Egyptians call it Banhā el-'asal, which means "Sweet like honey"; the nomenclature originally comes from when Muhammad sent his message to Muqawqis, ruler of Egypt, to convert to Islam; he replied by sending him gifts; two were slave girls Maria and her sister Sirīn, who were from Upper Egypt, and a jar of honey. After Muhammad tasted it, he asked, "Where is it from?" They replied, "From Benha". Muhammad then said, "God bless Benha and its honey"
It is located 48 km (30 mins) north of Cairo. located on the east bank of the Damietta Branch of the Nile River in the rich farmland of the southern part of the river's delta. Well-irrigated by canals leading off the Delta Barrage, a dam 30 km (20 min) upstream, the surrounding farmland produces wheat and long-staple cotton. Since ancient times, Banha has been known for the production of attar of roses, an ingredient in perfume. Today it is the center of Egypt's electronics industry. Banha is a major junction in the rail network that radiates north from Cairo and it has the 6th biggest train station in Egypt.
The north of Banha is the site of one of several ancient cities called Athribis, the capital of the tenth nome (province) of Lower Egypt in about 1500 BC. The site has never been systematically investigated by archaeologists. Over the years, peasants digging in the area have uncovered a large hoard of silver.
Athribis was the center of worship of the black bull, and enjoyed the most popularity during the Roman period of rule in Egypt. Not much still stands of this ancient capital except some remains from the 18th to the 26th Dynasties. Though not a popular tourist destination, there are such sites here as a Greco-Roman cemetery and silver ingots discovered at the Athribis site currently on display at the Egyptian Museum.
About 20 km (12 mi) southwest of Banha is Tall al Yahudiya, the site of Leontopolis, famed for its glazed tiles in ancient times. Population is around 2,479,347. (2005) and Total Area is 16,105 km².
Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as hot desert (BWh).
Banha University was established in November 1976 as a branch of Zagazig University in the governorate. It became an independent University in 2005 incorporating several facilities and departments with around 60,500 graduates per annum. The Faculty of Medicine is notable for research and management of 2 main hospitals in Banha.
Banha consists of several districts : Al-Vilal, Banha El-Gedida (New Banha), Attrib, El-Manshia, El-Shedia, Wast Al-Balad (Downtown Area), Al-Haras el-Watani, Manshit Al-Nur and Hayy El-Zehour(Flowers Suburb), Kafr El-Saraia, Ezbet El-Moraba'a,kafr El-gazzar,Batta.Ahmed Fathy, footballer
Ahmed Helmy, actor