Utter Pradesh is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World and to Hinduism’s most sacred river. The white-marble Taj Mahal and the enthralling city of Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges are its most popular attractions, but the state also offers rich and varied landscapes, vibrant culture, colourful festivals, historical monuments, and ancient places of worship.
The two major rivers running through the state are the Ganges and Yamuna, which join at Prayag and then flow as the Ganges further east. Its many historical, natural, and religious destinations include: Agra with its noteworthy examples of Mughal architecture; nearby Fatehpur Sikri has a well-preserved ancient complex; Lucknow is the vibey capital with monuments such as Bara Imambara and Chhota Imambara; and many more.
The spiritual and mystical Ganges flows throughout Uttar Pradesh giving rise to the bathing ghats of Varanasi and the pilgrimage centre of Allahabad – the most auspicious of India’s four Kumbh Mela sites.
The historically important towns of Sarnath and Kushinagar are located not far from Varanasi. Belief has it that Buddha first preached after enlightenment at Sarnath and died at Kushinagar; both have become pilgrimage points for Buddhists.
With its three World Heritage Sites: the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and nearby Fatehpur Sikri, and Varanasi’s ghats – Utter Pradesh should be on every visitor’s itinerary.
The Taj Mahal, the world’s greatest testament of love| Multi-coloured bathing ghats in Varanasi | The deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri | Red-walled Agra Fort
− Known as UP, and often referred to as the cow belt or Hindu belt
− With over 200 million inhabitants, it is the most populous state in India