हाजीपुर hājipur

‘Haji’s City’  [Ukkacala] City, Bihar (Bih)

From Urd: حاجی haji, ‘pilgrim’; Skt: पुर् pur(a), ‘town’, ‘city.

Haji Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah founded the city in the 14thC to indicate he had made the haj or ‘pilgrimage’ to Mecca [URD: حج hajj/haj].

He was the founder of the Bengal Sultanate which ruled Bengal for 150 years.

There have been attempts recently to change the name to Haripur although the original pre-Muslim name was Ukkacala.

Ukkacala is famous because the Buddha delivered one of his discourses here and it is also the site of the Ananda Stupa, the resting place for the ashes of one of the Buddha’s chief disciples. Modern Hajipur boasts its own popular variety of banana, the Hajipuria ‘chiniya’. 

For related place names see Indian Place names and Bihar place names.