The Heartland of India -Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh is located in the Northern part of India with 18 divisions and 75 districts. Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh. On 9th Nov 2000, a new state Uttarakhand(Himalayan hill region) was carved out from the state of Uttar Pradesh. The fertile Indo-Gangetic plains of Uttar Pradesh are formed by two major rivers - Ganga and Yamuna. The confluence of the two rivers is at Allahabad and flows further East as Ganga. There are two other important rivers Gomti and Varuna. Generally, Hindi is spoken in the state which is also the official language of the state along with Urdu. Uttar Pradesh is bordered by Rajasthan to the West, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi to the Northwest. On the Northside Uttar Pradesh has an international Border with Nepal. Bihar is to the east while Madhya Pradesh is to the South and Jharkhand and Chattisgarhare to the Southeast. Uttar Pradesh is blessed with three world heritage sites- Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Taj Mahal is the most visited destination in Uttar Pradesh. Some of the prominent tourist places include Ayodhya, Vrindavan, Mathura, Varanasi, Agra, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar and Allahabad.
Due to a large number of temples in Uttar Pradesh, it is considered to be the most religious region in India. Some of the prominent and most fascinating temples are- Ram Janmabhoomi temple, Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Mandir, Gorakhnath Math Temple, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Banke Bihari temple, Sarnath temple, SankatMochan Hanuman temple, TulsiManas temple, Baldev Dauji temple and Bharat Mata mandir. One can find Uttar Pradesh apt for shopping as the state has some fascinating markets for shopaholics that deal in clothes, furniture, art and handicrafts and a lot more other items. Many of them are made by skilled artisans locally. These are renowned the world over and visitors find it very exciting to own them.
When it comes to street food Uttar Pradesh is considered as the most unbeatable as the streets of Uttar Pradesh has many lip-smacking cuisines that are flavored with rich spices for its visitors like- Chaat, samosas, Pakoras, tunda kebabs, kakori kebabs, Bharwan Chicken pasanda, Mutton Kofta, Bedmi and many other delicacies. Out of these, some have been invented here in Uttar Pradesh that finds customers from far and wide.
Some of the famous fairs and festivals of Uttar Pradesh which are celebrated with great pomp and show are- Taj Festival, Barsanaholi, Nandgaon Holi, MahaShivratri, Kampil Fair, Ganga Dusshera and Kailash Fair. As Uttar Pradesh has seen a mix of cultures from pre-historic times to the Sultanate of Delhi, Mughals, Britishers and other Asians so one will be awestruck with the varied customs and traditions followed here. The food and handicrafts too, that can be seen here have a lasting impact on the visitors.
Things to do in Uttar Pradesh
Vast as it is, Uttar Pradesh offers scores and scores of opportunities to do and to be carried out by the curious visitors who are on the lookout for a beautiful experience that will have an everlasting impression on their memories.
Tours interspersed with boating opportunities is an activity most sought after by eager tourists. It is Banaras in Uttar Pradesh, which is a holy city built around the river Ganga, that offers an important site for boating. A number of packages are available to the tourists as to the boating activity. A number of unforgettable opportunities and experiences will implore the tourists to return to Agra for more. The camel ride package that takes one around among Havelis and tour to Chambal river will keep the visitors yearning for more of such types of rides. There are bicycle tour packages for touring the Taj Mahal, market place etc. within Agra which keeps the visitors active and also a visitor can enjoy and cover large areas in Agra. Available tour guides, in this, not only add to the enjoyment but are also fruitful. Tourists have ample opportunities to explore the flora and fauna of Uttar Pradesh as there are well conserved National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries with lush green vegetative cover. The major animal species are tigers, deer, wild boars, cats, elephants, antelopes, Rhinos and there are varied bird species such as painted storks, black-necked storks, Indian horned owls, woodpeckers, Saras, Kingfishers, bee-eaters etc. The largest Tiger reserve in Uttar Pradesh is Dudhwa National Park. Another important Reserve is Chandra Prabha Sanctuary, Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary, Katarneaghat Sanctuary, National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary and SoorSarover Bird Sanctuary are some of the important natural reserves so prominently famous among environment lovers.
These visits to nature give an escape from the routine insipid city life. One can enjoy colorful birds and other fauna and flora by indulging in photography that will keep one’s memory alive for years to come. There are a number of magnificent temples to visit. A few of the famous temples of Uttar Pradesh are- Nageshwarnath temple, Hanuman Garhi, Tretake Thakur located in Ayodhya, Radha Raman and Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir in Vrindavan. There are many other temples that cater to the religious sentiments of the visitors.
There are markets, big and small, in Uttar Pradesh that keep the visitors engaged due to their liveliness. The Shopaholics visiting here can find a number of shops selling art and handicrafts, from skilled artisans of Uttar Pradesh that include stone-carved replicas of the Taj Mahal apart from woodwork, glasswork and mirrorwork. The state is famous for its brassware and bronze all over the world. Visitors visiting Rampur can find a variety of knives that are creatively designed to appeal to one’s senses. Bareilly and Saharanpur are famous for furniture work that the visitors will find of good quality and of unique designs. Interested in buying musical instruments and sports goods, then visit Meerut which offers these aplenty that too of graded quality and of varied design. Taj Mahal complex is where the visitors will find a market place with eye-catching goods that cater to all types of customers. The most famous ones are the- Sadar Bazaar, Kinari Bazaar and Munro Road. One looking for clothes and apparel can visit Subhash Bazaar and Hospital Road Market.
