Uttar Pradesh : The Reminder of Romance and Royalty
Area: 2, 36,286 sq. km.
Language: Hindi, Urdu and English.
Best Time to Visit: October to March.
Capital City: Lucknow .
Airports: Lucknow, Varanasi.
About Uttar Pradesh
The large state of Uttar Pradesh was recently divided in to two parts. The Himalayan region in the north which was known as the Garhwal region now is an independent state of Uttaranchal. Now Uttar Pradesh comprises of the Gangetic plains and the Vindhya hills and plateau in the south. Uttar Pradesh shares its borders with as many as seven states and the borders in the North-East are shared with Nepal. Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Desh, Bihar and Jharkhand are the states it shares its borders with.
The climate in this state is an extreme climate. There are distinctive three seasons in the state. While the summers can be very hot the winters can be very cold. The penniless die of heat stroke as well as harsh winters in the state.
About Uttar Pradesh:
The Indian icon, the Taj Mahal is in Uttar Pradesh. But the state has much more than only Taj. The cradle of Indian culture, the land washed by the pious Ganga and Yamuna Rivers which stand witness to an ancient culture; Uttar Pradesh is the land of ancient history and epic stories. Hindu mythological epic heroes, such as Lord Ram and Lord Krishna were born here. It is the land of Lord Buddha who preached here, the land of Lord Mahavira, the pioneer of the Jain religion. Politically; it is the land of the Koshals and the mighty Ashok; the first capital of the Mughals and more recently, land giving the country most of its Prime Ministers. The state that was known as the Madhya Desh has had an eventful history. The confluence of the three mighty rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati has been known for ages now. May be the civilization is not as old as the Indus valley but there are cave paintings that have been found near in the hills of Vindhya. Experts say that these cave paintings must be contemporary of the Harrapan civilization in the western Indus valley. With the advent of Aryans from the plains of Indus to the land of Ganges made a lot of transformation in the state. The mythological epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata are believed to have happened in Uttar Pradesh. Lord Ram of Ramayana was born in Ayodhya and Lord Krishna in Mathura. The powerful kingdoms of Koshal and Hastinapur which find a place in the Vedic scriptures were present in the then state of Madhya Desh. The later period saw the emergence and mass following of Buddha and Buddhism. Although Buddha was not born here, Uttar Pradesh is known as the place from where Buddhism took on. It was also the place for Jain Preacher, Lord Mahavira. Places like Saranath and Kashi grew in to prominence. Kashi, today's Varanasi, became the place for learning, and its name flung far as the best educational centre of those times. During the rule of the Maurya dynasty, the great emperor Ashok, took over and made many reforms for the betterment of the people. After getting inclined to Buddhism, Ashok built beautiful Stupas and the famous Ashok Lion pillars at various places. After the downfall of the Maurya dynasty the Kushan dynasty was the one which established it self. The king Kanishka was the most successful king and extended his kingdom right until Tibet. With the downfall of the Kushan dynasty, the Gupta dynasty came into prominence. The Guptas ruled till the beginning of the 10th century and then came the period of great instability when the rulers of uttarpradesh and the Afghans took over. The Mehmud of Gazni rampaged the whole area and looted it. This unstable period stayed till the Mughals came in. Babur laid the stone of the Mughal Empire and Akbar heightened it and it reached its Zenith during the era of Shahajehan. The glory of the Mughal Empire knew no bounds. Akbar made Agra his Capital and beautified the city. Agra remained the capital till his grandson Shahajehan shifted the capital to uttarpradesh after building the Red Fort. But even then, he could not think of a better place to build the Taj Mahal other than Agra. During the decline in the Mughal period the importance of the Bundela and Marathas had started growing. The local governors appointed by the Mughals declared independence and established their self rule. The most important amongst these were the Nawabs of Avadh. The Nawabs were fond of good things in life. Various cultural activities were encouraged under their patronage. The reciting of Urdu poetry (shayari) and the dance form of Kathak developed during this era. Not only entertainment but they were also the connoisseurs of great food. The kebabs and the various meat dishes gained importance under the Nawabs. Uttar Pradesh very soon became the place of beautiful architecture, good food and poetry. Very soon the people revolted and the first mutiny against the British, who had gained prominence under the aegis of the Nawabs, started. Names like Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi and Begum of Avadh and Nanasaheb Tope came into prominence. Uttar Pradesh played a pivotal role in independence movement. The commoners selflessly dedicated themselves for the cause. Some prominent names were, Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Dr. Rajedra Prasad and many more belonged to Uttar Pradesh. The state received its present name Uttar Pradesh in 1950. Today it has been divided in two states of Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh. It holds immense potential to lure the tourists to the land which is bigger than many countries of Europe in physical terms. The Taj and the Fatehpur Sikri, The Haveli and the temples, the Ghats and the Ganges, the Kebabs and the Nawabs, the Kathak and the shayari, the Chikan embroidery and the Zardozi, the metal craft and the paintings; Uttar Pradesh has more to offer than one can even think of.