Buxar is a historical city located in the state of Bihar in the eastern part of India. It serves as the headquarters of Buxar District which currently comprises of areas - Buxar Sadar and Dumraon Sub-Division of the old Bhojpur district which came into prevalence during the year 1991. The district shares its boundaries with Ballia district of U.P in the north, Rohtas district of Bihar in the south, Ghazipur and Ballia districts of U.P. in the west and Bhojpur district of Bihar in the east.
Buxar is situated on the bank of River Ganges (Ganga), covers an area of 1,62,380 hectares and shares its boundary with River Karmanasa in the west. The whole strip of land is between River Ganges and stretches in south beyond main line of the Eastern Railways. The land type is low-lying alluvial plane of River Ganges and her tributaries- Thora and Karmanasa. Meanwhile, River Karmanasa joins The Ganges near Chousa. The area is regarded to be the best wheat growing area in the state and India too.
Buxar is said to have been derived its name from the term VyaghraSar. It literally translates to face of the tiger. The tiger face of Rishi Vedshira, which was a result of the curse of the sage Rishi Durvasa, was restored after bathing in a sacred tank that was later named as VyaghraSar. Also, the etymology of term Buxar is Vyaghra + Sar, which are the Sanskrit words meaning, ‘Tiger’ and ‘Pond’, respectively. It refers to the aspect that a pond or lake which was visited by tigers of the region. This is the most prevalent origin of the name of the town.
Buxar is a city favoring agriculture which is the main occupation of the majority of the people here. However, because of deforestation, the forest area of this region has decreased. Few common trees found here are Mango, Seasum, Mahua, Bamboo and some varieties of long grasses (Jhalas) are located close to Diara area of the River Ganges. Jhalas grass is commonly used for roat making of kuccha houses. The forests in these areas are not rich as far as the produce is considered. Fire wood is the most crucial among its products.
Buxar consisted of several wild animals and game birds at a time when the forest was dense. With the enhancement in irrigation features, the area under cultivation has increased, consequently reducing the forest. The wild animals have got affected due to this and their numbers have depleted over the years. Neelgai and spotted deer are found in the plains and close to the Ganges bank. A sizeable number of monkeys can also be observed in the Buxar town area along with birds of contrasting types like Parrot, Patridges and Quails.
The rivers Sone and Ganges are the perennial sources of surface water. These two rivers provide irrigation to vast portion of cultivation land. In ancient times, people used to manage ‘hars’ and ‘pines’ that are meant for the purpose of both irrigation and drainage aspects. The agricultural prosperity of Buxar relies on artificial irrigation along with the tracts meant for cultivation and the land would be able to irrigate sufficient food crops to contain its population. The three chief sources of irrigation are artificial reservoirs, wells and Sone Canal, each of which assisted to furnish the natural supply of water and to compensate for its scarcity or uneven distribution. Ahars are artificial reservoirs that are meant to collect the rain water. These long shallow tanks are protected by mini embankments and represented as artificial catchment basin for storing the water coming down from the lands nearby. From the ahars, water channels (pines) are linked.
The scope of artificial irrigation described to date is of trivial importance in comparison to the Sone Canal system, which has been the most effective source of cultivation in Buxar.
In Buxar, both the irrigated and non-irrigated regions are being explored for irrigation purpose. Also, most of the large ponds (Jhils) like one at Dumraon, which was a duck shooting area have been considered to be used for irrigation purpose. Rice, wheat, grams and pluses are the chief crops in some regions. Near old Bhojpur, vegetables are grown increasingly. Such crops and vegetables are exported to other locations. The straw is considered for use as fodder as well as for house rooting.
Buxar is also an important trade centre having crucial wholesale markets along with the nearby Dumraon. Buxar possesses different types of small scale and cottage industries as well such as manufacturing of Soap, Timber, Furniture, Leather and principal imports like engineering goods, medicine etc. Being situated on the bank of River Ganges, the main trade of the town is grain, vegetables, fish and manufactured goods of jail industry (Central Jail, Buxar manufactures, carpets etc.). There are also several of vegetable markets and vital marketing centers located at Arrah and Buxar.
From a communication viewpoint the city has got the best road networks. The Ganges is navigable all through the year and goods are transported to Kolkata on the east and parts of Uttar Pradesh on the west through the rivers.