Uttar Pradesh, the holy land of the two rivers Ganga and Yamuna, is a place of never ending history and unlimited legends. For instance, the ghats at Varanasi never fail to fascinate, just like the tales of Rani of Jhansi, the faint striking sounds of swords at Kalinjar in Bundelkhand, the Triveni (confluence of three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) at Allahabad, the culture and architecture of Avadh at Lucknow, the wonderful Taj Mahal and Mughal splendour at Agra and Fatehpur Sikri and the route to Nirvana at Sarnath.
The rich and colourful history of the State goes back to the Vedic times. It finds mention in Rig Veda as Brahmarishi Desa or Madhya Desa. Great sages of Vedic times, flourished here, which include Bharadwaja, Yajnavalkya, Vasishta, Vishwamitra and Valmiki. Many sacred books of the Aryans were also composed here during that time. Uttar Pradesh also features prominently in the two great epics of India – The Ramayana and the Mahabharata. In 6th Century BC, the region became a great centre of the two new religions – Jainism and Buddhism. Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism is said to have breathed his last at Doora and Lord Buddha preached his first sermon at Sarnath. Later on, several great centres of learning like Ayodhya, Prayag, Varanasi and Mathura emerged here.
In medieval period, Uttar Pradesh passed into the hands of various Muslim rulers and a intrinsic blend of Hindu and Islamic cultures can be witnessed here with great contribution from sage – poets like Ramananda and his disciple Kabir, Tulsidas and Birbal. The State also played a very significant role in the national politics in the pre and post independence era. Uttar Pradesh, the land of different cultures is home to temples and monuments of all religions. It is also the heartland of Hindi, the principle indigenous language of India. Uttar Pradesh is endowed with rich natural wealth and is the largest producer of food grains and oil seeds in the country.
Main languages: Hindi, English
When to go: October to March
Getting There & Away: How to reach Uttar Pradesh
Road: NH-2 connects Delhi and Kolkata to cities like Mathura, Agra, Kanpur, Allahabad and Varanasi. NH-3 connects Agra to Mumbai. NH-44 running from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu passes through Agra in Uttar Pradesh. NH-19 links Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh with Patna in Bihar. NH-28 links Lucknow to Barauni (Bihar). 538 km long NH-58 starts from Mana village near Indo-Tibet border in Uttarakhand and passes through Badrinath, Joshimath, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Srinagar, Devprayag, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Roorkee, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Modinagar and ends at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. NH-76 links Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh with Pindwara in Rajasthan. NH-91A runs entirely within the state of Uttar Pradesh and links Etawah with Kannauj. NH-233 connects Varanasi to Lumbini, Nepal via Azamgarh. NH-307 links Dehradun in Uttarakhand with Chhutmalpur in Uttar Pradesh. NH 509 links Agra with Moradabad.
Rail: The most easiest way to reach this State is through rail. Several railway stations such as Mughal Sarai, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi, Moradabad, Tundla, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Allahabad are dotted in every part of Uttar Pradesh and are connected to the whole of India.
Air: Lucknow, Agra, Kanpur and Varanasi are the four domestic airports in Uttar Pradesh. All these airports are connected via daily flights to the major Indian cities such as Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna and more.