Heritage

Uttar Pradesh is the hub of culture, custom and traditions. It is the land of great history and stories. These tales are not just recited rather they took the form of eminent monuments and structures. This state witnessed the setting of two great epics – the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and left the mark of this in the form of rich heritage and structures. This is the same land where Hinduism took the shape of the religion, the existence of which remains to this day. It is the site where the great rulers and emperors marked their existence in the form creatively and skilfully erected buildings that still leave visitors awestruck with wonder.Exploring Uttar Pradesh takes the visitors on a magical experience and helps them to know the art and history of this phenomenal state. Many cities are enriched with heritage, cultural and historical aspects.  Agra region, Lucknow region and Varanasi region are some of them with several other destinations as well.Heritage of Uttar Pradesh is a delight to the eyes with its beautiful and magnificent monuments wooing visitors’ hearts.  These experiences that travellers witness in Uttar Pradesh help them to have a close look at the prosperous history and heritage. 

PLACES IN UTTAR PRADESH

Destinations

Varanasi

Varanasi or Banaras, mentioned in the scriptures as Kashi, is less of a city and more of a dreamy experience. It is a paragon of Indian culture, philosophy, traditions and spiritual ethos since times immemorial. It is among the Sapta Puries, meaning seven sacred cities of Ancient India. The city is located on the bank of River Ganga which has two tributaries in the city: Varuna and Assi; hence the name Varanasi. The combination of Kashi – the holy city, Ganga- the sacred river and Shiva- the supreme God, makes Varanasi an immortal destination. Today, Varanasi remains the hub of cultural and holy activities. In the field of learning, especially of Religion, Philosophy, Yoga, Ayurveda, Astrology, Dance and Music, the city is certainly unparalleled. The Banarasi Silk Sarees and Brocades are known worldwide for its elegance. Varanasi is full of surprises abounding every corner; the more one explores it, the more one falls in love with it!

Agra

Agra is a city offering a discovery of the beautiful era. Agra has a rich history, reflected in its numerous monuments dotted in and around the city. The earliest citation for Agra comes from the mythological era, where the epic Mahabharata refer Agra as ‘Agravana’ meaning paradise in Sanskrit. ‘Ptolemy’, the famous second century A.D. geographer, was the first person who referred Agra with its modern name. The Modern Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodi, ruler of Lodi dynasty in 16th century. It was when Shah Jahan descended the Mughal throne that Agra reached the zenith of architectural beauty.The city lies in the Western part of Uttar Pradesh on the bank of River Yamuna. Though the wonderful allure of the Taj Mahal attracts people from around the world over to Agra, it is not a standalone attraction. The city offers a trail of fascinating tombs and mausoleums to explore. Acclaimed for its lavish crafts like Pietra Dura (marble inlay) work, rugs and leather goods, and the luscious Petha, Agra equally caters well to shopaholics and foodies.

Lucknow

Lucknow, a city which upholds many cultures, heritage and arts of Uttar Pradesh, resonating in every corner. It gained prominence when Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula shifted the capital of Awadh from Faizabad to this city in 1775. They were great patrons of arts and laid the foundation from which Lucknowi culture emerged. Whether Lucknow’s mesmerizing architecture, sweetness in its language, elegant hospitality, and sophistication in its culture, exquisite crafts or the mouth-watering cuisine, this city never fails to win hearts of every traveller. Modern day Lucknow is a spectacular synthesis of past and present. It is a bustling capital city spreading both sides of the River Gomti with sprawling parks, British Era buildings and old monuments. Lucknow is famous for its charm, nazakat (Elegance) and nafasat (Refinement) – which is holding onto this land since time immemorial. 

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri is a magnificent city which was founded in 1569 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar and served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. This city is 40 km away from Agra. It is said that Akbar went to a saint known as Shaikh Salim Chishti who lived in a city called Sikri whose blessing gave Akbar 3 sons. As a gesture of gratitude Akbar built a whole new city in Sikri and named his new capital Fatehpur Sikri or the “City of Victory”. Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest examples of the magnificent Mughal architecture at its height. There are many breathtaking sites here like a stunning mosque, Buland Darwaza, Diwan-i-am etc. The city was an Indo-Islamic masterpiece, but due to the water shortages, it was abandoned shortly. A visit to Fatehpur Sikri and is like going down the Mughal culture and History. All the monuments here are a blend of Mughal and Persian architecture.

Mathura-Vrindavan

Located in the western part of Uttar Pradesh, Mathura is a jumble of never-ending lanes teeming with folks, rickshaws, and glittering shops. The city is dotted with magnificent temples, most of them dedicated to Lord Krishna, the city’s presiding deity and its first citizen. These temples depict various phases of Lord Krishna’s life, taking the devotees back to the divine era. Mathura is an important pilgrimage destination of the Hindus and is one of the seven sacred cities of India. Lord Krishna was born around 5000 years ago on this land as an 8th child to Mata Devaki and Vasudeva in the prison cell of the tyrant Kansa, Lord Krishna’s maternal uncle. The land is daubed with an enchanting culture, which is enough to capture your heart and touch your soul. Vrindavan is a holy town in Mathura and is the most significant pilgrimage site in Braj region, attracting around 500000 pilgrims every year. It is believed that Lord Krishna spent his childhood here. Even the dust of this holy place is said to be sacred and devotees are often seen smearing it on their forehead. It is believed that Vrindavan was lost over time, until the 16th century, when it was rediscovered by the saint from Nabadwip, Chaitanya, Mahaprabhu, who travelled to Vrindavan in 1515.

