SHAHABAD, a British district in the Patna division of the lieutenant-governorship of Bengal, India, between 21° 31' and 25° 43' N. lat. and between 83° 23' and 81° 55' E. long., with an area of 4365 square miles. It is bounded on the N. 'by the district of Ghazipur in the North-Western Provinces and by Saran, on the E. by Patna and Gaya, districts, on the S. by Lohardaga, and on the W. by Mirzapur, Benares, and Ghazipur districts of the North-Western Provinces. About three-fourths of the whole area lying to the north is an alluvial flat, wholly under cultivation, and fairly planted with mangoes, bamboos, and other trees; while the southern portion of the district is occupied by the Kaimur Hills, a branch of the great Vindhyan range, and is a densely wooded tract. The chief rivers are the Ganges and the Son, which unite in the north-eastern corner of Shahabid. A series of canals on the Son are reported to have secured for the district immunity from future famine. In the southern portion of the district large game abounds, including the tiger, Railway traverses the north of the district for 60 miles, and the aggregate length of roads is about 1000 miles.
The census of 1881 disclosed a population of 1,964,909 (males 950,250, females 1,014,659); Hindus numbered 1,817,881, Mohammedans 146,732, and Christians 274. Four towns contain a population exceeding 10,000, viz., Arrah 42,998, Dumraon 17,429, Bazar 16,498, and Jagdispur 12,568. The administrative headquarters of the district are at Arrah. The chief staple of Shababad is rice, which produces three crops during the year ; wheat, barley, maize, cereals, and various other plants are also grown. Tho principal manufactures of the district are sugar, paper, saltpetre, blankets, coarse cotton cloth, and brass utensils. Its trade is chiefly carried on by means of permanent markets in the town and at fairs. The principal exports are rice, wheat, barley, pulses, grain, oats, linseed, carraway seed, paper, and spices; imports consist of cleaned rice, betel-nut, tobacco, sugar, molasses, salt, pepper, cotton, iron, brass, zinc, copper, lead, tin, and betel-leaf. The revenue of Shababacl district in 1883-84 amounted to £253,542, of which the land yielded £171,263. The southern part of the district was ceded to the British by Shah Alum, emperor of Delhi in 1765, and the northern part by Aznf-udDowlah, vizier of Oudh, ten years later.