Uttar Pradesh

The wealth of its monuments, mystical calls of its mountains and lakes, and the religious fervour that it evokes, have made Uttar Pradesh one of the most interesting states of the Indian Union. Whether one is on a spiritual quest, or in search of adventure or just on a curiosity trip, Uttar Pradesh has something to offer to everyone.

Situated in the northern part of India, it has the distinction of being the most populous state of India. In terms of area, it is the fourth largest among all the states. It is bound by Nepal on the north, and is surrounded by the states of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. It is divisible into three distinct regions geographically; the Himalayan region on the north, the vast gangetic plain in the center, and the Vindhya Range and plateau on the south. Uttar Pradesh is watered by the mighty rivers of the northern India - Ganga, Yamuna, Ramganga, Gomati and Ghaghara. Almost all the important towns and trading centres of the state are located on these rivers. The confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna, the two most sacred rivers of India at Allahabad, has been a popular place of pilgrimage through the millenia.

Though generally known as the seat of Hinduism, in reality, Uttar Pradesh reflects a synthesis of religions. While the Ramayana and Mahabharata are rumoured to have their origins in places within the state, Uttar Pradesh has also been a witness to the main events of Jainism and Buddhism. The medieval period witnessed the advent of Muslim rule, and the spread of Islam in the state. This unique synthesis saw the rise of great preachers like Ramdas, Kabir and Tulsidas.

Imambara Complex, Lucknow

Imambara Complex, Lucknow

Music and dance are a way of life as far as the people of Uttar Pradesh are concerned. Kathak, one of the four classical dances of India, originated here. Ramlila, Rasalila, Nautankis and folk dances of Kumaon hills (Jhora, Chhapeli, Jagar) are all dances, that reflect the lifestyle and beliefs of the people. Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of fairs and festivals in India, to its credit. The local fairs of Mathura and Gwalior, Uttargayani and Nanda Devi festivals of Kumaon Hills, Tapkeshwar Fair and Jhanda Mela of the Doon Valley, and Sambatsar and Bishwaw at Sankranti of Hardwar, add colour to the lives of the people. The biggest congregation, perhaps of the world, Kumbh Mela is held at Allahabad every twelfth year. Apart from Allahabad, it is also held at Hardwar every sixth year. A dip in the Ganges on Kartik Poornima, is supposed to be very holy for the Hindus, and there are huge congregations at the ghats of the Ganga, on this occasion. Deva in Barabanki district is famous as the home of Muslim saint Warish Shah. The major festivals of the state are Basant Panchami, Holi, Dussehra, Diwali, Shivaratri, Buddha Purnima, Eid, and Muharram.

River rafting in the Himalayas

River rafting

Agriculture is the main occupation of more than 72 percent of the state's population. Uttar Pradesh is one of the largest producer of foodgrains, sugarcane and potatoes in the country. The major industries in the state include sugar, cement, vanaspati, cotton cloth and cotton yarn. Hand - knitted woollen carpets of Bhadoi and Mirzapur, 'chikan' work of Lucknow, terracota of Gorakhpur, wood carving of Saharanpur, brass ware of Moradabad, glassware work of Firozabad and handprinting of Farrukhabad, is a proof of the ace craftsmanship of a large number of artisans in the state. Mining of minerals like limestone, silica-sand, magnesite pyrophyllite, dolomite and diaspore is also prevalent in the state.

Uttar Pradesh offers an endless array of attractions to the tourist, by way of monuments, health resorts, mountain peaks, a wealth of ancient temples and viharas, rich flora and fauna, fascinating rivers and captivating valleys. Agra, Ayodhya, Sarnath, Varanasi, Lucknow, Mathura and Prayag combine religious and architectural marvels; Nainital, Mussorie, Ranikhet and Almora are hill resorts of rare charm; Corbett and Dudhwa National Parks head a long list of wildlife reserves and sanctuaries; Yamnotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Hemkund and the Pindari Glacier, enfolded within the Himalayan ranges, offer a combination of thrilling adventure, impressive pilgrim centres and close encounters with Nature at her magnificent best.

Agra Sarnath Varanasi Lucknow Nainital Mussourie
Almora Corbett Dudhwa National Parks Kedarnath Badrinath Fatehpur Sikri