Situated in the north of India, Uttar Pradesh is an incredible treasure trove of architectural and cultural splendor. The state is home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the world-renowned Taj Mahal. In addition, there are several historic sites, temples, forts, wildlife sanctuaries, and ghats that add to its popularity.
The mesmerizing sights and scenes of Uttar Pradesh make it one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. According to the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department, 285,079,848 domestic and 3,780,752 international tourists visited the state in the year 2018. As a tourist-friendly state, UP has a large number of accommodation facilities including budget, luxury and heritage hotels, hostels, farmhouses, and homestays.
Uttar Pradesh Tourism Information
|Official Language||Hindi, Urdu|
|Area||240,928 Square kilometer|
|Main Cities||Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, Jhansi, Noida, Mathura, Vrindavan, Prayagraj, Sarnath, Fatehpur Sikri, Ayodhya|
|Official Tourism Website||http://www.uptourism.gov.in|
|Major Railheads||Lucknow, Kanpur Central, Allahabad Junction, Varanasi Junction, Agra Cantonment, Gorakhpur Junction, Mathura Junction, and Moradabad|
|Airport||Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport (Lucknow), Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport (Varanasi), Agra Airport, Allahabad Airport, Gorakhpur Airport & Kanpur Airport|
History of Uttar Pradesh
The region is believed to be inhabited as early as 6,000 BC. Between the 3rd and 12th centuries, the control over this region became a crucial point for many rulers and empires of India, including the Mauryas, Guptas, Kushans, and Gurjara-Pratiharas.
In 1206 AD, the region came under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate. During Babur’s reign in the 16th century, Uttar Pradesh became the core of his empire. Following the fall of the Mughal Empire, the Marathas occupied the region. Much of Uttar Pradesh came under the British East India Company’s dominion in 1803. The British named the region as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh in 1902. Uttar Pradesh became an active site for the independence movement of India. In 1950, the state acquired the name Uttar Pradesh (UP). The state of Uttarakhand was formed out of UP in the year 2000.
Geography & Climate
The landlocked state of Uttar Pradesh has Bihar to its east, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand to its southeast, Nepal to its north, Rajasthan to its west, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana to its northwest, and Madhya Pradesh to its south. The landscape of the state is adorned with hills, fertile plains, plateaus, valleys, and many rivers. Ganga, Yamuna, and Sarayu are a few of the main rivers flowing through Uttar Pradesh.
The humid subtropical climate of the state results in extremely hot summers, cold winters, and very dry or very wet monsoon season. It is best to plan a trip to Uttar Pradesh from October to March.
Places to Visit in Uttar Pradesh
- World Heritage Sites: Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri
- Forts: Jhansi Fort, Allahabad Fort, Aligarh Fort, Ramnagar Fort, Chunar Fort, Kans Qila
- Mausoleums: Salim Chishti’s Tomb, Tomb of Akbar, I’timād-ud-Daulah, Tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani, Chini ka Rauza, Bahu Begum’s Tomb
- Mosques: Jama Masjid, Mina Masjid, Moti Masjid, Alamgir Masjid, Lal Darwaza Masjid¸ Humayun Mosque, Great Mosque
- Temples: Dwarkadhish Mandir, Krishna Janambhoomi Temple, Banke Bihari Temple, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Augharnath Temple, Baladev Dauji Temple, ISKCON Temple, Prem Mandir, Gorakhnath Temple, Bharat Mata Mandir, JK Temple, Sarnath Temple
- Churches: Kanpur Memorial Church, All Saint’s Cathedral, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, St. Marie’s Church, Holy Trinity Church, Akbar’s Church
- Gardens: Mughal Gardens, Mehtab Bagh, Company Gardens, Aram Bagh, Khusro Bagh, Sikandar Bag, Gulab Bari, Japani Garden, Ram Bagh, Ganesh Bagh
- Ghats: Dashashwamedh Ghat, Ram Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Man Mandir Ghat, Darbhanga Ghat, Vishram Ghat , Tulsi Ghat, Kedar Ghat, Harishchandra Ghat
- Museums: Taj Museum, Allahabad Museum, Government Museum Mathura, Bharat Kala Bhawan Varanasi, Sarnath Museum, Rani Mahal Museum, Government Bauddh Museum, Government Freedom Struggle Museum
- Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks: Dudhwa National Park, National Chambal Sanctuary, Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary
- Others: Rumi Darwaza, Sangam, Dhamek Stupa, Chaukhandi Stupa, Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara
Cuisine of Uttar Pradesh
The cuisine of Uttar Pradesh is as vast and vibrant as the state itself. A large number of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are a part of the cuisine. The scrumptious Awadhi cuisine and the royal Mughlai cuisine are the two famous food cultures here. Batti Chokha, Bedhai, Tehri, Baigan ki Longe, Galaouti Kebab, Bedmi, Kebab Paratha, Bhindi ka Salan, Fara, and Biryani are some of the amazing food you must try. Sweet dishes such as Petha, Pedha, Malpua, Revari, and Kulfi are very popular in this state. Chaas and Gilori Paan are the other must-try items.
Shopping in Uttar Pradesh
Shopping in Uttar Pradesh can be a delight in itself, as the state offers a host of handicraft items that can make great souvenirs. Some of the best things to buy from Uttar Pradesh are:
- Stone carvings
- Embroidered fabrics
- Fabrics and garments with Chikan work
- Zardozi work items
- Copper and bronze statues
- Banarasi Sari
- Musical instruments
Things to Do in Uttar Pradesh
- Visit the Taj Mahal on a full moon night
- Enjoy a boat ride on the Ganga River in Banaras or Varanasi
- Witness the light and sound show at Agra Fort
- Attend the spectacular evening aarti at the Dashashwamedh Ghat
- Take a dip in the holy river Ganga in Allahabad (now Prayagraj)
- Go out on a shopping spree at the bustling local markets of Kanpur
- Relish kebabs in Lucknow
- Get a taste of the famous Banarasi Paan
How to Reach Uttar Pradesh
With two international airports in Lucknow and Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh remains easily connected to not just the rest of the country but several international destinations as well. The Lucknow Airport is connected to international destinations including Dubai, Muscat, Riyadh, Jeddah, and Bangkok. The international airports have regular flights to Sharjah, Kathmandu, Colombo, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur.
Uttar Pradesh boasts of the largest railway network in India. It is connected to other parts of the country through the North Eastern, North Central, and the Northern Railway lines. While the North Central Railway has its headquarters at Allahabad, the North Eastern Railway has theirs at Gorakhpur. Premium trains including the Rajdhani Express and the Lucknow Swarna Shatabdi Express connect the state capital Lucknow to the national capital Delhi.
A vast network of National Highways links the state to almost every part of India. The State Highways connect the cities within the state. The Agra-Lucknow Expressway reduces the traffic load and travel time between the two cities and is the longest Greenfield Expressway in India. The Yamuna Expressway connecting Noida to Agra is another among the longest six-lane expressways in the country. The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation provides buses for easy connectivity between Uttar Pradesh and the neighboring states.