Uttar Pradesh

Capital
Lucknow
Population
166 052 859
Area
236 286 km²
Languages
Hindi, Urdu, English

Best time to visit
October - March
Climate (°C)
November to Mach:
30-5 degrees
June-July:
45 - 20 Monsoon

About

Uttar Pradesh is India's 4th largest state covering about 9 percent of total area of India and is the most populous state inIndia.This holy-land of Ganga and Yamuna, and Chardham's-Badrinath, Haridwar, Kedarnath and Rishikesh-where people come to discover a past but end up with a future at last. It is a place of never - ending history

How to get here

Air
Airports at Agra, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi.

Rail & bus
All major town connected byt borth train and bus.

Places to visit

Taj Mahal (Agra)- Varanasi - Fathepur Sikri - Allahabad - Lucknow - Ayodhya

.: Agra
Most known as the city of the Taj Mahal. But this royal Mughal city has, in addition to the legendary Taj, many monuments that enlighten the high point of Mughal architecture. In the Mughal period, in the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra was the capital of India. It was here that the founder of the dynasty, Babar, laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of the river Yamuna. Here, Akbar, his grandson raised the towering ramparts of the great Red Fort.

.: Taj Mahal
Located at the city of Agra,the Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful masterpieces of architecture in the world. Agra, situated about 200 km south of New Delhi, was the Capital of the Mughals (Moguls), the Muslim Emperors who ruled Northern India between the 16th and 19th centuries. The Mughals were the descendents of two of the most skilled warriors in history: the Turks and the Mongols. The Mughal dynasty reached its highest strength and fame during the reign of their early Emperors, Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jehan.

It was Shah Jehan who ordered the building of the Taj, in honor of his wife, Arjumand Banu who later became known as Mumtaz Mahal, "Chosen of the Palace". Mumtaz and Shah Jehan were married in 1612 and, over the next 18 years, had 14 children together. The Empress used to accompany her husband in his military campaigns and it was in 1630, in Burhanpur, that she gave birth to her last child, for she died in childbirth. So great was the Emperor love to his wife that he ordered the building of the most beautiful mausoleum on Earth for her.

It is undoubtly the most famous example of Mughal architecture. Described by Rabindranath Tagore as "a tear on the face of eternity". The tomb which is higher than a modern 20-storey building took 22 years to complete with a workforce of 20,000. Craftsmen from as far as Turkey came to join in the work. The marble was quarried at Makrana near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Precious stones were imported from distant lands. A two mile ramp was built to lift material up to the level of the dome. It is alleged that on its completion, Shah Jahan ordered the right hand of the chief mason to be cut off so that the masterpiece could never be recreated.

The Taj Mahal ranks as the most perfect building in the world.

.: Varanasi
Also called Kashi by devoutees. It is said to have been founded by Shiva, Lord of the Universe. One of the oldest living cities in the world, and also one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India. Varanasi (Benraes) is a major tourist attraction. Situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges, the city has been a centre of learning and civilisation for over 2000 years. It was at Sarnath, only 10 km away from Varanasi, that the Buddha, first preached his message of enlightenment, 25 centuries ago.

Varanasi derives its present name from the two tributaries of the Ganga - Varuna and Asi - between which it is situated. According to historians, the city was founded around ten centuries before the birth of Christ. The city finds mention in holy scriptures like 'Vamana Purana', Buddhist texts and the 'Mahabharata'. The unique relationship between the mighty Ganga and the city forms the essence of Varanasi - 'the land of sacred light'.

.: Fathepur Sikri
The royal city at Fatehpur Sikri, situated 26 miles west of Agra, was built at the orders of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. While Akbar himself was illiterate, he took a keen interest in literature, architecture and the arts. He is also reputed to be a very tolerant ruler and the buildings at Fatehpur Sikri blended both Islamic and Hindu elements in their architectural style. One of the buildings even reflects the new sycretistic faith founded by Akbar, Din-e-ilahi, which though very short-lived remains a matter of controversy. Fatehpur Sikri is now a World Heritage site.

.: Allahabad
This city is considered to be one of the holiest cities of India along with Varanasi as the confluence ("Sangam") is located here. The Kumbh Mela, which is the world's largest fair, takes place in this city every 12 years.

This city was the heart of the Indian freedom struggle against the British Rule; with Anand Bhawan (the home of the Nehru family) being the epicenter. It was in Allahabad that Mahatma Gandhi proposed his program of non-violent resistance to liberate India. Allahabad has provided the largest number of Prime Ministers to Post Independent India.

.: Lucknow
Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, extends along the banks of the River Gomti. The creator of Lucknow as it is today was Nawab Asaf ud Daula. The city became known as a centre for Urdu poetry and courtly diction and reached its peak during the reign of Wajid Ali Shah who was a appreciator of music and poetry.

.: Ayodhya
Located 7 km from Faizabad, Ayodhya is one of the 7 holiest pilgrim centres of Hinduism. The Atharva Veda described Ayodhya as a city built by gods and as prosperous as paradise. But today it is a small dusty town with a great number of temples.



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