Places to Visit in Uttar Pradesh
One of the larger state in India, Uttar Pradesh spreads out from the north Indian Plains to the Himalayam ranges of Nepal as well as to the eastern state of Bihar and parts of central India.
Being a vast state areawise there is a great diversity in its local crafts. Uttar Pradesh also has some of India’s major industries alongside cottage industry producing handicraft items.
The world heritage sites of Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Shikri as well as religiously important sites of Mathura and Vrindavan for Hindus associated with Lord Krishna are situated in Uttar Pradesh. They are among top tourist places to visit in Uttar Pradesh.
U.P. has the distinction of having some of the major centres for learning such as the Benaras Hindu University at Varanasi and the Aligarh Muslim university at Aligarh, both world renowned. Parts of eastern U.P. are included in the Buddhist trail as well as Gautam Buddha travelled extensively in this region.
Tourist places to visit in Uttar Pradesh :
Agra is the city of the inimitable Taj Mahal. The story of Agra Begins much earlier that the Taj, however it finds mention in the epic Mahabharata when it was called Agrabana or paradise. Ptolemy, the famous 2nd century AD geographer, marked it on his map of the world as Agra.
Tradition and legend ascribe the present city to Raja Badal Singh(around 1457 AD) whose fort, Badalgarh, stood on near the site of the present fort.However the 12th century AD Persian poet Salman, too,speaks of a desperate assault on the fortress of Agra, then held by one King Jaipal, by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni.
It was the Mughals who finally nutured Agra with the finest monuments architect could design: the Taj Mahal of Shah Jahan,Red Fort of Akbar, Itmam-ud-daulah and neighbouring Sikandrabad are few of many that spangle the city’s grandeur over the ages. Agra is top tourist places to visit in Uttar Pradesh.
Agra, an educational and business centre too, is known for its craftsmen and handicrafts. Marble and soft stone inlay work, zari work, carpet and leather goods are some important traditional crafts of the city.
Tourist attractions to visit near Agra are Fatehpur Sikri, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur, Van Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Tourist attractions to visit in Agra, India are Taj Mahal, Agra fort, Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb, chini ka roza, Radhasoami Samadhi, Ram Bagh, Sikandra, mariam tomb, jama masjid, Shah Jahan Gardens and Rosery, moti lal nehru park.
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- Places to visit near Agra, Weekend Getaways
- Places to visit in Agra, Tourist destination sightseeing
Fabled monument steeped in history .Adab and legendary hospitality. World renowned art of slow cooking. Lucknow Gharana -which has produced world acclaimed classical dancers, vocalists and musicians, kite flying competitions. Classical handicrafts and Exquisite evenings, Lucknow is all this and more. It’s busting metropolis with modern hotels ,ritzy shopping arcades and exotic eating joints. Truely ,there are many splendorous facets to this charming city which retains much of its old-world charm.
Lucknow derives its name from Lakshmana (the brother of Rama, the hero of the epic, the Ramayana ), who lived here towards the end of life.Lucknow entered contemporary history in the 18th century when as the kingdom od Oudh(Awadh), it brohe away from Mughal Empire. In less than a century (during which period Lucknow became symbolic of a unique culture and way of life), the last Nawab lost his throne to the East India Company. Lucknow played a great part in the 1st World war of independence.
Lucknow ,which played a major role in India’s history and the great Mutiny, has history rewritten i its historical monuments and large mausoleums. It also claim of 2 golf courses , one which is situated inside a nature & environment park having exotic species of animals and birds. The city also boasts of some of the finest conference facilities. Super-delux hotels provide you with the best amenities for holding a truely international conference or convention. Lucknow is top tourist places to visit in Uttar Pradesh.
Tourist attractions to visit in Lucknow are Rumi Darwaza, Bara Imambara, Chhota Imambara,Sikandarbagh, Residency, Deva Sharif, Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary, Kukrail Reserve Forest.
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Varanasi is among the oldest living cities in the world, it is also the holiest of Hindu pilgrimages. Thousands come daily to Varanasi to take a ritual dip in the river Ganga, to cleanse their souls of sin and to worship at its many temples.
