Uttar Pradesh has been the most dominant state in Indian poltics and culture since Independence, producing over half of India’s prime ministers. This is partly because it’s the nation’s most populous – it has as many inhabitants as Brazil – and partly because of the central role the region plays in the religious lanscape of Hindus.
The Ganges River, which forms the backbone of Uttar Pradesh, is the sacred river of Hinduism, and four of the religion’s seven holy towns are in the state, including Varanasi, the holiest of them all. In Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow was associated with the princely court of Oudh and then with the British, both traditions lingering on in the city whose finest monument is the Bara Imambara.
Further east, Varanasi is the oldest city in India. An important centre of Hindu pilgrimage, it is believed that those who die in Varanasi will be released from the cycle of rebirth. Pious Hindus still come to Varanasi to spend their last days, living in Spartan communes run by a multitude of religious trusts.
The focus of interest to a visitor is the sacred River Ganga. At the series of steps leading down to it, people come to wash away their sins by bathing in the river, the dead are cremated and holy men meditate. In the narrow by lanes of the city are crowded bazaars selling brassware and silk brocades.
|UTTARPRADESH FACTS AND FIGURES|
|Area||2,94,411 sq. km|
Summer : Max 45 °C, Min 21.9 °C.
|Winter : Max 31.7°C, Min 4.2 °C|
Hindi, Urdu, English
|Best Time to Visit||
October to March.
HOW TO REACH
By Air : There are four domestic airports in Uttar Pradesh, i.e., in Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Varanasi. However, there is no international airport. Major cities in Uttar Pradesh are connected by air to Delhi and other large cities of India.
By Rail : The state is connected with the major cities of India by trains. Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad and Mughalsarai are some of the major railheads that are linked to the rest of the country by express, super-fast and passenger trains.
By Road : Uttar Pradesh is connected to the rest of the country by a good network of roads. Some of the important national highways that connect that state are NH 2, 25, 26, 27, 29, and 45.
UTTARPRADESH MAJOR CITIES
Agra » Allahabad » Almora » Ayodhya » Badrinath » Gangotri » Mathura » Kanpur » Kedarnath » Lucknow » Musoorie » Varanasi » Pithoragarh » Ranikhet » Rishikesh » Yamunotri