Lucknow is famous for Chikankari work. Chikankari is a special kind of embroidery work or Zardozi which is unique to Lucknow. Famous shops/market which deals in such stuff are- Om Prakash, Seth, GarhaBhandar, Dupatta Mahal, Thok Bazaar and Sargodha Cloth House.
Street food of Uttar Pradesh lures the visitors to itself in large numbers. These street foods have varied menus and are cooked in different ways to bring out the taste and flavor that is unbeatable- malpua, samosa chaat, Aloo Tikki chaat, Matar chaat, Baatichokha, Galaouti Kebabs, Kulfi and other delicacies that can be found in the whole of Uttar Pradesh.
Popular Tourist attraction of Uttar Pradesh
Ayodhya is also known as the Ram Janmabhoomi as it is the birthplace of Lord Rama. Ayodhya is located on the bank of the Sarayu river. It is the seven most important pilgrimage sights of Saptapuri. Places to be visited in Ayodhya are Ram Janmabhoomi, Kanak Bhawan, Nageshwarnath temple, Hanuman Garhi, Gulab Bari, Tretake Thakur. Then there are - Bhuteshwar Mahadev temple, Sri
Mathura is one of the Saptpuris. It is famous as the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The place is known for a number of temples such as Keshav Dev temple, Banke Bihari temple and Birla Mandir.
Vrindavan is located in the Mathura district. The place is considered a holy city for Hindus. It is known for Lord Krishna temple like-Prem Mandir, Govind Devji Temple, Mandir, Banke Bihari temple, Meera Bai Temple, Sri Krishna Balarama temple, Bhuteshwar Mahadev temple, Sri Radha Raman and Vrindavan Chandrodaya mandir. The Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir is the world’s tallest and most expensively constructed temple in India.
Agra is known for the Taj Mahal which is one of the seven wonders of the world. Agra is situated on the banks of the river Yamuna and is a part of the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc tourist circuit and one of the tourist's sights of the golden triangle tourist circuit. Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Red Fort are the other tourist destinations at Agra.
Fatehpur Sikri is the finest example of Mughal architecture in India. It is situated in the Agra district. The famous and most popular attractions in Fatehpur Sikri are Tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal, Jama Masjid and Buland Darwaza.
The premise of Chitrakoot is spread within the borders of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It is well known for its religious sights and ancient temples. It has a beautifully constructed Ramghat, Bharat Milap temple, Hanuman Dhara, and Kamadgiri temple to visit.
Along the bank of the Betwa river is a famous village Deogarhthat comes under the Lalitpur district of Uttar Pradesh. The village is known for its ancient Gupta monuments which are under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India. There are three other temples of importance-Varaha temple, the Dashavatara Temple, Shantinath temple.
Varanasi, Banaras/Kashi is the holy city situated on the banks of the river Ganges. It is famous for Kashi Vishwanath temple. The other very famous temples are Durga temple and SankatMochan hanuman temple. The Banaras Hindu University is the famous and Asia’s largest university. The university is residential. Varanasi is also famous for its many ghats. Apart from the aforesaid sights, visitors can visit Varanasi for Jantar Mantar, Ramnagar Fort, Alamgiri Mosque, Parshvanath Jain temple and Ganga Ghats.
The city Sarnath is about 13kms from Varanasi. Buddhist pilgrims visit the holy city Sarnath which is situated near the confluence of the river Ganga and Varuna. The pilgrims visit 128 feet high Dhamek Stupa. Visitors can adore the sights ofMulagandhakuti Vihara and Ashoka Pillar.
Situated at 50kms east of Gorakhpur, Kushinagar is a holy pilgrim site for Buddhist pilgrims belonging to different parts of the world. Kushinagar has some splendid tourist attractions like Ramabhar Stupa, Parinirvana Stupa, Nirvana Statue of the Buddha and Indo-Japan Sri Lanka temple.
Gorakhpur district is located on the banks of the Rapti river. Gorakhpur city is one of the important cities of Uttar Pradesh that is located in the Gorakhpur district. Gorakhpur is famous forGorakhnath Math and Gorakshanath temple. Gorakhpur has around1.35kms long one railway platform that is the longest platform in the world.
Allahabad is the second oldest city in India. It has a number of religious sights like-Sri Bade Hanuman Mandir, Tomb of Nithar located at Khusrobagh, Kumbh Mela, Triveni Sangam and All Saints Cathedral. Kumbh Mela is the largest Mela in the world. It is organized once in 12 years. The Triveni Sangam at Allahabad is the confluence of three sacred rivers-Yamuna, Ganges and Saraswati.
