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Purnia is the district headquarter of Purnia district in the state of Bihar, India. It was created in 1912 when Bihar was formed as a separate province. Purnia is sometimes also reffered as "Purnea".

It is believed that the name Purnia has originated from its older form "Purainia" which was derived from the word "Purain" meaning "Lotus" which was richly grown in river beds. Another derivation is from the word 'Pur Aranya', which means the adobe of forests.

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