Deogarh

Located at a distance of 133 KM from Jhansi, Deogarh lies in Lalitpur district of with Uttar Pradesh. The name is derived from the Sanskrit term “Dev” meaning God and “Garh” meaning Fort compounded to mean “Fort of the gods”. This town is of great epigraphical and archaeological importance and has figured in the history of Guptas, the Gurjara – Pratiharas, the Gondas, the Marathas and the British. It is situated on the right bank of the River Betwa, at the western end of Lalitpur range. The cliffs overhanging the bank rise to a height of 300 feet and form a long steep ridge of red sandstone. The river takes a deep curve to the west at this juncture and passes through an extremely picturesque side. This town is well dotted with temples and the architecture& built of these temples display a high level of craftsmanship. On this land, there are more than 2000 temples which are probably nowhere in the world.Deogarh is a perfect destination for those who love to explore the ancient forts & temples. 

Jhansi

Jhansi is the gateway to Bundelkhand a region rich in culture and heritage. Located centrally between the central, western and southern India the place used to be a stronghold of the Chandela kings. After losing its significance in the 12th century the kingdom in Jhansi rose again to prominence in the 17th century. However, its greatest claim to fame was under the rule of the legendary queen Rani Laxmi Bai. Rani Laxmi Bai along with Ghulam Gaus Khan, Jhalkari Bai and others led forces against the British rule during the revolt of 1857. She bravely died at the age of 22 years while fighting for India’s freedom. Later, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Pandit Parmanand, Bhagwandas Mahaur and others lead the freedom movement from here. 

Allahabad

Allahabad is a beautiful city situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. The city draws attention of pilgrims and heritage lovers from all over the world as it opens the traveller to a world of mythological and spiritual wonders. Allahabad is a fusion of sanctity, religion, traditions, history and architecture which offers varied experiences from historical to religious. Allahabad is one of the destinations which holds the Kumbh Mela, world’s largest congregation of devotees. For the Mughals the city had a great strategic importance to control their empire, and it also became a prominent administrative hub for the British era. The city was the nerve centre of activities during the India’s Freedom Movement. Several eminent national leaders were born on this land. Allahabad has also played a leading role in development of Hindi and Urdu literature. The city has been described in ancient scriptures as ‘Teerthraj’, the holiest pilgrimage centre and is indeed a perfect place to have a soulful escape.

Sarnath

Located at a distance of 10 KM from Varanasi, Sarnath is one of the most significant Buddhist pilgrimage centres. This is the place where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon, after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. His first sermon is sanctified as Maha Dharma Chakra Pravartan, meaning 'set in motion the Wheel of Dharma'. During the time of Lord Buddha, this area was called Rishipattana or Isipatana and Mrigdava owing to the dense forest inhabited by deer. Emperor Ashoka, who spread Lord Buddha's message of love & peace throughout his regime, came to Sarnath and got a Stupa built herein 249 B.C. Today, Sarnath stands as one of the key sites on the Buddhist Circuit, attracting followers from around the world. The town is dotted with well-maintained erstwhile monasteries, stupas, and a museum.

Chunar

Chunar is a beautiful place where religion, history, and nature intermingle with each other. This is an ancient town situated in the Vindhya Range on the banks of the Holy River Ganga and is full of many stories regarding its emergence. According to the scriptures, it was earlier known as “Charandari” because Lord Vishnu took his first step here during his Vaman incarnation in Satyug period. The history of Chunar also reveals that a very powerful man travelled from Himalaya to Kanyakumari in the age of Dwapar and rested on a rock on his journey. The rock which bears the impression of this Mythological man, developed later to become today's Chunar. The third story tells about Bhatrihari who was the philosopher ruler of Ujjain and came here for penance. Another story sheds lights upon the idol of Naina Yogini built by King Sahadev who named the place as Nainagarh. It is however said that Chunar came into highlights after the visit of Babar followed by other Mughals successor and later the Britishers.

Kapilvastu

Earlier famed as the capital of the Shakya clan, this town is located at a distance of 20 KM from Siddharth Nagar and 97 KM from Gorakhpur. Kapilvastu was the kingdom of King Suddhodhana, the father of Lord Buddha. Here Lord Buddha spent his childhood as Prince Siddhartha, who left his palace in Kapilvastu at the age of 29 and revisited it 12 years later, after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. Today, Kapilvastu comprises of several beautiful villages, mainly Piprahwa and Ganvaria. A large Stupa stands at the ancient site which is said to have housed the bone relics of Lord Buddha. Meandering their way through Kapilvastu, the devotees feel transferred thousands of years back to an era when Young Prince Siddhartha after seeing the pains of life, renounced all worldly riches and pleasures in search of the path which leads to the termination of suffering and salvation. 

JAUNPUR

Jaunpur is a city situated in the North-West part of Varanasi Division. Historically known as “Shiraz-e-hind”, Jaunpur is a humbling town with grand architecture. A walk in this city feels like a stroll down the street during the reign of the Tughlaq dynasty. Situated on the banks of river Gomti, this city is dotted with historical relics. The numerous mosques and historic structures of the city leave the visitors awestruck.

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