The state of Uttar Pradesh has some of the most popular tourist destinations in India but is also home to gems that are yet to be discovered. It is located in Northern India and we bring you some of its most important attractions.
Agra, the home of the world renowned Taj Mahal, is 204 kilometers from Delhi and is one third of the Golden Triangle. Agra was mentioned in the Mahabharata as Agraban, a part of Lord Krishna’s kingdom. Besides the Taj, Agra boasts of countless others historical assets like the Itmad-ud-daulah also called the mini-Taj and the Agra Fort, a spectacular creation which was home to the Mughal kings and has 16 breathtaking palaces.
Located 45 kilometers from the city is the majestic Fort of Fatehpur Sikri. Built by Emperor Akbar, it is famous for the Buland Darwaza and the tomb of Sufi Saint, Salim Chishti. It is widely believed that at this mystical tomb all your mannats (prayers) are answered. As a result it attracts many believers, all year round.
Located in Dayalbagh which is 15 kms from Agra is the Radhasoami Memorial. It is the memorial of a spiritual guru, Shiv Dayal Sahib who founded the Radhasoami Satsang. The building is influenced by architecture seen in the shrines of major religions like Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism. It is over 100 feet high and is made entirely of white marble. Even today the building is undergoing construction which allows you the rare opportunity of seeing a monument as it is being made. Seeing marble cutters and artisans work on the pietra dura is a delightful experience.
The region was once the dacoit-infested Chambal valleys. But today, the dacoits are long gone and the Chambal ravines serve as picturesque routes for a languid stroll. The ravines lead to the Pahuj River. The banks of the placid river have a lot of secluded places that are perfect to have a picnic, watch the sunset and observe the villagers go about their daily chores. Boating on the Yamuna River is a great way to spend a few hours. Fort Rampura is like a mini-museum of an unexposed history and now serves as an invaluable homestay. It’s filled with ancient and unique artifacts as well as indoor games like billiards. A walk across the premises is enjoyed by visitors and helps people find out the history of this beautiful 700-year old palace.
This exotic city is also the world’s oldest. Varanasi also known as Banaras is one of the most valued tourist as well as religious destinations in India. The ghats of Varanasi call out to people from far and wide to sit and stare at the Ganga for an eternity. The nightly aarti is a grand experience. It takes place on the main ghat which is called Dasashvemedh Ghat. It begins at 7pm and one must occupy a place near the altars by 6pm. Another good way to see the aarti is by boat. Sunset cruises on the Ganga can be combined with viewing of the aarti. Banaras is also famous for its Banarasi silk saris and delicious lassi.
Lucknow is the state’s capital and was named after Lakshman. It is known as the city of Nawabs and is filled with havelis, palaces, mosques and more. Lucknowi chikan embroidery work is famous in the fashion circuits of the world. The Chota Imambara, Bada Imambara and Shah Naiaf Imambara are its famous attractions. The people of Lucknow are very proud of their cuisine and but it heavily favours the non vegetarian guests with mouth watering kebabs.
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