Dudhwa National Park
The Dudhwa National Park is situated at the Indo-Nepal border of Uttar Pradesh. This national park has a number of endangered species. The National Park is a famous for- Tiger, Leopard, Honeybadger, Barasingha, Elephants, bear and Hog deer and Sloth bear.
Jhansi is a historic city and was a princely state. It belongs to the Bundelkhand region and was ruled by the queen of Jhansi. The popular sights for visitors are- Herbal Garden, Government Museum, Rani Mahal, Jhansi Fort and Laxmi Temple.
The Mirzapur is one of the districts of Uttar Pradesh. It has a large number of ghats, Ghanta Ghar, Chunal fort, Baba Ashram, Dams, Waterfalls, natural spots. Visitors visiting can visit the Vindhyavasini temple.
Sonbhadra is known as the Energy Capital of India as there are a number of electrical power stations here. Visitors visiting this place will find it worth visiting as the tourists can find a number of magnificent temples like- Jwaladevi temple, Shivdwae temple, Renukeshwar and Mahadev temple. Tourists can also visit Vijaygarh Fort, Salkhan Fossil Park, and Rihand Dam.
Bada Gaon is located near Khekra. It is an important Jain religious site in India. Bada Gaon is known for Lord ParshvanathTrilok temple. Visitors can find the Teerth Dham which is 317 feet high in Jain temple and is designed in the shape of a Jain Emblem.
Hastinapur was the capital of Kauravas during the Mahabharata times.It is snugly located on the banks of the river Ganga. Hastinapur comes from the Meerut district. Hastinapur is known for Kailash Parvat, Shwetambar Jain temple, Jambudweep, Gurdwara and Hastinapur Sanctuary.
Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh. It is the largest city in Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow is the part of Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc. Visitors coming to this city can find a number of major tourist attractions to go to such as Bada Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, La Martiniere School, Hazratganj and Ambedkar Memorial Park.
Kanpur is located in Uttar Pradesh and it is the second-largest city of Uttar Pradesh. According to Mythology Kanpur was the town of Karna from Mahabharata. The place has a number of tourist spots like Anandeshwar Mandir, Kanpur Memorial Church, JK Temple, Khereshwar Shiv Mandir, Bithoor and Allen Forest Zoo.
Aligarh is the district of Uttar Pradesh. It is known as Aligarh Muslim University. Visitors can visit the Academic Museum having Indian arts, culture, history of Medicine and sciences. There are other places like the Maulana Azad Library. It is one of the largest university libraries, ShekhaJheelis famous for Bird watching, Khereshwar Temple, TeerthdhamMangalaayatanlocated at Aligarh-Agra Marg, Aligarh fort, Chacha Nehru Gyan Pushp and educational museum.
Where to Stay
Uttar Pradesh's visit will be a comfortable experience for the tourists as a number of cheap and luxury hotels, resorts and even heritage hotels are available in the major cities and historical towns of Uttar Pradesh. In more insignificant areas one may find Dharmshalas for their comfortable stay. One can, visiting off-season, book hotels, resorts on reaching the site of their visits. On other occasions, one can book online in advance which will make one escape from the anxiety of the travel tour.
Best time to Visit
Although visitors can visit Uttar Pradesh all-around year it is more comfortable to visit in winters in the month of October till March as the weather allows visitors to stroll, loiter and walk at a leisurely pace in the market places, historical sites and other sites of interests. It is the ideal time as it is also the season of festivals. One can enjoy Holi which happens to be in March, Gokul and Nandgaon are such places to enjoy this festival. Ayodhya is also a destination where the festival of Diwali is celebrated with great pomp and show as it is Lord Ram’s hometown. Visitors visiting Uttar Pradesh in the month of December and January can get the opportunity to celebrate Makar Sankranti. People can take a holy dip in the river Ganga during the festival. It is a fascinating experience. Visitors visiting Mathura can enjoy Lath Mar Holi which is celebrated a few days before Holi in Barsana near Mathura. This festival is the main attraction as ladies are found hitting laths at each man as it is the custom of this festival. Festivals thus form an added attraction to the visits.
How to Reach
It is the fastest way to reach Uttar Pradesh. There are two international airports, one in Lucknow - Chaudhary Charan Singh International airport which is at a distance of about 15.1 kms from the center of Lucknow city and the other is in Varanasi - Lal Bahadur Shastri airport which is at a distance of about 23.8 kms from the center of the city. There are other domestic airports located at Kanpur, Varanasi and Agra that serve the passengers from other cities of India and the passengers of Uttar Pradesh itself.
Uttar Pradesh is well connected with national and state highways. NH 19, NH 34, NH 30 and NH 21 highways can be taken to reach Uttar Pradesh. One can opt for Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation which pylon all major routes of Uttar Pradesh. Yamuna Expressway can be taken to drive on.
It is the most convenient way to reach Uttar Pradesh. The main station is in Lucknow - The Lucknow Charbagh railway station which is about 3.2kms from the main city. There are other stations in Agra, Mughal Sarai, Kanpur, Moradabad, Varanasi and other cities in the state. This travel mode is the most inexpensive and quite comfortable too.