Known as the ‘Heartland of India’, Uttar Pradesh holds charismatic Mother Nature that is worth exploring. The state is a sheer feast for tired souls seeking an escape from the hectic city life. Visit here and get enthralled by its imposing history, serene landscapes, ancient temples and jaw dropping cultures. From the tales of Lord Rama who lived in Ayodhya to the stories of Lord Krishna echoing in the gardens of Mathura, from awe-inspiring love story of Shah Jahan buried in Agra to the fables of legendary Maharajas of Lucknow - Uttar Pradesh is an ideal place to walk down the memory lanes.
Uttar Pradesh has always been a land of music, dance, literature, poetry, arts and crafts. This is the state where writers like Munshi Premchand, Mahadevi Verma and Srikant Verma; poets like Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’, Harivanshrai Bacchan and Sumitra Nandan Pant; and artists like Ustad Bismillah Khan and Birju Maharaj practiced their skills and became world famous Uttar Pradesh features a prosperous tradition of craftsmanship where you can spot artists indulging in delicately woven carpets, gold sewing, expensive hand woven Banarasi silk sarees and chikankari or shadow embroidery.
Being a multi ethnic, multi religious and multi cultural land, Uttar Pradesh has soaked many cultures in its soils. The locals are both conservative and modern. That’s why the state is divided into two worlds where on one hand sprawling mad made wonders are touching the skies, while on the other people are still involved in old rituals, customary practices and ancient agricultural methods. Hindi and Urdu are the two official languages in Uttar Pradesh.
Every corner of the state oozes history that unveils some jaw dropping facts about India and its legendary kings. The graceful city of Lucknow has witnessed many glorious days under the rule of Nawabs who savoured literature, music, dance and the arts and crafts. Some of the prominent historical edifices in Lucknow that put the most modern edifices to shame are Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara, British Residency, Constantia House, Rumi Darwaza and Begum Hazrat Mahal Park.
Kanpur is another city that played a major role in the history of Uttar Pradesh. Clutching the banks of the Ganges River, Kanpur is home to many well-known historical relics, including Bithoor and Jajmau.
History lovers also head for Agra, housing the majestic epitome of love, Taj Mahal. Once the capital of the great Mughal Empire, Agra has been ruled by many legendary rulers in the past, including Grand Mughals, Akbar and Shah Jehan. That’s why the city houses some royal forts under its horizon such as Agra Fort, Itmad-ud-Daula and Chini Ka Rauza.
Foaming rivers and soaring peaks make Uttar Pradesh a great hub to thrill the swashbuckler inside you. From trekking to white water rafting, kayaking, mountaineering, rock climbing and skiing - the state offers all kinds of adventure activities under one horizon. For white water rafting, rivers like the Ganga, the Alaknanda, the Bhagirathi, the Tons, the Yamuna, the Bhilangana and the Mandakini are ideal. For trekking enthusiasts, the snow blanketed peaks, the flower-covered meadows, thick forests and uneven rocks are available in abundance.
In addition, being blessed with many mountains, Uttar Pradesh is perfect to indulge in mountaineering. Best time to partake in mountaineering is between April and November when the weather remains pleasurable.
Home to some of the most spectacular wild animals, Uttar Pradesh brings to you a number of wildlife attractions. Dudhwa National Park & Tiger Reserve, covering an area of 1,284.3 km, is one of the most popular national parks of the state. Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its scenic waterfalls like Rajdari and Devdari where Blackbucks, chital, sambhar, nilgai, wild boar, porcupine and Indian gazelle can be spotted. For bird lovers, National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary is a heaven. The reserve is home to 8 rare turtle species out of the 26 found in India.
To spot royal tigers, Pilibhit Tiger Reserve & Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect pick. Apart from these, the beauty of the Martyr Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary is also a sheer delight where both migratory and indigenous birds dwell in abundance.
Uttar Pradesh is a famous pilgrim destination in India. Every year streams of devotees flock here to spend some moments of peace among spirituality.
Varanasi, one of world's oldest living cities, remains soaked in spiritual powers. The sights of numerous temples, nestling the holy river Ganga, humming with bells and chants of worshippers is completely divine in Varanasi. The Ganga aarti at Dashashwamedh ghat is a not to be missed experience. Also, the Kashi Vishwanath temple, one of the twelve jyotirlingas in India, holds great importance for Hindus.
