सारण sāraṇa

‘Deer Forest’  District, Bihar

From Skt: sāraṅga, ‘deer’, ‘spotted deer’; and aranya, ‘forest’.

This is the most popular derivation but Alexander Cunningham, Army Officer and archaeologist, suggested it has Buddhist connotations and was named Saran [Skt: śaraṇa, ‘refuge’, ‘shelter]. There are plenty of Buddhist sites in the region including Gaya/Bodhgaya and the Ashokan pillar at Lauria Nandangarh in the North of Bihar state.

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