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The district is named after its headquarters, Buldhana city. It was earlier known as "Baldhavgarh". The name of the town probably comes from the Marathi words "balde" (bold) and "gadhe" (donkey), which refers to a local legend about a donkey that brought water for parched villagers. Another theory says that it is derived from an old Kannada word, 'Vallabhi', meaning 'the land of scholars'. According to another theory, Buldana may have been derived from two Sanskrit words: Vyaghra-vana ("tiger forest") or Valmiki-vana ("Valmiki's forest"). The former alludes to ancient tiger population in this region; while the latter refers to sage Valmiki who wrote Ramayana here under Ashwattha tree at Chikhli Tanda near Mehkar. There are several places in India with similar names such as Buxar in Bihar state and Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh state .