Mathura-Vrindavan is another religious hub known for the tales of Lord Krishna. Among the most popular temples, the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi temple and the Dwarkadish temple remain on the top. Both these temples have been beautified with intricate carvings and sculptures, narrating interesting aspects of Hindu mythology.
Allahabad, the mingling point of three rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, is considered as sacred by Hindus. Devotees visit here in thousands to take a dip in the holy waters to wash away their sins and free themselves from the rebirth cycle.
No religious trip to Uttar Pradesh can ever end without a visit to Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram. Ram Navami, celebrated between March and April, holds great importance among the locals of Ayodhya. The Hanuman Garhi temple is a must visit place to witness the display of Ganga-Jamuni culture.
Sarnath is another spiritual destination which is believed to the place where Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon. Buddhism followers flock here in thousands to meditate and attain Nirvana.
Uttar Pradesh is renowned for its gorgeous silks, brocades, carpets, brassware, inlay, intricate woodcarvings and furniture, ceramics, glass ware, carpets and cotton rugs. Uttar Pradesh Government Emporium in Lucknow and Agra are must visit to explore the state’s authentic artefacts.
Those visiting Lucknow never miss a chance to buy some chikan work clothing made with elaborately patterned hand embroidery on the hand-picked of cotton, silk and crepes. Agra is well-known for its jewellery, wall hangings and zardozi or gold and silver metal thread work. In addition to this, those visiting Benares can buy silks and brocades, as vibrant as India’s cultures.
Food of Uttar Pradesh brings some delectable dishes for gastronomes. It reflects the diversity of its cultural scenery perfectly. Taste authentic Banarsi food like kachauris, jalebis and samosa, merging sophistication with style. Awadhi food lets you experience the Nawabi culture with dishes like Murgh Mussallam (marinated chicken cooked in rich spices), kababs, Korma (cooked meat), etc.
Mughlai food also remains popular among the lovers of non vegetarian dishes such as Kundan Kaliya (mutton prepared with gravy), Shami Kabab (mince meat), Gulnaar Kababs (blending of tomatoes with spices and chicken) and Shab Deg (cooked with whole turnips, Kashmiri ver, mutton balls and spices).
Other than this, sweets like Agra ka Petha and Mathura ka Peda are to die for.
The fairs and festivals of Uttar Pradesh reflect the state’s multiculturalism. Lucknow Mahotsav, celebrated in the month of January, is a great event that underlines the richness of Lucknow's lively culture. The most striking sights of the event include vivid processions, traditional dramas, Kathak dances and happy locals singing and dancing. Taj Mahotsav is another treat to experience the zeal of the locals towards their tradition. The event begins with a splendid procession on 18th February that outshines the splendour of the Mughal era.
Partaking in Barsana Holi is a must if you are in Uttar Pradesh in the month of March. This festival of colours looks even more vibrant in Barsana where men throw colours on women folk who stop them merrily with bamboo sticks.
Apart from this, Bateshwar Fair is another famous festival of Uttar Pradesh. With 108 temples dedicated to various gods, Bateshwar remains immersed in spirituality all year long. Bateshwar Fair brings out the rich spiritual legacy of the region. Other famous fairs & festivals that add vibrant colours to the skies of Uttar Pradesh are:
The months from October to March are perfect to plan your holidays to Uttar Pradesh. It is the time when the monsoon rain cleanses the beautiful landscape of the state, making it look even more mesmerising. The months from April to June can be extremely hot, confining you to your hotel rooms during day time. July to September bring monsoon showers in the state which is not considered ideal for sightseeing tours.
Uttar Pradesh has four domestic airports located at Lucknow, Agra, Kanpur and Varanasi. The capital city of Lucknow enjoys great connectivity with cities like Kolkata, Patna, Delhi and Mumbai.
Lucknow also acts a significant intersection in the Northern and North-Eastern Railway Zones. Superfast trains are available in abundance connections to Calcutta, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. Another popular railway station that lures travellers from all over the country is Agra.
Those planning to visit the Uttar Pradesh via road can opt for government or private buses. Hiring a car is also a great option for those seeking a private travel experience.
Trains, flights, state and private buses, rental cars, and mini buses are available in abundance in Uttar Pradesh. Thus, it is very convenient to access all the locations without any hassle.
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