Varanasi is so old that it is a part of Indian mythology and finds mention in the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. Through the ages Varanasi also known variously as Avimuktaka, Anandakanana, Mahasmasana, Surandhana, Brahma Vardha, Sudarsana, Ramya and kasi- the city of light. Its present identify is derived from the two tributaries of the Ganga, Varuna and Asi that join the river along the northern and southern periphery of the city.Today Varanasi is ‘Kasi’, the ultimate pilgrimage for thousands of devotees around the country, while to urban India it continues to be the popular ‘Benaras’.
Nearly 5000 years ago, Kasikanda described the glory of the city in 15000 verses in the Skanda Purana. In it Lord Shiva says, ‘the three world form one city of mine and Kasi is my royal palace therein’.As Shiva’s abode Varanasi has always been venerated. It is believed that the Jyoti linga in its Kasi Vishwanath Temple goes back to the time of the epics. The temple itself is of more recent origin. Successive invasions starting with the destruction of the city in 1193 by Mohammad Ghori and ending with the plunder of Benaras by Warren Hasting nearly 600 years later, saw the temple being built and rebuilt a number of times. The present temple was constructed by Rani Ahalya Bai Holkar, the ruler of Indore in 1776.A few years later in 1835, at the instance of the Sikh ruler of Lahore, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the temple Shikara was gilded with gold leaf.
It is not just the Hindu who venerated Varanasi today, for the city has links with Buddhism and Jainism as well. It was at Sarnath close by that Buddha preached his first sermon nearly 25 centuries ago. Lord Mahavir also revealed his Jain philosophy at Kasi.It was here too that Shankaracharya wrote his commentaries on Hinduism, leading to the great Hindu revival.
Varanasi has always been a centre of trade and commerce- famous for its silk and brocades and in the 19th century, Lord Macualy was to describe it as a ” city which, in wealth, population, dignity and sancity was among the foremost in Asia”. He went on to give a glimpse of its commercial importance saying,” all along the shore lay great fleets of vessels laden with rich merchandise.From the looms of Benaras went forth the most delicate silks that adorned the halls of St. James and of Versailles, and in the Bazars, the muslins of Bengal and sabres of Oudh were mingled with the jewels of Golconda and the shawls of Cashmere”,Such was the wealth of Benaras. Even today the city exerts a fascination that is unique in India- attracting visitors from around India and Abroad. Varanasi is top tourist places to visit in Uttar Pradesh.
Tourist attractions to visit in Varanasi, sightseeing, Varanasi tourist places, attractions – Mulagandha Kuti Vihara, Ashoka Pillar, Sarnath, Chunar Fort, Rambagh fort, museum, Ghats, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Jaunpur, Stupa, Ashoka Pillar, Sankat Mochan temple and Tulsi Manas Temple.
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56 km. Mathura on the west bank of Yamuna and Vrindavan, are associated with the most endearing god of the Hindu Religion, Lord Krishna.For in these surroundings, popularly known as Brij Bhooni, Lord Krishna is believed to have grown up, and these are the settings for several anecdotes of his adolescence Lord Krishna was born in a prison cell at Mathura, which has been converted into a temple and is an important pilgrimage for Hindus.
In ancient times , Mathura was a renowned cultural centre and received great stimulus under Emperor Ashok in the spheres of sculpture and architecture. Later Emperor Kanishka made it capital of his eastern empire and the city became an important centre of trade and learning. The Sakas ,Kushans and Gupta emperors too, contributed to the prosperity of Mathura.Mathura became an important centre of art and sculptural activities in India.
Innumerable stone sculpture, particularly of the Buddha and of teh Vishnu and other gods of the Hindu Pantheon from Buddha are proudly displayed in different museum galleries all over the world, for these were the finest pieces ever produced.The Mathura Buddha are noted for their beautiful carved haloes with concentric rings of floral ornamentation about a central lotus. This revolutionariesed Buddhist cult image with its awesome spiritual dignity of form and beautiful realisation as in the moving paintings of Ajanta.
The city today abounds in places of religious and historical interest. A number of fairs and festivals provide an opportunity to enjoy the folk music and dances of Brij.
Vrindavan is another important religious centres. Its temples, some dating back to the 14th century, have attracted many religious scholars. Mathura is top tourist places to visit in Uttar Pradesh.
Tourist attractions to visit in Mathura are Sri Krishna Janma Bhoomi Mandir, Sonkh, nandgaon, Mahavan, Goverdhan, Deeg, Bharatpur, Barsana, Baldeo, Government Museum, Gita Mandir, Kans Qila, Sati Burj, Dwarkadhish Temple, Vishram Ghat, Jama Masjid .
