashes is in the last part of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta which can be found in Walshe's The Long Discourses. When you have finished in Patna cross the Ganges by the new Mahatma Gandhi Bridge and head north to Vesali via Hajipur.
Hasanpura: It is a village in the Hussainganj block. It is said that Makhdum Sayyad Hasan Chisti, a saint who came from Arabia to India and settled here, found it. He founded a Khankhah too.
Lakri Dargah: It is the place of pilgrimage for the Mohammedans. The village is so called because it contains the tomb (Dargah) of a Mohammedan saint, Shah Arjan of Patria, in which there is some good woodwork. The story runs that the saint, attracted by the solitude of the place, performed a Chila here, i.e., gave himself up to religious contemplation for 40 days. He also set up a religious establishment, which was endowed by the Emperor Aurangzeb. The anniversary of the saint's death is celebrated the 11th of Rabi-us-sani every year which attracts a large crowd.
Maharajganj: A block headquarters now, it was also called Basnauli Gangar. It is the largest bazar in the district. This was the place where great hero of Indian Independence Movement, Shri Phulena Prasad centralised his activity and fought against the Britishers.
Mairwa Dham: A block headquarters now, there is a celebrated Brahma Asthan, locally known as Hari Baba ka Asthan, the shrine having been built over the relics of the saint. There is also a mound called Chananriyam Dih from an Ahirni woman who is now worshipped in a shed built in front of the Dak bungalow which occupies the top of the mound. The shrine is on the bank of the Jharhi River and fairs are held in Kartik and Chaitra months. There is also a leper home at Mairwa known as Kustha Sevasram whcih is doing useful work.
Mehandar: A village in Siswan Blcok, where there is a temple of Lord Shiva & Lord Vishwakarma which is visited by the people of the locality on the Shivaratri day & Vishwakarma Puja (17 Sept) Day. It is known for its temple and a pond scatted over an area of more than 52 bighas. It is said that one Nepal king built these and took his bath in the pond and got his leprosy cured.
Ziradei: It is a village in the Hussainganj Blcok. Dr.Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Indian Republic, belonged to this village.
Bhikhabandh: A village in Maharajganj Block, there is a big tree under the shade of which Bhaiya-Bahini temple is situated. The story runs that these brother and sister fought Mughal sepoys in the 14th century and died here in course of fighting.