I bet this Forbes you haven’t heard of.
The Forbes of Bihar.
My fascination for interesting names of Indian cities continues. Lately I have been travelling quite a bit in Bihar as part of my work with iVolunteer ( http://www.iVolunteer). iVolunteer has signed a MOU to recruit volunteers for Jeevika- Bihar Rural Livelihoods promotion society. So me and my team at iVolunteer ends up visiting places that we had only heard of- Chapra, Darbangha, Madhepura, Gaya, Nalanda, Supaul, Jahanabad, Arwal, Samastipur, Arairia, Benipatta, Madhubani and many more.
So last week on my way from Darbangha to Madhepura on the east west corridor I found this interesting mile marker- Forbesganj- 60 kms. I thought is this Bihar’s well-kept secret ? Is this is where the founders of Forbes Magazine are tucked away ?
I asked our driver Rahul- what is this city Forbesganj. After some confusion he responded -Sir Yeh forbesganj na ha-Faaarbesganj Hain”. He was clueless about Mr Forbes if any.
For starters Forbesganj is a town and a municipality in Araria district in the state of Bihar situated at the border of Nepal & India. The place does exist.
Initially I thought may be its a spelling mistake. Someone misspelled” Farbeesganj” as “Forbesganj” but then a bit of research on the internet and I learned that town owned its name from person Mr. Alexander John Forbes (1749-1819) who was officer of British India Raj.
Here is verbatim from http://www.forbesganj.com/history.htm . During the British period, the region came under the control of East India Company. It is said that where Mr. Forbes Bungalow was located was called “Residential Area” which local people used to call as “R.Area”. Over a period of time, R.Area acquired the pronunciation “Araria” and so the name of this subdivision as “Forbesganj”.
So this is how Araria got its name too.
Things are looking interesting.
Next Stop: Daltonganj