In 1845, it was established as a Subdivision of the Gaya district. On 26th January 1973, Nawada was formed as a separate district. The origin of the name Nawada is believed to lay in a corruption of the old name Nau-abad or the new town which was earlier known as ‘The Eliot Market (Bazaar)’. It is divided into two parts by Khuri River, the portion on the left bank being the older, while that on right bank is modern and contains public offices, sub-jail, dispensary and school.

Famous “Sarvoday Ashram” inaugurated by Desh Ratana Dr. Rajedra Prasad and nourished by Shree Jai Prakash Narayan has enhanced the glory of Nawada.