Hin: आरा āra
‘Forest Town’ City, Bihar
From Skt: aranya, ‘forest’; and Skt: nagaram, ‘town’, ‘city’.
A Jain inscription refers to a town called Aramnagar which suggests a corruption of an original Aranya. It is highly likely that the area around here was dense forest in the past.
According to mythology, sage Vishwamitra, the Guru of Rama, had his ‘Ashram’ somewhere in this region. Rama killed the demon Taraka somewhere near Arrah.
Other derivations exploit local Buddhist and Jain connections [Skt/Pkt: arhat/arahant, ‘mendicant’, ‘saint’; or āśrama, ‘hermitage’, ‘ashram’].
The modern city mines sand for brickmaking.