The name of city is derived from Pratap Singh (1628-1682), a ruler of Rampur, who built a fortress (garh). The district was constituted by the British in 1858, and the headquarters was established at Bela, which came to be known as Bela Pratapgarh, or simply Pratapgarh. The name Bela presumably is derived from the temple of Bela Devi on the bank of river Sai.
Indian Independence Struggle
During non-cooperation movement, In 1920 an agrarian peasant movement started in Pratapgarh. Local leaders participated in peasant movement against the atrocities of landlords and to press for reforme in the agrarian system. Kishan Sabha led by Baba Ramchandra attempted to get support of urban nationalists. Without much support from urban leaders this moved ended in early 1921.
Several human skeletons along some animal bones and a number of a small stones implements, belonging probably to the Neolithic, have been unearthed in Archaeological exploration at Sarai Nahar in Kunda Tehsil. It is the only site in the entire valley of Ganga which has yielded human skeleton of such an early age as also the Stone Age implements. On the left bank of river Sai there stand a ruined "Kot" representing a Buddhist Stupa. Town Bihar has been conjectured that the remain are probably on an ancient Buddhist monastery which gave its name Bihar. Bihar signifies Vihar or majesties. The name itself as Buddhist.