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Sarnath, about 10 km from the holy city of Varanasi, is the blessed locale where more than 2,500 years ago Buddha close to deliver his first sermon, after attaining Nirvana. The five disciples who had followed him were surprised to see the mesmerising glowing countenance of Buddha, who convinced them and delivered his first sermon before them, now termed Dharamachakra Pravartan . This set in motion the great Buddhist tradition of the Sangha, for popularising the teachings of the great ascetic, world-wide.
Boutam Buddha with his five disciple formed the first Sangha alongwith Yasa of Varanasi and his 54 friends.
“I go for refuge to the Buddha,
I go for refuge to the Wheel of Law,
I go for refuge to the Sangha “
first laid down here, have remained unchanged ever since. Here rightly, every Buddhist Pilgrim after Bodhgaya, endeavours to be blessed with a visit to Sarnath in his life time.
Dhamekh Stupa bears particular significance at Sarnath as it signifies the “seat of the holu Buddha”, as he proclaimed his faith. It is about 34 mtrs. in height and including the foundations, it can be measured upto 42 mtrs. Besides Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath also has the ruins of Dharmajajika Stupa and that of the original Mulgandhakuti Temple which according to Hieun Tsang was about 61 mtrs high. Buddha is said to have rested and mediated here while in Sarnath.
Emperor Ashoka (273-232 B.C.) , converted to Buddhism after the Kalinga War and also visited Sarnath. A smooth glistening stone pillar, called the Ashoka Pillar commemorates his visit and laid the foundation of the Buddhist Sangha here. The Lion Capital on top of this pillar is now the National Emblem of India.
The Chaukhandi Stupa was originally a terraced temple during the Gupta period (4th to 6th century). However in 1588 A.D., Govardhan, the son of Raja Todarmal, built an octagonal tower to commemorate the visit of Humanyun -father of Akbar. Govardhan later went on to become the governor under Akbar’s rule.
Similarly Akbar, the great Mughal Emperor who revered all religions alike, raised the Chaukhandi Stupa in 1555 A.D. Sarnath is top tourist places to visit in Lucknow.
The Shakyamuni, Gautam Buddha breathed his last (Mahaparinivarana) at Kushinagar. The passing away of the Buddha at Kushinagar provided not only the grand finale to the depiction of the story of the Great Teacher but also created a new architectural form in India – the Stupa. Entombing the relics of the Buddha or his leading disciples, the stupas can be described as the earliest mausolea in India. Kushinagar, thus, occupies a milestone position in the story of Indian architecture and also in Buddhist lore. Since the day the Buddha breathed his last, emperors, kings and commoners have venerated Kushinagar as the place where Tathagata, the Reciter of Truth, passed away. Kushinagar is among top tourist places to visit in Uttar Pradesh.
Stupas, Chaityas and Viharas were built by mournful, devoted kings, while time ruthlessly saw them deserted amd defaced. Chinese pilgrim Fa Hein came here nine centuries after the Great Decease and found the place deserted but for some monasteries and ruins of Stupas. A century later came another Chinese traveller, Hiuen Tsang and left behind a graphic account of the desolate Kushinagar and its environs. A generation later, a third Chinese pilgrim, I. Tsing followeed their footsteps, only to further document the decay and degredation. One thousand years later, following the clues provided by the travelogues of the three Chinese travellers and other archival evidence, Sir Alexander Cunningham, archaeological surveyor, systematically and painstakingly excavated and exposed the Buddhist treasures the soil of Kushinagar bore since the great Teacher walked on it.
The remains lie in three groups : the Main Site consisting of the newly constructed Nirvana Temple which enshrines a colossal statue of the Buddha, in a reclining position. This statue was excavated in 1876 in a damaged conditioned and is known to have been established in the 15th century A.D.; the Math Kaur Shrine has a 10th century blue schist image of the Buddha; the third is the Rambhar Stupa or the Angar Chaitya , which is popularly known as the spot where Lord Buddha was cremated by the Mallas. Besides, there is the Buddhist Temple, the Chinese Temple and the Tibetan Temple.
Come gently follow the path of the Pathgiver and pay your homage to the place where the Tathgata breathed his last, saying : ” Decay is inherent in all component things.” Kushinagar is among top tourist places to visit in Uttar Pradesh.
Other top tourist places to visit in Uttar Pradesh is Ayodhya, Jhanshi.
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